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What's for Dinner #267 -- January Thaw Edition [through January 15, 2014]

Who knows how long it will last, but the frigid temperatures of earlier in the week are being followed but above normal temperatures for the weekend. Usually, our January thaws occur later in the month, so this one is early. Given what we were dealing with on Monday, however, I'm not complaining!

What's for dinner in your house?

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  1. Hi rox,

    Buffalo wings are up tonight. I sourced some really plump wings and Deb will work her heart-clogging magic. We'll stand at the kitchen counter, pretend the celery stalks dipped in blue cheese dressing are a form of health food and swill beer and wine. Maybe some retro stuff I pulled from the archives will be on the plasma.

    It's Friday.

    2 Replies
    1. re: steve h.

      Sounds great. rjbh20 makes wings in volume for the assorted friends and neighbors for the Super Bowl. Other than that, they're rarely on the menu here, though I think we all love them!

      1. re: roxlet

        Deb's wings are pretty special. Too good to visit but once a year.

        Still noodling the Super Bowl menu.

    2. Tonight is leftover chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and herbs along with baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Not exciting but those are some of the veg we received in the organic produce delivery this week and I'm trying very hard to eat all leftovers.

      1. i'm thinking of making some baba ganoush as a side to my lamb dish. just sounds good. this recipe in particular appeals to me:

        http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/07/...

        love the idea of the smokiness - my favorite thing about a good baba ganoush. i'm thinking it'll make a good late night snack, too, with a nightcap when the BF gets home from work.

        1. Rice and wheat, carefully baked together with a hint of vanilla until crispy, tossed with sliced toasted almonds and sliced bananas, artfully arranged in a bowl, carefully pouring the sauce alongside so as not to make the dinner too soggy, and voilà! It's dinner.

          Yup - Vanilla Almond Special K cereal is WFD. :-) I had had my sirloin tips leftovers for lunch today, so I wasn't really hungry. This fit the bill. Although I'm having to fend off Buster, who wants the leftover milk. Alfie can't be bothered; he's lying on the back of the couch.

          Definitely no wine with this dinner, however. ;-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            but vino after, no? it IS Friday, after all....

            1. re: mariacarmen

              No, I don't think so, mc. Something about the dairy and then the wine doesn't sit right in my brain. I can forego the wine for one night. :-)

          2. Enough of the leftovers and freezer diving for the week. We're ordering pizza from our favorite local joint. Spicy sauce, topped with sausage, mounds of WI mozzarella and provolone cheese, with a crispy crust. We'll add some beer and call it a week. Warmer this weekend so grilling is on the menu for tomorrow. But tonight it's, "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore” Pizza love:)

            2 Replies
            1. Not sure what kind of fish but we are making spring rolls with the fish.

              1. Nibbles night. My favorite night of all. Busetto Italian salami, dry peppered salami and prosciutto. Yancy's Fancy smoked gouda with bacon, TJ's spotlight cheese from December 5 year aged cheddar. Smoked sliced ham from the butcher and assorted pickles including some wild pickled cucumbers from a Halal place and an opal apple that doesn't oxidize very quickly that is perfect for me, a super slow eater. Some crackers to round it out and dinner is down to eating for an hour watching the boob tube

                1 Reply
                1. re: suzigirl

                  Sounds like the perfect antipasti plate. Enjoy your evening suzi

                2. Husband is out of town tonight so dinner is simple. A salad. Lettuce, chopped up grilled chicken breast, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs (soft boiled) with a lemon juice-soy sauce-garlic dressing (my own concoction).

                  ...and into bed as of now, under the covers - where it is very cozy/warm with my salad, a glass of wine and a good book (oh, and CH WFD blog)

                  I love husband, but every now and then, time alone is just wonderful :-)
                  Have a great evening everyone!

                  1. Clean out fridge dinner was better than some dinners I have spent a lot of time fretting over. How does that happen?? Fish "tacos": lettuce leaves instead of tortillas, the last of the dabs* from this week's fish share pan-fried till crispy, the last of the spicy vinegar slaw from last weekend's venture into pulled pork, salsa, and "crema" manufactured from sour cream and lime juice. Accompanied by rice and beans leftover from last night's dinner with a friend at a Cuban joint. Working on dessert now: a wee dram of The Balvenie, Caribbean Cask, gifted to me by friends over the holidays.

                    *dabs are small flat fishies and we get fillets of them. They are wonderful but I shudder to think of the work involved in filleting them. My one pound amounts to 5 or 6 little fish fillets when we get them, 5 this time.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: GretchenS

                      I was just about to ask how you prep the dabs into meat for tacos.
                      Is this like the sand dabs we get out west?
                      I love them and wish I could find fillets. I can manage the bones ok, but fillets would open up so many possibilities!

                      1. re: GretchenS

                        GS that sounds amazing - and healthy! right down to the wee dram.

                        1. re: GretchenS

                          If dabs are the same as sand dabs then I am officially dying of jealousy. They are flat out my favourite fish and I only get to eat them when I go to San Francisco.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            I think they are the same thing as sand dabs. I adore them, whole or in fillets. Given the labor-intensive nature of filleting them it is not surprising they are usually sold whole.
                            rabaja, I just dusted them with cornstarch of sauteed about a minute per side in a little grapeseed oil.

                          2. re: GretchenS

                            I grew up eating sand dabs out here in California. I have not eaten them in years. So delicious. I have never eaten them in fillet form though. Sounds great.

                          3. I am stuck at O'Hare waiting for my delayed flight to never take off, so a steak salad and a big glass of red wine is what's for dinner. My very quick business trip was a success and allowed me to eat much of the delicious food Chicago has to offer. Tomorrow, if I ever get home, we're going to see Once, so I'll try and make reservations somewhere fun pre-show. Happy weekend!

                            1. Salad with pomegranate molasses vinaigrette (someone posted it on chowhound recently!), sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, feta, and a drizzle of toasted pistachio oil. And some hot cinnamon tea on the side. I am craving leafy greens like nobody's business.

                               
                              1. another BF-less winner dinner. the marinated lamb steaks were incredibly juicy and tender, and i could definitely taste the preserved lemon. i drizzled them with the pomegranate syrup and tossed the warmed up anchovy-stuffed olives over them after pan-grilling. the combo was perfect for the richness of the meat.

                                the baba ganoush was fantastic - if i don't hide it from myself it will be gone before the BF comes home. so smokey, and garlicky, and rich and dreamy.... sigh. equally tasty was the baba spread on the lamb. David Lebovitz's recipe is a keeper. i toasted up some olive-oil-brushed naan instead of pita to go with, and that was dinner.

                                and a glass of last night's Spanish white was actually very tasty tonight, BECAUSE I CHILLED IT. duh.

                                the first pic is of the almost liquified, charred eggplant.

