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  #101  
Old 08-20-2004, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

OH yeah, they were quite good. Personally, I'd probably leave out the bacon next time since it was more hassle than it was worth, taste-wise. I grilled two of the steaks, had one for lunch, took one to work for dinner. There are two more in the freezer.

One of the things I liked about rolling the flank steak like that was that I managed to cook it to medium rare on my outdoor propane grill. That's been hard for me to manage grilling the flat version -- flank steak is generally thin enough that, if I blink, it's overdone.

I made hash browns in my GF grill to go with. If you haven't tried this yet, I heartily recommend it.

Hash Browns ala George Foreman Grill:
I get the frozen shredded potatoes (just potatoes, no added fat or anything), chip off enough to put on the grill. I put 2 small pats of butter on the bottom grill, add the potatoes, stacking them up, then 2 small pats on top. The grill kinda looks like it has walrus whiskers, but it ends up working out, I promise! I end up using much less butter than I would in a pan and they come out crispy brown Diner-perfect without mess.

For dinner, I brought fresh spinach to work and nuked it in a ziploc bag for 1 minute. Like my beef, I like my cooked spinach still mooing.
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  #102  
Old 08-20-2004, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pescifish
OHI made hash browns in my GF grill to go with. If you haven't tried this yet, I heartily recommend it.
Great idea! I'll definitely be trying that out soon. :)
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  #103  
Old 08-20-2004, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pescifish
One of the things I liked about rolling the flank steak like that was that I managed to cook it to medium rare on my outdoor propane grill. That's been hard for me to manage grilling the flat version -- flank steak is generally thin enough that, if I blink, it's overdone.
That's a really good idea. I've rolled flanksteak before to make a faux greek dish, but I baked the rolls instead of grilling them.

Quote:
I made hash browns in my GF grill to go with. If you haven't tried this yet, I heartily recommend it.
Another great idea that never occurred to me. Hell yes I'll be trying it too.
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  #104  
Old 08-20-2004, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pescifish
I made hash browns in my GF grill to go with. If you haven't tried this yet, I heartily recommend it.
Interesting. I plan on going grocery shopping tonight. I'll be sure to get some frozen shredded potatoes (or, as my mom used to pronounce them, budaidoes).
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  #105  
Old 08-20-2004, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

I highly recommend Cascadian Farms frozen hash browns. Well, for pretty much any frozen veggie, really, but the hash browns rock.
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  #106  
Old 08-28-2004, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

I need to really post here when we have gross stuff for dinner, but that's usually boring, unless it's gummy worms or something. (I made chicken breasts with BBQ sauce the other night, which was pretty bad for some reason, and then I didn't have cheese, so we made Kraft dinner, and just plain torn up Romaine. How's that? Or another other night, I made the ODB get me a chili dog from Sonic, and I think those guys had cheeseburgers or whatever, because I was tired plus all wanting a chili dog.)

Anyhows, last night was kind of dumb. Roast beef with nothing rubbed on it but salt & pepper, plus what was supposed to be liv's pasta e fagioli*, except made out of stuff we had in the cupboard, plus no onions because I'm not allowed to use onions because the Little Muffin is a big stupid baby. Then, I was going to make cookies or brownies or something, but we had almost nothing to make them with, so: shortbread.

We just got back from the farmers' market in Boulder, so tonight, I'm thinking:

Curried squash soup with these South American summer squashes. I'll get more specific once I open them up and see what they taste like. But you cube the squash and cook it in some kind of stock or else water + spices, then you blend it in the blender, with some or all of the stock, depending, adding garlic, curry, and, depending on how it smells and tastes, varying amounts of some combination of cinnamon, honey, white pepper, and maybe cumin and stuff, until it's just kind of the right spicy/sweet combination. You can eat it with sour cream on top. I've mostly only done this with pumpkin and zucchini, I think, but I reckon it'll work, probably.

Salad, with a mix that I don't know what's in it, plus another thing that I don't know what it is, except the guy said it's like spinach but it tastes 'wilder.' And fresh beets, which I'm cooking right now. And little two-legged half man half carrots, and gigantic cucumbers. Plus leeetle teeny weeny grape tomatoes. I think that's all. Serious, I'm just throwing everything in there. I might either make a vinaigrette type dressing, or else put out the plastic Wishbone bottles. Probably the Wishbone because I will probably get tired soon.

