What's for Dinner #32 - the Spring Has Finally Sprung! Edition - April '18


I love salt grilled mackerel, Japanese style. I’ve never cooked it, but order it regularly in bento box for lunch.

I found this recipe online, the skin gets very crisp and nice with this method, which I use for salmon. It’s even better if you have a charcoal grill.



(Chris) #108

Last night’s dinner was fish and chips. Now I haven’t had it for going on 3 years so I was looking forward to it. I was a little dismayed to discover the chip shop was mainly focusing on kebabs and fried chicken but I saw some fish in the warmer that looked pretty good. I didn’t want that though, I wanted freshly cooked so I followed the @Harters protocol# I knew the fish in the warmer was going to be cod so I ordered haddock ( cod is the most popular in London. I was told I had to wait to have it cooked fresh (fine by me.)

The fish was pretty good with a crisp batter, chips were the right thickness but a little under coloured ( some nice soggy ones at the bottom though), mushy peas were only ok.

Harters fish and chips protocol, very sage advice.
“If you find a place that fries to order, then you can be on a winner. A good way is to establish whether cod or haddock is the norm in that part of the of the world - and then order the other one. Pretty much guarantees a fresh cooked fillet.”


(:@)) :@)) ) #109

Last dinner in Austria and it’s a Tyrolean classic: dumplings.

Cheese dumplings in broth.

One type is filled with spinach and the other with grey cheese. I put them on top of the last of the rhubarb.

Spinach dumplings, surrounded by crisp-fried Speck and ramps.

A few photos from my short hike today (only 3 hours and it was an easy hike):

A box on the side of a farm house.

You put money in the small slot on left and take your egg carton. One has someone’s name on it so don’t be touching it. Rural Austria still uses a trust system. I saw 2 elderly women got a carton out of the box. One of them took the top carton out but her friend said “no, that one is for Renate.”.

My hiking snack: deer sausages. At first it looks like someone’s dog has left something behind.

It’s still not touristy yet and I didn’t come across many hikers in the woods. For now it’s nice and quiet. Sometimes I saw only 1 person the whole time. June through Sept is high season, and then you have skiing season. April, May and November are the 3 quietest months.

So many hiking paths everywhere. I love it.

Going home tomorrow. Only a little over 1 hour flying (direct!) and it’s a totally different world. I had planned to go to the Jura but changed my mind and am glad I did! (France is never a priority for me)



A quiet day. Three loads of laundry, reading, watching “The Greatest Showman” on Amazon Prime (which I REALLY liked!), and making dinner. Oh yeah - and watching some occasional snow fall during the day. On April 15th. :::Sigh:::

A roast chicken with a compound butter tucked under the skin. The butter was a blend of butter, salt, pepper, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and an herb blend of minced fresh thyme, rosemary and sage all mashed together. Roasted at 450° for 30 minutes, then 350° for the remaining 1-1/2 hours (it was a 6.75 lb. birdie). Let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Sides were mashed sour cream potatoes and buttered carrots and peas. And wine.

A Damn Fine Sunday Dinner, if I do say so myself.



Great looking chicken Linda. Damn. I was watching Julia Child today and she said I hate those small chickens
Get the big birds. Nicely done.

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So tired working in the rain, wanted to pull weeds and reseed with microclover, taking advantage of the rain for 2 days .
Dinner was simple
Stir fry boneless skinless chicken legs and some shrimp using black bean with chili and satay marinade
Caramelized onion, pre cooked garlic in EVOO ( I decide to use the whole bag of garlic when my son left 2 weeks ago, roasted in the oven, refrigerated so they won’t spoil since I am not into cooking nowadays with him away.
Vegetable was orange and red sweet pepper, snow peas and mushroom and oyster sauce added to the vegetable, pretoasted szechuan pepper and sesame oil when stir fry was done.
Then, I added Shao Zing wine and the stock from the shrimp to deglaze the

Served with precooked kokuho red rice, red wine and my hawthorne tea.
Excuse the toothbrush ( for the dogs) at the corner!
Too tired to take pictures First picture of the wok, mostly vegetable on top for a short while, ( chicken and shrimp under) so the vegetable wil be crunchy but there is eno ugh for 3 more meals and won’t be crunch tomorrow or the next day


Our beautiful gardens (a break from food farming)




The weird wonderful two summer days are long gone. Ugh.
I had picked up some veggie dumplings that are the frozen boil or pan fry kind (not a fan of the fried ones so much), and some veggies from the outside stall. Sugar snap peas i dipped in furikake as appetizer, side of daikon slices. Boiled the dumplings which seem to have a cabbage/mushroomy inside at added bean sprouts at the last minute. (I prefer the bean sprouts raw but can’t deny i watched him use the same gloved hand to scoop them as to take money…figured boiling water would kill anything better than a quick rinse)
Mixed up a soy sauce/black vinegar/sesame oil sauce and added a bunch of sesame seeds to it. Not the most photogenic thing but who doesn’t love dumplings??
Spicy ginger lemon cayanne kombucha a la carte



Thanks, this is especially good for outdoor grilling with charcoal in summer. But I will try to test it at home. Quite a delicate dish!

