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Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Summer Menus

May 2007 Cookbook of the Month: Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin.

Please post your full-length reviews of recipes from the section on the Summer menu items here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

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  1. Corn soup with avocado cream and cilantro (p 180)

    I made this last summer, and found the soup labor intensive, but tasty. The flavors are much more pronounced when the soup is cold, and obscured when the soup is heated. The avocado cream is simple and lush (my adaptation was to use greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche) and made a delightful topping.

    1. For dessert last night I made the Almond Financier with Nectarines and Berries. The cake itself is easy to make - I couldn't find almond meal, knew it was different from almond flour, but went home and found in my refrigerator what I think were ground almonds (no label!) - but not blanched as called for - and so used it anyway. I did discover after I started making the batter that it is supposed to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but fortunately I had the time to do so. I also only had an 8" pan, not a 9" one, so I just put in a little less batter. It was done in 40 minutes as indicated - it wasn't quite even in thickness, so next time I'll take more care in smoothing out the batter in the pan before putting it in the oven. The cake has a lovely almond/vanilla flavor, and I liked the addition of honey. It's rich without being heavy. No decent nectarines, so I bought some lovely small apricot/plum hybrid, and mixed the slices with raspberries. The addition of the creme fraiche to the unsweetened whipping cream gives a nice tartness that complemented the cake. Definitely a winner and I'll be making this again - I haven't been baking much over the last year or two, and this is a quick and easy cake to serve with all sorts of summer fruits. Would also probably be nice with some lemon or orange zest.

      Just had a slice for breakfast - perfect with coffee!

      4 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        I too have made the Almond Financier cake and was bowled over - it is incredibly good - dense crumb, definite almond taste without that overly sweet almond paste flavor. It is amazing plain or with almost any fruit.

        1. re: celeste

          Did you use the almond meal called for in the recipe? I think made from blanched almonds? I wonder what would happen if I used almond flour, which is easier to find, or just ground the almonds myself in the FP.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I did use the almond meal - it was very fine in consistency. I happened to be at a store that had some a few weeks before I made the recipe.

        2. re: MMRuth

          I love these financiers! They are so easy and the brown butter is a great idea. Best fresh out of the oven or toasted. I make them in a muffin pan, one recipe is good for a dozen, and the recipe is easily halved for those trying to watch their waistlines.

          I ground my own blanched, skinned almonds. Any commercially ground almond meal will do fine.

        3. Green Goddess Salad with Romaine (p. 126)

          Well, right out of the box, my first recipe for this month was a winner, even with all the changes. I had some romaine and avocado, and thought this would be a great salad to go with a spur-of-the-moment Baked Stuffed Lobster (recipe linked below) dinner.

          It's two steps - making a homemade mayonnaise (egg yolk and oil) and then adding a herb mixture - and tossing with Romaine and avocado (and cukes which I didn't have).

          For the herb puree, I used minced chives, garlic, salt-packed anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil, and instead of the mix of herbs, what I had on hand which was arugula (about 2 cups). I accidently added 3/4 cup of oil to the mayonnaise instead of 1/2 cup, but it still turned out delicious. Whisk the herb puree into the mayonnaise with champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. I tossed it with chopped Romaine and sliced avocado. We loved it. It was so good, l might just stick to the arugula version I made. As she mentions, this lemony dressing would be good on everything - as a sandwich spread, a dip for grilled shrimp, on fish, etc.

          Baked-Stuffed Lobster recipe:

          10 Replies
          1. re: Rubee

            Another delicious use for the dressing.

            Had some leftover lump crabmeat from the lobster stuffing so decided on crab quesadillas. Mixed the crab with chopped roasted poblanos, cilantro, and some Penzey's adobo seasoning. I was going to add some lime juice, but instead added spoonfuls of the lemony dressing. Excellent. It was a great combination and made some tasty quesadillas, and would probably have made nice crab cakes too.

            1. re: Rubee

              I can see why Rubee loves this dressing. I do too and I even messed it up. It was still delicious.

              I also used arugula instead of watercress. I did have parsley and chives so I also threw that in to the dressing. Where I made the both is in the mayo part. Instead of just the egg yolk, I threw in the whole egg. I even wondered why it wasn't thickening as much. When I was waxing poetically to a friend about the wonders of the dressing, I smacked myself in the head and realized my mistake.

              I've been making various salads using this dressing and it tastes good with everything. I've been thinking of putting the dressing into half an avocado but that could be a dangerous road.

              FYI, this would taste good on an old tire. Any vehicle to go from bowl to mouth is fine with me.

              1. re: Rubee

                Question for those who have made the Green Goddess Salad Dressing:

                I just made this, and it is delicious. I have lots of left over fresh herbs and would like to put them to good use. I'm thinking of making a big batch of the puree to freeze, and then add mayo to the defrosted mix on an as-desired basis. Do you think the puree would freeze well, or will I be wasting time and ingredients? Thanks in advance!

                And I admire those who were able to make the mayo themselves. I had three failed attempts. Gave up and bought fancy mayo at D&D.

                Many thanks.

                1. re: jens

                  My mayo attempts have tended to be disastrous. A friend told me one huge key is that all the ingredients are room temperature, which Goin does not suggest. Did you try it that way?

                2. re: Rubee

                  I finally made this and it was fantastic. I had to use a white wine vinegar instead of the champagne vinegar, and scallions instead of chives (we were on vacation and some things just weren't available). I think it would be even better with the ingredients called for. The next day I made deviled eggs and used some of the dressing for the filling along with the egg yolks and a little mayonnaise and we all loved them.

                  1. re: Rubee

                    Green Goddess Salad with Romaine (p. 126)

                    Well, this was a disaster for me, and I'm not sure what my problem was, but I'm sure it was mine and not the recipe's given the glowing reviews here. I've made mayo before, but always using the cuisanart. But I figured it wouldn't be a problem. Wrong. I used the cuinsanart to do all the herbs/watercress, and used my whisk and a metal bowl to make the egg/oil emulsion. I noticed later that the recipe called for grapeseed oil, and I used olive, but surely that can't have been the problem. I whipped and whipped and on and on, and it still just really wasn't taking. I did the whole 1/4 cup first slowly part, and thought it *might* be starting to firm up, but ... anyway, I eventually transfered it to my mini-prep, and STILL it didn't really get to the right consistency. I made the dressing anyway with the not quite right mayo. Husband and daughter loved it, so all was not lost. I thought it had a weird, wet dog sort of scent/taste to it. Again, my fault, but when a recipe takes as much time as this one does (all that chopping, separating leaves, etc.), you really want it to be great. Anyone have any ideas why it didn't work out? Was it the olive oil? Just bad luck?

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      I'm not sure if this is directly on point with your recipe, but according to Julia Child:

                      "You will never have trouble with freshly made mayonnaise if you have beaten the egg yolks thoroughly in a warmed bowl before adding the oil, if the oil has been added in droplets until the sauce has commenced to thicken, and if you have not exceeded the maximum proportions of 1/4 cup of oil per egg yolk. A mayonnaise has turned when it refuses to thicken, or, in a finished mayonnaise, when the oil release itself from suspension and the sauce curdles. In either case, the remedy is simple.

                      Warm a mixing bowl in hot water. Dry it. Add 1 tsp of prepared mustard and 1 T of sauce. Beat with a whire whip for several seconds until they cream and thicken together. Beat in the rest of the sauce by teaspoons, thickening each addition before adding the next. This always works. Just be sure you add the turned sauce a little bit at a time, particularly at first."

                      -- MTAOFC, Vol. 1, p. 88.

                      1. re: DanaB

                        Thanks DanaB - I definitely didn't warm the bowl. Maybe next time. I appreciate your help.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          In her book "The Way to Cook" she also has a FP method that works well - let me know if you want the directions.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            MMRuth, I've missed you around here! I *think* I have that book, pretty sure. Finding it amonth the ever-growing cookbook pile here is the only problem.

                  2. Okay, as part of a light supper before watching the Sopranos tonight, we kind of jumped the gun seasonally and made the "Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata, Torn Croutons and Opal Basil," (p. 135). I reported on the other dish we made (the Fava Bean Puree, p. 68), under the spring menu section.

                    We got some early tomatoes from the farmer's market in Los Angeles -- although they will only get better as the season goes on, this was definitely a GREAT use of good tomatoes. We are also lucky to have a good source of burrata cheese in the area (we got it from the Cheese Store of Silverlake, for anyone interested).

                    Needless to say, this recipe is fantastic! I pretty much followed it to a "T," with the exception that we didn't have access to heirloom tomatoes this early in the season, so used standard red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. I also didn't have "opal" basil, only genovese basil I grow in my garden, so used 4 T. of the regular basil rather than the 2 T. opal basil and 2 T. green basil called for in the recipe.

                    I highly recommend that everyone try this recipe once they can get their hands on good tomatoes. Oh, and I think it would be almost as good with buffala mozzarella for those who don't have access to burrata -- that was going to be our fall-back if we couldn't find fresh burrata.

                    Here are pictures of the dish in the serving dish and as prepared on the plate (with the fava bean puree on garlic toasts and some roasted cauliflower):

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: DanaB

                      DanaB, that looks absolutely delicious! I will try that recipe when tomatoes are in full force. Your fava bean crostini also look brilliant. Great, now I will have to consider buying this book...

                      1. re: Carb Lover

                        I have been having very good luck with tomatoes (from BerkBowl) that are called Romanitos or somesuch. They have been delicious. Also, if you want to spent $4/lb you can get those dark reddish brown and greenish tomatoes (can't recall the name) -I bought one last week and it was very good. I've made our summer breakfast staple several mornings recently - chopped tomatoes, green onions, cukes, parsley, red pepper flakes, crumbled feta served in a pita.

                        1. re: Carb Lover

                          Now that tomato season is in full force and I picked nearly 50 lbs. of tomatoes from a local farm this past weekend, I finally got around to trying Goin's riff on panzanella!

                          I used a combo of heirlooms and sungolds and didn't have burrata so used fresh mozz instead. Lemon basil added a nice touch, and I did sneak in some roasted beets from our CSA box. The vinaigrette went very well w/ the tomatoes, and the toasted bread soaked up all the sexy juices. The only thing that could make this better is the burrata. Make this before tomato season slips away...

                          PS. MMRuth and COTM devotees: I would love to revisit this book for COTM! Everytime I peruse the book and these old threads, I'm reminded of all the exciting dishes I have yet to make!

                          1. re: Carb Lover

                            <I would love to revisit this book for COTM! Everytime I peruse the book and these old threads, I'm reminded of all the exciting dishes I have yet to make!>

                            I agree! I just noticed your post, and MMRuth's reply re: Green Goddess Dressing, and it reminded me not only of all the dishes I still want to try, but all the ones I loved that I want to make again.

                            Hmmm...I think I'll go through the book tonight and make something this week.

                            1. re: Rubee

                              I would love to revisit the book as you mention. I have a copy and haven't used it yet. And everything looks good.

                              1. re: karykat

                                In last month's COTM suggestions thread I suggested that we might want to consider doing a group of the books again - you're welcome to suggest that any time.

                                And, yes, this is a fabulous book.

                              2. re: Rubee

                                I love this cookbook. It is hands down my favorite of the past several years. Everything I have made from it has been a big hit, with both me and my diners.

                                Hmmmm I have an abundance of herbs. Will have to look into that Green Goddess!

                                Yes, I would love to have this book reprised as COTM!

                                1. re: ChefJune

                                  Goin is known as my husband's girlfriend at our house! We've both loved pretty much everything I've made, except for a couple of baking failures.

                          2. re: DanaB

                            I made this a few days ago and love this salad. I like the homemade crutons. I actually used sourdough bread for them as I had that instead of the country white bread which the recipe calls for. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, but I had to leave them in the oven a few more minutes than the recipe called for. Both slicing and quartering the tomatoes adds an interesting element to the dish.

                            1. re: DanaB

                              DanaB's beautiful pictures inspired me to make this salad, and this weekend I had an opportunity to bring it to a friend's get-together at his boat dock last night.

                              I bought burrata from a local source in our North End at Salumeria Italiana, and used an assortment of tomatoes from Whole Foods. The bread for the croutons were from Iggy's, and I bought a purple basil "Red Robin" plant last week at the farmer's market. Didn't have fresh oregano so I used a bit of dried with the garlic and salt in a mortar. This is then mixed with both red wine and balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to make the dressing. Will definitely make this again. In fact, carrying it down in the elevator sparked a conversation with two women who then wrote down the name of the cookbook so they could buy it. Talk about the dish selling the book!

                              1. re: Rubee

                                Rubee, this dish was really fabulous. The multi colored tomatoes were just beautiful and the burrata was so rich and creamy. Yum!

                                1. re: gini

                                  Aww, thanks Gini! Glad you liked it. I'll definitely make this again and again, especially in August when we get some great tomatoes. It's going to be one of my go-to dishes when asked to bring something....

                                2. re: Rubee

                                  Your photos are really lovely, too!

                                  From the looks of it, this book has turned from the book for "May" to the all-the-time book. I had to return my copy to the library last week and boy, was I sad to see it go. I'm pretty choosy about adding books to my cookbook library (I have so many already so it's got to be special), but I think Suzanne Goin's book has earned its place :-)

                              2. Grilled Bluefish wrapped in pancetta with yellow tomato sauce and aioli (pg. 154)

                                Overall, this was a fairly quick recipe (it's all relative, isn't it?).

                                To start off, summer has hit full force here in New England. Given the temperature, there was no way any "cooking" was going to happen, so I was looking for a "grill" recipie. While we have the weather, we still don't have the produce so I made everything with either red ugli heirloom tomatoes or red hothouse tomatoes. There was no yellow tomato sauce going on.

                                I also fudged a bit with the measurements. I didn't want to make bluefish for 6 since there are only two of us. Instead of 36 oz of bluefish, mine was less than a lb. I marinated the fish with lemon zest, thyme and parsley. I then wrapped two slices of proscuitto around the fish and it sat in the fridge for about 7 hours.

                                Later, I sliced up 2 heirloom tomatoes and seasoned it with fleur de sel, pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallot, basil and parsley. This marinated for about an hour.

                                I also made the tomatoe sauce which called for skinless, seedless tomatoes sauteed lightly with an onion and salt. I didn't buy enough tomatoes for the sauce so it was fairly skimpy. Consequently, I'm not sure my version added anything to the dish, but it certainly didn't detract from it. FYI, in the picture, the sauce is not visible. I bought too many heirlooms mostly because I was really excited to see them.

                                Lastly, I made the aioli. I think this wasn't necessary to the recipe because the fish was wonderful without it.

                                The dish overall was great. The flavors permeated into the fish, esp the lemon zest. The pancetta was nice and crispy and a great contrast to the bluefish itself. The whole dish was a taste of summer and I'm eager to try this recipe with a the yellow tomatoes to see the contrast in colors.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: beetlebug

                                  That looks wonderful - I've not tried any of her fish dishes yet - other than the crab salad. Wish I had a grill ...

                                2. Grilled Pork Burgers, p. 147

                                  What a plain name for such a spectacular burger! I made these burgers for a cookout tomorrow (she recommends making them in advance to allow the flavors to meld), and cooked one for my husband today to test one out. Wow. These are delicious! Smoky, slightly spicy, and tender and juicy. The recipe calls for three kinds of pork - ground pork, applewood-smoked bacon, and Mexican chorizo. I couldn't find Mexican chorizo, so I used Spanish chorizo and minced that, along with the bacon, in a food processor. The seasonings include toasting and grinding cumin seeds and mixing with sauteed shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, and sliced chile de arbol. Add some chopped parsley, combine all the ingredients, and form into 6-ounce patties. I increased the recipe by half and ended up with 11 burgers. I know my family is going to love them tomorrow, but I'll be sure to report back.

                                  They have so much flavor that they're good as is, but she suggests serving them with aioli and romesco, Manchego cheese, and arugula on brioche buns. I made the excellent romesco sauce (I'll post separately) on Friday, and instead of aioli, I cheated and mixed some mayo with garlic and cracked pepper. Forgot to add the cheese so it didn't really melt, and skipped the arugula:

                                  29 Replies
                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      Looks wonderful - did you cook the one on the grill? (Asking b/c I am grill-less.)

                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        Yep, we're grill-less too. I cooked it in a regular saute pan.

                                      2. re: Rubee

                                        Update from my brother's cookout.

                                        My family makes so much food I decided to put the burgers together and cut them in half - I used the garlic mayo, romesco, Manchego cheese, and sliced yellow tomatoes instead of the arugula, and served them on grilled brioche buns (for locals - Iggy's). I also had a bowl of romesco on the side. I still have to report on the romesco, but my uncle liked it so much, he was slathering it on his steak tips. My dad said more than once this is one of the best burgers he's ever had. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

                                        1. re: Rubee

                                          These were awesome. I made these the other night and they were terrific. I halved the recipe for three burgers. Like Rubee, I used Spanish chorizo v. Mexican chorizo as well as Iggy's black pepper brioche. I did not make the aioli or romensco. Instead, I stuck with the manchego cheese and arugula. I also used some leftover salsa verde (from Zuni) as a topping. Honestly though, the burger has so much flavor that it doesn't really need anything than the arugula. We were extremely happy with our dinners.

                                          I also made Rob's Famous Coleslaw and this was a wonderful complement to the burgers. The recipe calls for 1/2 head green and 1/2 red cabbage. I just used one red cabbage. I thinly sliced the cabbage, half a red onion and grated a carrot. Meanwhile, I reduced red wine vinegar and mixed it with honey. Combine the vinegar and cabbage/carrot/onion mixture. Lastly, I used store bought mayo and blended it with herbs (parsley, chives and cayenne). Next time, I may add another carrot to the cabbage.

