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Feb 16, 2014 08:42 PM

What's for Dinner #276 - After the Loving Edition [Through February 20, 2014]

Not that we're all done loving after Valentine's day... (and, coincidentally, "love" is another four-letter word), and this is NOT an adjunct to that "whaddaya wanna eat after making whoopie" thread.... but what are you loving to cook this week? i know most of you still have another month or more of hellish cold... we here in CA have a drought we still don't realize how bad it will be... as steve h. says, weather happens, and we keep on cooking.

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  1. and of course i'm reposting my post from the last thread - because i looooooved that peanut sauce soooo much.

    many thanks to THewat for posting the David Liebowitz peanut sauce recipe - it completely ROCKED. i could and did indeed treat myself to spoonfuls of it. I can think of many things it would be delicious on - including, funnily enough, boiled potatoes - there is a Bolivian dish called Papa a la Huancayna that uses a spicy peanut sauce (the Peruvian version of the same dish is a cheese sauce, which i actually like better, but this peanut sauce is above and beyond good) over cold boiled potatoes, with sliced hard boiled eggs, a couple of olives, and maybe a wedge of cold corn on the cob. tonight i did the sauce with BLSL chicken breast i boiled with some ginger and garlic, cooled and shredded, and thinly sliced red cabbage, iceberg, scallions and chopped cilantro. The sauce is truly drinkable - i could definitely taste the sichuan peppercorns and would even add more next time. couldn't really taste the tea, even though i stopped at a fancy tea-house to buy some. i balked at the $16 for 2 oz stuff that i originally wanted to get, got the $9 for 2 oz instead. (i'm not a tea drinker so this felt like quite a splurge.) anyway, the sichuan peppercorns, the lime juice, and ginger were the dominant tastes (plus a bit of heat from a big fat red jalapeno), and it was just excellent. i froze half the sauce - the recipe makes a lot. i think it would be delicious on cold tofu, on just a wedge of iceberg, or over shrimp. yum. make this, people!

    thank god it's another "Saturday" tonight. going out later for cocktails and pool with the BF (and leftover cold chicken and peanut sauce as a late night snack!), and besides taking the Oldster for an appt., have the whole day to myself to putter around the apartment and work on the short ribs.

    11 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen

      I'm going to have to try that recipe- the man loves peanut sauce!

      1. re: mariacarmen

        I adore a good peanut sauce.

        Did you thin it?

        1. re: sedimental

          i did, but it could have used more. i ended up using 2 cups of tea, and it still could have been a bit thinner. however, my blender is old so maybe it just wasn't liquefying properly.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Ty for this mariacarmen. I used 1 C. tea for a half-recipe in my new, very effective, blender. So I think there may be a typo in his orginal at the link.

            Fun as it was to make once from roasted peanuts, I'll be going back to a modified version of my tried & true hot peanut sauce that uses peanut butter. But I will start using hot black tea & lime in place of water & lemon in it.

              1. re: mariacarmen

                Sounds fantastic! Did you use lemon or lime juice? My mind immediately goes to lime for peanut sauce, but I only have lemons on the counter right now.

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Thank you! I'm definitely giving this one a try this week.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Thanks for the link. This looks amazing (and it seems I missed it the first time around)

                2. I thawed a jar of my big batch Sunday gravy tonight. Mmmmm. Made some Gnudi (Pecorino parsley) and some meatballs from ground chicken and a very herby fresh bread panade with buttermilk. I have been really liking buttermilk in things lately.

                  It was very filling with only 2 gnudi and 2 meatballs per plate.

                  1. The store had great looking ribeyes. Surly teenager suggests frozen pizza, so that's how it went down. She ate pasta alla Norma last night so I figure take a little leave a little.

                    After she left I caught up with what others did last week: chicken with mustard cream and tarragon. Paired up with steamed and then roasted baby red potatoes. This makes for a very moist result.

                    Sorry for my poor plating skills by the way.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                      That sounds like a great technique for whole potatoes. How long do you steam them for?

                      1. re: sedimental

                        The technique is peel off a strip of skin all the way around the potato. You can see the strip in the photo. Steam until the potato is tender but not done when pierced by a knife, which should be 15-20 mins. Coat with fat of your choice and finish at 425F for 40 mins or until done. I used a small cast iron skillet. When done, toss with S&P and herbs of your choice.

                        The recipe is in "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". To be clear, the times are for baby size potatoes.

                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                          Interesting. Thank you for sharing! Will be trying this week.

                          1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                            Why the peeling off a strip of the skin?

                              1. re: linguafood

                                I'm not sure - I would expect it helps the potatoes absorb water during steaming. The potatoes remain moist despite the long roast.

                              2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                The potatoes Do sound delicious, and your photo proves it. I have that book BTW and there's small red potatoes in the pantry... so... any night now. Thanks, COS.

                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                              Aw, man. Those taters look freaking perfect. I echo sedi's question -- how long do you steam & then how long do you roast? High temp briefly to finish, I guess?

                                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                    Poor plating? I think most of us are drooling over that plate.

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      thanks for saying so. Some of the people on these threads really impress me with their ability to present food. Not to mention the regular display of breathtaking tableware. I know it is not a contest but I confess to sometimes feeling a bit of pressure to keep up.

                                      1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                        My dinners are usually thrown on the plate. That's why I don't post pictures :)

                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                            I'm exaggerating somewhat. But here's the thing: I think we all would like the food to look nice, or we wouldn't bother. When I'm happy with the presentation, I'm quite excited to post pics. And I'm happy to see what other people are doing too. But if I'm just going through the motions, it's not a satisfying feeling. I'm glad it got a good response, but I'm not thrilled with it.