When we eat Japanese, we had more Mackerel raw, such as sushi or sashimi than had them cooked, The raw is very good but I need to train my knife skill!



I love my mom’s marinade for quick fry pork chop and so use the same recipe
soy sauce, cider vinegar, garlic, five spice, lime, pepper, dusted with sweet potato starch after marinading overnight , pan fried in peanut oil, served with tabasco



Sweet potato starch…nice…never thought of using it for dusting, I generally use some corn & potato starch…



I had some down time yesterday and decided to make Bolognese and fresh fettuccine. There are so many Bolognese recipes that it’s tough to choose. Last time I made one of Batali’s recipes, which was fine, but had seen enough praise for Anne Burrell’s that I decided to give it a try. It’s a bit unusual in that it calls for a large amount of tomato paste. I was worried that it would be too strong, but it worked well. It called for two cups of paste to three lbs. of ground beef, but I spaced and only added 1 1/2 cups. Anyway, it was flavorful and balanced and I’ll make it again. I cooked it under pressure in the Instantpot for thirty minutes and the bottom scorched a bit even though there was plenty of liquid, so next time I think I’d go with twenty minutes. There wasn’t really a noticeable burned flavor, though. The sauce reduced for an hour or so on low heat. The pasta was from Melissa Clark in the New York Times. A good comfort food dish for a raw weekend in the Boston area.


(equal opportunity eater in the NC Triangle) #119

This. The absurdity drives me a little crazy.

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Haha, exactly… i’m certainly not overly cautious or paranoid- heck i eat grapes from the street carts before i get home to wash them and have lived to tell- but there was something a bit too obvious to deny about this failed homage towards sanitation!

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(:@)) :@)) ) #121

I’m home! My clothes still fit, must be all the hiking I did.

Made dinner with a few things I have. China meets Austria, or more precisely Sichuan meets Tirol.

Heaven-facing* atheist. (*Sichuan chillies called “facing heaven” I got in Chengdu years ago, still OK.)

Not only Sichuan chillies but also Sichuan bean paste and Lao Gan Ma (chilli flakes in oil).

I had been raining all night and I woke up to this. Forecast says light rain for the next couple of days in the area I was staying. Good that I left today.

Best seat on the plane…

Ultimate best seat on the plane.

Had to take everything out of my bag so they could see that my Speck and book weren’t explosive blocks. It happens every time with Speck in my hand baggage. Next time I pay extra for a checked bag. It’s so annoying to repack.



I know i know better. But the sticker said grown in Arizona, and it certainly does get very hot there all year. And the minis were on sale! $3 felt like it was worth the risk.
Ummmm… yeah, No.
it was nice and firm and crunchy and wet and tasted like…pink. What does pink taste like? Who knows! It’s not a flavor!!
Plan B.
Where apparently i added dill from the neverending package I bought, some everything seasoning, and underneath is some baby arugala with a light vinegrette. Side of sliced smoked tofu and crazy bubbly lemony kombucha.
I just put the rest of the watermelon through my juicer with a lemon and some cucumber, i’ll have it in the morning



Forgot to post dinner last night. Left work during a lull in the downpours but made it home relatively unscathed. Some substantial flooding on several highway exit ramps on the way home. I do feel sorry for the runners in the Boston Marathon, but impressed by everyone who went out and ran and those who supported them!

ANYWAY… last night was a Chicken BTC Panino (Bacon, Tomato & CHEEEEEEEEZE) for dinner.

And Cheeeeeps alongside.



I was going to chime in (2 days late) that Koreans also do a similar prep of mackerel. I’ve never attempted at home, either. When a restaurant does it well, the skin gets so crispy and the flesh is never dried out.



The leftover Bolognese, along with bechamel, more fresh pasta, parm and mozzarella turned into a tasty lasagna. Lots of leftovers for midweek.




No whine?