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Chowing with the Hounds 2009 Picnic Recipe Requests

Melanie Wong Oct 4, 2009 10:59 AM

The 9th annual picnic yesterday was a delicious success.

This is the place to call out requests for recipes and post your dish.

For me David Boyk's carrot pudding based on Diana Kennedy's is a perennial crowd pleaser. When I'm off mobile and back on laptop, I'll search for his old posting of the recipe, though I'd swear it was even more buttery and rich this iteration.

  1. toodie jane Oct 15, 2009 01:07 PM

    Would love the recipe for the sesame cookies--you were right, I LOVED them.


    2 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane
      rat Oct 19, 2009 07:06 PM

      Found em! They are called "drops" but they look like cookies to me.


      1. re: rat
        toodie jane Oct 22, 2009 09:30 AM

        probably refers to the type of cookie they are : Drop (dropped from a spoon) Cookies. I have BC's old BC Cookie Book which categorizes the recipes by fabrication method. Rolled, drop, press, bar, etc.

        Thanks--they were great! Will add them to my sesame cookierecipe file.

    2. JoyM Oct 9, 2009 10:14 AM

      I was amazed at that carrot pudding and am adding to the Thanksgiving menu. Thanks again, everyone!

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoyM
        Val Oct 9, 2009 02:07 PM

        Someone brought that to a work Thanksgiving luncheon a few years ago...and I remember being blown away by it...but it's hard for me to introduce "new" dishes at Thanksgiving dinner for my sons...they kill me with their "no, it must be like you always USED to make it" attitudes. I may still try to sneak it in this year...LOL...even if I'm the only one who eats it. Not sure if it's the same exact recipe but oh! It was so light and delicious! She may have called it "carrot souffle" as a matter of fact. I will ask her next week!

      2. JasmineG Oct 7, 2009 10:46 PM

        I made apple pies with gruyere crusts. The crust was based on this recipe http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe... except that I really love Rose Levy Berenbaum's cream cheese crust, so I did a combo. So for one pie crust, it was basically:

        2 cups (8 ounces) Flour
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 cup (4 ounces) shredded gruyee
        2.5 ounces butter
        1.5 ounces cream cheese
        2 ish ounces ice water

        I tend to err on the side of less water for pie crusts, but this one is one where you really should use all 2 ounces of the ice water; the cheese makes for a really stiff crust, and I found that the batch where I accidentally used more water than I wanted to rolled out a lot easier than the other batch. Whisk together the flour and salt, then put it in a food processor with cold butter, then drop in the cream cheese and cheese, then drizzle in the water. Roll into a ball and let rest in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

        For the apples, I just used apples, lemon juice, sugar, salt and cornstarch, I felt like cinnamon and other spices wouldn't work with the cheese crust. I generally used RLB's proportions and instructions for the apples, though I slightly underestimated how many apples to buy, so mine were a little scanty on the apples. Per pie, it should be about 2 pounds of peeled and sliced apples, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 cup each of brown and granulated sugar (just under 2 ounces each), 2 tablespoons of butter, a dash of salt, and a tablespoon plus a teaspoon of cornstarch. Combine the apples with the lemon juice, sugars and salt, and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes to 3 hours. Then drain the liquid into a saucepan and boil down the liquid with the butter until it's syrupy. While this is boiling down, toss the apples with the cornstarch. When the syrup is ready, pour it over the apples and toss.

        Roll out the pie crust into two 12 or so inch circles; put one into a 9 inch pie crust and fill with apples, and top with the second crust. Brush with milk or cream. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn down to 375 for 45 minutes.

        1. Melanie Wong Oct 7, 2009 12:12 AM

          Here's a link to the recipe for the sag dhal made by Lani "usheroff".

          8 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            toodie jane Oct 15, 2009 10:20 AM

            Melanie, can you post the recipe for your delicious dish please? and thanks for posting this one--it was a favorite of mine.

            (We stayed in Berkeley just down the street from the Indian provisions shop on University. Wow--what a treasure trove. Stocked up on papadoms and cumin, plus ground ginger for my TJ's Triple Ginger Cookies recipe adaptation.)

            thanks again BA ChowHosts, for allowing us to all share a wonderful day!

            1. re: toodie jane
              Melanie Wong Oct 19, 2009 04:58 PM

              I made Sicilian caponata. I prefer the style that shows its Moorish influence with more exotic elements. Here's Mario Batali's recipe that will give you the basic proportions.

              And, of course, mine is a little different. I don't use cocoa powder. Instead of currants, I use golden seedless raisins and double the proportion. For fresh herbs, I had basil and oregano on hand, as well as thyme, so included those. I had fresh San Marzano tomatoes as well as some roasted ones, so chopped those up with some garlic instead of using tomato sauce. I prefer to use honey rather than sugar for the sweet-sour and added a little orange zest.

              Two additions are capers and fennel. I coarsely chop the fennel bulb, sauteing it briefly just to soften it a little but retain some crunch. I do NOT substitute celery. Include some of the fennel fronds for flavor too. I also used Asian eggplant rather than globe. I cut them into chunks, microwave for 5 mins to parcook, then saute them. I find I get a better browning, more even cooking, and less mush this way.

