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OCTOBER, 2018 - What's cooking for dinner / supper?

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UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:We got home from Hilton Head this afternoon, ended up going out for a sandwich at a Greek place on the square (just took the golf cart....).  Dane had a gyro and fries and I had chicken slovakia (sp?), grilled chicken with lettuce,tomato & onion on pita bread ~ and I asked to have them add some of their basalmic glaze (which is changing their recipe completely!).  Then I empty the pita and just eat the chicken & little salad and tear off chunks of the pita to eat with it.  I'm not a big sandwich fan so I like to re-create my meal.

I do have some pics from a lovely meal we had in Hilton:

Bill had a HUGE wagu beef cheeseburger w/fries, Lyn got a lobster pasta w/pesto cream sauce, Dane had the whole fried snapper w/rice and green beans and I got a kale and roasted beet salad w/basalmic ~ topped with candied pecans, shrimp and fried mozarella.  Needless to say, everyone was happy (and full)!









Wow!.....The meals look awesome!
Glad you all had a great time. I'm glad to see the spinach pasta noodles. I love them. I have to ask Tina to get some for us....

UNCLE JIMMY

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Had some shrimp with crackers and cocktail sauce and butter dip.
DD made the best chili ever. beef / sausage ( hot Italian ) / spices ? cumin, pepper, paprika ...... then she added a minced peeled apple; a cup of sweet corn, and fresh plum peeled tomatoes. All finished in the slow cooker for 4 hours. It was hot / sweet taste. I really liked it....

Then, DD made pumpkin pie from scratch. Baked pumpkin from her pumpkin patch, then seeded and scooped out the flesh. Pureed it in the processor, added spices, and baked it in a pie crust shell. OMG..... it was so good!
She made little 4 inch loaves of pumpkin bread too. Nice

Bugster2

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Grilled tri-tip, actually charred tri-tip. The bbq had a flare-up and charred the outside. A little carbon with your dinner never hurt. I also made a mixed potato gratin - yams and russets, gruyere, parmesan, thyme, garlic, cream. Katie loved it. It was ok. Joe doesn't like yams. Then a made Ina Garten's corn salad and added some zoodles to the mix. There is a chunk of meat left that Joe can have for lunch.

Crybaby

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We roasted a breast of turkey yesterday. I doctored up a box of cornbread stuffing with sautéed onions, celery and garlic. And I didn't have any giblets but I defrosted a couple of smoked turkey necks and tried that new way of making gravy I just saw and talked about here from Cook's Illustrated. I put some chicken stock in with the necks, along with some of the excess fat and skin I'd cut off the turkey breast per the gravy recipe's suggestion, and simmered for about 20 minutes until the liquid completely evaporated.

Then I raised the heat and browned the turkey necks and skin pieces right there in the dry Dutch oven. Added some finely chopped onion, celery and carrot and threw in 2 cloves of smashed garlic, browned those and then added some white wine, low sodium chicken stock and about 1 cup of some of that great batch of homemade chicken stock I had in frozen cubes, along with a couple of fresh thyme sprigs. Once the gravy had cooked a while and tasted perfect, I added a couple of tablespoons of roux I'd made until the gravy was the right consistency.

Not only was the turkey breast delicious but the gravy really did come out really well without any turkey giblets OR drippings. We were both surprised at its depth of flavor considering it had only been made with smoked turkey necks and small pieces of turkey fat and skin.

That recipe would definitely be a great way to make a ton of gravy ahead of time with turkey giblets -- and boy, if you added drippings from a roast turkey, it would be even better. It's kind of hard to "teach" someone to make gravy and but a recipe like this where everything is measured would be a godsend to those hosting their first Thanksgiving or making their first turkey. I think making good gravy is probably something most novice cooks worry about most. I posted the recipe in its entirety in the Meats recipe area.

bethk

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I'm one of those 'lucky' people who doesn't have a problem making gravy ~ I think I inherited the gene from my Grandma.....she could make ANYTHING! But the part about reducing the stock and then letting it create a fond in the pan was really intriguing as it sounds like something you could do for a lot of different sauces.

I've got a pot of marinara sauce on the stove simmering away. It's just a jar of the Trader Joe's Organic marinara with stuff added.....a 6 oz. burger patty (defrosted & broken up), onion, carrot, homemade tomato juice and a couple bay leaves.

I like to add a bunch of stuff to the jarred marinara and then I can freeze the additional sauce and it's ready to go for a quick supper.

I'm going to serve it over baked spaghetti squash for supper tonight.

Bugster2

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You are lucky. No matter what I have done to jarred marinara, it still tastes jarred. It actually takes the same amount of work trying to make the sauce edible as it is to make your own.

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:I'm one of those 'lucky' people who doesn't have a problem making gravy ~ I think I inherited the gene from my Grandma.....she could make ANYTHING!  But the part about reducing the stock and then letting it create a fond in the pan was really intriguing as it sounds like something you could do for a lot of different sauces.


I'm lucky in the gravy department, too, Beth, but I can't tell you how many times I've typed out what I do (I learned to finally save it) when making gravy, most often at Thanksgiving, too.  I couldn't wait to try this method, though, and it really came out tasty for no giblets. I'd never cut up skin to use in poultry gravy either, though I have thrown in turkey fat (or chicken fat) when browning my giblets as there's usually a lot inside the turkey that I pull out before cooking.


Yesterday, I didn't want to make a ton of gravy and I used a Dutch oven per the suggestion, so I just put enough canned low-sodium chicken broth in the pot so that it came up halfway to the large smoked turkey neck pieces I had (one big piece, a nice chunk and two smaller pieces). The neck pieces browned up quite easily too once the broth evaporated and the pot was dry. I used half boxed low-sodium broth to finish it and half frozen homemade unsalted chicken stock from the freezer. When I copied the recipe online, a questioner asked if he should use homemade stock and the magazine's response was save it for something else as this came out really good with the boxed stock. I definitely would use the low-sodium kind, though.


Bugster wrote:You are lucky. No matter what I have done to jarred marinara, it still tastes jarred. It actually takes the same amount of work trying to make the sauce edible as it is to make your own.


We've never found jarred sauce that we liked either, Debbie. I saw recently where someone mentioned Rao's Marinara Sauce online as being really good but I've never seen it in the store. Rao's has a website but the shipping was really high so I didn't order any. Amazon has it, too, but it was outrageously priced there so I didn't get it there either as I didn't want more than one jar to try..  I wondered if Rao's was the brand that Ina Garten uses; I don't have her latest cookbook but saw on a television segment that she mentions in one of her cookbooks, I think the latest one, the brand that she uses. Ninety to one, we tried it already as I'm pretty sure we tried all the "name brand" ones at one time or another since it became a grocery store standard.

Crybaby

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Another interesting tidbit from the latest Cook's Illustrated follows; it was in a section entitled Ten Discoveries That Changed the Way We Cook (the magazine is celebrating its 25th year):


Overcooked Dark Meat Chicken Seems Juicier

Cardinal rule of preparing chicken: Don't overcook it or the meat will be dry and stringy. But while developing a braised chicken thighs recipe in 2015, we realized the dark meat poultry is the exception to the rule. While it is safe to eat at 160°F and moderately tender at 175°F, it tastes exceptionally juicy and tender when cooked to 195°F. That's because it's loaded with connective tissue, which dissolves into gelatin when the meat cooks, rendering it tender and especially juicy. Slowly cooking the meat to 195°F maximizes collagen breakdown so that it's not just tender but downright silky and succulent.


Though I like all poultry, I've always preferred dark meat. (I did learn years ago that it's pretty hard for even the worst cooks to overcook the dark meat on a turkey, which came in really handy when we used to go to my brother's house for the occasional holiday. I thought the above was an interesting "food fact." I know not everyone likes Cook's Illustrated but I love reading "why" something works and why something else might not work -- it's fun applying something you may learn to another dish you make.

bethk

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I've purchased the Rao's brand. I didn't like it at all. It was like $7 a jar.... I'll stick with the Trader Joe's jarred marinara as my base. We like the flavor - but, then again, I use inexpensive store brands without a problem. I guess I don't have a very discerning palette....LOL

bethk

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One of my favorite meals involves cooking chicken thighs "to death" in a foil pan on the grill. They practically poach in their own fat. At the last moment I'll remove them from the pan they cooked in and crisp them up over the hot coals. The meat is so succulent....YUM!

Bugster2

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Out here, Rao's is in the $8.00 range.

Tuna burgers tonight. Tomorrow, IDK. Joe wants to see the latest Halloween movie so we will probably pick up fast food on the way home.

Joe is off to Home Depot. While he is there I want him to ask a nursery lady about a tree growing in the yard. It is producing some kind of something that I can't identify.

I am currently watching a horrific movie called "Threads". It is about a nuclear attack on Britain. I should stop watching it. Too too real.

bethk

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It never ceases to amaze me that Dane refuses to eat spaghetti squash unless it's got marinara poured over the top. I ate a little with the marinara but part of my first serving had just butter (OK, so a LOT of butter) and s&p. My second serving was nothing but the butter & s&p.....one of my favorites!


Bugster2

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I can understand about the spaghetti squash. I would use anything (marinara) to cover up the taste. LOL

UNCLE JIMMY

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I don't know where to start...L u n c h was.....
Liverwurst on Italian low carb bread, and three cookies for dessert.

Supper was cod fish in a wine / butter sauce. Leftover chili that DD made yesterday.Pumpkin Pie with a slash of whipped cream, Ooops, and I forgot asparagus broiled.

bethk

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Jimmy, it sounds like you're adjusting really nicely to your new eating plan. That's great!

