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What's for Dinner #298 - Spring Fever Edition [through May 15, 2014]

There's something about the spring. For me, spring fever means that all the pollen in the air makes it hard for me to stay awake in the afternoon. I know it has a different meaning for other people.

Our visiting Egyptian is going to be out tonight, so that means getting the delicious cheese sausage from Arthur Avenue out of the freezer and onto the grill for dinner. With that will be peppers and onions, natch!

What does spring fever mean to you?

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  1. Spring Fever =

    1. Baseball. :-)

    2. Throwing open the windows in the house and airing out all of the stale winter air. And, of course, letting in the pollen.

    3. Cats sitting in window sills. :-)

    Tonight I'll be going out - but just for a drink at the company thingie. There is leftover chicken and steak at home, so one of those will probably be my dinner whenever I hobble home.

    5 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Cats in the window sills says it all.

      Edited to add: purging winter is a good thing.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        OK, the Thermacare wrap, a small handful of Advil in the afternoon and a rather large glass of wine out on their deck at Jaime's Restaurant this evening seems to have helped. A LOT.

        I'm moving much more easily. The strain to just get out of a chair is much easier. So another Thermacare will be worn overnight, and more Advil (instead of Aleve) and I'm hoping I'll be close to normal. As normal as I can be.

        It was a beautiful evening out on the deck. They have some wonderful homemade potato chips with a chipotle mayo dip, so I had that and a half a stuffed potato. (Lots of potatoes tonight!). Glad I went.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Glad your back is feeling better. I have compression fractures from a car accident and I wish I had some advice other than time and anti-inflammatories.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Good to hear it has improved. Sore anything just sucks. But, good ol' Advil rarely lets a person down. Hope a good night's sleep helps even more :)

          2. Spring fever in our house is generally characterized by an increase in both mental and physical activity.

            Unlike the bleak months when we run from the nasties, spring is something Deb and I run toward: Resuscitating the garden, fixing up the house, picking up on projects we abandoned are the simple things we embrace.

            Linda's mention of cats on the window sills works for me.

            Buffalo wings tonight, baseball on the plasma. Plenty of beer, plenty of wine.

            4 Replies
            1. re: steve h.

              Change of plans.

              Deb's tummy is grumbling a bit so Buffalo Wings have been ditched for some modest steak sandwiches. Hanger steak is the leftover protein of choice so it's all good. Arnold Country White Bread will be lightly toasted and buttered (sweet butter). Tomato and onion slices will be on the side, chips, too.

              1. re: steve h.

                a steak sandwich sounds really yummy right now....

            2. Spring fever means getting into the garden, the smell of leaf humus, flip flops and chipmunk hunting.

              Dinner tonight will be some sort of tofu, ginger, soba noodle mix up. After last night's thoroughly wretched affair, it can't be any worse!

              1. Linda's number 2 is a big one for me, that and eating alfresco.

                Tonight's dinner is nibbles at SIL. We are doing a taste test of elderberry liqueur. St Germaine vs St Elder. I posted about it in the linked thread and will report the findings. At $16 a bottle vs St Germaine's $37 it would great if we love it! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9744...

                10 Replies
                1. re: foodieX2

                  Can't wait to hear your results. I love St. Germain but it is $$$$$$$$$$$$.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      I updated the other thread with report but overall St Elder wins!

                      1. re: foodieX2

                        oh good to know, thanks! i'll go check it out.

                        1. re: foodieX2

                          oh, but sad - it's not distributed nationwide? I googled and didn't find it here...

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            Oh, I don't know! Want me to mail you a bottle? :)

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              aw, you're so sweet! no that's ok. all you right-coasters go out and buy a bunch, so maybe eventually they'll start selling here too! thanks for the kind offer tho...

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Can't hurt to ask at your local alki store to see if they'd order it for you. :-)

                          2. re: foodieX2

                            Great to know. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some!

                      2. Ooh, the cheese sausage sounds divine. Spring fever to me is a little different. First, it's Benadryl. But that's easy enough. Then, it's time to slam shut those windows and doors to turn on the AC. I do my airing out in the fall or sometimes at night to get rid the smell of sun baked dog dwelling. I like the sound of cats on the sill. Much more idyllic :)
                        I found a recipe for tonight's jambalaya to use:
                        I've never made it before, and it seems, hmmm, easy? I feel like it should be harder than that somehow. Anyone who's made it, please give it a peek and let me know what you think!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: alliegator

                          "Sun-baked dog dwelling". :D

                          And allie, it's Brennans. Can't go wrong there.

                          1. re: alliegator

                            Sounds very much like a recipe I make from an old restaurant here. Sometimes I add a pound of shrimp to it also. It will be delicious!

                            1. re: alliegator

                              Recipe looks pretty good. Maybe a tad more seasoning?
                              Here are some I have saved:



                              The Worcestershire sauce seems like a must. And me? I'd add shrimp.

                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                I had planned to toss in some shrimpies. More spice will probably be good. About to start in a few minutes and dish this puppy up for the out west time start of DWTS ;)

                              2. re: alliegator

                                It was quite good. The pic I took was through a smeared phone lens, so I'll skip that. I went heavier on the cayenne and black pepper, but otherwise stayed on recipe. It's a keeper!

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  I love Jambalaya. How did that recipe turn out?

                                2. My Spring Fever continues to be lovely sweet perfume coming in through those open windows, wafting on the gentle breeze. Trees are almost in full leaf, Hostas and herbs up and running, Lily-of the Valley marching steadily onward, our across the street neighbor's giant elderly pink Magnolia is absolutely stunning this year. I wish I had the foresight to have planted one myself lo those many years ago, but being able to view theirs from our front porch is almost better. Especially sitting in one of the wicker chairs with a gin martini in hand..

                                  WFD: Spring Pancetta and Pea Shoot Pasta, and steamed sugar snap peas with a mere drizzle of EVOO and S & P on the side just to up the vegetable ratio and because we have a ton of them. My daughter brought me a large bag of fresh pea shoots from her local Farmers' Market and I know from experience it's better to cook them ASAP. She also brought 2 pounds of white navy beans from a farm in Maine, that I'm excited to cook. This week with any luck.

                                  The Pasta recipe is here, if anyone is interested:

                                  I'm going to nudge the flavors a bit by adding a couple of teaspoons of clarified butter to the pancetta and shallots fry, and include some crushed red pepper flakes as well. It will really be a taste and go situation.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Gio

                                    Gio, that dinner sounds like a perfect Spring meal! Hope you enjoyed it and the martini and the magnolia. :-)

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      Thanks so much, LW. The dinner was not the thriller-diller I expected. Wasn't bad by any means but even though there were such terrific flavors involved it was just so-so. I didn't hate it but G does not want to see it again. Ever.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Bummer. Well, we've all been there, Gio. Sometimes you knock it out of the park, sometimes it's a ground ball to first and you're out before you even get halfway to base. :-)

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          The idea definitely has potential. What did you think was lacking? My first thought in looking over the recipe (and the picture) is that it might be kind of dry.

                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                            It wasn't dry, Kontxesi. It seemed to lack a punchy flavor. We used dry Barilla linguine, fresh pancetta, the really fresh peas shoots, etc. And, even a couple of teaspoons of ghee to help the pancetta and shallots get started. I liked it well enough but my husband keeps calling it "that disaster". I think he simply missed the garlic and red pepper flakes he loves. Of course, he could have added some RPF after tasting, but he didn't think of that. LOL

                                    2. Spring fever for me is enjoying that rare time in N. Texas between ice storms and air conditioning 24/7. I can actually leave the windows open and my cats love that. All the windowsills are low to the floor so they are very "cat friendly".

                                      Had my first tomato and arugula out of the garden last night and red & green leaf lettuce will be ready later this week. I love walking out the back door and harvesting fresh herbs and veggies.

                                      1. Hmmm, spring fever means allergies and planting herbs. My herbs are half planted, maybe I will finish up this warm, sunny evening.

                                        I missed all of #297 by being away for the weekend. I was up on the NH / VT border in what locals call the "Upper Valley" (upper Connecticut River valley), staying with friends (he works at Dartmouth). That area has the farm-to-table thing seriously going on. We had some amazing food, including fabulous grass-fed burgers and hand-cut fries for lunch both days (one in VT, one in NH), wonderful local lamb that we grilled for dinner, and tons of delicious cheeses at the farmers market.

