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What's for Dinner #322 - the pre-Labor Day Weekend Edition

We're out for dinner at a local restaurant tonight: http://themapleroom.co.nz

I haven't eaten here for several years so it will be interesting to see what it's like now. I notice that all the reviews on the site are from 2005 so I'm hoping it's still at a similar level.

We're out and about for the next few nights - Saturday is the annual meatball cooking competition. We're judges this year so not much cooking going on. I've made some gravalax for pre-meatball nibbles for everyone; hopefully it's edible!

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

Soda streams are great. We've drastically reduced our alcohol intake too. We're also anti-sugary drinks so we drink soda water mainly with dinner. However recently we've been buying fruit teas, making a big batch, cooling it and then fizzing it. Delicious.

2 days ago
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

Always happy to share. I think this would be fantastic with grilled lamb. I used a couple of the last fiery red Serrano from our plant last night as green chillies aren't around this time of year.

Mint & green chilli sauce

Ingredients
15 grams mint
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 hot green chilli, seeds removed
1/3 cup yoghurt - unsweetened
2 tsp salt

Notes / Directions
Pick the mint leaves and roughly chop. In a mortar and pestle grind the garlic, chilli and mint with the salt until it is a paste.

Place the mix in a bowl and add the yoghurt, stirring well. Taste - it should be very hot and salty with a pleasant cooling factor from the fresh mint.

This sauce goes well with falafel and BBQ me

Aug 25, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

Ahh - thanks for explaining. That recipe has been confusing me since it started making the rounds. I imagine the mayo based sauce is a bit more lunchtime friendly than toum.

Aug 25, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

I'm trying to put together an extended family recipe book for Christmas presents for both sides of the family. I've been a bit lax getting all the recipes off folk, making them, documenting accurately the usually loose instructions and quantities (E.g. 'Pound fresh mint, green chillies and garlic with salt. Loosen with yoghurt.' - as an entire recipe) and then photographing them, so it's a mad rush now. I have about another 30 recipes to go before December 1st when I need to get the books printed using blurb.com.

So tonight, it's dinner made from three of my father's recipes. Falafel with a mint and green chilli sauce and tabbouleh. Dad's falafel recipe is similar to the recipe from Jerusalem sans the cardamom. The mint and chilli sauce is killer - salty, tangy, minty and with a serious kick from the chilli. I think it's more normal to have a tahina based sauce with falafel but I prefer his version. It's the sort of sauce that would go great with grilled meats too. The tabbouleh is just a general version with a bit more parsley than Lebanese folk normally use.

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition! [through August 23, 2014]

Thanks Gio - kind words indeed from you!

Aug 22, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition! [through August 23, 2014]

Friday here and lots of cooking going on.

I bought some fish roe the other day. I'm curing and drying some for bottarga and I've smoked some so I'm making tarama salata to eat and give away as there will be too much for me and the three year old to consume.

I've got a huge bag of spinach that was given to me so I'm thinking of whipping up spinach and lentils for dinner tonight.

There's a party I need to provide a plate for on Saturday (guests are pre-schoolers) so I'm going to do a platter of 'mummy fried chicken' pieces. It was my mother's closely guarded secret recipe when I was a child and her answer to the Colonel's eleven secret herbs and spices. I managed to get the 'recipe' from her the other day and it turns out that she just mixed whatever spices she had in the cupboard with breadcrumbs and salt. She thinks at the time it was probably packet garam masala and some extra ground cumin. I might do a buttermilk soak overnight for the chicken which means buttermilk pancakes with unused buttermilk for Saturday breakfast.

What's for dinner #320 -- The End and the Beginning Edition! [through August 23, 2014]

The bloke is out 'preparing for the zombie apocalypse' as he puts it (at the shooting range) so it was fish tonight. I finally got around to using some salt cod I made a while back.
I had wanted to do something garlic-laden with it but as I'm back in the dentist's chair tomorrow getting complications from wisdom teeth extraction sorted I opted for a dentist friendly, non garlic option.