              Then let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. The flavor is much richer the next day. Then add chopped fresh mint at serving time.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                toodie jane Oct 22, 2009 09:36 AM

                did you peel the eggplant or leave skin on...don't remember! I have some skin-on Asian eggplant I grilled last night on the bbq, maybe I could use those.

                1. re: toodie jane
                  Melanie Wong Oct 26, 2009 06:50 PM

                  i used Asian eggplants so left the skin on. It helps maintain the integrity of the eggplant chunks so the whole thing doesn't turn into mush when you mix it. That's one reason I like to microwave the eggplant as well, it doesn't get as beat up as when you just saute' it to cook through.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    toodie jane Nov 1, 2009 05:00 PM

                    I ended up using some I'd grilled on the bbq--they held up well and added a smoky flavor that I love in eggplant.

              2. re: toodie jane
                PolarBear Oct 20, 2009 08:21 AM

                TJ, would love your recipe for TJ's 3xGinger.

                1. re: PolarBear
                  toodie jane Oct 21, 2009 07:48 AM

                  I think I posted it last year, I'll try to find it and bring it up on the home cooking board. ("TJ's" = 'Trader Joe's'.)

                  1. re: toodie jane
                    PolarBear Oct 22, 2009 06:46 AM


                    After switching some search terms on Google, I found it. Thanks tj (I'll use TJ for trader joe's from now on) ; >P



                    EDIT to Add: Somehow I posted this before your response appeared yesterday, gofigger?

            2. heidipie Oct 4, 2009 05:20 PM

              My jump-up-and-shout-about-it favorites were the arugula salad with all the goodies in it and the new iteration of David Boyk's carrot pudding. Please share your naughty secrets with us!

              9 Replies
              1. re: heidipie
                Melanie Wong Oct 4, 2009 10:32 PM

                Loved, loved, loved your Cuban roast pork and especially the sour orange mojo, please share!

                Here's a link to Nick "nja" version of the carrot pudding,
                and here's link to David Boyk's original posting for Budín de Zanahoria (Carrot Pudding) from 2005,

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  heidipie Oct 5, 2009 12:14 PM

                  Glad to share.

                  Cuban Pork Roast

                  The first thing you have to do is secure a pork leg, skin and bone intact, from a happy pig. Golden Gate Meats was able to get me one with a day's notice. I used a 9-pound piece from the shank end. I'm sure you could use a picnic roast, too. Or a suckling pig like they do in the islands...

                  Next, come to Berkeley for sour oranges. There's a tree on Piedmont Avenue between Dwight and Parker, south of campus, and the renters don't mind you picking them. They're small--it takes about ten to get a cup of juice. Failing that, you can wait until the Seville orange season begins around January. Or you can substitute lime juice mixed with a little orange juice, but I can't vouch for the results.

                  When you get your loot home, manhandle your pork leg. Make lots of deep slits in the skin, to the meat, large enough for you to stick your pinky in. Reach between the muscles to make some pockets. Feel around and separate the skin from the meat where you can (but don't detach it). Then make your adobo, which you can pound in a mortar or blitz in a mini-processor:

                  1 head of garlic
                  2T salt
                  1 t black peppercorns
                  2T mexican oregano
                  1T cumin
                  6 bay leaves, crumbled
                  1T olive oil

                  Give the pork a deep-tissue massage with the adobo, working it into the slits and pockets and between the meat and skin everywhere you can. Then make the wet marinade:

                  1 cup sour orange juice
                  1/3 cup dry sherry
                  1 onion sliced pole-to-pole into slivers

                  Put the pork and the marinade into a BIG ziploc bag or into a container where it's a tight fit, so the marinade comes halfway up the roast. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

                  Put the roast and the marinade in a smallish roasting pan (I used a 12" cast-iron skillet) with the bone sticking straight up if you can. Roast it in a low oven for a lot of hours. I started it at 275 for about five hours, then turned it down to 225 for another five. Baste it with the juices when you think of it. The skin should become a beautiful black drape of crackling.

                  When it's "done" (maybe 185 on a meat thermometer, but you really shouldn't worry about it--better overdone than underdone for this guy), remove and de-fat the pan juices, then put them in your serving vessel with the roast. (I ended up with a cup of pork fat bounty.) Let it cool a bit and hack it up, making sure everybody gets some crackling. Serve with the pan juices, and with mojo criollo if you had enough sour orange juice to make some.

                  Mojo Criollo:

                  1/3 cup olive oil
                  5 fat garlic cloves, sliced
                  1 1/2 cups sour orange juice
                  1/4 cup white vinegar
                  1 t mexican oregano
                  1/2 t cumin
                  1 t salt
                  1/2 t ground black pepper
                  1 or 2 dried chilies, optional
                  1 or 2 culantro leaves, optional (or substitute 1/4 cup cilantro, minced)

                  Heat the olive oil in a saucepan that looks a little deeper than you need. When it's hot, add the garlic, and fry it until it's pretty brown, but not burnt--watch it closely. Then add everything but the culantro (it'll sizzle a lot) and bring it to a rolling boil. Let it cool, then pour it through a funnel into a bottle, preferably one with a control-release top like an old soy sauce bottle. Add the culantro and refrigerate. Shake before using.


