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March 2007 Cook"book" of the Month: Leite's Culinaria

Katie Nell Feb 28, 2007 05:51 PM

Welcome to the general discussion thread for the March 2007 cook"book" of the month, Leite's Culinaria. Use this thread to make general comments about this website or to discuss the whole cookbook-of-the-month idea.

Leite's Culinaria: http://www.leitesculinaria.com/

You may wish to bookmark this thread, as it contains links to all the other threads on this "cook"book.

Here's the thread for recipe planning, links, and previous picks and pans: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376075

Here are the links for full length recipe reviews. Please select the appropriate one.

For breakfast dishes: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376076

For hors d'oeuvres and appetizers: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376077

For entrees: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376078

For salads, sides, and breads: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376079

For desserts: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/376080

Happy cooking!

  1. Katie Nell Mar 8, 2007 11:09 AM

    Just curious... is everyone not liking cooking from a website as much or is everyone just busy? It seems as if there haven't been as many reports, but I suppose it's still somewhat early in the month. Just trying to get a feel for what everyone is thinking!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Katie Nell
      MMRuth Mar 8, 2007 11:49 AM

      The recipes looked good when I did a quick perusal, but somehow it *is* different from cooking from a physical cookbook - plus I've been a bit swamped and relying on my basic repetoire. There's something about flipping pages or looking in an index that differs from using a website.

      1. re: MMRuth
        beetlebug Mar 8, 2007 12:04 PM

        I agree. I have a bunch of mental notes of recipes I want to try and I've made one (haven't had time to download the picture from the camera). But, it's the computer that I am having a hard time with. With the cookbook, I carry it around the apartment and it ultimately lands on the kitchen counter so that I can refer to it. For the Leite's recipes, the computer is plugged in, I memorize and dash back and forth. I don't have a great printer at home and often times I forget to print the recipe at work.

        But, I have greatly enjoyed browsing that site. I've also been busier than usual so haven't had the chance to get to the store to buy supplies.

      2. re: Katie Nell
        DGresh Mar 9, 2007 06:29 AM

        For me the difference is that with a physical book, I make the effort to order it from the library, and once it's home, there's an incentive to sit down and "see what's special" about the book; see the particular point of view, or technique, whatever. The website seems more like a "collection of favorites" which there's nothing wrong with, but doesn't seem to offer the same "reason to take time" with it.

        1. re: Katie Nell
          ali patts Mar 13, 2007 07:50 AM

          Katie, I love that it is a website as I can rarely get the books (being in the UK) trouble is, I'm at work until 8pm at the moment and my internet connection at home is dead. I am interested, honest and always feel left out when I see all the usual suspects discussing books that I can't get. It is just a bad month for cooking and a good month for the (frankly) awful local Chinese takeaway!

        2. m
          morebubbles Mar 8, 2007 11:20 AM

          ..working on it, it was hard to choose from all the terrific sounding recipes. Have a grocery list ready and will be trying a few dishes within the next 2 weeks. I find it always takes a couple of weeks to get people cooking and sharing, no?
          I'm planning to make: picadinho, prune stuffed pork roast, celery root gratin, scallops in berry glaze, & a chocolate concoction of some kind. Hope to get to this and maybe more (roasted sweet & spicy nuts...etc)

          1. Dommy Mar 8, 2007 12:30 PM

            It's basically the first week of the month, so I would give it more time Katie. I actually completed my assignment from it (Made the first post about it a few days ago) but with finals coming up, I have yet to finish my second post...


            5 Replies
            1. re: Dommy
              Katie Nell Mar 8, 2007 12:33 PM

              Yeah, I just wanted to get a feel for what people were thinking- I'm not taking it personally! :-) I've been distracted too, so I haven't made anything yet although I have been dreaming about it!

              MMRuth- I agree that it's not quite the same as perusing a cookbook, but I still hope it's inspirational for everyone.

              1. re: Katie Nell
                MMRuth Mar 8, 2007 12:39 PM

                Promise - next week I'll give it a try - the recipes do look wonderful - especially the Portuguese (sp?) ones.

                1. re: MMRuth
                  Carb Lover Mar 8, 2007 05:32 PM

                  Yes, I'm very interested in the Portuguese recipes and have reported on the caldo verde. I plan on making the beans w/ chorizo (I'll use linguica instead) soon since I have all the ingredients ready. I'd like to make a Portuguese dessert too...

                  Katie, it's funny because I feel MORE inspired to cook this month. I don't think it has to do much w/ website vs. cookbook but more to do w/ the fact that my time and mental energy feel more freed up at the moment. I also like the universal accessibility--ANY hound can participate...no excuses!

                  PS. I think it's pretty cool that we have David Leite participating on the threads!!

                  1. re: Carb Lover
                    Katie Nell Mar 8, 2007 06:14 PM

                    P.P.S. Me too! :-)

                2. re: Katie Nell
                  Rubee Mar 9, 2007 11:05 AM

                  Yes, hopefully planning on making up for lost time by the end of the month. Just busy eating out - family visiting, Restaurant Week in Boston, and a couple of Chinese NY and other Chowhound dinners planned - at least my excuse is still food-related!

                  Some of the recipes I'm thinking of:
                  New Wave "Chicken Wings" with Sweet-and-Spicy Pepper Glaze
                  Baby-Spinach Salad with Smoked Salmon, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Dressing
                  Sesame-Peanut Noodles
                  Feijão à Portuguesa (Portuguese Beans)
                  Mushroom Strudel
                  Pastela Moruna (Moorish Chicken and Nut Pie)
                  Spiced Pork Meatballs with Guacamole
                  Engin's Imam Bayildi

                  Blue Cheese Walnut Tart
                  Pastéis de Coco (Portuguese Coconut-Custard Tarts)

              2. clamscasino Mar 9, 2007 05:59 AM


                I keep going back to this site searching for something doable. Have to confess to two problems....I have a really hard time reading the tiny print done in low-contrast colors, and...the non-availability of many of the ingredients in my area.

                That being said, I did try making Mario Battali's braised short ribs the other night. I didn't report because this recipe has already had full coverage on this board. I'ld never had short ribs before and was really looking forward to them, as were my husband and daughter. When the ribs were finally done we were all expecting an epiphany....but our reaction? It tastes like pot-roast! Guess I make a pretty darn good pot-roast. LOL

                3 Replies
                1. re: clamscasino
                  David Leite Mar 12, 2007 04:49 PM


                  The tiny print may be a browser problem. Our type is set for the same size as Chow's. You can increase the size; each browser has its own setting. Also, sorry to hear about the inability to find certain things. We always try to alternate between more straightforward recipes and those that require a bit more special ingredients. Hope you find something you like.

                  David Leite

                  1. re: David Leite
                    clamscasino Mar 13, 2007 06:33 AM


                    Thanx for your reply, it prompted me to browse my browsers. I usually use Verizon Yahoo. On Yahoo, the font size of Leite's appears to be 10, whereas Chowhound appears to be 16. When I went over to MSN, the font sizes of both sites did appear to be the same, both about 10.

                    Don't worry too much about my inability to find certain things. Here's where I have to admit that I do live on an island. I am looking forward to trying the Block Island striped bass when they (the stripers) show up though.

                    1. re: clamscasino
                      David Leite Mar 13, 2007 01:44 PM


                      Let me know how they turned out!


                2. Candy Mar 9, 2007 11:08 AM

                  I've just been sick and not doing anything more than basic stuff which doesn't require much thought or energy. I will get to it hopefully next week?

                  1. p
                    patz Mar 9, 2007 01:12 PM

                    I like using a website rather than a book -- I'm currently living abroad (Morocco) and am always looking for new recipes to try, I miss all the cookbooks I left in California!

                    1. jillp Mar 12, 2007 05:19 PM

                      I started a new job a couple of months ago and haven't had the energy to cook when I get home.

                      Having made my excuses, I will note that there's a ton of great stuff on the website and I haven't decided what to tackle, once I have the time to do it. I miss the free time I had before I returned to work; I could spend so much time cooking. Now I just eat, which is fun but not nearly as satisfying.

                      1. Katie Nell Mar 30, 2007 03:24 PM

                        Hey, Hounds-

                        David Leite e-mailed me today and wanted to thank us for all of our fantastic comments and reviews. He wanted to let us know that it has been a terrific experience, and because of us, they are going to make some minor changes on the site to make it a better site as a whole. (As if it weren't one of the best already, but maybe that's why they are one of the best.) He said that they were very honored that we had chosen them for our cookbook of the month! I thanked him profusely for his input and help- what a great honor to have him chatting along with us! Thanks, everyone, for all the great cooking and discussion, as always!

