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

Yesterday I ordered from a local home catering business I’ve been wanting to patronize for months.

Two sisters, quite young, making a handful of Lao dishes. They even dropped the food off - very professionally packaged.

Two kinds of fried spring rolls - one in a lacy wrapper, the other one normal. Lao sausage - mild. Lao savory beef jerky - milk. Papaya salad - regular mild, and vegetarian mild. And sticky rice for the kiddos who love it.

All the food was homestyle - a bit rustic. The sausage was deliciously flavored, but there were bits of lime leaf and gristle that had to be dealt with. The jerky was delicious, if a tad drier than I’ve had before. The papaya salad was gorgeous - they packed everything separately with instructions, and mixing it fresh made a difference. The spring rolls - which was the whole reason I ordered - were slightly disappointing, though - the filling to wrapper ratio was off.

BUT - I was happy to try them, and will again. I’ll probably write them a note with feedback this week - they’re fairly new at it, so maybe it will be helpful.


Super Bowl nachos with pulled pork and pickled jalapeños


Nachos here too, but with seasoned ground beef rather than pork. Heavy on the pickled jalapeños please!



Ravioli nudi, sage butter, guanciale


Everything :heart_eyes: :star_struck: :yum:

We had country ribs with a Cajun dry rub and Trader Joe’s sweet potato fries, as well as a spinach dip, with crispy pita chips, that I ordered from my chef friend. It all went great with an excellent red blend from the Willamette Valley.


Cassoulet-light from the freezer (leftovers from our NYE dinner.) Lots of beany/porky/ducky goodness! Lightly toasted Acme olive bread and a big salad with all the crunchy things, in a garlicky oregano vinaigrette.


Sunday bean soup with bread . Cheers .


We had ANOTHER snowstorm today. Another five or so inches on top of the near foot we had last week.

The BF made beef stew. The snow was not so bad early on so we made it to the supermarket. He really is the king of comfort food. He did not use a recipe for this and it was honestly better than the Beef Bourguignon he made a few months ago (Julia Child’s recipe). And yeah, sorry mom, this was better than the beef stew I had growing up. It took some time to realize that while mom is a great cook, she was always trying to health-ify everything and there was never any salt in anything! This stew had a perfect salt content.

Two cups of wine, bacon, a litany of herbs, and seven cloves of garlic contributed to the awesome flavor.

There was crusty bread to sop up all that goodness.

And due to the snow, several whiskey-gingers. Even the cat was thirsty.

No Super Bowl tonight. Really could care less about football-- my hockey and baseball teams give me enough unnecessary stress.



Stew looks awesome.

Whiskey gingers! must investigate.

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Definitely not a trivial matter.


So, how were they? I’m always on the lookout for dumplings with a thin wrapper and lots of filling. What was the filling?

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It was actually very good. We had been buying bags from the Asian market to compliment our Asian cooking nights and also Chinese takeout. Could not really spot much of a difference!

There are several versions, all of which are suited to taste. You can use ginger ale or ginger beer (Gosling’s preferred). If you enjoy the spice and bite, go with the latter. As for the whiskey, Jameson or an Irish whiskey of any kinds works like a marriage with ginger beer. But I tend to always have bourbon on hand, so Maker’s Mark or Bulleit is what I use. Lime wedge optional but I find it helps/makes a difference.


thanks! I don’t usually have ginger ale/beer on hand, but maybe I’ll get some…

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Big green salad, then chicken marsala
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a friend gifted me some Omsom Asian marinades - they were recently touted in Bon Appetit. I’m not big on pre-prepared marinades, but she asked if I’d used them yet so finally tried one - Lemongrass BBQ. Sliced pork shoulder marinated since Sunday afternoon. I did add a little minced bird eye chili for a little heat and a smashed garlic clove, but when i tasted the marinade by itself, it tasted really good and fresh.

And it turned out great! Very fresh, fish-sauce forward, subtle on the lemongrass, but present. The marinade really permeated the meat. Served it over sticky rice, with a bowl of nuoc mam and cukes/red onions marinated in rice wine vinegar, sugar, and chili flakes on the side. Cilantro and mint to garnish. This is great if you don’t want to buy lemongrass and keep stalks of it around to dry up, like usually happens here because i forget and get lazy to chop it up and freeze it for the next time.

She also gave me the sisig and larb starters, complete with toasted rice powder. The ingredients list is small and without a lot of chemical-y sounding names. Looking forward to trying the other two now.



Fried rice ( 臘腸 * lap cheong, chicken, char siu)


It all looks good, but

oh, mama!

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

― Jonathan Gold