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Norm Matthews

Dinner 2017 (Part 3)

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A Chinese chicken hot pot with lots of ginger, garlic, chillies, spring onions and mushrooms.

Served with rice and stir fried water spinach.

 

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Minced beef & veg curry puffs...

I really had no Idea what to do for dinner and this came to me as I rummaged around the freezer. Everyone was happy and it occurred to me that the someone could create a food van with just Puff Pastry recipes.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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19 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

It was another wonderful spring day in the neighborhood here, with afternoon highs in the mid 70's F/20's C. Sunny and not nearly as much wind as we've had lately. I'm getting really tired of having to hold tightly to the screen doors to keep them from smashing around in the winds lately.

 

So it was a grill out day! I started with a warm spinach salad. I cooked off bacon strips, removed and drained the bacon on paper towels. I poured off most of the bacon fat, reserving a little and added chopped onion and sauteed that a while. While that was going on, I juiced a lemon, and made lightly sweetened lemonade in a pint glass, because I like it fresh squeezed. I stuck the glass, which had been waiting in the freezer and filled with refrigerated water, lemon juice and sugar back into the freezer. Then I added vinegar, just a little sugar, salt and pepper to the sauteed onion in the skillet for the spinach salad dressing. In goes the baby spinach and that gets tossed over low heat until the leaves are coated well with the dressing and beginning to wilt a little. They continue to wilt after plating, which is why this dish waits for no woman. Top with a sliced hard boiled egg and crumbled bacon, and you have a delicious salad. I ate that, cleaned up the skillet and stove, and then went out to lay my charcoal fire.

 

When the fire was ready, I took a rib eye seasoned with salt and ground black pepper out and put it on the grill to cook. I started the microwave on a baking potato and went quickly back out to tend the grill. When the steak was almost done, I went back inside, turned the potato over in the nuker and hit it with another 2-1/2 minutes and took a clean plate out to retrieve my steak.

 

While the steak was resting, I split the potato, mashed the insides in the skin a little with a fork and added, butter, chives, a little mixed shredded cheddar and provolone, then returned it to the microwave for 30 seconds to melt everything together. When it came out, I topped the potato with yet more crumbled bacon and cut off a generous portion of the 1-1/2 pound, inch thick rib eye for my dinner. The steak was perfect, tender and oh so good. You know what, though? I think I prefer just butter and sour cream on a baked potato. Maybe a little chives. I will try a loaded one every so often, and it's okay, but next time, I'll definitely go simpler.

 

I had to forgo the usual roasted marshmallows for dessert, but it was worth it. I had some purchased chocolate cupcakes in the fridge, and I knew they were good because I had one for dessert last night. Tonight, I indulged in a second one.

 

Oh, and by the time I retrieved my glass of lemonade from the freezer, after I had sat down and taken a few bites of steak and potato, I discovered it had turned to lemonade slush. I liked this drink so much, I made myself another one, but the second one wasn't frozen, and a leetle vodka might have sneaked into it. :D

 

I read this and immediately wanted to make a warm spinach salad with the gorgeous spinach I scored at the store.  Using the White Dog Cafe Recipe as a base....similar ingredients to yours only with the addition of sauté mushrooms in the bacon fat, deglazed with white wine.  The dressing has thyme leaves, Dijon, Oil, red wine vinegar, s and p.  I love the IP.....no hard boiled eggs around so in about ten minutes I have some in the fridge for my salad. .

 

Regarding your potato, I would agree that a nicely cooked potato needs only some simple enhancements.  Cooks Illustrated have a somewhat involved recipe for twice baked potatoes done in the oven.  Pots are baked whole, sliced in half and gutted.  The whites are combined with similar ingredients to yours or other variations.  This mix is stuffed in the shells after they have been put back in the oven to dry out the shell a little...crispy good.  They are nice potatoes but the potato is not the star.

 

Nice to see you making proper meals.  :xSo difficult when cooking for one. 

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I went to my neighborhood pizza joint again for their Monday special $6.99 14" pizza. Man I love their pizza! Burned the roof of my mouth slightly, as usual, and it was well worth it, as usual. If you are reading this in driving distance of Cary and like good NY-style pizza, get yourself to Primo Pizza. They have really good tiramisu too, but I passed since I've been indulging in chocolate cupcakes and still have 3 left in the fridge. They are a mom and pop shop, and really work to deserve your custom, unlike the chains. Don't get the cheesecake, though. I don't think it has cheese or eggs or anything that makes cheesecake what it is. It is the only thing they offer that I've tried that I found lacking.

 

When I went a few doors down to the Harris Teeter grocer, I could not find any Romaine lettuce that was on my list. There wasn't even a single head of iceberg either. Finally, after searching high and low, I accosted a guy putting up citrus and he explained that they were out of a lot of produce items from California due to flooding. Okay. I settled for one of the three small heads of green leaf and was happy to get it. It set me back $2.49 as opposed to the 99 cents the last head (that was twice as large) I bought cost. 

