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My husband made baguettes for the first time so that we could have banh mi and they were fantastic.  We used this recipe and it definitely was a good one: https://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2007/05

Dinner party tonight: Hors D'oeuvre Homemade Cold-Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche, Home-baked Pumpernickel Julia Child's Chicken Liver Mousse [an outrageous recipe--heavy cream, a whole stick of butte

Tonight was vegan night at Casa TrelayneNYC and I'm snacking on some chilled diced pineapple as I type this... The first two pictures are approx. 1 kg of wild and cultivated mushrooms.

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We split some leftovers last night and I made one new thing. Since he's not super fond of seafood, and especially not reheated seafood, I had the remaining squid and shrimp from the paella, while my husband had the rice, topped with red beans and black pepper tofu. He had leftover tortellini soup, while I had the last of the pork chili.

And we both had roasted sweet potatoes with honey and cinnamon, a Tyler Florence recipe I found at the Food Network site. It called for 4 sweet potatoes and I used 3 pretty big ones (the only remaining one I had beyond that was enormous), and I should have scaled back the amount of oil and honey for roasting because it was more than I needed. This was pretty good.

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Salad with tarragon vinaigrette (romaine, napa cabbage, tomato, cucumber)
Leftover tortellini in brodo plus homemade chicken broth and chicken
Leftover veggie tarts + pepperoni
Leftover cheesy cauliflower and ground beef skillet

I had a couple extra skinless boneless chicken thighs beyond what I need for the dish I'm making tonight, so yesterday I poached them and used the broth and chicken to supplement what was left of the tortellini in brodo.

I undersalted the broth a bit but, otherwise, it worked nicely. I had picked up a packet of parsley at TJ's without really looking at it, since I try to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, and it turned out to have a lot yellowed leaves. I washed it all and picked through them and the less optimal leaves went into the poaching liquid, along with a bay leaf, some peppercorns, the last of a chunk of onion and a lonely rib of celery with its leaves left from an old head. Kind of an orphan chicken broth but nothing went to waste, so I felt like I'd accomplished something. (And it made me less angry about not checking the quality of the parsley before throwing it into my cart.)

We also had more of some mini vegetable tarts I'd baked for a previous lunch: Rounds cut from a premade pie crust that had to be used, fitted into the cups of a muffin tin, and filled with sauteed vegetables (onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and spinach) and crumbled feta. For the reheating, I topped the tarts with quartered pepperoni.

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I'm really starting to get the hang of the air fryer oven that I bought and I am very happy that I got it.  My wall ovens have the convection feature, but size-wise for one person cooking, they don't match up well.  I'm actually a little surprised that it has so quickly become a favored appliance.  Last night I made Brussels sprout chips, only took 10 minutes including prep.  Delicious and no hot grease smell permeating the place.

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Tonight we had sauteed chicken thighs, onions, and mushrooms finished with a  balsamic reduction and spinach mashed potatoes. Really good and the potatoes went nicely with the chicken.

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Last night was freezer night. Corn pasta. And of course, salad.

Tonight was creative night. We got 2 produce boxes (1 veg, 1 fruit) from South Mountain this week. I do not love greens, and there was chard. And neither of us had ever had persimmon before. But we did some searching, and found this recipe, and had part of a pork loin in the freezer. Damn, this was good.Also, salad. And rolls. (Why can't I shrink this picture?)

 

pork2.jpg

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Me again.

Last week was my birthday. Usually for our birthdays, we go somewhere fun and eat well, sometimes here. Sometimes New Orleans, or Paris, or...

Didn't happen this year.

My baby brother came down. Long planned, lots of planning to avoid getting folks sick. The rise in cases made us worry, but it was nice weather, so we had an evening outside with friends around the fire pit on my actual birthday, and the next day, the stupid rain came, but it was still warm. So we managed to keep all the windows open the entire time he was here, so that was good. And we ate chili at the fire pit, and french onion soup out of the freezer. But that is not birthday dinner, even though a friend brought birthday cupcakes to the firepit.

So tonight, the boy insisted on buying me a nice dinner. We're not dining inside, and it's too cold to eat outside, IMO. So we thought about Corduroy. Sold out by the time we thought about it. Same for Kinship. We thought about Unconventional Diner and about Le Diplomate. Flipped a coin. Le Dip for dinner tonight, UD sometime soon.

