HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


oakjoan Apr 30, 2008 10:15 PM

Post both meat and vegetarian recipe discussions for the Summer Menu Section.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. mirage RE: oakjoan May 1, 2008 05:15 AM

    I've been chomping at the bit to report! Having followed beetlebug's Flexitarian thread avidly trying to decide whether or not to buy yet another cookbook, the probability of it being COTM pushed it into the "buy" column and I'm so glad.

    During one of Boston's lovely summery days last week, I made the much lauded Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce, p. 126 and served it with its suggested Quinoa Salad, p. 128.

    Made the meal according to each recipe with no changes, except that I forgot to buy pumpkin seeds for the salad. This was quick, easy, delicious and absolutely lovely! Outside of Asian preparations we don't really eat tofu but this recipe will change that. I can't imagine even the staunchest tofu-haters not liking this meal.

    20 Replies
    1. re: mirage
      LulusMom RE: mirage May 1, 2008 11:05 AM

      It really is killer, isn't it?? I'm so glad that you liked it.

      1. re: mirage
        ErikaK RE: mirage May 1, 2008 01:32 PM

        I made the Tofu dish one day and the fish dish another day last week (I used halibut). I posted on my blog http://toomanycookbooksofe.blogspot.com pictures of both. We loved them, and especially the tofu. This was a unique preparation, generally our tofu consumption is strictly japanese soups, noodles & shabu shabu. My 9 year old liked the tofu much better than the fish. There was a fight over the last bit of the sauce to pour over rice at the end, too! I will definitely be making this again very soon (especially since a package of tofu is 90 cents and halibut at costco was 10 dollars!
        )I did not do the quinoa salad, I just did plain jasmine rice with both dishes and served a veg on the side (stir fry mixed veg with the tofu & green beans with the halibut).

        1. re: mirage
          The Dairy Queen RE: mirage May 3, 2008 05:25 AM

          I love this tofu dish, too! And, it's super quick and easy!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            JoanN RE: The Dairy Queen May 3, 2008 06:53 AM

            You've probably posted about this somewhere else, TDQ, but I'm too lazy to search. Did you cut back on the butter? and if so, by how much? With all these great reports (and the ingredients on hand) I'd kind of like to try it, but it's that butter that's been keeping me away.

            1. re: JoanN
              The Dairy Queen RE: JoanN May 3, 2008 06:58 AM

              Ah, you're like a mind-reader. Yes, instead of butter, I used 4 tsp of Canola oil (serving 2 people). I'm sure it's even more delicious with butter, but I enjoyed it just fine without. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43410...


              1. re: JoanN
                jsaimd RE: JoanN May 3, 2008 07:43 AM

                I cut back on the butter - I don't have my book, but I think I used half or a quarter of it. My 6 year old son loved the tofu. I thought it was good, but not mindblowing - perhaps it needed the butter? My husband didn't like the texture, and my 4 year old son didn't like it at all (texture I think). Mine also wasn't that brown, and I used wheat free tamari instead of soy sauce.

            2. re: mirage
              MMRuth RE: mirage May 3, 2008 10:37 AM

              We had this with the salad for dinner last night. I had a 14 oz block of tofu, but just cut it into 6 slices, and used extra firm tofu, rather than firm, thinking that my husband would prefer the texture. I had the damnest time finding a pan that would work on the stove top and in the oven that wouldn't be too big, so I ended up using the fish pan I bought last year and never used! Quick and easy to put together, delicious flavors infused into the tofu. My only caveat is that I really had expected it to have the browned look somehow and as you can see from my photos, it wasn't.

              Wondering if maybe some more experienced w/ tofu than I can figure out how to get that beautiful color on the tofu - it almost looked like it has a crust? I used Pearl River Light Soy Sauce. Next time I may well fry it first and then cook in the liquid.

              1. re: MMRuth
                beetlebug RE: MMRuth May 3, 2008 02:15 PM

                One of the tofu recipes is pan fried. My vague memory is that you first press it (to get the water out), marinate it and then fry it. I think the marinade had rosemary in it. Anyway, the finished product had a lovely color and was definitely more "meaty." For this prep, I wonder if you press it, then pan fry it and lastly simmer it in the tofu if that would give you the color and crust that you seek.

                1. re: beetlebug
                  MMRuth RE: beetlebug May 3, 2008 02:20 PM

                  Thanks - I've been reading through the book more this afternoon and I think the Crispy Pressed Tofu w/ Garlic and Mint will give me the chance to try the pan fried method. The one you refer to is the "Pan Seared Rosemary Tofu" on p. 254. Just reading it makes me want to eat duck though!! I'm glad we're doing this this month - for some reason I'm more inspired by the Spring/Summer menus than the Fall/Winter ones (even though it's cool here).

