What's for dinner? #5 - Jan 2016. The Happy New Year Edition

A post was merged into an existing topic: dish of the month (cooking)

My first New Year’s Eve in Nashville was at the house of my new boss and his wife, a woman from Strasbourg and an excellent cook. That was my introduction to Choucroute Garni, and while I also adopted the locally traditional Hoppin’ John (blackeye peas, bacon and rice) that choucroute has been since 1974 our central dish on New Year’s Day. And then Mrs. O read “Eating Animals” and decided she didn’t want to do that anymore … can you imagine cooking a Choucroute Garni for one? It can be done, but it means shopping where the sausages can be bought individually, and if one is busy with other things it’s easier not to. This year we’d spent ten days in Paris, and at the big flea market in St-Ouen I’d found a sweet 2-liter tinned copper cocotte, probably Indian (no markings) but quite heavy and nicely made. I told the man (through my interpreter) that I intended to make a very small choucroute, and he requested that I e-mail photos to him when I did.

So here it is well into January, and although my luck seems to be doing okay (we had succotash instead of the blackeyes, but they ARE related!) I still want that choucroute! The sausages will be bratwurst from Trader Joe’s, the smoked pork a chunk of jowl bacon from Tennessee, and the kraut is the fine Berlin-style stuff that the Kruegermann family makes over in the Atwater Village area of L.A. I think it will be Monday or Tuesday, but I shall post the evidence.

BTW, to Bear: my wife too is as I mentioned vegetarian (except in France!), but early on she declared the anchovy to be officially a condiment. So I don’t have to find some substitute for an item that probably doesn’t have one!


Tonight my sweetheart is making minestrone (Marcella Hazan’s recipe) and I’ll pick up a loaf of Acme bread to go with it. Perfect for a cold winter’s night.


WFD FRI: ~ The reheated remains of Wednesday’s Pulled Pork, unearthed from the crypt, with SC Mustard Sauce (roughly equal parts mustard, brown sugar, vinegar). I might sneak a little prepared horseradish sauce in there as Steven Raichlen does. Although that pork was molto speziato. I’ll have to taste a little to see if it can take more heat. Poor me. On a Kaiser roll.
~ Baked Beans w ketchup. Yup.
~ Lactofermented cabbage. That’s raw sauerkraut to the cognoscenti. Just organic cabbage & Celtic salt.

ETA: I could have sworn that I posted this 3 hours ago. If anyone finds that I did pls feel free to delete/flag a post.

1 Like

Working again tonight. Freezing rain is on the forecast, so that should make things slightly more interesting – well, that and the fact that the students are coming back. Hopefully, that’ll translate into more bidned.

WFD? Not a clue. Had a fairly late lunch of scrambled eggs with green peppers & a few shitty tomatoes I roasted with olive oil and a little garlic. And a spoon or two of my man’s tuna salad.

If I get off early enough, we’re headed to the CBDTR for a little sashimi & a nightcap.

Happy weekend, y’all!


For the last decade I thought I was allergic to crab after a significant reaction after eating crab cakes I made from Phillips canned crab.

At a bourbon dinner in Atlanta I was tipsy enough to try a big lump of crab at a high end resturant, knowing a hospital was close by and at least one person knew CPR. Since I could eat every other shellfish without a reaction I felt this was a save bet. No issue!!! Little by little I started eating a bit of crab here and there. Still no issue.

Sooooo…they are back on the menu :crab:


Scubadoo - lovely crab cakes!

Love me som crab cakes, but to me there are two distinct kinds of crab cakes, good vs. bad. To me it’s on of those things there’s really no in between they are good or they suck. Those look good enjoy!

Pssst - we’ve moved on to #5.

My oven died last night 15 mins after putting a whole chicken with potatoes, onions and carrots in it. Fired up the gas grill and cooked it on that. Wasn’t as good as it was going to be, but it worked.

Then woke up this morning with creeping crud. The oven situation can wait til Monday.

Called the DH a few mins ago and asked him to pick me up some hot and sour soup and shrimp toast on his way home.

So, WFD is soup and sandwich.

1 Like

Dessert was better than dinner tonight. The cheeseburger didn’t break any new ground, but was satisfying all the same. There was a quite stale heel of Irish Soda Bread on the counter, so a bread pudding was baking during dinner time.

I had slight misgivings about the caraway seeds clashing (yes, there were raisins, too) but carried on. I set my smallest casserole (12 oz.) into a water bath. The basic custard mixture was flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of salt.

Ate a portion and set the rest in the fridge for tomorrow.


Oh, thanks for the encouragement, willowen. My son has been vegetarian since he was a young teen, and in his teens was pretty adamant about not eating anything potentially contaminated by meat. He has softened considerably and will now occasionally eat miso soup and doesn’t mind if I use a little bit of Lea & Perrins in the mac and cheese, so he probably wouldn’t object to a bit of anchovy in a dish. Gotta love conviction, though!


Good luck with your oven.

And like Maureen, dessert is better than the meal.

My dinner was a simple udon with tuna and some vegetable since we had sweet overdosed. Ate a big portion of Pierre Herme’s Galette des Rois in the early evening, sublime, the puff pastry was perfect.
More on the dessert here: Taste spotting in Paris! French dessert and pastry


bear, I’m pretty sure it had a lot to do with all the Asian cooking I’ve been doing since she went veggie … and the fact that I was being blissfully unthinking about all the little fishies that got their juices turned into Red Boat! And then as I was getting the anchovy paste out to add to some braised broccolini I thought, “Ooopsie!” and went in to ask about that … and she answered with that pronouncement. And aside from anchovy-derived products she loves them on pizza …

1 Like

Wow, she’s a real keeper if she loves anchovies on pizza! Most of the hard-core carnivores I know are anchovy-phobic. My son has thought seriously about the consciousness and self-awareness of the tiny sea life like anchovies and isn’t too opposed to having some slip into his meal in a small way, but is still pretty much a purist otherwise. He’s open to dairy and eggs, though.

After a heavy meal of a duck ragu with buccatini last night [All about Braising] we went much lighter tonight. Lovely leeks at the farm, so leek and potato soup it was! It was a cold, cold day here and I walked all over playing tour guide to a visiting cousin. This was the perfect end to the day. As Mr. SMT said, it is like eating a water bottle to have soup on a night like tonight.


Bowl of chili, couple of wings garlic parmesean (shared) and a “wedge” Cesare salad.


Pork tenderloin cutlets in a quick Asian marinade (shaoxing wine, sambal oelek, soy, peanut oil) and red cabbage sauteed in coconut oil with coriander and ginger. Squirt of sriracha over all to finish. Simple and good!


Rack of lamb, roast tatties, butternut squash. Tarte au citron for afters.


UGH. A weekend with the crud. Hope it clears up very soon!