                                          I was skeptical with the recipe because I'm not the biggest cole slaw eater. Too mayo-ey and slightly soggy. But, this recipe was not opposite of that. The cabbage stayed crisp and there was not a predominance of mayo. The next day, I munched on the cole slaw and it was still crispy. The tang of the vinegar was tempered by the honey. This salad can stand on its own but it worked extremely well with the burger.

                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                            Wow, does that meal look great! You've motivated me to make the coleslaw the next time I cook up some of these burgers. In fact, I think I'll do that this weekend since I still have some chorizo and apple-wood smoked bacon left. And that was my first time buying Iggy's brioche buns - so good.

                                            1. re: Rubee

                                              I have to say, it was a perfect summery dinner. I also would recommend potato chips to go with the burger and slaw. There were a lot of great flavors going on.

                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                Both of your burgers look terrific!! I broke down and bought the book from Amazon since I "needed" to order some others. Just got it in the mail today!! Yippee--now I can curl up w/ the book tonight. Now I just need to figure out where to get brioche buns like yours...If I can't, then I'm willing to make them myself.

                                                1. re: Carb Lover

                                                  Yay! I really love this book, and am willing to bet you will too.

                                                  Okay - I must be off my CH rocker, because just tonight (after making another great dish - chicken paillard with brown butter-caper sauce), eating and enjoying a glass of wine with my husband, I was thinking to myself "Carb Lover really needs to get this book". ?! : )

                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    Aw, I'm touched. :-) I didn't think I needed or wanted this book but once I really took a good look at it in the bookstore, that went out the window. I read through some of it last night and appreciate Goin's quiet intelligence and elegance. It's great to see the recipes in their full context, and I've marked some that I will start on. Even though the month is nearly over, I'm just getting started w/ this book!

                                            2. re: beetlebug

                                              I put together the burgers yesterday and we just had them for lunch and am too full to post in full - but those burgers are unbelieveable - my husband said they were the best he ever had - did the full works. Also made the slaw. More once I recover from this food coma.

                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                I made Rob's Famous Coleslaw (p. 149) Friday for dinner for four of us at a friend's house, along with the chorizo burgers, and the Pastel Vasco. I too liked the reduced vinegar dressing balanced with honey, and that it was not too mayonnaise-y (I used Hellman's). As BB mentions - great with the burgers.

                                                (The rest of the meal was great too - one girlfriend made fresh guacamole with chips to start, another a delicious sangria from Cooking Light, and a third made a wonderful spicy grilled eggplant and mozzarella salad).

                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                  I should add to to be sure you don't overcook the burger. I did that when I tested a mini-patty for seasoning, and it was dry and a bit tough. She emphasizes to not "be afraid to cook these burgers until only pink in the middle" so that they are juicy.

                                              2. re: Rubee

                                                Rubee, Mexican chorizo is a fresh product, as opposed to the Spanish which is a "dry" salami-type sausage. The Mexican chorizo will blend much better with your ground pork. Try to find some. You'll be glad you did!

                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                  Yes, I thought I had some in the freezer (I usually stock up when I hit one of the local Mexican markets). I was just going to stick with the Spanish chorizo since it was so good, but... hmmm... you've convinced me to try it with the Mexican chorizo she calls for. : )

                                                  With summer just starting (at least for Boston!), now I'm thinking of just making a big batch and freezing the burgers - do you think they'd freeze well?

                                                2. re: Rubee

                                                  Grilled Pork Burgers and Rob's Famous Coleslaw.

                                                  I'm running out of superlatives, but my husband pronounced this the best burger and coleslaw he's ever had, and I have to agree. I halved the recipe and made three burgers - I think I'd make four next time - they were a bit big for me. Couldn't readily find Mexican chorizo, so I used a slightly spicy Italian sausage. I put together the patties on Saturday afternoon, and we had them for lunch on Sunday. I grilled them on the stove on our grill pan, adding a slice of manchego (which I don't usually like, but found a raw milk one, aged 6 months - v. tasty) and then quickly grilled the brioche buns that I'd bought. Also made the aioli and the romesco sauce, after my kind husband tracked down some ancho chiles for me Sunday morning. I served them with arugula. The slaw was pretty quick and easy to make - I was going to use Whole Foods mayonnaise, but a certain mouse in our house had left about a tablespoon in the jar, so I whipped some up in the food processor (using JC's recipe) using about half grapeseed oil and half olive oil. Used some of it in the slaw, and then made the aioli with some of it. I think I over did the cayenne pinch in the coleslaw at the end, so I think it was a bit spicier than either of us would have liked - the burgers and romesco each have their own spiciness too them.

                                                  I had the third burger for lunch yesterday - cooked it up while the washing machine repair man was here and felt quite sorry for him - he said it smelled delicious, and it was.

                                                  (As an aside, my husband is getting used to having to wait to eat until after the photos are taken!)

                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                    I made the pork burgers last night for a barbecue and everyone loved them! I used Colombian chorizo (which I'. guessing is similar to Mexican - it's a fresh rather than dried, spicy sausage), ordinary smoked bacon and a green cayenne chilli (I don't think arbol chillies are readily available in the UK). Delicious. We had the leftovers for lunch today, and Mr GG said, and I quote: Best. Burger. Ever.

                                                    I also made the skirt steak, but with a slice of topside because the butcher had run out of skirt. This was good, but not great, but it could have been the meat as I bought it from the Colombian butcher who does the chorizo rather than my regular butcher. I'm not convinced it was properly hung. Anyway, a really good dinner.

                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                      That's exactly what my husband says - now that it's summer I need to make them again. If you make them again, for chile de arbol, you could substitute dried chile flakes instead of the green cayennes (which I assume were fresh?). Did you serve it with the aioli and the romesco?

                                                      I can't remember - have you cooked from her book before? Everything (except for my two baking fiascos) is just amazing.

                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                        Are chile de arbol dried rather than fresh? I'm afraid I'm not really familiar with them and assumed they were fresh. I might be able to get them dried.... I did the aioli but not the romesco. I'm definitely making them again!

                                                        I just bought the book based on what people were saying on here. I made the rack of lamb the other night which was lovely, but I did have the finest quality lamb from Shropshire.

                                                        I need to have a dinner party so I can try some of the other recipes. They're a bit fancy and time-consuming for weeknights and I'm on my own for the month anyway as Mr GG is working in Birmingham during the week.

                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                          I think they usually are dried - I'm always really bad at reading through introductions to cookbooks, but on p. 14 she has a list of pantry ingredients with descriptions etc. I agree that a lot of the recipes are time consuming - I too pretty much save them for the weekends, though at one point I did have a list of ones that didn't seem to take too long or require ahead of time preparation. The burgers really are even more incredible with the romesco and manchego. I'm in the middle of making the romesco from the Tapas book right now - will see how they compare.

                                                          Enjoy (and sorry Mr. GG is away so much this month - my husband will be away a lot as well - in London for a day or two, among other places)!

                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                            I hope he enjoys his time with us, and that the weather improves for him (and me!).

                                                    2. re: MMRuth

                                                      Rob's famous coleslaw (p. 149)

                                                      Since MMRuth recently posted about an inspired -- and inspiring -- dinner of fried chicken and this coleslaw, I dug out Goin and made the slaw with some ribs (from Bon Appetit Y'all).

                                                      This is now my go-to coleslaw recipe! Perfect blend of flavors. I like a vinegar-based slaw, which this is but so much more with a bit of mayo and fresh herbs.

                                                      I reduced the red wine vinegar and added honey. Cut up green cabbage (no red in the house), red onion, grated a carrot and I chopped up a long thin green semi-hot fresh pepper (since it's Indonesian month I have them in-house), and S&P. Stir occasionally, and then add some mayo, chives and parsley. (I omitted the parsley because my plants aren't ready to be raided.) I couldn't resist tasting, oh one more time, as I cooked the rest of the meal.

                                                      The flavors sing, it's not too mayonnaise-y and the vinegar/honey with some heat from the peppers harmonize beautifully! Next time I'll use more carrot.

                                                      This is going into regular rotation now that summer is almost here!

                                                      1. re: NYchowcook

                                                        So glad you liked it. I put in more carrot as well. I usually make half a batch, but still use a whole carrot. I usually put in more parsley too, so that I feel as if I'm eating something "green"!

                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                          Liked it? I loved it!! Thanks for the inspiration.

                                                          Yes, I will use parsley once my plants get a growth spurt . . . or I'll have to purchase some. But hey, raw cabbage is healthy!

                                                          I thought cornbread would be a perfect accompaniment, but I ran out of steam -- unlike the MMRuth energizer cook bunny!

                                                          1. re: NYchowcook

                                                            Yes, corn bread would be nice - and would be a bit easier to make ahead of time. I threw the biscuits together just after I started to fry the 2nd batch of chicken.

