What's For Dinner #66 - the Candle Lights in Chilly Nights Edition - February 2021

Much appreciated @naf

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Crêpes are always sweet for the French, the savoury version is called galette, and is made with with buckwheat.

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We kicked off February in New Jersey with a huge snowstorm that started Sunday night and is actually still going (just a flurry now). I tried to get to work yesterday, but my SUV would not even budge from the spot. So I called out of a job for the first time in my life and had myself a snow day.

Food-wise, we were thoroughly unprepared. We are not the panicking kind and that combined with a lifestyle of hitting the grocery store almost daily, meant we were practically empty. So we did a repeat of the pulled chicken nachos on freshly fried corn tortilla chips from the other day-- thank goodness for a well-stocked spice cabinet. Had a little bit of Tito’s left in this handle, so left it to chill in the snow.

We have ground beef defrosting for pastitsio tomorrow night (a good winter dish!) and the BF is off today so will attempt to get to the grocery store. Don’t know what we’re eating tonight yet.

Hope everyone else in the NE is safe and sound!

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Prep very similar to the popover batter I have on repeat. We don’t own that clever wooden tool but I have a crepe pan our son bought while living in France. I use it for super thin cooked eggs. When our son still lived with us, he was the crepe, choc mousse and lamb maker. Haven’t thought about crepes until this post in a long time.

His french cookbook is stashed around here somewhere…

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We lucked out and did not get any where close to the amount of snow as @gcaggiano, but it was still cold, sleety and VERY windy. Since we made a pilgrimage to H Mart last week I decided to use some of our purchases to make a kimchee and fish stew/soup. I had some pho broth in the freezer to which I added mushrooms, shallots, kimchee, ginger, gochujang, and potatoes. I let the base simmer to cook the potatoes through and added some sea bass, also from the freezer. It was nice and hot in all the best ways.

One of my favorite sections at H Mart is what I call the banchan section, where I picked up squid in chile sauce and crispy fried fish. I served them as well as a quick bean sprout salad I made.

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Croque Monsieur … Tuesday Light Dinner.

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Spent the morning shoveling - we got nearly two feet! Treated myself to a mocha latte with Kahlua while getting a pot of Bolognese together to simmer all afternoon. Standard traditional recipe except I used fennel instead of celery (because I was out of celery and there was NO chance I was going to the store on our current streets!). I just tasted it and I like the extra complexity of the subtle anise flavor. Just need to make a salad and dinner is served!

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Quickie tonight - crispy chicken (with “General Tsao’s sauce” on side), sesame buffalo roasted cauliflower, light ranch, sauteed sugar snaps with soy sauce and butter.

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Yesterday I had a very late lunch that ended up being my dinner - sprouted moong beans, made into a gravy dish that’s halfway between the two types my mom makes :rofl:. Really good over some leftover sabzi polow from weekend middle eastern takeout.


For other dinners I made cauliflower cheese (gratin) for the kids - it was delicious but the frozen cauliflower disintegrated along the way, so the texture was dubious. And yet, 2 lbs of cauliflower all gone. Also, GF and mostly dairy free except a bit of cheese for flavor and topping. Forgot to take a pic.

And pan fried salmon with harissa, my mom’s tomato salad, and roasted cauliflower for the sib.


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I’d like to add that my DH “helpfully” unscrewed the cap on the sauce bottle. Unaware me gave it a hefty shake and sent sauce flying all over me, my hair, and the kitchen!

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Thanks for creating a new thread, @naf. My Feb. 1st was a shitshow as was my Feb. 2nd.

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Why I DON’T like WFH:

  1. my laptop screen is too small for what I need to work on, especially when I’m doing monthly invoicing for clients.

  2. My dining room chairs SUCK to sit in for 9 hours. Even with a couch pillow behind my back.

  3. The boyz won’t leave me the hell alone most if the day. If I’m home, I’m there to serve them. No matter what crisis is going on at work.

Why I DO like WFH:

  1. I can take a lunch break and make a fresh grilled cheese sandwich for lunch when my group starts asking questions about the BEST way to make a grilled cheese sandwich, vs. getting a salad from the local pizza shop or eating my take-in leftovers from home.

  1. I can sleep in an extra hour.

  2. I can wear comfy clothes.

  3. I can plan dinner on the fly and not have to remember to take stuff out of the freezer the night before. I can just walk downstairs and pull out what I want from the freezers mid-morning so it can defrost in time.

So it’s a toss-up. I’ll go back into the office tomorrow after a “snow day” today. Dinner was a bone-in pork chop, osn-seared in olive oil, with shallots and red grapes added in near the end of searing, white wine splooshed in for a quick reduction, then into the oven to finish.

Sides were maple-ginger mashed sweet potatoes and steamed green beans. And despite it being a Tuesday, wine.

Oh, and Mother Nature needs to cut this shit out with 20" of snow overnight, y’hear?

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Exactly. I got 30 inches last Tuesday

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Sounds like a good case for one of these portable monitors.

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Taco salad (greens, peppers, tomatoes, onions, olives, marinated chicken, corn chips crumbles) with accompaniments of refried beans, corn, guac, salsa, and fried plantains.

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Mole con Pavo - turkey mole tonight! I had a couple of turkey thighs in the freezer, and the ground mole mixes I bought in Mexico City a couple years ago. I think this was the Mole Poblano - very chocolatey, smoky, spicy, with good heat - didn’t need a thing. Sauteed a little onion and added the mix, then stock. Seared the thigh seasoned with cumin & s&p, then let it braise in the mole for about an hour, basting every few minute. Mexi-rice with cilantro, RG ayocote morado beans, and a little avo & red onion salad on the side. Very satisfying meal.

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Bell and Evans Chicken Rollatine with spinach and gruyere. Served atop browned butter gnocchi which I tossed with sautéed spinach.

The gnocchi was boiled earlier in the day and left to chill. I sautéed the spinach with extra virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper, and lots of garlic. I then removed the spinach, cranked the heat, added butter and crisped the gnocchi. Tossed together when finished.

Side note: this was the first time I’ve had Bell and Evans and I’m trying to debate if it is worth it. Will need another meal or two using it.

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Thomas Keller’s simple roast chicken tonight.

Vegetarians had asian-style beyond burger meatballs that I made: first instance where I’ve thought they tasted about as good as real meat.

Sides were shiitake mushrooms, snap peas, kabocha squash, and schmaltzy onions.

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I made some Singapore style laksa for dinner tonight, using up some shrimp shells and heads from the freezer.

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asparagus-soup
Herb infused rotisserie chicken and cream of roast asparagus soup, very easy and delish.
Coarse chop the asparagus, onion, and garlic. reheat an over to 400°. Pop the vegs in a pan with a spray of olive oil for 20-25 minutes.Put in a saucepan and cover with stock (veg or chicken). Simmer until tender. Let cool and puree with an immersion blender 'til smooth. Add salt, pepper, and spices to taste.

Add milk or cream and heat just below boiling, then serve with a garnish (chopped parsley or chives).

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

― Jonathan Gold