What's for Dinner #103 - the Extra 24 Hours Month Edition - February 2024

We enjoyed another outstanding dinner at Drew’s in Keyport, NJ, including an awesome scallop Rockefeller; BBQ shrimp; sautéed escargot with Benton’s ham, gorgonzola cheese, white wine garlic butter; Cajun jalapeno and garlic meatballs with chipotle cheese grits and gumbo gravy; Mardi Gras pasta with Andouille sausage, chicken, crawfish, spinach, and Cajun parmesan cream, with cavatelli pasta; Nashville chicken with crispy fries. It all went great with an excellent red blend and Zinfandel.


I find these in the local Whole Foods bakery. Rumor is that Angel (NJ area) send the dough out and WF bakes them fresh. Not sure how true that is, but the pitas are worth the trip.


Thanks for the link to the spaghetti recipe - that looks right up our alley.

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Yes, WF is the only place I’ve seen it. Not fresh-baked but in an Angel-branded bag - there usually only a couple of bags. K

There’s a new grocery store closer, going to see if they have it when I stop by.

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Chicken with mushroom purée from Bon Appétit last night, or at least that was my intention. I made the purée basically as written but used half and half instead of heavy cream, and I think the result was a bit looser than intended. I poured some onto my chicken as a sauce and used some to sauce spaghetti. It was fine in both applications but nothing special - definitely needed an acidic component to perk it up. I considered adding wine during the reduction step but decided not to, just to see if this recipe was somehow more than the sum of its parts…but it wasn’t.


Those ribs look great!
Do you have any outdoor/patio space? I use an electric smoker with great results. It uses a minimal amount of wood chips and since there’s no open flame it’s safer for small, more enclosed spaces. I know some people use them in their garages ( door open) when it’s raining.

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I’m making Carmine’s pasta pomodoro tonight. Mixed green salad with a citrus vinaigrette on the side.


A buzz buzz busy weekend with not much time spent in the kitchen.

Friday was a snacky ‘meal’ at my friend’s 40th bday party at a local speakeasy, for which she’d made a STO very good hummus, had a few veg plates out (not one person touched the peppers WTH??), and cheese and charcuterie.

Yesterday was our weekly poker game a buddy hosted, and for which we ordered Sichuan delivery – Chongqing chicken, bok choy & shiitake, silken tofu and fish in hot chili oil, house special ho fun, Singapore noodz, fried rice…. I think that’s all. No pics, too busy eating, drinking, playing, and possibly winning. Who knows at this point? :upside_down_face:

Plans to make my PIC cook a new recipe were shelved until tomorrow – I still convinced him to make one of my favorite dishes he’s perfected: the fairly basic yet always delicious NYT recipe for stir-fried bok choy. He adds a fiery Sichuan chili sauce to it & I crave it regularly.

My only job tonight will be to inaugurate our spiffy new bamboo steamer with an assortment of dumplings – har gow, seafood & something, and pork, shrimp & asparagus.

That way I can fulfill my annual duty of commenting on & rating the red carpet event for the Grammy :partying_face:


Pork tenderloin seasoned with olive oil and liberally covered with Penzeys’ Tsardust Memories seasoning blend, then roasted at 350° until done.

Served on maple-ginger mashed sweet potatoes with Plum Ketchup on top, and a sauté of green beans, red bell peppers and onions with Penzeys’ Tuscan Sunset herb blend and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper, since Penzeys removed it from the mix.



Last night we were absolutely honored to attend a friends and family gathering held by the owner of out local sushi bar for the Lunar New Year. There was lots of food, merriment, and karaoke! I pretty much needed to be rolled home. Here’s a picture of the spread that awaited us when we arrived:

And this was before the lobster, crab, and shrimp hit the table! So much food and so much fun!

Tonight I made pozole verde, mostly adapted from Rick Bayless’s Authentic Mexican. I wrote it up for the COTQ thread here. My version includes a ham hock, because this is absolutely braised ham hock weather! There’s also some shrimp. Lots of leftovers for tomorrow and possibly Tuesday!


Those feasts are so lavish! I still remember a Lunar Year celebration from almost 10 years ago. The restaurant owner at a place where we were regulars pulled out all the stops. I’ll never forget the whole chili crab we had. The duck tongues were a little strange…


The roast duck on the table was fantastic (but no tongues!)! Frankie really outdid himself last night; I am going to be thinking about this meal for a while!


Dinnah. The bok choy hit all the spots :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:, and we had just enough dumplings from open bags to make a meal of them. The har gow are still our favorite.

And now we wait for the next epi of True Detective followed by CURB :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:


We enjoyed a nice dinner at Laboratorio Kitchen in Montclair, NJ, including the highlight of the night, an awesome Yellowfin tuna crudo with kumquat, serrano chili, capers, shallots, citrus vinaigrette; NY strip steak au poivre; Grilled black sea bass with sauteed spinach, corn, cherry tomatoes, haricot vert, tomato beurre blanc; Shaved fennel and heirloom orange salad with Moroccan olives, mint, citrus dressing, ricotta salata cheese; ravioli with ricotta, pecorino, vodka sauce, crispy spinach,jumbo lump crab. It all went great with a couple of excellent cabernets.


I think those of us doing most of the cooking for our families can relate. I like my cooking, but I get sick of some of my flavor profiles. Especially braises, soups, and wintery foods I get tired of.


We had our good friends and their kiddos over for an afternoon playdate and dinner. To start, homemade pistachio white bean dip with pita chips and crudités, dill dip, Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, giant whole dates, and spanakopita fom frozen (not pictured). Main of grilled pork souvlaki, pillowy naan, homemade tzatziki, Fasolakia Lathera (Greek green beans braised in olive oil and tomato with potatoes), and Horiatiki. Wine – probably too much after Dry January. Friend made tahini chocolate chip cookies from NYT (unexpectedly crispy rather than chewy) and brought hummus her kids like.


Brown dinner alert: Made Smitten Kitten’s French onion baked lentils and farro - Amazingly Delicious! like a chewy French onion soup. I added maybe a little too much fino sherry (kept adding it as liquid to soften the grains instead of water) but it was still fantastic. I halved the recipe, used black caviar lentils, and added a little red wine, but otherwise followed the recipe. I’d add a little more liquid next time before serving, and i guess I could have broiled it longer to brown the cheese, but it was otherwise perfect. We both went back for seconds.


That is a gorgeous tortilla!

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Leftovers again. Old school tacos with ground beef taco mixture. I was out of cheddar, so Velveeta it was. Unseen but on the plate: homemade refries.