So I have to go write this up in the Le Dip thread, but I also have to say, ohmigawd, I am going to HAVE to make gougers for Thanksgiving. It will only be the 2 of us, but I need to eat a LOT more of these.

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Gougeres sound like a good addition to Thanksgiving. The first time I ever made gougeres they came out great. I've had mixed levels of success in subsequent attempts, but none came out as well as the first.  I guess that's why it's called beginner's luck :D.

I'm once again trying to clear freezer space so last night I finished the bag of shrimp I'd opened recently for paella. I made this recipe, which also finished the last of a clamshell of baby spinach. I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I used both heavy cream and half and half but not the full total amount called for. Served it over linguine with extra grated Parmesan. Very good.

We also had the last of the quick chicken soup I'd made to use a couple thighs and the remaining two veggie/pepperoni tarts.

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37 minutes ago, Pat said:

Gougeres sound like a good addition to Thanksgiving. The first time I ever made gougeres they came out great. I've had mixed levels of success in subsequent attempts, but none came out as well as the first.  I guess that's why it's called beginner's luck :D.

I'm once again trying to clear freezer space so last night I finished the bag of shrimp I'd opened recently for paella. I made this recipe, which also finished the last of a clamshell of baby spinach. I didn't follow the recipe exactly. I used both heavy cream and half and half but not the full total amount called for. Served it over linguine with extra grated Parmesan. Very good.

We also had the last of the quick chicken soup I'd made to use a couple thighs and the remaining two veggie/pepperoni tarts.

My husband has had great success with this gougeres recipe over the years. The only change he makes is that he uses 8oz habanero cheddar instead of listed cheese. 

Fun story: We took them to a family Thanksgiving dinner many years ago and his aunt loved them.  At the time, she threw an annual Christmas Eve dessert buffet.  She made all the treats, you were not allowed to make a thing, and there were no savories to be seen anywhere.  So, we got our invitation and she asked him to make and bring a batch of the gougeres.  We thought this was a bit odd, but loved being invited, so made a batch and brought them with us.  When we met her at the door, she took them and promptly popped them in the fridge, hidden away for her future consumption. :)

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3 hours ago, Pat said:

Gougeres sound like a good addition to Thanksgiving. The first time I ever made gougeres they came out great. I've had mixed levels of success in subsequent attempts, but none came out as well as the first.  I guess that's why it's called beginner's luck :D.

I use Dorie's recipe, and have had great luck with it. I do so love them. Le Diplomate and Central happy hours are among my favorites, because gougers are on the menus.

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I have not tried either of those recipes. Filing away. I know I've tried a Pepin recipe and this one from Aida Mollenkamp, among others. I haven't kept great track, but I think that Mollenkamp recipe on chowhound is the one that came out best.

Last night was a freezer meal:
Chicken vegetable rice soup with dill onion crackers and cottage cheese
Italian chicken sausages
Zucchini lasagna

The soup, sausages, and lasagna were all from a freezer unpacking. The lasagna was only from September, so it was relatively new as far as my freezer scavenging goes. It was good with the sausages. I reheated both in the oven at the same time.

 

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Salad (romaine, Campari tomatoes, feta or blue cheese; vinaigrette)
Lamb shanks with orzo
Leftover honey and cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes

The lamb was an Ina Garten recipe, and--not surprisingly--it was delicious. Highly recommended. I would totally make it again. I had 2 shanks instead of the 4 called for, so I went a little short on many of the other measurements (i.e., 1  1/2 onions, 1 gigantenormous carrot, 2 ribs of celery, and 1 cup each of broth and wine). I went a little scant on the 2 cups of orzo but essentially used the full amount.

We each only ate half a shank and there is a lot of the orzo and tomato mixture left, so a few more meals. I may remove the meat from the bones for that and mix it in. This was fantastic paired with the sweet potatoes, a combination I'm going to try to remember for next time.

 

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We had burgers and hot dogs smoked over hickory last night and leftovers of the same tonight. Plus Utz potato chips. No vegetables other than that. 😂 Last night we also had s'mores with marshmallows roasted over our fire pit.

