What's for dinner? (Part 42)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1296426/ and we're still cooking after all these months. Around here, we're almost ready to welcome spring, but winter hasn't left for good, so there's still time for hearty soups and stews, and stick-to-your rib meals. So what's cooking at your house?

Thumbnail by Terry
Dahlonega, GA

I had deep fried catfish for dinner and tried a new recipe for crab hushpuppies . They were lite and tender but will jack up the flavor next time .

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I resurrected some shad from the freezer and baked it in the oven with strips of bacon. It's almost time for shad again and I still had some left over from last year because my friend got me more than I asked for. Along with the shad we had oven-fried potato wedges and sauteÚd kale with garlic. It was all very good!

somewhere, PA

Thanks for the new thread Terry. I'm off for Phila and then Connecticut to buy plants.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I meant to post before now that the fried rabbit was quite good. Not very much meat because I only bought a small one, just in case I didn't like the taste. I took photos of cutting it up, and after cooking... but I've misplaced the gizmo to download them to my computer.

Tam, isn't CT a long way to go to buy plants?

somewhere, PA

Yes but at this time of year there are no places closer to get rock garden plants that are close to bloom. We go to one of the premier wholesalers and they let us pick out the plants that look the best. Folks also try to force things - I've got a bunch of bulbs & plants in my greenhouse but its very difficult to get time it for peak during the show week. I have no where near enough for the exhibit - not enough room even if I had the skills & conditions to do this properly.


So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Ahhh! Plants for the exhibit. I was thinking plants for home...

Missouri City, TX

Thanks for the new thread.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

You're very welcome :-)

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Yes, thanks, Terry.

The plantains seemed unnecessary with the hearty black beans, rice and salad last night so they got saved for tonight. We will have yellow squash, zucchini, mushroom, onion and two cheese burritos. I'm going to bake the burritos after cooking the veggies and make a big salad and saute the plantains.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Mm mmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm we have lamb chops for tonight. Maybe a rice medley and fresh asparagus. If there's a chop left there could be curry tomorrow.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Lat night we had jerk chicken, brown rice and cabbage/carrots/onions in chicken stock last night. I'll be using the leftover chicken to make jerk burritos tonight. SO has a meeting leaving me on my own for dinner.

I've meant to post this for a while as passed on by DD. The reference to curry powder is because I make spice batches for her whenever we get together. She swears by this recipe...

"This dish is really, really fabulous. Unique and hearty, and SUPER EASY. Great comfort food and I think you and dad would love it. DEFINITELY something to try before the cold days fade."



1/4 cup canola or peanut oil
2 tblspns curry powder (Mom's curry powder ; ) )
4ish cloves garlic (I just take a hearty scoop from my pre-blended container...)
1 medium onion (or thereabouts)
1 quart beans (I've used red beans and garbanzo beans, although the original recipe calls for "white beans". I think any bean of choice would work just fine.)
1 quart tomatoes
Lots of black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tblspns peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 325 and then heat a dutch oven or similar dish on the stove-top. Add oil. Add onions and saute until wilted. Add garlic and curry powder and cook for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and then beans. Take a bit of cooking liquid and mix it in a cup or small bowl with your peanut butter to loosen it. Add peanut butter to the beans/tomatoes, etc. Add plenty of black pepper and salt to taste. Stir well.

Place dish in oven and bake uncovered for 2 hours

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

That does sound good. Tell her hello from me :-)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Last night we had gator. Well, not literally, but figuratively. And it was wonderful. (Yes, we drove to Knoxville to watch a basketball game, then drove home afterwards. There's a high price to be paid for being a hard-core fan and living 200 miles from your team.)

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

My ADD DD is still here. She off to the beach today and will spend the night there and come back tomorrow afternoon. After 2 days, she has me bushed. She made chicken tortillas last night. YUMMY.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

After hearing all the reports on the Mediterranean Diet and heart disease, I decided to go with it.

Dinner last night was a poached steel bass filet, and a spinach salad with blue cheese in a whole wheat pita pocket. Was hoping to add the pomegranate arils, but, they were kept a tad too long...

Breakfast this morning was an egg and spinach omelet with fresh green onions and lo-cal WW cheese in a whole wheat pita pocket...

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I just did that with arils too, these were already seeded so it was a good buy with my coupon doubled (!) and I used some but then the remainder stayed too long at the ball. Sigh. I hate it when I do that.

I'm thinking Mediterranian tonight too, have some nice fresh asparagus and a rotisserie chicken that was on sale. What it becomes is yet to be determined.

Reading a food report, says about half of the olive oil you buy isn't really olive oil. How to tell? Put some in a small vial, put it in the frig, if it solidifies, it's olive oil. If it stays fluid....it's not. Could be half and half too I suppose. I'm going to try it. The last I bought was from Trader Joe's, imported EVOO from Italy. I will be disappointed if it's not pure.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I was on a 8-hour ferry ride once, going from Turkey to the island of Greece. Got into a broken English/Greek conversation with a young couple heading home. Their family owned olive groves for years, and the discussion turned (of course) to "what's the best olive oil".

They said that the processed EVOO that we eat in American has filtered out all the taste the Greeks treasure. It is not the crystal clear, see-your-reflection-in-it olive oil that is prized there. It is the murky, cloudy, liquid gold pressed from the olives the first or second time only.

Go figure...can't even find cloudy olive oil here...

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

The EVOO I use always has a slightly cloudy look, and a good bite. It gets a residue built up on the bottom quickly. I just stuck some in the fridge to chill and test like Meezers suggested.

