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Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

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More of the chicken soup last night, plus London Broil, and roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

I'm glad I've rediscovered London Broil. It's made with a relatively inexpensive cut and can still be made rather quickly. The tabasco that James Beard calls for seems to be the secret ingredient, in terms of tenderizing the meat while the broiler heats. (Kosher salt and pepper are the only other two seasonings for the meat.)

I sprinkled za' atar on the vegetables, plus some olive oil, before roasting. I'd had the sprouts for some time and they were pretty bitter, even for me, when I tested them after roasting. My husband is not that fond of them to begin with, so I attempted a quick fix. I whisked together some balsamic vinegar, the dregs of a jug of maple syrup, some honey, and a few squirts of sriracha and dressed the roasted vegetables with that. (I'd roasted the vegetables before switching to broil mode. I seasoned the steak before heating the oven for the roasting part.) The dressing did a good job of evening out the bitterness of the sprouts and was also great with the cauliflower.

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Last night was cheesesteaks and frozen Trader Joe's french fries. The steak was leftover London Broil. The cheese was provolone mixed with the last of some pepper Gouda. Caramelized onions and sauteed green bell pepper, plus pickled banana pepper slices. I used Trader Joe's hoagie rolls.

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BBQ pulled pork sandwiches
Napa cabbage and radicchio slaw
Baked beans

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“Clean out the frig” salad of diced roasted chicken thigh, cubes of mango, cucumber, lettuce, grated Parmesan, chopped salted almonds. Lemon vinaigrette.

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This week was a final focus on turkey- turkey and rice pilaf with a lot of veggies.  Leftover turkey empanadas.  Turkey sandwiches with miso/sriracha broccoli.  Pasta with sausage, butternut squash, spinach, miso butter. 

I have been on a masa/miso kick recently.  

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Oyster stew
Spinach pie (feta, Parmesan, eggs, Merguez sausage, nicoise olives)

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So it's been a while, right?

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1 kg beef
1.5 kg onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped 
2 celery stalks, finely chopped 
100 g pancetta, diced
pinot grigio
4 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. lard

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Melt lard, warm olive oil, sauté vegetables in fats over medium-low heat. Season with salt and black pepper. Then add wine, pancetta and beef.

Ordinarily la genovese is made with a single cut of beef but you can use stew meat as pictured here. It will still taste good.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover. Braise for three hours. Stir every so often and add more liquid - either water or wine as you prefer - if needed. I didn't have to but your experience may be different.

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After three hours, you'll end up with something like this.

If you used a single cut of beef, you can take out the beef and serve that as a separate course. Or shred it and add back to the pot.

The onion sauce is served with pasta...

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...and since I didn't feel like extra work, elected to toss that with some cooked ziti and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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1/2 kg ground pork
1/4 kg ground beef*
30 g freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
60 g dried breadcrumbs
120 ml milk
1 large egg
1 heaping tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley
salt
black pepper

*I used ground chuck as opposed to sirloin.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. You might have to use your hands.

Shape mixture into meatballs using a teaspoon. Place meatballs on a foil- and parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake meatballs for 30 minutes at 175 C. Don't forget to turn them over with a fork at least once during this time to ensure even browning.

For the sauce:

1 heaping tbsp. lard
2 crushed garlic cloves
800 g crushed tomatoes
salt
black pepper
a couple of sprigs of Italian parsley

Melt lard over medium heat. Add garlic cloves. Brown garlic until it smells aromatic, then lift out with a slotted spoon and discard. Add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add meatballs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Partly cover, then braise for 45 minutes.

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Serve as is or with pasta. We prefer them without pasta - they are a meal unto themselves.

PS. If my cooking has changed in 2018, it's probably been a gradual shift to metric measurements.

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For a change of pace and this is something I like to make every so often:

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Polpette in bianco

1/4 kg ground beef
1/2 kg ground pork
25 g fresh breadcrumbs
30 g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 heaping tbsp. minced Italian parsley + extra for garnish
2 eggs
salt
black pepper
fine breadcrumbs, for rolling the meatballs
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
250 ml pinot grigio

Combine beef, pork, fresh breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, keeping mind that the cheese is also salty so you might be a little less generous with the salt. Mix well. You might have to use your hands.

