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Crown Roast of Berkshire Pork Ribs with Homemade Stuffing:

That looks great. I love crown roast of pork. That used to be a special holiday dish my mother made on occasion when I was very young. I did it one Christmas.

Last night was leftovers: more salad, mashed potatoes (with the addition of a tiny amount of blue cheese for the reheating), and basil salmon - plus scrambled eggs to go with the salmon.

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Red Kuri Kabocha from Garner's, baked and mashed w/hon wasabi, grated ginger, butter, heavy cream, hard spice blend {Ceylon cinnamon, allspice, clove, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, black cumin} mashed and then rebaked

Negroni Spin on a spin up above: Strawberry Tequila, 1/2 Luxardo Maraschino, 1/2 Suze, Dolin Dry, Bitter Truth lemon, Bitter Truth celery & Peychaud's Whiskey Barrel bitters. Touch on the sweet side as compared to when it was made with old granddad. Without the celery bitters, it was quite sweet. With the apparent sweetness is cut way back. The tequila itself has a hint of strawberry flavor but no sweetness.

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Left over vegetable soup w/beans. 

Cocktail:

Dean's Gold: Bombay sapphire, Luxardo Aperitivo Italiano {Aperol style,} Capitoline Dry Vermouth, Bitter Truth lemon & angoustera orange

Negroni: Broker's Gin {perhaps too bold for this one,} Luxardo Bitter {Campari style,} Capotoline Dry, Jerry Thomas bitters.

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I keep trying to like whole wheat pasta, but I just don't. The only exception* is (for some reason I cannot explain) whole wheat linguine with any kind of "white" sauce -- butter or olive oil-based. Otherwise, it just tastes like wet cardboard (or what I imagine wet cardboard would taste like).

Yesterday I unearthed a 16 oz. box of whole wheat penne in the cupboard that is only 2 years past its best by date. Not wanting rancid cardboard, I debated tossing it. Instead I decided to cook it, while making a flavorful sauce that could go on a quickly cooked batch of regular penne if the whole wheat tasted even worse than usual. I cooked it up and it was its usual 😖, so I went ahead. I put the drained pasta back in the pot and coated with olive oil. When it cooled a bit, I added some half and half and mixed that in too.

Meanwhile, I made the sauce, which was of the kitchen sink variety. It had veggies: shallot, garlic, celery, green bell pepper, zucchini, tomato (fresh and sun-dried, plus tomato paste). It had liquid: chicken broth, pasta water, and half and half. It had strong seasoning: black pepper, red pepper flakes, capers, green olives, plus an herb paste (parsley, basil, and oregano) from a tube. And it had cheese: mozzarella and Parmesan. I didn't add much salt because of the capers and olives. I let the sauce simmer for a while, and then added the pasta and let it all sit covered for a while to meld.

It tasted pretty good; that is, I could barely taste the pasta. I think that's the last of the whole wheat pasta...unless I unearth more.

 

*Whole wheat orzo and couscous are also okay.

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Beer and cheese soup garnished with additional cheese and crumbled bacon
Gem lettuce, cucumber, radish, and tomato with mustard - red wine vinaigrette
Leftover chicken legs
Leftover roasted cauliflower

The beer and cheese soup is an old, old Frugal Gourmet recipe I used to make. I have an open large format IPA open and sitting in the refrigerator that is not really to my taste and has to be used for something. Amazingly, the beer was still not flat after several days of being open and recorked. In fact, it had so much energy, it popped the cork back off! It was sitting there wide open in the refrigerator when I went to retrieve it and still foamed like crazy when poured. I digress.

I can't recall if I used to make the recipe exactly as written or not. I deviated a little this time but not that much. The cheese didn't melt properly. (The recipe called for adding it with flour, which I don't know if I used to do before, but I did it this time, and it didn't work out.) The flavor had a strong kick/bite/sharpness on the back end that was almost bitter. It might have been the IPA, though it had been well cooked down. I think I used to use lager for this. I also added a bit too much tabasco, which surely accounted for some of it. I tinkered and tinkered and finally got the flavor smoother, but you still couldn't tell it had cheese in it.

I never took notes on this recipe when I used to make it, so I'm not even sure how well it came out then. The only thing I do recall is that I used to add the optional sliced sausage at the end (which I didn't do this time). I believe this was its finale performance. And it didn't use all the IPA either...

 

 

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Savory Bread pudding w/guanciale, onion, beech mushroom, fontina, asiago, herbs, cream, eggs and parm. Forgot about it in the oven and it got a tiny but crispy so we poured milk and half and half over it and let it soak for a couple of hours. Turne out decadent as AF.

Cocktail: Brokers, Capitoline dry, Bittermans orange cream citrate & Bitter Truth lemon bitters. Olives. 2 of them. Martinis that is. It was 8 very small olives.

