What’s For Dinner #41 - 1/2019 - Clean Slate - New Plate Edition!


(Jimmy ) #101

Looks gorgeous!

(ChristinaM) #102

Yum, wow

(John Hartley) #103

Cheat’s chowder - a recipe from Nigel Slater:-

Smoked haddock, spring onions, double cream, big tin of sweetcorn, parsley. New potatoes (tossed in butter) or bread as the carb.


Having crazy yo-yo weather here. New Years Day was in the 70’s! Last few days were dark, cold and rainy. So I made brisket last night for my dinner tonight. Just to wake up to a warm sunny day and find forsythia in bloom! Which is a good month early for my area. Crazy! My Lenten Roses haven’t even bloomed yet…

I make brisket perhaps once a year so haven’t really found my “forever” recipe. This one had onions, garlic, mushrooms and tinned tomatoes. Seasoned with paprika, bay, thyme and marjoram. Liquids of mushroom soaking water, chicken broth and vermouth from deglazing the pan. In last nights taste the tomato and marjoram seemed too strong. Hopefully things have mellowed and melded nicely over night!

So tonight is brisket and gravy over mashed potatoes. Side of roasted carrots and blistered green beans. Brisket will reappear over polenta*, on sandwiches and probably as hash. (*Spell check thinks tadpole should be subbed for polenta!)

(ChristinaM) #105

Mojo criollo pulled pork with confetti slaw, rice cooked with olive oil and salt, guac, and hopefully eventually pinto beans if I can ever get them to finish cooking (from dried) in the Instant Pot.


Ah, I hope you (or anyone else that has found their forever recipe) shares when they find it! No matter how careful I am about it, it always seizes up and turns into a stringy, tough mess. I usually end up repurposing it into other dishes since I just can’t bear to serve anything like the shoe leather I produce.


I admit due to crazy work schedules I have ended up with crazier, worse combinations than that in the name of health, so no judgments here. Just curious, do you end up steaming the veg for ease or preference? My default is oven roasting (when I actually have time), since steamed cauliflower and others always end up as mush, but maybe I’m just doing it wrong…


A Mom weekend, with visits on both days.

Yesterday was a big pot of meat sauce so dinner was sketti, sauce, crusty bread, and a quick salad. I watched “Wonder” on Amazon Prime. Very good movie.

Tonight was a roasted chicken with a butter, thyme, rosemary and lemon zest mixture tucked under the skin an what ended up being a great gravy.

Sides were mashed potatoes and sauteed carrots, corn, peas, and red bell pepper with Penzeys’ Fox Point seasoning.

Wine. Because tomorrow…work.


The chicken looks delicious, and your house must have smelled wonderful!
By the way, I’m a school librarian, and many of my students said they liked Wonder, the book, better than Wonder, the movie. I didn’t see the movie, but I loved the book. You may want to give it a try…


I’ve been making my grandmother’s brisket for 40+ years, and it always turns out great. Hers did too, and she really wasn’t much of a cook. Here’s her recipe.
Make this the day before you plan to serve it.

1 5 -6 lb. brisket (a nice one – not too lean, not too fatty)
Salt, pepper, paprika
2 onions chopped
1 lb. bag baby carrots or 1 lb. carrots, chopped
Ketchup (the secret ingredient - Heinz only please)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Oil a large baking/ roasting pan.
Sprinkle onions and carrots in the pan to make a bed for the meat.
Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Season meat with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides and lay in the pan, fat side up.
Spread a liberal amount of ketchup on top of meat.
Cover (lid or foil) and cook for 4 1/2 hours.

Uncover and let cool.
Refrigerate until the next day.
Take meat out and slice into nice thick slices AGAINST THE GRAIN. If you slice it with the grain, you’ll end up with shoelaces.
Remove solidified fat from gravy.
Reheat sliced brisket in the gravy. You can serve the carrots and onions as a side dish.

Hope this helps!

(ChristinaM) #111


Pickled isn’t the same as fermented, the ferment uses much less salt. But there’s lots of ways to use a pickle brine , i like a bit in salad dressing instead of vinegar.


I much prefer roasted veggies, but the oven in my rental is a piece of crap and involves blowing on the pilot light while turning it on to get it to light (epic saga with landlord who is a nightmare) so i just don’t use my oven much at all. That said i did use it tonight!
I like veg steamed yet still al dente, so they’re more “crisp tender” than soft


I finished my jar of purchased vegan kimchi and just couldn’t bring myself to pay so much for another jar since i can make an epic ton for about the same cost… so new batch of white kimchi started today! I couldn’t find my cut proof glove for the mandolin so the veggies for stuffing between leaves were a little too thick since i used my knife for most of it. Photo was half the batch (!) and before adding the broth/brine

@ChristinaM ‘s comment the other reminded me it’s been too long since i made smacked cucumbers, so i did some of those for dinner

I roasted the remaining zucchi with a bit of soy and sesame oil

And another round of Lazy Girl Tofu that was less hideous since i had an extra scallion leftover from kimchi that i added on top

Kombucha a la carte. Probably an apple and nut butter with my tea later

(Jimmy ) #115

Sunday salad with pulled chicken & button mushrooms

Plus drop biscuits. With butter.


Pizza night out Friday, @Popine in the 20th. Both pizza were good.

Pancetta provola

Rotolino - the pizza roll consisted of mozzarella, bresaola bedogni, parmesan

Broth made from the remains of langouste / crayfish of new year, with star anise, cinnamon, ginger, onion and leek became a shrimp pho. Mint and aneth were never seen in a Vietnam to accompany the noodles, but the shop near our home doesn’t carry those herbs…so we adapted. Cilantro was a classic.

Last night was split peas with sausages, finished with pineapples, mint, lemon vinegar, sprayed with brandy. Not sure if brandy was doing anything much there, too mild, but was good.

(ChristinaM) #117

I realize dried beans are a bit temperamental, but Instant Pot recommends 25-30 minutes at high pressure. Mine were still crunchy after 38 minutes with quick release. I had to cook them another 10, for a total of 48 minutes, plus natural release the second time for them to be creamy. Kind of irritating.

(John Hartley) #118

Upcoming - sirloin steak. Which means Mrs H is cooking, as I cannot cook steak properly, even if my life depended on it. Cauliflower cheese and saute spuds to accompany. There’s mandarin cheesecake to finish off for dessert (from the supermarket’s frozen section - frankly it isnt very good - base is poor, cheese layer isnt as rich as it should be and the topping isnt really citrussy - a less frugal couple would through it in the bin)


Great that the cooking is shared between you and Mrs H. These days when Mister cooks (as frequent as the full moon), it is to cook food he adores.

(John Hartley) #120

Before she retired, Mrs H was part of a Europe-wide team which meant she travelled quite frequently. Which meant I got to cook for myself the things I love but she doesnt. Nowadays, we cook together most nights but there are some days when she cooks alone for both of us and others when I do.