                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                              Goin's cornbread is the best I have ever tasted, just FYI... and I grew up with amazing, constant cornbread :) I make mine in a very well seasoned cast iron, which I am sure adds something. But it puffs up magnificently, her recipe, and the taste is just wonderful.

                                                      2. re: MMRuth

                                                        Photo of Rob's coleslaw (oops -- leftover)

                                                      3. re: Rubee

                                                        I’m in Guatemala right now and for a couple of nights earlier this week I was taking care of my grandsons while their parents were on a business trip. Scavenging through the fridge and freezer I found ground pork, fresh chorizo, and bacon and had an aha! moment. There was even some manchego left over from a cocktail party. I’ve been wanting to make these pork burgers since Rubee first posted about them nearly two-and-a-half years ago (bless you for the link to the recipe) and here I was with both the ingredients and an outdoor grill on which to cook them. I didn’t make the romesco, but I did make the aioli. No cumin seeds, but I toasted some ground cumin to bring out the flavor. And since neither of the boys like spicy food, I passed on the arbol but added just a hint of a locally prepared chile mix to both the burgers and the aioli.

                                                        Well, the boys just can’t stop talking about those burgers. Said they were the best burgers they’d ever had. I’ll be here for another week and they are already planning menus for each night just to make sure I’ll be able to make them again before I leave. And the older boy has been putting the leftover aioli on everything from sandwiches to empanadas.

                                                        I served the burgers with the Sweet Slaw from “A Love Affair with Southern Cooking” just because I have that recipe committed to memory now and they flipped for that as well.

                                                        I’ve got a feeling the boys are going to be asking for these for years to come.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          Better leave the recipes for the parents, Joan. It's wonderful when children enjoy food that way!

                                                      4. First-of-the-Season Succotash Salad, p. 144.

                                                        Though I'm not sure I can call my variation succotash salad since I didn't use fresh lima beans. ; )

                                                        A nice summer salad with a simple vinaigrette of lemon juice, shallots, and EVOO showcasing the fresh vegetables. I doubled the dressing and used a bag of edamame, five ears of corn, three summer squash, one red onion, and a pound of mixed yellow, red, and purple tomatoes. I brought these to a cookout in a container, layering the ingredients (sauteed squash, onion, and thyme, corn, cooked edamame, cut up tomatoes, and chopped basil, chives, and parsley). Before serving, I tossed all the ingredients with the dressing and served it in a bowl instead of the bed of arugula and watercress. It made a nice colorful side dish to a grilled buffet on Monday.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                          The edamame are a great idea - I bought all the ingredients - but couldn't find any lima beans so bought English peas to use instead - but maybe I'll do the edamame tonight - making it with the Santa Barbara spot prawns with tomato confit, garlic and chile - but no prawns to be found nearby, so instead using jumbo shrimp. Making the burgers tomorrow - well, just made them - and the slaw.

                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                            I made the succotash salad last night and also subbed frozen edamame for the lima beans, which I have never seen fresh and definitely are not at the SF farmer's market.

                                                            The lemon vinaigrette really didn't taste like much until I tossed it with all the vegies - all of a sudden it was perfect.

                                                            I loved the succotash salad but next time I think I'll forgo the greens underneath... they kind of got lost among the crush and the succotash is great on its own. I served it with halibut with gremolata butter and warm farro (from other seasons in the book, the halibut is made ala the wild striped bass) for a nice summer meal.

                                                          2. Tonight for dessert I made the Raspberry Gratin - as with the other desserts of hers, and in contrast to many of the savory recipes - this was quite quick to put together and incredibly tasty. You make a custard (not sure I've done that before), when cooled, fold in some creme fraiche, and then pour over raspberries, sprinkle on some sugar and broil for 7 minutes. Quite rich, but not too sweet. I made the full recipe of custard, but then only used half of it to cover the raspberries, since there were just the two of us. Guess I'll have to use the rest up with another fruit tomorrow night! I was a bit surprised that the recipe didn't call for vanilla - infusing the milk w/ vanilla seeds/pod - but I think it might actually have been overwhelming.

                                                            Tonight's menu: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40749...

                                                            1. For Memorial Day, I made the Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with Tomato Confit, Garlic, and Chile, Sweet Corn Soup with Avocado Cream and Cilantro, and her Cornmeal Shortcakes with Apricots, Mint, and Soured Creme.

                                                              Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with Tomato Confit, Garlic and Chile
                                                              I loooove these live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns. If you have access to a 99 Ranch Market (CA, WA, Las Vegas, or Atlanta) you can find these live beauties for $12.99/lb in season. They're not only gorgeous, they are so much fun to play with! The meal with the spot prawns are so much fun as well. Our guests loved decapitating the prawns and peeling the shrimp...along with dipping crusty baguettes in her tomato confit. **To bring out a bolder yellow in the confit, I recommend using half yellow tomatoes and half orange tomatoes.

                                                              Sweet Corn Soup with Avocado Cream and Cilantro
                                                              I agree with RoseWater on serving this soup cold. I served it warm on the night of our dinner...and the flavors just didn't "pop" like I was hoping it would.

                                                              Cornmeal Shortcakes with Apricots, Mint, and Soured Creme
                                                              Peaches weren't quite ready when I was making this recipe, so apricots had to do. I was actually going to use nectarines, but they were too soft and i couldn't halve them with out fully mutilating the entire fruit. So I just pureed the nectarines, which worked quite well being the sour component to the sweet Apricots. I love her simple sugar btw. I even added some of that syrub into her harissa dip another night. Superb. Anyways, I really didn't care for the shortcakes. They just seemed to dry and dense. Too bad, because her sour mascarpone is so delicious. I think a castella cake would go nicely with the fresh fruits and sour mascarpone.

                                                              Here's my full post of the dinner: http://oishiieats.blogspot.com/2007/0...

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Oishii Eats

                                                                Thanks for the great report, Oishii Eats.

                                                                I didn't have a clue that spot prawns even existed until this year. I was in Berkeley Bowl and saw a special on them. Intrigued, I bought some. They were GREAT. Since then, I haven't seen them at BB and haven't looked anywhere else. Glad to know about 99 Ranch. I'll try there.

                                                                1. re: Oishii Eats

                                                                  Beautiful. I'm so jealous. Here in Boston I've never seen spot prawns (well, except at suhi restaurants). I wonder if I could source something out.

                                                                  1. re: Oishii Eats

                                                                    That looks gorgeous ... the spotted prawns look a lot like some langoustines I cooked a while back.

                                                                    1. re: Oishii Eats

                                                                      Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with Tomato Confit, Garlic and Chile and First-of-the-Season Succotash Salad

                                                                      The prawns - couldn't find prawns, so had to make due with headless jumbo shrimp. Other than that, and not having any opal basil, followed the ingredients/instructions faithfully. I made half the recipe, so I was able to cook the shrimp in one pan. I checked them frequently to make sure they didn't overcook, since I wasn't sure how the size compared to the spotted prawns that were called for. I loved the yellow tomato confit, though I don't know that I'd call it a confit - which I guess I think of as having more texture - this is a puree/thick liquid sauce. I had a lot of the the drained liquid leftover, which I should have kept to use elsewhere (in a sald dressing?), but I didn't. The number of pots and pans and bowls etc. that I have going on my tiny counters when cooking from this book precluded me from doing so! My husband thought that having to eat the shrimp with the shells on was a bit messy - and it was - I can't imagine eating this with ones hands. I grilled some bread to serve with the dish.

                                                                      The Succotash - I decided to make it because I had summer squash leftover from last week's gratin. Well, I couldn't find lima beans, and initially bought English peas to put in, but then saw Rubee's post and decided to go with the edamame. Also no opal basil. Another delicious dish - served it on a bed of arugula and watercress, and also added some leftover pea sprouts to the "succotash".

                                                                      I don't think I'd serve these two dishes together next time - as you can see from the photos, they have pretty much the same color profile, and also both have cherry tomatoes (I actually used those grape ones for both dishes), basil, thyme, etc.

                                                                      1. re: Oishii Eats

                                                                        Santa Barbara Spot Prawns with Tomato Confit, Garlic & Chile – p. 181

                                                                        Excited to find some spot prawns at the fish market, I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to make the Tomato Confit so we just had this with the tomato sauce (which was plentiful by the way). The recipe calls for 1.5 c of chopped shallots, which seemed excessive so I used ½ cup which was sufficient to add a sweetness to the sauce and add a nice contrast in textures. We did serve this w crusty bread as suggested. I normally like my seafood simply prepared but this recipe didn’t overwhelm the prawns at all, it simply enhanced their naturally sweet flavour. Glad I tried the recipe, not sure I’d make it again since I do think the prawns shine in simpler preparations. I also agree w MMRuth in that the sauce made the dish a bit of a messy challenge to peel ad eat ... I'm glad I did a test run and didn't make it for a dinner party.

