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Apr 21, 2014 06:39 PM

What's for Dinner #293 - the "little, leafing, and growing green" Edition! [through Apr 26, 2014]

The above quote from poet Delmore Schwartz is, to me, the most perfect description of the current state of things here in the northeast. The trees are all leafing out, every little green thing is showing its stuff, and spring is truly here!

As an antidote to yesterday's rich Easter dinner, tonight was a simple seared salmon, a little pesto pasta, and a green salad.

What's on your table as spring makes its way to your part of the world?

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  1. The salade lyonnase with TJ's pork belly was everything i wanted it to be. Light, yet rich in flavor. i made a sort of green goddess dressing for it with odds and ends - dijon, olive oil, lemon juice, s&p, scallions, leeks, parsley, oregano & thyme - all whizzed in the food processor. meanwhile, the BF diced and fried our potato "croutons" and seared the pork belly. in split second timing, i poached the eggs and we plated. a swell collaboration. my kinda meal. i fear that the BF will be dipping into what's left of the cannelloni, however, as dinner may have been a little light for him. believe it or not, the potatoes were just about three small (little bigger than an apricot, maybe) potatoes total between the two dishes. but after last night's pasta, butter & cheese fest, i needed to go a little light.

    13 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        Wow!! I think I know what I'm doing with some of my TJs pork belly. Do you slice and then crisp in a pan? Any more tidbits on that dressing?

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          no, you sear the whole thing in a very hot pan, all over, about 10 minutes total (or as brown as you like it), then slice it. sometimes I've put a glaze on it, too, after the searing and before the slicing, and stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes, and then sliced it. with the dressing this didn't need a glaze.

          the dressing is pretty much as above - as for measurements, I winged it - maybe a tbs of Dijon, juice of 2-3 lemons, some zest, 3-4 scallions, a tiny bit of sliced leeks, remnants of fresh herbs that were drying on our counter... just using things up. a little bit of salt, and then oil drizzled in while the whole thing was in the food processor. i'm having the leftover dressing for lunch today as a dipping sauce for sliced zucchini!*

          *and by "lunch* I mean, "all gone"!

          1. re: mariacarmen

            How do the leftovers work then in terms of reheating?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              hah - you're asking the wrong people. we have never had leftovers of this. if we don't finish it at dinner, the BF demolishes it late night. we once had TWO of them for dinner, and by the time I woke up, it was all gone! he's very efficient, my little goat boy!

              I would think it would be like any other meat, tho, heat it slowly in the oven, maybe put it under the broiler again for a minute to re-crisp. or only sear one half of it, put the other half in the fridge for another day. it's fully cooked so i'm sure it would keep for a few days.

        2. re: mariacarmen

          That is spectacular. It is 9:30 AM and I'm already hungry.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              Beautiful plating, and it sounds purely delectable.

              1. re: mariacarmen

                Pure heaven on a plate mc. I had no idea TJ's had pork belly, must investigate...

                1. re: GretchenS

                  I noticed it the last time I was there, Gretchen. I suspect I'll be making a TJs & Wegman's run this weekend.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I can't stand seeing it every time I open the fridge, it's WFD tomorrow. Not sure I can give it the quality treatment that mc did, but I'll try my best.

              2. Tonight was a marinated pork tenderloin, Spanish rice, and sautéed zuc, onion and peppers. Weirdly served with a vintage 1985 chateauneuf du pape. I know, freakish...but it worked. I am hittin' the cellar right now, trying to weed out vintages for sale at auction vs just drinking it :)

                4 Replies
                1. re: sedimental

                  what's the pork marinated in, sedi? looks really good!
                  mmmmm... chateauneuf du pape...although i've never had vintage. nice dinner!

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Ha! I marinated it in something from the dollar store. Seriously, two Hispanic women were fighting over this I grabbed some too. I had no idea.

                    It is called chef merito. It was really good! I might go back for more. I marinated it, then when cooking it, I added a bit of honey to coat. Very nice. Spicy hot with a bit of sweetness.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      is it one of these?

                      i'm bummed that more and more of our dollar stores are closing in the neighborhood. gentrification happens, and god knows i love living in the best area for food in the City, but it's still sad...

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Yes, exactly..... the Adobo Costillas Nortenas. It is really good!

                2. Tonight we had jumbo shrimp in a sauce of butter, white vermouth, garlic, shallot, Worcestershire, and hot pepper flake over aged Gouda and chive grits. Crispy maple Brussels sprouts on the side. I made the shrimp and the rest was left up to the man. All was tasty.

                  5 Replies
                      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                        Cheesy grits are such a rare indulgence...mmmm....

                    1. Went to the local fishmonger who encouraged me to some very nice wild salmon. Prepared en papillote with shallots, tomatoes and parsley. Very succulent despite finishing at more medium done than I prefer. Leeks in mustard vinaigrette and potato chips alongside.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          Nice and easy, poach until tender, shock, and toss with mustardy vinaigrette. I did seconds on those.

                          Edit: forgot to mention, gently squeeze leeks to extract water

                        2. Been super simple around here lately.

                          Saturday was Loki salmon croquettes. Corn meal, buttermilk, shallots, mixed herbs, cayenne, and minced spinach in the patties. Not quite the classic soul food combo I grew up on, but I was just working with what we had in the fridge and pantry. Served on top of lightly dressed arugula and underneath a poached egg that in one case spent about 30 seconds too long poaching.

                          Sunday was spinach and cheese pizza with TJ's dough. Made a quick garlic oil for brushing the dough and tossing with spinach, and sprinkled the crunchy garlic over the top at the end.

                          Tonight was buckwheat pancakes made with cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, and frozen blueberries. Butter, plain yogurt, and some local wildflower honey for topping. An Aidell's chicken and sweet potato breakfast sausage to go with.

                          That's all I got.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                            Allergy season is HORRIBLE in these parts...headache, swollen & itchy eyes, throat feels like its closing up, even in my sleep and either a complete runny nose or at least one nostril clogged. I can relate...