Category Archives: Supper

Spenser for Dinner

So I ended up with a copy of Robert B. Parker’s Bad Business.

RBP Bad Business

Just the kind of read to unwind a busy work week on the Friday of my weekend.

(That sounds rather convoluted, but since week-ends are considered Saturday and Sunday, but I work Saturday, so my not at work days are Sunday and Monday….which makes Tuesday my Monday and Thursday my hump day and Saturday my Friday. So, SATURDAY, I read this book on Saturday night.)

And there were several cooking/eating/ food scenes in the book, because that’s the way Spenser is and that’s how Robert B. Parker writes.  I remembered, back in the day when  the books had been a TV series called Spenser for Hire

Spenser_For_Hire_title_screen

Robert Urich was Spenser

Robert U spes leatehr

and a pretty good stand in for Robert B. Parker

RBP with dog

Complete aside: Season 3 – that was 1987  –  they filmed a Thanksgiving episode. Which include scenes shot at Plimoth Plantation.

Spenser season 3

All three seasons are available on DVD

Season 3, Episode 7 Thanksgiving

 First Aired: November 29, 1987

Spenser takes Susan to Plymouth for Thanksgiving and runs into an old Army buddy whose down on his luck. When his friend, Mike Kaminsky, is accused of murdering the young wife of an elderly philanthropist, Spenser tries to prove him innocent. As Susan looks after the Kaminsky family, Spenser and Hawk search out the shifty background of the murder victim, and deal with the controversy conscious step-son. Attempts on Spenser’s life ultimately lead he and Hawk to the those responsible.

Someone (actually, quite a few of us) got to come in early to be pilgrim ‘extras’. Should you watch said episode and see a pilgrim with a dead goose?

MOI.

But my 15 seconds of fame is a story for another day.

Since the series was called Spenser for Hire, I thought the companion cookbook should be called

Spenser for Dinner

Because of course, there should be a cookbook.

Back to Bad Business.

At the very beginning of Chapter 46, Vinnie is cooking up sausage and vinegar peppers…..

green-sliced-vinegar-peppers-32oz-jar.jpg

But any pickled pepper could work in this…

So I checked out the North End Italian Cookbook, and sure enough – sausage and vinegar peppers with potatoes.

sausage vinegar pepper FOOD

Sausage and Vinegar Peppers and Potatoes

2 # Italian sausage

1/4 cup olive oil

6 large potatoes, peeled, sliced thick and wiped dry

6-8 vinegar peppers

  1. Brown the sausages in the oil. Remove from the pan.

  2. Add the potatoes to the oil , turning till cooked and crispy.

  3. Add the sausage back and then tear the peppers on top, letting the juices fall in with the meat and potatoes. There will be steam when he vinegar hits the pan, so be careful.

  4. Turn off heat, cover  and and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

  5. The note in the cookbook says hold for a second day, but I’ve made some stellar fritatta…..just saying.

  6. adapted from pages 103-4

North End Ital cb mine

For Italian food from Boston, any one of the editions of North End Italian Cook Book will be your friend.

SPenser for Hire - Hawk and spenser

Did I mention Avery Brooks? He was in the series, too.

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Filed under Books, Italian, New England, Supper, The 1980's, TV shows

Goldenrods

Goldenrods

as in Goldenrod Eggs….

Martha Stewart Living April 2017 featured a story about Goldenrods…. not the weeds, the  eggs

msl-April2017cover-225x300

goldenrod eggs Betty Crocker

This is the photo from the Betty Crocker version.

Reading the article I had a Remembrance of Things Past moment, except it was for something that I had never eaten….it was something I’d read about.

It was a book I read when I was nine. Or ten. Definitely before 11.

I think it was called

“Two in Patches”.

Patches was the name of the car. More properly, a roadster. I’m pretty sure it was written in the 1930’s.

roadster

a 1930’s roadster

There was a brother – who was old enough to drive – and a little sister. She was close to my age – 9 or 10 or 11.  They had to drive cross country to get their parents who had been working in the steamy, vine-tangled jungles of Peru. Or hottest Brazil. One of those exotic, faraway places. They had a grown-up, who might have been Grandpa, that they picked up somewhere. They ended up in California, and there was a happily ever after reunion. It would probably be a good companion piece for The Grapes of Wrath.

