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What's for Dinner #274 - the Winter Olympics Edition [through Feb 12, 2014]

For some; I'm not watching, at least I haven't done so yet. But I'm sure there are some gold medal meals being made this weekend - what are you cooking?

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  1. I made Molly Stevens' braised whole chicken with pears and rosemary which was amazing.

    3 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        Yes, please do! I'm loving this book!

        Of course, I've yet to add my reviews and I've made two dishes now...but, add yours! :)

        1. re: magiesmom

          This sounds amazing! I've yet to try out her recipes, but it is on my to-do list!

          http://www.yummyreads.com

        2. As for me, I've been wanting to make dishes with sweet potatoes more often, so today's the day. A pork & apple cider stew with sweet potatoes. Still plenty of apple cider in the downstairs freezer, and I'm using some thick loin pork chops that I'll cut up.

          The pork cubes will be tossed with flour, salt, pepper, dried sage and thyme, and seared in some hot oil in a Dutch oven and removed to a bowl. More oil to be added to the Dutch oven, then a medium-sized sweet onion will be cut into chunks and quickly cooked with some minced garlic.

          Add the pork back into the pan with peeled and chunked up sweet potatoes, the apple cider and some chicken stock if needed. Some more sage and thyme sprinkled in, if needed, and covered and into a 350°F. oven for about 1-1/2 hours, or until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy.

          I normally would put carrots into a stew like this, but the sweet potatoes will give it enough orange color, so steamed broccoli alongside will add a nice bright color. Buttered crusty rolls as well.

          There will be wine. There's also more snow coming in overnight (although not supposed to be a lot for my area). Send the snow to Sochi, please.

          22 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            Yum! I am trying to eat more sweet potatoes as well but my husband refuses to eat them. I have been just baking a white potato for him and a sweet one for me.

            1. re: Njchicaa

              Yeah, I had some mashed sweet potatoes with a meal a few weeks back, and realized I need to keep buying them, as I *really* enjoy sweets.

              1. re: Njchicaa

                thattl's my favorite way, split open with butter. and chopped scallions. yum. may have to do that tonight.

              2. re: LindaWhit

                Ever think about using hard cider in that luscious stew, or would that be too boozy?

                1. re: Gio

                  Gio, sweetie, bubby - you're talking to Miss Wineiac. There's *almost* no such think as "too boozy". :-P

                  And I have a bottle of hard cider I got up in Vermont a few years ago, but didn't think about it before I took the apple cider out of the freezer. The cider *is* from Cider Hill Farms, so it's unpasteurized. It should give it a nice tang.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    Hahaha... I kinda sorta knew that but wanted to tread lightly.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I bet the hard cider would pair well with the stew.....

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        Agreed. I'll have to try it with beef or more pork. Most of this batch will go into small containers for MFM (Mom's Freezer Meals). I do need to make a trip to BJ's Wholesale Club this weekend, so I suspect a mongo pack of pork chops will be purchased as well since I just wiped out my supply of pig. ;-)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      That sounds really good. I need more pork stew in my life, and I love me some sweet potato.
                      The last two dinners I braised with sweet potato (last week) I inadvertently over cooked the sweet potato and it ended up quite soft. I was surprised it broke down so quickly.
                      Usually, I just roast or bake them so this was a new issue for me.

                      1. re: rabaja

                        Yeah, I'm debating waiting to toss in the sweet potatoes until after a half hour has passed, rabaja. Either that, or I'll make the chunks larger so they don't break down so quickly.

                      2. re: LindaWhit

                        Sweet potatoes are on my list of "things I've hated/never eaten since I was a kid and need to conquer" list. I've learned to appreciate asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and spaghetti squash. I'm still unsure of butternut squash, and beets will stay on that list until I die.

                        But I've never once in my life eaten sweet potatoes. I have three of them sitting in my kitchen right now. I keep telling myself I'm going to do something with them, but there they sit week after week....

                        My goal this week is apple cider-glazed pork chops with roasted apples, onions, and sweet potatoes.

                        1. re: Kontxesi

                          That sounds like a great intro to sweets, Kontxesi! Mashing them with maple syrup and a hint of cayenne is also a good way to go.

                          1. re: Kontxesi

                            I hate sweet potatoes and yams too. I have a great big sweet potato sitting on the kitchen table because I found a vegetarian chili recipe that I keep thinking I'm going to make with it. Really want to love both these types of tubers but so far the only yam I can happily ingest is in the form of konyakku. :-(

                            1. re: grayelf

                              Agree re: hating sweet taters. But i actually like them in tempura. No idea why (other than the fact that probably anything made into tempura is good)

                              1. re: rjbh20

                                OK, I'm curious. What is it about sweet potatoes that both you and grayelf dislike so much? What makes them different from regular potatoes?