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Mostly leftovers again tonight, plus I made a quick spicy slaw from some Napa cabbage and carrots. The rest of the meal was leftover shrimp and spinach in cream sauce over linguine and leftover cottage pie. So, that's kind of a pasta course and a meat course and a salad course. Sort of.

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Went to the farmers market yesterday and they had a lot more good looking produce than I was expecting.  I got some fennel, leeks, selection of peppers, honeynut squash and more.  After getting home, I realized that I was going to need fridge space for my grocery order today.  So, I made a gratin using 2 potatoes, the leeks and fennel.  It called for fontina, but I had smoked gouda, so used that instead, and mostly halved the recipe.  It turned out well, but more watery than expected.  I cooked it for a bit longer, but may have to look into that if I repeat the recipe.  We had a package of 2 stuffed chicken breasts in the freezer, so baked those while the gratin was cooking.  I was glad to have them out of the freezer, but don't think we'll buy them again.

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We finally finished off the cottage pie. I also roasted some vegetables and there was more of the spicy slaw.

New Veggies:
Roasted broccoli (evoo, bacon fat, gochugaru & vampire salt; grated hard-boiled egg garnish)
Roasted brussels sprouts (in bacon fat) with bacon and blue cheese; balsamic glaze

There was something really mellow and sweet about the seasoning combo on the broccoli. And there was a decent amount of bacon involved in it all.❤️

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Tonight's dinner was an evolution. I saw this Korean rice cakes recipe and it looked good, but my husband is not a huge fan of gochujang and we had sliced mushrooms and a steak in the fridge. I did the water with dashi powder and got the rice cakes boiling. Sliced the steak up into thin slices and cooked them with the mushrooms slightly.  Made a sauce from chili garlic paste, oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce, sake, and sesame oil.  I added that to the broth that was starting to reduce and after a couple of minutes added the mushrooms and steak, and cooked for about another 4 min. Still closer to soup than sauce, but the umami flavor was fantastic.  I also roasted broccoli stalks for myself and had those with some of the extra sauce.

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Tonight was broccoli pesto pasta, salad, and garlic bread (made with harvest grain bread - Tasty! )  First try on the pasta recipe, and it was surprisingly good. I thought it was interesting, but was uncertain about the mint. Was good. Also got a chance to use a decent quantity of the mint that is attempting to take over the yard.

(The scaredy-cats are having gooshy food. Mehitabel is having treats. I miss Dean's updates on Spot and his pizza dinners.)

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Buttermilk biscuits and butter
Leftover lamb shanks and orzo
Green beans (butter, lemon juice & zest, s & p)
Mashed baked butternut squash

That lamb...wow. Still great. I had blanched a lot of haricots verts (2 lb. Costco bag past its date and showing it) for a recipe I'm making tomorrow. I decided we're not going to eat all of them in one meal anyway, so I quickly finished off some of them in a skillet last night. Got the lemon just right. Adding the bit of zest did it, I think. I should really take the extra minute to do that more often.

The squash we've had sitting on the counter from a South Mountain Creamery delivery for many weeks now. I poked it with a knife tip a few times and put it in the microwave for two 3-minute bursts on high, which basically cooked it. It had to sit for a while until I could handle it, but then I peeled and seeded it, mashed with a little heavy cream and smoked paprika, and put in a ramekin for heating in the oven, along with the lamb and orzo. I sprinkled some Penzey's vanilla sugar and Vietnamese cinnamon over the top and baked for about 20-25 minutes.

The biscuits were Mason-Dixie, an impulse purchase in a Giant order. Not a smart move. I've only bought them at places where I can get them home quickly and they stay solidly frozen before going in the oven. These were still mostly frozen when they arrived, but the box had been banged around until it was twisted like a pretzel, so they were kind of frozen in an odd shape that wouldn't fit in the space I had for them in the freezer. They weren't supposed to be for last night, but I didn't see any better options. By the time I got them into the oven and they baked, everything was off and they didn't rise the way they usually do. They were still nice inside but didn't have the vertical rise and they also kind of burned to the pan. Oh, well. 

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Thanksgiving Dinner:
Cranberry fruit-nut bread
Boulevard's Staff Turkey Breast
Boxed McCormick turkey gravy
Rice Pilaf
Green beans with ginger and garlic
Rainbow chard with raisins and balsamic reduction

This year I learned that it is possible to brine a frozen turkey. I'd ordered a bone-in turkey breast from South Mountain Creamery instead of getting a whole turkey the way I usually do. I've gotten a couple turkey breasts from them over time but never really thought about if they arrived fresh or frozen. Their whole turkeys come fresh.

My plan had been to make a brined breast from a recipe in the second volume of The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook, if the breast was the right size. The recipe called for a half breast, but I didn't want to deal with cutting it myself, and a smaller breast could have been close enough to the right weight (3 - 3 1/2 lbs.). It was going to be in the 4 - 6 lb. range, but I wouldn't know until it arrived exactly how big it was. (Really...I kind of, should have had a Plan B, since it was significantly likely the breast would be too big for the recipe and I'd have to do something else, but I didn't.)

I received a 3 3/4 lb. breast on Tuesday. Perfect. Except it was frozen rock solid like a bowling ball. The frozen poultry I get from these deliveries can take several days to thaw, so I was concerned. Googling taught me, however, that Alton Brown, among others, says you can brine frozen turkey. So, I forged ahead, making the brine Tuesday afternoon, chilling it overnight, and then adding the turkey Wednesday morning.

I'll spare all the details, but it pretty much worked. Some of the outer layer of the turkey absorbed a bit too much brine and was noticeably salty, but this didn't seem too widespread an issue. Mostly the meat was very moist and tasted great. The last time I brined a turkey was years ago and was a whole one, so I can't really compare. I don't know why I was so set on it this year, but anyhow...

My husband doesn't like gravy, so I heated up some boxed for me, given that making gravy from a brined bird was a no-go anyway, or a questionable one. I made pilaf because all his big family meals have it and it's required for Thanksgiving. (Also, it's really good.)

I hadn't made the cranberry bread in a while and missed it. It came out better than my last couple times making it. (I've posted the recipe before and re-linked it in the baking thread, but it's just a standard recipe.)

In the end, despite having blanched all of them, I made a half recipe of the green beans, which were fine, but I guess I expected something more exciting or something🤷‍♀️. I froze the remaining ones, in the spot in the freezer I had reserved for the ill-fated biscuits. Returning balance to the universe.

I sort of followed Ina Garten's recipe for sauteeing the chard and the stems came out more al dente than when I just make it my own way. I used a balsamic reduction because I had it already made, but I think this could have used more vinegar. I didn't want to go too heavy on the reduction because it's so strong. I added raisins because I wanted them and didn't add the Parmesan she calls for. Now I have to find a use for the remaining bunch of rainbow chard I bought. There was no size listed on it when I ordered and I thought one bunch might not be enough. The bunches at Whole Foods tend to be on the smaller size, but these from Giant were huge. (Maybe there's a joke here. Done now.)

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My Thanksgiving dinner for two:

Whole turkey breast, dry brined and then rubbed with garlic herb butter. 

Mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.

Dressing made with hot Italian sausage and lots of celery, onion, herbs, etc.  

Five spice roasted carrots.

Butternut squash pie provided by my guest.

 

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So, Friday was Calo Verde (out of the freezer) with a friend around the fire pit. Also rolls.

Saturday was takeout night (Ethiopian from Letena)

Tonight was leftovers+ casserole. (And, of course, salad) Stuffing on the bottom of the pan. Then blops of chicken, lightly blanched broccoli, the leftover sprouts, sautéed fennel and sweet red peppers, cranberry sauce, covered in cheese sauce and baked. Now, the end of the cranberry curd tart.

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Last night:
Cranberry nut bread
Salad with bacon, tomato, cucumber, pepperoncini, feta or blue cheese; vinaigrette
Leftover orzo, reheated in the oven and topped with Parmesan & parsley
Leftover chard baked with cottage cheese
Steamed broccoli

Tonight:
Cranberry nut bread
Sausage-and cheese-stuffed mushrooms
Leftover turkey reheated in turkey broth
Leftover pilaf
Leftover garlic and ginger green beans

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I marinated bone-in pork chops in chicken stock with chicken grill seasoning, garlic, soy sauce and Sriracha. Took advantage of the glorious Florida weather to cook them on the grill. When they were almost cooked, I brushed on Hunts chipotle cherry barbecue sauce straight from the bottle. Very acceptable sauce. 
Accompanied by potatoes grilled in a foil packet with onions, parsley and olive oil. We threw together a quick salad of Romaine and tomatoes with leftover Caesar dressing.
Very nice meal with old friends, and easy to socially distance down on the patio. 