There were hobos, and not all of them were friendly.

Sometimes they had to beg for work to earn food or gas money. I believe “beg” was their word for it. They gave people rides in exchange for food or gas.

Beret-e1457039149493

This is pretty close to what I remembering  what the girl might have looked like.

It was not a picture book, but there were line drawings.

ANYHOW….

…..at one point they are really hungry and they break into a hen-house. They get caught, and the cagey old farmer invites them in, and the girl cooks up a big old batch of……

EGGS GOLDENROD

So I looked up a recipe,  Thank you Betty Crocker

and merrily went on with my life. It seemed rather like egg sauce on toast, and I can’t say that I craved it or even thought about it again until I opened up Martha Stuart Living.

So, thank you for a trip back in time. Now I need to make some bread to have the toast to make the eggs….

A version roughly contemporary with my remembered childhood volume:

Goldenrod Eggs

Make a thin white sauce by melting

1 Tbls of butter then adding

1 Tbls flour. Add

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt and

Fg pepper. Stir until thick and smooth. Chop the white of

3 hard cooked eggs and add to white sauce. Cut

4 slices of toast in halves lengthwise.

Arrange on a platter and pour sauce over them. Force yolks through a strainer or potato ricer, letting them fall upon the sauce making a mound of yellow. Garnish with parsley and toast points. This may be served on individual dishes.

Serves four.

Wakefield, Ruth Graves. Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. M. Barrows and Co.: New York. 1937. p. 61.

Ruth Wakefield Tried and True

Evidently, Fanny Farmer published the first Eggs Goldenrod recipe back in 1896. This is based on other peoples say-so. I’ll be on the look-out.

Eggs à la Goldenrod.

3 hard boiled eggs.

1 tablespoon butter.

1 tablespoon flour.

1 cup milk.

1/2 teaspoon salt.

1/8 teaspoon pepper.

5 slices toast.

Parsley.

Make a thin white sauce with butter, flour, milk, and seasonings. Separate yolks from whites of eggs. Chop whites finely, and add them to the sauce. Cut four slices of toast in halves lengthwise. Arrange on platter, and pour over the sauce. Force the yolks through a potato ricer or strainer, sprinkling over the top. Garnish with parsley and remaining toast, cut in points.

bost127

Boston Cooking School 1896

 

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Filed under Books, Influencers, Recipe, Supper, The 1960"s, Wicked Wayback

Mrs. Wall’s Favorite ….

Muller’s Macaroni and Ham au Gratin

 

The Mrs. Wall in question is Nana Wall.

This is from a clipping of a vintage paper, with no date, but definitely Wayback….

 

Mrs. Wall’s Favorite Mueller’s Elbow Macaroni & Ham Au Gratin

½ of a 1 pound box of elbows

3 TBL butter

4 TBL chopped onion

2 TBS flour

¼ tsp salt

2 ½ Cups milk

1 C cooked ham, cut into strips

1 C grated American cheese

  1. Cook elbows.
  2. Sauté onion in butter, blend in flour, salt and milk. Stir until thick.
  3. Layer sauce with elbows, ham, and cheese in greased casserole dish.
  4. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until brown.

6 servings

From undated Mueller’s advertisement with Nana’s picture, also:

“Save $1.47 over average meal of meat, two vegetables for a family of four”

mueller elbow

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Filed under Recipe, Supper, Wicked Wayback

Shrimp Girl

I’ve been so busy eating and cooking and eating and eating…..I haven’t been writing about it. Much of my cooking has been taking what was left and making into something new, something fresh, something different…..

Like leftover shrimp from Christmas Day….

shrimp-ring

There was some of THIS left….stay late at the party, score the leftovers!

As much as I love just picking and dunking shrimp to cocktail sauce…..and then thinking

“Is it TRUE that shrimp cocktail came about because of Prohibition?”

Or was that FRUIT cocktail????

I wanted a hot meal, but since the shrimp was already cooked, it just needed to be a re-heat element.

.

eatfeed

Eat Feed Autumn Winter – Anne Bramley

Anne Bramley also does the podcast EATFEED – I’m interviewed in the  PIE episode.

But I had pulled this book off the shelf, and sure as shooting – shrimp!

Citrus in Season

Chapter 18

Chili Lime Shrimp with Rice

Coconut Black Beans

pp. 148-151.

Since this was a light supper, I made a few revisions:

Chili Lime Rice with Shrimp (and coconut)

I made some rice, adding the zest of the lime and some hot pepper. When the rice was done I added the naked shrimp, chopped, and bit of coconut and served it in a rice bowl with a squeeze of the the now naked lime – note to self – next time squeeze citrus first and then zest.

rice-bowl

These are the rice bowls currently for sale at Williams-Sonoma. I bought a set of 12 for less , much less then a set of four now goers for, back in the olden days of the Carter Administration. I still have two.  Nine moves and three decades.

Anne also quotes Harry Nilsson… you know

which make me think of

william_hogarth_002

The Shrimp Girl is a painting by the English artist William Hogarth. It was painted around 1740–45, and is held by the National Gallery, London.

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Filed under Christmas, Eating, Pie, Supper

Comfort Food

What makes comfort food COMFORTING is that it’s big, and fast and easy and pulls no punches. And possibly takes you back to childhood, even one that wasn’t quite yours….so when someone from Minnesota mentioned missing Tator Tot Hotdish…..we were skeptics, but the Tater Tots….the tater tots…..so when she brought it in to share (this is a sharing dish), she had to write up the recipe.

tatertots

Tots, taters, potato goodness, potato rounds, potato puffs, tater puffs, Mexi-Fries

Here it is:

 

Minnesota Tator Tot Hotdish

1 lb. ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

14 or 16 oz bag of frozen vegetables (I use peas/corn/carrots/bean mix)

1 lb bag frozen tator tots

2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°

Brown beef and onion together on stove

Mix in the soup and vegetables

Spread mixture into a 9×13 pan

Arrange a layer of tots on top of mixture

Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes, or until tots are golden brown

Sprinkle cheese on top, and bake again until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbly

Erin Gillette, 2015

Want more hotdish the Minnesota way? Click here

hotdish

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Filed under Recipe, Supper, winter

#NationalPastaDay

is today, October 17th and I almost missed it.

Actually, ANY Day WITHOUT Pasta is a day I don’t have very often.

And I was raised to call it Macaroni.

Macaronis

in the plural.

macaronis

This image from Wikipedia under ‘macaroni’ is labeled: “macaronis”

Sometimes Noodles…….noodles could be macaroni. Like lasagna noodles….

Pasta was something we didn’t talk about when I was young, back in the olden days….

We had Baked Macaroni and Cheese for Friday nights – and nothing out of  blue boxes then either.

We had Prince Macaroni on Wednesdays….princespaghettibridgeIt was called the Prince Macaroni Plant. The facility was sold in 2014 and now Prince Pasta is part of a mega conglomerate.This bridge was (is) in Lowell MA.

 

….or whatever brand of macaroni was on sale, although we an an awful lot of Mueller’s.

 

muellers-pastaAnd now, for my sad rather pathetic recent macaroni story. It starts with broccoli….

Brassica oleracea var. italica

Brassica oleracea var. italica – the broccoli I was looking at was even more lovely then this!

I saw a beautiful, lovely, absolutely GORGEOUS head of broccoli at the store. I had purchased some feta at the Farmer’s Market and I remembered a dish that was Feta, Broccoli and Rice  from Jeanne Lemlin’s  Quick  Vegetarian Pleasures that I had not made in far too long

qvp-lemlin

This is soooo simple.

  1. Put the rice on to cook – I found the jar with rice, then a found another jar, with a little less rice….so I measured out the water, sauteed the rice, added the water and a little salt and set it up to boil.
  2. I rinsed and broke apart the broccoli into bite sized bits.
  3. I realized the original recipe called for tomatoes, choose to not use them, and got out some crushed hot pepper.
  4. I put some olive oil in a big saute pan, let it heat. Added the broccoli, stirred around, then added some water and put on the lid. The lid was the wrong lid – too small….couldn’t find the right lid. The water was evaporating too fast – add a little more water. Add the crushed red pepper and some salt – very little – there’s feta coming up – and stir around.
  5. Timer dings – rice is ready! Open the rice pot – the rice has swelled and there’s lots of water on top!….Did I use too much water? Why yes, I had – twice as much water as I needed. But the size, the shape….had I used the last of the orzo instead of the dregs of rice????
  6. Why yes, yes, I had! What NOW?????
  7. Drain the pasta – which had cooked for 20 minutes and if it hadn’t been orzo it might just be glop….
  8. Add the overcooked orzo to the broccoli, turn the heat up for a bit to get a little more saute action going….now the liquid is evaporating…..stir stir stir
  9. Add the crumbled feta, stir and adjust the seasonings – it actually needed a little more salt because the pasta was SOOO waterlogged.
  10. Serve and enjoy. On the plate and hot it was good. The next day for lunch, with a little more oil and vinegar, it was great pasta/broccoli/feta salad.
  11. New Rule – label ALL jars in the cupboard.
  12. Although this dish is very good with rice – Orzo would be even quicker.
ball-jar-labels-disolvable

These labels and a Sharpie now live in the cupboard. Everything gets a label.

 

 

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Filed under Recipe, Supper

Cherries, Take Two

Take some cherry tomatoes

Tomates_cerises_Luc_Viatour(1)

Add some fresh mozzarella  –ciliegini – little cherry size

mozzerella, fresh

 

With basil and  a little olive oil …a lovely summer salad. Serve with Scali bread to mop up the juices..

scali bread

If you can’t find Scali bread, here’s a link on how to make some : http://blog.kingarthurflour.com/2008/03/26/for-the-love-of-scali-bread/

The next night…

Take what’s left of the tomato and cheese, which has been marinating in balsamic vinegar all night…..drool….And add to hot pasta

Practically instant, low cook supper.

 

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Filed under Bread, Eating, Recipe, Summer, Supper

No Cook Cooking.

The no cook season has begun.

But there is no no eat season, only no eat hours here and there…..

It’s the heat I can’t stand, not the food

FNM070116_Rigatoni-with-No-Cook-Tomato-Sauce-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

Food Network Magazine. Right now.

Rigatoni with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Rigatoni.  Tomatoes. Basil. Olive oil. Garlic.

If you need more instruction, follow the link. I’m off to get tomatoes and basil….

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/rigatoni-with-no-cook-tomato-sauce.html

FNM070116_Cover_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni18col.landscape

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Filed under Eating, Summer, Supper

Bright Lights/Big City

I had a dinner adventure set for the City. (By ‘the City’ I mean Boston).

One friend I knew, two new friends to meet.

It came together surprisingly easy – a couple of e-mails and we had a day, a time and a place.

Too easy.

Sooooo

I google a map, get on a bus and go.

Which is about when the plans started to unravel.

But I won’t know this for a while.

Not everyone has my cell phone number – and I have an old fashioned NOT-smart phone.

flip phone

flip, not smart….

No Facebook,

facebook

no Twitter

twitterimage

no e-mail….

email

Just phone…..

I got to the restaurant early….natch

They let me sit at the Lounge and served me water.

When I asked about the reservation for four at seven, they said:

We have no such reservation

Hmmmmmmm……..

Just then, my phone rings.

It’s the friend of my friend and I can’t hear a word she’s saying because  a police motorcycle goes by, sirens and lights. Then a police cruiser, also all sirens and lights. Followed by a fire truck and and then an ambulance…..

fire truck lights

Sooo – friend of friend will be right there – there’s been a last minute change of plans…..

As I wait I realize I don’t know exactly what she looks like….did I mention I’m in

THE CITY?!?!

I’m in the City, waiting for someone I don’t actually know. I’m getting really hungry now, too. Should I go  back to the South Station, grab a bite and get on the next bus out of town?

But who’s that? Friendly, quizzical…..could this be friendly friend of friend?

Two minutes later I have a new friend.