And I'm probably making a batch o' pesto out of the big-assed bunch of basil I just done got. Which should last me until the basil PLANTS I just bought start producing for me. Har har! (I already have a rosemary and a thyme, and I'm trying to start some sage from seed and see if it'll be happy in a container, but I'm not counting any of those chickens or anything like that.)

Plus I have peaches--fresh, farm grown Coloraddy peaches--and every time we get peaches, I GET TO HAVE THEM ALL. Yeah!

I heart the farmers' market. Heart it, you hear me!

* Edited to add: I almost forgot to say "Yay." The pasta e fagioli was actually danged good, even though I didn't make it right. I'll bet the right version is even better. I knew I could count on liv to come through.
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  #107  
Old 09-09-2004, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
(I already have a rosemary and a thyme, and I'm trying to start some sage from seed and see if it'll be happy in a container, but I'm not counting any of those chickens or anything like that.)
If my experience is any indication, you can go right on ahead and count the rosemary chicken. Once that stuff takes hold, it will take over the world and you can't kill it with a blowtorch.

Anyway, we just got back from Burning Man. We were in the desert for ten days, and something about altitude, scorching heat, and building shit in the merciless sun just kills one's appetite. I realized four days in that I hadn't eaten anything for 48 hours, and I lost about eight pounds without even thinking about it. Unfortunately, on the way out we stayed at the Atlantis hotel and casino in Reno, NV (if you must visit the armpit that is Reno for any reason, the Atlantis is the place to stay) and absolutely disgraced ourselves at the buffet. I ate three plates of prime rib, four baked potatoes with the works and a pile of shrimp cocktail the size of my head among other things, and for breakfast yesterday had eggs Benedict AND biscuits and gravy. Also bacon. Here come those eight pounds again.

I was prevailed upon to produce a low-cal dinner tonight, to kick off the death-camp diet that hubby and I are about to start. We're having grilled eggplant, topped with a sort of phony ratatouille-y thing consisting of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, pine nuts, Kalamata olives, black beans, a little feta, parsley and scallions, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. Brown rice on the side, maybe some plain yogurt. I think it will be good.
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  #108  
Old 09-09-2004, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

I think your dinner tonight beats the hell out of the Atlantis trough. In fact, I fully intend to rip that off sometime.

Meanwhile, you might want to pop in here when you have a mo.
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  #109  
Old 09-09-2004, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevDahlia
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
(I already have a rosemary and a thyme, and I'm trying to start some sage from seed and see if it'll be happy in a container, but I'm not counting any of those chickens or anything like that.)
If my experience is any indication, you can go right on ahead and count the rosemary chicken. Once that stuff takes hold, it will take over the world and you can't kill it with a blowtorch.
Yup. Rosemary bushes grow and grow. My parents in London have a bush beside their front door (which is north-facing) and it's a small tree. They regularly have to chop it back so they can use the door. In Johannesburg we have a bush - not quite so energetic, but with no attention it's still huge. We cut off several handfuls (of foot-long stems) when we feel like rosemary in a dish.
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  #110  
Old 09-09-2004, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Tonight I had pizza from Hell, and it was good. :yup:
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  #111  
Old 09-12-2004, 03:02 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevDahlia
I was prevailed upon to produce a low-cal dinner tonight, to kick off the death-camp diet that hubby and I are about to start. We're having grilled eggplant, topped with a sort of phony ratatouille-y thing consisting of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, pine nuts, Kalamata olives, black beans, a little feta, parsley and scallions, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. Brown rice on the side, maybe some plain yogurt. I think it will be good.
Ha ha! You are my inspiration!

We went to the farmer's market again today (we're going every Saturday because it rocks), and I got a bunch of little tiny eggplants, so I was going to make eggplant parmagiana, but then I realized I don't have any mozzarella, and I'm all like, "WTF? Now what do I do? I will go look in the dinner thread and see if anyone ever makes eggplant." Because I don't make eggplant much. And there we have it. Kind of make it sharper or something, with some bitey stuff to counter the round stuff? I will spice up the marinara sauce a little hotter, then saute the eggplant kind of garlicy and make some noodles, and put parmesan cheese all over the whole thing, I think. I am not as scared anymore, but someone better pray for me anyway.

Also, they have the most beauteous spring mixes, with assloads of arugula and such teeny baby greens you don't have to ever tear anything up, and I got little tiny plum tomatoes or something like that--I don't know what they are, but they're tiny and funny-shaped--and cucumbers with dirt still on them, which I should clean off first. And we have this big lurvely wooden salad bowl that makes salads crazy sexy.

We also have French melons for dessert.

Man alive, I love that farmers' market.
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  #112  
Old 09-19-2004, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Dinner tonight consisted of pork chops with peach barbecue sauce, twice-baked potatoes with goat cheese and chives, and bourbon creamed corn. I was in an overachieving mood. I lifted every single recipe from Epicurious and followed them pretty much to the letter -- unusual for me.

The peach BBQ sauce has the potential to be truly sublime, but I'll refrain from posting the recipe until I have it just right. Or maybe I'll keep my version a secret and give everyone jars of it for Christmas.

The bourbon creamed corn was spectacular on its own, and I did tinker with it quite a bit.

Bourbon Creamed Corn

You need:

2 tb butter
4 shallots, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
About 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 small package frozen corn, or equivalent amount of fresh corn off the cob (if you want to spend 45 minutes chasing corn kernels around, that is -- frozen is fine)
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup bourbon (I used Jim Beam -- anything fancier would probably be too sweet)
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of cold water

You do:

In smallish saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for couple of minutes, then add red pepper and about 3/4 of the scallions. Cook until pepper is done. Then add corn. If frozen, cook until it is warmed up and has thrown off all its water; if fresh, saute till tender. In either case, this will take 3-5 minutes.

Add half the half-and-half (that felt weird to type) and the bourbon. Gently simmer until the booze has become less boozy, oh, about 6 minutes or so. Add the rest of the half-and-half and simmer awhile longer, probably five minutes. Add S&P to taste. (This will take quite a bit of salt.) Red pepper flakes are good, too. Then, when flavors have had a chance to blend, throw in the cornstarch-and-water and cook until everything has seized up nicely. Garnish with the rest of the scallions. Parsley would be nice in addition. There you go.

This is surprisingly good. It would be delicious with ribs or chicken as well as pork chops; it also screams "baffling-but-tasty pot-luck dish" to me. And it's easy! Score.

(You also get to work on the rest of the bourbon while you're cooking. *hic*)
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Last edited by RevDahlia; 09-19-2004 at 08:28 AM.
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  #113  
Old 09-26-2004, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Great thread!

Two comments on prior posts.

Mango lovers: try them Mexican style. Cut up a very ripe mango into bite sized pieces. Add chili powder, a little salt and lemon or lime juice. The different flavors really play off each other. The chili/salt/lemon treatment also works very well on young corn.

Cilantro haters:Cilantro may or may not be kudzu, but I have a Georgian dish which is about 15% cilantro, and the aroma will knock you off your feet and walk the dog. I shall have to dig it out, it tastes of spring.

In the meanwhile, tonight I had a hankering for Macaroni and Cheese. After months of pleading, a good friend finally parted with her recipe a few weeks back. I suspect she got tired of finding me on her doorstep, guided to it by the smell on the Mac & Cheese nights. She believes she got it off an internet site, but does not recall which one, so apologies for not giving appropriate credit.

Here is her original recipe, and my notes and improve..heretical modifications.

1/2 pound small elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper

Topping:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Serves 6-8.


My notes.
Onion must be very finely chopped. It can also be omitted with no substantial damage to the recipe.
Pasta should be undercooked, or else it turns into mush. Leave 2-3 minutes off the cooking time
Add 1/2 tsp of cayenne for a nice kick. Can be used with paprika, or instead of it.
Add 1 1/2 tbsp of mustard instead of 1 tbsp.
Mustard must be powdered! I found that out the hard way. :blush:
Buy good cheddar. Can use more than 12 oz.
If you prefer a dense mac&cheese, use 2 1/2 cups of milk, or more pasta.
Use whole milk if possible.


She also makes this with leftovers. I haven't tried that yet because there are never any leftovers in my house. However, when she makes them, they are terrific.




Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least two nights, till firm
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees


Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces.
Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.



She fries them on the skillet, not in the fryer, and it is crunchy and delicious.
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  #114  
Old 09-26-2004, 12:41 PM
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Sweet Jesu, it's mac and cheese Mecca! I will definitely try this, Kamen. I may even be possessed to see if I could Italianize it a little into a quattro formaggi kinda scenario. Possibly some fontina and gorgonzola dolce will be involved.

Oh that reminds me, I should dig out my old Cooking Light not quite so artery-clogging version of m&c. It's really very delicious. Like all the best reduced everything versions of classic recipes, it ends up being a thing of its own instead of a meager something else.

Man am I glad you decided to start posting. :yes!:
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  #115  
Old 09-26-2004, 01:12 PM
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Default Never get out of the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamen
Mango lovers: try them Mexican style. Cut up a very ripe mango into bite sized pieces. Add chili powder, a little salt and lemon or lime juice. The different flavors really play off each other. The chili/salt/lemon treatment also works very well on young corn.
Is that why they call you Chef, because you like mangoes? :wink:
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  #116  
Old 09-27-2004, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Never get out of the boat

What's for breakfast? :coffeepaper:

SPINACH! mmm mmm good.
I was gonna make up a fried egg sandwich or something, but I just went to the market last night and the green stuff was a'callin'. Bag'o'baby spinach, nuked for 1.5 minutes, parmesan cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
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  #117  
Old 09-27-2004, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Never get out of the boat

Toasted sliced almonds are excellent in spinach. Agree with the balsamic vinegar, too.
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  #118  
Old 09-27-2004, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Never get out of the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by pescifish
What's for breakfast? :coffeepaper:

SPINACH! mmm mmm good.
I was gonna make up a fried egg sandwich or something, but I just went to the market last night and the green stuff was a'callin'. Bag'o'baby spinach, nuked for 1.5 minutes, parmesan cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
I never tried nuking spinach. I tend to sauté 3-4 whole garlic cloves in oil until translucent, add spinach, and cover. It takes about 3-5 minutes for it to wilt to my liking, and then I serve it with a few good Parmesan cheese flakes.

When I get good fresh baby spinach, I just make a salad. I add anything to it- chicken, fish, fresh berries, beets, nuts, cheese, and so on. I make some very odd salads. :) I make fresh vinaigrette every time.
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  #119  
Old 09-27-2004, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Never get out of the boat

It was breakfast -- I was going for speed and ease. Not that I don't do that every other meal, too. Almonds would have been a nice crunchy addition. I went for balsamic, though soy sauce was neck and neck in the running. I would have considered doing it with milk like some leafy cereal or something, but I was out of milk.

As for garlic, I adore garlic, but for some reason the combo of spinach and garlic doesn't work for me; I dunno why.

For lunch/dinner I brought to work a southwest salad (black beans, corn, peppers, mixed greens, feta) from Trader Joe's, organic zucchini and chicken from the whole bird I roasted in my Ron Popeil Showtime Rotisserie Grill last night.

What are you guys having? :popcorn:
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  #120  
Old 09-27-2004, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Never get out of the boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamen
I make some very odd salads. :) I make fresh vinaigrette every time.
You should rush now to Salads R Us thread and share some ideas!
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  #121  
Old 09-27-2004, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Sweet Jesu, it's mac and cheese Mecca! I will definitely try this, Kamen. I may even be possessed to see if I could Italianize it a little into a quattro formaggi kinda scenario. Possibly some fontina and gorgonzola dolce will be involved.

Please post results of your experiments. :)


Quote:

Oh that reminds me, I should dig out my old Cooking Light not quite so artery-clogging version of m&c. It's really very delicious. Like all the best reduced everything versions of classic recipes, it ends up being a thing of its own instead of a meager something else.
Well, this recipe is definitely not for calorie conscious. I think I gained a few pounds merely thinking about it.