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Tonight:
Roasted butternut squash salad and warm cider vinaigrette
Campanelle and arrabiata meat sauce

I wasn't sure these two things went together, but they matched up better than I expected. I've been making a lot of Ina Garten recipes lately. I'm not sure why, except they're comfy and reliable. I guess that's reason enough. I basically followed the recipe for the salad except for going light on the olive oil in the dressing and adjusting it with a little extra vinegar. (I used about 1/8 cup of oil instead of 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 extra capfuls of vinegar.) I also didn't dress the salad directly in the serving dish. We added what we wanted to our individual plates.

The pasta came in an NRG order over the summer. I kept thinking I'd make it and never got around to it until tonight. I used a jar of Rao's arrabiata as the base for the sauce. I sweated a small chopped onion and added several chopped large button mushrooms. The meat that went in was the last of the pork sausage I'd previously used to stuff mushrooms and fill an omelette plus some ground beef that just came from Whole Foods; about 2:1 beef to pork. A little red wine went in after the sauce and it all simmered a while. There was some grated Parmesan in there (and more to serve).

Last night was heavy on leftovers:
Leftover mushroom soup
Salad (romaine, Campari tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas; vinaigrette)
Leftover turkey and broth
Thai green curry with chickpeas, chard, beet greens, and green beans; cilantro
Leftover pilaf

The chard curry was from an idea I saw on the Williams-Sonoma website. They described what to do but it wasn't highly precise and I think I misjudged the amount of liquid to add because there was too much. (I used coconut milk and turkey broth but I think it was supposed to be one or the other. I used what was probably a total of 3+ cups.) Anyway, the flavor was good, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the extra liquid left. I used 2 serranos and a jalapeno, so there was a good kick of heat. I had the beet greens so I used them too. Since the green beans already had cooked minced garlic and ginger in them, I chopped the beans up and added all of it to supplement the garlic and ginger that was in the base of the dish. I have a sense of how I'd make this differently next time, because we liked it, but I was kind of feeling my way along.

 

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23 hours ago, naxos said:

Comfort food dinner last night. My Twin Springs produce order included an enormous cabbage and I decided to make stuffed cabbage with a side of mashed potatoes.

 

I also have received a huge amount of cabbage in my CSA the past few weeks. Looks for some good slaw recipes or other recommended uses for big green cabbages.

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10 hours ago, KeithA said:

I also have received a huge amount of cabbage in my CSA the past few weeks. Looks for some good slaw recipes or other recommended uses for big green cabbages.

Molly Stevens' World's Best Braised Cabbage is excellent.

I had a gigantic napa cabbage I'd been working my way through, saw something I thought would be cool to do with it, and then discovered that it started to go bad on the inside🙁. This is what I was going to pull out a cast iron pan and do:

 

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Tonight's dinner was sage and thyme turkey meatballs, simmered for a bit in the leftover turkey gravy until there really wasn't much gravy left. We also had baked potatoes and, in an improvisation that worked real well, creamed spinach heated in a Le Creuset cocotte with leftover stuffed mushrooms nestled into the greens. We also finished the last of the cranberry nut bread.

Last night was mostly leftovers: the remainder of a green salad freshened with clementine segments and vinaigrette; leftover stuffed mushrooms (that batch made a lot!); leftover balsamic rainbow chard with cottage cheese; the last of the rice pilaf; and, a new item: a sheet pan filled with marinated chicken wings, onions, and butternut squash.

 

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Last night was also from the freezer - artichoke pasta. It held up well in the freezer. Also salad. And leftover rolls.

Tonight was leftover Thanksgiving casserole. Also salad. It is now finished. (The casserole, not the salad. Although, I did run out of lettuce so the salad is finished until I get more lettuce.)

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