We walk down the street, stop at a place with tables on the sidewalk, talk and talk,  order:

Chicken Meatballs with tomato vinaigrette, garlic cream and pine nuts; Artichoke and Bacon flatbread with lemon-thyme ricotta and parmesan; Fried Soft Shell Crab with lemon-herb fromage blanc and frisee ; Falafel Pancakes with tzatziki, serrano and scallion  (falafel AND a pancake – Yes, please!),

eat, talk, laugh, talk, talk, talk, laugh……and in the end she offered me all the leftovers.

Yes, please and Thank-you!

Especially the  Roasted Cauliflower with beet hummus, pine nuts and golden raisins.

Time out for teachable moment:

 

  1.  Why are some golden raisins called sultanas?
    1. Golden raisins are made from WHITE GRAPES (DUH). Kishmish is another name for them made from  a  variety of large white grape.  We almost definitely had Kishmish because they were HUGE. Sultanas may be so named because they were originally from the Ottoman Empire.
Thompson_seedless_grapes

White grapes make lighter raisins.

And now on to Cauliflower.

Cauliflower

The first time that I roasted cauliflower, oh so many years ago,  it was for a soup. I had roasted the cauliflower  and as it cooled my son and I ate almost all of it. I wrote a note on the recipe to roast 2 cauliflower when making the soup…because we’d eat one before  soup. This winter, cauliflower has been so trendy that I never made snag of one at the mark-down bin.

caulifower who;le roast NYT

The New York Times had a Whole Roasted Cauliflower story and suddenly cauliflower is trendy.

At one point this winter, between the roasting trend and the drought in Cali,  cauliflower  were very pricey, indeed. The whole point of the cauliflower is it’s very not pricey-ness. Like it’s cousins, cabbages and collards, it’s meant to feed the masses. The hungry masses.People like ME!

When Cauliflower was common,. we ate a lot of it.

Botanical-Cauliflower-Italian-780x990

I had not one, but TWO ulterior motives for the leftovers.

Motive the first – find the roasted cauliflower soup recipe and make a single serve batch…

Motive the second – bring in the rest and create a little Lunch Envy.

Come lunch, I unpack ,

why THIS? Falafel pancakes???? mmmmmnom, and oh, yes, soft shell crab.……nomnomnommmmmm…

Then I am undone by homemade sauce and homemade meatballs and homemade garlic buns, which made the room smell divine as they re-heated in the toaster oven.

Karma got me good.

When I got home I couldn’t find the soup recipe, so I ate the leftover cauliflower pretty much as it was. Which was pretty darn good.

So there are days when plans can be made and plans can be undone and it’s still all good.

And there are plans for another night in the City.

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Filed under Soup, Supper

Not a Pizza

I know, you can have an

English Muffin Pizza

Thomas_recipe_PizzaMuffinEM

Thomas’s English Muffins Pizza-ed

But what if you took a tortilla instead of an English Muffin???

tortillas - flour

Flour tortillas

And What IF you happened to have hummus instead of sauce?

hummus container.png

and then you added just a little cheese….and popped it into a hot oven…It WAS a cold night….and when you took it out you folded it in half to eat it…

Besides Supper  – what would you call it?

It’s Pizza-ish, but not pizza.

The best I could come up with is Quesa-rizza – the place in between the quesadilla and the pizza. Or not.The ‘R’ in the middle is a Massachusetts thing.

My son would combine a burrito inside a little pizza and called it a burr-izza.

♦◊♦

And then the 17th century calls….Spring Training  is not just for the Red Sox.

Time to get ready to get back to 1624….

NEHome

and one of my faves slides…

goatmilking

and then there’s the rest of the PowerPoint, but I don’t know how to link. The Pilgrim ate more meals then just “The First Thanksgiving” is the point of the PowerPoint.

 

 

AND…..

Vinca_minor_Nashville

Vinca – also know as creeping myrtle and periwinkle is creeping everywhere. Did I miss the crocuses and snowdrops?

St Patrick

saint patrick

Snakes be gone!

his day is approaching ….all the green around here isn’t just Spring springing.

Time to make the soda bread. Paula Marcoux has a great recipe at this edible South Shore and South Coast link:

One Loaf of Soda Bread – HOLD THE BLARNEY

 

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Filed under Irish, Pizza, Supper, winter