Tag Archives: weeknight dinner

Tuesday Dinner: Pasta with Mushrooms, Pancetta and Wilted Greens

2014-11-11 at 18-14-51It occurs to me that there are a lot of greens in my house. I have a big bag of kale that I picked up at Wegmans two weeks ago (kale keeps forever), two bunches of Swiss chard from my Saturday farmer’s market trip and a bag of mixed greens that I grabbed at the store. The latter is a blend of kale, and turnip, mustard and collard greens. They were on sale and looked intriguing, particularly since I knew that this dish was on tap for this week.

I actually intended to make this last week, but The Wife’s digestive system fell apart (she would probably appreciate that I did not go into any further detail). This meant that my Meatless Monday plans were pushed to Tuesday, and we had a bland dinner of turkey sandwiches. Looking at all of the food I bought, this was the dinner that could get bumped until this week.

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Wednesday Dinner: Rustic Chicken In Garlic Gravy

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Our second visit to Seasons & Suppers is a shot at Jennifer’s pan-roasted chicken thighs. We’ve talked at length her about how I prefer chicken thighs to other cuts of the bird, and I think we have even touched on my family’s attachment to garlic as an element of cooking.

Naturally, this recipe’s call for 20 to 22 garlic cloves caught my eye. The last time I cooked with this large quantity of garlic was a stab at sopa de ajo, where 30 cloves were put into play. Co-workers complained that I was emitting a garlic scent during the day and that they could not sit near me. I wasn’t sweating, but my natural Jared scent had been poisoned by a high concentration of garlic. I didn’t notice it until the first time I had to use the restroom that day. It turns out that eating large quantities of garlic has the same impact on your excretory system as consuming asparagus. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Rustic Chicken In Garlic Gravy

Meatless Monday: Kale and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

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The best reason I can come up with for why I don’t use more black-eyed peas is that I never really ate them while growing up. We all branch out and try new things, but when it comes to things like beans, I think we just lean on the familiar. Cannellini beans are popular in Italian cooking. Black-eyed peas are popular in Southern cooking styles and dishes like Hoppin’ John. So, maybe it’s not so unusual.

Anyhow, black-eyed peas are high in calcium, folates, protein, dietary fiber and vitamin A. When paired with kale, high in vitamin A, C, K and calcium, you can get a lot of nutrients out of a meal.

The original recipe included sausage, but it was easy to eliminate it for Meatless Monday purposes.

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Tuesday Dinner: Chorizo and Pinto Bean Chili

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So, my primary source for raw chorizo in the area is Nichols Supermarket in Liverpool. I could have traveled out to Manlius and hit Side Hill Farmers, but 45 minutes roundtrip in the car for a pound of sausage seemed silly. I should make a batch of my own and freeze it. Anyhow, I went to Nichols to find out that they weren’t making chorizo regularly anymore. The change in seasons and shuttering of grills meant that they were dialing back their sausage making.

I was angry, or as angry as one can get over sausage availability. What they did have was something called “Cuban chorizo” made with chicken, instead of pork. I’ve heard of Mexican and Spanish, but Cuban was new to me. Apparently, this is a milder version loaded up with cilantro. And, there are worse things in the world than a bunch of cilantro. Ebola, for instance. Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Chorizo and Pinto Bean Chili

Tuesday Dinner: Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Mozzarella

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The cooler air and shorter days mean the return of sauces, soups and pastas. I hold out hope that I can get one or two more grilling days in this fall, but that remains to be seen. I’m not one of those people who will grill year round. I’m lacking a deck or patio door allowing me easy entry and exit from my house. We keep our grill in our detached garage, meaning that I have a 100 or 150 foot walk from my house to the garage. Not going to happen.

So, consider this recipe as part of the transition in seasons.  What caught my eye in this dish from Vikalinka was the use of fresh mozzarella in the sauce. I was hoping that it would melt more than it did, but the softened cheese added a lot of great flavor to what might be an otherwise ordinary pasta dish. Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Mozzarella

Thursday Dinner: Cavender’s Lamb Burgers

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A long, long time ago, I asked for help to build a CNY food box for my friend in Little Rock, Ark. I did actually make one. It’s been sitting on my dining room table for weeks as I keep forgetting to pack and mail it to Allison. Her food kit arrived last month. Among the goodies involved was a shaker of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning. Greek seasoning from Arkansas?

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Yeah, Greek seasoning from Arkansas. Cavender’s has been making their Greek spice blends in Northwest Arkansas since the 1970s. Now call me crazy, but I didn’t think the Ozarks were a hotbed of Greek immigrants. Apparently, I am wrong. Continue reading Thursday Dinner: Cavender’s Lamb Burgers

Meatless Monday: Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Mushrooms

2014-09-08 at 17-20-08By my best estimate of I’m closing in on one of the final days of 2014 when I can write from my back patio. After all, I live in Syracuse, N.Y., so it could snow any minute. This is one of the very few things I enjoy doing outside. The list is short:

  1. Writing
  2. Enjoying alcoholic beverages
  3. Playing with The Kid
  4. Grilling
  5. Avoiding members of my family

Beyond that, I have little use for the outdoors. The Creator bequeathed Willis Havilland Carrier with intelligence to invent air conditioning and who am I to tempt fate?

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Back to the subject at hand: tonight’s dinner. The inspiration came directly from Julia’s Album, a food blog out there in the cosmos. The recipe looked good at its base, but I thought it could use a couple of changes to expand the flavor profile of the dish. The combination of sundried tomatoes, cream and mushrooms produced a sweet, earthy flavor, and I thought a little sherry would help.

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Tuesday Dinner: Fried Eggs with Bacon, Gorgonzola and Arugula Sandwiches

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Before we get going here, I think it’s necessary to say a couple of words about bacon. I think we can all come together on the fact that bacon is both extremely tasty and not good for you at the same time. I think most of us will agree that the best bacon is made by your butcher in the backroom of his or her shop. If you’ve never had fresh bacon, get to Bostrom FarmsSide Hill Farmers, The Piggery, or a meat store near you.

I think we can also agree that turkey or tofu bacon is actually a by-product of the Cold War, manufactured by the Soviets to break us apart as a nation.

Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Fried Eggs with Bacon, Gorgonzola and Arugula Sandwiches