The rehydrated fish was dusted with seasoned flour and deep fried. A salad of tomato, parsley and lots of lemon juice accompanied.

Tomorrow it will be soup for dinner, the killer red lentil and lemon soup that roxlet also makes.

What's for Dinner #319 -- Hot Town, Summer in the City Edition! [through August 18, 2014]

Hi JM, hope all is good with you.
It's not really much of a recipe. Just fry thinly sliced aubergine until the slices are golden and then add them to a bowl of yoghurt mixed with with crushed garlic, salt and pepper.

It was always one of my favourite dishes as a child and my standard birthday dinner request as aubergine were just starting to come back into season then. I like to spoon the mix into a pita pocket and eat it like that, but there are less messy ways to eat it I'm sure.

What's for Dinner #319 -- Hot Town, Summer in the City Edition! [through August 18, 2014]

It's the flip-side of summer here in NZ and sadly for us it's been a long winter of mild but lingering colds and sniffles, interspersed with the odd ear infection or dental procedure. My cooking mojo went into hibernation for a couple of months. I'm dying for crunchy, fresh tasting spring produce and sunshine.

Tonight I have a rare craving for corned beef. I've got a small silverside which I'll serve with sauerkraut and maybe some potato of some description. I'm inexperienced at cooking corned beef but the father-in-law suggested that using ginger beer/ale? as the cooking liquid makes it extra tasty.

What's for Dinner #307 - the Sum-Sum-Summertime! Edition [through June 22, 2014]

A review on that board might be good. There are tumbleweeds and crickets there right now. The only people who post to it are people travelling to NZ and asking where to eat.

This is the restaurant I really want to go to but need to talk the bloke into going to a game restaurant. Maybe next year! http://huntgatherfeed.com It's been around since the eighties and the offspring of the original owners have recently taken it over, refreshed the menu and thrown out the eighties furniture. The food has always been good but off-puttingly heavy - a massive piece of meat with a rich sauce. Now it's supposed to be much lighter but still fantastic.

Jun 20, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #307 - the Sum-Sum-Summertime! Edition [through June 22, 2014]

That's exactly what I was thinking of getting.

Jun 20, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #307 - the Sum-Sum-Summertime! Edition [through June 22, 2014]

Not very exciting fare here. Last night a gift from the MIL of a pea soup was a rare dud. She's a soup queen and it's the first time one of her soups hasn't been to our liking. We ditched it (very guiltily) and made Fuchsia Dunlop's Emergency midnight noodles. I'm not sure what to tell the MIL when she asks if we enjoyed it. I even purchased a nice dry sherry to serve it with at her insistence.

Tonight I'm suffering from a mild cold so the bloke will be cooking. Another night of a big plate of brussel sprouts. We might chop up some of my homemade bacon and add crisped bits to serve. It's Friday here so wine will be flowing. I'm sure it will numb the sore throat.

Tomorrow we're out to dinner here http://molten.co.nz . This was a great place to go 6 years ago before we left on our travels so it will be interesting to see if it's still good. It will be our first child-free evening in well over a year. No doubt we'll spend our evening discussing the child!

What's for Dinner #307 - the Sum-Sum-Summertime! Edition [through June 22, 2014]

Wow! Nice spread!

Jun 19, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #307 - the Sum-Sum-Summertime! Edition [through June 22, 2014]

Last night was Jerusalem artichoke soup. Delicious but rough on the stomach.

Tonight it's Chinese. I finally purchased a wok so I'm stir frying some garlic stems with bacon. Steamed squash with chilli bean sauce will accompany.

What's for Dinner #306 - The Friday the 13th- Full Moon Edition! [through June 17, 2014]

We love tempeh but it's hard to get here. I just deep fry it and serve it with kecap manis.

Jun 17, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #306 - The Friday the 13th- Full Moon Edition! [through June 17, 2014]

Fermented tofu chicken is dinner tonight (again). It's such a delicious flavour and so moist that it's a staple in our house now thanks to Gio.

A salad of golden beets from our garden alongside. Orange and lemon segments and black olives give it a punch - as well as the ground cumin, coriander and sweet smoked paprika dressing.