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                1 Reply
                                1. Made an OMG that was so good but I'll never be able to make the exact same thing again version of pork tacos. Had some leftover pork tenderloin that was roasted with a blueberry BBQ sauce. Cooked some sliced sweet onions, red and orange peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Added pork roughly cut up, seasoned with ancho and chipolte pepper, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Served with a pico de gallo, made with grape tomatoes, orange/yellow peppers, sweet onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime and a dash of vinegar. Used homemade flour tortillas and a dry/crumbly Mexican cheese (I don't remember what kind and I don't feel like getting up check in the fridge to see what it is). The sweet tangy flavor from the BBQ sauce on the pork really made these tacos amazing.

                                  1. To start......potted shrimps .......the north west delicacy using the tiny brown shrimps that the colour-blind French call "grey".

                                    To follow.......pot roast pheasant....also going in the pot......new potatoes and chunks of celery.......some steamed broccoli also on the plate.

                                    To finish.....rhubarb fool.....we're not at the new season forced Yorkshire rhubarb yet, so this is stuff from last year.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Harters

                                      My friend spied some forced rhubarb in Borough market this weekend. It's coming!

                                    2. Steaks on the grill, roasted potatoes, and creamed kale.

                                      I was intrigued by a recipe for "creamy kale and eggs" that I saw on Food Network's "The Kitchen" show last week. I really just can't get on board with kale and I get it all the time in the organic produce delivery. Anyway, it calls for Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream so it looks like it is somewhat healthy yet a riff on traditional creamed spinach. Soooooo I'm going to make it and see what there is to see. I'm sure my husband will be horrified by it but I need to find ways to eat more greens so I'm going to give it a shot.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                        The kale sounds like something we'd like NJ. It this the recipe?

                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ka...

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Yes that's it. I didn't have leeks so used onion and wound up doubling the amount of yogurt to make it really creamy. It was delicious! I will definitely be making it again and again.

                                      2. Sunshine! No rain!
                                        Lamb chops are marinading in orange juice, thyme and garlic. To be grilled and served with sauté potatoes and roast parsnips. And a glass or two of red wine. Followed by cranberry and apple crumble.

                                        1. Got home from work at a normal hour last night, after a wild week. Decided a glass of red and some messing around in the kitchen, would be an ideal respite. So had some braised short ribs of beef left over. Decided to try to convert them to ravioli. Additionally had some red tomato sauce with some ground beef as well.
                                          The ravioli worked out well, the marriage with the addition of a little heavy cream worked.
                                          Now I have to wait until I have some short ribs, to make it again to see if it really does work.

                                           
                                           
                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: PHREDDY

                                            love to make ravioli from leftover short ribs/roast. Did you make the pasta dough? I never want to make the effort of doing so. I've used wonton wrappers, but find them to be too flimsy. What about prepared fresh pasta sheets. too thick?

                                            1. re: MAH

                                              I used store bought , fresh pasta dough, from a local Italian gourmet store (Durso's) in Flushing, NY that I have been shopping at for 25 years. I do have to roll it a little to thin it out, but with the mold I have it takes no time to make 12 pieces. I try to make about 36 each time for four people.
                                              The filing was nothing more than the meat from the ribs, tossed into the mini processor with a touch of the braising liquid.
                                              They were good, but when I try something new like this, I will make it a second time to see if can stay as a "regular" item in our kitchen.

                                          2. Dinners this past week have been catch as I can. Work is a nightmare!

                                            Tonight I woke up in the mood to bake, which I rarely do except for bread. Made the boys cinnamon french toast and then got out the KA to make chocolate chip muffins. The recipe is from random place on the interwebz but seeing as it was adapted from king arthur flour I am sure they will be good.

                                            Later today I thought I would make oatmeal cookies.

                                            Dinner will be lamb burgers with the usual sides.

                                            9 Replies
                                                1. re: foodieX2

                                                  I want the one in the front...the big one:)

                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                    How did the muffins turn out? I have a recipe on file for chocolate chip muffins but they aren't as good as I'd like them to be. Would gladly replace it if I found a better one.

                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                      they were great! Here is the recipe. Let me know what you think

                                                      http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverything...

                                                  2. re: foodieX2

                                                    sounds like a great eating day. especially loving the lamb burgers.

                                                    1. re: foodieX2

                                                      Well, the lamb burgers are a no go. All the market had on hand were some baby lollypop lamb chops which were way to0 expensive. I would have needed 4-6 packages to grind enough for burgers. The ground lamb had an "off" looking color and a stronger smell than it should have so that was out too. No other lamb options. <sad face>

                                                      So WFD is now another bacon wrapped pork loin from the pig farm, roasted brussels sprouts and some kind of starch. I am thinking basmati pilaf.

                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                        Eh. Your substitute meal sounds quite delightful.

                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                          thanks lingua. My husband said- pork? Again?

                                                          (and yes, he is still standing. willpower is a good thing)

                                                    2. Last night's brats and potatoes were good, although it turned out that the baby arugula I thought was in the fridge had been tossed. My boyfriend assured me that it wasn't too late to dig it out of the outside garbage, but I opted to sautee the rest of the fridge veggies instead (bok choy, yellow squash, onion, garlic) with a bit of butter and a touch of lemon juice.

                                                      Tonight's another late night, and we've decided to do something a bit lighter than last night: salad, with snow crab. Picked up a couple snow crab legs on sale yesterday, and their meat will be shredded atop a bed of... some sort of salad (not sure quite what I'll pick up today). Salad will be dressed before the crab goes on, so that crab pieces can be eaten with the salad or picked off and dipped in cocktail sauce. Seems like an appropriately thaw-y meal (although we never really froze).

                                                      1. I had a craving for easy comfort food so I ended up making a buffalo chicken dip; served with celery sticks, wheat crackers and a crisp white wine.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: wineos

                                                          Love that buffalo chicken dip. Waiting until Super Bowl to inhale an entire bowlful myself

                                                          1. re: sunangelmb

                                                            How could I have lived to be mumble years old without knowing about Buffalo chicken dip? Thanks again, WFDers!

                                                            1. re: grayelf

                                                              Care to enlighten me? Never heard of it.

                                                              A friend of mine found a place in our old hometown that served "Barbalo Pizza>'

                                                              Pizza with red sauce, Buffalo sauce, and BBQ sauce. Said it was better than it had any right to be.

                                                              1. re: Westy

                                                                I don't know what it is, either, and I love hot!

                                                          2. We're celebrating my newly acquired MURR'CAN-ness (for which we had to brave freezing rain in Philly at the insanely early hour of 8:30 AM) with a bunch of close friends at casa lingua tonight. There will be drink and munch, and my man's famous pizza: TJ's dough, my sawce, generous cheese shprinkling and the usual toppings suspects, namely green peppers, red onion, mushrooms, and spicy salami. Other assorted party treats that will hopefully not result in New Year's Day syndrome '-D

                                                            I still owe the Philly board a report on our lovely dinner out at Matyson, and hopefully will get to it over the weekend.