                  1. re: beetlebug
                    jsaimd RE: beetlebug May 3, 2008 04:26 PM

                    I did do that once with the tofu, but I too the sauce from memory. Everyone liked it better that way mostly because they are used to their tofu baked or pan fried.

                    1. re: jsaimd
                      jsaimd RE: jsaimd May 22, 2008 04:27 PM

                      I tried it again, but this time took the thyme off the stem and chopped a bit, greatly reduced the butter and cooked in the toaster oven for 30 minutes. It was a nice happy medium - still soft, very lemony and good, but with crispy edges. And I didn't have to do much except put it in and then wash a silpat. My 6 year old still really likes this tofu. I like it, and it seems to be growing on me since I have made it several times! My younger son doesn't like it, but he is super picky about tofu.

                2. re: mirage
                  beetlebug RE: mirage May 4, 2008 05:15 PM

                  Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce (Summer menu 5, pg. 126)

                  Not much more to say this dish other than I just love it. I served this with Spring Greens in Dill Vinaigrette (pg. 52) and the rice with herbs (pg. 75).

                  1. re: beetlebug
                    Karen_Schaffer RE: beetlebug May 6, 2008 11:28 PM

                    I had to try it too, after all these comments! I cut the butter in half, everything else the same. Our first reaction was it was nice, but we wondered what the fuss was about. However, the more we ate it, the more we liked it, which was interesting. Though this isn't going to make a tofu lover out of DH, because he's just not fond of anything with a custardy texture (which I adore). I'll try the crispy tofu recipe on him sometime instead.

                  2. re: mirage
                    BigSal RE: mirage Aug 23, 2011 08:13 PM

                    Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce, p. 126

                    We finally tried this dish after hearing so much about it. I really loved how quickly it came together with simple, pantry staples. This was the first time my husband has eaten a whole meal of tofu. I think he even liked it. His only complaint was that it was not filling enough for him...the pretzels and chocolate pudding fixed that.

                    1. re: mirage
                      Westminstress RE: mirage Jun 18, 2012 07:45 AM

                      Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce

                      This tofu dish has been on my "to make" list forever, and on Friday I finally got around to it. I don't have this book but used the proportions and directions posted by Beetlebug many eons ago. Happy to report that this dish was just as good as expected based on the numerous positive reports I've read over the years. My husband and I both liked it a lot, and my son happily ate the leftovers, which is great because I'm always looking for tofu preparations that he likes. My only issue was -- I wanted more sauce! Do others have this problem? Maybe I reduced the sauce too much?

                      1. re: mirage
                        JoanN RE: mirage Aug 9, 2012 01:02 PM

                        Better late, right? It was having made, and loved, the very similar Striped Bass with Lemon that finally got me to try the Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce and even after all the raves I was still surprised that I, too, liked it better than the Striped Bass version. That I used the full amount of butter did not, I am sure, hurt in the least. Will probably cut it by at least half next time.

                        Curious, those of you who have been making it for years now, what do you serve it with? The Qunoa Salad with Corn and Tomatoes that is recommended sounds lovely for this time of year, but the Tofu strikes me as a year-round dish. Do you just make rice and call it a meal, or do you serve it with other dishes?

                        1. re: JoanN
                          Caitlin McGrath RE: JoanN Aug 9, 2012 01:20 PM

                          I make this tofu dish year-round, and usually accompany it with some kind of pilaf-y dish (bulgur, etc.) - but then, I don't that often make rice at home - and some kind of in-season vegetable. That's probably too vague to be helpful, I know, but I find that it's easy to just pair it with any sauteed greens, or roasted or steamed veggies, and having some kind of grain dish that you can spoon any extra sauce over is nice.

                          I've never used the full amount of butter, but I have used some olive oil instead of butter on occasion, and it's definitely (not surprisingly) better with butter! I usually flip the tofu when the pan comes out of the oven and goes back on the stove, so the other side can spend a bit of time in the sauce before serving.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                            JoanN RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 9, 2012 02:47 PM

                            Thanks, Caitlin. Not too vague at all. In fact, probably more helpful than a make xxx on page 123 of yyyy would have been. Flipping the tofu is a good Idea. I found myself basting it to achieve a similar effect. I plan to try giving it a quick sear before braising as well. If nothing else, it would perhaps make it look more like the photo in the book.

                            1. re: JoanN
                              Caitlin McGrath RE: JoanN Aug 9, 2012 02:57 PM

                              You know, I was reading through this thread again the other day, when your post on the striped bass brought it up, and noticed the post below (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5148...) where ArikaDawn said she browned the tofu after it came out of the oven, and I thought that seemed like a good idea because it will have already spent time in the sauce. On the other hand, there's a compelling argument (to me) for doing the quick sear first as you suggest, which is that it wouldn't involve dirtying a second pan.

