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*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Fish, Poultry

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Welcome to our May and June 2010 COTM, Gourmet Today: More Than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen.

Please use this thread for review and discussion of recipes from the following chapters:

Fish and Shellfish
Poultry

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  1. Scallops with Snail-Garlic Butter and Leeks (page 364)

    Disappointing, mainly because over the past year or so I’ve been making some really outstanding scallop dishes—mostly from “Fish Without a Doubt.”

    You make a butter with snails, garlic, parsley, and S&P, smear it on the scallops, bake them for book says about 7 minutes if in shells but I cooked mine for about 9, top with simply sautéed leeks, and garnish with parsley and chives.

    The snails in the butter were barely discernible, especially disappointing since they were outrageously expensive and you use less than half the can. The butter could have used at least double the amount of garlic, for my taste. And the butter didn’t really melt—even at 9 minutes at 450F; it just sort of sat on top of the scallops and began to brown. The leeks were lovely with the scallops, but I expected more explosive flavors and this was all surprisingly subtle. Good, but not what I was expecting. And not something I’d do again considering the superior recipes available elsewhere.

    (Took pic, with old backup camera, before I remembered to add the leeks. Once I remembered, the camera was dead. First time posting a pic in new format. Curious to see what it looks like, although the photo itself isn’t a particularly good one.)

     
    3 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Joan, you overachiever, you with a recipe to report already! That looks delicious! Too bad you didn't love it. Still, surely there will be recipes to love among the other 999.

      Do you want to set up an adjunct thread for the yellow book, which I now like to call Gourmet Yesterday?

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Gourmet Yesterday?!? Brilliant!!! And so it will be, forever and ever.

        Not the least concerned this scallop dish wasn't a winner. I've made enough winners from Yesterday to be confident of finding many here as well.

        I'd have to spend some time with the yellow book trying to recall what I've made from it. I never did take notes, or photos. I can tell you, though, that the "La Brea Tar Pit" Chicken Wings, the Black Bean Soup with Rum, the Summer Fruit Salad with Mint Sugar, the Parmesan Chicken, the Duck Breasts with Orange-Ancho Chile Sauce, and the Creme Brulee French Toast were all in regular rotation for quite some time soon after I first bought the book.

        1. re: JoanN

          Those all sound delicious!

          ~TDQ

    2. Spiced Chicken Half Recipe (p. 397) I'm still waiting for my copy of the book, but I found this one online. http://tinyurl.com/2cavfh9

      This was big on flavor and fast to make. I often struggle with making a quick and delicious meal after a long work day and this hit the spot. It is made with spices that I typically have on hand (cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, salt and pepper). You rub the chicken (we used whole leg) with the spice mixture (I omitted the oil) and then you brown the chicken stovetop and finish for 25 minutes in a 450 degree oven. After the chicken is done, you make a quick pan sauce by adding water and then deglazing for a minute. We found the chicken was flavorful enough without the sauce. The chicken was perfectly cooked and very juicy. Looking forward to trying this with chicken breasts next. One adjustment I will make next time is to use less salt. I'm not sure if halving the recipe threw it off, but I did find it a bit too salty. Otherwise, this was a success.

      3 Replies
      1. re: BigSal

        Spiced Chicken, Pg. 397

        In between soccer, the Red Sox and the Celtics games we made this last night with 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs... skin on & bone-in. As Big Sal said, juicy and crispy and full of flavor. I included the bit of oil in the rubbing paste. Also, didn't even bother pulling off the fatty bits as I usually do. All that plus the pan sauce made the finished dish taste marvelous. Served with basmati rice and the Farmers Market Salad from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook which has a delectable blue cheese dressing.
        We loved this dinner!

        1. re: BigSal

          Did you try it with the chicken breasts, Sal? Still juicy?

          1. re: twilight goddess

            Just made the spiced chicken again. This time with a chicken leg and breast. Both were flavorful and juicy. I made it without the gravy. Such an easy and flavorful dish with minimal effort.

        2. Pan Seared Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter
          I have made this twice so far and really enjoyed the flavors and ease of preparation. As one reviewer noted, lightly dust the fish with flour before cooking, adds a crunch element and holds the fish together better. If you don't have the cookbook, the recipe is on Epicurious.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sophia519

            Ah, this one I've made MANY times from epicurious and I absolutely love it. So easy and lots of flavor. Totallly agree with a light dusting of flour (wonder if i was the original epi reviewer who mentioned that ... kind of funny).

            1. re: LulusMom

              yep, one of our favorites too from epi though I really don't like tilapia anymore...but that's a great recipe!!!

            2. re: sophia519

              Not a big fan of tilapia, but made this tonight for a gorgeous striped bass fillet. Delightful. Yet another flavored butter I'll be keeping on hand in the freezer for last minute preparations.

