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Jan 3, 2005 08:21 AM

What new dishes are you going to conquer this year?

  • t

I've never made a pie from scratch, so I'd like to try apple pie this year. And the pictures of the chocolate cakes in Nigella Lawson's Feast are making me want to try my hand at cake making. I'm not much of a baker so I thought this year I'd try to get comfortable with some basics that I can then turn to for those special occasions. I'd love to make an apple pie for Thanksgiving this year. What are you all thinking of learning this year?

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  1. scotch eggs, yeast bread, soup

    1. My brother is staying in Budapest, Hungary and he gave me a couple different packages of hot (csipos) paprika. I'm going to try to do the pepper proud!Maybe something with chicken or seafood....

      1. I intend to tackle cassoulet, finally.

        2 Replies
        1. re: GG Mora

          And I, too, in my earthen oven, no less (see my post up a few lines in this thread).

          I plan on following the full three day recipe as outlined in Bourdain's "Les Halles" cookbook. Do you have another recipe you plan on following?


          1. re: Schmal

            I'll probably line up several recipes and average them out. Saveur Magazine, something from Julia, Anne Willan, Paula Wolfert.

            I participated in the making of cassoulet a few times when I was a sous chef, so I'm not a complete novice. But doing it meself from A to Z will be an accomplishment.

        2. Breadmaking has been something I have wanted to conquer once and for all. I have only dabbled previously but asked for and received several 'bread cookbooks' over the holidays. I also want to figure out how to make the Chicken Vindaloo I get at a local Indian restaurant.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Aimee

            Just noticed a recipe for Chicken Vindaloo at the link I included in my post above. Doesn't look easy!


            1. re: kc girl

              Indeed - looks like this will be a weekend meal effort.


              1. re: kc girl
                culinary nerd

                Vindaloo isn't that hard to make; it just takes time and patience and practice. But of the Indian dishes I have made vindaloo doesn't make me bat an eyelash to do.

                As for cardamom, because I do a lot of Indian cooking, I use it in a lot of savory dishes like keema sookh, kofta kebab with lamb, and palak paneer. I also use it in the Indian rice pudding, kheer.

                But I also use it in baking as is common in the European tradition. I use it in lemon poundcake, in Mexican wedding cookies with almonds, in almond-rasberry bars and in the filling for apple pie.

                1. re: culinary nerd

                  Cardamom also has a prominent appearance in the baked goods of Finland. Long ago made a Finnish yeast cardomom bread that was quite good. I also have a made a version of a mexican wedding cookie, but with instead of almonds, used walnuts and cardamom.

                  Like you, I also do a fair amount of Indian cooking, and cardamom is essential for lots of that.

                  Mmmmmmmm, cardamom.


            2. I am going to try a few new spices.

              One is cardamom.

              I've heard a little about it and bought some to do this. A sample from the container tells me it smells kind of like Vicks vapo rub (an exaggeration).

              Maybe something with lemon verbena and cardamom.

              Any suggestions on what dishes you like that use this spice?

              I will be researching on Google, but enjoy the tried and true Chowhound responses as well as the somewhat dubious.

              Maybe a crepe of some sort?


              10 Replies
              1. re: kc girl

                The cardamom and lemon verbena would make a great tea. I throw cardamom pods in a pot of brewing black tea along with cloves and cinnamon and serve with milk and honey on a cold day.

                1. re: Ellen

                  Oooooh, and its raining all week!

                  I might add sugar (or would honey be better?) to your mix and whip up some of the heavy cream in the freezer. Does it kind of taste like a Chai tea?

                  1. re: kc girl

                    I think that pretty much is chai tea?

                    Cooking Illustrated's carrot cake recipe included a "chai" variation with a tablespoon of cardamom. My husband loved it, I thought it was a little overwhelming but one sure way to tell if you like cardamon!

                2. re: kc girl

                  The Gramercy Taven Guiness cake uses cardamom (I didn't have it in my cabinet the first time I made it so I am very curious to try it again).

                  1. re: kc girl

                    I made cardammom butter squares as my holiday cookies this year. I used the recipe from Gourmet, I think it is on line. Many people loved the cookies. Some people thought they were "interesting." I would definitely make them again--they are the perfect cookie with a cup of tea.

                    1. re: fatcat

                      I made that recipe too, and people loved it. It was often compared to a sugar cookie, with a twist. I didn't make the icing though, because I thought it would be too sweet and overpower the cookie.

                      1. re: jacinthe

                        I did use the icing and it really made the cookies look great. You didn't need a lot of it.

                        Actually, the second time I made them I also dipped the edges of the cookies in cinnamon and sugar before I baked them. This turned my "interesting" responses into "I really like these" comments as they cut some of the spiciness. However, I liked them without the cinnamon and sugar better.

                    2. re: kc girl
                      Caitlin Wheeler

                      Cardamom is one of my favorite spices -- it's very Scandinavian to my taste, and used in a lot of recipes for sweet breads and cookies. It's also good as a flavoring for rice pudding (used a lot in Indian cooking). One of my favorite savory Cardamom recipes is linked below.


                      1. re: kc girl

                        I love cardamom. I made a nice orange/cardamom/yellow plum jam last summer, and I've always liked it in carrot cake. Next weekend I have a birthday cake to make, and I was thinking of combining the two - orange carrot cake with cardamom?

                        1. re: kc girl

                          The page you've linked to states that cardamom is also called Grains of Paradise. I've never heard it called that. There is a completely different spice which is called Grains of Paradise, which tastes like black pepper with notes of coriander, szechuan peppercorn and some say cardamom. It's not interchangeable with cardamom since it is pungent and spicy hot.