                          2. re: JoanN
                            LulusMom RE: JoanN Aug 10, 2012 02:32 AM

                            This dish is still the most loved tofu dish I make. I always serve it with plain jasmine or basmati rice - to me it just makes sense for soaking up the nice sauce. Then usually a roasted vegetable. My preference is for something green like broccoli or green beans for eye appeal. I did either sweet potatoes or squash once and somehow it just didn't look good.

                        2. saltwater RE: oakjoan May 1, 2008 12:29 PM

                          Summer Menu 10 (part only)

                          The Flexitarian book called to me before its time, and I tried the Falafel p 164 a week or two ago. I also made my own pita bread, but used a recipe from another book, because I got confused and thought there wasn't one in the Fexitarian book. I took his suggestion to toast the cumin and coriander before grinding, and I used all cilantro. Enclosed you will find a picture of what I guessed he meant by cracker-like crumbs for the mix. I found I had to process it further at the end so that the mixture would hold its shape. The falafel browned very nicely and held their shape (that picture is slightly overexposed, though). I've never had falafel before, so I can't compare it to anything. I found it a bit bland by itself. If I did it again, I'd use more cayenne and other seasonings, but then, I like Thai food and other hot things. Also, I thought they were a dryish food, compared with other deep-fried and molded items, but I don't know if that is standard for falafel.

                          I stuffed the pitas with falafel, sauce, lettuce (I ran out of onion), tomato, and cucumber. The presence of sauce is essential! I didn't use his sauce, though, as I was tired that day. It was a very nice food that way, sort of salad-like and fresh. I wish I had baked the pitas the same day, though. They lost a little since I made them the previous day and reheated. I got better pockets on the slightly thinner pitas, it seemed. My one thickish one did not make a pocket. The one you see pictured is made with the right ratio of wheat to white, even though it was cooked at a lower temp than Berley wanted.

                          Oh, my husband liked the "ratios" better with the pita laid flat and topped, instead of stuffed.

                          1. LulusMom RE: oakjoan May 4, 2008 06:14 AM

                            Seafood (Tofu) Ceviche with Quick-Pickled Red Onion (Summer menu 6, pl. 132)

                            I didn't use the hiziki because I couldnt' find it; also didn't serve it with the lettuce, but apart from that followed the recipe exactly using flounder. Very pleasant, very much like ceviche I've had in restauants. The chopped vegetables are very pretty and tasty - the pickled onion adds a lot, in my opinion. That all said, it was ceviche ... very nice and refreshing on a hot southern evening, but it wasn't anything particularly spectacular. Served it with a saffron and garlic soup which I dismally over-salted.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: LulusMom
                              MMRuth RE: LulusMom May 4, 2008 06:19 AM

                              Where is the saffron & garlic soup recipe from? I'd love to try another garlic soup after my troubles w/ the SH one, and love saffron.

                              1. re: MMRuth
                                LulusMom RE: MMRuth May 4, 2008 09:25 AM

                                It's an epicurious recipe. I think it would have been really nice if not over-salted. And really easy to make. Here is the link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                1. re: LulusMom
                                  MMRuth RE: LulusMom May 4, 2008 09:42 AM

                                  Thank you - I'm going to give that a try this week - since it has 4 garlic cloves instead of 4 heads of garlic, it should be a bit milder in garlic flavor - and I just came across an "extra" little container of saffron in the pantry.

                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                    LulusMom RE: MMRuth May 4, 2008 09:53 AM

                                    I hope you like it. I think it would have been a hit without all that darned salt. I like the way the bread cubes thicken it.

                            2. Gio RE: oakjoan May 4, 2008 05:26 PM

                              Crispy Pressed Chicken, pg. 38

                              This was a total winner! I prepared the chicken and DH cooked it. Used Aleppo pepper powder since that's what I had in the pantry, but added a teaspoon of red pepper flakes just because. Very easy to prepare and it was absolutely delicious! Juicy, flavorful. I had 5 bone in chicken thighs, and we had 2 1/2 between us. I could have eaten 12......well maybe not. The marinade is the key..... let it sit for 1/2 hour as per the directions. Utterly beautiful!

                              I cobbled together a menu utilizing several of PB's suggestions....the asparagus salad on pg 56 without the hard boiled egg, and the roasted vegetables on pg 25....Spring Vegetables with cumin and lime. More about those in the appropriate threads, but I thought I'd let you know what the entire menu consisted of. This Is Fun!!

                              EDIT: Oh gosh... I just saw that I should have reported this in the Spring thread.....
                              Mea culpa!!!

