Daughter Eilene’s friends are coming over and this means feeding a crowd—they still stay in the space they have created in the garage away from the “old folks.” Her friends have express a desire to not have the Asian food that they could get at home, so I decided on meatloaf. Good sides for this are parsley potatoes and green beans.
Author Archives: karllueck
I am making dinner for Daughter Eilene’s friends and I had decided to have green beans as a side dish. Since my main dish was a French flavored meatloaf, I chose to use French Harcourt Verts with French thyme and chervil—French parsley. While Harcourt Vert simply means “green bean” in French, they are usually picked younger, and are thinner—and tenderer—than the Blue Lake variety that is most popular in the US.
Daughter Eilene invited her friends over for the first time in a long while—it is finally warm enough that they can meet in the garage space they have set up without endangering my wife and me. I had made Volga German bierocks a few days ago and Eilene asked me to make some bierocks for her friends. Not to do the same dish twice in a row, I decided to mix things up.
I am making broiled salmon for a weekday dinner and I usually make some kind of rice dish to go with it. Recently, I learned a new—to me—way of preparing basmati rice. The rice is par-boiled in a lot of water, drained, and then steamed with any additional ingredients. One of the fondly remembered dishes of my mother Claudia was green rice. Today, I decided to expand on my mother’s recipe by adding spinach—al la Florentine.
Broiled salmon has become a go to weekday dish when I need a fast meal for the family. Salmon can be canvas to express yourself—its strong flavor is complimented by a wide variety of possible herbs, spices and glazes. Frequently, I start with a glaze of one of my fruit jams—lemon or orange marmalade—but today I chose to use savory. Savory is an herb similar to sage.
Wife Jan has asked me to make cornbread. In and of itself cornbread is not a meal, it does though pair very well with chili. Since cornbread is a starch, I wanted to make a straight, bean-less chili con carne, but Jan said she like beans in her chili, so I added about half as many as I would usually add to a bean chili.
The term chile (chili) is a complex. It can refer to: 1) a large number of fresh capsicum pods of varying heat levels; 2) the dried and/or smoked pods; 3) the same pods in powdered form (with or without the seeds); and 4) varied spices blends that include one or more of the powdered chilies as a main ingredient.
This is another of those dishes that we were served in at the Panda House restaurant. I have tried to replicate this dish before, but I think this one comes closer than my last attempt. In America, we had always eaten our cucumbers either raw or pickled. It simply would not have occurred to me to fry something like a cucumber. However, because of the dangers of using night soil as fertilizer, the Chinese cook almost all of their vegetables—the rest are pickled.
I am frequently stumped by the idea “What am I making for dinner?” Over the isolation, I have often settled for the tried and true recipes that I know my family likes, but over time even these pall. In these cases I go to the internet and search, “Ideas for dinner”—especially the hits that say things like, “Fifty recipes for a quick dinner.” I rapidly go through the pictures and recipe names going, “No, no, no, possibly, no, etc,” until I find something that “rings my bell.”