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  1. My experience is the opposite. Ever since I watched a Jacques Pepin video in which he demonstrates making leek and potato soup, I've been comfortable dealing with leeks (just search his name and "leeks" on google or youtube -- there is a treasure trove of excellent JP videos in cyber space). As saf said, dealing with the fennel core is a pain. Last night was "Stracotto alla Fiorentina." I've made this simple Italian pot roast many times over the years. It's a homey, comforting dish that even I can't get wrong . The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Pino Luongo's "A Tuscan in th
  2. saf, that's one awesome post and thanks for the pointer to the lasagne recipe -- it sounds really good. Pat, I love fennel but find it hard to cut up (dice or slice). Do you, or anyone else who wishes to chime in, have a technique you can recommend? Or do you just struggle through like me because it's worth it?
  3. Thanks, reedm and KeithA for chiming in. It was lonely out there on pizza dough island. I will definitely look into your recommendations. I did have success, once again, with Anthony Bordain's roast chicken from his Les Halles cookbook. Even I can't mess that one up 😁. That was our Sunday comfort-food dinner and we'll have it reheated tonight. Last night was mediocre Chinese takeout.
  4. Last night: YAPDF. No, not yet-another-digital-document format, but yet-another-pizza-dough fail. My learning curve is, at best, flat. Last time I incorporated too much flour. This time the dough wasn't pliant and I was unable to stretch it to the requisite 12" per pie. I need a pizza dough diagnostic diagram to figure out what went wrong. If you're of a certain age and into cars, something like spark plug reading guidelines -- if it's black, the carbs are too rich; if it's white, too lean🤔
  5. Last night was a simply grilled steak with fresh green beans (they've been so good lately) and left-over spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce from last Sunday's grilled Italian sausages and pasta meal. I used our newish Napoleon gas grill, which produced a nice char (I think our Weber kettle is on the way out, needing replacement. I'm trying to gin up the courage to fork over $$$ for a BGE or equivalent). The steak was a "Delmonico" which I just learned via Wikipedia is ambiguous in the realm of beef cuts. I looked it up because it dawned on me after all these years (slow learner) that the onl
  6. The food was good and comforting. But I will mostly miss Sergio, his family members and crew. They made us feel so welcome. And I loved how they fawned over my wife and daughter, calling them "bella."
  7. Saturday was tacos with leftover carne asada. I had grilled double the usual amount of skirt steak earlier in the week and was happy with how good it was the 2nd time around. I made guac from scratch but settled for salsa rosa from a jar (Green Mountain Gringo is quite decent. It was the winner in a WaPo taste test earlier this year). Sunday was crab cake sandwiches, with Maryland crab from a recent ProFish order, and fresh steamed green beans on the side.
  8. We had takeout Chinese 2 nights ago, so last night I used the leftover rice to make fried rice. Along side was steamed broccoli florets and sautéed cod fillets with garlic, ginger, lemon and butter.
  9. Running out of ideas? That happened a long time ago. I even got push-back yesterday from my favorite person who complained about the "regular rotation" so to speak. I can't blame her. I'm also getting tired of cooking the same things. And I'm surprised that you, Pat, expressed this sentiment. I'm often jealous of the variety of dishes in just one of your meals (those turkey wings sound good). What I need to do is retire and spend some time with the many cookbooks we have. There are several from which I've made only one recipe. And I've got a stack that I've hardly touched, ready for contr
  10. Charcoal-grilled burgers last tonight, on brioche buns from WF. I was going to make a small salad with grape tomatoes but when I opened the box of arugula I'd just purchased Thursday I found quit a bit of it going bad😒, so green beans again. The burgers were a rare treat because we don't eat much red meat.
  11. The photo of the dish on that page is enough to motivate me want to make it. Last night was mediocre take-out sushi -- better than no sushi?🤔 Tonight I was planning to grill hamburgers but then the storms starting rolling through our 'hood just before dinner time. Fortunately, halibut was on sale at whole-paycheck and I scored two nice loin pieces which I prepared with a sauce Grenobloise (ok, lemon-caper-butter sauce -- I don't have many opportunities to use my high school French). Leftover linguini with scallop sauce and steamed fresh green beans rounded out the meal.
  12. I've been reading yet another Andrea Camilleri inspector Montalbano novel which led to a craving for pasta with seafood. So last night was linguine with scallops, red pepper flakes, garlic, Italian parsley and lemon juice. Not bad, but I should have added some lemon zest into the mix, which would have better balanced the flavors. The vegetable was a melange of asparagus, sautéed creminis, and grape tomatoes.
  13. That sounds wonderful. Last night I made 2 margherita pizzas, following the Robert's recipe for dough that was published by the NYT a few years ago. Spinach salad for her, arugula for me. I really shouldn't be allowed near flour. I tried to be careful, but turned the front of my black t-shirt mostly white and I'm still finding flour scattered about in various parts of the kitchen and dining room this morning. The dough turned out ok and I think I know how to improve on it next time. This is only my 4th or 5th attempt over multiple decades so I'm still making rookie mistakes -- need m
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