                              1. e
                                ErikaK RE: oakjoan May 5, 2008 10:39 AM

                                Shrimp in Harissa
                                I actually made all of summer menu 3 this weekend in 2 different meals, I will post the sides in the sides thread.
                                I was unable to find caraway seed (however did see at the store YESTERDAY after I already made this dish, duh), so just left it out and used a tad more fennel & cumin. The shrimp was nice, the heat of the cayenne was balanced by the warmth of the fennel & cumin. I did them on the stove in a grill pan. Because of timing I think I marinated them a bit too long, but the flavors were spot on. I would definitely make this again.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: ErikaK
                                  beetlebug RE: ErikaK May 5, 2008 11:29 AM

                                  It's funny, when I first made this dish, I didn't believe the "marinate for *15* minutes." That seemed too short. But, I did it and the flavors were perfect. It still seems too short to me, but I haven't deviated off that timing and now won't after your experience.

                                  1. re: ErikaK
                                    Karen_Schaffer RE: ErikaK May 5, 2008 10:25 PM

                                    I just made this tonight and I have to echo what everyone else says -- it's amazing how much flavor the shrimp picked up after only 15 minutes in the marinade. I was a little worried about the amount of lemon juice (some marinades and salad dressings are just too lemony for my taste, even though I like lemon), but it nearly disappears here.

                                    I'm not a fan of caraway (had a bad ham on rye sandwich years ago that colored my view of caraway forever, even though the caraway wasn't to blame -- funny that), so I doubled the fennel and it was delicious. I think I will kick up the cayenne a bit the next time I make it too, wasn't as spicy as I expected.

                                    I grilled them, and after 3 min on the first side, they were nearly done. Guess my grill is hotter than his.

                                    1. re: ErikaK
                                      LulusMom RE: ErikaK May 6, 2008 05:54 AM

                                      My turn on the Shrimp in Harissa. We loved this. I only marinated for 10 minutes because I was worried that the lemon would start to "cook" the shrimp before it got on the grill. Still gave it time to get the flavors, which were fantastic. I don't know how anyone could make this menu without someone else around to help. I had my husband out on the back porch grilling the shrimp while I worked on the tomatoes.

                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                        ErikaK RE: LulusMom May 6, 2008 04:06 PM

                                        That seems to be what happened to my shrimp, because of the timing, the edges sort of "cooked" due to the lemon juice - they marinated a bit too long.
                                        But, still yummy.

                                      2. re: ErikaK
                                        greedygirl RE: ErikaK May 7, 2008 12:43 PM

                                        We loved this as well. I made it as written, apart from I cut down on the amount of oil and lemon juice a little bit. I grilled the shrimp (prawns to us Brits!) over charcoal after marinating for the requisite 15 minutes. They had a fantastic flavour and will definitely become a summer barbecue staple. Mr GG was also impressed.

                                        1. re: ErikaK
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: ErikaK May 8, 2008 03:49 AM

                                          I made the grilled shrimp in harissa and fresh corn polenta with sauteed cherry tomatoes from summer menu #3 last night (I posted about the polenta and cherry tomatoes here http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51482... ). I, too, skipped the caraway seed because the market I stopped by last night didn't have it. I just left it out. We did it over our gas grill outside. (YAY! Spring!) I used 2 tsp of olive oil instead of the 5 TBSP the recipe calls for. This turned out lovely--we'll definitely try it again.


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen May 8, 2008 04:25 AM

                                            I was worried that if I cut back on the oil too much, the spices would overwhelm the prawns. I'm interested to see if you thought it was a problem, TDQ.

                                            Is there a national US shortage of caraway seed, btw. I seem to be the only person who used it! ;-)

                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                              The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl May 8, 2008 04:50 AM

                                              I don't think the spice overwhelmed the prawns...I think you do have to be extra careful not to marinate too long, though. The polenta and the corn aren't that spicy, so, the prawns are just fine.

                                              The problem with caraway seeds is that when I'm at a bigger grocery store that is certain to have it, I always think I have it--and then I get home and discovered that, once again, I've misremembered. The small market I was at yesterday only have a few basic spices--I guess caraway isn't a "basic" spice in the U.S.


                                              1. re: greedygirl
                                                LulusMom RE: greedygirl May 8, 2008 05:38 AM

                                                I used caraway! And I loved it ...

                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                  MMRuth RE: LulusMom May 8, 2008 05:43 AM

                                                  I use it too - not sure why it's been so hard to find - but, I actually am not a big fan of it - I'll add it if it's one of a number of spices, but would be unlikely to use it on its own.