                                          2. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                            please do not feel that way! we're all just sharing.

                                            1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                              I can only tell you about what I think but I LOVE it when people post their food pics on here. In fact I actually got my camera out and set it in my kitchen so I could start doing food pics of my creations.

                                        1. Dinner was strange. My man ended up getting some pork tenderloin at the supermarket nearby for The Main.

                                          I cut it up into bite-size pieces and tossed in seasoned flour (cayenne, hot paprika, s&p) and fried it up in butter. The pieces started leaking this revolting white gunk (I am guessing or rather *hoping* that this was merely protein like you sometimes get with wild salmon). I found it really off-putting so shoved my nose in there to see if maybe it smelled bad. Nope. It didn't smell bad raw when I cut it up either, so I'm kinda mystified as to what that icky shit was.... seriously, despite the lack of bad smell I was *this* close to tossing the whole freaking mess and heating up TJ's Alsatian tart for dinner instead. >sigh<

                                          I took the meat out when it had a nice sear on all sides and tried a piece to make sure it was ok to eat. Deglazed the pan with white wine and pretty much poured out the wine along with the white gunk into a bowl. Cleaned out the pan (which I generally wouldn't do), added more butter, sautéed 1/2 onion, baby bellas, a red pepper and half a green pepper, added more wine, some crème fraîche, some more cayenne. Added the pork tenderloin back in and tossed around to heat through.

                                          It was ok -- tasty enough & we didn't die or have any bad after-effects. But.... ick. It all just left a bad taste in my mouth so we didn't keep the leftovers.

                                          The Greek salad and roasted cauli on the side were definitely the better part of the meal.

                                          22 Replies
                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Yuck. Meat does some funky things sometimes!

                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                              The thing is - the dish was perfectly fine: the meat didn't taste "off", the mushroom flavor really came through, the peppers were cooked perfectly.... it was just the process that *really* turned me off.

                                              Seriously, if someone had served this to me and I hadn't seen what I saw, I probably would've enjoyed it. But making it -- blurgh.

                                              I had a similar experience with soaking fresh (and very expensive) morels in water and basically having an ant farm in a bowl.

                                              Some things are better unseen :-)

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Lol @ the shrooms.

                                                I completely understand, believe me. I will handle meat and serve it to others, but often when I crave it for myself, I become so repulsed at the process that I no longer want it when it's done.

                                                Also reminds me of the first time I picked up an organic head of lettuce from WF years ago. I was breaking it up into a colander in the sink and it was full of random dead bugs. I was vegan at the time and found the whole thing kind of ironic.

                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                  Yes, but those bugs proved you actually bought Organic lettuce. To guard against having some of those bugs in your finished dish, wash the lettuce in a bowl of salted water. Lift out, repeat, put into colander to drain.

                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                  The ants in the bowl are straight up out of a horror flick:) I have eaten them as a curious child they bite your tongue!

                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                A lot of grocery store pork tenderloin is injected with a salt solution, so I wonder if that was the "leakage"?

                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                    That is my guess. And yet another reason to do the grocery shopping myself. Gah.

                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                    I've had that happen to me with both chicken and pork (and salmon). Not sure what it is, but it can definitely be off putting.

                                                    1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                      It really messes with my sense of esthetics and also fucks up the sauce. Ick. Never again.

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        I am not sure about this but I think sometimes there is an infusion of some type of sodium/saline solution injected into some pork. I have experienced that same *syndrome* with very lean pork a few times.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            Kind of like Botox - too much and it just becomes very wrong!

                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                              My momentary visual of a Juva Dermed Botoxed pork tenderloin just cracked me up in an uneasy sort of way.

                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                      Gosh, that's ugly! We buy and cook pork tenderloin regularly and have never encountered that. I'd have screamed for sure. Molly Stevens and Jacques Pepin have some really very tasty and simple recipes for the tenderloin. Worth a look maybe? It's a nice lean and tender cut I think.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        The lack of recipes isn't the issue, tho. I just need to make sure I get better quality meat next time.

                                                        And I've never experienced this revolting leakage with pork tenderloin before. Just thinking about it makes me queasy again '-(

                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            What can I say... we buy from the farm or WF. I hate that it happened to you.

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              I usually get it from the farmers market or the "organic" pork from Wegmans. This was a Weis market factory meat purchase by my dear, dear husband.

                                                              Bless his heart.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                I was going to suggest Wegmans, that's usually where I buy pork tenderloin if not Whole Foods. Even the non-organic at Wegmans has been un-enhanced.

                                                      2. I turned some gorgeous full cream milk into cheat ricotta today. It's going to be served on top of a lentil and mizuna salad.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                          "cheat ricotta". OK... now I'm intrigued. I know it's a simple matter to make homemade ricotta but these days I need all the help I can get.

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            What I make is from milk not whey, so technically not ricotta. It is better than the awful 'ricotta' we get in New Zealand though.
                                                            1 litre of milk, a teaspoon of salt and a couple of tablespoons of cream are heated to between 165 and 185f. 30 ml of white vinegar is added off heat and stirred. I then let it sit for half an hour before lifting out the curds with a slotted spoon into a cheesecloth lined sieve.

                                                            1. re: Frizzle

                                                              Thanks very much, Frizzle. Sounds easy.