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

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.–Margaret Atwood

Had a full day of gentle rain yesterday which should help my gardening efforts. Briefly turned to snow in the early morning - crazy since this is 7 days from our last frost date.

Tonight is cod roasted with potato, onion and lemon. Blistered green beans garnished with crushed hazelnuts. Perhaps some sherbet for dessert.


YAY!!! :smiley: (I also sing all of the songs, but mostly the Lonely Goatherd!)

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A simple dinner - roasted lime-pepper pork tenderloin (a bit past the pink I wanted, but still good), maple sweet potato mash, and sauteed carrots, sugar snap peas, and red bell pepper seasoned with Penzeys Fox Point seasoning mix.

I really wish the weekend was just starting…


I went to a korean cooking demonstration class this afternoon that was through a korean cultural institute nonprofit and therefore a very low cost- i just figured we would be tasting what recipes they showed but my gosh it was a full meal with so much delicious food!!
The members of the institute had made the kimchi in jan of 2016, and the soybean paste had been made in the buddhist temple they are associated with in korea in 2015 (used in the soup).
We had a beautiful little plate of assorted vegetable banchan that had a mung bean jelly in the middle under the seaweed garnish. There was an amazing simple sauce served alongside that they encouraged we add. It was made from wild garlic, crushed sesame seeds, korean soy sauce and sesame oil- it was incredible! She recommended to use chopped scallions if (when) you cannot get the korean wild garlic

Then we had a small portion of vegetarian japchae. This kind of starch noodle is not my favorite - the super chewy texture is odd to me- but very tasty and well seasoned


And then (!) was the bibimbap as well as several types of pancake and the soybean sprout and soybean paste soup which I really enjoyed.
There was another little dish with the bulgolgi beef they offered which i passed on of course.
Unfortunately those pancakes were also not vegetarian :confused: thankfully they offered little boxes to take home anything we did not finish, so a good portion of the bibimbap was my late dinner with a side of my white kimchi


I actually love those noodles. They can be served cold . Love the simple sauce you mentioned, It is almost a staple for us for everything, from roast duck, spring rolls as a dip.

I wish there was a place around here that offers that service.

The silver spoon and chop stick is exactly what was given to me as a gift when one of my partners ( former boss) retired in 1999. I cooked for her retirement party. It must be a popular Korean item. I never took it out of its packaging so it will not tarnish, Ok Hyung called me recently to wish me a happy birthday when I turned 76 . She turned 86 6 days earlier.
Sunrise, sunset (x2),
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness,
And tears


I certainly ate the japchae, it was delicious! Just not something i will make or order at a restaurant. Something odd that I don’t like those. I also don’t like rice stick noodles, also texture thing which is strange because i’m generally not a picky eater.

The metal chopsticks have taken me some getting used to! Seems more difficult to grasp things. I was so lucky that one of my very first friends ever-we met in montissori school!- she is chinese, and her parents had moved just a few years earlier, so i learned to use chopsticks very young at her house - they didn’t have any forks!


Yes, metal chopsticks are more difficult to master, and the Korean has a finer flatter shape.

I wonder why the Korean uses metal chopstick, while the other Asians prefer other texture (bamboo, wood, plastic). Usually metal are used when eating hot pots, when you need to immense the raw meats in the boiling soup. But for the Korean, it seems to be all usage, (I am not sure) if their preference metal is brass (at least in the restaurants that I went), maybe for the golden colour? An expert in Korean cuisine can shed a light on this.

Pork chops with apples, onions and thyme.

I didn’t try the chops, but the sauce was very good. I usually make pork chops and apples with cabbage and kimmel seeds, or with mustard and cream. This was very nice and light, perfect for a spring evening.


As predicted, no real cooking happened until this past Sunday. oh i threw together some orecchiete/bean/kale/sausage/potato thing Saturday night…

but it was dull.