Edamame beans are also on the plate because I'm craving green right now. An eclectic meal for sure!

Imperial v. Metric issue

Another volume issue - not all cups are the same size. I bought a cup measure when living in Singapore and discovered they say a cup is 200mls. Quite different to the 250mls we say equates to a cup in New Zealand.

Jun 14, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #306 - The Friday the 13th- Full Moon Edition! [through June 17, 2014]

Comfort food tonight. We have some pork and sambuca flavoured sausages a friend makes on hand. I'll crumble these and fry the filling. Potato gnocchi will be mixed through. A couple of handfuls of finely chopped parsley will be added. Parmesan and olive oil to serve. There's cos lettuce so we'll probably do a green salad as well.

Imperial v. Metric issue

I've grown up with metric weight measurements in recipes and find them far easier.

I find it tricky following American baking recipes. I'm stumped as to how to measure a cup of butter. Unless your butter is extremely soft how do you make that accurate? As for recipes that use a stick of butter - I have no idea what that is as butter doesn't come packaged that way where I live.

I would convert your recipes to weight and note down metric and imperial. Seeing both side by side may help you get comfortable with metric.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

I hope things look up for you quickly.

Jun 12, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Good to hear you're off to the doctor if it hasn't improved. The bloke had one recently he ignored and burst an eardrum. It was very painful and caused permanent hearing damage.

Jun 12, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Sounds like a perfect evening. Those meals look outstanding.

Jun 12, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Last night we ate Japanese dishes. Agedashi tofu and miso glazed aubergine. It was a nice meal but I think I should have done something green to accompany it - edamame beans perhaps.

Tonight it's Tex-Mex I believe. I'm trying to make green chilli and am very loosely following a Jamie Oliver recipe from his America book. I'm substituting tomatillos from our summer growing efforts for the red tomatoes in Jamie's recipe. I'm also going to add a good couple of handfuls of fresh coriander as I trimmed a plant back today that was starting to go to seed. We've never eaten chilli before (red or green) so with no point of reference I'll just keep tweaking the flavours until we think it's tasty - even if not authentic.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Here's a blog with it on. Like the blogger we often use more beef and chilli bean paste than the recipe calls for. http://www.kitchenchick.com/2013/02/

Jun 11, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
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What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Tonight I'm attempting to use up some celery. It's growing very well in our garden. I'm doing a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe where the blanched celery is fried with beef mince and chilli bean paste. We've made it before and it's delicious. Salty and spicy with a lovely crunch from the celery and richness from the beef.

We'll also have her addictive sour and hot silken tofu. It's been too long since we last made it.

There'll be a Bloody Mary to start. All good spicy flavours tonight. Yesterday's storm has passed but it still feels damp and chilly so a spicy menu should perk us up.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Wonderful sounding meal.

Jun 10, 2014
Frizzle in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

The onions must have been used last week so I threw some olives on instead. We also opted to do a galette style dish instead of a calzone so we could get some browning on the cheese and broccoli. Not bad.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

It's pouring with rain here today so I'm not venturing out to purchase ingredients. Dinner will be what's on hand.

I'm going to use up the leftover pizza dough by making a calzone. I have some broccoli, some goat's cheese and I think I'll caramelise some onions for it.

I might ask the bloke to pick up some vodka on the way home. I'm craving a bloody Mary for some reason. His are very heavy on lime and tabasco.

What's for Dinner #305 - Hot Fun in the Summertime Edition! (through June 12, 2014)

Last night we made pizzas. The three year old had ham, salami, olives and capers on hers. The bloke opted for salami and chilli and I made a white pizza. Grated zucchini, salted and squeezed, lots of garlic and olive oil to serve (no cheese on mine).

Tonight we'll either make a calzone with the left over dough or take the sprog out for dinner to a sushi train (her favourite place to eat) as a reward for improved table manners. She's learning to stay at the table until she has finished eating and then say 'may I be excused' which comes out as 'cuse me'. Close enough.