                                        Today we had a potluck work at lunch -- as always, fabulous food from my colleagues who hail from all parts of the world. I made harissa-marinated steak tips (from the CHOW recipe) that I grilled last minute and rushed in. They were well-received.

                                        Tonight I believe that a dry salad and some ice water are in order, although I suspect I will end up doing a bit more than that. :)

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                          I hope you visited King Arthur Flour while you were up that way! It's 5 minutes from Dartmouth.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            No visit to King Arthur Flour, rox. I am not a baker and there are always WAY more things we want to do than we can get to. But some day I am sure....

                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                              It's just a great store, and a wonderful café where you can enjoy those baked goods even if you don't make them yourself! We always come home with all kinds of breads for the freezer.

                                        2. I'm really caught in in-between seasons - where my ideas on what to cook have not adjusted to the change in seasons - its in the 80s and I am thinking of braising pork chops in sauerkraut? I think its going to be hot dogs LOL

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: JTPhilly

                                            It's not just you. I can't stop thinking about what I can braise next.

                                            1. re: JTPhilly

                                              I love braising and I love sauerkraut. And for me, I just braise when the mood strikes because if I waited for the weather to dictate I would rarely braise.

                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                I was feelin' hot dogs tonight, too. Funny.

                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                  I was feeling dogs and I had kraut and sweet corn on the cob that needed using - unfortunately the corner market was out of hot dogs and only had Tofurkey products - which they sell like hotcakes apparently because they keep getting more shelf space. I was on bike and did not feel like trekking around so Tofukey Kielbasa it was. Not bad but strange fortunately strong grainy mustard can make up for a lot. The corn was a bit new and who knows where it's coming from right now but corn on the cob off the grill slathered in butter sprinkled with salt was a taste of summer to come. It went well into the 80s here today so it was good to cook outside in any case.

                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                    Those tofurky sausages are pretty good! Field roast is better IMO but harder to find outside of whole foods.

                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                      they taste pretty ok but they don't do well on bread - its like bread on bread because those things are mostly just wheat gluten. I found them to be better cut up and eaten with a fork, dipped in mustard, and piled with kraut - but I forgot my mustard for lunch so that's going to be disappointing - they are not nearly as good as the real thing but edible.

                                              2. Spring fever is riding my bike. Love it!!

                                                Tonight I'm having romaine salad with cukes, tomatoes and red onion in a homemade jalapeño chive buttermilk ranch. Whole wheat pasta with marinara to round out the meal.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: gemvt

                                                  oh that dressing sounds fantastic! any details you can share please?

                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      Thanks so much! Whenever I have leftover buttermilk I love to make a nice improvised ranch dressing. Sometimes I add in cilantro and scallions, use lime juice instead of lemon, and whiz it up with the immersion blender. This batch was just whisked.

                                                      This is a total eyeball recipe, so I apologize for the lack of proper measures. 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk, 1/4 cup sour cream (I use light). I add about a tablespoon of mayo, big palmful of chopped chives, and a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. Salt & pepper, of course. For this batch I chopped a bit of jalapeno, and sometimes I make a paste out of a garlic clove & salt and mix that in.

                                                      1. Temps going into the low 80s here in NNJ mean quick and simple cooking for me. My own macaroni salad (celery, red ball pepper, cucumber, red onion) as the side; a pan-grilled burger with Montreal Steak seasoning on buttered toast the main.

                                                        No condiments, no cheese, no nothing. Just a pure, simple burger. Quite frankly, I rarely eat them that way, but it hit the spot tonight.

                                                        @roxlet - Arthur Avenue? I used to live close by there, and mean to get over there soon (it's been Ages since I've seen the old nabe) and visit Vincent's Meat Market to check out their lamb sausage. Have you tried that?

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mcsheridan

                                                          No. We're aficionados of of Biancardis, and Sal is our man there. My husband recently made a lot of lamb sausage himself. He gets the sausage casings from Biancardis!

                                                        2. Spring fever is (I forgot my spring fever)...for me it's opening the windows which I don't really get a chance to do in Baltimore so instead it's lots of walks and windows down on the drive to work.

                                                          The plan for tonight's dinner is Filipino goat adobo (Cook's Illustrated recipe). The recipe includes coconut milk so I'll just use the leftover braising liquid as a sauce and serve the meat over Shirataki. That's the plan. I completely forgot I had to cook the goat a couple of hours so I'm patiently waiting. I'm determined to have goat tonight because that's what's been on my mind all day. I've finally learned how to stick to a weekly meal plan 70% of the time so I'm going with the plan.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            Determination wins!! The goat was outstanding! I'm looking forward to leftovers tomorrow.

                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              Braised goat is the best! So glad it turned out well.

                                                              1. re: gini

                                                                It was great, I can't wait to pick up more at the market. It's nice to know my food came from a farmer I can talk to :)

                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Since you liked the goat, be sure to look for kid which is just a young/immature goat (sort of like the difference between spring lamb and mutton). At this time last year we went to a party where the hosts served spit roasted kid. It was fantastic and the leftovers made excellent carnitas.

                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                  I'll have to check with the lady at the market to find out at what age they usually "harvest." I usually prefer mutton to lamb, but always worth trying something new. I assumed I'd like the goat, but didn't think I'd like it this much. Through my Google research I learned it's the most commonly consumed red meat worldwide, just not in the US. We're missing out here folks.

                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    Goat was one of our favorites growing up. We probably had it even more often than lamb which I eat fairly regularly nowadays.

                                                              3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Am I the only one who thought fldhky was going to put meat on her cat? :-)

                                                                Spring for me is rhubarb and asparagus fresh outta Mum's garden. Though perhaps not together...

                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                  He would have liked that if he then got to eat it! Poor thing still won't eat food yet but seems energetic...

                                                                  Spring is usually asparagus but this year I might have to give up hope.

                                                              4. I love Spring because it signals my birthday and planting of herbs and veggies in the garden. And the jasmine and gardenias start to bloom in my yard and I find it difficult to walk past without smiling from the fragrance. They remind me of my childhood.
                                                                Tonight is the Salisbury steak meatballs that juliejulez mentioned the other day, jasmine rice and steamed broccoli. They are similar to the meatballs I already make so I am sure I will love them.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                  Ooh, please report back. I want to try those.

                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                    Holy lotta meatballs. I was concerned that not using an egg would be an issue but I was pleasantly surprised it was not. They were actually pretty light. I also subbed the bullion with A1 and they came out great. For sure a repeat in my kitchen.

                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                      I gotta try these too. I was put off by all the butter when I first read the recipe (Ree has a heavy hand with butter and fat seems to trigger my reflux symptoms) but I missed the 'half stick' so if I made half the recipe I could handle the butter. Other than that this is a Mr. Berheenia dream recipe. My son the adult chowhound kid says Dad has the palate of a 12 year old.

                                                                2. Spring fever to me means backyard barbecues with neighbors after being stuck inside all winter, hiking with friends, putting my sailboat and ski boat into the water and a new chance to grow again (both as a person and planting the garden).

                                                                  Dinner tonight was grilled Juicy Lucy burgers, spinach salad with a warm bacon shallot vinaigrette dressing and breaded fried eggplant strips with marinara sauce.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                    I still haven't quite mastered the Juicy Lucy...one day!

                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                      Exactly what is a "Juicy Lucy" or is it a cheeseburger by another name?

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          oh. I thought my friend's teenage daughter invented these back in 1980. Just kidding. Then it would have been a Juicy Lisa.

                                                                        2. re: Berheenia

                                                                          Hi Berheenia, the link linguafood posted is a good overview of a Juicy Lucy. I add other things on top like bacon, sauteed onions, sauteed mushrooms (for my SO). I typically use one type of cheese for the inside and a different type of cheese on top.

                                                                          But yes, you are right. It is just a version of a cheeseburger. That was one heck of a good guess just based upon the name alone!

                                                                        3. re: Fowler

                                                                          Yum to that entire meal Fowler! I have tried to make Juicy Lucy burgers but they always end up being squirters and most of the cheese leaks out before they are done cooking.

                                                                          I like your attitude about the personal growth. Spring is after all a time of rebirth.

                                                                          1. re: JanineL

                                                                            You just need more practice. Making the bottom patty larger than the top so the seam isn't exactly at the middle helps, too. It doesn't pull on the seam as much when the burger shrinks. And the meat should be very cold.

                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                              I once ate a delicious juicy Lucy in Minneapolis. I still dream about it till this day.

                                                                              1. re: gini

                                                                                Its one of the things I miss about living there. Matt's is a great place to hang out, eat and have a few beers.

