The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

What's for dinner?

Been a while since I asked myself that... Sigh... I can't remember the last great meal I prepared, and I miss cooking. I've been hitting up Thai and Indian joints for take out. I've also been stopping by Chipotle for bowls (beans, corn salsa, green tomatillo salsa, fresh tomato salsa, lettuce, hold the rice, thanks.). I'm paranoid that the people who work there will be like, "What the...? Wasn't she just in here, like, two nights ago?" So, in my infinite wisdom, I identified three locations that are close to me and rotate. Yes, I realize that this is a problem...

Hence, I am committed to cooking dinner tonight. Even if it's just baked fish and steamed vegetables or something. Heck, maybe even a smoothie... Or maybe I'll stop by Trader Joe's after work to try to get some inspiration? I just need to eat something I put together, you know?

What's the last great meal you threw together?



at 3:29 PM Blogger Julie said...

In the past few weeks, I've been doing Sunday meals-- beef Bourguignon one week, meatloaf the next, pot roast the week after that and last night, I did chicken and dumplings. All of it was from scratch-- I was making roux and chopping like a madman. It is great and very satisfying (and I have leftovers!).

at 4:06 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

Sunday meals are great. And the leftovers are better. I keep telling myself that I'm going to start cooking like a personal chef, preparing a week's worth of meals on Sunday and freezing them. I have visions of containers filled with delicious food, stacked neatly in my freezer. Instead, I have frozen fish, chicken that is most certainly freezer burned beyond believe, random veggies and Boca burgers. I've got to get my act together!

at 4:37 PM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

I outdid myself on dinner last night! I bought these marinated turkey tenderloins last night from Biggs in Hyde Park. They were a lemon garlic flavor. I roasted some Brussel sprouts with simply EVOO and salt and pepper. Tomatoes were on sale, so I roasted those with a little Italian dressing, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. I made a mushroom medley cous cous which I pumped up the nutrition value by throwing in a couple of handfuls of frozen peas. All in all, it was definitely one of my easy meals and it tasted great! I hate babysitting food while I cook, but everything (besides the cous cous of course) you can pop into the oven an enjoy a class of wine while it cooks. Delish!

at 4:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chicken Piccata...fresh amish chicken breast pounded thin dipped in egg wash and flour sauteed in Olive Oil, then add the juice of one lemon(and some of the zest), capers(I run my knive through them a couple of times) and one clove of crushed and minced fresh garlic....I served mine with angelhair pasta and some sauteed fennel and shitake mushrooms on the side....
good stuff.

at 5:37 PM Blogger Stepf said...

I, like Julie, enjoy Sunday meals. Fred made some spicy lentils and tomatoes on Saturday that we've been working on, and I made a roasted parsnip and butternut squash soup that I'm excited to go home to tonight. I have a meeting at Panera after work, but I know I won't be tempted with that soup waiting for me! I got a Cuisinart food processor and stick blender, so I've been playing with it as often as I can.

at 6:25 PM Blogger Lauren Bishop said...

Last night I threw some baked, marinated tofu from Trader Joe's (excellent!) into some of that salty, MSG-filled Zatarain's jambalaya mix that comes in a box (that I found in the coffee alley at work a couple of weeks ago and promptly grabbed.) Does that count? I don't think I deserve to blog on the Foodie Report. I did have a salad with it, though.

And since you brought up smoothies, I thought I'd mention that I stopped by Smoothie King yesterday to get my new favorite smoothie, the immune builder, and happened to glance at a laminated card with the nutritional information on it. I decided to save about 100 calories by getting one with turbinado. Know what turbinado is? Sugar. I had no idea. Naturally, it wasn't as tasty without it, but it was still pretty good.

at 9:39 AM Anonymous vudutu said...

We cook from scratch about 3 to 4 times a week, eat out on Fri or get with friends, Sat is usually a big meal with friends over or we go to friends for a big meal and lot's of wine. Sunday is usually fresh fish or my lemon roasted chicken, It's from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. A must have cookbook by the way. It is dirt easy and simple, the only trick is learning your ovens temp settings. I would cook it a little longer than you think the first few times then tweek the settings. If you want to play with it add your herb of choice to the cavity

Here is a link


Lemon Roasted Chicken

1 3-4 lb Whole Roasting Chicken
2 small lemons
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Wash chicken thoroughly, sit at a tilt for 10 minutes and let excess water drain. Pat dry with paper towels. Remove the hanging fat. (sounds gross, doesn't it).

Sprinkle a generous amount of salt & pepper on the inside and outside of the chicken. Wash the lemons and dry with a paper towel. Soften lemons by rolling them back and forth on the counter with the palm of your hand. Puncture each lemon at least 20 times with a fork, if you like more lemon flavor you can cut them in half after puncturing them.

Place both lemons in the cavity. Close cavity well and secure it with toothpicks. (close it well) Tie the legs together with kitchen string. (I used twine once....it didn't hurt)

Place the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side down. Do not add any fat, this is a self basting process and the chicken will not stick to the pan. Cook for 35 minutes, turn, trying not to puncture the skin. If kept intact, the chicken will swell. (don't worry, if it doesn't, the flavor won't be afftected.

Cook another 35 minutes. Turn the heat up to 400, and cook an additional 20 plus minutes.

Let the chicken rest approx 10 minutes. Killer leftovers.

at 10:42 AM Anonymous natigirl said...

We are typically big fans of Gourmet and Bon Appetite magazines, and with the website it also makes it easier to plan meals for the week. This week we are having their Roasted chicken with Roasted Parsnips recipe (these are awesome with the spiced vinegar they have a recipe for), Wednesday night we are planning a caesar salad (with homemade Caesar drsg -- we use the knockoff recipe from Outback which is great) with a flat iron steak seared and sliced thinly on top, then we will finish Thursday off with polenta with mushroom ragut. It sounds way fancier than it is and still tastes great (also gives great leftovers). Search those websites for their quick meals, you will be suprised at how easy some of them are.

at 11:31 AM Blogger mmascolino said...

I made a lamb stew about 10 days that was very good and paid dividends in the form of excellent leftovers for a few nights after that.

at 12:39 PM Blogger Rachel said...

I made an awesome pasta dish last week with leeks, sweet potatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese and whole wheat pasta. I got the recipe from this month's Real Living magazine. It was easy and tasted great, too.

at 4:02 PM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

After reading all of those delicious meals, I think we need a potluck dinner organized or at least a happy hour. I think yall have some great ideas, and I would love to get some inspiration and feedback from yall.......any thoughts?

at 5:17 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

CinTwin, think a happy hour is in order... Long overdue, in fact.

at 5:31 PM Blogger Kelly said...

I made a chicken lo mein last week, trying to get rid of the last of some udon noodles that had been kicking around my pantry forever. But the lo mein was so good, I kinda want to buy more udon now so I have a reason to make it again!

A few days ago I made beef stew in the Crock Pot. It's tasty, but it needs something for the side. Maybe I'll whip up some corn muffins to go with it tonight, so I can feel more like I'm at Cracker Barrel.

at 12:36 PM Blogger Julie said...

A potluck sounds awesome! I would love to participate.

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