                                                2. re: greedygirl
                                                  oakjoan RE: greedygirl May 13, 2008 11:52 AM

                                                  greedygirl, et al.: I have a gripe against caraway seed because, although I DO have it in my spice cabinet, I ALWAYS have to open cumin, caraway, and a couple of other spice jars and bite into the seeds to see which one is caraway....I know, I know, why don't I just LABEL them? Every hear the word "Lazy"?

                                                  I'm going to try this tonight.

                                              2. re: ErikaK
                                                JoanN RE: ErikaK May 17, 2008 12:51 PM

                                                So many good reports on the Shrimp in Harissa I had to give it a try. I liked it a great deal, but have so many other spicy shrimp recipes I like even better I doubt I'll do this again (although I'll probably copy it out--just in case!). I think the real reason I'm even bothering to post is that I like the way the photo turned out. And mine looks almost totally different from TDQ's. Probably because I let the polenta warm at too high a heat for too long.

                                                1. re: JoanN
                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: JoanN May 17, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                  I like your photo better--the shrimp looks like it took up more of the flavor somehow compared to the shrimp in mine, which is sort of pale.


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    ErikaK RE: The Dairy Queen May 19, 2008 01:42 PM

                                                    Yeah, mine too!! But to be fair I did my shrimp in a grill pan instead of on the grill.
                                                    Might do tonight on the grill, too hot to cook indoors.

                                              3. Rubee RE: oakjoan May 5, 2008 10:08 PM

                                                Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa (Summer, p. 108)

                                                Thanks TDQ for this suggestion when I was looking for a main dish last weekend. I'm all about texture, so I liked the contrast of this simple, crispy "salsa" with the grilled strip steak. First, finely chopped red onion, garlic, and salt are marinated in red wine vinegar. This is drained and then tossed with toasted bread crumbs, fresh herbs (I used parsley, thyme, cilantro and basil), and salt. It was something different to serve with the sliced steak, but I think it would stand out more paired with roasted or grilled fish as Berley suggests.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                  Karen_Schaffer RE: Rubee May 12, 2008 09:04 PM

                                                  Portobello Mushrooms with Bread Crumb Salsa (Summer, p. 108)

                                                  I tried the mushroom version of this. The salsa was tasty and was a great texture contrast with the roasted mushrooms. As you can see from the photo, I decided to leave the mushrooms whole and heap the bread crumbs on it, rather than slicing them in advance as he directed. I halved the salsa but still had some left over. I liked the texture from this method of roasting the mushrooms (400 degrees, gill sides down) and will definitely do that in the future. But I don't know about making the bread crumb salsa again. If I did, I think I'd cut the oil in half. I used a lot of herbs (tarragon, parsley, and mint), probably double what was called for, but only the mint stood out. I wish I had thrown in some lovage; I think that celery-like flavor would have gone well with the mushrooms.

                                                  I served it with Bulgur (Couscous) with Roasted Chickpeas, p. 36 and a romaine salad with blood oranges, so each dish had a touch of purple-red in it. Gosh, almost like I planned it! (Though it was nearly accidental.)

                                                2. ArikaDawn RE: oakjoan May 6, 2008 05:44 AM

                                                  Last night I made the Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce (Summer menu 5, pg. 126). After reading all the rave reviews I could not help but jump on the bandwagon.
                                                  I followed the recipe as written except I cut back on the butter. Also, I added a smidge of vegetable stock to the sauce on the final reduction so I could reduce it longer and brown the tofu more. Just as an experiment, also during the final reduction, I took half the tofu slices and put them in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil and crisped up the outside before returning them to the sauce. My husband and I liked this recipe quite a lot, but liked the tofu pieces I crisped up moreso than the pieces I didn't. We just find the texture more interesting. This is one I will definitely be making again.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                    MMRuth RE: ArikaDawn May 6, 2008 05:46 AM

                                                    I'm so glad you tried the crisping! I'm going to give that try next time. What is the puree on the plate?

                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                      ArikaDawn RE: MMRuth May 6, 2008 06:02 AM

                                                      It is just mashed sweet potatoes with ginger and a bit of butter on top. They were divine though if you like ginger.

                                                    2. re: ArikaDawn
                                                      ArikaDawn RE: ArikaDawn May 6, 2008 05:47 AM

                                                      Oh, and I served it with sauteed kale and mashed sweet potatoes to which I added ginger and a bit of my non-fat fakey butter. The gingerey sweet potatoes were sooooooo good.

                                                      1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: ArikaDawn May 6, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                        Neat about the crisping. Just curious--are the tofu slices in your photo the crisped ones or the non-crisped ones?


                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                          ArikaDawn RE: The Dairy Queen May 6, 2008 07:07 AM

                                                          There is one of each. In the second picture the slice on the right is uncrisped and the darker on the left is crisped.

                                                          1. re: ArikaDawn
                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: ArikaDawn May 6, 2008 07:31 AM

                                                            Yes, the one on the left does look a little darker. Neat! I'm going to have to try that! Thanks!