So glad you've got all that support from Tina and Maria, with them making you tasty meals that fit in the guidelines you've been given.

bethk

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On the weather this morning they predicted rain in the afternoon so I decided to take a small (trimmed) pork tenderloin out of the freezer. I just seasoned it with the Hungarian Steak Seasoning and browned it in the little 8" cast iron skillet, then finished it off in the oven. I roasted the sliced delicata squash ~ it's got a really tender skin so you don't have to peel it and you can just eat it. Made some green beans seasoned with the Penzey spice blend. Oh, and I fried up a couple apples to go with the pork...






UNCLE JIMMY

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bethk wrote:On the weather this morning they predicted rain in the afternoon so I decided to take a small (trimmed) pork tenderloin out of the freezer.  I just seasoned it with the Hungarian Steak Seasoning and browned it in the little 8" cast iron skillet, then finished it off in the oven.  I roasted the sliced delicata squash ~ it's got a really tender skin so you don't have to peel it and you can just eat it.  Made some green beans seasoned with the Penzey spice blend.  Oh, and I fried up a couple apples to go with the pork...







It looks tasty Beth. That Delicata squash looks good too.

UNCLE JIMMY

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We Had Meatloaf ( beef and pork ) with that squash shredded like spaghetti.

Mashed potatoes and gravy.... A real great treat. All portioned size.

UNCLE JIMMY

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Picture of the tonight's dinner....

Niagara Visitor


I just read some of this thread over again, particularly about tomato sauce.  Gotta tell you honestly............ I have not tasted a home made sauce which was anywhere near as good as most of the jarred sauces that I have used.  All the "really good" home made sauces are thin and watery.  Maybe someone here can give me a recipe that comes close to Neuman's Own?

bethk

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I don't have a good homemade marinara recipe (of course, I seldom use a recipe ~ just toss stuff together and taste as I go.....) but I agree with you.....I use jarred sauce and 'doctor' it up so it tastes like we like it.

Tonight was wings on the grill and sauteed zucchini & onions. Easy.


UNCLE JIMMY

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For marinara sauce, Tina used to use Raggu Brand original flavor / recipe, and add that to 3 or 4 cans ( 16 oz. ) tomato sauce. Then add the salt and spices.
Add a 7 oz. can of tomato paste, and stir and cook it down on low low to reduce.
If bitter, she cuts the acid by adding a pinch or two of baking soda..

I make my marinara sauce with tomato paste, tomato sauce, and add salt and oregano. No other spices. I check for bitterness, and add a pinch or two of baking soda to sweeten it a bit. Sometimes I will add a little sugar. When it reduces and gets thick, then I add one or two spears of garlic; micro planed and stir it in, and shut off the heat after 15 minutes. Now, it is done.

I don't believe in browning the garlic or onions. That's a whole different kind of sauce making.


Tonight, Tina made a small pork roast. Maria made Beef chuck stew. I had stuffing, ( stove top ) and squash curly cuts from the store.

Niagara Visitor


It seems that I am confused about the term "Home made sauce" To me, if it is truly home made, you start with fresh tomatoes, no cans of anything.  I have no problems making a nice thick sauce if I start with cans of sauce and tomato paste. I thought using cans of anything was considered cheating. LOL

It's 4:30 in the morning.............. I can't sleep, have a terrible cold, and am coughing, coughing, coughing.  We have a pot luck supper in the building today, I am the chair of the social committee and sort of run the event.  I'm going to have to delegate.  I bought some salmon to make, I'll take that down but I won't stay.................. don't want to spread my germs throughout the building.

bethk

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So sorry you've got the 'creepin' crud, Lore. Hopefully it will run it's course in a couple days and let you get some rest. Thanks to you not staying at the pot luck we won't be reading about a flu outbreak in Canada on the news!

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It's a kind of dreary day here, been overcast most of the day ~ although our temperatures are lovely in the high 70's. But I don't want to chance having to man the grill with an umbrella in my hand so I've decided to do my chicken thighs on the stovetop and finish them in the oven.

I've got some green beans and a rutabaga to boil up to go along side.

I'm hoping the rutabaga won't react like the 'cauliflower mashed' did with our digestive trac ~ that was awful! But Dane likes to keep his carbs lowered where ever he can. I checked and the boiled rutabaga has about 1/3 the amount of net carbs as boiled potatoes so he's looking forward to a change of pace starch.

They served boiled rutabagas at Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House restaurant we went to in Savannah and that's what made me think it would be something to check out. I can remember my Grandma mashing rutabagas with potatoes, and I don't think I liked it much as a kid. But tastes change and it's on the menu for tonight.

bethk

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Supper was a success.....except I forgot I had made some orange jello/cabbage/carrot/pineapple salad. But that's OK ~ it'll make a wonderful bedtime snack!

Mr. Amazing really liked the rutabagas, although I think I could have let them cook a while longer. They were a bit firm although I let them simmer for a good 45 minutes. I have to say, they were pretty tasty for a change of pace starch. We'll see how it goes with the digestive trac.....hopefully no distress.

I had deboned the chicken thighs and kept them formed with a toothpick. I love the 'brown-in-the-pan-finish-in-the-oven' method. They get browned nicely and all the fat cooks off. And without the bone it was like eating a flavorful chicken breast....love me some dark meat!


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