              1. re: sophia519

                Pan-Seared Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter

                A local grocery store had a sale recently for packages of flash-frozen tilapia filets - buy one, get two free. Checked out EatYourBooks.com, and found this recipe. I don't usually like tilapia because it's so bland but the spicy citrus flavor of this butter was perfect and the dish took just minutes to put together. I used Sophia's tip of dusting with flour, and for the butter used one red Thai chili with seeds, lime zest and juice, shallots, and Penzey's shallot salt. E's son happened to stop by in time for dinner and he had seconds. I served it with roasted carrots with a butter/brown sugar/orange marmalade glaze, and Crash Hot Potatoes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/742088

                Recipe link:
                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                 
              2. Oven-fried Panko Chicken Half recipe (page 297) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                Recipe consists of pantry staples (chicken, panko, cayenne, salt, pepper and butter) and makes a quick dinner. One seasons the panko with salt, pepper and cayenne. The chicken (bone in chicken breast in my case) is smeared with butter (unsalted butter, seasoned with salt and pepper), then covered with the seasoned panko and bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes and then left to cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes to crisp. The recipe calls for a whole stick of butter on a whole chicken – yikes! I just seasoned some room temp unsalted butter with salt and pepper and smeared it on the chicken lightly. I suspect more butter would have added a richer flavor, but the chicken browned just fine as I did it. The chicken was moist and the crumbs were crisp, but the flavor was a little bland. I would say good for a pseudo-healthy and quick dinner, but it would need some dressing up to really impress. I think adding more seasoning to the bread crumbs would add more flavor to the dish and maybe even some buttermilk or brine to make it even juicier, but that would take away from how quick the recipe was. Overall solid and would make again with some tweaking.

                12 Replies
                1. re: BigSal

                  Epicurious has an oven-fried chipotle chicken that I just love. I usually let it sit overnight in the chipotle/mayo mix, and then just use regular (canned) bread crumbs and it is delicous and stays really moist.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Thanks for mentioning the recipe. Sounds like a must try.

                    1. re: BigSal

                      My pleasure. I hope you like it. I make it fairly regularly. Here is the link:
                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        LulusMom,

                        I just made it today and boy was it good! My mouth is still humming from the chipotle (in a pleasant way). The chicken (thighs) was so moist and flavorful. Easy to make and all the ingrediients are pantry staples. Thanks again for sharing.

                        Sally

                        1. re: BigSal

                          I'm so glad to hear you liked it as much as we do! I do love that chipotle zing.

                  2. re: BigSal

                    Thanks for reporting on this BigSal. It's on my To-Make list but I intend to use bone in with skin leg and thigh pieces from the farm. Upping the seasoning makes sense and I'll do just that. Thinking about it, adding smoked paprika along with a little more cayenne to the butter seasoning might be the thing.

                    1. re: Gio

                      I love the idea of adding smoked paprika and cayenne to the butter. Please report back on how it turns out.

                    2. re: BigSal

                      Funny--this recipe immediately reminded me of a baked crushed cornflake chicken I make as a healthier substitute for fried chicken, though I cut back on the butter and use a little canola oil (for dietary reasons, not flavor reasons). I also throw in a little turmeric because I like that it makes the cornflake chicken seem more golden.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: BigSal

                        Big Sal: I often use chicken parts and panko crumbs for a quick dinner. I usually dip the chicken in egg that's been whipped up a bit, and then into the panko crumbs. I always season the crumbs heavily, sometimes using garlic, thyme and chopped parsley and s&p, sometims chili powder, garlic, s&p; and sometimes Indian spices rubbed onto the chicken and also tossed with the panko crumbs. Served with a raita-like cuke yoghurt dip or a tartaresque sauce, or just lemon juice squeezed directly onto the crisp chicken nugget.

                        We have variations of this basic dish at least once a week. With a big green salad and, if you want more starch, some rice pilaf-type thing, it's a quick and deelish dinner.

                        1. re: oakjoan

                          Thank you. I think those changes would make the dish more flavorful, even for a quick weeknight meal. Will have to try.

                        2. re: BigSal

                          My second attempt at this turned out much better thanks to some of the ideas from Gio and oakjoan. I added fresh thyme, minced garlic and a little paprika to the butter this time and it did the trick. I'd make this again with the additional seasonings.

                          1. re: BigSal

                            Oven-fried Panko Chicken Half recipe (page 297)

                            I made this the other night and liked it a lot. I had defrosted a chicken breast and I had planned to roast it since I thought it was a bone in, skin on breast. Post defrost and after I unwrapped it, I saw that it was a giant boneless skinless breast and decided to do a quick dry brine while I decided how I was going to use it.

                            For the panko, I added more cayenne then called for. I wish I had read the posts because the paprika would have also been great. I also added fresh sage and pepper. I didn't add salt since I had already salted the chicken. For the butter, I used one tablespoon for the entire breast. This part was the hardest, getting the butter to smear on. But, I persevered and then added the panko.

                            Unfortunately for me, I spaced when I put the breast into the oven. I cooked it for the full 40 minutes even though that's what the recipe called for bone in chicken parts. But, it didn't dry out too much (I think the dry brine really saved it) and the panko did crisp up nicely.

                            Great easy pantry ready dinner.

                          2. Scallops with mushrooms and sherry (p. 362).

                            This has been a favorite around here since it first appeared in Gourmet. I use regular button mushrooms bought already sliced and it comes together very quickly. I like serving it over sauted spinach, and soaking up the juices with a baguette. The minced shallots really add a nice little crunch to it, but I'm sure you could use onions in a pinch.

                            1. Chicken Curry with Cashews (p. 404)

                              Another favorite. In fact, for a long time this was my go-to dinner party dish, since you can easily do most of the work ahead of time, then just make some rice, raita and an indian style salad or something. Always gets raves.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: LulusMom

                                Chicken Curry with Cashews has been a staple in our house for years. I also like it with chunks of chicken (boneless) rather than chicken pieces - in that case, it only needs to simmer for about 20 min before adding the cashews and yogurt.

                              2. Lobster Cantonese, pg. 386

                                We really liked this, but I have a few suggestions. First, this serves 2-3, not 4. I used my own chicken stock with NO salt, and the dish was borderline too salty. I will use low-sodium soy sauce the next time. I added about 1 cup of peas for color, and would add some chopped water chestnuts for crunch, if making again. This would be equally as good with shrimp or crab.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  pikawicca: What kind of lobster did you use, or do you live on Martha's Vineyard or in Maine and pick up your lobster down at the local dock?

                                  Did you buy cooked lobster? Use canned lobster?

                                  Did you have to take out a second mortgage on your house to pay for it?

                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                    Fly in live lobster from Maine. Pricey, but we don't do it often. I got a deal on some lobster tails (ordered from Maine), so that's what I used this time. I like to keep the tails in the freezer, and dice one up and toss into risottos, paellas, etc. This way, a little lobster goes a long way.

                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                      Here in Manhattan Maine lobsters, for at least the past couple of years, cost less per pound than the higher end cuts of lamb or veal and certainly less than prime beef. I sometimes have to pinch myself to remember that it can be an affordable option. And out in the burbs of New Jersey there's one market I know of that sells live lobsters as a loss leader every couple of months or so. You have to get there early if you want the big ones, but I've bought 2-pound lobsters for $3.99/lb.

                                      I bought frozen lobster tails at Costco once, thinking they'd be great on the grill. I guess I'm too spoiled by the real thing. I thought the frozen lobster tails were pretty tasteless, and even the texture seemed odd to me. Perhaps pikawicca is buying a better product.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        I'm getting fresh lobster tails, which I Cryovac and freeze. Over-night shipping costs (and lots of freezer packs/dry ice) kill us here in the Midwest.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          I have to agree - I'm not a fan of frozen lobster. If I spend the bucks to fly it in from the East Coast, the last thing I want to do is freeze it! Mom tried it once when a friend gave her a bunch of lobsters. Texture and taste definitely suffers.

                                          One of the things I miss most (besides fried clams) here in AZ was living downtown in Boston and being able to walk to J. Hooks and pick out any size lobster. Now we're happy we found a local Fry's that has live lobsters in a tank, and think it's a bargain if the 1 to 1-1/2 pounders go on sale for $9.99/lb. To get anything bigger has to be a special order and closer to $20 a pound. Yikes.

                                          I do have the Lobster Cantonese on the to-do list, so plan on making that the next time the lobsters go on sale, and will keep pikawicca's tips in mind!

                                          Recipe link for Lobster Cantonese:
                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                      2. re: pikawicca

                                        Lobster Cantonese, Pg. 386

                                        If the lobsters weren't so dang delicious on their own this recipe would have been a complete bust. A bit of a pain in the watchamacallit to prepare, too.

                                        Start by boiling 2 - 1 1/2 lb lobsters for 2 minutes then plunging them in ice water to stop the cooking. Because I had 2 - 3 pounders, I doubled the recipe. Set the lobster aside while the cooking mixture is made. Mix together salt, cornstarch and a bit of chicken stock. When lobsters are cool enough to handle the body is separated from the tail and put aside for another use. The remaining lobster parts are cracked & hacked into chunky pieces. Heat vegetable oil (I used peanut oil) in a wok or large skillet, add the lobster pieces in batches and stir-fry about 2 minutes. In fact the recipe calls for putting each lobster in it's own bowl, which I stupidly did. Anyway, when all the lobster pieces have been fried in they go into one bowl.

                                        Next... a combination of rinsed and chopped fermented black beans, chopped garlic & ginger, scallions and a small amount of ground pork is added to the wok and stir-fried till the pork is no longer pink. Put the lobster pieces in, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Then.... remove the cover and drizzle 2 lightly beaten eggs over all. Cook till eggs are set. Finally, drizzle sesame oil over and serve over steamed rice. We used Basmati, for the record. And that's all they ate.

                                        The lobsters were Very Hard Shell. The sink backsplash was covered in lobster juice, as we were, when we used the meat mallet to crack the pieces, then we used heavy-duty kitchen shears to slice the pieces in chunks. Had to be careful not to mash the flesh. The rice absorbs the juices from the lobster and sauce and actually tasted slightly spicy, but I didn't think the lobster tasted especially Cantonese - y. Those lobsters were very sweet and I had to stop everything after separating the bodies when I saw the oodles of tomalley oozing out. DH dosen't like it so I had a feast on it. The best I ever had!! Above "pika" says the dish was too salty. I didn't add any salt. The fermented black beans are very salty on their own so I knew to rinse them 5 or 6 times before chopping them, and I used low-sodium Tamari. We didn't think the final dish was too salty, but you could definitely taste the beans.

                                        I'm using the remaining lobster bodies with legs still attached and lobster chunks for spicy lobster sauce over linguine tonight.

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          I think that's the second "meh" we've had for lobster recipes from this book... Maybe they don't do lobster well?

                                          ~TDQ

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            What a shame, especially given the price of lobster!

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Here, north of Boston, our local supermarket sells lobster for 4.99/lb. Makes me happy, happy.

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                I'm sure that mitigates the level of disappointment!

                                            2. re: Gio

                                              Mmm...I'm so torn on whether to make this. E loves the Chinese dish "Shrimp in Lobster Sauce", which sounds like a variation and I had promised him I would make it. Is it similar? The cheapest lobsters are here is on sale at $9.99/lb and I'd hate to waste the money, but he was looking forward to it.

                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                Hi Rubee... All I can say is that tonight I did make the spicy lobster tomato sauce using the bodies and whatever was left over from last night. Before I got into prepping all the garlic (used 5 chopped garlic cloves, a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, dried basil & oregano and a splash of red wine) and cutting up the bodies I tasted a piece of lobster from last night before I added it to the pan and I must say it was delicious. All this talk lately about food tasting better the next day certainly was proven true. Given your expert kitchen skills and culinary experience you're then best judge of whether to proceed or not.

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  Thanks for the update Gio!

                                          2. Garlic Shrimp, p. 366.

                                            The introduction mentions this is adpated from El Paso Taqueria in NYC. We both thought this was delicious and will definitely make it again. This was one of three recipes from Gourmet I made for Cinco de Mayo (with Poblano Tortilla Tartin and Grilled Corn with Chipotle Mayonnaise) and we both commented more than once how everything was so good.

                                            Just a few ingredients, and quick too. Guajillo chiles are cut up, toasted in olive oil (I used evoo), sauteed with onion and garlic, and diced seeded tomatoes. I let this sit for a bit ("to soften chiles") and just before serving, heated it up and added the shrimp. I served leftovers with Mexican rice tonight, and this would be great in tacos too.

                                            Recipe link:
                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                             
                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Rubee

                                              I'd sort of overlooked that given the simplicity of the name. Need to stop doing that. Sounds great.

                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                I made this for dinner tonight, and my son liked it so much, he told me to keep it in the rotation. Personally, I was a little underwhelmed, which may have something to do with the fact that Guajillo chiles are unavailable in Cairo, so I substituted a fresh, hot green pepper. It's always tough to tell how hot these chiles are going to be, and I definitely erred on the side of too little and wound up adding some red pepper flakes to make up the difference. Obviously, we missed the smoky taste that the Mexican chiles add. And maybe it was my onions, but this also seemed a trifle sweet to me. Anyway, I liked that it was pretty low fat and I will definitely make it again with some adjustments to the seasonings.

                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                  My turn on the garlic shrimp. We thought this was fine, but neither as garlicky (and I added an extra clove) as the name would suggest or as spicy/smokey as the peppers would suggest (not that I know anything about guajillos). My feeling is that I was loving the smell while cooking up until the point where I added the tomatoes. They seemed to take away from the lovely olive oil/onion/garlic thing that was happening. Served with warmed flour tortillas. It was pleasant, just didn't do for us what it did for Rubee, unfortunately.

                                                   
                                                2. Salmon Steaks (fillets) with red wine butter (p341)

                                                  For me this was just ok. I doubt that subbing the fillets for steaks made much difference. Not at all bad, just kind of uninteresting.

                                                  1. Sesame Tuna Burgers (page 355) with Wasabi Mayonnaise (page 355)

                                                    These were just wonderful. I liked them almost as much as the Tuna Burgers with Harissa Mayo in Fish Without a Doubt, and these were a much less complicated prep.

                                                    She says to use sushi-grade tuna. I had some supposedly sushi-grade steaks from Costco in the freezer and used those. You mix finely chopped tuna with soy sauce, vegetable oil and S&P, form it into burgers and coat with toasted sesame seeds. She says to cook for a total of two minutes for medium-rare and “seeds should be golden brown.” Well, mine weren’t; they had hardly begun to color at all. I went for the at-least-a-little-bit-golden look and ended up slightly overcooking the burgers.

