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November/December 2009 COTM: All About Braising [Oct 06 revisited]

Welcome to the general discussion thread for the October 2006 Cookbook of the Month, All About Braising by Molly Stevens. Use this thread to make general comments about the cookbook or discuss the whole cookbook-of-the-month idea. This would also be a great place to suggest future cookbooks.

There are two new threads for recipe selection and for short notes about recipes you may have already cooked.
Here is the recipe selection and recipe link thread:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
Here is the previous picks and pans thread (for short notes):
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

To post a full-length review of any recipe, please select the appropriate thread below:
For vegetables:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
For seafood:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
For poultry and game:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
For beef and veal:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
For pork and lamb:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

You may wish to bookmark this thread since it has links to all the other threads for the October cookbook of the month.

Finally, the Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Happy cooking!

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  1. Are people not cooking from this one as much? I've seen very little posts, and it seemed like there were posts right away with Marcella. I haven't been cooking at all right now, so I'm looking to live vicariously!!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Katie Nell

      Perhaps just busy this week! :) I plan to cook mine next week! :)

      --Dommy!

      1. re: Dommy

        braising seems more of a weekend event for me. with all the time in the oven...can get things ready earlier...and braise while i run to do errands, laundry, etc...

        1. re: ceeceee

          Yeah, it's usually a day ahead prep for me. Last night I made Coq Au Vin... Finished about about 11pm... it should be AMAZING tonight... :)

          --Dommy!

          1. re: ceeceee

            Yeah, for me too, but everyone else seems to be over-achievers, so I was just surprised! (Well, not necessarily over-achievers, but you know what I mean! Maybe they're just normal and I'm an under-achiever! ;-) Plus, it's been 95 degrees here! Blech!

        2. re: Katie Nell

          Plus the Braising book came out in 2004, Marcella's been around for 30 years ;)

          I'm making the Sausage and Pistachio Stuffed Veal Marsala tonight.

          1. re: Katie Nell

            I've been curling up w/ the book the last two nights and bookmarking alot of recipes. I'm surprised at how many recipes sound so good to me (it's raining and 59F right now!). While braising is a common and not very complicated technique, the recipes truly sound delicious and well-tested. Molly Stevens seems very knowledgeable and down-to-earth, and I appreciate the little sidebars.

            Ok, I'm ready to braise! I'll probably start a list on recipes of interest on the planning thread. My Le Creuset will stay permanently on my stovetop this month...

            1. re: Katie Nell

              all i can say is use a le creuset, and optimally - an aga!

            2. I'm choosing dishes that have a short braising time for the weeknights. It's hard for me to plan ahead on meals.... but I finally did for this Saturday's dinner. I'm also gone a lot in October but am so enamored with this project that I am putting in an extra effort. No overachiever here, but I am much more organized in my cooking now that I have a focus.

              Also, here in NE, the weather is warmer than expected. It will drop 15 degrees tomorrow so it will be totally braising weather.

              Tonight, some sort of piggy goodness with hot cherry peppers as well as braised potatoes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: beetlebug

                Cool - I'm doing the potatoes tonight too! I agree, it's not about being an overachiever. I'm cooking dinner anyways, so.....For me it's simply I love to cook, and this gives me a great excuse to be more organized and plan menus and grocery shopping. I have the freezer stocked with bread crumbs, chicken stock, etc, which makes recipes more convenient also. I tell ya, this project has taught me to be more organized, though I'm still a messy cook ;)

              2. It's still early in the month, as many have said it's been pretty warm out, and many of the dishes in the book are geared for 6 and 8 so if you're going to do it (unless you have a big family) you might as well invite friends over and that requires some planning. In fact, I'd like to do one of the more complicated dishes, but that will take more planning. I'm not doing it for just me on the spur of the moment. That said, the mise en place is ready for Cauliflower, Potatoes, and Peas Indian Style. Will post later tonight or tomorrow.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JoanN

                  Well for me, part of the reason I LOVE braised dishes is that they freeze well... So you can enjoy what you make now and then a month from now when you are feeling too lazy to braise! :)

                  --Dommy!

                  1. re: Dommy

                    Here's a silly question: What do you freeze your braised dishes and other cooked meals in? I have square containers for stock, that I could also use for soup. But what about foods that need to lie down?
                    And another: how do you know how to reheat, let's say, braised meat? At what oven temp? (I don't microwave.) Do you defrost first?

                    1. re: NYchowcook

                      I just place them in tupperware containers. Friends have always recommended those vacumm sealers though. I just don't have enough stuff to make it worthwhile (especially now that I have a partner with a big appetite. Leftovers are rare nowadays :))

                      I do have a microwave, so I'm not sure about reheating in the oven. I have often reheated chili and saucier braises in a sauce plan tho'....

                      --Dommy!

                2. I'll be making the sausage and plums tonight!

                  1. Seafood -- I see that there's a big goose egg on that board. So who wants to join me -- I'd try Mediterranean squid & shrimp braise, or Vietnamese braised scallops, or ....?

                    I'm NOT making any *%^# squid roulades and stuffing the damn things! (Unless you convince me otherwise).
                    So who's into seafood?

                    1. I just found a copy of All About Braising in a used bookstore -- score! It seems to be out of print and not even widely available used (judging from the offerings on Amazon and others), so I'm astonished and delighted to have found it. I'll return my library copy next week. Even in the library system it's rare -- they only have this one copy, whereas they've usually had multiple copies of other cookbooks we've chosen.

                      Used bookstores are like gambling -- you may waste a lot of time in them, but sometimes you win!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                        I'm really glad I bought this book. Strangely, it's cheaper on Amazon in the UK than it is in the US!

                        1. I could not be happier to see that All About Braising is the November/December for 2009. I participated in the original thread in 2006. I've been away from Chowhound for awhile and I must say coming back and finding this as the COTM feels warm and comforting just like Molly Steven's recipes.

                          1. I'm smitten. I love great cookbooks, but I confess that generally I get one, try a few recipes, get distracted with another direction and then put it on the shelf for general use in the future. What I've NEVER done before is buy a cookbook and then cook my way though it, but that's exactly what I've been doing with this book this past winter. I love it and I trust it, but I actually USE it, which is ever better. So far Chicken with Pears & Rosemary is recipe I tell my friends they've got to try, because it's so easy succulent and the flavors are so interesting and complex. There are many great recipes, and plenty others I've yet to try.

                            The other thing unique about this cookbook is that I feel like I've actually learned a cooking method -braising- enough that I could confidently improvise on my own and turn out a great result. When the weather gets too hot to braise I will actually be sorry.