What's For Dinner #74 - The Long "Fall Into Darkness, Warmth & Comfort" Edition - October 2021

I have a warm acquaintance (i.e., not all the way to friend), who once ordered a martini glass full of olives, with a little gin, for the table. This was a good idea. But it threw the server for a loop. I should go back to the Soho Grand and see if they ended up putting it on the menu.


There is no sadness that can’t be cured with bacon.


We celebrated an uncharacteristically warm October evening with an easy meal and a glass of wine. On a Wednesday!

Roasted peppers and onions with pre-made meatballs, side salad studded with end-of-season tomatoes, and homemade focaccia from the freezer. Our oven did most of the work.



Good Afternoon.

The key ingredients utilised in the Oyster “Granita” were:

Fresh oyster on half shell was removed from the shell, washed and then patted dry.

The ingredients to create the “celery colored scoop” were:

Marinated Green apple
Spanish Cucumber
Lemon juice from a lemon
Lime juice from a Canary Island lime (just a drizzle)
A tiny bit of marine lettuces
A pinch of green herbs assorted
Creme Fraîche

All were blended to a fairly thick texture with a Stick Blender and then with a large tablespoon, scooped and placed on top of the oyster in the shell.

This is all I remember the waiter telling us.

To be honest, the Prosecco was heaven on earth.

The lunch was good (product wise - all fresh and wild it was not phenomenal) …

Pomegranates would of been a better choice for a “Granita” with just a drizzle of lemon and the green apple and Creme Fraîche.


Thanks for this “double treat”, as described by your waiter and your intuitive substitution of pomegranite.

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I love it! Given that management allowed such leeway, a great server would have complied without losing a beat and with a perfectly straight face.

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It was missing the harmony of something a bit sweet.
Had alot of sour … And of course, truly and honestly, I prefer my fresh oysters with nothing but slurping them off the shell. A drizzle of lemon but nothing more !!!


Thursday. A simple prawn & aubergine = eggplant) & spaghetti dish … lovely views …


This is the second dish I made from the NYT section mentioned above - “Toasted Coconut Rice with Bok Choy and Fried Eggs”. You toast jasmine rice with coconut oil and when slightly browned, add water and let the rice simmer until almost done. Add the vegetables and let them steam atop the rice. Top with fried eggs. The recipe called for toasted sesame seeds but I had some unsweetened coconut that I toasted instead. The rice could have been a little more coconutty. My coconut oil is advertised as almost no coconut flavor which works for many things but not that well here. I may add some unsweetened coconut milk next time I make it. It was super simple and I’m a sucker for anything with a fried egg on top.


Cheddar “brats” roasted over baked beans and onions. Buttered broccoli as the side.


do you have a recipe for the manti-style rigatoni? that sounds so good!

When you posted about this, I actually thought it would be a great stand-alone thread.

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Sure! Well, sorta. I mixed whole milk organic yogurt with a generous amount of salt, minced garlic, and dried peppermint. The ground beef was sprinkled with a little baking soda and s&p and fried with minced onion, shallot, and TJ’s umami seasoning powder. I made a tomato sauce with half a large can of crushed tomatoes cooked down with sugar, 3-4 Tbsp of butter, and some sweet paprika, ground New Mexico chili and s&p. Boil pasta shape of choice in heavily salted water drain, and toss with butter. Plate the pasta and top with the garlic yogurt, then drizzle with the tomato-butter sauce, top with the ground beef, and season to taste with ground Aleppo chili, sumac, ground Urfa chili, and za’atar. Another dollop of yogurt looks nice on top.


Maybe you should start one! Have you made any of the recipes? I’m thinking about the Sumac Roasted Fish for one day next week.

I haven’t made any of the dishes but sumac-roasted-fish are firmly in my wheelhouse.


Collards, white beans and andouille sausage soup, from a variety of inspirations and cheats . Chopped garlic in a jar and canned, seasoned beans! I have a meeting tonight, so…



Oeufs en meurette: poached eggs in “beef stew without the beef”. Bacon lardons, mushrooms, carrots, onion, garlic, veal broth, boatload of red wine, reduced to a rich ragu. Comfort food!
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i see it’s a beanie-weenie night round here. Friends’ mom’s recipe for Calico Beans - 3-4 varieties of beans in a sweetish/ground beef/bacony stew. Recipe asked for a can of pork and beans - already prepped! I bought a can of Van Camp’s P&B, but i didn’t end up using it because it didn’t need it. I used Rancho Gordo pinto, corona, and black beans, however, instead of canned, and then followed the recipe - tho I added some bacon salt, pimenton, and cayenne for a little smoke and heat, and a little sprinkle of Mexi-cheese. LOVED.

Also made cornbread muffins from a mix (Marie Callender’s), and a very mince-y cole slaw. Lotsa muffins leftover. Not a lot else.


oh good lord that looks fantastic!


thank you! i just restocked my urfa biber supply!

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

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2