What's for Dinner #28 - 12/2017 - The Whatever Holiday Edition

Yesterday afternoon was lentil soup day! I have a new “trick” where i deglaze the pan after my mirepoix in olive oil has completely wilted and shrank down and starts to get browned and stick to the pan then i add a bottle of pale ale beer! There’s also tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, a splash of soy sauce, vegetable better than bullion, diced canned tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, spinach, green beans, little black beluga lentils, and… dunno what else…
that will actually be dinner tonight since it’s better the next day. There will probably sour cream on top for mom and dad and i’ll dribble everyone’s bowl with some red wine vinegar. My sister and nephew are coming over as well and i’ll make us a green salad with whatever i find in the fridge.
Forgot to take a photo while cooking, here’s a terrible one of it in tupperware now

Last night i actually met a very old friend who got in touch with me for the first time in more than a decade (!) dinner was basically some semi stale chips at the dive bar we went to (with the worst moscow mule in the history of ever) and then i had one of mom’s amazing chocolate chip cookies (ny times recipe) with hot almond milk when i got home. It had enough dairy to actually really hurt my poor tummy but was SO GOOD it was worth every bite!

I’m making some coconut quinoa granola this afternoon and then vacation is over in CA, i fly out tomorrow already ;(


I love dive bars.:sunglasses:

It is freaking freezing right now here. I went to work and it was -32 C this morning. It warmed up to -30 C mid afternoon.

I’ve decided that lentil soup with the leftover ham bone from Christmas is what’s going to happen for dinner. Loving this new instant pot for these not well planned dinner ideas.


Well then next time you’re in Carmel itself go to Barmel! The live music was actually really good, but definitely a beer and whiskey kind of place…


The ham, in addition to a Magic Freezer mac n’ cheese and some frozen petite peas, turned into dinner. This is the meal that we had as kids on Christmas Eve since Christmas Day was devoted to skiing,

With some bracing mustard.

Enough leftover for a sandwiches.


It stopped, hallelujah it stopped and now I can live my life on the couch resting as I’m feeling quite run down and ravenous for protein which is what usually happens after I have prolonged stomach upset. I’m doubting a bug and suspecting a food intolerance so it’s back to my go to gut healing protocols for a while to reset things and so long to Siete brand foods (it was nice while it lasted!)

Last night I picked up a rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods (love that they are no longer so expensive), picked the meat, popped the bones in the instant pot for a quick stock and made chicken soup. For dessert I enjoyed gummies I made earlier in the day to nibble on for the collagen - apple cider vinegar cinnamon. I’ll make a batch of kombucha gummies this morning for the weekend.


Oh my! And I thought it was cold here in NY!

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It has been a long time since I experienced that kind of cold. We plugged in our car. The dog would refuse to go outside. We didn’t have the right kind of outerwear and froze our little patooti’s off. Soup is the perfect answer for weather like that.

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Lentil soup finished with a touch of red wine vinegar! When we have fancy balsamic vinegar, we use a little drizzle on top of our bowls. We enjoy it and think it amplifies the flavors of the lentil soup.


Going away tomorrow , so had our NY 's eve party for my son’s friends ahead of schedule last night , probably end tonight
Had sea food festival , guests stayed overnight,
For dinner, we had charcuterie, cheese platter, fried shrimp ( with sweet potato flour, eggs, panko), oysters on the hat shell( from our dock)

Pan fried Chilean till

Sea Bass ( with miso, shaoxing wine, mirin, ginger, garlic and spring onions served with rice), mocha chocolate cake, lots of wine, alcohol.
At3:00AM, home made pizza by my son, bed time at 6:00AM
Breakfast was the usual scrambled eggs, spinach and parmesan cheese, with maple sausage, bacon, Costco’s red lobster biscuit, cappuccino.
Sorry I did not take pictures , too busy coordinating ! These were taken by a guest
Guests stayed over, coach, air mattress all over, dancing with 2 DJ’s here. Will have repeat performance of Chilean Sea Bass , fried rockfish ( from our pier), fried baby calamari for lunch and perhaps later clams cooked in cataplana with wine and vegetable.


Looks great. I’m all about the cake -what kind is it?

Found it!!!


I’m glad I’m not the only one who cooks down and deglazes with a variety of liquids. I’ve done it with every kind of stock, wine, beer, cider, water in a pinch, and even things like V8 when it would work well in theory with the dish. When I’m cooking something way down (like onions for yesterday’s brunch of bangers and mash with onion gravy), I’ll deglaze (with beef stock), cook down, deglaze, cook down, etc. and the flavor is beautifully intense with gorgeous color.

I did something similar today with mirepoix plus diced red bell peppers and chicken stock for a pasta sauce. There were four deglazings and the final one was done with wine. I even deglazed the cast iron skillet I made chicken thighs on (with water) and set the liquid aside to add into the sauce. It was so full of collagen that it gelled in an hour and yielded some really deep flavor. I’m willing to bet that my frigid kitchen helped a bit with the gelling.


I did that with many types of wine, beer, cider, vinegar and alcohol. Most of the time works but there were times, the taste became weird, mainly because some alcohol or wine has too strong a character or too much sugar and didn’t match the food.


Thanks! I love mocha cake!

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For dinner tonight, I made pizza. I prepped two 10 oz doughs starting this morning. Rest. Chill. Proofing box. Roll. Other preparations included thawing some shredded mozzarella, making some ricotta from a bottle of milk that the AirBNB isn’t going to need, baking some sausages, stripping the sausage casings and cutting, making a raw crushed tomato sauce, and grating some parmesan.

Clearly, I had a huge brain fart. We eat one pizza between us for a meal. Usually I make two different pizzas– one with a pesto base and the other with tomato. But tonight, I was planning only one kind of pizza, but I prepped two dough. D’oh. That was stupid but since I was committed, we ate the first one, and then a baked the second one for tomorrow’s dinner.

First one. Too much mozzarella [it is mediocre] and the ricotta blobs are too big.

close up:

And the second pizza with adjustments, and slightly less baked since it will be reheated:


Fettuccine Carbonara (with peas, 'cause I like it that way) for dinner tonight. A glass of wine alongside. Simple. Some Amazon Prime on the screen tonight.


Hear! Hear! Peas are good.

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Picked up some hogfish fillets the other day.

Tonight made fish sandwiches, slaw and oven fries


Lunch/dinner today is repeat performance of Chilean Sea Bass with miso, etc, fried rockfish, fried baby calamari, then cataplana with shrimp, clams, calamari and D’artagnan’s sausage. Left over mocha chocolate cake and Brazilian guayabana paste with cheese for dessert. Forgot to take pictures of rockfish , calamari and chilean seabags. , Here is picture of cataplana . Nice with crusty bread.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr