dinners and dinner ideas

Had in January
Coq au vin: from Clean Eating magazine; next time I’ll use Julia Child’s recipe – or maybe her chicken ragout, which is similar but simpler
Beef brisket: in a baking bag with tomato sauce and whatever spices are around, 6 hours at 300F
Goulash: didn’t have my own recipe book with me so used htis instead, and it was excellent.
Steaks: grilled once, and once Ted pan-fried them in bacon fat with garlic, onions, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar and spicy mustard and horseradish, then fried potatoes with the cooked bacon)
onion soup (and salad): slice onion into thin wedges, simmer in beef bouillon 1/2 hour, serve over toasted bread with lots of grated cheese – I used a mix of mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan, that being what I had
roast turkey (with cheesy mashed potatoes): I use the Joy of Cooking method, which is to pre-heat the oven to 425, turn it to 350
dal makhana (let’s see: I omitted, the cream, added minced garlic, omitted the ginger/garlic paste, used a dash of ground cloves instead of whole cloves, omitted cinnamon, and used ground cumin instead of whole cumin seed. Oh, and I added some diced chicken, sauteed with cilantro and turmeric.)
tacoes: one of our old standbys
Spaghetti with meat sauce: ditto
pan-fried salmon, with steamed broccoli
a one-pan chicken and potatoes dish, whose recipe I can’t seem to find again

Had in February
Shrimp etouffee (Note: tasty, but proportion of flour to butter is wrong; will look for non-Emeril recipe next time)
Caesar salad with broiled chicken, roasted garlic on toasted French bread: this Caesar dressing recipe is really good; I don’t have a grill at present so broiled the chicken and bread; I will make again with broiled chicken, grilled chicken, or shrimp)
tortellini alfredo (the prepackaged stuff from the supermarket)
Mexican beef casserole; Tasty, but given the two cans of soup (also two more cans of enchilada sauce and green chilies) and 8 ounces or so of cheese, plus the general gloppiness of the meat/soup/sauce as I was mixing it, it sort of felt like a heart attack in a casserole dish. It was good, so I’ll probably make it again … but maybe not too often.
Pot roast
Chicken (and vegetables) pot pie: Made it for Valentine’s day, and it was unutterably bland. If I ever make it again, I’ll do a New Mexico version, swapping out the carrots, thyme and most of the peas for cilantro and green chilis. However, the cheesecake-stuffed strawberries we had with it were great, as was the single-serving cheesecake I improvised with the remains of the cheesecake filling and the rest of the graham cracker – actually crushed Teddy Grahams – crumbs, plus a bit of brown sugar and butter.
Flank steak with artichoke/pepper/bread salad: Both parts of this were excellend and they went well together – but I think flank steak has lost its status as a good cheap meal. Our local supermarket charged me over $13 for a pound and a half of it. On the other hand it cooked really fast. I did put the flank steak in a marinade when I moved it to the fridge to thaw.
Chili – an old standby of mine. Don’t have the crockpot here so I used a Dutch oven. This time I added a can of green chilies, which worked really well.
Diablo shrimp – good and I’ll definitely make it again, but I need to add something, like mushrooms or sundried tomatoes for texture.
Roasted checken breasts, with roasted Brussels Sprouts: Meh on both counts, and one of the chicken breasts took forever to finish cooking. Next time I want to go either smaller (quarter instead of half breasts) or larger (whole chicken). The sprouts weren’t bad, but pan-fried with cheese is better.
Pan-fried salmon, with asparagus and new potatoes
Potato-mushroom gratin: Recipe from the back of Sheila Connolly’s mystery Sour Apples, to which I added a few strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled. Not stunningly wonderful, but not bad; next time I’d use a lot less cream, and maybe add cheese within the layers instead of only on top.

I don’t think I cooked as creatively in March, and neglected to write anything down. Somewhere in there I did roast a small chicken, made broth from the carcass, and froze it in various-sized portions for later cooking. I also had Seder dinner with my family, so we did lots of cooking for that – matzo-ball soup, a turkey, Pesadic chocolate torte, and so on, and later I made a flank steak for them.

What we had in April:
a double batch of jambalaya, to take half to a party
pot roast, tossed salad and steamed broccoli when the in-laws came to dinner
tilapia, made to Mom’s recipe (4T lemon juice, 3T Dijon mustard, 2T honey; microwave for 3 minutes) with broiled asparagus.
We also had Indian food delivered on night – the local place was pretty good.
(*with in-laws)
*roast chicken
*flatiron steak (12 min on one side, 8 min plus a bit more on the other, a big hit all around and very tender)
*Dal-stuffed mushroom “pizzas”: recipe from an SCD site, tasty enough to make for people not on the SCD diet
*Taco salad
*Strawberry pie (crust and meringue from 91 Paleo Desserts cookbook – crust was tasty and easier than a normal piecrust)
lentils with onion and garlic, cooked in tomato sauce over pasta (basically a vegetarian chili)
Saumon Tarte aux chaud avec sauce beurre blanc, with rice pilaf: recipe from Elle Decor April issue; fancy and impressive, but more flash than flavor.
Steak, with Spring Greens Namul (I used chard and spinach) and the leftover pilaf. Ted didn’t like the sesame flavors in the namul.
Cajun Chicken Alfredo This was excellent! But it took longer to make than I expected, nearly an hour.

May: I haven’t been keeping up with this page, so I’m only going to update sporadically from here.
Buffalo Chicken – I broiled chicken brest filets instead of wings, but the sauce was great and it worked well – for sides we just had carrots and celery with Ranch dressing for a dip.
Frito pie (I used plain flour instead of masa, and Fritos from a big bag on a plate instead of serving in individual bags. We had it on the deck overlooking the lake and it was GREAT. This may be my new chili – it was good and quicker than my old way.
Flat-iron steaks and asparagus on the (new) grill.
Thai shrimp salad
Grilled tilapia and artichokes, with aiolimayonnaise mixed with balsamic vinegar, and lemon butter for dipping

Other ideas
beef stew
eggplant lasagna
regular lasagna
grilled (or broiled) sausages
tuna casserole (one of Ted’s specialties; not my favorite, but it’s sort of a comfort food)
Sloppy Joes
beef stroganoff (Ted’s idea, I don’t like it much)
chicken cacciatore (not sure I like this either)
Chunky soup over rice (one of Ted’s standards from college)
Red beans & rice (if I can find a pig’s knuckle!)
Welsh rarebit
Lemon chicken

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