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Salad of red frisee, gem lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish; sesame soy ginger vinaigrette (TJ's)
Sesame-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Wilted Greens (Marc Murphy recipe from the Food Network app)
Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash (Real Simple website)

I was looking for some kind of grain dish to go with the lamb and greens (which was escarole with garlic, golden raisins, and toasted pine nuts) and came across the barley squash risotto recipe. It was excellent. I didn't have the baby spinach it called for but figured it would have been redundant anyway with two types of lettuce and escarole already in the meal.

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We have had a hectic time of it.  Between trials, being sick with the crud, Christmas parties and events, and just being dead tired from all that said activity, cooking has been more of a what do I need to use from the fridge.  We also have had my friend staying with us while her floors are replaced, and she is Keto, so juggling Keto, WW, and me being lactose intolerant has been interesting. I wouldn't recommend it for normal households.

Last night friend was gone and we had ground beef and venison tacos, with sauteed portabellos, bell peppers and onion, lettuce, tomato, salsa and grated gruyere because I had no cheddar to speak of. 

The night before was peppers stuffed with eggplant, mozz, leek, tomato sauce and italian sausage (yikes hot pork sausage is a huge amount of WW points).  I broiled some potatoes that had been boiled with butter until they were nice and crisp.

Last week I made beef mole in the instant pot with the last of the mole paste.  Hubby ate that with mashed potatoes and spinach.  I ate it over mashed cauliflower.  We had a side of shishito peppers.  

I know I have made other things, but I have no idea what. 

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Chopped tomato and avocado with lime juice and olive oil
Roasted marinated pork tenderloin
Coconut rice
Steamed broccoli
Leftover peanut sauce
Whole wheat naan

I used more of the open IPA (still somewhat fizzy) in the marinade for the pork, along with garlic, whole grain mustard, Dijon, horseradish and sour cherry jam.
 

Edited by Pat
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2 chicken bonjiri from chickens I spatchcocked and am dry brining.

Little neck clams and maine mussels w/garlic & herbs

Bone marrow from veal bones I am roasting for stock. {Randall lineback veak knuckles and marrow bones, plus two heads, necks, 4 feet from afire mentioned chicken}

Asian Pear w/ wisconsin sheep, goat, cow blue from Hooks dairy.

Grappa negroni w/Caffo unaged grappa, Luxardo Aperitivo Italiano {Luxardo's aperol} Capitoline dry, Paychaud's & Biterman's orange cream citrate bitters. A real winner.

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Leftover beef stew
Pasta rags with roasted butternut squash, Gruyere and Parmesan

We've been overflowing with butternut squash and sweet potatoes lately. I roasted the squash last night with rubbed sage, fresh thyme, s+ p, evoo, honey, and pumpkin pie spice. It smelled heavenly while it was cooking. The herbs and spices seemed like a good warm combination to go with the pasta.

I had a zip-lock in which I'd been storing broken lasagna pieces, ones that were too oddly shaped for a proper lasagna, and I broke them into rough pieces and boiled in salted water. It took 15+ minutes to get them al dente. Since I'm usually cooking them further so don't boil the full time, and these were smaller pieces than intact noodles, I was a little surprised at how long it took get them fully cooked.  After I drained the pasta, I put it back in the pot with a few pats of butter to coat. I then added the squash and its residual oil from the pan and also the gruyere, tossed, and let it all melt together. Served with Parmesan over the top.

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2 hours ago, dcandohio said:

I am in New Orleans, and Mom, who is 88, wants an oyster feast on Christmas Eve. So...

Prosecco

Oyster soup, oyster dressing and oyster spread on baguette toasts. Plus a romaine salad. It’s a carb heavy meal without a traditional main, but we don’t care. 

That sounds wonderful. The romaine neutralizes all the carbs😁.

I hope you and your mother enjoy your feast.

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4 hours ago, dcandohio said:

I am in New Orleans, and Mom, who is 88, wants an oyster feast on Christmas Eve. So...

Prosecco

Oyster soup, oyster dressing and oyster spread on baguette toasts. Plus a romaine salad. It’s a carb heavy meal without a traditional main, but we don’t care. 

Each dish begins with the word oyster which is almost all protein. You're good. 

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Gotta brag about dinner. I did a very lazy version of one of Julia Child's lamb shank recipes and it was fabulous. Basically I browned two lamb shanks in some bacon fat. Cooked some onions and carrots in that pot. Put in about half pinot and half beef broth, some green dried herbs (doubt it matters), and two hours later, reduced the broth, cut the meat from the bone and yum. Served over egg noodles and frozen peas (heated) on the side. Daughter, 6, wanted to drink the sauce like soup and did have her peas frozen. (I like to pick my battles)

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Christmas Dinner:

Garlic Bread
Salad of Napa Cabbage, Red Frisee, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Radishes, Roasted Baby Red Beets, and Avocado; Mustard - Red Wine Vinaigrette
Sous Vide Prime Rib
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter
Gingered Green Beans

We were too full to have the ice cream sandwiches planned for dessert 😮.