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Katie Nell
                          Dommy Mar 30, 2007 03:46 PM

                          You see! It all worked out!! :) Congrats on get through your 'first one'!! It's always the toughest! :) Looking forward to next month! I just bought some Pomegrante Syrup in honor of the recipes! :D


                          1. re: Katie Nell
                            Carb Lover Mar 30, 2007 07:01 PM

                            Thanks for passing on David's sentiments, Katie. It was nice to have that interaction w/ the creator of the site and to know that our comments had some impact. Katie, thanks again for doing such a great job of organizing and mediating. I really want to try those cheesy crackers this weekend before moving on to Arabesque (although I know I can make them anytime).

                            David, you must be a busy guy, so thanks for showing interest and participating! A couple of my constructive suggestions that I'd love to eventually see:

                            1. Possibility of viewing recipes by cookbook and/or author.

                            2. Having a "printer-friendly" function (much like at epicurious) wherein the print is black and larger and there's less wasted blank space.

                            1. re: Carb Lover
                              David Leite Apr 2, 2007 01:54 AM

                              Hi Carb Lover--

                              I'm in Portugal right now researching my book, but I'd like to answer your queries.

                              1. We're trying to add an interatice search feature that does that. It's really a matter of technical fidgeting, but being the guy who does all the techncial stuff (and who knows NOTHING about coding), this was the best we can do now. But if you search by the author's name and narrow it down by the recipe section, you should be able to get better results.

                              2. We have a "download as a .pdf" link on most recipes. (The older ones don't have this.) The pdf is a text-only version of the recipes. Is that what you mean?


                              1. re: David Leite
                                Carb Lover Apr 5, 2007 07:58 AM

                                Hi David,

                                Thanks for responding in the midst of being overseas researching your book. I'll remember to use the search feature when I need to; however, that's assuming that I know who and what to search for.

                                I think it would be great if there were more links on the actual recipe. That is, users could click on the author's name to see all their recipes in your database. Likewise, under the photo of the book nearby "buy the book", you could have "see more recipes from this book." When navigating the site, I remember thinking a certain cookbook or author sounded interesting from one recipe I was viewing, but I felt at a dead end to find out more. I know there's always search, but that's not very efficient or elegant. I'm just thinking aloud here.

                                I never noticed the download link, so I'll try that for printing recipes. Sometimes I'd prefer to not have to download the recipe to my computer but just have a printable version that's all text and with standard black print. Sites like epicurious and food network are a good model for this sort of feature, if that helps. Thanks for listening!

                            2. re: Katie Nell
                              Rubee Mar 31, 2007 11:41 AM

                              That was nice to know - he sounds like a great person - and I especially appreciated his interest in our efforts. Thanks Katie, you did a great job!

                              Is it the end of the month already? I still have to make the Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Scones, and Portuguese Coconut-Custard Tarts....I better get cooking ; )

                              1. re: Rubee
                                dkennedy Apr 2, 2009 09:57 AM

                                I had never heard of this site, and I am really looking forward to trying it this month. I know I am a little late, so I probably won't post, but I am very excited about it. I will be more on the ball for April's choice.

                                1. re: dkennedy
                                  oakjoan Apr 2, 2009 11:30 AM


                                  Leite's Culinaria is a wonderful site and one of my regular resources. COTM is great fun and I hope you join in soon.

                                  1. re: dkennedy
                                    JoanN Apr 2, 2009 04:37 PM

                                    Oh, please do post! Many of us continue to post to old threads. I hope you'll reconsider and share with us what you make and what you think of it. It would be greatly appreciated, I'm sure, by many.

                                    1. re: dkennedy
                                      Rubee Apr 2, 2009 06:44 PM

                                      Yes, as JoanN mentions, you can post recipe reports any time. I'm always interested in new recipes to try!

                                      In fact, I'm going to make the hot sauce below and report back on it this week. I'm going to use it in a Williams-Sonoma grill book recipe for rotisserie piri-piri chicken.

                                      Piri-Piri Hot Sauce

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