                                                            Weather's absolute shite today -- pouring rain. Good day to get some work done.

                                                            20 Replies
                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              congrats! you're one of us! how does it feel? itchy?

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                Congratulations!

                                                                Now you have to start saying "youse guys", wear white socks with sandals and Bermuda shorts, supersize your fast food orders, and drive on the right side of the roads. ;-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  I've been training for this moment for over a decade.

                                                                  Fatburger for breakfast, lunch & dinner everyday, wearing my smartest camouflage snuggie while driving a hoveround through MallWart :-D

                                                                  All I need now is an AK-47 to make it real.

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    NONONO. Don't listen to Linda. Please don't say "youse guys." Welcome. Hurrah, And Happy trails to you.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Hey, Gio. She's in the Philly area (close enough). Jersey Shore/South Philly = "youse guys". ;-)

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        Sorry to disappoint, but having been married to a guy from upstate NY, I've been saying youse guys forever.

                                                                        Which is funny, because where I live, 'yinz' and 'yinzes' would be the preferred nomenclature.

                                                                        I swing all ways, regionally. That's the bonus of being a furr'ner, y'all!

                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                            Ahhh, dammit, I forgot to add that one to my list. Nice catch, steve. :-)

                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                              We have a big tent. lingua is a great addition. You can never have enough sharp tongued, opinionated, Euro wise-asses on your team. ;-)

                                                                              ETA: she eschews political correctness.

                                                                            2. re: linguafood

                                                                              Yinz? Worse yet Yinzes?? bist du verrückt? (I have no idea if that's correct but I was just joshing. I hope you know that)

                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                "Bist Du verrückt" is absolutely proper German, dear Gio!

                                                                                And no, I cannot bring myself to say yinz. Though I don't nearly despise Yuengling as much as I used to.....

                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                i've never heard that "yinz" said out loud, only read it - does it sound like it looks? like "mince" but with a "z"?

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  A softer z than in mince. Think 'tins.' Those Penna mofos are all marshmallows inside, apparently '-)

                                                                        1. i made soup last night, either for tonight, if i get home early from the oldster's, or tomorrow. simmered turkey stock with a mirepoix, strained it, added in chopped smoked turkey tails, white rancho gordo beans, and sliced collard greens. with some ciabatta and this wonderful raw milk butter i found, that could be dinner, but i have a feeling the BF will want more, so i'm also defrosting a pack of Costco duck confit. never tried them before, but heard good things. also, we inhaled that baba ganoush last night, so i may have to make more.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            Love the costco confit. Get it crispy on the stove and then throw it in your oven.
                                                                            Your soup sounds delicious too!!

                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                              oh! i would have thought the other way around! thx rabaja!

                                                                            1. I feel like I'm pregnant - waddling with water retention and restricted to bed rest. It's been a crazy 2 days playing the role of doctor turned patient, spent the night in the ER on Thursday, worked all day Friday, and now resting all weekend with feet up per doctor's orders (btw, the ER sucks, though quite entertaining!). It's a rainy day here which has made for a very relaxing Sunday watching football and I've been craving comfort food all day. I finally decided to buy the TJs Hollandaise sauce yesterday which inspired a very delicious dinner. I seasoned a turkey breast with Sunny Paris, popped it in the oven and finished with a slice of caramelized onion cheddar. For the sauce, I sauteed garlic with diced bacon and mixed in the Hollandaise. Thank for the recommendation to try it from all here who find it a quick substitute for the real thing.

                                                                               
                                                                              32 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                Doctors are the worst patients. BEHAVE YOURSELF and listen to what they told you to. Keep those feet up.

                                                                                BTW, it's only Saturday. :-P You have tomorrow to watch even more football!

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                  So true I'm doing well so far not moving much and trying my best to behave. In the ER I was checking my labs in the waiting room on my phone and I had to remind myself not to be that person :)

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    Lol, that's me too.

                                                                                    Hope you feel better, and that turkey looks amazing!

                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                  Behave, and get better. Glad to hear that sauce was good, was debating it myself

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    TJ's Hollandaise rocks- hope you feel better!

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      Hope you are feeling better soon. Take the time to rest, relax, and let your body repair itself.

                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        <"I seasoned a turkey breast with Sunny Paris.">

                                                                                        Who, may I ask is Sunny Paris? And did she give you permission?

                                                                                        (Sorry you're not feeling well )

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          Sunny Paris granted full rights! It's an herb blend from Penzey's with basil, dill, tarragon, green peppercorns, and some other things I can't remember which is very delicious and adds a lot of flavor so is useful for lazy meals. I sprinkle it in eggs nearly everyday.

                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                            Oh that sounds really delicious. There's a Penzeys store quite near us. Will have to check it out. Thanks. Get well!

                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                              It's a salt free blend. Fox point is a similar blend with salt some say they are the same one with salt and the other without but Foxpoint has fewer ingredients so I have both.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                Love Fox Point Blend. Forgot about it so thanks- I will add it to my next order. The 30 dollar minimum actually works for me.

                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                Gio, expect to spent at least an hour there smelling all of the different herbs and spices they have. :-)

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Oh I know, Linda. Been there many times since they opened. I'm just happy not to have to pay shipping charges.. LOL.

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    Very lucky. I always buy $30 online to save on shipping. Thanks for the reminder, I'm out of my favorite peppercorns so need to make a list of other things I "need." I probably shouldn't go to the store anyway, I have no control of myself in a regular grocery store let alone a spice store.

                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                      I just ordered medium-hot chili powder, Ancho chili powder, pink, white, and green peppercorns, Indonesian cinnamon, and dried minced onion. Total order was $30.57 - so it was free shipping. :D

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        It's amazing what you can get for $30 for high quality spices. I can't even get out of Whole Foods without spending $30.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Whoooooaaaa! Quite a haul. Nice though. Penzey's doesn't carry everything I need so I have the alternate Savory Spice Shop.

                                                                                                          http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/herbs-...

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            What do they have (that you buy) that Penzeys doesn't, Gio?

                                                                                                            And I got by with that amount because the peppercorns, ancho chili powder, and cinnamon were in 1/4 cup containers vs. the "full-sized" 1/2 cup jars.

                                                                                                            ETA: Ahh, I see they have a nice "Exotics" section!

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              One thing I can think of "off the top" is Greek oregano. Also, a few different chilies, and rose and orange flower waters.

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                The Mediterranean oregano @ Penzeys is probably very close to the Greek oregano @ Savory, if not the same.

                                                                                                                And julie, there are no stores for Savory near me - closest one is NJ....not local to me, whereas I have a Penzeys about 25 minutes drive time for me.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Oh boo. Penzey's is still a nice store though! I still want to go check it out sometime just to compare the in-store differences. Unfortunately neither are THAT close to me so it requires a special trip.