I attempted to edit my original post, but I am past the time limit. A friend who made this recipe reports that large elbow macaroni absorb sauce better than small ones indicated in the recipe.

I admit I am wary of low fat/low calorie cooking. In my experience, they are usually pale versions of the originals, so I just indulge in the real thing, even if rarely. Low fat cheese is an abomination.


Quote:

Man am I glad you decided to start posting. :yes!:
So am I. :cheerful:
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  #122  
Old 09-28-2004, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Kamen, you're a genius. In my experience, there are two kinds of mac-n-cheese cooks: the kind who insist that one must first make a custard, with eggs and milk but no flour, and then add the cheese and macaroni and bake until the sucker forms a solid, kind of annealed brick, and those who maintain that the bechamel-with-cheese approach is the way to go. The former is tricky -- the custard usually separates disgustingly -- and the latter is boring. You appear to have negotiated a truce between the two factions, and I am looking forward to trying your recipe.
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  #123  
Old 09-28-2004, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamen
Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Sweet Jesu, it's mac and cheese Mecca! I will definitely try this, Kamen. I may even be possessed to see if I could Italianize it a little into a quattro formaggi kinda scenario. Possibly some fontina and gorgonzola dolce will be involved.
Please post results of your experiments. :)
You can count on it. Any excuse to linger over samples from the Italian cheese section of the gourment deli place is a good one.

Quote:
Well, this recipe is definitely not for calorie conscious. I think I gained a few pounds merely thinking about it.
It'll be even gooier when I'm through pimping it.

Quote:
I attempted to edit my original post, but I am past the time limit. A friend who made this recipe reports that large elbow macaroni absorb sauce better than small ones indicated in the recipe.
Very good point. I tend to avoid all really small pasta (unless it's going in a soup) because it's just not saucetastic, you know? Besides, hillocks of little elbow macaroni just look weird and unappetizing to me.

Quote:
I admit I am wary of low fat/low calorie cooking. In my experience, they are usually pale versions of the originals, so I just indulge in the real thing, even if rarely. Low fat cheese is an abomination.
I agree on the general principle, although I must admit with not inconsiderable self-loathing that if I'm going to use American mozzarella on pizza I use part-skim because all that grey, processed shit looks and tastes the same to me.

Quote:
Quote:
Man am I glad you decided to start posting. :yes!:
So am I. :cheerful:
Outstanding. :yup:
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  #124  
Old 10-01-2004, 07:03 AM
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pescifish pescifish is offline
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Dinner tonight:
pork chops pan fried in EVOO and finished off with peppadews and the juice from the jar
asparagus

I like to use fresh or pickled jalapenos with pork loins, so I figured the sweet peppery peppadews would work well. And, yup, they definitely did. :yup: I wish I had remembered that I bought a few jars of the sauces too, or I would have used that as well.

Thanks for cluing me into those little buggers, JoeP. They are a bit pricey to get shipped here, but I'll probably try to keep a jar or two in stock nonetheless. Not as hot as I'd like, but the sweet/pepper combo is delightful!
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  #125  
Old 10-01-2004, 10:51 PM
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JoeP JoeP is offline
[thanks] whisperer
 
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Default Re: What's for Dinner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pescifish
Dinner tonight:
pork chops pan fried in EVOO and finished off with peppadews and the juice from the jar
asparagus

I like to use fresh or pickled jalapenos with pork loins, so I figured the sweet peppery peppadews would work well. And, yup, they definitely did. :yup: I wish I had remembered that I bought a few jars of the sauces too, or I would have used that as well.

Thanks for cluing me into those little buggers, JoeP. They are a bit pricey to get shipped here, but I'll probably try to keep a jar or two in stock nonetheless. Not as hot as I'd like, but the sweet/pepper combo is delightful!
Yay! Where did you find them? Don't tell me you had to order them from here.

No, they're not fiery. I have used them in combination with birdseyes, and even in a hot dish with lots in cumin, coriander, fenugreek, etc there's something about the sweet peppadew taste that still comes through. But I more often use them in sandwiches, salads, etc.

joe
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