                                                                      2. Last night I made the Grilled Veal Chops with Summer Squash Gratin.

                                                                        I bought veal loin chops - the recipe doesn't specify which kind, and the rib chops were $30 a pound - on Saturday, and did the prescribed marinade that afternoon, for two chops only. Also made the salsa verde then - a bit time consuming in the mortar - made the full amount. On Sunday morning I put together the gratin - I cut the recipe about in half using one v. large summer squash. Probably took me about 15 minutes - salting the squash for 10 minutes, heating up the butter for the breadcrumbs, and then assembling in a small cazuela - which I've discovered is the perfect size for a gratin for two - about 7 inches across. Baked it later in the afternoon, and then just reheated while I was grilling the chops - on a grill pan since no out door grill. The veal chops are served on a bed of arugula - the heat and juices wilt the arugula a bit. All in all, a pretty quick meal by Lucques standards, and as delicious as all her meals. I served this with the $10 tomato we'd bought the day before - sliced, olive oil, salt, pepper and basil, and a fruit gratin (using the leftover custard from the Lucques raspberry gratin the night before) -this time used peaches and raspberries.

                                                                        1. Wild Salmon a la Lutece with Sweet Corn, Green Cabbage, and Brown Butter Vinaigrette, p. 138.

                                                                          Needed to start using up the cabbage leftover from the coleslaw I made over the weekend, so found this recipe, and fortunately my husband was going to Costco, so I asked him to pick up some wild salmon. Utterly delicious - at the end of the meal (one of many Lucques meals we've been having lately), he said "It is an epiphany"!

                                                                          Anyway - loved the idea of heating bacon in milk and then whizzing it in the food processor to incorporate the bacon into the milk. I used panko instead of fresh bread crumbs. It was easy to make, and this is one of the recipes you can do on the spot so to speak - no need for advance prep/marinating etc. I didn't have spring onions for the cabbage side, so I sliced up half a leftover red onion, and then added chopped chives at the end instead of the green spring onion tops. I suspect the red onion made the dish a bit sweeter than it otherwise would have been - but boy was it good. I also used chopped red onion instead of white in the brown butter vinaigrette.

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                            That salmon recipe is very good. Your photos are great MMRuth! It's nice to see properly cooked salmon. And I love that Bandol in the backround!

                                                                            1. re: zataar

                                                                              Thanks - actually, I should have mentioned, I think I over cooked the salmon just a tad - it was still moist, but could have used a minute less. I always have trouble with wild salmon - because of the color - the fact that it doesn't turn pale pink, I have a harder time telling when it's done.

                                                                              Lots of Bandol and roses generally "in the background" these days! I keep meaning to take notes and post on the rose thread on the wine board.

                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                Did anyone end up finding this recipe online? I've searched, but haven't found anything yet. I really shouldn't have looked at everyone's pictures!

                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                              Beautiful! And you're a troublemaker - I have leftover cabbage from the coleslaw too so....guess what I will be making this weekend. Looks delicious!

                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                Wild Salmon a la Lutece with Sweet Corn, Green Cabbage, and Bacon, and Brown Butter Vinaigrette, p. 138.

                                                                                Well, a couple of months later, but I finally made this delicious dish! As good as MMRuth mentions above, not much to add. I used farmed salmon, and substituted chives for parsley and scallions for the spring onions. I also used savoy cabbage. This was another winner from the book. Mmmmm... a batter made with bacon! (and milk, egg, and bread crumbs). The brown butter vinaigrette is key too in balancing all the flavors (butter, diced onion, red wine vinegar, salt, and lemon juice).


                                                                              2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                this bears repeating:
                                                                                the idea of heating bacon in milk and then whizzing it in the food processor to weaponize the bacon. and then making a crust for fish out of it.

                                                                                SO awarded me a third michelin star based on this meal this evening.
                                                                                It is super easy.
                                                                                I used all the as-instructed onions (okay, scallions = green onions for me)
                                                                                I still can't get over the crazy bacon idea. The sauce for the bacon battered fish is a brown butter vinagrette with lemon juice. Super delicious. The whole thing is insane. Bacon, salmon, lemon. Is this how they cook in Alsace all the time? Goin credits Andre Soltner with this dish.
                                                                                ; )

                                                                                1. re: pitu

                                                                                  Oh, I made this salmon dish a while back and am guilty for not having posted about it. As others have said, this is a brilliant combination of flavors and textures. Bacon in a blender is mind-bending but added much depth to the dish. I overcooked my previously frozen wild salmon a touch, but it was still pretty succulent.

                                                                                  Photo of plated dish:

                                                                                  There's so much more I want to try from this book! I just need to plan and shop for it. Look forward to delving into the fall and winter menus...

                                                                                2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  I made this last night - but just the salmon. Great once again.

                                                                                3. Plum Tarte Tatin with Creme Fraiche, p. 178

                                                                                  Well, everyother dish I've made from this cookbook has been fantastic, but this was an unmitigatable (is that word?) disaster. I've made apple tarte tatin many times, using JC's recipe. For this, I bought pluots (one of Goin's suggestions) and halved and pitted them (the latter a real pain) and then let sit - probably for 2 hours rather than the rec. 1/2 hour, with the sugar on them, which is intended to get some of the juice out of them. I had very little juice, which I duly poured off. Made the caramel mixture, managed to burn it, so made it again. Cooled, added the fruit cooked as directed, cooled for several hours, then put on the puff pastry top and cooked in the oven for the prescribed time. Removed, cooled on rack, then turned out on to the plate. Lots of juice. Managed to pour a lot of it off into the sink. An hour later, the tarte was sitting in a pool of juice. Picked at it a bit to see how the crust was, tried a pluot - pretty good. They were a beautiful purple - almost like an eggplant. Crust was soggy from juice. Took photo. Left on counter covered overnight thinking that I might pull off the pluots and do something with them. Next morning, strange blue green film on juice. Mean to throw out, still sitting on my counter today (this was made Sunday). It's only future is into a large black garbage bag. Very sad! So, I think I'll stick to apple (or pear, or quince) tarte tatin, and I think I prefer it with pate brisee, as well.

                                                                                  Edit: When my husband saw the pluots, he wondered what they were for. When I told him, he asked if I was trying to kill him (with all the Lucques cooking). He didn't have to worry in this case!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                    Plum Tarte Tatin with Creme Fraiche or Ice Cream, p. 178

                                                                                    A version of this recipe was posted in this weekend's Wall Street Journal and I happened to have 3 pounds of firm, tart plums on hand from my farmer's market delivery box so I decided to give it a try. Unlike MMRuth, this was one of the most successful desserts I have ever made. My husband said it was better than any dessert he has ever eaten in a restaurant. I think I might agree.

                                                                                    Like MM above, my first attempt at a carmel failed, it didn't dissolve then turned into a solid hard rock of candy attached to the bottom of my pot. Next attempt still didn't dissolve but I used it anyway and it appears that the carmel stage wasn't a deal breaker. I just patted down the grainy mass and let it rest for 20 minutes before fanning out several tiers of plums. I let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so and then used a premade puff pastry from TJs. Perfection! I didn't attempt to invert it. Instead, served it rustic style hot out of the pan, topped with french vanilla bean ice cream.

                                                                                  2. Ricotta Gnocchi with Chanterelles, Sweet Corn and Sage Brown Butter, p. 173

                                                                                    This is still a ‘go to’ cookbook for me-- I flip through it regularly and always had skipped by this particular recipe. Something about this one looked a little heavy for the summer. But I was inspired by a container of goat cheese ricotta that was about to go bad—I was going to hate myself if I had to throw it out.

                                                                                    This was my first time making gnocchi, and I'm not sure my gnocchi were as light as they should be, but I'm glad to add this to my cooking repertoire. The gnocchi were pretty easy, much easier than I assumed.

                                                                                    The brown butter, mushroom, sage, sweet corn 'sauce' was terrific-- the sweetness of the corn was perfectly complemented by the savory flavor of the butter, sage and mushroom. I did modify only slightly—I couldn’t find chanterelles, so I used a mix from Whole Foods.

                                                                                    We were half way through when I thought 'I should really take a picture'-- our appetites took over and I forgot. Next time!

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jens

                                                                                      I tried this recipe, as well, and I think her recipe for ricotta gnocchi is a no-go. Quite heavy and dense. I've even had the gnocchi at AOC (one of Goin's restaurants) and they're not that good. Batali and Judy Rodgers' recipes are much better imo.

                                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                                        "Batali and Judy Rodgers' recipes are much better imo."

                                                                                        Funny - i was just saying the exact same thing over on egullet. Goin's gnocchis seemed very heavy - although the sauce was excellent. I'll stick to Batali's recipe for ricotta gnocchi though.

                                                                                        1. re: moreace01

                                                                                          This is good to know - I've been eying that recipe and love the flavor combination in the sauce. Do you know if the Batali recipe you like is on line? TIA.

                                                                                          Edit - I found this one online:


                                                                                          I wonder why he calls for goat milk ricotta - I thought it was usually made with sheep's milk?