                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                    The closest store here is an hour away which is why I haven't been yet and also because I have no self control. However, I might make a special trip on my next vacation. I'd love to refill those glass jars and baggies instead of buying them over and over.

                                                                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                                                                              Savory is where I shop. It started (and is still based) here in CO so I like to support the locally owned places. I found for a few items that I price compared, they were a bit less expensive than Penzey's.

                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  Sorry you were in the hospital. I hope you get feeling like yourself again soon. Dinner sounds great.

                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                    Thanks for all the well wishes! I'm usually a water hoarder but not being able to walk and having sore skin all over due to water retention made me come to my better senses and head right downstairs from my office to the ER. Hopefully my doctor can figure out why in the world I packed on 40 lbs of water in 2 weeks-a lot of water for someone usually not more than a buck and change. When I described it to my parents as Michelin woman I was not joking :)

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      GEEZ! That is crazy. Hope they sort it out quickly.

                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                        Me too, the jiggle walk is not cute :)

                                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        that is insane! and they have no idea what it is?
                                                                                                        i hope they fix it soon!

                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                          They think it might be related to my stomach bug a month or so ago and not being able to eat much and then my body reacting to jumping right back into normal food intake. I must admit, the scientist in me, finds it all kind of fascinating. Now I'm hoping I'll be just as fascinated by the diagnosis and remedy :) The past few months have been pretty rough on me but I remember back in October I was a walking zombie so perhaps it all will be for the best and finally have been able to get a prolonged period of rest.

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            That sounds very uncomfortable. I hope they figure it out soon. I've never heard of such extreme water retention!

                                                                                                            Is it all over your body, or just in certain places?

                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          Sounds like a plumbing issue....(If it is I can help)

                                                                                                        3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          My goodness. Hope you feel better soon. Is your doctor ordering salt restriction? That would sure make cooking a bit more challenging.

                                                                                                        4. It's an Ottolenghi night. Have been devouring just-cooled Parmesan-poppy crisps, and marinated turkey breast with cumin, coriander and wine is in the oven. Dessert is orange-almond Florentines. Deliciousness!

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: pocketviking

                                                                                                            Wow, sounds like a delicious dinner indeed!

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                It really was a fine meal, and the Pats are winning. An all-around great Saturday night @ home!

                                                                                                            1. After taking last night off of cooking, hit the food court at the mall for a date with my big boy. Let me tell you, food may not be gourmet, but eating dumplings, tacos and a cheesesteak makes me very happy. Finished up by sharing a huge cupcake at crumbs. It was very nice,and I'm super lucky the (almost) 14 yr old still likes to hang out with me. Anyway, back to cooking tonight. Tacos and extra special refrained beans on the menu. Tomorrow morning, big boy is cooking all of us breakfast, so I definitely over indulged tonight. If his home ec class is anything like mine was, we might be in trouble. At least he's learning, and trying

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                  He is a joy to raise. He just made us breakfast burritos. It's very hard to take a back seat and let someone else rule the kitchen roost. He was so proud though, that it was worth it

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                                                    A wonderful boy is a wonderful thing. I have a great one whom I will miss so much when he goes off to college next year. The years go by so fast, so enjoy every minute!

                                                                                                              1. WFD is an inspiration from Weeziedoesit in her carb days

                                                                                                                'A package of Trader Joes parmesan spinach dip from the freezer section heated and stirred into cooked penne with broccoli, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts, prosciutto and capers.'

                                                                                                                Wine :)

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                  Parmesan Spinach Dip in a grilled cheese sandwich. Try it.

                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                    Damn, that sounds good. What cheese or is parmesan the only cheese?

                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                      I just made one on a whim a few months ago with some mozzarella, since I had some on hand that needed to be used.

                                                                                                                      I didn't realize it was a "thing" but apparently it is (according to food blogs and pinterest). I've seen it a lot with store-bought spinach-artichoke dip and various cheeses.

                                                                                                                      But at home I'll just throw whatever in it, usually some mix of cooked spinach (frozen or fresh), white cheeses (always with parmesan), garlic, sometimes sour cream or ricotta just to get the whole thing creamy. Herbs on occasion either basil or some Italian seasoning. It's so freaking good, definitely one of my favorite throw-together lunches. I keep thinly-sliced French or Italian bread in the freezer, so I can eat one of these anytime, most notably at 2 AM for a nice carb-cheese bomb before bed :)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                    I've been putting off a trip to TJ's for a week now. I will be going tomorrow for the frozen spinach dip.
                                                                                                                    Damn, that sounds comforting, delicious and easy. Just how I like it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                      I miss eating that but now I stuff chicken breasts with it. :)

                                                                                                                    2. Woke up to warmth - got up to 55° today in the Boston area. Ghostly fog coming out of the woods next to my condo complex looked like the start of a horror movie. :-)

                                                                                                                      A pork tenderloin was marinated for about an hour in fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, lots of freshly ground pepper, roasted garlic, and some dark earthy honey. Into a roasting pan and into a 400° oven to cook, spooning some of the marinade over top as it cooks.

                                                                                                                      A mongo-sized sweet potato was peeled and cut into chunks to be steamed and mashed with butter salt, pepper, maple syrup and maybe a bit of heavy cream.

                                                                                                                      I took out some CSA kale I had chopped and vacu-sealed this summer. A half shallot was minced, will be sauteed in a bit of butter and olive oil, adding the kale and some CSA corn kernels sprinkling with a bit of Aleppo pepper. A quick sauté, adding some chicken stock to the pan and turn down to simmer, covered, until the stock is gone.

                                                                                                                      Yup - there's wine. AND there's football - GO PATS!!!!

                                                                                                                      23 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                          Fingers crossed- hope the season isn't over for the Pats but I do love football in January

                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                            So are Blount and Edelman. They are total monsters right now!

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              Garfield is schooling Nermal right now.

                                                                                                                              Abu Dhabi?

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  The young Mr. Luck (Nermal) is getting a post-season lesson in quarterbacking from the old pro, Brady (Garfield).

                                                                                                                                  Specifically, you don't try to force a pass downfield with more than a minute left in the half.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                    OMG, I forgot about Nermal in the Garfield cartoon! LOL

                                                                                                                                    And quite frankly, I'm totally fine with Nermal forcing a pass downfield with a minute left in the half. ;-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                      I think young Mr. Luck is going to have to repeat this year's schooling next year. He received a failing grade. He also made a Manning face once or twice. ;-)

                                                                                                                                      And now? Let's go San Diego!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        Manning? Are you referring to two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning (and nemesis to Tom Brady) or his older brother, Peyton, who set a new passing-yardage record this year?

                                                                                                                                        ;-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                          Doesn't matter. They've both made the Manning Face.

                                                                                                                                          And Eli who? I don't see hide nor hair of him in the playoffs this year. And hopefully it'll be Peyton Who? as well. :-P

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            I'd like to see Manning/Brady in the AFC championship game. You always want to see the best. I understand the two have great respect for each other.

