What’s For Dinner #87 - the Holiday Menu Planning Edition - November 2022

I would advise caution with the pine nuts. I have a cousin who could die if he eats pine nuts, and doesn’t get to a hospital. I was with him when he had a reaction, and it was frightening! Restaurants sometimes add them to food that you wouldn’t expect which is what happened.

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How does that taste? I’ve always been curious to try a whiskey with tonic. Any garnish such as a lime or???

Wulf’s Fish that was mentioned in a few replies above mine.

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With my mom getting older and not being able to make it to HK the last few years due to Covid, we haven’t been able to stock up on these old school favorites like the stock fish, or even 海味 (various dried seafoods) in general. It’s one of my favorite congees. :smiling_face_with_tear:

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I used to drink VO and ginger ale. It was my way of introducing brown liquor back into my life after a youthful indiscretion. A B&T is similar, but more “bourbony”. I use orange peel or wedge/slice. I’m sure you have bourbon and tonic, give it a try.


Last night’s dinner was a group meal with NYC and visiting Onions, back at Wu’s in Chinatown.

A few days ago, I turned the last bit of ricotta left from last week’s baking into ricotta polpette / gnudi of sorts poached in vodka sauce.

The sauce was fabulous – I think I might turn the rest into butter chicken gravy (potentially for a dip on Thanksgiving… let’s see).


Sorry to hear about your cousin! But I’m not allergic like that. Just get the annoying metallic taste in my mouth that lasts for several days.

And you would think that restaurants would be aware of nut allergies, and note that pine nuts were in/on the food being served!


Reminder that the 2022 Thanksgiving thread is underway – jump over for musings, prep, sharing, venting, ideas, laughs, and all the rest!


The Butter Chicken looks awesome!! :yum: :+1: :ok_hand:

How do you feel about cascatelli as a pasta shape?

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That was just the vodka sauce :joy:

Still need to add stuff to nudge the flavor profile to butter chicken… maybe tomorrow.


IMHO, the BEST value Chirashi in town…Toppings of 2 Botan Ebi, Uni, Ikura, Hamichi, Scallops, Tako, Tuna…etc for under $20 a bowl!!


It was nice enough. My husband slightly overcooked it and the outer ridges fell off as it was tossed. I wouldn’t say it was superior to other pastas I’ve enjoyed.

That looks excellent!

I made cider-brined herbed roasted chicken with a savory-sweet sauce of reduced cider, grainy mustard, Worcestershire, butter, soy sauce, and Urfa pepper. Sides were lemon oil CSA broccolini, a salad of CSA mizuna and lettuce in a tangy-sweet balsamic vinaigrette, dried cherries, toasted pecans, and a local cheese, and Italian grain blend steamed in chicken broth with Parm Regg rinds. Everything turned out nicely, and I enjoyed puttering around in my PJs winging a fall meal.


Made a big pot of meat sauce to feed my freezer. So it would be a shame not to use some in today’s meal, right?

Baked penne, crusty buttered roll, and a small salad (not pictured). There was wine!


Improvised 2nd course - Fried Botan Ebi heads!!..OMG! Sooooo good!!


Two recipes from The Woks of Life - Cantonese Steamed Fish and Stir Fried Pea Tips (I added mushrooms).

This is some of the best fish I’ve ever eaten. Very proud of myself for nailing the doneness on the steaming!

Leftover pea tendrils, mushrooms, and rice to bring to work for lunch tomorrow, too!


I made a Kenji lasagne recipe as a trial for a holiday party. It was many hours of work, as the comments correctly prepared me for, and the results were very good, but one thing perplexed me. One component of the lasagne was a besciamella where grated mozzerella was whisked into a hot thickened milk mixture. The cheese wouldn’t really melt; I had to switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon, and then started using a fork to press the lumps of cheese into smaller lumps in the hopes they would melt.

I didn’t splurge on the mozz so it was supermarket quality - was that my mistake?


Was it pre-grated? If so, probably a combo of low moisture and added starch. Also, was it regular mozz or fresh? Fresh mozzarella doesn’t melt well at all - for this application you really need whole milk, “aged” aka regular mozzarella, grated from a large block. IMO Polly-O is the best of the supermarket brands (at least the ones I can easily find near NYC).

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