                                                    Not even sure how I’d correct this next time. Toast the sesame seeds longer so they’re already on their way toward golden? Hotter pan? Hotter oil? Guess I’ll have to play with it. The color probably doesn’t matter much to the taste, but it adds considerably to the presentation.

                                                    The Wasabi Mayo is just a ½ cup store-bought mayo with soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and wasabi paste. She calls for 1 teaspoon wasabi or “to taste.” I probably doubled that amount. She says to serve it with a simple salad dressed with a lemony vinaigrette and I did. A very tasty and satisfying late lunch/early dinner indeed.

                                                     
                                                     
                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                      Oh, that looks and sounds so good Joan. I was planning on making the Asian-Style Crab Cakes with Wasabi Caper Sauce this weekend, but may try this instead.

                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                        This sounds fabulous! I especially love the idea of wasabi may. I have recently become addicted to a mixture called Wasabi Mix which Berkeley Bowl market puts together. It's a variety of rice crackers in lots of different shapes and ALL are flavored with wasabi. I LOVE wasabi!

                                                        Will be trying this very soon. Thanks JN.

                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                          We made this tonight. I really appreciated how quick this was to pull together. The only change to the recipe I made was that I toasted the sesame seeds beforehand. We cooked ours for about three minutes total because the pan probably was not quite as hot as it should have been. Overall we liked it.

                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                            Kudos to JoanN and BigSal for having actual "burgers." I have No idea how you kept the tuna together. Mine were only semblences (um, correct?) of burgers, with bits falling off despite my best efforts. That said, wow, we loved the flavor. And that wasabi mayo is fantastic. We agreed that next time we'd like do as they do at one of our favorite places (Taylors Automatic Refresher - one of my favorite places in the US) and just do tuna steaks with the same sort of prep and mayo. We loved the crunch of the toasted sesame seeds. We loved the mayo. We loved the very rare tuna. And it IS very quick to put together (but would be even quicker with just tuna steaks). Served with the napa cilantro slaw from the same book (also much loved), and sliced baguette. A great meal, but ... how did you ladies keep those burgers together???

                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                              Isn't that funny. I don't recall keeping the burgers together being an issue at all. Love your idea, though, of just using the tuna. Why not?

                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                I don't remember having any issue with the burger sticking together either. Although, your idea saves a whole step (no chopping)- sounds like the way to go. The napa cilantro slaw sounds delicious.

                                                            2. Pan-Seared Cod with Creamy Fennel Ragout, page 350.

                                                              If you're a fennel fan, you'll love this. I use halibut, one of the suggested alternative fish. Fennel, bacon, cream, sun-dried tomatoes -- lovely over the fish, served on a bed of Fregola Sarda. I'll be making this again.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                Two for two? Not bad for a book that didn't excite you during the nomination process. Adding this one to my list.

                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                  Success is very persuasive! Let's hope we all continue to have more successes!

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                    Yeah, I'm surprised by how much I'm liking this book. Tomorrow night it's Scallion-Wild Rice Crepes with Mushroom Filling.

                                                                  2. re: pikawicca

                                                                    That sounds fantastic -- somehow missed that one in my perusal. How can you go wrong with those ingredients? Mmmm....

                                                                  3. Mussels in Zucchini Basil Broth, p.374
                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                    According to the headnote, the broth is "much like a soupy pesto, with zucchini taking the place of nuts and cheese." Chopped (raw) zucchini, basil leaves, shallot, garlic, olive oil, and water are pureed; I replaced about a third of the water with dry vermouth. (if you use a food processor to make the puree, I recommend pulsing to finely chop the vegetables before adding the liquid for a smoother puree.) This mixture is placed in a pot with scrubbed mussels and brought to a simmer, then covered until the mussels open, with frequent stirring. I made a half recipe of the broth and used a pound and a half of PEI mussels.

                                                                    This was so good. Flavorful, light, and herby, the broth married very nicely with the sweet mussels, and was literally good enough to drink - I ate every drop, with the help of a spoon and a piece of sourdough baguette. I will definitely use the vermouth when I make it again, too, as I thought it worked very well.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      Wow! This sounds great. And I'm always looking for things to do with zucchini in summer! Can't wait!

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                        Mussels in Zucchini Basil Broth, page 374.

                                                                        Our CSA has overwhelmed us with zucchini and basil, so I searched EYB for what to do. I threw mussels into the search for the Dish of the Month being steamed clams and mussels.

                                                                        I read Caitlin's post, and went a bit further. I was out of vermouth, so replaced *all* of the water with wine. She's right that the broth is good enough to drink, it's the best puréed soup ever. With mussels and a slice of rosemary bread? Wonderful, quick, easy, and delicious dinner.

                                                                        There's a photo here:
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9153...

                                                                      2. Roasted Bluefish with Coriander in Vinegar Sauce (page 359)

                                                                        Please don’t judge this dish by my non-existent food styling skills. It was very unusual and just extraordinarily good.

                                                                        You stuff a whole bluefish with thinly sliced lemon, toasted chopped almonds mixed with salt and coriander seeds, and cubed bits of butter and place in a roasting pan smeared with butter and scattered with bay leaves and more coriander seeds. Top fish with more bay, coriander, and cubes of butter. Put in a COLD (!?!) oven, set to 500F, and cook for 40 to 45 minutes. Pour over cooked fish a sauce of white wine vinegar boiled for a minute with more bay leaves, crushed black peppercorns, and sea salt.

                                                                        The vinegar and lemon predominate, naturally (if you’re not a vinegar lover, don’t bother with this one), but the toasted nuts really hold their own against such assertive flavors. I wish she’d given serving suggestions, although the sauce was so good that I was very happy with my plain white rice and steamed broccoli.

                                                                        My bluefish was about 2 pounds, not four. But I made the full recipe of everything else. Didn’t need to; I could have halved it all the way. You’d have to know your audience for this to be a company dish, but this is right up there with the best bluefish dishes I’ve ever had.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                          This sounds great - no bluefish in the UK, but from the sound of it, mackerel would be a good substitute. Thoughts?

                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                            I guess if you don't have bluefish you don't have pompano, either. Do you get lufer from the Mediterranean? I've only had it in Turkey, but it was very similar to bluefish. I'm sure mackerel would be very good here, the only problem being that mackerel are (at least over on this side) usually not much larger than a pound. Hard to stuff a fish that small. Maybe you have larger ones?

                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                              No pompano either, no. Mackerel tend to be a couple of pounds at most. In terms of big fish, there's salmon, obviously, and sea trout which has quite a delicate flavour. Is there any reason why you couldn't divide the stuffing between a couple of smaller fish?

                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                "any reason why you couldn't divide the stuffing between a couple of smaller fish?"

                                                                                No, not at all. Just that even with a two+-pound bluefish I couldn't fit in even half the stuffing mixture. Wouldn't matter, I'm sure. All the flavors will be there. I wonder if it would work with salmon. Not sure. Do think sea trout would be simply overwhelmed. Mackerel probably is your best bet.

                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                  According to the Cook's Thesaurus, here are the substitutes for Bluefish:
                                                                                  "bluefish Substitutes: butterfish (milder flavor) OR whitefish (milder flavor) OR mackerel OR striped bass."

                                                                                  http://sonic.net/~alden/Fflakfat.html

                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                    Oooh! I'll bet it would be wonderful with striped bass, too. Good call.

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Thanks Gio. I'm afraid only mackerel available here from that list.

                                                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                                                Wow. That looks fantastic. I love bluefish, though haven't had it since we moved to Arizona (favorite preps in Boston were at Summer Shack, and the smoked bluefish pate at Legal Seafoods).

                                                                              3. Pan-Seared Cod with Creamy Fennel Ragout, page 350

                                                                                Like Pikawicca, we loved this. Easy and flavorful. We also used halibut as we're big halibut fans. Put 1 additional garlic clove in, but otherwise unchanged. Not usually a fan of sundried tomatoes, but they were really good here. I originally overlooked this, probably due to the comment in the headnote about it being like a "deconstructed fish chowder" -- I like fish chowder and all but that description did not sound appealing and isn't how I would describe this dish. My husband loved it as well and he's not as big a fennel fan as I am. I would -- and will -- definitely make this again.

                                                                                1. Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Oregano (p. 527)
                                                                                  Quick, fresh and light recipe. Pulled this together right after work, it wasn't the best weather for grilling (rainy), but it turned out well. You start by making a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Season the chicken (we used chicken breast) with salt and pepper and grill. Dress the cooked chicken with the vinaigrette and serve. Simple and tasty way to serve chicken. Great directions for grilling - the indirect grilling method helped to keep the chicken moist. It wasn't a stunner, but good for everyday. The vinaigrette was good with the roasted asparagus we made too. Will try next with dark meat to see if we like it better.

                                                                                  1. Grilled Lemon-Coriander Chicken, p. 530

                                                                                    This is under the "Grilled Dishes" chapter, and was a big hit with E and his son this weekend. A puree is made with cilantro, olive oil, shallots, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and sugar, and I used two Thai red chiles instead of the serrano. I used it under the skin of a 5-lb chicken. I skipped the salt because I had dry-brined a la Zuni. Instead of grilling, I used the rotisserie attachment on our grill. I hadn't tightened it up properly and ended up tearing the meat and skin and thought it might be dry, but it was juicy with lots of flavor from the rotisserie. E told me "don't lose this recipe". I served it with Arroz Verde, p. 253 and Grilled Corn with Herbs and Lemon Butter, p. 553. Great meal.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. Southest Asian Turkey Burgers (p. 531 - grilled chapter)

                                                                                      we absolutely loved these. You make a paste of lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, serrano pepper and fish sauce and then mix it with ground turkey. Let sit at least an hour (I let mine sit about 8 hours) and then grill (we had to grill ours much longer than the 10-12 minutes given in the book, but that could be because my husband worries about burning things on our grill). Meanwhile make a sauce of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Drizzle on the bottom of the bun, put the cooked burger on that, then add fresh herbs (we used cilantro and mint - basil is also an option) and drizzle a bit more of the sauce. This was just absolutely packed with fresh flavors. Raves all around.

                                                                                       
                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                        Thrilled to read this. That recipe was on my radar. Bookmarking it right now.

                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                          My husband isn't as in love with fish sauce as I am, so I was somewhat nervous about how these would go over, but he went back for seconds and couldn't stop raving. So much flavor.

                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          This already sounded great to me, but the description of the sauce on the bun and the fresh herbs now have me drooling. And they're healthy to boot? I'm in.

                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                            Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We made this tonight with lean turkey (93/7- this would probably be even better with 85/15, but wanted to keep things lighter). My boyfriend is typically not excited about anything other than a traditional beef burger and the fish sauce in the recipe made this an even more precarious choice for him. The result was fresh, vibrant flavors. We both enjoyed it and will make it again.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              Southest Asian Turkey Burgers (p. 531 - grilled chapter)

                                                                                              This was absolutely delicious. And, I'm not the biggest turkey eater.

                                                                                              I made half the amount of sauce and it was just right for 4 burgers. I also only used basil and mint for the herbs - I forgot to buy cilantro.

                                                                                              When I first ate the burger, I couldn't decide if it tasted so good because of the fresh herbs and sauce or because the lemongrass paste did add that extra oomph. After lunch today (less herbs and sauce available), I could definitely taste that lemongrass paste and it's so worth the extra work.

                                                                                              Lastly, in the future, instead of plain fish sauce, I may use that chile infused fish sauce that I made years ago (Hot Sour Salty Sweet?) where you chop up a bunch of red chilies and you soak them in fish sauce. Then, when you run low, you just add more fish sauce. I think that would add an extra kick to the burger itself.

                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                I've been wanting to make these ever since LulusMom's posting a month ago, and finally managed to make them last night. Instead of using buns, I served the patties on a salad of romaine & mint (basil isn't big enough yet and I'm not a cilantro fan) tossed with about 2/3 of the sauce, then passed the remainder of the sauce for the patties. I think next time I'll drizzle the extra sauce on the patties as soon as they come off the grill.

                                                                                                Regarding the sauce, I found I needed to add extra sugar -- maybe my lime was extra sour? I think I ended up with about 1 1/2 tsp instead of 1/2 tsp, and it still didn't taste sweet, just not quite so sour. I used a squirt of Sriracha sauce instead of red pepper flakes because it distributes the heat and flavor more evenly. I used peanut oil which gave a little extra flavor to the sauce.

                                                                                                DH overcooked them, unfortunately, but the extra sauce helped. (To be fair, we don't have burgers very often so he's not used to gauging them, and he erred on the side of overdone.) I'll definitely make these again, and will work with DH on how to get them cooked properly.

                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                  Southest Asian Turkey Burgers, Pg. 531, Grilled Chapter

                                                                                                  Made these last night to go with Jamie's Stir-Fried Chinese Greens from the Naked Chef. Followed the recipe but instead of putting the fantastic tasting burgers on buns I simply served them with steamed brown rice and the greens (Bok Choy). What I did was prepare the burgers with all the ingredients and let them sit while we put the rice on to cook, then prepared and stir-fried the greens, then grilled the meat. The timing worked out well. They were absolutly delicious and I wonder why I overlooked them during the 3 months GT was COTM. Gosh... I Love This Book.

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    I LOVE those burgers. Glad you had and liked them and reported ... reminds me to make them again soon.

                                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                    Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers (Page 531)

                                                                                                    So here it is, more than three years later, and I finally got around to making these. Didn't have any lemongrass and am lo-carbing it so I didn't make the sauce that goes on the bun and I didn't add fresh herbs. Cooked the burger in a CI skillet 'cause that's what I got. Even without all those other flavors, this was still a delicious burger.

                                                                                                    Actually, this was a trial run for making the burgers Gio adapted from and raved about from "Never-Ending Summer." That recipe calls for a tomato chutney and it looks as though there's a lovely one in "Burma." I figure why not go Southeast Asian all the way. Not sure when I'll get around to it, but at least in my head it sounded like a good idea.

                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                      Happy to hear that even without all those things (which i have to say I would have guessed were essential) it was still wonderful. This has become a definite go to item around here, and was made just last week.

                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        I ought to try these; they sound delicious. I like Karen's move of serving over salad with the herbs and sauce as dressing. I used to mix and form turkey burgers, wrap them individually, and freeze so I could have something ready to go for quick meals (thaw in fridge overnight). This sounds like a good candidate.

                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                          As a matter of fact, just put the three leftover burgers in the freezer with exactly that in mind.

                                                                                                          Agree Karen's idea is a good one. I was just too lazy to make the sauce. Will do so next time. It sounds so good. And am sure the burgers will be even better that way.

