What's For Dinner #65 - the Brand New New Year's Edition - January 2021

We begin a bright and shiny new year. One with the fervent hope that we’ll all be in a good place and be able to start socializing and enjoying our friends and family in person vs. a video Zoom chat. Because real life hugs and laughter around a dining table that is groaning with family favorite foods is one of the best medicines for our collective hearts. :heart::heart::heart:

So wishing you all happiness, good food, and good drink in this new year. With what meals are you starting it out?


Voting for COTQ is open! Winter 2021 (Jan-Mar) Cuisine of the Quarter - VOTING


Suffering from a bit of a food hangover today from last night’s junkapalooza. Planning a sensible grilled flank steak and salad for dinner tonight. :slight_smile: DH’s birthday is tomorrow and usually gets ignored, foodwise, since we are typically either travelling or just fooded out from all of the holiday festivities of the preceding week(s). Since our celebrations have been a bit more constrained this year, DH is FINALLY going to get his favorite dishes and a cake tomorrow! Stay tuned for details! :crazy_face:


Thank you @LindaWhit.

We will be having Honeybaked ham for our pork tradition. But maybe heating it up sous vide, for my tradition of annoying others by trying something new.

I’m working on this, but with some subs I’m wondering about.

I’m using fresh black eyed peas, kuri squash, and mae ploy panang curry paste.

Right now I’m wondering how thick to cut the squash, how long to cook with fresh black eyed peas, and is it okay if I don’t serve “immediately”, or even the same day.


Squash over cooked, black eye peas under, and a bit bitter, for a reason I haven’t figured out. Maybe the collards. Way to mushy and melded together.

Not good, but perhaps edible, if one REALLY wants good luck.


We enjoyed an excellent New Year’s day dinner mainly courtesy of our chef friend. We enjoyed spicy Andouille sausage stuffed mussels and spicy jambalaya with shrimp, Andouille sausage, and chicken. We also had leftover roasted delicata squash and Brussels sprouts from NYE. It all went great with an excellent cabernet from the Stags Leap district.


Well you certainly deserve an A+ for effort @shrinkrap.


Lazy first day of the year.
Dinner easy-peasy.

Pork tenderloin seasoned with olive oil, s/p, and Penzeys Tsardust Memories seasoning blend and cooked the oven at 350° with a bit of white wine in the bottom of the pan.

Served with a drizzle of cider syrup, alongside my Triple Apple Applesauce, Herbs de Provence roasted potatoes, and sauteed Brussels sprouts and bacon with a bourbon-brown sugar glaze. (Thanks, @gcaggiano!)

Yup. Wine. It’s Friday, after all.


Broccoli salad with chopped dates, pecans, shallots, lemon juice and warmed cider vinegar.


Looks great!

New Year’s Eve dinner was chicken and andouille jambalaya.

Today we had an appetizer fest: mini Jamaican beef patties; baby lamb chops; taiwanese popcorn chicken (air fried); Bombay rolls (pastry pinwheels with spicy chutney, onion and cheddar); cranberry brie tartlets; charcuterie/cheese; crudites.

For lunch we made delicious lentil soup with lots of leeks, carrots, potato, onion with corn muffins alongside. Today was a good start to a new year. I spent most of the day puttering in the kitchen happily with good music, occasionally with helping kiddo hands. A terrific start to a nice long weekend.

Cheers to all of you! May 2021 bring us all good health, happiness and a safe return to normalcy.


Happy New Year, my fellow cookers & eaters! Just back yesterday from our 2 nights on the Delta. Lovely time spent near the water

Holiday eats. First night was a cassoulet-type dish, with pork shoulder, bacon, Toulouse sausages, smoked duck, two different kinds of white beans, and red wine. Buttery/toasted bread and arugula salad with a walnut oil/sherry vinegar dressing on the side. Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Cab to drink before and with.

NYE dinner was a tomahawk ribeye steak the BF grilled perfectly, although the bone-in ribeyes i’ve gotten from another butcher were much beefier and a nicer texture. Still, very very good, and we have plenty leftover. More Toulouse sausage, cheesy toast because i forgot our potatoes at home, and perhaps the star of the show, @gcaggiano’s brussels sprouts! Slightly modified - with shallots, and glazed in brown sugar, bourbon, butter, and a gifted maple syrup i’ve been drizzling all year, to finish. A bottle of Billecart Salmon champagne to bring in the New Year on the deck, plus assorted cocktails.

NYE 2020 Billecart Salmon Champagne

BF made us bfast before we left, which he almost never eats. I made him eat half of this.

Last night’s dinner back at home, green goddess marinated chicken thighs (from the “good” butcher) the BF grilled at the vacation spot, more arugula salad, and the forgotten potato gratin.

Here’s hoping for a healthy, sane, and delicious New Year to all you HOs!


Saturday 2nd January 2021 … FRENCHESCARGOTf4047f2726bfd62ee30d893c2c640e23


Went with something easy tonight: roasted broccoli, crispy bacon/pancetta & goat cheese quiche.

Wine. The rest of some homemade Baileys Irish Cream for afters.


Love the puff! Nice combo.

1 Like

DH’s birthday dinner tonight did not disappoint! For him, Springfield style cashew chicken (deep fried chicken chunks in oyster sauce gravy) with fried rice:

For me, my first attempt at Sichuan twice-cooked pork belly with leeks. Needed more heat but was otherwise very similar to what my favorite Sichuan place in Manhattan serves. Haven’t had it since March so was thrilled it turned out well at home!

Carrot cake (a Bon Appétit version with bourbon-soaked raisins) for dessert. Tomorrow, we diet!


Happy bday to Mr B!! Your chicken looked good! Too much cleaning work for deep frying at home, so I do it sparingly. But been thinking of investing on a portable gas burner that I can use my round bottom wok in the outdoors. The wok doesn’t work on the induction hob and I use only large pan to do frying, which is not exactly as using a wok.


Since I only had to make one serving (a BIG serving :smiley:) of the fried chicken, I didn’t bother with deep frying - I just shallow fried in about 1/2" of peanut oil. It did spatter a bit but not too big a mess, and much less oil to discard. I have a portable induction burner that I have used for deep frying outdoors before - works great in warmer weather but today I’ll live with the mess to stay inside!


Navel oranges

Muu shu pork, homemade pancakes


Actually it’s not the splashing oil that is bothering me, but the smoke. We have an open kitchen, the hood we have is not enough due to the large space, everything becomes sticky after a while. Once a technician looked around our house and kitchen, and told us that only a professional hood would be useful.

For the outdoor burner, my original idea was a portable induction burner, but H dissuaded me on that, saying that a gas one is more powerful than an induction one for the budget I’ve planned to invested. A higher end induction one would be interesting, but it’s not the same budget and since I would use it only occasionally, I don’t want to spend a lot on that.