What's For Dinner #54 - The Leap Month Edition - February 2020

The bit of rigatoni and meatballs that wouldn’t fit in the kid’s box yesterday, with some of he homemade focaccia from last week . Might need to dig in the fridge later.


Naan looks great! Yeast or yogurt recipe?

His actually called for both. It was a bit ester-y - still looking to dial it in. Got a fave?

I don’t often make naan at home, more likely chapati and paratha (naan is eaten out, even in India).

I eat it so rarely at home that I’m more likely to buy it when I do want it - I like the frozen garlic naan at TJ, or for plain I get it from a restaurant.

I’m curious, though. A cousin just uses pizza dough - either homemade or from the store - on a cast iron pan.


Made a couple trays of eggplant parm for the office tomorrow. Dinner tonight was an assortment of apps for the Oscars (hot clam dip, mushroom flatbread, and pigs in a blanket). No pics.


We had our final dinner at Costanera in Montclair. They are closing on the 29th. Below is a link to the details and pictures.


1st attempt at Biryani Rice. Any purist, please forgive.

Got some Chinese Roast Pork from SF Chinatown. Some Basmati from Costco. Miscellaneous spices from pantry. Chopped Scallions and Jalapeños from fridge.

Into rice cooker. Threw on some marinated Pork Toro (Neck meat) I also “happened” to have on hand. Cooked per usual.

Saved some of the cracklings to crisp in the toaster.

Pretty good for a first attempt.

Looking forward to gathering the embellishments
and sides that grow the meal.


Very adventurous! Thanks for sharing!

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Corned beef, cabbage, onions and carrots. Leftover mashed potatoes and gravy from last night’s meatloaf dinner.

Softish comfort foods due to oral surgery Friday. Appetite starting to come back. Still
haven’t cooked since Xmas eve - getting anxious to get back in the saddle!


Looks wonderful…taste was on par?

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Thanks! I am more than satisfied for a first effort. Ready to do some mutton for round two.

If only I had some Halal Guys White & Red sauces! Low brow? Maybe. Good NYC memories? Definitely!! :slight_smile:


WOW!! Who cares about purity when your version looks so good.


I had a hankering for Arroz con Pollo. This version is based on the recipe in A Taste Of Old Cuba by Maria Josefa Lluria de O’Higgins. Not too hard to make but you do have to plan in advance to marinate the chicken. One change to the recipe - I reordered the rice and chicken so the rice was on the bottom in order to develop a paellalike socarrat. It worked well.


I am smiling as I recall meeting our son’s Italian au pair the first time. She was telling me about her cooking skills and lamented that she couldn’t find jarred white sauce here. “Huh?” Jarred white sauce? Besciamella?

“Sweetie, you don’t BUY it, you MAKE it!” She was skeptical. So I showed her how to male white sauce in just a few minutes and steps. She converted.

Shaking head…an Italian who buys white sauce???


Beautiful presentation on the Arroz Con Pollo! It looks delicious, especially with the crispy socarrat.


Halal Guys white sauce is pretty much Ranch dressing. Their red sauce, on the other hand, is da Bomb!

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Thank you. I thought about carefully arranging each slice of roasted pepper but the artistic toss is more my style.


Your inclinations were correct!

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Serious eats and smitten kitchen have both done street cart chicken and rice (with sauces) if that’s what you’re trying to recreate.


finally back in the kitchen yesterday.

Made tomato soup and grilled cheese sammies last night, after our fries brunch. Still full, so I only managed half a sandwich, they were super rich! Made with TPSTOB and new-to-me TJs cheese, a melange of white cheddar and gruyere - quite yummy. I was trying to do the Jamie Oliver grilled cheese with crown (see 2nd pic below) but I guess I didn’t use enough cheese on the pan. ah well, still nice with that lacy crust.

Soup was sweet (no sugar added, just the canned tomatoes and mirepoix) and creamy (did add some half & half). lots of basil blended in, as well as garnish, as as my sister got gifted a ton of it. Before I added the half and half to the soup, i froze a couple of batches that can be used as pasta sauce, too, as it was pretty thick.

Also made a big batch of pesto with the basil- three jars in the freezer.

Next, made the chili oil for the NYT spicy sesame noodles with peanuts for tonight’s dinner. I’ll be using ground pork instead of chicken, because pork.

And my first ever jambalaya for tomorrow night! No seafood, because BF, just chicken and andouille sausage. Made enough to freeze two additional dinners’ worth, too.