What's for Dinner #68 - the Spring has Sprung Edition - April 2021

Complicated smoked salmon sandwich & simple kabocha soup with asparagus. Also caramelized cabbage in tomato sauce.



No, just no to the Oxford comma!

Milestones! How exciting!

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Happy birthday!

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That confit! :drooling_face:

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Right?! I know there’s nothing wrong with it and it’s used in so many books I love, but I must have been trained in school not to use it because I still mentally fret when doing so. Weird, huh? But then again I’m a lazy punctuator anyway.

orange bell peppers. sausage & pepper ragù.


The Oxford comma never adds confusion and often avoids it.


You’re right. It’s just a me thing.

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Looks sooo good!

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You DID set a place for me, didn’t you?

The duck confit was outstanding and what a sensational presentation on that beautiful board! I never had it prepared like that before. It was fork tender and went great with the roasted endives in mustard sauce, the pickled cucumbers, and the sweet potato puree. This chef is very talented. He combines French and Korean cuisine techniques. I am looking forward to having the leftovers tonight.


Hubs likes it in a martini :yum:


is the exotic dancing side-hustle not working out?

I made Peng’s Hunan black bean tofu with lean pork (as featured in a Fuchsia Dunlop cookbook) and cumin-lamb style asparagus (freshly ground cumin, onions, green chilies, dried chili, Sichuan peppercorn, cilantro, pinch of sugar, splash of soy sauce). Both turned out very well.


First attempt at Spaghetti alla Nerano

It was very good but not on the level of One of the worlds greatest restaurant dishes good. Then again who can expect to live up to that title in the first, second, third, forth (?) try.

Two fresh cloves of garlic in the oil with every batch.

With tips from Maria Grazia Ristorante’s feature on Searching for Italy, I drained the fried zucchini on paper towel then put in fridge overnight to soften.

Things I’ll do differently - use smaller supposedly sweeter zucchini / shorten fry time so liquid is released from zucchini when reheated / reserve more pasta water / I had robusto cheese which was good, but only regular not aged provolone.

In keeping with the Amalfi theme…

Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken

Whole spatchcocked chicken marinated in lemon juice, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and lemon slices & herbs under the skin w/a pan sauce of stock, drippings & roasted garlic.

I didn’t have the famous Amalfi Lemons. I had our own backyard Lemons :lemon::two_hearts:

Sliced Campari Tomatoes w/Arbequina Olive Oil, Red & White balsamic Vinegars, Salt, Black Pepper, Basil

A French wine with an Italian meal…

Happy Eating!


That skin looked deliciously crispy too!

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The chicken looks so luscious!

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Picked up a few Berkshire Pork Chops and made them Murphy style over a bed of broccoli rabe. Also some spring corn from Florida, which was delicious!!


Store-bought pizza dough getting all puffy and bubbly in the fridge needed to be used and/or frozen.

So did a half container of ricotta.
As did a half container of baby spinach before it went off.

So sausage, spinach and ricotta calzones to the rescue.

A large link of sweet Italian sausage was sauteed and crumbled up, and spooned out to drain. The spinach was quickly sauteed in the leftover fat and set aside.

About 2/3 cup of the ricotta was mixed with the cooked sausage and spinach, about 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella, slightly less than 1/4 cup of Parm-Reg, and a tsp of Penzeys Italian Herb blend.

I cut off 3 chunks of the dough and rolled them into balls, then spread them out into about 8" circles on a greased piece of parchment. Several spoonfuls of the meat and cheese mixture was loaded onto one half of the dough, and the other half folded over and pinched shut.

They were egg-washed, and I cut a couple of steam slits into the dough, then slid the parchment onto a preheated stone and baked at 400° for about 20 minutes or so, until almost golden brown, then sprinkled with a bit more Parm-Reg for the last 4 minutes. Let them cool down while I heated up some Rao’s marinara for dipping.

Very good! And a couple of work lunches to reheat.