Sunday was better, NYT’s Mexican Spaghetti…

made with chopped dried guajillo and pasilla chiles, tons of garlic, and minced rosemary, thyme, and oregano. cotija cheese and chopped cilantro to finish. really good! also made a caesar salad, in keeping with the Mexi theme.

then i started some Rancho Gordo pinto beans and today made creamy refrieds and home-made corn tortillas. tortillas turned out the best they ever have as i let the dough rest for about 20 minutes and then cooked them longer than usual, hotter temp, so they puffed up slightly. TJs pork belly was rubbed with chipotle powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, brown sugar and cumin, then broiled. tomatoes and avo slices, and more caesar. the beans were KILLER, with a little cotija cheese.

starting a new job (well, a place i used to work at 4 years ago, so new/old) tomorrow, so i took the day off. and in 11 days, my sister and i are going to NOLA! so i’m practicing my roux to see how it compares. this one was made in the oven - super easy. it looks much darker in person - very chocolatey.

Probably won’t make the gumbo until this Sunday…


NOW i know what’s for dinner tomorrow night!

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:+1: It was good, and also easy! Gochujang butter. May be good to make some rice tonight and let it chill in the fridge if you don’t have leftover rice.

Those are some gorgeous refried beans! Something is magical about any beans from rancho gordo i swear…
good luck at the new/old job!


Looks authentic to me. Good job.
I can’t use Korean chopsticks at all. I spear the food with them. I am not much better at using other types of chopsticks either, btw.

Long day hiking today. On top of that there was also some “drama” on the way back when the path ended for no reason and we pressed on instead of turning around. We climbed up a steep ascend that isn’t a path, like goats except we are not. Then picked out dead leaves from each other’s head like chimps. Long story short we were glad we made it home, albeit a bit shaken from the treacherous parts of the hike. Also hiked yesterday but it was shorter and totally a walk in a park. Nothing like today.

My last 2 dinners:

Ingredients I picked up at the market hall that went into the food yesterday.

Tyrolean grey cheese. The explanation in the wiki entry is pretty good. I have seen a documentary about this cheese and it’s pretty much like that.

The rind.

This is a typical home-style dish in Tirol. I often make these potato finger sized dumplings myself and they taste far far better than store-bought! The difference in the taste is stark!

A seasonal Tyrolean home-style meal.

Today: trout poached in asparagus peel broth, fried Speck with boletus. Plus lots of ramp on the side.



I had half a head of red cabbage that needed using. I remembered reading some favorable reviews of a braised cabbage with sausage recipe by Marcela Hazan and decided to try it. Definitely a “sum is greater than it’s parts” sort of dish. Really luscious and dead on simple.


Harumph. I suspect the very busy barista at the new to me coffeeshop used actual dairy in my cafe au lait- which i apparently didn’t notice until a bit later in the afternoon once i was long gone. And that was certainly unpleasant.
Dinner last night was an apology to my poor tummy with promises to hover and eagle eye all future coffee-making. I boiled a handful of white rice in lots of water until it gave up, then whisked in a bit of the new to me korean soybean paste and added some cubed soft tofu. Side mini glass of kimchi brine to sip since it’s full of good probiotics, another big glass of gingery lemon kombucha for dessert.


Oh, i am so jealous of all your ramps and gorgeous asparagus! Both are just painfully expensive in nyc so I rarely indulge…

It’s still too COLD here!! Supposedly will warm up this weekend but i suspect it’s a conspiracy to prevent mass suicides and exodus from nyc and with each passing day that high of 70 will be reduced by about five degrees.
Hopefully by last batch of braised cabbage for the season- the usual garlic/onion/caraway/cider vinegar with tomato paste and canned tomatoes. There are chickpeas somewhere in the bottom of the bowl. I added a dribble of olive oil and a gob of dijon after this not especially compelling photo- complete with a phone shadow!- in the poor light of my kitchen. Glass of gingery kombucha a la carte.


Continuing my goal of reducing my freezer contents a quart of liquid left from last months corned beef was used to make a split pea soup. Soup also helped me whittle down most of the remains of a ham. Weather should be hitting the '80’s in a few days so this looks like the end of enjoying stick to your ribs types of recipes.

Split pea seems to be one of the few soups I make that doesn’t create a huge pot. It’s nice to make just 2 portions !


Tonight it’s spaghetti with meat sauce. I made some gravy the day before yesterday. I’m steaming a globe artichoke. I found one that looked okay at the store. I like a little mayonnaise with the artichoke . Wine to drink. Cheers.:wine_glass:, it’s snowing outside.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2