                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                  Yeah, but you get to enjoy far nicer weather now, weezieduzzit!

                                                                        4. Spring fever = veggie and fruit extravaganza!

                                                                          WFD tonight is whole trout stuffed with fresh rosemary and thinly sliced lemon, grilled stovetop. Sides are leftover grilled baby zukes and asparagus and a lukewarm dish I made up of sushi rice boiled til al dente and tossed with the last of the homemade lemony ricotta and some of the pea-fava-mint puree. The spoonful I tried was mighty tasty---almost risotto-like.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                              Sounds so fresh and light and totally satisfying!

                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                It was yum. As for satisfying...well, as usual with fish...I could go for dessert ;)

                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                  I did end up making dessert, but not for us. My DH's coworker has a birthday tomorrow, and he planned to bring a cake. We made this mango upside-down cake, which I found on Pinterest: http://www.frombraziltoyou.org/mango-...

                                                                                  As a cheat we used frozen mango chunks from TJ's, which I sliced in half. I added coconut extract and about 1/2 c. of toasted sweetened coconut to the batter. Fingers crossed.

                                                                            2. spring means green garbanzos and garlic chives! I haven't picked up any of the latter yet, but I hope to soon.

                                                                              tonight we're doing redux Korean - we still have rice and a small portion of the pork belly left, and i'll add some chopped bacon and make kimchi fried rice, with some of the banchan leftovers on the side.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                I had green garbanzos for the first time in April at Universal Café, mc! So delicious I sought out the frozen ones here at home, and just heard from a local Hound they have 'em fresh at Fruiticana, an East Indian grocer.

                                                                              2. Spring means a garden full of veggies to put on the grill and the beginning of car show/ drag racing/ land speed racing season so lots and lots of events to go to!

                                                                                Saturday was the Mooneyes Mother's Day show and drag so sausages and brats were grilled during breaks. The man decided not to take his car to this one so we were there in support of friends including the friend he usually races with. (For Steve- Marky's entertaining first pass: http://tinyurl.com/m9wwrpf


                                                                                This crowd of people happen to be our favorite friends to eat with and dinner was back at one of the houses where fish tacos were made with all the usual sides of beans, rice, oodles of veggies, sauces and salsas, some octopus for apps, a 5 gallon bucket of sangria and lots of laughs late into the night.

                                                                                Sunday was Chinese food, a long nap, calls to our Moms, more Chinese food and more sleep. :)

                                                                                Since Sunday steak night didn't happen the slabs o' beef will be thrown on the grill shortly. There will be a shaved fennel and roasted (and chilled,) baby beet salad with a citrus dressing. The kitchen itself will stay closed and cool as it will probably be most of the week since it's a warm one.

                                                                                1. For me, spring fever means desperately wanting to just up and move to a new city or country, but almost never having the means to do so (which may be for the best, although I tend to think it isn't).

                                                                                  Tonight we're having weeknight burritos. Thick flour tortillas will be filled with pulled chicken red chili (the kind made from a half-eaten rotisserie chicken, hot ground NM chile and a few spoonfuls of that Dona Maria mole from a jar), rice, avocado and sour cream. Dessert will be another round of lime-coconut-thyme sorbet with sliced strawberries. Louie on the TV.

                                                                                  1. Friday night: a classic tuna melt on sourdough for him and chicken salad with avocado and melted cheddar over for me before we packed up the car and headed to Maine.

                                                                                    This weekend we cleaned out my mom's 5000 square foot barn that was built in the 1820s. We hauled three truckloads to the dump, repaired windows, and swept up what appears to be a century's worth of bird and mouse poop.

                                                                                    To celebrate, we took mom out for dinner at a local inn, where we had some very average food and a delicious brownie sundae. Last night we got home late, so we stopped off for curry dumplings and scallion pancakes at our local Chinese.

                                                                                    I'm now in San Francisco, where I plan to tuck in to tapas shortly!

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: gini

                                                                                      Where do you like to go in SF for tapas? My SO, family and I like Puerto 27 but I would like to hear what you recommend because you have very good taste.

                                                                                      1. re: Fowler

                                                                                        I've liked Coqueta the best so far, but last night I stopped into Gitane because I wanted some lamb tartare. There's also a basque place I've liked, but I can't recall the name of it. I'm not the best person to ask! I only get to SF about once a month.

                                                                                        1. re: gini

                                                                                          Thanks. Coqueta is good. If you ever head north be sure to try Michael's other restaurant in Napa. Very different cuisine and atmosphere but also good food and wine.

                                                                                          Hmmm...the only Basque tapas places I have tried in SF are Bocadillos, Piperade and Picaro. Are any of those the place you are thinking of?

                                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                                            I think it was Piperade I liked. Thanks for the tip!

                                                                                          2. re: gini

                                                                                            Hi gini - I just went to Coqueta for the first time a few weeks ago - we liked it a lot.

                                                                                            There's another place called Canela that I'm dying to try. http://www.canelasf.com/eat/images/Di...

                                                                                            if you're ever in Healdsburg, my absolute favorite tapas place currently is Bravas Bar de Tapas:


                                                                                            everything there is a winner, including the cocktails.

                                                                                      2. Cherries and spring go together. I have a pitter an will pit a few bags of cherries to freeze, others I just eat by the hand. I would love to make cherry brandy.

                                                                                        Tonight I am making some marinated chicken from the Mexican grocer, a simple salad with a cherry vinegarette and roasted plantains. I went to Picante in Berkeley, CA on Saturday and the plantains that came with my meal were really good, but I want more. Later I think I will make a pina colada.

                                                                                        1. Thanks to Aussie.... for recommending the City of Light cocktail. It was a perfect way to use up some leftover prosecco.


                                                                                          I know, who has leftover prosecco?

                                                                                          ETA - I added fresh mint to this (more leftovers) and it kicked it up from good to great!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            Mint...I'll try that next time. Such a nice refreshing cocktail for the 100 degree "spring" days we are having in LA.

                                                                                          2. My office is having an international festival of sorts. In preparation, I was cooking up a storm this weekend -- lamb rogan josh, chana masala and mini mango kulfi cheesecakes. tonight i just couldn't help myself and made a Darn Good Chocolate bundt cake (essentially a triple chocolate cake w/chocolate chips and a chocolate pan glaze kind of drizzled frosting).

                                                                                            Because of all of the extraneous cooking, WFD tonight was embarrassingly simple -- TJ's frozen pizza and wine.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: MAH

                                                                                              Would you mind sharing the Darn Good Chocolate bundt recipe?? I've been searching and searching for a chocolate chocolate Bundt with chocolate chips for ages.

                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                sure. it's actually a the one Cake Mix Doctor recipe that I use -- i generally bake everything from scratch, but this one is a favorite with my family.

                                                                                                Start with 1 box devil's food cake mix
                                                                                                1 box instant chocolate pudding
                                                                                                1c sour cream
                                                                                                1/2 c vegetable oil
                                                                                                1/2 c warm water
                                                                                                4 eggs

                                                                                                Beat until well mixed. Add 1 - 1.5 cups chocolate chips.

                                                                                                Add to a bundt pan that has been buttered and dusted with cocoa powder. Bake at 350 for 45-50 mins.

                                                                                                I make a pan frosting to drizzle on top that consists of:
                                                                                                3 T butter
                                                                                                2 T cocoa powder
                                                                                                3 T milk
                                                                                                1.5 cups sifted powdered sugar

                                                                                                Dead easy and wonderfully moist. I whip this up at a moment's notice in case i need to take a dessert somewhere. It's a never fail crowd pleaser.

                                                                                            2. I think i may have liked tonight's dinner even more than last night's, if possible. kimchi fried rice with smokey bacon and leftover crisped-up pork belly. fried the rice in the bacon fat, added scallions, a cup of chopped-up kimchi, egg, quite a few dashes of sesame chili oil, then scattered jalapenos and more scallions over the top. mmmm... so satisfying.

                                                                                              the leftover banchan made a good salad tossed with lettuce, and dressed with olive oil and a little of the pickling liquid from the radishes. very crispy and refreshing.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                Oh. my. goodness. that sounds beyond fantastic.

                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                  Wow, that looks great! Love the jalapeños scattered about!