                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                            That's the same recipe as the one in his book (Molto Italiano). I think he calls for goat milk ricotta because his wife is related to the owners of Coach Farm, which produces that particular ricotta.

                                                                                            1. re: emily

                                                                                              goat's milk ricotta is available Saturdays at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket in Brooklyn (not from Coach Farm, btw - lots of smaller goat productions are around)
                                                                                              It's great -- the lady makes it the night before market day...

                                                                                              I'm sure it's at other farmer's markets too.

                                                                                              I'm checking out this thread while my milk/bacon cools off for the salmon batter.

                                                                                              1. re: pitu

                                                                                                LOL - enjoy - it's a wonderful dish!

                                                                                      2. re: jens

                                                                                        I made this a couple of weeks ago, though I cheated and used purchased potato gnocchi. I loved the flavor combination, was fortunate enough to find some beautiful chanterelles and am so glad I went ahead and made the bread crumbs, which I almost omitted - added a lovely crunch.

                                                                                      3. Bucatini and Clams with Fennel, White Wine and Thyme Breadcrumbs, p. 145

                                                                                        A twist on vongole. The fennel/red onion/rosemary/thyme/chile de arbol is a wonderful base to the sauce for the clams and, as always, the breadcrumbs give it a great crunch. Though leaving some of the clams in the shell looks pretty, next time I'll just take them all out - easier to eat that way! I made half the recipe, but used 2 lbs of clams instead of half of 3.5 lbs, and we had more than enough - my husband usually worries that there won't be enough clams! Oh, and the other thing - next time I would add the bread crumbs before putting the clams in the shells on top, if I were doing that.

                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                          Not sure what happened to one of the photos:

                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                            Same thing happened to me a week or so ago. When I first posted the message, there was a vertical bar where the photo usually is. I thought I'd done something wrong, but it was among the photos under My Chow. When I went back to my post again, the photo was there. Another glitch to report to engineering if it keeps occurring.

                                                                                            I'm curious, by the way, how you think this compares with the clam soup with fregola that you so kindly posted from "Sweet Myrtle." I just love that recipe.

                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                              Hmm ... completely different I'd say, but equally good, maybe better.

                                                                                          2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                            Bucatini and Clams with Fennel, White Wine and Thyme Breadcrumbs, p. 145

                                                                                            A delicious twist on linguine con vongole. The red onion and fennel add a delicate sweetness, the butter a richness and the breadcrumbs a crunchy texture and heartiness. The only change I made was to add some crushed red pepper flakes (the chile de arbol barely registered) and added more clams (I just can't get enough).

                                                                                            Here's the recipe in case anyone is interested. http://choudown.blogspot.com/2011/10/...

                                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                                              Sunday Suppers is one of the most underused cookbooks in my collection. Thanks for reporting this Sal, I haven't made clam sauce for a very long time so I see this recipe in my very near future.

                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                I hope you enjoy it. The lemon adds a nice brightness. It is a twist on the classic (for classic flavor, I defer to Hazan, Batali (from Heat) and Moonen- I've been making quite a bit of linguine with clams as of late).

                                                                                                I was just looking at all the reviews from Sunday Suppers COTM and definitely want to dig deeper into this lovely book. This recipe wasn't time consuming (would be even easier had I had toasted the breadcrumbs in advance), but it looks like some of the other recipes are a bit more time consuming.

                                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                  This sounds absolutely delicious, and the fact that it isn't very time consuming is helpful. I have loved pretty much everything I've tried from this book, but it *does* tend toward the fiddly, which can make me shy away. Will be making this one.

                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                    I've been trying different linguine with clam recipes recently and this was a keeper. I hope you enjoy it too.

                                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                              [Orecchiette] and Clams with Fennel, White Wine and Thyme Breadcrumbs, p. 145

                                                                                              Thanks to Blythe Spirit for bumping this thread, I saw BigSal's post from April on this dish, and it caught my eye immediately. This is a very delicious version of pasta with clams (though not to be attempted if you happen to be on a diet!). My only change was to use panko instead of fresh breadcrumbs, red chile flakes instead of crumbled chile de arbol, and orecchiette instead of bucatini. I shelled most of the clams for easier eating at the table and the orecchiette cupped the clams nicely along with the tiny bits of fennel and onion, which my toddler actually ate! Yes!!! I was able to prep the dish during naptime and it all came together fairly quickly.

                                                                                              And now as I was writing this post, I spied Beetlebug's post below on the spaghetti with heirloom tomatoes and bottarga. I think that one will go on next week's menu. I love bottarga and haven't had it in ages.

                                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                I've looked at this clam recipe many times, but have just never gotten around to cooking it. I am happy to hear that panko could be successfully substituted for fresh breadcrumbs, and am definitely going to give this a try.

                                                                                            3. Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Bottarga Breadcrumbs (pg. 191)

                                                                                              I had leftover red onions, heirloom tomatoes, basil from the garden and brand new bottarga. It was a sign that this recipe was going to be made and I'm so glad. This was absolutely delicious. I can't believe no one wrote about this last year because this is a winner and a keeper. And, it was a quick recipe to boot. A win, win, win.

                                                                                              I used panko bread crumbs instead of fresh and toasted them. In a skillet, saute rosemary and crumbled chile de arbol. Add, the sliced red onion, thyme, garlic and tomato. (Goins has you add the ingredients in a certain order and timing). Goins also instructs you when to add the pasta to the water to aid in the timing of the dish.

                                                                                              After the tomatoes have released the juices and then reduced a bit. Add the cooked pasta and butter until the pasta has absorbed the tomato sauce flavor. Add the herbs (basil and parsley), bottarga and breadcrumbs.

                                                                                              I can't even begin to describe all the flavors of this dish. And, all the flavors were soaked into the pasta itself. The breadcrumbs lent a nice crunch to the dish itself.

                                                                                              I cut all the portions in half. I do have a serving left over and I hope it reheats well. I do have my doubts on that because the breadcrumbs will sog up and I'm worried that the pasta will dry out. But, half the recipe makes a very generous three portions.

                                                                                              24 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                Hmm - we were planning on bottarga for lunch using another recipe - maybe I'll try this instead tomorrow. Not sure how good the tomatoes will be though ....

                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                  This was my first bottarga. I have nothing to compare it to but I really liked it.

                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                    I think I didn't post clearly - haven't seen any heirloom tomatoes - might just use those little grape tomatoes instead, and was wondering how you thought it would turn out.

                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                      I don't think grape tomatoes would work. Too little and too much skin (I didn't bother to skin my tomatoes). But, I also don't think you need to use heirlooms either. Just regular size tomatoes, the best you can find. The tomatoes sweeten up with the red onion mixture. My heirlooms were fine but not as good as locally grown summer ones.

                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                        Thanks - my husband is grating bottarga as we speak and I decided to go with my regular recipe, as I also don't have thyme, and only penne rigate not spaghetti.

                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                          I've never tried bottarga. You have me convinced and intrigued....

                                                                                                          MM, I've been getting great-for-off-season tomatoes in NYC. Brand is Campari - they are probably hydroponic, Canadian distributor, grown in Mexico, a little larger than a golf ball, arrive on the vine in a flat plastic pak. No pesticides, delicious.

                                                                                                          I should probably start a new thread for this, but I've been wondering what Spanish cookbook takes you closest to what's served at Casa Mono? I love the grapefruit/fennel/octopus salad, and the clam/chorizo/fideos there.

                                                                                                          1. re: pitu

                                                                                                            Bottarga is wonderful - I made the River Cafe recipe today, but also posted about the great one in that Sardinian book. Today I added some lemon zest and it was really nice and lemony on a hot summer's day. I'll have to look for that brand of tomatoes - thanks.

                                                                                                            I note that the Goin recipe calls for tuna bottarga, but I know that beetlebug's is the gray mullet roe one, which is what I always use too. The cheapest place I've found to buy it is at DiPalo, it's between $25 and $30 for a lobe these days, but that is good for four or five meals for two (pasta dishes).

                                                                                                            On Casa Mono - I think that a lot of their dishes - much as I love them - are sometimes slightly non traditional twists on Spanish food, but I made a fideos recipe (with shrimp) from Delicioso that was terrific. I've only cooked from two Spanish books - both by Casas - that one, and her Tapas one, as part of COTM. I did try to recreate the mojama/duck egg dish, but wasn't thrilled with the mojama I'd bought. My thought on trying to recreate the dishes is to try to remember the ingredients, then find a recipe and adapt as needed, if that makes sense. I keep meaning to make an orange aioli like the one that goes with the bacaloa croquetas, to serve with fish. Hmm ... actually, I think I did doctor one up with mayonnaise once - great with fish.

                                                                                                              1. re: pitu

                                                                                                                I was just looking at Casa Mono's website for another reason and ran across this:

                                                                                                                "Casa Mono and Bar Jamón were conceived by Andy Nusser to bring the food of Catalunya, and more specifically the food of Barcelona's legendary Boqueria to the United States.