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  I don't particularly like them, but I'll eat them. They're nothing like regular potatoes Linda! They're SWEET!

                                  IMO the most tolerable way to have them is as fries.

                                  Second is cut into rounds, rubbed with oil and a tiny bit of sugar, then grilled until they caramelize. I usually nuke them for a minute beforehand so they cook through on the grill. They are so good this way; I've converted several SP haters.

                                  Something about the sweetness of baked or roasted SPs turns me off. The texture too.

                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                    Roasting is usually the way I usually like them as well. But grilling and caramelizing them with sugar is also just bringing out the natural sugars as well as the additional bit of sugar they're rubbed with. Wouldn't that make it too sweet for you?

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Yes, but somehow the char on them cuts the sweetness.

                                      Also I guess I have an issue with eating something so sweet with the rest of my meal.

                                      When we grill them over here, it's in the summer, and they're eaten more as an after-dinner thing.

                                      I think it's more of the texture I find off-putting, now that I'm thinking about it. Because SP fries or the grilled planks (I cut them 1/4" to 1/2" thick) don't bother me at all. But a whole baked SP or large chunks of roasted SPs totally don't do it for me. I won't touch them.

                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                        Some of the Asian varieties of sweet potatoes have less moisture. Which gives a texture in between a baked russet and a baked orange sweet potato. Might be worth a try if the texture is the main issue.

                                        I find sweet potatoes play nicely with savory spices - Mexican or Indian combinations work really well and offset the "sweet".

                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                      I agree. Sweet potato fries are good but otherwise a bite or two of someone else's, like bf is good for me. I have to pass on the sweetened on the grill as well. I like them savory and in small doses.

                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                        i'm not super into sweets, that's why when i make sweet potatoes, i give them the baked potato treatment - split, lots of butter, and chives or scallions. the contrast between sweet and salty/savory is sublime. to me.

                                        but i like them any old way, too.

                          2. Tonight's a contribution to the DOTM... Meatloaf cupcakes! They will be made with ground chicken, and stuffed with mozzarella and topped with panko and baked in a muffin tin. I'll be serving it with marinara, garlic bread, and asparagus.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: juliejulez

                              OK, that sounds amazing, julie - almost like chicken parm - just in meatloaf format! LOL

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Yeah hopefully it'll be good. They're pretty cute looking in the recipe photo too.

                              2. re: juliejulez

                                Um... yum. That sounds fabulous. How did they turn out?

                                1. re: Kontxesi

                                  I reported in the Meatloaf thread and sadly, they weren't that great. I mean, they were fine, I ate some as leftovers for lunch, but they were overall a bit bland. Also didn't cook the onions and peppers before adding them to the loaf (like I usually do for meatloaf, just had a brainfart I guess), so it had crunchy bits that I don't usually like.

                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                    I hate those crunchy bits. Did that with meatballs once last year and it was a big disappointment.

                                    My boyfriend somehow "accidentally" bought 2 pounds of organic ground chicken from WF yesterday and it's sitting in my fridge. I don't eat chicken so I'm staring at it trying to figure out what to do with it (for him).

                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                      I did a buffalo chicken meatloaf that the SO liked... used this recipe http://traceysculinaryadventures.com/...

                                      I'm not a big buffalo flavor fan so I just thought it was OK, but he liked it well enough.

                                    2. re: juliejulez

                                      I love the idea of cupcake sized meatloafs and have made them numerous times. But I'm always disappointed. I like a softer meatloaf w/o the crunchies. Onward and upward!

                                2. More winter bistro fare -- raie au beurre noisette. Frisée salade to start.

                                   
                                   
                                  1 Reply
                                  1. I wound up doing steaks, creamed corn, and mushrooms/onions for dinner last night so tonight will be vegetable lasagna. In some weird attempt at being thrifty, I didn't buy lasagna noodles and figured I could just make them myself. I made the vegetable filling yesterday so I guess this afternoon will be devoted to making homemade pasta sheets.

                                    I'm also finishing up a cake that is a riff on a Dobos Torte. My friends up the block just had a baby and said they wanted something sweet when I asked them what I could cook for them. I am waiting for the icing to cool. When the cake is iced, it has to be refrigerated for 30 minutes and then you pour a caramel topping over it.

                                    No time to watch the Olympics over here!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Njchicaa

                                      Put your feet up, and watch the Olympics when you're done. They're on all night!

                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                        And you just reminded me - I have several boxes of John Copes toasted dried sweet corn in my pantry - I really need to use some of it very soon!

                                        Enjoy your lasagna - I've not yet made fresh pasta. Youse guys who do so are much more ambitious than I!