                                                                                                  1. Leftover roasted duck! I made some polenta with three cheeses, topped with duck and drizzled with port wine demi-glace. Very rich, but that was okay tonight... Tough Monday ;)

                                                                                                    1. no rain in sight and the grill needed to be fired up

                                                                                                      Spicy Asian Style St. Louis Ribs

                                                                                                      1. Tonight was cheeseburgers. Grass-fed beef patties with fresh rosemary and thyme and lots of black pepper. Topped with blue cheese, oiled arugula, tomatoes, and red onion. On sliced French country loaf with dijon. Chips and pasta salad to go with.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. I love spring in L.A.! This year we will be in the low 100s again this week. The weather is funky, but it's sunny and gorgeous and the city seems cleaner somehow. I like to get into some serious spring cleaning and decluttering. The bf and I have our new sectional sofa, new bed and mattress, new artwork hung, and we're going to paint the interiors of the house this week/end. Looking forward to it. I also planted some basil today and my mother gave me some parsnip seeds, which I'm super excited to try in the garden. Oh and she gave me 9 sunflowers which will get planted in the morning.

                                                                                                          WFD tonight was leftovers for him (baked potato smothered in bacon and cheese, turkey from mom's house, asparagus) and grilled veggie quesadillas for me. I had zero appetite today.

                                                                                                          Bf is starting on a crazy diet tomorrow for 60 days. He spent a couple hundred $$ on groceries today, including several expensive pieces of fish. I'm looking forward to learning (I've never cooked fish before...!) and he's just happy someone will cook for him. WFD tomorrow will be salmon, quinoa, and veggies for him. For me, who knows.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                            Crazy diet? Please, elaborate (also, will this work for your health issues? It's been sounding like you're doing better these days).

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                              Well, he got one of those "As Seen on TV" exercise gadgets from his job. It hooks to the door and has lots of chains and straps. It guarantees you'll be "in the best shape of your life" within 60 days if you follow the whole plan.

                                                                                                              The first couple weeks is very low calorie. It's good, healthy food, but will just be a total 180 from how he's been eating.

                                                                                                              High fiber whole grain cereal
                                                                                                              Protein shakes
                                                                                                              Egg white omelets

                                                                                                              all with fruit + yogurt/skim milk


                                                                                                              Turkey or lean ham sandwiches with veggies on sprouted bread
                                                                                                              Broth based veggie soups

                                                                                                              all with a giant salad with veggies + water


                                                                                                              Cottage cheese


                                                                                                              Salmon with quinoa
                                                                                                              Turkey meatballs with tomato sauce
                                                                                                              Seared tuna with brown rice
                                                                                                              Grilled BLSL chicken with yams

                                                                                                              all with a cup of steamed veggies + salad + water

                                                                                                              It doesn't look too bad, but he eats like a racehorse, especially when he's exercising. And he loves his carbs and baked goods. He woke up twice last night to get in his last cookies and potato chips before the diet starts today.

                                                                                                              Unfortunately I can't eat a single thing on his new diet plan. So we are quite literally drawing a line down the center of the kitchen for our food supplies. My diet has to be low fat and virtually no fiber. So I'm left with mostly white starchy carbs (potatoes, tortillas, white rice, non whole grain pasta, etc.). His is very high fiber and low fat, with tons of protein. I have been doing really well the last week or so. Had a big hiccup yesterday, but hopefully today will be better. This is some of the first real food I've eaten in ages and it's lovely.

                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                Sounds good until dinner. Where's the wine? Kinky exercising may make up for lack of alcohol! Forgive my frivolous attitude- my husband has tried several alternate regimes. They always cost money and don't work because he tires of them quickly! Hope this will pass ....

                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                  I understand the attitude... I asked him why he didn't just "eat better" and exercise regularly instead of this whole thing all of a sudden. I've never had to diet for weight loss, but it seems to me like these strict regimens are destined to fail (at least for someone like my bf who is naturally quite fit and LOVES his donuts, cheeseburgers, etc.).

                                                                                                                  I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, since this is the first time he's tried one of these things in the 3+ years we've been together. Today went well; he only "cheated" with a sweetened fruit drink this afternoon.

                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                    There's a food film out now that may interest you guys--and other Hounds: "Fed Up" from Katie Couric and the producer of "An Inconvenient Truth"


                                                                                                            2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                              Speaking of fish, you might find this article/slideshow from Bon Appetit helpful: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/sli...

                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                Thank you for that! I bookmarked a few of the recipes. Tonight I was planning on making this: http://www.mygourmetconnection.com/re...

                                                                                                                The recipe book says to make "Salmon with ginger and lemon" without any real recipe, so I'm going to elaborate on it slightly with the addition of pepper, honey, and garlic, maybe a drop of sesame oil. I'll also make the rice instead of the quinoa tonight but will use EVOO in place of the butter, with steamed broccoli and cauliflower on the side. Looks like something my bf would love.

                                                                                                            3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8Xc...

                                                                                                              As you might gather from the linked video, we apparently forgot to pack spring when we left for Berlin. It's been too cold, too rainy, and too shitty to even contemplate "balmy evenings outside", let alone the heady scent of spring flowers (let's just say the smells here are not as appealing as suzigirl's jasmine and/or gardenias). Nope, no springtime for lingua in Germany so far.

                                                                                                              But who's complaining? I am. To everyone. All the fucking time.

                                                                                                              Anywhos. The pork chops & salad I had planned for yesterday will be on the agenda today, as I didn't feel much like cooking after a fairly late lunch. Pool was fun, tho: nice to see old buddies again -- plus I WON 3:2. HA!

                                                                                                              Late night mediocre pizza near the pool hall. And my new favorite quick midnight snack at home: chopped up bacon with corn, herbs & a good dash of cayenne.

                                                                                                              It's likely we'll stay in today to catch up on some 'murrcan teevee & save some cash-ola.

                                                                                                              Mom's coming into town Thursday, and we already have a rez for this place here: http://ulaberlin.jimdo.com/menu/

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. Assuming Mrs H comes home from a successful hunter/gatherer trip to the fishmonger (she and her sisters have gone to one of the foody suburbs in the metro area), then we'll be having a Turkish recipe from "Moro - the Cookbook" called "prawns in spiced tomato sauce with caraway".

                                                                                                                There's a sauce made from garlic, caraway, chilli, green pepper, tinned plum tomatoes (without the juice). It simmers till thick then the prawns go in for 3 minutes. Chopped parsley on top. Suggested that a rocket salad and bread would be good accompaniments. There's been talk that we will make flatbreads - Gino D'Acampo's recipe for piadine Romagnole. Who am I to argue?

                                                                                                                  1. Today from our CSFishery share we're getting Black-Back Flounder, better known as Dover sole (not the English one) and Winter flounder. After searching my EYB listing I found a recipe for Sogliola alla Mugnaia or Sole Sauteed in the Miller's Style from from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano.

                                                                                                                    The recipe calls for dredging the fillets in seasoned flour, searing them quickly in a combo of butter & EVOO, then serving with a caper sauce consisting of lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes, and capers. Garnish will be lemon wedges and chopped parsley. We'll roast asparagus and steam Basmati first because the fish doesn't take more than 5 or 6 minutes to cook if that. And that's WFD.

                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                      That sounds delicious, and such a classic sauce for fish. I make a similar one, but I melt a couple of anchovies in the oil, and add chopped oil cured olives in addition to the rest. It's probably too big in flavor for such a delicate fish, but it works great on cod and swordfish.

                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                        Yes your sauce is delicious. Those ingredients work well with any thick white fin fish, I have found. For some reason I don't like swordfish even though I Love seafood and prefer it to meats.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          Whoa! You don't like swordfish? And you say you're Italian? ;)

                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                            Haha... I know, but that's the way it is, I'm afraid. There's just something about the taste/thickness/solid mass? I dunno. Love every other fish and shellfish in the sea, though. Raw even. Does that count?

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                              Did you ever have it sliced very thin and quick seared? That was the way we had it in Sicily. Fabulous!

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                I was just going to suggest that method for swordfish. A women I work for does this a lot during the summer. Thinly sliced (like 1/4") and seasoned and then either grilled or sautéed. It's delicious and so much nicer to bite into than a thick swordfish filet.
                                                                                                                                She often tears squash blossoms into long pieces and puts them on the fish when seasoning, with olive oil, then cooks it. A little saffron is good, too.
                                                                                                                                I can't think what this method is called...persillade? No. But there's a name for it!

                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                  Thanks Rabaja. I may have to try that if Swordfish comes in our CSF share one week.

                                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  I had "thin and quickly seared" as an amuse bouche at a posh restaurant in the city. It wasnt any thicker than 2mm - seared on both sides yet still with a line of raw in the centre. Can't have been in the pan for more than a second or two each side. Such skill!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          So... we just finished dinner and I have to say that practically every recipe we've ever made of Batali's has been terrific. Everything about this recipe was perfect. The ingredient proportions, the timing, the finished dish. The black-back flounder was so sweet, and of course fresher than fresh off the boat. What I liked about this recipe is that it wasn't a typical Beurre Meuniere. There was a combination of EVOO and unsalted butter that better suited this delicate fish. A bit of zing w lemon juice, a tang of capers, a little heat in the background. Won. der. ful. We elected to simply steam the asparagus and it was a good decision, it didn't over power the sole.

                                                                                                                          Here's the recipe if anyone is interested:

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                              yummy, thanks for the link. must try!

                                                                                                                          1. I'm on call tonight so thankfully I have yesterday's goat adobo leftovers to reheat. I have my fingers crossed for a better call night than I suffered through last week...if I get another call at 330am from someone asking how to convert micrograms to milligrams, I might lose my usual chipper demeanor :)

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                              The SO's away and I've been working late so the lame-o dinners continue. Last night it was shaved ham, 5 yo Balderson and Crunchmaster crackers from Costco (damn, I love those gluten-free polygons). Maybe the Thai shrimp curry tonight if I get home in time, otherwise prolly an omelet. Only three more sleeps till our Portland trip!

                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                Maine or Oregon?
                                                                                                                                Either way, a win!

                                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                  I love that word "crunchmaster." The countdown to a trip is so great! I still can't sleep the night before long vacations.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                    Oregon, though I'd love to go to the Maine one, as I've heard there's fine food to be had there as well. It'll be an eating trip for sure.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                      The food options in Oregon are supposed to be amazing these days. A lot of my cook friends visit Portland and come back lamenting the choices we have in San Francisco!

                                                                                                                                      I have a soft spot for Portland, ME. We fantasize about moving there, and we've definitely had good meals there as well.
                                                                                                                                      Returning to Maine next month, and we are looking forward to some good eats.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                        We had generally very good eats when we visited New England in 2012. In Portland, we also ate at Five Fifty Five, which describes itself as "fine dining" (a meaningless marketing phrase which I detest) - good meal but they're not quite as good as they think they are. Fore Street was another very decent nosh.

                                                                                                                              2. Asparagus and mushrooms with poached eggs and boxty.First attempt at boxty, mixture looks a little wet but I wasn't going to use up a third of an egg elsewhere. Hopefully it'll turn out ok.

                                                                                                                                1. Spring is slowly turning into summer for us. It's been quite hot here.

                                                                                                                                  Spring means orange blossoms, my lemon tree at my parents now has several lemons starting to grow.

                                                                                                                                  Spring is Soccer Season that gets carried out all the way through summer.

                                                                                                                                  Spring is light and refreshing fruit and veggies spring lettuce salads.

                                                                                                                                  Spring is the time to visit the theme parks before the ull swing of summer gets underway.

                                                                                                                                  It's time to start talking about spiking a watermelon.

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                    I take it that this would be a good time to visit your part of the world?

                                                                                                                                    That's a serious question, assuming the Orlando in your profile is the one in Florida. Our first trip to America, in 1980, was to the state and we've not been back since - but we are thinking about a trip next year.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                      what the hell do you have against California? and, more specifically, San Francisco????

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                        Yes Orlando.

                                                                                                                                        Orlando is quite beautiful and nice if you stay out of the tourist districts. Orlando has grown quite a bit in culture, arts and food as well since you've last visited.

                                                                                                                                    2. Tonight I'm going to do DOTM: galette. Since crust and I have not always had a good relationship, I'm just going to use puff pastry from the freezer case. Topping/filling will be fontina, caramelized onions, prosciutto and sun dried tomatoes. Dressed arugula on the side.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                        Yet another DOTM thread I won't be participating in. Cooking at casa berolina is bad 'nuff -- no way I'm baking anything here....

                                                                                                                                        That said, yours sounds lovely.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                          i'm so keen to trying to make a galette with crust... but i'm not a baker and I may do the same and try it with puff pastry. People are putting out some mighty appetizing samples on that thread...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                            They are all so beautiful on that thread! I promise I'll post my Pepperidge Farm version here (if not there) even if it's hideous ;)
                                                                                                                                            It's been a long time since I've used puff pastry. I'm doing a test run with cherries and slivered almonds here in about an hour.

                                                                                                                                        2. This year spring 'fever' came in the form of a massive allergy hit that then became bronchitis...not fun. But hey, it could be worse. I only sound like a three pack a day smoker.

                                                                                                                                          Last night was some TJ's arugula parmesan raviolis, salad, and garlic bread. Poor Kings got abused by the Ducks! Ugh.

                                                                                                                                          Tonight will be simple tacos with leftover NY steak and all the fixings. I think I have two avocados that should be ready too. Easy, but that is all I have energy for. Hacking up a lung every 10 minutes is exhausting.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Aussieshepsx2

                                                                                                                                            Easy dinner sounds like a good thing, allergies take a lot out of a person. At least you just sound like a smoker, I've got the red eyes of a full time herb afficianado!

                                                                                                                                          2. Yay for spring (even though it is cold and cloudy here today!). But we did get a fair amount of spring cleaning done this weekend in preparation for one SD coming home from college for the summer and one graduating and needing a repository for her stuff while she does a year internship at NIH.

                                                                                                                                            Tonight we are having younger SD and several of her friends over for a finals study break/home cooked meal. Cheeseburgers on the grill (we ground about 5 lbs of meat last night!), roasted yukon and red potatoes and corn on the cob. Oreo cappuccino trifle for dessert. Should be fun!

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. We're in the process of moving (again, ugh!) We finally found a house (woo!) SO it's been a hilarious week of meals. Pretty sure I'll be making some random rice, frozen vegetable and chicken casserole?! Maybe I should search around for recipes. I have limited kitchen stuff out right now, so the less pots and pans the better!

                                                                                                                                              Last night I stretched three small flounder fillets between 2 adults/2 kids - made, I guess, Jamaican Fish Tacos? A little jerk-like flavors, topped with vinegary peppers and onions in flour tortillas all puffed up and crisped from oil. I did a quick side of frozen corn, black beans and avocado. I'll actually make it again - love when a use up what you've got turns out a good meal!

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                                tiffeecanoe, I think you mentioned at one time you lived in SE WI (Wauwatosa maybe?). Are you staying in the area? Congrats on finding a house.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                  Hey Fowler! We're in Oconomowoc at the moment but moving over to Jefferson. Not sure how we'll like it - BUT, a bit cheaper over there and a bit closer to where my husband usually is for work! Thank you :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                                    Lucky you tiffeecanoe! Jefferson is a beautiful part of the state and the people there are very nice. You will also have not too long of a drive to the Madison farmer's market on the square each Saturday if that is something that would interest you.

                                                                                                                                                    Best wishes for the new chapter in your life.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                      Thank you! You're right, it won't be too long and I look forward to visiting the Madison farmer's market often! Funny how you say everyone is so nice - that was the most wonderful impression I got yesterday! I had lunch in Culver's with my little ones (2.5 and 8 months) and a women brought my daughter ketchup, offered to refill my rootbeer on her way to the soda machines. It was so nice. I did not experience that level of kindness in Oconomowoc. Not to say there aren't kind people here, I just haven't really found them ;)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                                  jerk fish tacos is a good idea. i think i'll steal it :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tiffeecanoe

                                                                                                                                                    yes, having a use-up meal turn out to be great is one of life's treasured moments!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. Whole wheat penne with asparagus, chives, artichoke hearts, creminis, white wine, butter, garlic, parm, red pepper flakes. And I found my beloved Polar Cucumber Melon Seltzer in the store!

                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night was a freezer dive soup as I was bottling several kgs of the Calabrian 'explosive spread'. The Jerusalem artichoke soup we unearthed from the freezer was utterly delicious. Sweet with lots of pepper. I was surprised how well it held up.

                                                                                                                                                      Tonight the bloke asked for vegetarian so it's tofu 'bamboo' with spring onion-flavoured oil from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice. If I can find some garlic stems I'll cook those using hannaone's recipe. If not I'll find some other green to serve with the tofu.

                                                                                                                                                      1. no cooking tonight. first in a series of dinners i'm taking my sister to for her birthday, which is today. the big splurgy celebration dinner is Sat. (I just didn't want her to sit home on her actual bday.)

                                                                                                                                                        i'll be back in the kitchen tomorrow tho.... it's 89 degrees here now, supposed to be hotter tomorrow. the short ribs in my fridge aren't screaming at me.... thinking more along the lines of a salad - chicken cob, maybe? with gemvt's yummy buttermilk (or a reasonable permutation of) dressing? hmmm... I really want to make a nicoise salad but that damned boyfriend of mine doesn't like tuna. I guess I could sub chicken for tuna... meh. damn him.

                                                                                                                                                        1. It's in the mid 80's today and it's BBQ night. It will be a nice Rib Eye on the BBQ, button mushrooms on the side burner and a nice fresh shrimp salad on the side. Heaven on a plate.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Buffalo wings are up tonight. Deb's recipe is heavy on the butter, heavy on the oil, heavy on the hot sauce. Not for the faint of heart. Beer and wine will be on the counter. NCIS will be on the plasma, Deb insists.

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                              It's gonna be a tearjerker. And I don't mean your Buffalo wings. (Unless they're really really spicy-hot!).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah. I'm thinking a two, maybe three blubber episode tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                Deb's wings go through two baths of frying goodness. Killer good.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                      Surprisingly, just a one blubber, at the end. A fine tribute.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Spring to me means doing a lot of yard work. By myself because my husband always claims he just does not have time. Funny how he has time to play golf and smoke cigars on the deck with his buddies in spring but does not have time to help with the yard work. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  Spring also means time to go for bike rides and read cookbooks out on the deck.

                                                                                                                                                                  Dinner tonight is tequila and lime juice marinated shrimp on the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JanineL

                                                                                                                                                                    This makes me want tequila and lime juice for dinner. Too hot to cook!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                      Why not, rabaja, you've covered two of the food groups for sure :-). I'm home early enough that I think I will make that shrimp curry, and I'm gonna put some green garbanzos in it for colour.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Still chilly 50's temps in Minnesota this week. Santa Fe Chicken tonight, made in the oven for 2 hours at 350 rather than slow-cooker. Served over rice, with a flour tortilla on the side, and additional salsa & ff sour cream. Next time, I'll remember to add the chopped onions (accidentally omitted) and some cayenne (ntentionally omitted). Leftovers will by WFD tomorrow, and also frozen for two more meals when temps are warmer.

                                                                                                                                                                    Recipe here http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/02/cr...

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                      How did you like the chicken? I was looking at that recipe last week when someone (you?) posted it. I was thinking of trying it in the oven for the bf.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also, what cut of chicken did you use?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like a winner (!) although I would sub parsley for cilantro and cut back on the cayenne too. Good to know it works in the oven as we aren't crock pot cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight will be super simple. Baked chicken breasts with bacon and cheddar, stove top stuffing and peas and carrots.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Hi.

                                                                                                                                                                          Spring fever, at work at least, means everyone turns into a bunch of assholes. Needless to say, work has been very trying these past few weeks. I even got to hang up on another agent who thought cussing at me was an appropriate way to handle an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                          But yet, I've managed to make dinner, especially since I need to keep working at cleaning out the freezer and pantry since the move is less than 2 weeks away.

                                                                                                                                                                          Last night I made shake & bake pork chops... I'm not sure how old that shake & bake in the pantry was, but it preceded me in this house, so it's at least 2 years old. Anyway, I slathered the chops with dijon mustard then dipped in the shake & bake. Sides were baked potatoes done in the microwave, and some microwave steamer bag broccoli in cheese sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight will be pizza, I've got some TJ's pizza dough ready to go in the fridge, and toppings will just be some jarred marinara from the pantry, mozzarella, and I'll brown up some pre-cooked Johnsonville chicken sausages I've had hanging out in the fridge for awhile to put on top.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Tonight's dinner has a bit of a story behind it. The BF has been craving teriyaki rice bowls. I sent him to the store for soy and he came back with a bottled teriyaki sauce. I was worried it would be too sweet, but no, it tasted like it was soy sauce and vinegar and little else mixed together. So that got a bit of doctoring with sugar and fresh ginger. Also, I've been going through a bit of a yak phase and it seemed like an appropriate meat for this makeshift rice bowl. So we are having bowls of rice, topped with stir-fried cabbage and carrots. I'm searing 2 tiny yak tenderloins, which will get a nice rest, a thin slicing, and will be put on top of the veggies. Doctored sauce will be drizzled on top of that. I've been waffling on the addition of fried eggs. So far it's a no, but that may change by dinner time.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. The return of the Egyptian, so we're back to chicken and pasta. The chicken was slathered with pesto and cooked on the grill pan, and served with pasta with pesto. A green salad followed. It was much of a muchness, but the boys were happy.

                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                "Much of a muchness" - my grandma used and Mom uses that phrase. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                  I believe it might be traceable to Lewis Carroll.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                    He certainly used the phrase, but it pre-dates Shakespeare by about a century. Similar to our, "six of one, half a dozen of the other".

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                      Good info! I had always noted it in Alice, but wasn't as aware of it that early.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                      OK, that's probably where they both got it from. Lots of Lewis Carroll books in our house growing up. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        Both phrases in common usage in this house.

                                                                                                                                                                                        By the by, Carroll (or Dodgson) was a fellow Cestrian, born at Daresbury which is about 20 miles from home. Nice pub a couple of miles away that we go to for lunch now & again - http://www.brunningandprice.co.uk/lit...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                          That looks like a lovely spot! My son is headed to England in June as the first leg of a post-graduation European trip. He's doing the first week in England solo. I hope he can find some interesting pub meals like this!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Spring in my area is fleeting. You go from shorts to frost warnings every few days. Then we have the yellow menace...pollen (largely pine iirc) coats everything. It can hang in the air and the city seems enveloped in yellow smog. Car windows must be scrubbed clean in the morning in order to drive. But the azaleas, dogwood, tulips, daffodils, ice plants and so much more are beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Then suddenly the weather turns to summer heat. Today was in the '90's with a "feels like" of 100. Watered my rapidly wilting plants and tidied the garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                  After the sun I was reluctant to heat up the kitchen. Made a Niçoise inspired salad using come of the tuna confit I had made. Layered a plate with romaine. Scattered sliced scallions over top. Little mounds of marinated cucumber, hard boiled egg, garlic roasted tomatoes, green beans, red potato and a nice chunk of yellow fin in the center. (Oops - TJ's marinated fava's too!)

                                                                                                                                                                                  A nice clean out the fridge meal on a hot day. Plus it looked and tasted as though I had put a bit of effort into it!

                                                                                                                                                                                  We are supposed to go back down to the 70's this weekend. Hopefully I can finish most of the garden chores then and be in good shape for the summer. Being gone most of last year allowed the jungle to rapidly creep into my planting beds.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm still in San Francisco, enjoying every moment of it. Right now I'm at wayfare tavern for some grilled octopus. We'll see where the night takes me next!

                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                      My SO is in SF on business too, gini. He would love to try that grilled octo, I'm sure. It sounds like he's been eating pretty well without me, and that it's plenty warm there so all good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                        San francisco is not a bad place to chomp down!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: gini

                                                                                                                                                                                        wow you were right around the corner from my office! had I known I might have stopped in and said, "hey, gini!" enjoy the rest of your trip!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Maria! I'm still here, hoping to take advantage of some gorgeous weather this evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              It was really nice to be able to have a cocktail outside!

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Dinner tonite was two (2) pizzas from http://www.firedpie.com/menu.html
                                                                                                                                                                                        because work was too brutal. How strange to go from an awesome job to a MFM job. Regardless - I brought home a steak and Gorgonzola for SO and I have a spicy sausage, regular mozz (cuz I'll have it for lunch tomorrow as well) w/ mushrooms and those Kalamata olives. Very, very good. I'll go back again.

                                                                                                                                                                                        In regards to the weather, I watched the wind blow my tortilla chips away when I had lunch outside w/ my tomatillo soup and tortilla chips. I didn't have the energy to chase after it. There WAS a fat, full moon early this am and I can't complain about the heat (yet)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Wow - you miss one day of WFD and you have 178 posts to catch up on!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Wanted to share my roast chicken success from yesterday -- the man is a big cilantro fan so I made a chunky paste with a whole lot of it plus lemon zest/juice, garlic, jalapeno and rubbed it under and over the skin and roasted it. It turned out rather well, despite the fact that I would have normally done it on the grill (hoping to get one soon). Served with roasted asparagus and brown basmati rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight we were both beat from work so we ordered Chinese delivery. Tomorrow, we will go out for a bite to celebrate my b'day (since we were too lazy to do it tonight on the real day).

