What's for Dinner #38 - the Spooky Oct '18 Edition

For those in Massachusetts, today is the start of “Don’t drive ANYWHERE near Salem, MA!” because the traffic is horrendous - tourists and locals wanting to visit The Witch City during Halloween month and essentially if you’re driving there, there’s one way into town.

BUT - the lovely month of October also means cooler weather for many of us, apple picking, leaf peeping for beautiful fall colors, but it also means the waning of daylight hours. The remedy? Cozy up to that slow cooker and making delicious long-cooked, braised meals that make the house smell great when you come in from raking all of those falling leaves!

What’s cooking/baking in your house this month?


We woke up to ice on the cars - so that’s summer very definitely over.

As for dinner, there’s my favourite “foreign” cuisine - Middle Eastern, in the form of lamb & aubergine fatteh.

An aubergine is cut into 2cm cubes and roasted. A couple of pittas are split open, torn into pieces and roasted (this is, Google tells me where the “fetteh” comes in - it being Arabic for torn/crumbled). A red onion is fried, along with ground cumin, coriander & allspice, then 200g lamb mince goes in and fries until its cooked. Then the aubergine is mixed through, along with some pomegranate molasses.

Separately, a tin of chickpeas is drained, rinsed and gently fried with garlic. And garlic is mixed into soem Greek yoghurt.

To serve, the now crisp pitta goes on the plate and is topped first with lamb/aubergine mix, then the yoghurt. Finally a scattering of chopped mint and parsley, pine nuts and pul biber.

And, if that mountain of food isnt enough, there’s some damson ice cream in the freezer.


I’ll be starting the month off by making a Pancit Canton noodle dish for dinner tonight. Several weeks ago I went in search of flat rice noodles to make a different dish, but our local Asian market didn’t carry that style. So tonight a Malaysian wheat noodle stir fry.

I can see many soups being created in the next few weeks. I love making soups!


Repurposing leftover roast pork loin with gravy and wide noodles. Made a batch of braised purple cabbage to go alongside. Apple crisp for later.

Cheers all :cocktail:


I need to repurpose cavolo nero. I steamed far too much on Saturday night and it now languishes, somewhat unloved, in the fridge. I’m unthrilled with my usual idea of cooking some spuds to make bubble & squeak with it.

Season some thick pork chops with ground fennel seed, chili flake, salt, pepper, and a little dried rosemary. Lightly brown those on each side and add the kale, bay leaf, and some tomato sauce (I use a good jarred marinara). Simmer uncovered until the pork is done. Adapted from Dinner, a Love Story.


I have never seen black cabbage/kale. Does it have a distinct flavor?

It’s sometimes marketed as “dino” kale. Trader Joe’s sells chopped bags but they include too many tough stems. It is great from the farmer’s market though.


I stewed a whole chicken in the slow cooker with carrots, celery, dried lima beans, butternut squash, and some herbs and seasoning. Simple but good.


Bubble & Squeak needs to be elevated to a national treasure in all the known world.

Made a batch of quinoa yesterday without any definitive plans for it… used some for a quinoa salad thing with black beans, some red bell pepper, corn, and a dijon heavy vinegrette. Mixed into some raw spiralized zucchini- only managed to stab myself once on that dumb gizmo- and a side of those sesame sticks I impulse bought from the bulk bins the other day. Kombucha a la carte


There is an episode of “Million £ Menu” dedicated to the restaurant concept!

They are devilishly good!!:smiling_imp:

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You could also incorporate into a cheesy risotto/rice?

they are!! Something very cravable about the sesame salty crunchy combo…

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Back from a two week trip and lots of good home food. Simple but tasty dinner tonight - gigantes beans braised with onion, garlic, chilli flakes, and rosemary. Grocery shopping for fresh produce tomorrow.


Now that its the Halloween season, which is apparently longer than just October now, don’t even THINK about going to Mrs Knotts to pick up chicken to go or even drive down Beach Blvd because Knott’s Scary Farm has completely taken over. It took us an hour just to get out of traffic and to the freeway without chicken- we couldnt even get close.

Fried chicken is what was not for dinner.


Quite earthy. And it looks pretty on the plate.

Pasticcio , souvlaki and Greek Salad in Rhodes.