                                                                                                                                            Composing a meal for that game would take some thought.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                              You're getting your wish Steve. Should be a good game!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                Two old warriors going at it hammer and tong. Lots of side stories, too.

                                                                                                                                                This will be my Super Bowl. Working the menu will be a pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                  Thank God it's a 3PM game. Happy hour at our house should coincide with half time! We'll be ready for a cold one by then!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                    Nothing stronger than beer before breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                      Ha! Drinking early wouldn't be a problem at our house. Ever had orange juice mixed with beer? Pretty good.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                    My cable package doesnt give me live football so I have to wait for the replay programme in the evening. Which means that I have to steer clear of any news channels (including online) so I don't hear the score.

                                                                                                                                    And, once again, I've failed so I know today's result. Feck, feck and double feck. Although we won and now lead the division.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    I need to remember to pick up sweet potatoes more often. I always always always like them when I make them - why don't I have them in my veggie pantry?

                                                                                                                                    This was a great dinner!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      perspective is everything ain't it? i woke up this morning and looked at the forecast and said "Brrr, it's not going to get above 56 today...."! i'm happy you're having a mini-heat wave.

                                                                                                                                      that potato sounds dreamy. i think i'd like goat cheese in there too - would go so nice with the maple.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        TOO funny, mc, that the same temp is warm/chilly depending on what you're used to for mid-January. :-)

                                                                                                                                    2. Tonight we had a change of plans. We had planned to go out to our local Italian joint, but are staying in instead waiting for an emergency repair guy. We belatedly discovered burst pipes and major damage in the pool house today. Inches of water, major damage. Ugh. After some lamenting and woulda shoulda coulda-ing, we are just thankful we are all healthy and ok and that our actual living space is totally fine.

                                                                                                                                      Impromptu dinner tonight is turkey meatball, chickpea and spinach curry made with a maya kaimal simmer sauce with brown basmati rice. Ommegang Three Philosophers to drink.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                        Good luck with the pipes, such a bummer but it sounds like you're keeping the spirits up.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MAH

                                                                                                                                          Oh, that stinks about the pipes, MAH! Very glad it wasn't the house area.

                                                                                                                                        2. Last night we stayed at the holiday place with family and friends. Lamb racks were grilled. Aubergines were made smokey on the grill and them turned into baba ganough. Salad was thrown together. Copious amounts of wine was drunk. Far, far too much wine. It's one of those days when an afternoon nap is required to escape from the hangover.

                                                                                                                                          Dinner tonight will be comfort food. I've got some frozen cooked chicken defrosting. I'm either going to make a spicy soup with it or make a pie.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                            hey, lamb and baba ganoush - just like my dinner last night!
                                                                                                                                            sans the grill, of course. sounds like a really fun time, frizzle.

                                                                                                                                          2. Bone in new york strips were on sale this week so I picked two up yesterday. I am making hasselback potatoes with some cheddar and gouda mixed and serve spinach. We will see how this flies with the man as he is a boiled potato or baked only with steak.

                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                              I've wanted to make hasselback potatoes for years now...one day!! I hope the man likes them they look outstanding! Even a Brit could get into them :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                I haven't made them before but they look so good. Best part is my leftover steak and potato will make an outstanding omlette for us tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                  Such a great idea and somehow of all the things I've thrown in an omelet steak has never been one of them...great idea!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                    Steak, potato and cheese omlettes are wonderful. Sometimes I saute up some onions to go in there. My ex husband loved going to a steak house with me.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                      The next time I find myself with leftover steak because that's a rare occurrence, it's going in my morning eggs. Steak, onions and eggs, it couldn't be better.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                good idea with the cheese in the hasselbacks - as cute as they are, i often find them lacking in flavor.

                                                                                                                                                you'll enjoy, and they're super simple to make.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                  Better make a couple of boiled potatoes as back up just in case he over reacts:)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                    You must have read my mashed potato debacle story. I have an extra baker he can zap if it goes poorly. He loves cheese though. I think we will be okay.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                      I remember you mentioning the sorrowful expression on his face:)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                        He tried to look like he ate some of those potatoes by pushing them around the plate but I was on to him. The hasselback potatoes went over well. And they are so pretty.

                                                                                                                                                2. Lots of football today but the games start late.

                                                                                                                                                  Deb ripped into the coolerator and pulled bits and pieces from the far recesses: orphaned slices of beef; overlooked mashed potatoes; beef gravy with mushrooms. She assembled a cottage pie in short order and that was lunch.

                                                                                                                                                  Supper will be sausage and peppers. Finger food for the Patriots/Colts game. Beer and wine at the ready.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Pizza! I got a 14" cast iron pizza pan for Christmas, so I cranked up the oven to 550 and broke it in! Levain crust stretched nice and thin, topped with a blend of fontina and mozzarella, caramelized onions, green olives and pepperoni. I also put pickled jalapenos on the second one, which were a tasty addition!

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                        Wow! I'm not so into pizza but I'd gobble up that pie!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                          gorgeous-looking pie - yum on the spicy one!

                                                                                                                                                        2. Vitello alla Marsala con funghi with a pancetta crisp. Rosemary - garlic roasted potatoes & sautéed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                          And a fine Chianti

                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                Just tried to find a recipe; however, they were all in Italian. The images look like this is a dish we would enjoy. Do you happen to have a recipe in English that you would be willing to share, please

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                    OMG. I am so embarrassed. My brain sure wasn't functioning yesterday. Thank you for not laughing at me.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wtg2Retire

                                                                                                                                                                      Not laughing at all! Hope that helped!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                        It did help - it jarred my brain into better behavior.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Still on a soup jag. Yesterday I made a butternut squash soup.....using a food network recipe. Delicious!! I was trying to decide what to accompany it with, and noticed a whole lot of sliced mushrooms DH had bought for another dish earlier in the week -- and since I knew they wouldn't last long I made sautéed mushrooms! Something perfect to scoop up with the sourdough baguette we had!

                                                                                                                                                                More soup tonight. It rained here for the first time in forever, and we had visited a little cheese shop earlier and picked up some gruyere...so DH asked for French Onion Soup for the second weekend in a row! (made with veggie broth since he doesn't eat meat...). I think today's version was even better! We accompanied it with a spinach salad and red wine. Apple pie for desert! yum!

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                  Your french onion soup dinner made me smile, what a wonderful winter meal from the soup, to the salad and dessert!

                                                                                                                                                                2. So... my friends brought a variety of celebratory items to our party.

                                                                                                                                                                  The snickerdoodles were lovely, the gun makes a fancy noise, and I always did prefer throwing a baseball vs. a softball. The franks were eventually thrown in the freezer -- although I should probably start a thread about whether they're still safe to eat after sitting out for hours.... and god knows what to do with that "apple pie."

