What's for Dinner #53 - the Start of the New Decade Edition - January 2020

For a short while, I was trying to decide between spring onion and cipollini (both cleverly suggested by fellow HOs) when referring to my kid. I went with spring onion. You can have cipollini if you want it. :wink:

I tried to adapt Alison Roman’s coconut chickpea stew to my new slow cooker, which I bought at a deep discount last month at our local soon-to-close Williams-Sonoma store. I wanted to do slow cooker since I usually cook my beans from dried. I soaked my chickpeas overnight, sauteed all the aromatics on the stove and then added everything to the cooker. It just didn’t taste right mid-way through the cooking process. So I added more coconut milk (I had only added 1/2 the prescribed amount) and then finally a can of Rotel fire-roasted tomatoes. Served over red rice/farro mix. I dunno, it just wasn’t the flavor bomb I was hoping for but I will try again because I know it’s a dish that B and I would really enjoy.

I also attempted homemade pita, a la Smitten Kitchen to accompany the stew. I started the dough the same morning (rather than going overnight) but I thought 6 hours in the fridge followed by 1 hour or so at room temp would suffice. I don’t know what went wrong, but they didn’t really puff up and they had the consistency of underdone pizza dough. Spring onion liked them, though, so I wasn’t unhappy. Coincidentally, a friend who is an accomplished home baker, attempted sourdough pita 2 nights ago and she reported to me that hers turned out remarkably like mine. Must be something in the Boston water.


@emglow101 Totally off-topic, but we are considering a trip to Lassen Volcanic Natl Park this year and I thought of you. We have friends near North San Juan. And I want to check out the pizza joint that you’ve mentioned here before.

I know exactly how you feel about that stew (and the bread “flop”). I made black dal again yesterday which is a whole story by itself. I made it maybe 2 months ago and couldn’t for the life of me find the recipe I used last time. It is like it was scrubbed from my browsing history somehow! GAH! I made one that sounded similar but it is missing something and I’m sad. I am trying to remind myself that this dal is better than no dal at all…

I have had so many bread failures, I can’t even count. Sourdough is my nemesis these days.

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I learned a trick from a friend - in order to get them to puff you need to bake them directly on a rack. A cookie sheet won’t do it, generally


Interesting I didn’t know that. I know there is some animosity between the two

Thanks for the tip. I used a very hot pizza stone and even spritzed with water as smitten kitchen suggests. I still have leftover dough which has been rising in the fridge so I’ll give it another try tonight. I’ll do it directly on the rack.

I love fly fishing Manzanita lake in lassen park . Definitely check out The Garden Tap in Mt Shasta for pizza . Opens again in the spring.

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You might also try baking on preheated cast iron or steel. Metal is a much better conductor of heat than stone and should give you the initial blast of heat that will quickly set the exterior and create steam to puff from within.

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Back to the Roots is running a 30% off sale now if anyone is interested in their kits.

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MLKWEEKEND is the code

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Yes - That’s the place! Thanks

I doctored the chickpea stew with fish sauce and harissa and it was better. And while I didn’t put the pita dough directly on the rack (the dough is too loosey-goosy for that) the pita was a bit better. Maybe due to longer rising, more liberal water spritzing while baking (but still not puffy).

Took a photo mid-meal.



Third day in the country. SNOWING! Comfort food.

Pork chop


Yum, pork chops! Do you make them boneless?

Ah - I think we used a small metal cooling rack on top of the oven racks. I can see how an oven rack might be too widely spaced.

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That looks super good. Nice and crispy. Potato hash?

Meera Sodha’s recipes are usually a big hit here - maybe hers would help? http://meerasodha.com/black-dal-makhani-in-the-observer/

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My kiddo was in pre-school today and for once, I didn’t have to work. So I did a bunch of grocery errands and made two meals for us and a third meal to take to two different friends who recently had babies. Plus a batch of lactation cookie dough. Unfortunately in my great haste to get everything done I neglected to take any photos. But I made:

-Ground beef, cabbage, and tomatillo stew (subbing noodles for rice and dialing back the chili to make it kid-friendlier). I subbed a good green salsa for the tomatillos.

-Eggplant parmesan and cheese-spinach ravioli bake, with extra ricotta-spinach mixture dolloped on. This will reappear as a dinner soon.

-2 chicken pot pies - I purchased the crusts and am awed I ever did the whole thing from scratch…what a lot of work! These will go to my friends.

Cookies will be baked up in the morning as well as fruit salad prepped for the new mamas.


Pizza night . Chopped country ham , clams , onion , pecorino and mozzarella. A little garlic and oregano. Cheers :wine_glass:


Always enjoy that wine glass cameo appearance😉.


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