                                                                                                                                                                                          This weekend, I plan on making gumbo because the neighbors ordered a huge amount of crawfish and we stashed some of the copious leftovers in the freezer. Really looking forward to that!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Now, to catch up on 178 posts....

                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Happy Birthday!

                                                                                                                                                                                            Always nice when the celebration covers a few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you, and I promise that I usually try and celebrate as much as possible, but a Tuesday b'day doesn't generally work quite as well for that. I've been told that I have "Bang Bang" Wednesday to look forward to tomorrow. I'll take it!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                " I've been told that I have "Bang Bang" Wednesday to look forward to tomorrow. I'll take it!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                Please ask him to take you out for dinner first. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Blushing and thanks for the best laugh of my day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  'Bang Bang' as in one of the recent Louie episodes? You better save some room in yer belly, then :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A very happy birthday, Terrie. And I "liked" your post - except for the cilantro rub on the chicken. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The gumbo sounds perfect for a weekend meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    happy bday Terrie! Hope that bite is a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I cooked my first fish tonight. 'Twas monumental.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I vaguely followed this recipe: http://www.mygourmetconnection.com/re...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Brown rice was made, then sautéed with garlic in a bit of EOO, tossed with chopped cilantro and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        A hunk of wild caught salmon from WF was drizzled with a mix of EVOO, grated ginger and garlic, lemon zest, honey, salt and pepper and roasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gigantic green salad (spinach, arugula, chard, etc.) with bell peppers, carrots, and cucumbers on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bf ate it all and said it was "phenomenal." High praise, and I'm glad I didn't muck it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Quesadillas for me tonight. Chocolate chip cookies are hidden from him, and I will consume them soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        38 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, also! Can someone help me with some ex-vegetarian questions about meat storage?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The bf bought quite a bit at once, so I threw them in the freezer. The diet plan calls for chicken breast tomorrow night, and again on Thursday for lunch. I didn't realize they were all in the butcher's paper together, so they will be stuck together. If I put them in the fridge tomorrow AM, and take one out to cook for dinner tomorrow, can I leave the other in the fridge 'til the next day?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            He also bought a tuna steak, which is supposed to be dinner on Thursday. I put it in the freezer because it didn't seem like it should sit in the fridge for 3 days. I'm assuming I should just thaw it in the fridge? What would be the best preparation for tuna that's been thawed like this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is it okay to freeze fish? Does it lose quality? In the future I will pick it up fresh the day it's needed, but he got a little overexcited this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for any help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken should be fine as you describe but do be aware that meat protein thaws rather slowly in the fridge so it might not come apart if you only put it in there in the am.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had an aversion to previously frozen fish when it is cooked, as I only ate it fresh for my entire childhood (dad worked for the dept of fisheries) but it won't make it inedible to non-picky types :-). I find it does lose quality, getting grainy/soft/soggy when you cook it, but I also only eat tuna raw and it better damn well be frozen first to get rid of unwanted passengers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So how long can you keep uncooked chicken in the fridge? When fresh? And when thawed from the freezer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                In my days of cooking my own meat, I always bought it fresh and cooked it that same day, the next day at the latest. I have actually never in my life frozen meat to cook later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, what kind of dish should I make with the tuna? I've only ever seen tuna served raw or seared, and have zero idea what to do with it. Did I mention I've never even eaten fish before, let alone cook it prior to tonight? This young jellybean has much to learn...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You could have kept the chicken in the fridge all week. In a sealed bag it's fine. Use clean hands to get chicken out of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sear tuna to rare - medium rare or slice raw and mix with an Asian type sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Does this newfangled diet offer any meal ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the info! I really am kind of clueless about the meat but I'm a nut about food safety. Grateful to have you all here for advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The tuna idea sounds good. Bf loves Asian flavors, so I'm looking forward to coming up with something for that dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The diet book says really vague things. Like last night's salmon just said "Bake salmon with lemon juice and ginger @ 350 until done. Serve with salad greens and quinoa."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounded super boring so I changed it up a bit. The quinoa and brown rice can be subbed for one another; he'll have quinoa with dinner tonight instead. There's a "recipe" coming up which calls for rolling ground turkey into balls and baking with cooking spray until done, then dumping in a room temp canned marinara. That's it. That's lunch. Sounds awful. I'm going to do a homemade sauce and simmer the turkey in it. I can't see why that would make a difference nutritionally, and I'll add some veggies for his side. No pasta, unfortunately for him. That's his ultimate favorite food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am quite impressed with your involvement in this process :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The very best cookbook we've cooked from with a focus on fish is: Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen. It was COTM twice, once on 2009 and then in 20012. Everything one could ask about fish of all types. Simple techniques, easy to do recipes, absolutely the best recipe outcome for everything we cooked. I think you'd like the book and the results. Here's the link to the master reporting threads (it's also the discussion thread:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Many of us reduce the amount of butter in some of the recipes or switch it entirely and use EVOO. But at least you have a terrific reference and template for some great dishes all in one place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you so much for that! I will read through it after this. All of the recipes I'm seeing online are either some variation of garlic/lemon/capers or Asian sauces. Both of which are fine, but I'd like to find some other flavors for the bf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've made a Nigela Lawson Asian style tuna twice in the last few months. Once using wasabi and once with a hot mustard. My wasabi was pretty tame so I preferred the mustard rendition. It is a very quick flavorful dish.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know the bf would like those flavors but he told me tonight that he'd like to try tuna cooked all the way through for once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He's never had a tuna steak cooked that way, and like I said, I have no idea what to do with it. I will be recipe hunting tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you find a flavor profile he would like you can simply cook the fish longer. It doesn't take much time to cook fish so it is easy to overcook. Just keep a close eye on it and you'll do fine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never cooked a tuna steak to well, be interested to know what he thinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll post about it after he eats it tomorrow. I took it out to thaw last night, so it will be thawing all day today, then cooked tomorrow evening. I think that will be okay?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  FDA says chicken and fish should be thawed for a day, then will keep just one extra day in the fridge. I know they are conservative with their suggestions, but just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This isn't necessarily true. There are a lot of factors that go into how long chicken will keep. At work, it can last over a week from when we get it or it can go bad within a few days. Sometimes it's already turning when we get it and we have to send it back. It just depends on the bacteria that happen to be floating around and how old it was when our supplier sent it in. Keeping it in a sealed bag will definitely help keep airborn bacteria off, but won't get rid of any that were there to start with and won't slow down the decomposition process. Think of it this way: if the chicken was a little on the old side when the butcher received it and then it sat at the butcher's fridge for 3-4 days before nothingswrong bought it, it could be very near the end of its life. Also, if the chicken was purchased from a butcher, it is much less likely to have been sprayed or gassed with any preservatives, which is a good thing, but means it will go bad faster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fortunately, you should be able to tell if it's starting to turn well before it becomes inedible. Smell it. If it doesn't smell like anything, it should have at least a few more days. If it smells like slightly-sour milk, it should be fine today and tomorrow. If it smells a touch like sulfur, pop it back in the freezer and give it a good rinse before you eat it. Once it smells like rotten eggs, it's gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was assuming her nose works. When chicken is bad you know it. Thanks for expounding though, for someone unfamiliar it's all useful information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've actually found that a lot of people think chicken is bad as soon as it develops any sort of scent. The scent actually develops over a few days with milky and varying levels of sulfuric smells. Depending on the scent, you can tell how long the chicken has before it turns completely. So my point was that even though it's almost impossible to tell how long chicken will last based on how long it's been since you bought it/thawed it, you can make a pretty good guess based on the smell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That IS a helpful "guide" to chicken smells actually. I certainly can tell when poultry smells awful, like that rotten-egg stink on the turkey breast I bought last week. But I've smelled chicken I've bought that same day and it smells juuuust slightly of sulfur and wondered if it was still okay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mother always told me to buy meat the day you're going to use it, or the day before, but not much longer than that. I know it's likely safe, but the bf actually goes grocery shopping daily for his boss, so it's no trouble to pick up fresh meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Freezing fish is fine - we do it all the time, as it's not always convenient to get to the fishmongers on the day we plan to eat it. Similarly, you can never be sure what the fishmonger is going to have in stock on the day - no point planning to cook bream and then finding there's no bream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Most of it will have previously been frozen on the trawlers when it was caught (unless you're fortunate to live in a maritime area where smaller trawlers land daily catches or, at least, fish only a few days old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've no opinion as to whether it loses quality in the freezing - I'm afraid my palate isn't sufficiently developed to detect a difference if there is one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I freeze fish all the time but I try to make sure the store labels it as fresh and not previously frozen. Previously frozen I try to avoid freezing. Vacuum seal if you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think it was super fresh. He got it at WF from the butcher and it was cut off the fish in front of him. The salmon last night looked very good. I wouldn't know except my mother grills these (expensive) fresh sides of salmon all the time and his looked just like hers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks Harters, I've heard that fish is often previously frozen. Guess I shouldn't worry about it too much then. The bf has eaten every kind of protein one could imagine, having grown up on a farm out in the middle of nowhere. Alligator, snake, ground squirrels, etc. He loves sushi but rarely eats cooked fish. I've always skipped over seafood recipes when browsing; I now have a whole new plethora of recipes to look at!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not sure where you are nothingswrong but in BC there are rules about selling previously frozen fish without labeling it thus. Since I am picky, I don't but fish unless it hasn't been previously frozen, unless it is destined for sushi or sashimi. I would think any reputable fishmonger would tell you if your purchase had already seen the inside of a freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm in SoCal. Land of many fish mishaps. There was the recent discovery that most of the sushi places here aren't serving you what you think you're eating :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is there an emoticon for "ew"? I think I read about that...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              looks great for a first fish! Funny how something you never cooked can seem so intimidating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is very intimidating! You hear all sorts of awful stories about fish... Now to conquer the pork chop ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I started cooking in college with lots of veg friends and had a veg roommate for so long I never cooked "real meat" just the occasional chicken tender or ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember pulling my first whole chicken out of its wrapper with such trepidation - like it was going to jump out of the bag at me or something - but I never bought a chicken tender or BSCB again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pork chops are easy, and versitile