                                                                                                                Casa Mono features raciones of Catalan specialties and serves dishes from all corners of Spain."

                                                                                                2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                  I made this for dinner two nights ago, as I wanted something pretty quick and for which I had the ingredients on hand. I didn't have heirloom tomatoes, and used some ripe grape tomatoes and plum tomatoes. I can see how making this dish with really great tomatoes would make it even better, but it was still very good. I think I had less liquid from the tomatoes, and so added a little pasta water when I added the pasta to the sauce. Have to confess that the two of us ate the whole 1/2 recipe.

                                                                                                  I always love her addition of bread crumbs to dishes, but I think my favorite bottarga recipe is still the one with pecorino sardo from my Sardinian cookbook.

                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                    Ersatz Lamb Osso Buco, p. 192

                                                                                                    I had some lamb shanks and decided to try something from the COTMS. Don't have Zuni out of library right now, so Goin it was.

                                                                                                    I had the butcher cut the lamb shanks into 3 pieces.

                                                                                                    The recipe calls for the seasoned meat to be refrigerated overnight. I omitted this step, but put salt, pepper and thyme on the shanks before browning. I also had no fennel, but had some turnips and parsnips from my last CSA box of the year....so subbed them.

                                                                                                    I browned the shanks in olive oil. She says one should not get "lazy or rushed at this step. It's very important that the meat sear to a deep, golden brown on all sides." That whipped me into shape and I spent quite a while making sure they were evenly browned in every nook and cranny. She says that the shanks should sit flat, but mine were too tall for that and fell over on their sides immediately. I expected to hear the doorbell at any moment, but she apparently didn't notice my sloppiness.

                                                                                                    After the lamb is browned you take it out and add the onions, carrot, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and herbs. After they are a bit carmelized you add some white wine and turn up the heat and reduce it by half.

                                                                                                    She then calls for the addition of veal stock and chicken stock. I had no veal stock....no chicken stock for that matter. I did have some cans of Swanson's chick broth, which I added. Now you put the lamb back in, tuck in parsley sprigs, cover and put into a 325 degree oven. You should have preheated the oven, but I forgot to mention that.

                                                                                                    Goin can never convince me that plastic wrap will not exude some poisonous ether into my food and I have, therefore, never followed her directions to cover the pan with plastic wrap and then foil and then a tight-fitting lid. After the lamb is done, she transfers it to a baking sheet and browns the meat in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. I didn't do that either.

                                                                                                    She serves this with a ragout of fresh shell beans. I had not planned in advance to make this dish and don't even know if there are any fresh flageolets, black beans, limas or cranberry beans in this hemisphere at this time of year....I did, however, have some very nice dried flageolets and I cooked them separately and then added to the lamb for the last half hour.

                                                                                                    This dish is served with a tapanade, but, again, as I hadn't planned in advance, I didn't have any olives....so I made her gremolata. She chops lemon zest, parsley and garlic by hand and I did that, too. It seemed to be better that way...not so smushed by a blender or processer. Anyway, I love that maniacal chopping action. If you squash the garlic first, it doesn't fly around when you chop. I also used some whole slices of lemon (not just the zest) and that was quite good.

                                                                                                    Oh, I forgot that I added the chunked turnips and parsnips to the shanks for the last 45 minutes. They were a good addition.

                                                                                                    Both of us really love lamb shanks and I bought these only because I'd tried to get some short ribs but balked (read fainted) when 4 slices (not that big either) were $20. Too rich for my blood. Especially for something that used to be cheap...well that goes for the lamb shanks as well, but they were more reasonable, even with the larger bones.

                                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                      "Goin can never convince me that plastic wrap will not exude some poisonous ether into my food and I have, therefore, never followed her directions to cover the pan with plastic wrap and then foil and then a tight-fitting lid."

                                                                                                      Huh? I don't recall ever having seen this instruction in Goin (or anywhere else, for that matter). Certainly not in the osso buco recipe.

                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                        I just checked my copy - no plastic wrap.

                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                          Well, on page 193 of my copy of Sunday Suppers at Lucques the following directions are given:

                                                                                                          "Cover tightly with plastic wrap (yes, it can go in the oven), aluminum foil, and a tight-fitting lid..."

                                                                                                          In fact, I remembered this from making her short ribs. On p. 302, she also includes plastic wrap to make a tight seal before they go into the oven.

                                                                                                          Maybe my copy is older (2005) and they've revised it after thousands of readers wrote and called saying "PLASTIC WRAP IN THE OVEN? ARE YOU NUTS?" I've simply ignored it ever since I first saw it.

                                                                                                          Pretty interesting, eh?

                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                            Interesting indeed! My copy of the book is the third printing, March 2007. I'll bet there's quite a story behind that and we're never going to hear it.

                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                              I can just see Ms. Goin and the agent from Knopf yelling at each other..."It IS TOO safe, I've been doing it for years! I have research proving it!"

                                                                                                              Knopf: "I'm sure you do, dear, but we just CANNOT contend with the hundreds of complaints we've had from folks who bought the book....now is it more important to you to leave it in.....or would you like to sell more books?"

                                                                                                            2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                              Odd. I have a 1st edition 2005 version as well. But, mine does not have the plastic wrap instructions on either page.

                                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                That is funny. My 2005 addition definitely includes the plastic wrap in oven instructions - as one who ignored that instruction, I would like to know why it was removed! Maybe some (thicker? expensive?) plastic wraps do well in the oven while cheaper ones melt. That is my guess.

                                                                                                                1. re: mirage

                                                                                                                  I did some Googling on this yesterday just because I was curious and I think your guess hits the nail on the head, mirage. There are commercial plastic wraps that are made of material similar to what is used in boil-in bags or in sous-vide cooking. Those can be used as Goin directs. But most of the plastic wraps available in the supermarket (Saran, for instance) specifically say they are not to be used in the oven.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                    Aah, these chefs lead such pampered lives. Goin probably imagined that all of us cook with special, sous-vide plastic and have it on hand at all times.

                                                                                                                    The weirdest part, I think, is that she writes as if she expects shock and horror at putting plastic wrap into the oven...She feels she has to tell us that it's okay. Apparently that didn't work, since they changed the instructions.

                                                                                                                    Can't wait to try her pot roast with Elmer's Glue to seal the pot lid. KIDDING!

                                                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                      Yes, I have my copy from 2005 and it definately says to use plastic wrap and then foil for all braised dishes. The one and only time I tried the short ribs I used plastic wrap and had to throw the entire dish in the trash. It took me a year to pick the book back up again, that's how mad I was! I'm glad to see they changed the directions in subsequent printings.

                                                                                                                      Love the book by the way!

                                                                                                                    2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                      Saran wrap is actually a different, higher grade of plastic than most other brands which is why it is more expensive. It is considered oven safe while generics are not. They just tell you not to do it for the usual stupid reasons.

                                                                                                            3. re: JoanN

                                                                                                              Goin is pretty good about personally replying to emails, so if anyone wants to, they could send her an email.

                                                                                                              I ignored the plastic wrap instruction when cooking the short ribs, too.

                                                                                                              1. re: emily

                                                                                                                Wow, that's neat to know. Would love advice on why I seem to have trouble with several of her desserts. ;-)

                                                                                                      2. P. 157, Herb-roasted pork loin

                                                                                                        Pork loin is marinated in a mustard mixture then roasted in a slow oven. It was very tasty, though a bit of a mess getting there.

                                                                                                        My first question was whether I should trim the fat cap on the loin. She doesn't say, but I've had other recipes that directed me to. Also, it didn't seem like the mustard marinade would penetrate the fat at all. But neither would the fat crisp up when it's covered with the mustard, so I elected to trim it down to a thin layer, about 1/4". I still wasn't convinced the marinade would penetrate, but at least there wouldn't be an icky fat layer lurking there (I've always hated the texture of fat unless it's gotten nice and crisp).

                                                                                                        Slathering the pork with the mustard mixture was fun. It looked like a rather horribly frosted cake. I accidentally added all the olive oil (1/4 cup) to the marinade instead of the 2 tbsp I was supposed to, but it didn't seem to make much difference. It was still a thick paste, not at all like a usual marinade. I marinated it for about 6 hrs.

                                                                                                        She says to remove it from the refrigerator an hour in advance, then after 30 minutes, season it with salt & pepper. Given the thickness of the mustard paste, this didn't make sense to me because the salt & pepper wouldn't be coming anywhere near the pork, so I mixed it into the marinade instead, figuring it would do more good there and be one less step later on.

                                                                                                        The searing, oh, what a mess! She says, "Reserve the marinade" as if some would have dripped off. The only thing in the dish to reserve was where the bottom of the roast had rested and the mustard paste had rubbed off. The fond created when searing was dangerously close to burnt, because the mustard paste was much more interested is sticking to the pan than to the meat. She admonishes you not to move the pork to quickly or all the mustard will be left in the pan, but that's all that ever happened for me, no matter how careful I was being.