                                                                                                                                                                  In any event, a great time was had by all, so tomorrow is clearly shot as a productive citizen day.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe you could up "feed" your rendition of God Bless America in light of this special occasion?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                      Eat that apple pie for breakfast, warm with a wedge of cheddar on the side. It's an early American breakfast food. With a glass of cider.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                        Sadly, I can't really do sweet stuff in the morning. I'm a salty kinda gal.

                                                                                                                                                                        But maybe I can pass it to the other American in the household '-)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Upcoming....shallot tarte tatin...........mixed salad.

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it's made like a sweet tatin. Buttery, sugary, thymey, balsamic gunk in the base of the pan. Shallots on top. Pastry draped over and baked for around 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                      And that's shallot from me for today,

                                                                                                                                                                      (The success of my final sentence may depend on whether you have read it in an American or British accent - I believe we differ on "shallot")

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                          One of my favourite things. Sounds like a perfect meal to me.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. My sister, brother-in-law, and cousin are coming over to watch football today. It's been decided that we are going to make several types of homemade pizzas. My sister is bringing the toppings so we shall see what we get. My cousin is bringing a salad. My job is to make pizza sauce. It will be a nice low-key kind of day.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                            It was great! They pretty much threw me out of the kitchen so I could sit down and let someone else do the cooking for a change. haha

                                                                                                                                                                            They were all great but my favorite was the one with mushrooms, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and mozzarella. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight, fish cakes (from the local fishmonger), spiced up a bit with gremolata. Made bread today, so not really sure I want to bake again, so not sure what to have for pudding. Might caramalise some oranges.

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, that sound decadent and delicious. Funny, I have read David Lebovitz's excellent book about Paris, but never tried his recipes. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Londonlinda

                                                                                                                                                                                  Not so decadent since it's made with milk and not cream. And no baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Lebovitz says "But one decision I refuse to let you make is to be one of those people that wants to press plastic wrap on top of the puddings to avoid that delicious, chewy skin that forms on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you don’t like pudding skin, why are you eating pudding in the first place? "
                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                  I heartily agree. I'm a fan of pudding skin. Now I want some chocolate pudding for breakfast. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Just checking in to say hi... no real cooking going on. Friday night was a hockey game, and we went to a sushi place afterwards for "happy hour".... half price rolls and apps. Too bad I don't like sushi. I had some kind of beef teriyaki dish, and we shared edamame, potstickers, and poke. SO said the sushi was excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday we went to the bar and watched the hockey game on TV, next to the TV with the Pats/Colts game. I had a good ol bacon cheeseburger. Today I'm taking Winnie for her first real bath at the groomer, I've done a few here at home but she needs a good cleaning. This afternoon we're supposedly heading back to the same bar for the Broncos game. We have to get there a couple hours early in order to get a seat. Haven't decided what I'm going to get... might do wings this time. I don't get them very often though so we'll see. Then I have to deliver SO to the airport.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                  Juliejulez, it sounds like you're having a wonderful weekend, enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                    It has been a fun weekend. We're home for a bit before I take SO to the airport... he's taking a short nap... had one too many Molson's at the bar. Yay for Bronco's win though.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm a bit sportsed out at the moment, so my remedy is Downton Abbey later on tonight :)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I woke up to the smell of turkey stock emanating from the slow cooker (turkey parts were on sale and I couldn't resist). The original plan for dinner was turkey soup but I couldn't wait that long so I had turkey soup with black eyed peas and spinach for lunch. For dinner, pesto chicken is on the menu-quick, easy and always a hit! I like to use Parmesan or Mozzarella, but only have Feta and a pretty sharp Cheddar around. I think both might work well so I'll have to choose.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Still emptying the fridge around here. With 2 growing boys though, it seems as if it's always full. Made nachos for lunch using leftover taco fixings (thank you fldhkybnva), and threw some onion, chicken sausage,odds and ends veggies, beans and leftover kale into a big pot to make soup for lunch this week. For dinner we are having a ham (husband insisted we needed 2 for Christmas Eve dinner this year, we didn't.) scalloped potatoes, broccoli that needs to be used, and I have a container of crescent rolls that the boys will be happy to eat. Then, I can make more split pea soup with the leftover ham....I have a serious soup problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I loved my Friday night fish "tacos" so much that I reprised them last night with warmed-up leftover Cuban puerco asado (melt in your mouth slow-roasted pork with caramelized onions) instead of fish and a new batch of spicy vinegar slaw. Sooo good. Dessert was the Patriots win. :) WFD tonight remains undetermined as yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Reason number 101 why I love my slow cooker: coming home to the smells!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Woke up this morning already stressing about work and decided we need some comfort food for dinner. I had a huge beef brisket that had been calling my name so WFD is beef brisket sandwiches and french fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I made a rub out of garlic, dry mustard, coriander, allspice, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and S&P. This went all over the meat which left on the counter take the chill off. While the brisket rested I made a simple BBQ sauce. Once that was done I seared the brisket in bacon fat, popped it in the slow cooker and topped it with the BBQ sauce and set it for 8 hours on low.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Then it was off to do errands. Came back hours later and the whole house smelled amazing. Nothing better than walking in the door and knowing that dinner is almost done. All thats left to do is slice the rolls and cook the (frozen) steak fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now I can sit back and catch up on the figure skating championships.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Trying to eat our veggies WFD is a pork tenderloin surrounded by steamed Swiss Chard, and ovenroasted red potatoes and fennel. Rather than serve meatless meals I'm working on meals with less meat. Catchy huh!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Brunch today was blood orange bellinis, pork pate with truffles, triple cream brie and a Classic Roquefort. San Francisco and Carolina were on the plasma. The ending was good. We took down the Christmas tree after the game. The tree was large and had a bottom that would make a Kardashian green with envy. Getting it out of the house was an engineering feat. No h.s were harmed in the performance of their duties

                                                                                                                                                                                            Denver/San Diego is up next. This should be excellent. Burgers tonight if we need them.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                              "The tree was large and had a bottom that would make a Kardashian green with envy."