The guy said it might be as long as May before supplies from CA were back to normal. I also had feta on the list, but since I like that mostly with the unavailable Romaine, I nixed that and picked up a pound of strawberries instead. A spring salad of green leaf lettuce with strawberries and a sweet and sour soy sauce and ginger dressing is on the agenda for dinner sometime very soon. So if you like lettuce, you might want to pick some up while supplies last.

 

Salads may be hard to pull together for a while, but they had plenty of other green stuff: escarole, endive, spinach, chard and rainbow chard, kale, and on and on.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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@Thanks for the CrepesThat's really interesting.  In the middle of California, I can find pretty much any kind of lettuce.  Haven't paid much attention to the price, but I did buy a big plastic tub of spring mix for $5.00 a couple of weeks ago.  Actually couldn't eat it all before it wilted.  

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5 minutes ago, Jacksoup said:

@Thanks for the CrepesThat's really interesting.  In the middle of California, I can find pretty much any kind of lettuce.  Haven't paid much attention to the price, but I did buy a big plastic tub of spring mix for $5.00 a couple of weeks ago.  Actually couldn't eat it all before it wilted.  

 

Well, I guess it was last Friday when I was in the Food Lion, and was wanting lettuce there too, but knew I'd be going to Harris Teeter in a couple days. I passed on the small and pitiful looking lettuces they had, since I thought I could pick up something better at Harris Teeter. Food Lion's lettuce was not only small, but especially the red leaf had already started to decompose. They had plenty of iceberg, but that wasn't what I wanted. Food Lion is not known for its stellar fresh produce or wide selection, but rather for the lowest prices available in the area. There are bags and tubs of spring mix and spinach and baby lettuce, but I suspect that kind of thing might not be grown in the fields that are flooding. I'm just relating my experience here locally. Someone else on eG 

mentioned recently (like the past couple weeks) they couldn't find good lettuce either, and I thought, "Well, thank goodness, we still have plenty". YMMV, but that is the scoop on lettuce from Cary, NC for the past three days. :D


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Found a lovely patch of nasturtium here on Stewart island. Collected some for an omelette.  

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Another Bugialli Lasagne al forno.  No need for a repeat of the picture.  Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself?  After assembling the lasagne I had no strength left to make my mai tai.

 

I did achieve a small improvement though.  Last week I didn't sit down to eat till 2:00 am.  Tonight I finished dinner by 2:00 am.

 

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3 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Another Bugialli Lasagne al forno.  No need for a repeat of the picture.  Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself?  After assembling the lasagne I had no strength left to make my mai tai.

 

I did achieve a small improvement though.  Last week I didn't sit down to eat till 2:00 am.  Tonight I finished dinner by 2:00 am.

 

Life's uncertain. Make the mai tai first. xD

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Baked sweet potato two ways, on the left with tuna, mushrooms and ricotta, on the right bacon, cheddar, sour cream and chives. The salad is rocket, feta, figs in syrup and toasted walnuts dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, fig syrup, salt and pepper. Followed by Black Castello with crackers and persimmon chilli jam.

 

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I saw a copycat recipe for Cheesecake Factory Shrimp Scampi and gave it a try.  It was good but I don't know what the original recipe tastes like so i can't compare.  We had it with some homemade bread.

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Scallop sandwich with rosemary fries

 

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Another take on the NY Times radicchio salad.

 

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This time I disregarded the instruction to make a vinaigrette and just piled everything on the plate:  radicchio, red onion, avocado, anchovies, capers.  Tomatoes and mozzarella, my own addition.  Balsamic and olive oil over all.  Served with a baguette from the CSO this time.

 

And I took to heart Anna's admonition to make the mai tai first.

 

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Posted (edited)

I've been out of dinner-making action for a while. A combination of injuries received, work and travel commitment and laziness. I have made one or two meals, but repetitions of things I've posted before.

 

Tonight I tried something I've never done before. For many of you, this may be routine or, at least not unusual. But a whole new departure for me.

 

I started with something in my comfort zone. A plate of salmon sashimi. This time with sea salt and lemon juice as a change from the usual soy-wasabi route.

 

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Then into enemy territory.

 

A pie. A chicken, leek and mushroom pie. Something I always enjoy but have never made.

 

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With boiled new potatoes.

 

I was happy with how it looked, but to show you the filling in the interior (and to eat it), I had to mess the pie up.

 

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It wasn't perfect and I can think of many improvements to the filling for next time, but I was reasonably happy with my first venture. And so was my stomach.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Posted (edited)

Salt and pepper squid with Sriracha mayo sauce, roasted asparagus and a salad. Too easy.

 

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Host's note: for more delicious discussion and dinner inspiration, see the next installment: Dinner 2017 (Part 4).


Edited by Smithy Added host's note (log)
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