What's for Dinner #70 - The "Kickoff to the Summertime BBQ" Edition - June 2021

Summertime. Countless songs have been written about it.

“Hot Fun In the Summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone.
“Summer In the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful.
“School’s Out” by Alice Cooper
“Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
“Sunny Afternoon” by The Kinks

After being cooped up last summer, we’re all itching to get out and about. What better way to enjoy the sounds of summer than with a cookout with family and friends? So what’s going on your picnic table this month?

And don’t forget the summer tunes…and the bug spray!

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I get to be the first!
Back to my low carb lifestyle, although there was a smidge of leftover wine. An old standby, cranberry pork tenderloin, asparagus and slaw.

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Egg fried rice with red onion and lettuce. With some Chiu Chow chili oil from jar.

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Looks amazing. IMO fried rice often has too little egg and yours clearly does not suffer from such a deficiency.

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Roasted beets in pluot shrub vinnagrette.

Not what’s for dinner, but it’s what was left for pictures. Hoping to duplicate a salad we had in Carmel with blue cheese, candied pecans, and arugula.

This week’s batch of Serious Eats taco filling got hoovered.

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Jazzy Jeff! Been quiet for a while, but did pan fried tofu skin rolls (can’t stand the clean up for shallow frying these)

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Tonight was leftover pork ribs, fresh jasmine rice, quick-pickled radiahes, and a mess of radish greens that my DH sauteed with garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Lots of chili crisp as per @mariacarmen. The rest of the fam had Bratwurst and various leftover and new sides.

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these were sort of a cross between tacos/enchiladas and chilaquiles. Mini tortillas were lightly fried and then dipped in La Victoria Salsa Brava. topped with eggs scrambled with onion, cilantro, jalapeno/serrano, and bacon. RG black beans, too, sliced avo, and a bit of crema.

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Takeout from Din Tai Fung tonight because someone was craving it.

Vegetarians had - vegetable rice cakes, sesame glass noodles, mushroom fried rice, woodear salad, soy noodle salad

Everyone had - garlic broccoli, green beans

Meat eaters had - crab and pork XLB (new since the last time we ordered, and my nyc fave), jidori chicken wontons in spicy sauce, spare ribs, and pork chop over egg fried rice.

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I made red beans and rice for dinner last night. I was distracted since I was making lasagna to feed the freezer (and for dinner tonight) and somehow added too much water. Very soupy and not as expected. Strained it and soldiered on. We eat my mistakes. The rice (made simply in a pot) was perfect. For this dish I formed it in a small bowl and put the rice in the middle of a plate as a “castle” and floated the beans and sausage around it as a moat. Roasted tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms.

The lasagna must be better or self-flagellation will ensue.

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Whom are you telling that to??

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No one in particular. It’s a statement. We all make mistakes. We eat ours.

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Tonight I made GANJANG-BEOTEO DAKGUI (Soy Butter Pan-Grilled Chicken Thighs) from Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking. Served with her ssamjang (a condiment with fermented soy bean paste, sesame oil, scallions, ginger, and a tiny bit of gochujang and sugar - my new obsession), CSA lettuce, sesame-garlic garden radish tops (we’re not even halfway through the batch), jalapeños, and sticky rice. Chicken recipe is reprinted here (scroll down).

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So do we. But I should make clear that it’s my mistakes.

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“Grilled” (in a cast iron pan, in the oven) squid, on salad from the balcony, which is the best kind of salad. And vichyssoise, which I need to add more liquid to for future servings, 'cause it had a little too much structural integrity.

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Grilled halibut tacos with cabbage cilantro slaw and chipotle tarter sauce. Grilled corn with onion, poblano & baby bell peppers.

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We both cook. We both eat my mistakes and both eat my wife’s mistakes.

While the red beans and rice were disappointing, the lasagna was a huge success. I’ve been using this particular recipe for at least 20 years. For those that care about such things I’m a ricotta guy, not a bechamel guy.

I double the recipe for a 9x13 and make three 9x9s. This time I made four 8x8s. The last one is a little…deficient. What am I going to do with all the 8x8 tins? sigh Maybe I’ll try tripling the recipe…that sounds like a rabbit hole. I’ll have to do the math.

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I made this composed “salad” based on ingredients we had in the house: potatoes, cucumber, asparagus, and a small chunk of packaged smoked salmon.

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The star of the plate turned out to be the
boiled yellow potato salad that I dressed in peppery Greek olive oil, lemon, and dried parsley flakes. Dried parsley works better than fresh for this in my opinion. Very subtle flavor, flakes adhere to the potatoes better, and no parsley bits stick in your teeth!

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I’d like to hear more.

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I like both, but because I struggle with making bechamel (balsimella) it’s ricotta here too.

Practice makes perfect and that’s what I will have to do someday to prepare the balsimella-layered lasagna of my dreams. For the record, that version is layered with lots and lots of carmelized onion.

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

― Jonathan Gold