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

I always feel this way about marinades - the flavors never really permeate the way I wish they would. Maybe try marinating in plain buttermilk for tenderness and making a paste of the rest of the ingredients to put under the skin before roasting?


BF made enchiladas tonight. Filling was chicken, black beans, onion, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Sauce was made from scratch, and given how quick and easy it was, I don’t know why anyone would ever use a jar/can enchilada sauce. Simply a roux, spices, and chicken stock. Took 10 minutes to whip up and so worth it. Perfect winter comfort food.


Your whole meal really appeals to me!

This will sound silly, but I have never made these even though I love lima beans in all incarnations… can you guide me please?

Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans, andouille sausage, and roasted poblanos.

Inspired by these recipes.


But no collards today. Dang!

Rice on the side, on a separate plate… :grin:

Or not.


Same here, my brines/marinades are mostly for texture and moisture, unless it’s fish or something since I feel like that picks up flavor more easily

We enjoyed another excellent dinner at Il Nido under harrowing circumstances. Details and pictures are in the below link for those that might be interested.


hah - i scored two packs on Saturday! my local Italian deli doesn’t seem to have heard about the storage.


Spaghetti aglio e olio and steak. Steak was a bavette from our french butcher, pre-marinated with garlic/olive oil/thyme, beautifully marbled. Just added little salt and seared a couple minutes on each side. Very tender, beefy. Also, leftover caramelized onions from a take-out dinner the other night, roasted further with fennel and a splash of vermouth. But the star of the show was that silky, garlicky pasta. Should have made more.


i’m with you on making your own enchilada sauce. Those look fantastic! I approve on the proper amount of cheese.

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well it looks beautiful!

to me it sounds like your marinade just needed more salt, maybe…


I don’t have the butter milk marinade wired . It always browned the meat to much for me . Adding very little flavor.

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A bowl of Zhajiangmian for dinner:


Plan was to order in last night, but it got derailed for various reasons.

So instead, at 5pm I prepped the giant 3-pack of b/s chicken thighs to be grilled - both for dinner and for the freezer. One with tandoori spices, one with (indian) pickle flavoring, and one with seekh kabab spices.

Doctored some lackluster dal from the freezer with a strong fresh tempering of onion, garlic, and cumin, plus fresh cilantro.

The vegetable chef was exhausted and/or hungover - I didn’t realize the vegetable component was missing until we served ourselves, so we made do with the bit leftover from last night: takeout cauliflower curry that really didn’t stretch that much.

But, the chicken was very good despite the quick marinade (the return of my kabab factory…), and the dal stole the show, so we were fine for an otherwise lazy Sunday.

And now the freezer is stocked for several lunches, which brings me great peace - I hate the late morning panic when there aren’t ready protein options for salad topping.

Hope everyone had a restful and happy weekend!


When I brined a whole roaster in buttermilk overnight, the chicken was then wiped clean and dry rubbed with spices the following day for roasting. Brining in buttermilk made the bird fall apart tender but the dry rub was where the flavors enhanced.


Yeah, I’m going to go this route next time. The buttermilk marinade definitely made the chicken nice and moist; just not a lot of flavor. Although looking at other recipes after last night’s unremarkable flavors, I did see others that did NOT have the vegetable oil and DID have a lot more spices/herbs added. But dry rub after brining is probably the way I’ll get it to my tastebuds’ happy place.


@LindaWhit, I think the idea of following the buttermilk brine with the dry rub shows promise.

Here’s why: I buttermilk-brined a turkey breast for Thanksgiving, in the style of Samin Nosrat, and my tastebuds did not love the result. Interestingly, I have been really happy with the result when I’ve used a buttermilk brine and herbs mixture on pork chops.

I’m guessing that the—oh so obvious!—differences between pork chops and poultry is why I have been pleased with buttermilk brining for the chops but not for the turkey breast. Meh for the turkey.


I made Chinese-American takeout-style pepper steak over brown rice:

Full run-down in COTM: CHINESE - Cuisine of the Quarter, Winter 2021 (Jan-Mar) - #26 by ChristinaM


Happy new year everyone. I don’t pray but have been really hoping this year is better. I’ve been cooking but nothing pretty or wildly exciting. Dinner last night was surprisingly tasty. A mash up of several recipes for a ginger chicken with cilantro and green onions over brown rice, green beans and cucumber salad as sides…


Happy New Year and I join you in those :pray:. Nice look’in dinner taboot.


BF made one of our favorite dishes we had multiple times in Portugal, 5 years ago now - Açorda Alentejana (bread soup), with water broth, some very stale baguette, an egg, cilantro, and evoo. Very simple, a dish that is greater than the sum of its parts

Also, a Basque-style sausage from our butcher, the BF’s sherried mushrooms, and a green salad.

Açorda Alentejana, Basque sausage, sherry mushrooms, salad

basque sausage

green salad

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold