What's for dinner?

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  • Here, it is still early for the good stone fruit. it is just the start of the season, and will be much better later this month. There is this amazing local organic farm called Frog Hollow that sells at the farmer's markets around here (and a few grocery stores--one of the best things about Berkeley is the availability of local, organic produce that does not cost an arm and a leg and although the there is a Whole Foods, I never have to go there) and, anyway, Frog Hollow peaches and nectarines are to die for. They have a whole bunch or varities of each. Just reading their website always makes me hungry!
  • edited July 2015
    @Zoeg   Envying you! :)

    (A book I was reading used a line from Chaucer as an epigraph:  "Till we be roten, kan we not be rypen".   Ha!  Surely Chaucer was pleading with a dish of peaches on his counter when he wrote that.)


    ETA  @KarenFK  Just looked at their website and everything looks luscious.  Also:  I have yet to cross paths with a pluot – that needs to be remedied!

  • (A book I was reading used a line from Chaucer as an epigraph:  "Till we be roten, kan we not be rypen".   Ha!  Surely Chaucer was pleading with a dish of peaches on his counter when he wrote that.)
    Hahaha! Pleading with the peaches; I know that feeling! :-)  Now you put me in mind of fun food related quotes. One of my favorites from Dickens' A Christmas Carol: “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

  • My dad had peach trees growing up. I have never had a fresh peach as good as his. Of course, they aren't picked until ripe and even those at our local farmer's market aren't ripe and never seem to ripen.
  • There's been a tube strike today which has THOROUGHLY INCONVENIENCED London. Although actually I am largely sympathetic to their motives.

    Anyway, the plan was barbecued lamb chops, but my husband decided at 11 that he couldn't work from home because there were too many people trying to log on remotely and it crashed the system. SO he struggled in which involved about a 2 hour walk, what with one thing and another. His reward is pizza. He had ham & pineapple, because he's been having nostalgic cravings, I had "Florentina" - spinach, blue cheese, pinenuts and an egg on top. Mine was excellent. His scratched the itch and he won't have another.
  • ... unfortunately neither pizza sat particularly well in the stomach. Won't be ordering from them again!
  • Last night's dinner was delicious. I had a bag of uncooked frozen shrimp looking at me every time I opened the freezer, so went on a search for a quick recipe. This is what we had. Divine, and so easy. Thawed the shrimp in the bag on the counter, I know, that's not recommended, but I kept an eye on it. Used about 8 ounces of spinach, could have easily doubled it, didn't measure the onions or peppers, just eyeballed, and added some seafood stock concentrate from a refrigerator jar with half-cup of water. It didn't really need it but was tasty. And some extra coconut cream/milk (from a can) drizzled over the top of each serving. I'm not used to cooking paleo, as we like things like this over rice, or quinoa, etc. but this is a keeper.
  • My family gets a food basket every 2 weeks from a local co-op.  This week we got several wonderful yellow squashes.  In the past I have never really cared for squash, as my grandma mostly cooked zucchini and I thoroughly detested it.  Possibly because as a kid I loved cucumbers, and one day mistook zucchini for one.  I always felt a sense of betrayal that it wasn't the taste I was looking for.  It coloured my whole outlook on squashes.  Well, I have become a convert to a few.  Namely butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, and now yellow.  Still won't go too close to zucchini.  Anyways, I found several recipes that used yellow squash in a few different ways.  So today we made this Mexican Squash and Ground Beef Casserole with Yellow Squash Cheddar biscuits (made with gluten free flour).  We had also ordered a case of blueberries, and received 15 6oz. containers with them.  I plan to make blueberry chutney with some.  Since we also got a carton of strawberries and blackberries.  So I made a berry pie with them and some blueberries.  Oh my gosh this recipe is to die for!  It has a delicious crumb topping that I want to put on every pie now!  I adapted it from this recipe, http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2011/9/9/you-will-make-homemade-one-minute-pie-dough-and-raspberry-pi.html.  I don't have a deep dish pie dish so I cut back on some of the fruit, but the other ingredients I kept the same.  I'm calling it Berrylicious Pie!  
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    Ta-da!
    I want to eat at your house.  We're having crappy cheese tortellini that expired 10 days ago and cheap pasta sauce.  Eh, maybe we'll do better tomorrow, if I feel like it.
  • A local restaurant sells fresh pasta at one of the farmers markets.  I bought some ancho gemelli a couple of weeks ago and finished it tonight.

    #1:  tossed with boar sausage* (from the pork lady** at the farmers market) and fresh thyme from my "garden" (a/k/a a container on my back porch).  No olive oil necessary as the sausage provides the oil.

    Then I froze the gemelli because it doesn't last otherwise (unless you use it right away).  It still takes only 3-4 minutes to get to al dente.

    #2:  fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and basil) and a good parmegiano reggiano

    #3 (tonight):  grape tomatoes, lightly sautéed in olive oil to warm them, fresh thyme and basil, and the aforesaid parmegiano reggiano


    * The boar sausage also provided a couple of additional meals.  I reheated it with diced new potatoes, onion, mushrooms, and green bell peppers.  The first time I had it, I also fried up an egg to put on top of it and then mix into it, as you do with hash.  The second (and last) time, I just reheated it and had it with a nice green salad.  I tend to always have a nice green salad with meals.  

    ** She's so cool.  Left a big ass corporate job to raise pigs.  In addition to selling the meat, she sells "lovely lard", lip balm, laundry soaps, etc.  She uses everything but the squeal, as they say!  (My lunch today was her smoked ham, in a sandwich with salad greens (again from the farmers market!  Honestly, I don't know how I eat off-season!), onion, and Dijon mustard.)
  • Hm, second night of ratatouille made with fresh veggies from my CSA box - eggplant, zucchini, purple and green bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic. The only ingredients not from the box were the herbs - fresh basil and dried mint (weird, I know, but I like it) - and the grated parmesan. Served over brown rice this time, angel hair pasta last night. 


    Next week's box is full of my favorite stir fry stuff... baby bok choy, fennel, cabbage, watermelon radishes and some of the best carrots I've ever tasted. Add some onion, broccoli stems and grated fresh ginger along with a couple of teaspoons of reduced salt soy sauce, a sprinkle of sugar and I've got a tasty meal or three. 

    I'm ready for the fall vegetables to come into season though. 
  • I've promised husband a curry but it seems like a bit of a hassle at this point (10am...)
  • @foodycatAlicia  The best curry I ever had was one I made myself from scratch. And I do mean by that that I crushed/ground fresh whole spices and toasted them, etc., the whole nine yards. It was extraordinary. But tons of work. Just as much work but worth it is making mole from scratch. The curry recipe came from a cookbook called Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville. Some of the best vegetarian recipes ever, from before vegetarian became the It thing it is now, pre-internet (1993, well, pre for me anyway). Highly recommended cookbook.
  • I make curry about once a week - always from scratch! I'm just not feeling it today. But I'd best go to the shops so I can get it simmering in time.

    I'll have a look for that cookbook, it sounds wonderful.
  • Anniebets said:
    Hm, second night of ratatouille made with fresh veggies from my CSA box - eggplant, zucchini, purple and green bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic.
    I've been making a lot of ratatouille too, with my own eggplants/peppers/tomatoes, varying the quantities by whatever's ripe.

    While the leftovers are tasty just reheated, I sometimes use them to make a frittata.
  • Freynika said:
    I want to eat at your house.  We're having crappy cheese tortellini that expired 10 days ago and cheap pasta sauce.  Eh, maybe we'll do better tomorrow, if I feel like it.
    That was a very special meal because I was sad about missing Labor Day.  I just had reheated Chinese leftovers last night!
  • I make curry about once a week - always from scratch! I'm just not feeling it today. But I'd best go to the shops so I can get it simmering in time.

    I'll have a look for that cookbook, it sounds wonderful.
    I've been making curry once a week for almost a year or so now. The books I've been using are Vij's at Home and Vij's Elegant & Inspired cookbooks. Largely because that is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Vancouver BC and I wanted to re-create some of the flavors I've had there. These are lovely cookbooks with killer recipes, however, I do modify them. 

    A lot of them call for 4-5 cups of water and I don't do that, I sub maybe 2-3 cups of stock. I just can't bring myself to water these curries down. Some of them call for a whole Tbsp of cayenne, which if you aren't diluting the recipe a whole lot you might want to cut back on a bit. But the flavor combos I've achieved from these recipes has been out.of.this.world. 
  • @maschultz the water thing is something I find with quite a lot of Indian recipes - they are aiming for a much thinner gravy than we in the West generally prefer. I do use water rather than stock when it is called for, but I've found that quite often the thing that separates a disappointing curry from a brilliant one is the amount of salt, so using stock instead of just salt is a pretty good way to get there.
  • Moussaka for us tonight. It's this recipe http://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/patrick-leigh-fermors-moussaka which I haven't made before & had better be good because it's a right fiddle.
  • I think I'll make pizza. I've been using this crust and I really like it. I've been favouring simple margarita pizzas lately. It's really just a vehicle for my homemade marinara. And goat mozzarella. And basil. 
  • That sounds good! I have no personal need for a grain-free crust, but nice to have a vouched-for recipe if I do! And goat mozzarella sounds blissful.
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    And very nice the moussaka was. I won't put the spuds in next time. They were nice enough but added heft without much extra benefit. And I don't need heft.
  • @maschultz the water thing is something I find with quite a lot of Indian recipes - they are aiming for a much thinner gravy than we in the West generally prefer. I do use water rather than stock when it is called for, but I've found that quite often the thing that separates a disappointing curry from a brilliant one is the amount of salt, so using stock instead of just salt is a pretty good way to get there.
    Interesting. Almost all of the Vij's recipes call for 1 tbsp of salt, which I find is an adequate amount. I've never had one come out too salty at any rate. And some have come out needing a bit more. But I usually let people add at the table, because I am a total salt hound and I know not everyone is :-z! 

    Lamb chops with fenugreek curry:

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  • We had grilled steaks and corn cakes (pancake batter with cooked corn cut off the cob, cheddar cheese, chives, chili powder, salt, and garlic).
  • maschultz said:
    @maschultz the water thing is something I find with quite a lot of Indian recipes - they are aiming for a much thinner gravy than we in the West generally prefer. I do use water rather than stock when it is called for, but I've found that quite often the thing that separates a disappointing curry from a brilliant one is the amount of salt, so using stock instead of just salt is a pretty good way to get there.
    Interesting. Almost all of the Vij's recipes call for 1 tbsp of salt, which I find is an adequate amount. I've never had one come out too salty at any rate. And some have come out needing a bit more. But I usually let people add at the table, because I am a total salt hound and I know not everyone is :-z! 

    Lamb chops with fenugreek curry:

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    That looks lovely!

    Yes, erring on the side of salty gives better results for curry, I've found!
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    Turned out ok, I think :D
  • My favorite "chicken curry" involves sautéing chicken with a jar of tikka masala simmer sauce and some coconut milk.  I usually doctor it up a bit with some garlic, ginger, a little red pepper or cayenne.  It's really not bad- I've made chicken tikka masala from scratch, and it wasn't noticeably better. 

    I cooked dinner tonight for the first time in our new kitchen- a chicken roasted on a sheet pan with mustardy potatoes and onions, and green beans.  Just exactly the comfort food I needed after a weekend of moving and unpacking. 


  • I celebrated the near-end of Jersey tomato season with a caprese panzanella salad.  It was divine, and I ate it way too fast, but I feel virtuous for having lots of veggies in my dinner.
  • Keema mattar tonight. Chapatis have been requested but I can't really be arsed.
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