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Broke in our new to us used rice cooker {$10 on craigslist but no measuring cup} messing up the proportions but in any case, rice and mak kimchi.

Seared dry sea scallops marinated in the last of my first batch of shio kiji & a drop of tamari. The shio koji causes the proteins of the scallops to break down to sugars causing them to almost blacken. Next time less fire on the griddle. Squeeze of fresh lime, a few drops persimmon-su vinegar, a few drops of golden sesame oil.

Gibson: 2 oz Uncle Val's restorative gin, 1.5 oz Dolin Dry, 5 small pickled onions. 2 dashes Paychaud's Aromatic bitters and 4 dashes Angostura orange bitters {no where as much as it sounds, the dasher on the Angostura orange is quite stingy, there is more Peychaud's than Angostura. 

On my second Gibson. Unlikely to post again tonight!

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Lunch: Cold roast chicken w/herbs, homemade fermented hot sauces, tomatillo salsa, home fermented sauerkraut.

Dinner Crudite & crackers w/tzaktziki, mint salsa verde

We have on of these. It makes for a great grill for using in the house as our rules here at the abode do not allow for grilling on the balcony. The disovery tonight is how freaking good seafood is on the Iwatani.

Shrimp sprinkled with Dino's silk road spices, Squid {skin on, tentacles separated from whole sacs} and Mahi Mahi sprinkled with black pepper and black cumin. We dipped allin either persimmon-su, temari & sesame oil, or ponzu. The best fish/seafood we have had in a long while!

Bananas

Gibson {3}: 2 oz Brokers, 1.5 oz Dolin, 2 dashes Peychaud's original bitters, 4 Dashes Angostura orange bitters , really good cocktail onions. Same as last night except brokers for Uncle Val's Restorative. Next one will be Green Hat Gibson. 

Green Hat is too citrusy and not junper-y enough.

The lengths I go to illuminate questions like the best gibson. Bombay is too bombastic.

Right now, I'd choose between Uncle Val's Restorative or Brokers. I have yet to try my bitters blend with Hendrick's. But I feel confident from a lot of experimentation that 2 oz gin, 1.5 oz Dolin vermouth and 2 dashes Peychaud's and 4 dashes Angostura orange is the secret to a great martini. 

I'm ripped to the whatevers. Have a wonderful night!

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Steak and cheese sandwiches with pesto and caramelized onions
Baked penne

I bought some ciabatta rolls at TJ's and used them to make small steak sandwiches with thinly sliced leftover prime rib (each sandwich had 2 slices at 1.5 oz. each), pre-sliced swiss cheese, and onions that took a good long time caramelizing (2 - 2 1/2 hours). I spread a little pesto on each piece of bread before layering and finished everything under the broiler. The onions really made the sandwiches. They were worth the investment of time.

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On 12/26/2019 at 9:21 PM, deangold said:
14 hours ago, deangold said:

 

Gibson {3}: 2 oz Brokers, 1.5 oz Dolin, 2 dashes Peychaud's original bitters, 4 Dashes Angostura orange bitters , really good cocktail onions. Same as last night except brokers for Uncle Val's Restorative. Next one will be Green Hat Gibson. 

Green Hat is too citrusy and not junper-y enough.

The lengths I go to illuminate questions like the best gibson. Bombay is too bombastic.

Right now, I'd choose between Uncle Val's Restorative or Brokers. I have yet to try my bitters blend with Hendrick's. But I feel confident from a lot of experimentation that 2 oz gin, 1.5 oz Dolin vermouth and 2 dashes Peychaud's and 4 dashes Angostura orange is the secret to a great martini. 

I'm ripped to the whatevers. Have a wonderful night!

On my second Gibson. Unlikely to post again tonight!

I had 2 martini's the other evening.  I was out, not at home.  Totally ripped.  Can't do that anymore.  In fact haven't done that in over a decade.  One would think I would have  learned.  

For the life of me I can't recall the gins.

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6 hours ago, DaveO said:

I had 2 martini's the other evening.  I was out, not at home.  Totally ripped.  Can't do that anymore.  In fact haven't done that in over a decade.  One would think I would have  learned.  

For the life of me I can't recall the gins.

It is like riding a bicycle.

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I was chipper today! Went to Huntsman and picked up stock makings. Put on 15 quarts brown veal stock from Randall Lineback veal, Chapel Hill Farms. Browning in the oven 5 sets of bones, neck, hear & feet from Amish chicken for brown chicken stock. Have 10 boneless breasts, 10 boneless thighs, 10 wings, 5 bongigi and 10 legs ready to freeze, but I will wait for the 3 more chicken for white stock. 

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