Shape into meatballs using a teaspoon. Roll the meatballs in the fine breadcrumbs, then set aside.

Warm olive oil over medium-low heat in a pan along with some crushed garlic cloves. When the cloves begin to smell aromatic, remove from heat and discard. Add meatballs. Fry until browned on all sides. You may have to work in batches. If so, lift out with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plates.

Once all the meatballs have browned, return to pan or pot, then add wine. Raise heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, then braise for 40-45 minutes. Taste for salt, sprinkle with chopped parsley, then serve immediately.

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You're wonderful, Trelayne, but we'll never be anything unless our members retweet things like this 100 times. Why people don't? I don't know, but it breaks my heart considering I give up my entire life running this website without asking for anything in return.

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Last night I made this vegetarian recipe from the Post for Black Beans and Greens With Avocado and Za'atar. It was pretty quick to make, though not really a mid-December recipe. I bought the cherry tomatoes at Trader Joe's. My husband ate two big servings, with a toasted multigrain English muffin on the side. There was a little of the topping guacamole left, which doesn't keep well. I think I'd just make half of that next time, but since I had the two avocados, I made the whole batch.

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Last night was baked chicken drumsticks, baked sweet potatoes, and a side dish of orzo, roasted tomatoes, peas, feta, and parsley. The chicken and orzo both had a hit of Tabasco too.

Orzo

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Full plate

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A vegetarian stir-fry kind of meal for last night: baby bok choy, tofu, shiitake and button mushrooms, broccoli, and brown rice-millet ramen noodles.

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Last night was angry pig fried rice, with one major caveat- Hubby doesn't really like egg in fried rice, so I omit it.  I mixed sriracha and pork together and sauteed that, then I put some oil in a frying pan, and then added some rice pilaf I had made with zucchini, carrot and celery that was leftover and needed to be used from the fridge.  I tossed in some frozen peas and corn, and some soy sauce and let this cook.  I then topped with the sausage.  

Monday night I made tagliatelle with red sauce.  I chopped some leftover beef that I had really thin and sauteed it with a little onion.  I then added store bought sauce (Rao's) that I doctored and stretched a little bit, with some garlic and olive oil. I forgot to do any prep for tonight's dinner, so not sure what I will end up with... 

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Beef stew with tomatoes, carrots, turnip, pearl onions, and rosemary
Rosemary focaccia from the freezer, toasted and brushed with garlic rosemary butter

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Last night I made manicotti for the first and last time. That pasta is the devil and I understand why they were still available when all the big shells were gone!! Trying to stuff a slippery pasta slug with ever tinier spoons is rather horrifying and messy.  They tasted rich and cozy, especially when served with roasted asparagus and sausages cooked with peppers and eggplant, so at least the effort was worthwhile.  Tonight we had leftovers from yesterday, plus a few more sausages. We like sausages.

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Green salad (napa cabbage, green leaf lettuce, cucumber, and avocado; fig balsamic vinaigrette)
Bucatini in cream sauce (bacon, baby spinach, pearl onions, mushrooms, Parmesan)

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More of the green salad, lobster rolls, and roasted fingerling potatoes with tarragon. I put some tarragon in the lobster meat too, along with a bit of light mayo and some lemon juice. I don't usually deal with lobster, but Whole Foods had a 2 for $12 lobster tails special, and it seemed like a restrained splurge. I used TJ's hot dog buns that are pre-cut through the top.

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Tonight I made tuna tetrazzini for the family.  Mom wanted to double recipe, so we ate the pasta, not baked in a casserole tonight.  I put the rest in a casserole dish and put in the fridge for later.  Contemplating what do with all the left over parm.

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Baked chicken legs
Steamed broccoli and carrots plus leftover sliced fingerling potatoes and pearl onions

This made for a pretty plate.

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Turkey meatloaf
Spicy roasted butternut squash
Wild and brown rice mix

The rice and squash were mixed together for serving. I had seasoned the squash with some red and black pepper blend that I'd had in the pantry quite a while and figured I should use. Unlike other seasonings, this kind really doesn't lose much potency after it's been around a while. Whoa, was that squash spicy:ph34r:. At least I found it really spicy. My husband thought it was fine.

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Last night was more chestnut bisque and lamb pitas, kind of quasi-gyros with filled with ribbons of lamb, yogurt, hummus, and cucumber.

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