                                                                                                        Anyhow, after searing you place it on a roasting rack, which I placed on a baking sheet (she doesn't actually say what to place it on or in. Can you imagine a novice cook trying to place a rack directly in the oven? Oh probably not, but who knows?). Slather with reserved marinade, top with whole sprigs of herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary), top those with 3 pats of butter (1 tbsp each). Roast to 120, let rest.

                                                                                                        She says roasting on the rack is important so that it cooks evenly. Indeed, it really was very evenly cooked, and I'll definitely do that again. But the sprigs of herbs on top seemed totally pointless, again given the thickness of the mustard. They were roasted, but I doubt their flavor affected anything except the mustard directly underneath them. Ditto the butter, which as best I could tell just melted and ran off into the pan. Really, I could see a puddle of melted butter underneath the rack, with hardly any other juices nor drips of mustard marinade.

                                                                                                        I deglazed the searing pan with white wine because I didn't have any chicken stock on hand. I decided it tasted pretty good despite being perilously close to burnt. I strained it because there were lots of chunky, nearly charred bits, then returned it to the pan, thinned it with a bit of vermouth (I had used up the white wine and didn't want to open one just for this), then added a little butter per her instructions (well, less than her instructions, actually). Drizzling this sauce over the sliced meat really made the whole dish, so I'm glad I didn't give up on the blackened mess.

                                                                                                        But in the end, I really wonder what parts of this recipe were necessary. I still can't believe that the mustard marinade penetrated the fat layer at all. I'd be very tempted to skip the marinating and simply sear the roast, then spread with the mustard mixture and roast it, reserving a few tablespoons of mustard mixture to fry in the searing pan, because I do think it contributed a lot to the flavor of the sauce. And I'd totally skip the herb sprigs and butter on top of the roast.

                                                                                                        I served it with herb-roasted potatoes and spiced cider red cabbage, a classic and deservedly delicious combination. Got lots of compliments on everything.

                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                          You're right that the recipe isn't as clear as it could/should be. When she says "Reserve the marinade," I would have taken that to mean that you should remove all the marinade that has been slathered on the roast, not just the marinade that remained in the bottom of the dish. In other words, scrape it off, brown the meat, then put it back on before roasting.

                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                            Ah, maybe that is what she meant. Although the recipe says, "Don't turn or move the pork too quickly or all the mustard will be left in the pan and not on the pork" which makes it sound like the mustard IS still on it. Possibly she meant only the thin coating that remained after scraping it off and reserving it? Who knows?

                                                                                                            1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                              I think it's worth sending her an e-mail and asking. A couple of years ago someone here posted that they'd snail-mailed a query to the restaurant about one of her recipes in the book and said they got a lovely, and very detailed, e-mail response directly from her almost immediately.

                                                                                                              Here's a link for contacting the restaurant. I'm sure it would be passed along to her.


                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                I mentioned this in another thread, but I, too, received a quick response from Suzanne Goin after I emailed the restaurant asking for fish sources in the LA area and referencing the cookbook.

                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                  I really enjoyed reading the above conversation. This is a recipe I want to make soon, so I'm curious, Joan, did you ever get a response from Suzanne about the discrepancies? I would take the marinade off before searing, but the rest is making me wonder.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                    To tell you the truth, June, I'm not sure I even sent an e-mail asking the question. From the way I phrased that post above, it sounds as though I was just (she says ashamedly) passing the buck to Karen. I'm not at home right now so I don't have access to the book or my notes, but iirc, it just didn't seem to me as though you could expect to brown the meat while it was rather heavily coated with a marinade.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                      No, I never wrote to Goin either. But next time I make this, I will definitely scrape off the mustard before searing. After the discussion and my experience, I'm pretty sure that's what she meant. Tell us how it goes!

                                                                                                            2. Cornmeal Shortcakes with Peaches... pg 151

                                                                                                              I was looking for something simple to make for dessert Sat night with friends coming over and tried this out. Goodness. I thought I'd found my favorites in this cookbook. This recipe is so easy. And I am not a baker, I hate having to deal with dough of any kind. But this was fast and worked like a dream.

                                                                                                              I was so short on time, I just make the shortcakes, then served them with sliced peaces and berries and poured a little Devonshire Cream on top. I'll try the full recipe next time, but this is a go-to recipe from now on. And as summer comes up, know these are perfect for a picnic. I just had the leftover one cold from the fridge, alone, with no fruit or cream, and it seemed even better today.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                                Has anybody made the lamb skewers with lima bean purree and french feta salsa verde, the menu 13, on page 167?

                                                                                                                I've been looking at a lot of places, and I can't seem to find anyplace that sells lamb sirloin so I just want confirmation if the dish is as good as it sounds.

                                                                                                              2. Lamb skewers [without] with lima bean puree and French feta salsa verde. page 167
                                                                                                                First, let me say that I thought this was quite delicious and I would definitely make it again. Lamb tenderloins were on sale at my local market, so the timing was right.
                                                                                                                First, prepare the overnight (or at least 4 hr.) marinade for the lamb tenderloin which you have cut into 2 oz. pieces - 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. The marinade consists of three cloves of smashed garlic, 1 T thyme, 2 T chopped rosemary leaves and some cracked black pepper.

                                                                                                                I did a dry run with this recipe to test it out for company. To make the salsa verde: A teaspoon of marjoram (or oregano), 1/4 c of roughly chopped mint and a cup of chopped flat leaf parsley are pounded to a paste in a mortar and pestle. You then work in 1/4 cup of olive oil and transfer mixture to another bowl. You then pound one small clove of garlic and a rinsed (with bones removed) anchovy - add this to herb mixture. 1 T of rinsed and drained salt-packed capers are gently pounded and added. Then stir in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
                                                                                                                SG gives instructions for skewering the lamb chunks on rosemary branches. I just put them on skewers and heated up my grill pan to smoking - this is my only option as I live in a building where grills are not permitted. After temporarily disabling the smoke detectors, I grilled the lamb for 2-3 min. per side (my pieces were slightly small) so I watched it like a hawk - until med-rare, and then, while they were resting, I added the final ingredient (1/4 lb of French feta, crumbled) to the salsa verde.
                                                                                                                Fresh lima beans are not available to me, so I served this with a rice pilaf and fresh tomato and cucumber salad.

                                                                                                                The only changes I would make in future would be to better monitor the 'strength' of my garlic (mine was a bit hot) and to perhaps soak the salt-packed capers for a bit - as rinsing did not seem to purge them of enough salt. This was my first successful salsa verde and I think it may be due to using the mortar and pestle. Previous attempts have ended with fairly bitter mixtures (some say food processors can do this). I am also glad that I used a buttery, good quality olive oil as it made a difference.
                                                                                                                I love grilled lamb and thought this was just delicious.
                                                                                                                I would love to try this with the suggested fresh lima bean puree one day.

                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                  If you should ever come across fresh limas buy them all. They are utterly delightful and my kids LOVE THEM. Goin published a recipe for lima bean puree a few years ago in Food and Wine and through an odd set of circumstances I had the opportunity to serve the dish to Alice Waters. Who had seconds. Of food I made.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                    And here is the whole recipe Blythe spirrit reported (including link to lima puree you mention): http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/as...

                                                                                                                  2. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                    This sounds wonderful Blythe and I'd love to see if we could squeeze it on to our meal plan before the good weather escapes us and mr bc no longer wishes to grill outdoors. Thanks for the reminder about this book and for highlighting a new recipe!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                      I'll bet this would be even better over real charcoal - hope you get a chance to try it.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                      I stopped in The Tavern today to source burrata (grrr...they didn't have any!) and their display copy of Sunday Suppers was open to this recipe. I wonder if you were the inspiration for this choice or if this was just a coincidence? It's nice to think Suzanne is following our thread! Any way, the recipe made me pause and make a mental note to make it soon...so your notes just confirmed that I should do just that. I have a copy of this book on my desk right now which will be a bday gift for my friend on Monday. I can't wait until the AOC book comes out!

                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                        How lucky you are to be so close! I have always wanted to eat in one of her establishments. I have since found out (since I posted) that fresh lima beans are best found in June and July - though I do not ever recall seeing them at the farmer's market near me. The recipe was a small triumph for me - if only for the salsa verde - which I have not been successful with before. I think my past failures are due to using a food processor which likely bruises the herbs and makes them bitter. SG does not go into any detail about why she uses a mortar and pestle but I do wonder if that is why.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                          Yes, I consider myself quite lucky to live near her restaurants.

                                                                                                                    3. BTW- next cookbook available next month

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                        I'm excited about that book Judi. I have it on pre-order from Amazon and really look forward to it. I'd love to do a Suzanne Goin COTM w her new book and, a re-vist to this book (selfishly since I wasn't here when it made it's first or second appearance as a COTM). Besides, it has been 5 years since the re-visit!