                                                      2. Caitlin McGrath RE: oakjoan May 12, 2008 08:58 PM

                                                        Tofu with Lemon, Soy, White Wine and Butter Sauce, p. 126

                                                        I enjoyed this very much. I didn't have fresh thyme or rosemary, so the herbs were left out, and in place of butter, I used some olive oil during the initial cooking, and added some lemon olive oil when it came out of the oven. Next time, I'll try it with butter, but will probably cut back from the recipe amount. My only complaint: I used 12 ounces of tofu, not 16, and the full amount of sauce ingredients, and I wanted more sauce! So, more sauce next time.

                                                        I served this with the asparagus salad with sherry vinaigrette and a cracked wheat pilaf with mushrooms and dill, followed by Claudia Roden's orange-almond cake (a.k.a Nigella Lawson's clementine cake), made with Meyer lemons. My mother called the tofu "exceptionally delicious," and asked to look at the cookbook. (She's not a new tofu convert, she eats tofu every day, and that's not an exaggeration.)

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                          LulusMom RE: Caitlin McGrath May 13, 2008 06:07 AM

                                                          After the first time I made this tofu I decided that the thyme was superfluous, and I haven't used it since (and never miss it). So you weren't missing anything without.

                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: LulusMom May 13, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                            Thanks, good to know.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                              oakjoan RE: Caitlin McGrath May 14, 2008 11:37 PM

                                                              I made the harissa shrimp last night. I only had that awful Trader Joe's Cowboy Charcoal (snaps, breaks, sparks, flames up and then dies in 10 minutes - what more could one ask of charcoal, eh?) so I made it in the broiler. I don't want to be responsible for the next big fire in the Oakland hills!! Turned out to be very tasty. Probably better on the grill. Now today we have a huge heatwave (supposed to be in the high 90's in SF tomorrow! Even hotter in Oakland) and the thought of broiling seems insane.

                                                              I served it with a salad of Persian cukes, tomatoes, and green onions with a vinaigrette. My husband hates both polenta and couscous. He says polenta reminds him of porridge he had to eat as a child and couscous is too grainy. I'd leave him, but he somehow makes up for it in other ways. So I bought some naan from Trader Joe's and brushed it with olive oil and garlic and put it under the broiler. It was quite good with the shrimp.

                                                              I'm going to concentrate on non-cooked meals the next few sweltering days. We don't have air conditioning because "we don't need it" here in the perfect weather of NorCalif." HAH! So I may not be doing much cooking the next few days. It's supposed to last until at least Friday.
                                                              Tonight we had a big bowl of ceviche and pugliese bread.

                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                greedygirl RE: oakjoan May 15, 2008 02:25 AM

                                                                Does he like bulghar - or is that too grainy as well?! We found that the bulghar with roasted chickpeas was a good companion for the shrimp.

                                                                I'm jealous of your heatwave! It's raining here today. :-(

                                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                                  oakjoan RE: greedygirl May 15, 2008 09:58 AM

                                                                  Good idea! He does like bulgur. It's close enough to rice for him. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                        2. Gio RE: oakjoan May 15, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                          Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings with Lemon and Garlic, page 147

                                                          Well, as you might expect by now, I Did It My Way....
                                                          1. I used bone-in chicken thighs.
                                                          2. I forgot to marinate the chicken.
                                                          3. I roasted the chicken at 425* for 45 minutes.

                                                          The chicken did get a thorough dousing and wet rub with the scruptious marinate just before going into the oven. I made sure that each piece had an equal amount of the ingredients that has to be minced. Garlic, ginger, lemon juice, rosemary, jalepeno pepper.... what an amazing combination. It's not as if I've never used all those ingredients in a dish before.... it's just that last night it was fabulous - and NO oil!
                                                          We loved it and I'm definitely making it again - the right way.

                                                          I served it with escarole with garlic and red pepper....more about that in the Veg thread.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                            LulusMom RE: Gio May 15, 2008 09:51 AM

                                                            You know, I saw "wings" in the title of this recipe and just sort of skipped over it (stupid). But it sounds great with thighs. Will try it.

                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                              oakjoan RE: LulusMom May 15, 2008 10:00 AM

                                                              LulusMom: Why did you skip over the wings? At our house, wings vie with thighs and breasts for top spot. We have them with a rice pilafesque dish and a big salad at least once a week.

                                                              AND you can save the tips to add to chicken stock!

                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                LulusMom RE: oakjoan May 15, 2008 11:51 AM

                                                                Not big on wings at all. Pretty much prefer dark meat, although I'll eat the occasional breast.

                                                              2. re: LulusMom
                                                                Gio RE: LulusMom May 15, 2008 10:05 AM

                                                                DH considers wings SuperBowl snack food. For us last night it had to be thighs. It turned out Very well...try it you'll like it.

                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                  oakjoan RE: Gio May 17, 2008 05:07 PM

                                                                  Funny how tastes vary. I consider wings to be the filet mignon of chicken and will often fight to near death to obtain them. Thighs are second. Marinated and bbq'd (especially the new Foster Farms wings sold in packages at Costco!) wings are super - juicy, tender, blahblahblah.

                                                              3. re: Gio
                                                                the donut RE: Gio May 19, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                                I made this over the weekend with wings and thought they were very good. I really don't cook very often as I am happily muscled out of the kitchen by my husband, but for some reason he let me try my hand at this wing recipe. (I think he was hoping there would be some entertaining bumbling to amuse him, and there was a moment where I set fire a paper towel I was using to oil the grill followed by some frantic stomping, but I digress.)

                                                                The marinade is indeed very simple and can be thrown together in around 15 minutes. We pulled it together in the morning so the wings marinated about 8 hours before cooking. I loved the flavor of lemon and garlic, and would probably add more jalapeno next time since I only caught a glimpse of that flavor here and there and it went amazingly well with the other ingredients. The recipe does not give very detailed instructions about grilling temperature and as a result, I felt I overcooked the wings at 3 minutes a side (recipe called for 4-5 min a side). Between 2 adults and a toddler, we polished the entire 2lbs off at one dinner and it may be worth doubling the recipe if you want any leftovers. My husband thought the two step cooking was a bit fussy, especially since it seemed to take a long time for the marinade to simmer off (longer than the book claimed).
                                                                Dinner was running late due to the extended simmering so I didn't get a chance to take pics. I'll probably wait for the heat wave we're having in SoCal to fade away before I try grilling again, but I'd definitely make it again.

                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                  beetlebug RE: Gio May 22, 2008 07:54 AM

                                                                  Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings with Lemon and Garlic (summer menu 8, pg. 147)

                                                                  I used one pound of boneless skinless thighs instead of wings and my dish came out different but still tasty. I prepped and marinated the chicken before work, which made dinner a snap. I served this with the herby rice (pg. 75).

                                                                  I did simmer the thighs in the sauce. I did have more sauce and the chicken never fully absorbed it. I then pan fried the thighs in a cast iron skillet. Unfortuantely, I got distracted and had to leave the stove for a few minutes. When I came back, the kitchen and dining room were filled with smoke because the skillet was really hot and I left them for too long (no more than 4 minutes though). So, I quickly flipped the thighs and finished cooking them. I sauced the thighs with my leftover marinade and the whole thing was pretty tasty. I liked the ginger soy sauce flavor although I didn’t taste the rosemary at all. Also, my red Serrano pepper had no heat, so that I was disappointing.

                                                                  No picture because I forgot.

                                                                2. k
                                                                  Karen_Schaffer RE: oakjoan May 18, 2008 11:13 PM

                                                                  Charmoula Lamb/Tempeh Kebabs, p. 100

                                                                  (Btw, don't you all hate those tiny, tiny page numbers?)

                                                                  I made the tempeh version of this, just because I've been curious about tempeh. We enjoyed the tempeh kebab aspect, but unfortunately, the charmoula flavoring seemed to totally disappear, except for the lemon juice. But this might be because I didn't use very much oil (1 tbsp instead of 1/4 c), and perhaps the extra oil is needed to carry the oil-soluble flavors and infuse the tempeh with them.

                                                                  If I made it again, I think I would serve the charmoula that the tempeh was simmered in as a condiment for the kebabs.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: Karen_Schaffer May 19, 2008 03:54 AM

                                                                    I, too, found in the one tempeh recipe I tried from Flex Table (sauerkraut with fried tempeh http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51482...) that it didn't seem to absorb any of the marinade, but, I also cut back on the oil. Anyone have enough experience cooking with tempeh to know if tempeh needs more oil ?

                                                                    Karen, how would you describe the texture of the tempeh kabobs?


                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                                      Karen_Schaffer RE: The Dairy Queen May 19, 2008 06:46 AM

                                                                      The texture was great, very chewy and satisfying, though they were a bit on the dry side, another reason I was regretful I didn't keep the charmoula to use as a sauce. I followed Berley's instructions (grilled 2-3 min/side, 8-12 min total), but I think they could have come off sooner.

                                                                      I found 4 oz of tempeh to be very filling! I used a tempeh with millet and something else in it.