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have yet to try a whole chicken or turkey. I'm less terrified at the idea after reading so many Chows doing the Zuni. I've read through the recipe so many times, I've memorized it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think I could pull it off without issue, until it came to carving time. I think I'll have some YouTube tutorials in my future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately I don't eat chicken, and the bf won't touch chicken with bones, so I have no reason to make one yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Funny about the chicken tenders and ground beef btw. That is how I learned to cook meat, and I think those are the only meats I prepared before returning to vegetarianism in my early 20s. A few years ago I dumped those shenanigans for my mom's filet, and I can cook a mean steak! But the poultry and fish still scare me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've stopped cooking pork chops because they come out dry so often for me :-(.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As for carving the whole chicken if you get to it, you might want to go rustic and cut it up instead of attempting to carve. Thos. Keller has a good method for this even if you are going Zuni: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh yes, I never carve. Cutting up into pieces is the way to go for me, same with turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've watched chefs chop up a chicken about a hundred times on TV. I think I could actually do it without any cheat notes by now! There is a show on public access called "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" or something and watching her cutting a chicken is burned in my mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One day I will try it, and I'm sure I'll feel the need to take photos to share. Or if Chow ever gets a video share feature, watch out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've had good luck with CI's thick-cut low-and-slow method: http://creativecooknson.blogspot.com/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Look for chops with decent marbling, at least 1/2 in. thick, and bone-in is even better for retaining moistness and flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You can also always cheat a little by brining or marinating the meat before cooking to ensure juiciness. I try to remember to lightly score the edges so the fat/connective tissue doesn't cause the meat to curl when it cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Awesome, thanks. I'm hosting a BBQ/dinner party thing next week and the bday boy wants pork chops. I posted a thread about it and got some good advice, but you've summed it all up nicely there. I'm going to try chops in the size/cut you mentioned, a brine, scoring the meat, and then rubbing with something tasty. The bf will be grilling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I always bake my salmon but that looks perfect. I may have to try it pan seared and see if I can sway my fish hating bf to the seared fish camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tonight was chinese takeout we like that is usually a bit of a haul for us, but she had a company car for a night meeting and was driving right by. Mapo Doufu for the win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Did manage to get some prep work done for the next couple of days. Boned and pounded some chicken thighs and put them in buttermilk with salt, cayenne, minced garlic, and bay. Those'll get briefly smoked tomorrow, then rubbed with something and breaded and fried. Thinking a homemade take on the fast food chicken sammy. Maybe just homemade mayo with shredded iceberg and sliced tomato on cheapo white buns with pickles. Might quick pickle some red onions in the fridge that need using.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also ground up a whatever-smells-right (cinnamon, cayenne, urfa biber, nutmeg, sweet paprika, allspice, cumin, green cardamom seeds, etc.) rub for what our co-op is calling "lamb shoulder-neck pieces." Will brown and braise those tomorrow or Thursday, though not sure how. More than likely shallot and veggies and coconut milk for a curry, or port and dried fruit to top either polenta or quinoa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The chicken sounds amazing! So does the braise, actually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Lamb chops will be the protein. And dished up as part of a mezze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The reason is that I've a vaguely Middle Eastern carrot dish I've had in the "to try" file for months and it never seems to fit as an accompaniment with anything we've cooked. So, the carrots are sliced on the diagonal at about 4mm thickness and quickly boiled to just about tender and drained. Almonds get a quick toasting in the pan and cumin seeds go in for a brief time. They get bashed in the mortar and are mixed with the carrots, along with a drizzle of olive oil (time for my Palestinian oil to make an appearance - it's not seen the light of day for a while).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There'll be a tabbouleh/pilaff affair with bulghur and "stuff". A few olives and pickles should complete the savouries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I've got a box of the most delicious Iranian dates you can imagine. Soft, luscious, sweet - like a soft caramel rolling round your mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love that carrot mash salad. I wonder if a little mint or coriander would go well with it, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Those dates sound heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This isnt the mashed carrot salad, lingua. The nuts are crushed ( a phrase that may bring a tear to the eye of any male readers) but the carrots remain in slices. Good idea about the mint/coriander - I'll have a taste and see if it needs anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The mashed salad is, I think, the Tunisian dish of Omi Houriya. I use Claudia Roden's recipe which mixes the carrots with harissa, olive oil, wine vinegar and cumin. It's what usually happens to any leftover carrots at Casa Harters. Fab with bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, gotcha. See what happens when I reply with just one cuppa coffee in me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Either way, sounds delish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That carrot side dish sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. My SO is in for a very rough day at work today so I am planning what will hopefully be a comforting evening. Grilled lobster mac 'n cheese, a bottle of Vouvray for the wine and watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Uh...I'd say so! Dinner sounds like the ultimate night of comfort! How thoughtful of you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Kinda chilly here in the Hudson Valley today. It's my night to do supper (long story) so I pulled out some chicken stock, browned some sweet sausage, added a mirepoix, fresh spinach, herbs de provence and sage. Added broth and will add some white beans later on. Done. Off to job fair when DMIL comes home!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Excellent. Love that combination. I often use kale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Here is my galette for DOTM from last night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It turned out well, I was pleased. Just like a TJ's Alsatian tarte, but better. I'll make these instead of buying those in the future.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight, just brats on the grill with some bbq kettle chips and a crunchy veggie platter. And beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, y'all! My own crust up next :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm calling off the bbq idea as 5% humidity is conducive to nothing good at all happening outdoors. I sprung a random nosebleed and moved most of my herbs indoors with the humidifiers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, some excellent chicken shawarma pitas from a local Lebanese carryout will be had for dinner along with vanilla fro-yo topped with pomegranate seeds and some water with that beer. Modern Family on the tube.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll send you some humidity, we have plenty here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you! I'll take about 20% if you can spare it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If anyone on this thread can spare some humidity.... just sayin'. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I was in the office late last night, so DH made mapo tofu. He couldn't find the hot bean paste in the fridge (middle shelf, near the front), so he used chili-garlic sauce. It was OK, but I doctored it with a heaping spoonful of hot bean sauce and chili oil when I got home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight, I'm meeting helen_m for dinner/drinks. Can't wait!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Another dinner inspired by a gift from a coworker. My neighbor and coworker was out of town last week and I checked his mail as I usually do (I mean, it's not that difficult :). To thank me, he brought back a few items only found in North Carolina including a traditional NC-style BBQ Sauce. I love a good BBQ sauce and this one is a double win as it's a sauce with the lowest carb count I've ever seen and I flip around a lot of bottles in the store. It's only appropriate for it to be the star of dinner. What's for dinner will be TJs pork belly sauteed with cabbage and finished with the BBQ sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies