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September 2016, Whats for Dinner??

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26 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:42 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:I don't think I would want a noisy piglet living next door to me.  They are really clean animals but they can be noisy as all get out when they want something.  Good thing your neighbor is just babysitting for a while.

Tonight's meatloaf with mashed potatoes and (colorful) peas & carrots.


L00Ks Good Beth!
Would you believe, my son loves hamburgers, but will never eat meatloaf.

27 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:43 pm

Crybaby

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Beth wrote:But it's a BIG meatloaf for just the two of us. I'll probably have enough leftover for sandwiches plus a meal of leftovers.

I like meatloaf sandwiches better meatloaf as a main dish. Nothing like a thickly sliced cold meatloaf sandwich.

At least you're remembering to put the egg in now, Beth! Smile

28 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:23 pm

bethk

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Admin
The best part of the meal was picking up the bits of peas & carrots with a forkful of mashed potatoes.....LOL

29 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:48 pm

bethk

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Admin
Dessert or bedtime snack.....

30 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:02 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:The best part of the meal was picking up the bits of peas & carrots with a forkful of mashed potatoes.....LOL

Hahhhhhhhhh.... like a fly trap. Only, a pea trap. Laughing

31 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:52 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:Dessert or bedtime snack.....



At 8:00 PM I say Dessert! and a yummy one at that.....
Then, plenty of time for a snack.

32 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:44 am

cookingirl

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bethk wrote:The best part of the meal was picking up the bits of peas & carrots with a forkful of mashed potatoes.....LOL

Love to do that... have not had meat loaf for ages!!

Your meat loaf looks so good....

Having broiled chicken thighs today.. basted in real butter!! no B-B-Q sauce.. just butter!! yummy... so good!

33 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:00 am

bethk

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Thanks, Cyn.

Lately I've been buying bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and taking the time to remove the bone before I cook them. It takes some practice but I like to eat them when the bone has been removed, as well as some of the chunks of fat that I can easily get rid of. There's still plenty left to keep them moist and flavorful. They're easier to eat and they cook faster, too.

34 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:43 am

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:The best part of the meal was picking up the bits of peas & carrots with a forkful of mashed potatoes.....LOL

I like carrots and I adore peas but I've never cared for peas and carrots together. They do look so very pretty on a plate, though. Don't get me wrong, as I eat them when they're served to me but I just don't find they go together very well. The first time I ever saw them served together was school lunches, as we never had them at home.

And anything tastes good with mashed potatoes!

35 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:52 am

bethk

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I think I like them because of how they look on the plate together.....you know I love my colors! I've also made my own 'mixed vegetable' blend with peas, carrots and corn.....not because it's all that good together but because of the way the colors go so well together. LOL

Today I'm taking inspiration from Cyn and making boneless chicken thighs, hopefully on the grill if the rains don't come when I want to cook. Otherwise I'll do the Test Kitchen crispy skin cold pan method on the stove. I like either.

I'm also going to try a dish I saw on Sarah Moulton.....fideo. It's a Mexican spiced vermicelli pasta dish, much like Spanish rice but made with broken vermicelli pasta instead. The pasta gets toasted like you do with Rice-a-Roni (you know I love that!) and then absorbs the flavors and moisture like a one-pot pasta dish. I checked out a few recipes and came up with what I think we'll like.

I still need a vegetable....I'm thinking some grilled zucchini might be good as we haven't had that in ages.

36 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:10 pm

Crybaby

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Beth wrote:I'm also going to try a dish I saw on Sarah Moulton.....fideo. It's a Mexican spiced vermicelli pasta dish, much like Spanish rice but made with broken vermicelli pasta instead. The pasta gets toasted like you do with Rice-a-Roni (you know I love that!) and then absorbs the flavors and moisture like a one-pot pasta dish. I checked out a few recipes and came up with what I think we'll like.

I think I saw that one, too.  I like that Rice-a-Roni type mixture, too, Beth.  Here's a recipe I've been hoping to make one day.

Rice and Pasta Pilaf with Crispy Shallots and Pistachios
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish / Source:  Cook's Illustrated #128, May/Jun 2014

1-1/2 cups basmati rice or long-grain white rice
3 shallots, sliced thin
1/2 cup olive oil
2 ounces vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1. Place rice in medium bowl and cover with hot tap water by 2 inches; let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Using your hands, gently swish grains to release excess starch. Carefully pour off water, leaving rice in bowl. Add cold tap water to rice and pour off water. Repeat adding and pouring off water 4 to 5 times, until water runs almost clear. Drain rice in fine-mesh strainer.
3. Place shallots and oil in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until shallots are golden and crispy, 6 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer shallots to paper towel-lined plate. Leave oil in pan.
4. Return pan to medium heat; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of rice begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add broth, coriander, salt, and half of shallots and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Off heat, remove lid, fold dish towel in half, and place over pan; replace lid. Let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork and stir in mint, pistachios, and lemon juice. Serve, sprinkling rice with remaining shallots.

37 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:23 pm

bethk

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What I didn't realize, Michelle, since I had never heard of the dish before was that they sell the Mexican vermicelli already broken in a package in the Latin section of the grocery store.



So I'm excited to give it a try. On Sarah's program she didn't seem to add any 'spicy' that I remember but since we like the spice I'm adding a can of tomatoes w/chiles and some red pepper flakes.

If it ends up tasting crappy then I'm out about $3 and I'll have learned a lesson. LOL

38 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:27 pm

bethk

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Have you ever done the crispy shallots before? Man, I tried and tried to get those right before I finally found the secret. Start the thin sliced shallots in cold oil and don't let the oil get too hot, keep stirring. The real tip is to take them out BEFORE they turn very brown, just when they look dry. They continue to brown up after they are out of the oil.

I can't tell you how many shallots I ended up burning before I figured it out.

Or, ask Imelda how she makes hers.....she sprinkles them on her foods all the time.

39 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:30 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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Crybaby wrote:
bethk wrote:The best part of the meal was picking up the bits of peas & carrots with a forkful of mashed potatoes.....LOL

I like carrots and I adore peas but I've never cared for peas and carrots together.  They do look so very pretty on a plate, though.  Don't get me wrong, as I eat them when they're served to me but I just don't find they go together very well.  The first time I ever saw them served together was school lunches, as we never had them at home.

And anything tastes good with mashed potatoes!

I am the same way when it comes to peas and carrots. Like then both, but not together.
What I do, is separate each pea and carrot into their own pile, and then eat them.

40 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:28 pm

Bugster2

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UNCLE JIMMY wrote:
Crybaby wrote:
bethk wrote:The best part of the meal was picking up the bits of peas & carrots with a forkful of mashed potatoes.....LOL

I like carrots and I adore peas but I've never cared for peas and carrots together.  They do look so very pretty on a plate, though.  Don't get me wrong, as I eat them when they're served to me but I just don't find they go together very well.  The first time I ever saw them served together was school lunches, as we never had them at home.

And anything tastes good with mashed potatoes!

I am the same way when it comes to peas and carrots. Like then both, but not together.
What I do, is separate each pea and carrot into their own pile, and then eat them.

Did you ever see "The Imitation Game" about that math genius who built the first computer to break the German Enigma Code? Well, in the movie there is a scene where he is eating dinner at his boarding school. He is systematically separating the carrots from the peas. You aren't alone.

Question: I am always using large quantities of Parmesan cheese and find the grating exhausting. Do you grate all of your cheese at once and store it in the fridge or grate only what you need? Also what do you use for grating? I use a Microplane and it does a great job but it is tiring.

41 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:35 pm

Bugster2

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I forgot to tell you that I just read an interesting article on parmesan cheese. Did you know that what you buy in the USA that is made in the USA is not real Parmesan? I did not know that. It also contains wood pulp. I did not know that either. The real Parmesan is labeled Parmigiano-Reggiano. From now on I will only buy the real stuff. Who wants to eat wood pulp?

42 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 3:50 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:Have you ever done the crispy shallots before?  Man, I tried and tried to get those right before I finally found the secret.  Start the thin sliced shallots in cold oil and don't let the oil get too hot, keep stirring.  The real tip is to take them out BEFORE they turn very brown, just when they look dry.  They continue to brown up after they are out of the oil. I can't tell you how many shallots I ended up burning before I figured it out.

Or, ask Imelda how she makes hers.....she sprinkles them on her foods all the time.

I know -- every time I see them on Imelda's food, I want them. Thanks for the cooking tip.

bethk wrote:What I didn't realize, Michelle, since I had never heard of the dish before was that they sell the Mexican vermicelli already broken in a package in the Latin section of the grocery store.

Am laughing, as I hope they were cheaper than the unbroken type.

43 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:06 pm

Crybaby

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Bugster2 wrote:I forgot to tell you that I just read an interesting article on parmesan cheese. Did you know that what you buy in the USA that is made in the USA is not real Parmesan? I did not know that. It also contains wood pulp. I did not know that either. The real Parmesan is labeled Parmigiano-Reggiano. From now on I will only buy the real stuff. Who wants to eat wood pulp?

I've seen that off and on before on the Internet, Bugster.  This is what the Huffington Post said about it, which makes a lot of sense:

"You may have seen a lot of hype about there being wood pulp in Parmesan.
This isn’t a new thing that the Internet is freaking out about, but, if you’re like us and can’t live without cheese, you might be panicking.

We’re here to tell you: IT’S ALL GOING TO BE OKAY. Confused? We’ll break it down for you: 

Wait... So, what’s in my cheese??

The offender here is cellulose. Not actual pieces of wood.

You probably haven’t heard this word since eighth grade science, but cellulose is a natural component of all plants’ cell walls and is in every fruit or vegetable you eat. Cellulose is made up of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. It’s most commonly referred to as a dietary fiber and it usually passes through your GI tract without even being absorbed.

It’s often considered “wood pulp” because manufacturers grind up wood to extract cellulose from. Wood is from trees, trees are plants, plants have cellulose. Only in a world of clicky headline escalation would the logical fallacy that cellulose is the same as wood pulp carry any weight."

So I wouldn't worry about it, Bug.  I buy the imported stuff, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, when I can but it's not always available at the grocery, which is where we usually get it.  When we go to a better store and see the Parmigiano-Reggiano, I'll pick up a chunk, especially if we're having something special or we're shaving the cheese for something rather than grinding it.  I also like using the peel from the imported cheese in my marinara sauce, too.  We often buy the domestic Parmesan and Romano cheeses pre-grated 'cause we use a lot of them, they're ready for use and if I'm not buying the good stuff, it's nice to have the cheese grated and ready for use.  But when we grind it ourselves, we usually use a box grinder.  The microplane is great, too, but usually the box grinder is a bit faster when grinding something like Parmesan (I find it tiring, too, though).

I like the cheese grated and not shredded.  I wish my Cuisinart had a blade that would grate cheese that finely.  If I want it shredded, yes, but it doesn't grate it.  I know there are ingredients in ALL cheese that is not sold in chunk form -- the sliced stuff and those mixes of cheese (like the Mexican mix, Italian mix, etc.) -- to keep the pieces separated.  Sometimes it's potato starch or some type of cornstarch and also cellulose and God knows what else.  I know that if I'm making a fine dish, or a dish where I've really sprung for the best of other ingredients, like I said before, I'll spring for the imported stuff and grate it myself or have it grated at the store where I buy it if they offer that.

As far as "real" Parmesan is concerned, I look at that like I look at Champagne. You can't call it Champagne unless it's made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. But when I have a glass of brut sparkling wine (or cava), I always consider it as having a glass of Champagne. It's just not the "real" stuff...

44 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:35 pm

Crybaby

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Uncle Jimmy wrote:I am the same way when it comes to peas and carrots. Like then both, but not together. What I do, is separate each pea and carrot into their own pile, and then eat them.

I can just picture you doing that, Jimmy! That's too much work for me; I'd rather just eat them that time.

I remember going to a P.F. Chang's for lunch one time with a group of women I worked with (something I seemed to always end up regretting, for one reason or another, usually tipping). We were all pretty much done and getting ready to ask for the check when someone pointed out one of the girls in our party had ordered fried rice and was just finishing up moving all the pieces of green onion out of her fried rice so she could eat it. I was amazed that someone had spent all that time doing that. And she hadn't even asked when she ordered if she could order it with no scallions, which I presume they could have easily accommodated.

I don't think I'll ever see peas and carrots again without picturing you separating them into different piles on your plate, Jimmy!!

45 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:39 pm

Bugster2

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Both Katie and Joe don't like one food contaminated with another. I don't care if that happens. Joe picks out mushrooms, Katie picks out real bacon. I can't think of anything I pick out of food. If it were possible, I would pick out citrus rinds from pie or anything else. I can't stomach the stuff. Oh! I just thought of something I do pick apart: fruit pies. I love the juices and sauce but I don't like the fruit itself. It is a textural thing with me. I pick out the fruit. I pick raisins out of cookies too.

46 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:27 pm

Imelda HL

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bethk wrote:Have you ever done the crispy shallots before?  Man, I tried and tried to get those right before I finally found the secret.  Start the thin sliced shallots in cold oil and don't let the oil get too hot, keep stirring.  The real tip is to take them out BEFORE they turn very brown, just when they look dry.  They continue to brown up after they are out of the oil.

I can't tell you how many shallots I ended up burning before I figured it out.

Or, ask Imelda how she makes hers.....she sprinkles them on her foods all the time.

I have never succeeded in making fried crispy shallots, mine are always store bought Embarassed  Asian stores sell them, but you have to be careful, some of them have fillers, like the shallot skin or flour, but the higher price ones usually pure shallots and their crispiness last long

today I made some oxtails, I boiled the oxtails with salt, black peppers, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves and a piece of tamarind, first I boiled them with plain water, after they are boiled for a few minutes I discarded the water, I replace it with clean water, added seasoning and boiled them in my pressure cooker until they are tender

In another pan, I heated a bit of oil, I added some minced shallots, garlic, some candle nuts ( omit if you can't find them ), grated ginger, some chili sauce/oelek ( I used my homemade chili sauce ), soy sauce and brown sugar ( in my country we have sweet soy sauce, we used it a lot for grilling, substitute for soysauce and brown sugar ), I sauteed them then added some of the broth, added the oxtail in the pan, I cooked them until the broth dry ( evaporated ), I broiled them just before serving.. goodness delicious



I boiled ( cooked in microwave) some potatoes for Dirk, mine with rice

47 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:37 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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Bugster2 wrote:Both Katie and Joe don't like one food contaminated with another. I don't care if that happens. Joe picks out mushrooms, Katie picks out real bacon. I can't think of anything I pick out of food. If it were possible, I would pick out citrus rinds from pie or anything else. I can't stomach the stuff. Oh! I just thought of something I do pick apart: fruit pies. I love the juices and sauce but I don't like the fruit itself. It is a textural thing with me. I pick out the fruit. I pick raisins out of cookies too.

Bugs.... my Son is so picky, he picks, more than he puts on the fork.
My god, I could swear that kid picks the corn out of his pxxp before he flushes it!

48 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:54 pm

bethk

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The Fideo was a minor hit....not a really special dish, but nice and a different dish from Spanish Rice, although it tasted a lot like it.

Notes made mentally to remember if I make it again:  Take care with browning the vermicelli ~ once it gets to a light golden color it starts to turn dark VERY quickly.  Add the liquid in stages, reserving some to finish with in case it's not quite tender.  You don't want mushy or over cooked pasta.....and that's what it is, pasta cooked in tomato sauce.

The rains came right on schedule....started at 4:00 and continued through almost 6:00 p.m. ~ enough to screw up my plans to grill most of my meal outside.  So the chicken got cooked in a cast iron skillet to crisp up the skin on the boneless thighs and the planked zucchini got drizzled with evoo and seasoned and quickly browned in another cast iron skillet in a single layer ~ took 3 pan fulls to brown it all.

49 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:19 pm

UNCLE JIMMY

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Beth, the meal just looks as if it were grilled.

We were gonna grill today, but we changed plans last night because of possible winds.
Well.....the storm never pinched us here on the west side, so Tina threw a lasagna together, and baked it in the toaster oven. Only problem, she forgot to push s t a r t button, and went to sit down to watch TV.... Haaaa...the first hour the timer went off, "ding" and Ooops! un-cooked lasagna.

50 Re: September 2016, Whats for Dinner?? on Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:22 pm

bethk

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Bugster2 wrote:
Question: I am always using large quantities of Parmesan cheese and find the grating exhausting. Do you grate all of your cheese at once and store it in the fridge or grate only what you need? Also what do you use for grating? I use a Microplane and it does a great job but it is tiring.

Bugs, when I need a large amount of grated parmesan I use a store brand. The difference in price is enough that I appreciate the flavor just as much as the 'real' stuff. I can pick up a piece at Publix for a little over $4 and the same size of 'real' Parmesan Regiannio (sp?) is over $15 at Fresh Market. I only buy the real stuff for when I want 'finishing' parmesan on something special. And then I wrap the rest tightly and store it in the freezer. The rinds always go into soup or tomato sauce. I usually use a box grater for a lot as it's quicker for me. I also have a couple microplane type hand graters.

You could always do a grind as Ina does....chunk up a whole piece of Parmesan and drop it into a food processor with the knife blades. Pulse until it's all broken up into small 'grate' size. I don't think I've ever seen her grate it any other way. By the way, she only uses the real thing.

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