What's for Dinner #76 - the HO "Ho, Ho, Ho" Edition - December 2021

Cottage pie (beef, not lamb) with cauliflower parmesan topping. Guinness gravy and cremini mushrooms and kale instead of the more pedestrian traditional peas and carrots. Comfort food at its finest!


BTW, the nominations thread for Dish and Cuisine of the Quarter is up. Come and help us brainstorm! Winter 2022 (Jan-Mar) Cuisine and Dish of the Quarter - NOMINATIONS

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Lots of errands that were stupid on the Saturday before Christmas: CVS, Post Office (Ugh!), BJs Wholesale Club (not as Ugh’y as I thought!) PETCO (surprisingly Ugh’y) and Market Basket in my hometown (WTHELL was I thinking? This was beyond Ugh’y!)

Should have done them on Monday afternoon at the beginning of my week off. But they’re all done now, so…

So a pull from the freezer: defrosted Argentinian wild caught pink shrimp with a saffron cream sauce over toasted Israeli couscous with asparagus and wine alongside.

I might go for some chocolate ice cream later.


I can either be going to the chair tomorrow or the wife and kids are out doing some holiday crap. My meal choice doesn’t reveal much to tell you which one is true.
(just wish the warden of this institution kept sour cream in the kitchen)


Chicken thighs and potatoes roasted in duck fat. Cabbage, radicchio, carrot and sugar snap pea slaw.


We enjoyed another sensational dinner at the Circle Restaurant in Newton, NJ. We enjoyed roasted Maine lobster with herb compound butter, sautéed escarole and chili crisp; braised short rib, Asian pear, charred onion, and shiso; cacio pepe pasta with Italian truffles; foie gras with honey crisp apple, pickled mustard seed, and brioche; and mushroom bisque soup. It all went great with an excellent cabernet and Syrah.


Flatbread with pistachio-walnut-tapenade and roasted cauliflower and finished a parsley-frisee mixture and balsamic reduction - very good with lots of umami for a vegan dish.


Yum @LindaWhit!

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Well played.

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Last night I made Melissa Clark’s shrimp scampi pasta with fennel. I use clam broth for the liquid and added chopped clams along with the shrimp off heat. The kiddo ate with gusto. I thought the sauce was a little gloopy - pasta in the IP works better with cheese or tomato sauces. Arugula salad with cherry balsamic vinaigrette on the side.


Holiday dinner party at friends’ last night (all vaxed/boosted). I ordered a mess-o’-meats from Horn BBQ in Oakland, best I’ve ever had, even in Texas! Their brisket is phenomenal - smokey, not at all dry, incredibly tender. also a ton of pulled pork and some hot links (missed taking pics of those - too much negroni), which were also fantastic. Also, Horn mac & cheese, slaw, potato salad. Someone made a pear and greens salad, which i didn’t even get to taste, we had cheese and veggies and bread and onion dip and my crack cambozola cream dip with Torres truffle chips. Star of the show, however, for apps, was the Jacques Pepin deconstructed/composed butter, or “decomposed” butter, as I called it :stuck_out_tongue:. French unsalted butter, softened, topped with coarse salt, ground pepper, a touch of urfa biber, dots of zhoug and calabrian chili paste, finely minced shallots, capers, chives, and fresh herbs - dill, parsley, basil, oregano. Lemon zest at the end, then drag hunks of good crusty bread through it. We all went nuts over it! I brought a pistachio butter cheesecake my writing group leader (who is also a baker) made for me, a friend made some kind of really pretty cupcakes and these wonderfully buttery spiced cookies. Negronis, martinis, a couple of delicious reds, and lots of French bubbly. i spent the night, left early this a.m. Bonus: no hangover!


Le Gallais Champagne


Mixed bag tonight.
Parents had baked beans and toast (a childhood favorite for them and for us).
Sis and I had masala omelettes (green chilli, onion, tomato, cilantro) with toast.
Everyone had vegetable barley soup.

Last night we had colossal shrimp with peas, pav (dinner rolls), rice, and cut salad (carrots & cucumbers).


that shrimp looks divine!

talk about a stupid day - i picked up the BBQ (see my post) in Oakland and i knew there was a ton of traffic and i was headed back to my sister’s for the rest of the afternoon before the party - she lives on same side of the bay as my friends do. So i turned on GPS but out of habit hit “home” instead of her address, and before I knew it and could turn around, i was heading onto the Bay Bridge toward San Francisco - an extra HOUR LONG DETOUR in horrible traffic. many eff-bombs later and a turn around at Treasure Island, i made it back to her place. the bbq meats got a nice long ride. i was so pissed at myself!


My dear husbands favorite saying is “if Karen finds me in the kitchen, she asks me if I am lost” :grin::grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Ooooh, I would have turned the air blue in my car! But you made it back, and the brisket looked AMAZING! The “too much negroni” sounds about right after the extra driving. LOL


Happens. Happens to all of us.


Lazy day.
Easy dinner.

Half package of Rana’s cheese tortellini with sauteed broccoli florets, carrots and red bell pepper.

Sauce of Presidente Garlic & Herb spreadable cheese, heavy cream, pasta water, and a mixture of dried herbs (parsley, oregano, basil, savory, and thyme). Grated Parm-Reg on top.

Wine. And Sound of Music on the TV.


Bloody Bull

Cold rainy weather had me craving a bowl of hot and spicy shrimp gumbo, my favorite muffaletta salad salad and warm baguette and butter.


A quickly thrown together dinner of sausage, chicken, peppers, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. I added some dry vermouth in lieu of white wine to make it a bit more saucy.


We enjoyed another outstanding dinner at Il Nido in Marlboro, NJ. Besides the always awesome charcuterie board, we enjoyed steak tartare with pickled onion, cornichon, sous vide egg yolk, truffle and toasted pretzel; an awesome cannelloni stuffed with duck confit and butternut squash puree. It was like elevated comfort food. We also enjoyed a crispy skinned branzino and an excellent linguine with clam sauce.It all went great with an excellent Amarone and cabernet.