                                                                                                                                                                                              BEST LINE OF THE THREAD! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. B/S chicken breasts will be seared after seasoning (probably my standard salt, pepper and dried thyme). Add some previously frozen caramelized onions and some chicken stock and cover, let it simmer until the stock is reduced. Add some heavy cream at the end for a sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Basmati rice, and a quick sauté of sliced carrots, red bell pepper strips, and sugar snap peas with garlic. Wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                That sounds divine. And love Basmati rice, too. Lucky you.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Braised country ribs in mustard bbq sauce, potato salad and green bean casserole. And yes, I mean the canned trashy kind. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Well, I'm finally back into cooking, but I am still always looking over my shoulder so I don't trip over Rusty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Last night was Chicken stir fry with "pancakes" and rice on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight is a nice large chuck pot roast in the DO which is simmering in the oven along with quartered onions as I type, which will be simmered in the oven till fork tender. After while, I'll add some carrots and quartered potatoes, then make a nice rich gravy. I can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aw, hope you are holding up OK. It was the leash hanging in the mudroom that always got me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Awww. It is so hard adjusting to their absence. So sorry. For me it was coming home to no one waiting at the door.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken stir fry with pancakes, yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The chuck roast sounds so delicious. Exactly the way my late mom made it. So good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. On a whim, I picked up a little under a pound of pork cheeks at my favorite food fantasy store in Philly. Now I wish I had gotten all of them. I am trying my hand at following a recipe (!!) for a change, as I had no bloody clue as to what on earth one does with these things. That moronic Bittman had one in a recent NYT, but it didn't look all that great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So after a little googling, I found a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe for Sichuan braised pork cheeks:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I added a few celery stalks I had in the fridge for good measure, even though it's not part of the recipe, but I've had enough Sichuan food to know that it will go well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Browned them, and now they're braising away in the oven in my deep CI pan, hopefully to be et around 7:30-ish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Side is stir-fried baby bok choy, maybe some rice if the cheek dish comes out saucy at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think we broke the party record last "night" by ending festivities some time after 5 AM. Details are a bit fuzzy, as they tend to be.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                        While I'd much rather veg in front of the tube and watch the GG, I'll limit myself to the red carpet show and head on over to the local Sunday blues jam, where my appearance was requested. Wah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Will you let me know what you think? I am curious about pork cheeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burning the candle at both ends...and using a blowtorch on the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm in awe. You Americans are tough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yum, I love pork cheeks. I get to have them at SO's family's annual pig roast since I'm the one who butchers and carves the pig. Usually I eat those and I'm too full to eat with everyone else!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                julie, you BUTCHER and carve the pig? i am in total awe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To be fair, it's already been gutted when we get it, and we cook it whole LOL! But yes, I work with one other guy to get it ready to eat... cutting it up, carving it, etc. It helps that he has a lot of good tools for it, including a beautiful cleaver that belonged to his grandfather. I wouldn't be able to do it at home just because I don't have the right tools. It's very satisfying work though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If money were no object I would go be a butcher. I'm DYING for SO to actually get an elk or deer one of these years so I can go at it. Although we're not really set up to butcher whole animals at home, our HOA might object :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    still in awe, that must be hard work taking it apart...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah I usually take a nap after we're done while everyone else is eating haha!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. After defrosting the large leftover roasted fresh ham we had on Christmas Day, after cooking 1/2 pound black-eyed peas, after slicing said ham to get at the bone, after thinking we were going to prepare collard greens & B-YPeas w said ham bone and ham... TDB decided He would simply like a ham sandwich while He watched The Game, (San Diego). So... Kaiser rolls, plenty of mustard, ham, onion, tomato, lettuce (kimchi for me), Swiss. Terra chips, 1/2 sour pickle, Sam Adams IPLarger. Not too bad after all, but still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's still killer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Kimchi? Nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Dinner party! I've been looking for an excuse to make Momofuku bo ssam. So I made one. The plan...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Appetizers:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Korean pancakes w/ scallion, Asian chives, shrimp, and scallops http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/ya-cha... w/ soy-vinegar dipping sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Lumpia and duck sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Main Dishes & Sides:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Bo ssam pork shoulder and diping sauces, lettuce leaves http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/mag...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Pork belly bo ssam http://momofukufor2.com/2010/03/pork-... with mustard-mayo-cucumber-chive sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Sushi rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Taiwanese sa-te dipping sauce http://justonecookbook.com/recipes/ta...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Korean potato and onion hash http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/potato...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Smacked cucumber salad http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Vietnamese pickled carrot and daikon http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -purchased kimchi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -Sookju Namul (Korean Mung Bean Sprout Salad) http://koreanfood.about.com/od/sidedi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dessert:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Earl Grey and orange zest chocolate mousse with candied ginger garnish (this recipe was a flop, but I think I saved it) http://food52.com/recipes/20911-earl-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To drink, homemade cran-Meyer lemon-clementine vodka tonics, viognier and Riesling-Gewurtztrminer, and beer (Sapporo and Guinness). Maybe some coffee liqueur, but I doubt it: it's a school night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      very, very nice. love that Bo ssam! it's killer. must make it again...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was really yum! Very nice return for minimal effort on the pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is rather impressive -- how many are you serving?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NB: As it happens, I'm making Momofuku ramen noodle dinner tonite. Pork shank & bacon broth is done; pork belly now roasting away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We were six adults and one child. Truth be told, it was too much food. But I am always worried about not having enough---and I like variety :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We have leftovers for another meal or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just bought those pancakes at H Mart today! They were making them fresh, and I bought some home for lunch. They sold a garlicky spicy soy dressing with them that was really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That menu is insane! You go, girl!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please post some photos if you can stop yourselves from just digging in! Sounds so good, I'm salivating right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am terrible about remembering to take photos. helen_m was my witness :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Help me up from the floor, someone please. Just reading the menu decked me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow! Just wow! My invite must have been lost in the mail...LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jammy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will be tasting garlic for days ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, you do throw the most amazing dinner parties, helen_m is lucky to be on your guest list!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aw, thanks! It was a pleasure having her and her family to dinner :) They are good fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are very sweet, I had high hopes that George might sleep but he was full of energy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was all AMAZING! Christina and her husband are such great hosts and cooks. I loved both pork dishes so so much and all the sides and sauces were fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The chocolate mousse was amazing -great save (I'd never have known if you hadn't said it that it was a rescue mission, it was perfect).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We absolutely did have a cheeky nip of coffee liqueur, even though it was a school night!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What the f*ck. This is why I tell the lady she's not allowed to tell people she thinks I'm a good cook. People like Mason out there raising the bar stupid high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Garlic-butter roasted chicken and cornbread. There was going to be salad, but that was eaten for lunch without my knowledge.... I guess I'm going to stick one of those broccoli-and-cheese things in the microwave. :/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. We're heading out of town for a week on Saturday (on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate DH's 40th, no less!) so I'm in use-up/clean-out mode. I have 6 red peppers in the fridge (Costco), so tonight we'll be having a flank steak roulade (stuffed with a mixture of things from the freezer, including tapenade, duxelles and some caramelized onions) and roasted red peppers with parmesan cheese. Maybe a quick pan sauce with some red wine. We're drinking a lovely Zin right now - so lovely, in fact, that it may be gone before sauce time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's a very good cleanup meal - and early happy birthday to your DH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I've come to the conclusion that noodles of any kind are the perfect food. Tonight was 3 cheese tortellini with red sauce (home made, right down to the ricotta), garlic bread (on no knead bread) and sauteed chard with garlic and lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All I can think of right now is those old Garfield cartoons featuring lasagna. He's so right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I used boneless, skinless chicken breast for the one-pan chicken dinner from ATK (or CC?). I always go overboard on the veg - this time it was 7 small potatoes, a large sweet potato, almost as much yuca, 3 carrots, 2 quartered onions, and 5 parsnips. Only enough chicken for 3 portions so plenty of extra veg. I was concerned about the 475F heat because of the skinless chicken, but I spread honey-mustard dressing atop it and roasted at 450, and the moisture released by the extra veg in the pan kept the chicken moist. I really like this meal, so I don't at all mind having to have it again this week. I let the chicken come to room temp, reheat the veg in the oven, and add the chicken back in for the last few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also have issues going overboard on the veg...my frittata nearly exploded this morning and I usually have to grab a bigger serving dish at the last minute when I realize I was overzealous with the amount of veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Some times you hit it on the screws first time out. Tonkatsu ramen -- pork shank & smoked bacon broth, fresh noodles, crispy roast pork belly, vegetables and a slow-poached egg. And the el cheapo, slightly fizzy Mueller-Thurgau was perfect with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. A quick end of weekend stir fry: shrimp, string beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, vermouth, finished off with butter and lemon. Clementines & chocolate for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. There are some incredible sounding meals going on here. I feel dull in comparison, especially as I have nothing larger than a Kardashian's rear to write about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight is a lentil & baby spinach salad with ricotta. Wine (in moderation) is back on the menu too despite swearing yesterday I was never going to touch another drop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank goodness we recover so quickly from ill-conceived ideas such as abstinence '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. the Costco duck confit was tasty, tho a tad dry. but i served them over red leaf lettuce with a dressing of minced shallots, olive oil, red wine vinegar, a little pomegranate syrup, dijon, and the juice of half a blood orange, and the dressing on the duck helped with the dryness. i once brought a can of duck confit back from Paris, and there was a hell of a lot more fat in that packaging - no dryness at all, and i used the fat to saute potatoes in. ah memories....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            also, white bean, collard greens and smoked turkey tail soup, with toasted sweet baguette slices and that killer sweet raw milk butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            none of this was picture-worthy. can't wait til my new camera battery charger arrives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the BF is contemplating steak teriyaki for dinner tomorrow night... i just hope it's not too sweet...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Upcoming - gammon steaks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, it's literally years since we had gammon steaks. Ages back, we took a decision to try and only eat higher welfare raised pork - free range or organic. And we just couldnt find gammon so it dropped off our rader. But one the "posh" supermarket chain that we use from time to time, has started stocking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to cook it in what used to be one of our favourite ways. You lay the steaks on a baking tray and smother them in mustard (usually Dijon). Then you press brown sugar over them. And put a glass of orange juice in the tray. Bake for around 30 minutes. The gunk bakes on but also merges into the juice to produce a thick gloopy sauce, whcih tastes better than it reads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alongside - a tin of butter beans. And an entirely new vegetable. Not just new to us. But newly created. It's being marketed as "Flower Sprout" - and is a cross between kale and Brussel sprout. http://www.flower-sprout.com/news.php

