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What's for dinner #283 - MARCHing towards spring? [through Mar 16, 2014]

After a nasty day of chilly rainfall, blue skies have returned over Happy Valley.... and with it the hopes for (finally!!! please!!!!) warmer temps and some green on the ground.

What's cooking in your respective kitchens tonight?

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  1. So I was planning to make the chorizo-sweet potato tacos that never got made last night, but... but now I've got like, 20 shortish baguettes. I feel like I need to make some kind of sandwich, but I didn't get out any meat to thaw.... I might stop at TJs and see if they have any interesting marinated meats that I could roast and slice.... Or something.

    I could go for some sort of sinful grilled cheese, but baguettes aren't exactly the right shape for that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kontxesi

      Mmm, grilled cheese on a soft-ish baguette is amazing.

      1. re: nothingswrong

        These aren't softish, really.... They were baked yesterday morning. Passable, though!

        Oven-toasted sandwich with sauteed onions and peppers, ham, tomato, basil, and marinated mozzarella. :-) I think it would have benefited from some marinara for dipping, because of the bread, but pretty good considering.

    2. As for moi, it's unfortunately a fasting / liquid diet day for my sweetie -- he's got a procedure tomorrow very early in the morning, so it's broth and nuttin' else for him. All day. Poor guy '-(

      In solidarity with his crappy eats, I will likely have something he doesn't like very much: probably salmon or calf's liver (if I can find any) and German cuke salad -- of which I can never get enough, but the man's not a fan.

      This shall pass, too, and there will definitely be a celebratory meal tomorrow night -- his choice.

      14 Replies
        1. re: steve h.

          It's not always available, sadly. Brains would be even better, but I haven't seen calf brains in decades. Wah.

            1. re: steve h.

              Wegmans might have some frozen. Not the same, but close enuff.

        2. re: linguafood

          Hoping all goes well for the man! Your dinner sounds like something I can definitely plow into, it's a good night to do it.

          1. re: linguafood

            The poor guy. Hope it all goes well. What about pork brains? I can find those in the latin-centric markets around me. Not calves brains but maybe worth a whirl. I love them with scrambled eggs.

            1. re: suzigirl

              I ended up with salmon. Brushed with rice bran & sesame oil so the skin doesn't stick (which it did anyway, but I scraped it off the foil and ate it.... mmmmcrispy salmon skin), and brushed some hoisin sauce on top.

              Baked for 7 min. in 450° oven, then broiled briefly. It was a-ok. Food didn't sit well with me. Probably too much partying last night '-D

              I bought three of the Ben & Jerry's new core flavors so my dahlink can really indulge tomorrow. He's excited to try them.... and so am I.

              1. re: linguafood

                I read those flavors are the bomb.com. I popped a few in the freezer for SO when he gets back. He's an overall ice cream freak and B&J fan. My dad, the other ice cream freak in my life, has already approved. Mom says 1 pint is truly one serving :)

                1. re: linguafood

                  Try putting it on some parchment. It won't stick!

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Will the skin still get all crispy?

                    1. re: linguafood

                      My favorite way to get crispy salmon skin is to cook it without oil, skin side down, in a pre-heated non-stick skillet. The fish releases enough oil to get everything perfectly crispy. I usually cook it 2/3s of the way on the skin side, then flip and just lightly cook the second side. Mmmmmmmmmmmm salmon skin!

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        I usually roast at very high temp in the oven, as I'm none too crazy about the inevitable fish stink that is bound to follow '-(

                        Not as bad as frying oil, but also not great. Maybe I need to pre-heat the baking sheet next time before I put the salmon on.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Hm, maybe try preheating the oven to 450 and then turning it to broil before putting the fish in skin side up (on parchment)? That way you'd get plenty of broiling time for the skin without having to flip or worry about sticking and/or overcooking.

                      2. re: linguafood

                        In his cookbook, Fish Without a Doubt, Rick Monen has the perfect technique for searing fish while producing crisp skin:

                        Salt and pepper the fish, lightly dust with flour the skinned side, heat the pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, drop in the fish, listen for the sizzle while pressing down with the spatula and flip to other side. I've cooked fish filets using this method so many times I can type it from memory.

              2. I'm going to have PIE on the day before Pi Day.

                Pizza pie, that is. :-)

                Will be making my interpretation of Bertucci's Silano pizza (sliced chicken and marinated broccoli in a lemon pepper cream sauce with mozzarella cheese).

                Pieces of chicken, onion, and broccoli florets will be tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and quickly roasted.

                Sauce will be a garlic herb cheese mixed with more dried herbs, a bit of heavy cream and a smidge of lemon juice if I think it needs it. Half a package of TJ's pizza dough stretched out on the stone, topped with the sauce, chicken and veggies sprinkled about, grated Mozz and some Parm-Reg sprinkled on top and baked in a hot oven.

                Small salad alongside w/vinaigrette. Wine. Because it's the day after Hump Day and the day before the weekend. And just because.

                6 Replies
                  1. re: steve h.

                    True, that.

                    And I might have to pick up a key lime pie tomorrow at a local bakery.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    That sounds like an interesting (in really good way!) pizza. Enjoy! The wine too :)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Aw, dang! PI DAY! I need to go to the store. What to make...?

                      Pi Day was always my favorite (aka the only thing I liked) about being in the advanced-advanced math class. It's a lot easier to supervise 8 sugar-high kids than 30 of them, so we got to bring pie and they didn't.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Sounds scrumptious! How long do you marinate and then roast the toppings before putting them on the pizza?

                        1. re: Fowler

                          No marinating time - I just tossed everything together and roasted it.

                      2. It's always sunny in Happy Valley! Unless it's cloudy or raining.
                        Was going to make some sort of grain salad for dinner tonight. But, pap and I are going to Tucson for the weekend tomorrow, and laundry and toiletry gathering has taken over. So we'll just go out. I'm thinking the local wine bar/pizza joint and the marinara pie in my belly. I'm saving up my digestive magic for one huge bite of a nasty Sonoran hot dog, and an even bigger glug of beer :D

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: alliegator

                          Ha, yeah. Or a huge sex abuse scandal happens.

                          Glad you get to indulge in some beer, allie!

                          1. re: linguafood

                            Oh, yeah... that thing that happened.
                            And I don't get to, I just do.
                            Hope you find your liver :)

                          2. re: alliegator

                            I hope you have fun and cheers to a bite of hotdog and a good chug of beer. Sometimes you gotta say to hell with it an just have a tiny bit. I usually have a sip of pino grigio at the holidays. Too much and I pay, so be very careful.

                            1. re: suzigirl

                              No worries, 1 bite, 1 glug. The memory of a well ventilated paper dress as my fashion statement are too fresh to push my luck ;)

                          3. It's just me and my son tonight -- my husband will eat much later -- and I'm undecided as to what to make with the BSCB defrosting on the counter. Something with mustard sauce is rolling around in my brain...

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: roxlet

                              Piccata!!!

                              (Decidedly non-mustardy). Or a mustard sauce with capers and cream?

                              1. re: linguafood

                                Hm...mustard. My DH hates it so I don't cook with it nearly as often as I would like. However, he's got rehearsal tonight so I'm on my own for dinner, and I have a pork tenderloin that would taste mighty fine with a mustard sauce. We shall see...

                                1. re: biondanonima

                                  Too late for last night's dinner, but this recipe is my favorite for mustard sauce. DH calls it "awesome sauce". It's good on chicken, too.
                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                              2. re: roxlet

                                Mustard works great to get parmesan to stick to pounded chicken breasts.

                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  Or crushed Kellogg's corn flakes.
                                  Dusted with cayenne.

                                  Sweet/tart/savory baybee.

                                  Pan fried or oven baked on a rack.

                                  It was a "desperate times calls for desparate measures" recipe from years past.

                                  This coming from a man with at least close to a dozen mustards residing in the fridge door.

                                  Aldi's sweet hot Dijon is my new fave.
                                  Was seasonal around the holidays. Made in France .
                                  Awesome bargain.

                                  I HATE it when food items go all off-the-grid.

                                2. re: roxlet

                                  Mayo
                                  Tabasco
                                  (Creole) Mustard
                                  Seasoned breadcrumbs or Panko
                                  Boneless skinless chicken thighs

                                  Pre-heat oven 350F
                                  Mix mayo, mustard, Tabasco.
                                  Place chicken in mixture to coat.
                                  Remove chicken, and dredge in breadcrumbs, covering w breadcrumbs on both sides.
                                  Place coated chicken on non-stick cookie sheet, or similar.
                                  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.
                                  Minced parsley over all.
                                  KInd of messy to make but really delicious to eat.

                                  1. re: Gio

                                    That sounds really good. Obviously, I have chicken breasts not thighs, and I don't have creole mustard -- just dijon (grainy and creamy), and deli mustard. I guess I would use the dijon.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      Everything in this recipe is up for grabs, so to speak. Thighs bone in or boneless, breasts. Sometimes I use Gulden's spicy brown, sometimes grainy, etc. Anything that approximates the original. It's a really flexible recipe. You can thank John Besh for the original recipe. Pastene makes Italian seasoned panko that's wonderful here.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        I have never bought seasoned bread crumbs! It's hard-wired in my DNA to make my own. So, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, salt & pepper in your seasoned bread crumbs?

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Yes, and a little dried oregano too. I know what you mean about homemade bread crumbs. I tend to toast mine just a bit for this kind of application.

                                    2. re: Gio

                                      This was very tasty, and a very nice way to do chicken breasts. Everyone loved it, and I served it with asparagus and fies for the guys.

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        Oh good, Roxlet! It's not cordon bleu but great when you want something tasty and satisfying.

                                      2. re: Gio

                                        I just copied this into my notes. It sounds so delicious and quick and almost kind of like my favorite kind of junk food, if you know what I mean. Thanks for posting it!