I use other cheaper (but still imported) olive oils to cook (and I'm out of them)... this one I use as a finishing oil. It's too expensive otherwise.

This message was edited Feb 27, 2013 4:30 PM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Linda, I have no idea what these people were telling you. First cold press oil or EVOO is the most murky. Olive oil gets more clear (and cheaper and less flavorful) after subsequent presses. Second press oil is best for cooking because more solids have been removed along with the stronger flavor. This means it has a higher heat tolerance. So the best cold pressed EVOO you can afford for salads and to top dishes and the second press that is labeled 100%pure olive oil (but not extra virgin) for general cooking.

The equipment used to press oil is called an expeller. If the temperature is controlled to keep the expeller cool while the oil is being pressed the oil is said to be cold pressed. The reason for cooling is the heat caused by friction on the expeller damages the flavor of fine olive oil. Most domestic and cheaper shelf brands of olive oil are not cold pressed even on the first press.You get what you pay for. European countries have laws regarding the quantity of olives they can use from other countries and still designate the oil from their country. Both Italy and Greece use olives from Spain. Spain has very fine olive oil, in fact my favorite, but that's not the point. There is no truth in advertising here. The same goes for many wines where grapes are shuffled from country to country and the country of denomination is only partly disclosed.

Terry, I'll pass it along.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

"It is the murky, cloudy, liquid gold pressed from the olives the first or second time only...(that is prized there)"

That's what I said, yes? No?

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Yes, that's what you said. Speaking of pressing.... My DGF (who passed away when I was a baby) used to make his own wine, and told my father the first pressing of grapes was for family, the second pressing for friends, and the third ...well, not too desirable, so anybody could have it.. I have no idea if this is in fact true, or just revisionist family history.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

We do a first pressing and then a second. The second wine isn't aged but is drunk sooner; the first wine ends up in an oak barrel for a year or more. The second wine can be decent but it's not what you'd want to serve to guests, usually, if you took pride in your winemaking.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Linda, I misunderstood your post. But still, I don't understand why they would think Americans only use or prefer clear olive oil.

We are having grilled fillet mignon, stir fried veggies and brown rice.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Not a problem, Laurel.

I guess it might be because you only see crystal clear bottles of Olive Oil on the store shelves, unless you're shopping at a specialty store, or fine dining store?

I'd have to go there to see a cloudy bottle of Olive oil...LOL!

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Come to think of it there are mostly items I ignore on the grocery shelves. We have reached an age and stage where we can eat simply, cheaply and best. The car is on autopilot when it comes to traveling around the city to acquire our staples. I rarely go in to a grocery store. Maybe every three or four months. But most of the time our bounteous supply of international and farmer's markets are enough to sustain us with quality foods. Then there is all the food we grow in our kitchen garden.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I think there are labeling requirements on olive oil and EVOO must be first-press. That doesn't mean all olives - or olive oils - are created equal when it comes to taste, but speaking personally, I've never bought olive oil that's anywhere near crystal clear. Shrug. I'm whipping up a quick bite for tonight, then packing. We're headed to Memphis tomorrow night for the weekend.I hope we don't have to drive in a snowstorm, but if we do, we will :-)

somewhere, PA

I'm back from the Phila Flower Show - exhibit is done! Whew! Now I can focus on regular life again. I got a little convection/toaster oven so should be able to enjoy roasted veggies and such while the kitchen remodel is underway.

Here's a link to my photo album from today (in case you are curious).



Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

What fun to see your display, Tammy. It looks great. I've never been to the Philadelphia Flower Show even though we're less than an hour away; I just don't like crowds. So it was nice to get a peek at it through your photos.

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

I love the tool booth!!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Booth looks great, Tam!

somewhere, PA

My dear sweet hubby built that and he is getting great feedback from members of the rock garden society & all the people who walked by it while we were setting up. I'll pass along the kind words.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Hey Tam, he built my dream tardus! It is gorgeous. Why isn't he doing the kitchen?

I have a pot of veggie soup going and soaked garbanzos overnight to grind and make falafel. I'll make an Israeli salad and stuff pitas with the falafel, salad and top with my Greek yogurt.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Kids are coming over for dinner so I'm going to feed them some shad.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I tried Meezer's tip on chilling EVOO to see if it's been adulterated or not. (I refrigerated the samples for 48 hours.) All three say First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Thumbnail by darius Thumbnail by darius
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

The olive oil cold test is bogus. Really with so many different varieties how can the results be the same? http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/olive-oil-fridge-test/32830

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Actually, that article only says it's not a 100% foolproof test.

However, it happens to be the best one available to me since I have yet to see a list of olive oils that have been tested for purity.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Here is more information on the topic. http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/freezing-olive-oil I don't doubt that some oils are cut but also don't think refrigerating olive oil is an accurate test of purity. I've brought home oils from Spain and Italy where I've seen the product pressed and bottled and it does not necessarily coagulate.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Tonight we are having Blackened Salmon with a Blue Cheese Cream Sauce, a large salad, peach tea (unsweetened), and fresh blueberries with Greek yogurt for dessert.

Blackened Salmon with Blue Cheese Cream Sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, for frying
4 (6-ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon fillets

Blue Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Season each piece of fish with the rub.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes.

For the sauce:
Place the white wine into a medium saucepan and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream and allow to reduce. Add the blue cheese and whisk until smooth. Serve on top of the salmon.

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

Yum yum....printing this out for a future meal. We're heading out to dinner tonight to a local Greek Restaurant.

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