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What's for dinner? - Printable Version

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What's for dinner? - ResiduumRevertetur - 05-21-2009

Okay, so after 18 years I'm finally sick of deciding what's for dinner. Exhibit A: I'm making beef-a-roni right now. Tomorrow is fish sticks and mac and cheese. I'm dying here. I'd like to hear what you all are having, or like to have. Sides, dessert, everything. If only for me to live vicariously! Or add something that is practical for a family of 7, so we can actually eat something good around here. I've got to get out of this rut. Thank you in advance.


Re: What's for dinner? - MTherese - 05-21-2009

I feel your pain, exactly.  I'd like to get some recipes myself.


Re: What's for dinner? - Satori - 05-21-2009

You have dessert every night? That's part of your problem, if you're trying to do that. Just make a batch of cookies or a cake or something once, maybe twice a week and eat off of that for a few days. I made oatmeal cookies yesterday.

Tuesday's dinner was meatloaf with mashed potatoes and succotash. Wednesday was hamburgers made from the leftover ground beef, served on Italian bread instead of buns, with sweet potato fries and broccoli slaw. Tonight it's gonna be chopped up Eye-talian sausage and onions cooked in tomato sauce and served over pasta, with maybe sugar snap peas on the side (I need to go to the grocery store, we're nearly out of produce).

Most of what I cook revolves around what was a special when I went to the grocery store.


Re: What's for dinner? - Melita - 05-21-2009

Here's a dinner staple, though we don't have it much anymore. It's hearty, filling and can be played around with when variations are called for. We'd eat it as a single course, or following some sort of broth (which I hate). Dessert was normally fruit or something made out of pastry if my mother had the time. I always loved jelly (jello...?) and ice cream best. When we do eat together now, it's normally pasta or fish. Nobody's home at the same time much and when we do have dinner or lunch together, it's out somewhere on a Sunday. Maybe you should try cooking food from different parts of the world every few weeks, just to include some variety. It might even encourage other people in your family to help out more.

Braggiol (called Braciolone in Southern Italy and Invertino in Northern Italy)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Ingredients:
A broad, thin slice of lean boned veal weighing 1 1/8 pounds (500 g)
3 hardboiled eggs, peeled
1/2 pound (225 g) breadcrumbs
3 slices mortadella
3 slices cooked ham
2 ounces (50 g) finely sliced salami
4 ounces (100 g) fresh caciocavallo cheese (use a fresh provolone if need be), diced
2 ounces (50 g, or a cup) freshly grated aged caciovavallo or Parmigiano
A small bunch parsley, minced
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
2 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
A clove of garlic, minced
An onion, sliced
2 cups (500 ml) tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
Sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Butcher's twine/string

Preparation:
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pot and add the onion and the tomato; season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar and cook for 15 minutes. In the meantime combine the breadcrumbs with the garlic, the parsley, the fresh and grated cheeses, the raisins, and the pine nuts. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add enough olive oil to it to soften it to the consistency of a fairly thick paste.

Spread out the slice of meat on your work surface, pounding it gently with the flat of a knife. Season it with salt and pepper and brush it with olive oil. Lay the slices of cold cuts over the meat, and shape the breadcrumb mixture into a sausage shape in the center of the meat; press the hardboiled eggs into the breadcrumbs.

Next, roll the slice of meat up around the filling, and tie it tight with butcher's twine. Heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a pot and brown the roll on all sides. Sprinkle the wine over it and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated, then add the tomato and onion sauce and simmer for an hour. When the time is up remove the braggiol from the pot and let it cool some on a serving dish. Slice it, heat the sauce through and spoon it over the slices, and serve at once.

Yields 4 servings


Re: What's for dinner? - Satori - 05-21-2009

Oh, and Res, how are you making that mac and cheese? Out of a box? Plain macaroni with cheese melted on top? Let me give you a recipe for the best mac and cheese I've ever had, all with cheap stuff that you probably have around the house:

Cook up as much macaroni as your family can eat, then mix it with a generous amount of white sauce (or canned cream of mushroom soup if you're really in a hurry, but I like white sauce better) -- get it good and sloppy. Then mix in a generous amount of chopped onion -- adjust this to your taste. Then stir in about a stick of melted butter and as much shredded cheese as you like, any kind you like. Top it with crushed crackers or -- my preference -- a couple of torn up pieces of buttered whole wheat bread. Then bake it at 350 till it's hot and gooey all the way through, brown and crispy on top.

Another easy side dish that I just discovered: baked onion rings. Just slice an onion, dip the slices in beaten egg, roll them in crumbs and salt, arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and bake at 450 till they're crispy. I used store-bought bread crumbs with Italian seasoning because I just happened to have some, but I bet they'd also be good rolled in crushed cracker crumbs.

In the thread on here about vegetarian and fish dishes for Friday, I included my own recipe for tuna cakes. This is a good Friday standby -- economical, nutritious, tasty, fast and easy. Most people probably already have the ingredients on hand.


Re: What's for dinner? - ResiduumRevertetur - 05-21-2009

(05-21-2009, 08:44 PM)Satori Wrote: Oh, and Res, how are you making that mac and cheese? Out of a box? Plain macaroni with cheese melted on top? Let me give you a recipe for the best mac and cheese I've ever had, all with cheap stuff that you probably have around the house:

Cook up as much macaroni as your family can eat, then mix it with a generous amount of white sauce (or canned cream of mushroom soup if you're really in a hurry, but I like white sauce better) -- get it good and sloppy. Then mix in a generous amount of chopped onion -- adjust this to your taste. Then stir in about a stick of melted butter and as much shredded cheese as you like, any kind you like. Top it with crushed crackers or -- my preference -- a couple of torn up pieces of buttered whole wheat bread. Then bake it at 350 till it's hot and gooey all the way through, brown and crispy on top.

Another easy side dish that I just discovered: baked onion rings. Just slice an onion, dip the slices in beaten egg, roll them in crumbs and salt, arrange on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and bake at 450 till they're crispy. I used store-bought bread crumbs with Italian seasoning because I just happened to have some, but I bet they'd also be good rolled in crushed cracker crumbs.

In the thread on here about vegetarian and fish dishes for Friday, I included my own recipe for tuna cakes. This is a good Friday standby -- economical, nutritious, tasty, fast and easy. Most people probably already have the ingredients on hand.
Ummm. I like that mac and cheese recipe. Mine's strictly from a box. Told you it was an emergency.


Re: What's for dinner? - Satori - 05-21-2009

Boxed mac? That bad, huh? You know, I bet my mac and cheese recipe would work and taste very good using boxed mac!

What kind of fish sticks? Mrs. Paul's? They taste great as a sandwich -- French or Italian bread with mayonnaise, sauteed onions, a slice of melty cheese. Toss a little green pepper around with your sauteed onion if you have it and it'll be good enough to serve at a restaurant.

You still need your veg, though. An easy salad for you: Spinach (buy the stuff in a bag that's already washed and everything) with chopped apple or mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, and a dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar.


Re: What's for dinner? - ResiduumRevertetur - 05-21-2009

I recently had a salad with a spring mix, strawberries, walnuts, mandarin oranges and raspberry vinaigrette. Oh. My.


Re: What's for dinner? - Satori - 05-21-2009

(05-21-2009, 09:12 PM)ResiduumRevertetur Wrote: I recently had a salad with a spring mix, strawberries, walnuts, mandarin oranges and raspberry vinaigrette. Oh. My.

I like that one, too ... a lot. Restaurants that serve it seem to like ruining it by adding bleu cheese ... yuck.

There's something else you can do on a Friday -- just make a big salad like the above and serve it in a boule.

Another good side dish to go with fish is cheesy grits. I especially like them mixed with a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes.

Hash browns are also good -- oh, my. 


Re: What's for dinner? - Tinuviel - 05-22-2009

From the other day:

Fridge-Cleaning Frittata


6-7 eggs
A little bit of hotsauce or good mustard
a splash of milk
olive oil for sauteeing
2 slices of ham, (2-3 oz. I used lunchmeat) diced up
1 small onion, diced
Minced garlic to taste
chopped fresh spinach to taste or frozen spinach, thawed and with water squeezed out
chopped tomatoes to taste
1-2 red potatoes, diced at about 1/4 in.
mozzarella cheese to taste (my taste said about 1/3 cup)
Grated parmesean if desired

A large ovenproof skillet.

Over medium to medium-high heat sautee onions and garlic with a bit of salt and pepper in olive oil until onions are translucent and somewhat tender. Add in spinach and sautee until wilted. Set aside spinach and onion mixture.

Add more olive oil to the med-high skillet and add small-diced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes if desired. Stir occasionally until potatoes are fork tender (around 10 minutes).

While potatoes are cooking, beat eggs with a splash of milk and a dash of mustard or hotsauce. Add salt, pepper, [and herbs] to taste. I added dried basil to mine.

Once potatoes are done, add meat, tomatoes, onions, and whatever else you have chosen back into the skillet to heat up. Add a bit of mozzarella if you like. Add eggs. Add more beaten eggs if necessary. Use a flexible spatula to pull cooked egg away from the edges of the skillet to let uncooked egg go underneath. Turn heat to medium and cover for about 5 minutes until the egg mixture is a bit more set. Add cheese on top and put until the broil for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and delicious and egg is set. Cut into wedges and serve. This can be eaten at pretty much any temperature.

***************************************************************************************************************************************************************
When I made this, it served about 5-6 people (for a light dinner, without notable side dishes). You could make more, but if you make the frittata bigger, you'll have to adjust the cooking time a bit. If you make it thicker, lower the heat somewhat when it is in the covered stage and let it go a little longer.

This can be made with basically anything you have in your fridge. Chicken, sausage, olives, cheddar, tomatoes, asparagus... whatever. I wouldn't leave out the potatoes, onion, or cheese, but everything else is switch-around-able.

You could serve this with toast, french bread, fruit salad, regular salad, rice (if you're looking for a real carb-fest with the potatoes :)) :)