                  1. re: heidipie
                    toodie jane Oct 7, 2009 11:36 AM

                    heidipie--I was watching you cut up the pork leg, and you seemd to slice right down pretty evenly. What is the anatomy of a leg--was there just the shank bone on the smaller side of the roast?

                    very good indeed! (and I love you scavenger's report on the sour orange location--just my style, too!)

                    1. re: toodie jane
                      heidipie Oct 7, 2009 01:06 PM

                      Yes, there was just the one bone. And I didn't attempt to cut against the grain of the meat, either, I was just hacking, but it didn't seem to matter. My luck!

                  2. re: Melanie Wong
                    heidipie Oct 5, 2009 12:22 PM

                    David, I think you tweaked the carrot pudding considerably from the one I tasted the first time you brought it to the picnic. Care to enlighten us?

                  3. re: heidipie
                    rat Oct 6, 2009 06:54 PM

                    Agree, I guessed a partial list for that salad, will the contributing Hound please add anything I missed?

                    Wouldn't mind knowing the secret ingredient in the Hawaiian cornbread.

                    1. re: rat
                      cvhound Oct 6, 2009 09:16 PM

                      Rat, I'm so glad you enjoyed the cornbread! The recipe is so ridiculously simple that I'm really embarrassed to post the recipe. But I'm happy to share since you asked.

                      I scaled the recipe to make 20 servings for the picnic. I've made it a couple of times now for various group gatherings and have rarely taken home leftovers. I've always used the full amount of sugar called for in the recipe, but next time, I plan to use less sugar, as I find the cornbread a bit too sweet for my taste.


                    2. re: heidipie
                      toodie jane Oct 15, 2009 01:05 PM

                      the goodies were tj's dried and chili-ed mango, sunflower seeds, feta cheese.

                      the dressing (Chris is still getting back to me on the exact flavored vinegar--basil-raspberry?) was a vinaigrette made from her own Tiber Canyon Meyer Lemon EV Olive Oil and the Chaparral Gardens vinegar, plus S&P to taste.

                      It was simple and refreshing with clean and complex flavors.

                      1. re: toodie jane
                        toodie jane Oct 19, 2009 08:24 AM

                        Here is a recipe for the salad from Chris who made it:

                        "About the salad. The brand of vinegar is pretty important. We had some [other] raspberry vinegar that Will used in a dressing recently and it didn’t even come close. We are SO spoiled with Chaparral Gardens’ vinegars. They are available on line....

                        Mixed greens, with plenty of spicy ones including arugula

                        Crumbled feta cheese

                        Sunflower seeds, roasted, not salted

                        Dried chili-coated mangos, diced (Trader Joe’s)

                        Make the dressing with

                        Raspberry Basil Vinegar from Chaparral Gardens

                        Yuzu Olive Oil from Tiber Canyon Ranch (oops, not meyer lemon--tj)

                        Salt to taste, and freshly ground pepper..."

                        --Chris Anderson

                        That's it, pretty easy, but quality of ingredients is important.

                    3. susancinsf Oct 4, 2009 12:22 PM

                      ditto on the carrot pudding! I agree that it seemed richer, but I was wondering if that was because I was heavy handed with the nut topping :-) David mentioned in passing that there is a pea version...would love that recipe also...

                      Cece: can you tell us the secrets behind your deviled eggs, particularly the one with potato, and the other version with masala?

                      The baked goods I brought (a german chocolate coffee ring, apricot/marsipan coffee ring, and various cookies) were from Hanna's Kuchenhaus Bakery in Modesto. A find that I found thanks to a tip from Windy. I plan to post about it on the California board as well, and return soon to check out more of their cakes and cookies. Prices were quite reasonable bordering on cheap, they have coffee and espresso drinks, and are just two or three blocks of a detour off of my favorite route from Merced to San Francisco, so a perfect pit stop and definitely worthy of attention from the Modesto hounds. To fortify me for the drive from Merced, I got one of their pecan sweet rolls, just out of the oven. Unbelievable decadence. It tasted even more buttery than David's carrot pudding!


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: susancinsf
                        Cecelia Oct 4, 2009 01:38 PM

                        Afternnoon, all.

                        Thank you for a wonderful picnic. Here's the basics for my eggs.

                        Devilled eggs

                        Base: 48 hard boiled egg yolks and some whites that didn't peel nicely; mustard of your choice (I use a dry mustard and dijon comination); fresh squeezed lemon juice; salt and pepper :

                        Traditional; add mayonnaise; some white vinegar; sweet pickle relish and top with paprika sprinkles

                        Smoked salmon: puree smoked salmon and boiled pototoes; olive oil and diced chives and fresh dill; topping: salmon mousse (more pureed salmon w/ cream cheese, sour cream and diced fresh dill)

                        Curry: Yellow curry paste; olive oil; sour cream. Toppings: home made garam masala

                        Caviar: sour cream and mayonaise; green onions. Topping: red caviar.


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