                                                                  2. beetlebug RE: oakjoan Jul 22, 2008 02:56 PM

                                                                    Zucchini Rice Soup with Basil and Parmesan (Summer menu 6 pg. 134)

                                                                    This was a great recipe. I had some doubts because it used water as the base and not stock. But, the scant olive oil and parmesan cheese fully brought out the zucchini and summer squash flavor. If you have extra squashes, this is a great way to use them up.

                                                                    I sauteed fresh spring onions in less than 2T of olive oil. The onions cook in a covered pot for 5 minutes. Add 1.5 lbs of zucchini and/or summer squash and 1/4 cup of sliced garlic. I used a combo of both and guestimated on the sizes. I used about 3 medium squashes. Saute for a couple of minutes until the squashes soften. Add water, rice and basil and simmer until the rice is tender. Stir in cheese and 2 T of olive oil (I used 1T of butter and less than 1T of olive oil). Garnish with cheese and basil.

                                                                    Berley recommends that this be served warm v. hot. This is what I did for other timing reasons. But, it's a generous recipe and easily served 6 with no leftovers.

                                                                    And, it was delicious. The cheese melted into the soup so you could taste it but couldn't really see it. I added more rice than necessary so it was thick with rice and veggie. I should have added my last zucchini to bring out the green but I did have ample veggies in this.

                                                                    This recipe is a keeper for me and I can't believe it took me so long to make this.

                                                                    1. JoanN RE: oakjoan Aug 28, 2010 04:13 PM

                                                                      Gazpacho with Crumbled Feta Cheese (page 138)

                                                                      Beetlebug reported on this recipe before it was COTM. You can see her report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4341...

                                                                      I was looking to use up some fresh herbs and feta cheese before leaving on vacation and once again Eat Your Books came through. The second this recipe popped up I knew I was going to make it--the tomatoes have been so spectacular this year. I used V-8 instead of tomato juice because I had it; I used probably four times the amount of red onion called for (using it up); I used dill and cilantro; and because the single jalapeno with ribs and seeds removed emasculated it for me, I added a couple of good squeezes of Sriracha. I added the juice of half a lemon because that’s what I had. Making a note to make sure to have plenty of lime juice at hand next time around. Love bb’s decision to use corn kernels instead of yellow pepper. Made note of that, too.

                                                                      As beetlebug says, it’s a pretty classic prep. But the crumbled feta really does make it special. Wouldn’t hesitate to make this again, especially when I can get such great heirloom tomatoes.

                                                                      1. JoanN RE: oakjoan Aug 5, 2012 05:06 PM

                                                                        Striped Bass with Lemon, White Wine, and Butter Sauce (page 127)

                                                                        Was looking for a simple prep for a striped bass fillet from the farmers’ market, preferably with ingredients on hand and found this via EYB. Didn’t acquire the book until after it was COTM, so I haven’t cooked much from it and am playing catch up.

                                                                        This is similar in prep to the Tofu with Lemon that has received such kudos here, and this deserves kudos as well. Scatter butter cubes and shallots over the fish, add white wine (I didn’t have any so used Shaohsing instead) and lemon juice, season with salt and crushed red pepper, and add a couple of sprigs of thyme or tarragon (I had tarragon). Bring to a boil, put in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes, remove the fish to a plate, discard the herbs, reduce the sauce, then pour the sauce over the fish.

                                                                        Excellent. Just exactly what I was hoping for. And now looking forward to the tofu recipe which has been on my to-try list forever.

                                                                        ETA: Just realized that beetlebug reported on this before the book was COTM. See her report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4341...

                                                                        1. JoanN RE: oakjoan Aug 11, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                          Farro with Corn, Red Beans, Bacon, and Scallops (page 139)

                                                                          I bought farro thinking I’d make something from this month’s COTM, Raising the Salad Bar. But this recipe had far more appeal and I already had most of the ingredients on hand. The title pretty much says it all, except for the addition of dill. This, obviously, isn’t the vegetarian version, which substitutes soy sauce and avocado for the bacon and scallops.

                                                                          I followed the directions as written, except that, because I always do, I cooked my corn in the microwave the minute I got home from the farmers market. So I sautéed the scallions and canned beans with the cooked farro before adding the cooked corn kernels and the dill. You stir in the cooked bacon bits and top with the seared and seasoned scallops. He says you can, if you want, drain the bacon fat and use that to sauté the scallops. Duh! I mean, really!

                                                                          This was every bit as delicious as the ingredients lead you to believe it will be. If I had a complaint, and it’s a minor one, it’s that the dish began to dry out a bit even as I was eating it. It made a huge amount and there are lots of leftovers. I’m thinking I’ll want to add a dressing of some kind as a moistener, perhaps just a simple lemon-dill vinaigrette.

                                                                          (Here’s a link to beetlebug’s report on both variations of this dish pre-COTM: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4341... )

                                                                          Show Hidden Posts