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know if they're exactly the same, but I believe that is what we call a ham steak. Sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it may be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In British English, "ham" usually implies its cured, cooked and ready to eat, whereas "gammon" implies you need to cook it. A gammon steak is cut from the leg, cured as bacon would be, and then cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's a classic of "pub grub" cooking - served with a fried egg or a pineapple slice. I once caused great confusion in a pub by asking if I could have both. "I'll have to ask the chef", was the reply. Our other regular presentation was to put a spin on the pineapple idea, by serving it with a pineapple salsa. Now we've got a supply, that'll be popping up on WFD soon, I suspect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then it's not the same as ham steak since our ham steak is more or less ready to eat. I don't believe I've ever had gammon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It cooks more complex. You can buy a cured leg of pork which we'd call a gammon joint. Usually cooked by first boiling then finishing in the oven (we had this for Xmas Eve). But, once it's cooked, it's perfectly right to now call it ham.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      English, eh? What a bloody silly language! I wonder if the Spaniards have this difficulty with their language

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Two countries divided by a single language...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      one of my favorite pub meals: gammon, egg and of course chips!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight is venison fajitas. I was asked to make them over the weekend, and someone was very upset that it never happened, so I promised him they would happen tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Of course, I forgot to put the meat in the fridge to thaw. :|

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eh just throw it in a sink full of coolish water, it'll thaw in no time, I do it all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Spaghetti and meatballs from Frankie's Spuntino. Great stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The meatballs with the currants and pine nuts? Oh, those are so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jammy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Is a currant the same as a raisin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Westy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No. Different fruit. A raisin is a grape. A currant is.... well, a currant (red or black).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not in British English, lingua. Well, not exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We might well have blackcurrants and redcurrants. But we also have currants, which are grapes. As are raisins and sultanas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And, no, I've really known the difference between the three. So, I've just looked it up. Raisins being dried white grapes. As are sultanas dried to a more golden colour. Currants, on the other hand, are dried red grapes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, now ya know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whoda tunk! Thanks for 'splaining it to this know-it-all '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had no idea. Cool. But dried currants sold in the US are so tiny!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Currants are the smallest of the three in the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Must admit, we tend just to keep raisins in the cupboard and use them whenever any of the three are called for in a recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes dried currants in the US are labeled "zante currants". These are dried tiny grapes, as I recall. I was disappointed since I thought they would be dried "currant currants". I sometimes see fresh tiny grapes, both red and golden-green, in the Asian market (H-Mart) but they haven't been labeled as to variety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jammy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those are the ones that my mother used to make for my father, which I hated as a kid (I hated everything). She would make them more of a football shape so you wouldn't get one of those by mistake. It is a Sicilian thing, and the currents there are not as sweet as what we get here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. So..... the pork cheeks went in the 300° oven at around 5 PM to be braised for a coupla hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At 6 PM sharp, I set up camp in front of the teevee to watch the GG red carpet show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At 6:05 PM, everything went dark. No power. Poof. Just our little block, of course -- the peeps across the street, not to mention *everyone* else in town, were fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            At 8 PM, we finally decided we had to go out for dinner (roast duck, stir-fried cabbage & a coupla cocktails to the rescue). Returned to find a still dark home, so went to the blues jam instead, which was quite popular last night. Did a few tunes and then left once the stage was taken over by a couple of dudes who were just too "awesome" -- at least in their own mind -- to handle '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            House still dark. Thank goodness for a cold garage, to which more perishable items AND the CI pan with the pork cheeks were moved, and thank goodness for a gas 'fireplace'. Lighting optional. Power came back on at some point during the night, when I got up and turned the lights off. Fun times!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, tonight we finally get to eat the pork cheeks & stir-fried bok choy..... so glad I decided to become a citizen of a third world country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Didn't you remember to put your nickle in the meter?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That last sentence made me snort laugh. So funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Laughter cures everything. 'cept for pork. That you gotta cure differently....