                                                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                      Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers

                                                                                                      Finally made these after they have been on my radar for awhile. I served them with rice and generous portions of the herb salad and dressing. Delicious! I thought the herb salad and dressing really make the dish. I was thinking that pickled carrots would go well with this, and you could even make a Bahn Mi kind of thing with it.

                                                                                                      Really nice!

                                                                                                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                        How interesting that you mention pickled carrots as a go-with. A couple of weeks ago I made up a batch of the burgers for the freezer and have been serving them with various pickles from "Smoke & Pickles." I also made Banh Mi recently (from "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen") and have had the burger with some of the leftover Everyday Daikon and Carrot Pickle from that book. You're absolutely right; they would make a great banh mi.

                                                                                                      2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        Southest Asian Turkey Burgers, p. 531

                                                                                                        Not much to add to all the foregoing positive reports. These are easy to make and easy to love. No grill here, so it was a skillet on the stove for me. I followed Karen Schaffer's lead and served mine on a bed of baby spinach, arugula, and picked mint and cilantro leaves, tossed with a bit of the sauce (I skipped the sugar), with a bit more drizzled over the burger. Two more in the freezer to look forward to on later days.

                                                                                                      3. Pan-Grilled Duck Paillards (page 428)

                                                                                                        There were things I liked about this recipe and things I didn’t. Although I’d not make it again as written, I did take away some good ideas.

                                                                                                        What I didn’t like: She has you cut a Moulard breast in half horizontally and pound pieces to ¼-inch thickness. She says to cook the seasoned meat in a grill pan for 3 to 4 minutes, turning once. I did, and the meat most certainly was not medium-rare as it was supposed to be. It was way overdone, and looked (and to some extent even tasted) more like well-done calves’ liver.

                                                                                                        What I did like: She has you remove the skin, slice it, and cook it in a skillet with some water rendering the fat and making duck cracklings. You then sprinkle the drained cracklings on the cooked duck breasts before serving. This was a terrific way to ensure crispy skin, but I suspect it makes the timing for cooking the breasts a lot trickier since there’s nothing to protect them from the heat.

                                                                                                        The seasoning for the breasts is ground ginger, black pepper, curry powder, and cinnamon--a truly delightful combination.

                                                                                                        After the breasts are cooked, you brush thin orange slices with some of the rendered fat, sprinkle them with some of the spice mix, and grill them in the grill pan for about 30 seconds a side. Lovely touch, and terrific with the duck.

                                                                                                        I served them, by the way, with Sauteed Asparagus and Fiddlehead Ferns with Garlic from Flexitarian Table. Berley serves this as a side for a roasted duck in that book, but I wasn’t crazy about the pairing here.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                          As you say, the seasoning combination sounds fantastic. Think these could be saved by cooking them a different way with the same flavorings? Or would missing out on those cracklings not make it worth trying?

                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                            I've used a recipe that involved removing the skin of duck breast and rendering its fat (though not making cracklings - my loss!), then cooking the breast in some of the fat, which worked out well enough. I think having the pieces pounded so thin was likely the downfall of this recipe, Joan, and that pehaps cooking the unpounded breast for a bit longer at lower heat might be more successful. I do agree with LLM that the flavors sound fantastic with duck.

                                                                                                          2. Roast Chicken Breasts (legs) with Fennel, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Olives (p. 393).

                                                                                                            This was very tasty. Maybe not up to the standards set earlier this week (SE Asian turkey burger and the gnocchi alla romana) but still very good. I'm going to take a second to air one small complaint - when they give an active time, be VERY careful about reading the ingredients list: if you have a sous chef doing all the prepping, those times are likely accurate; if not, then add serious chopping time. For instance in this recipe the ingredients list includes 1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes cut into 8 wedges each and 8 plum tomatoes cored and cut lengthwise into quarters and 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, and 14 garlic cloves peeled. Now, this isn't a huge amount of work, but it certainly does add to the 40 minutes of active time they give. I'd say it added a good 25 minutes. Anyway, back to the recipe. End of rant/ So you cut up the fennel and potatoes and salt, pepper and olive oil them and stick in the roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Make a paste with chopped garlic, salt, lemon juice, oil, pepper. Take those cut up tomatoes, 10 of the garlic cloves (now thinly sliced), the olives, the rosemary and 2 tablespoons of the paste. Put some paste on the chicken and add to the pan, along with the tomato mixture. Roast (I did a lot more than the time given, since I had legs - probably 50 minutes in all, maybe 55 and it was just right), brushing chicken about halfway through with the remaining paste. (not sure how clear any of this is, I'm being chatted at while typing - sorry!)

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            1. Grilled Tuna Sates with Wasabi Mayonaise (p. 519)

                                                                                                              Marinade tuna cubes in a mixture of mayonaise, soy sauce and lemon for an hour. You make a sauce from the mayo, soy and lemon mixture and you add wasabi (this recipe makes a lot of wasabi mayo, even halving the recipe made way too much). Grill tuna until just cooked through.

                                                                                                              I liked the quick and easy nature of the recipe, but I found the taste of the mayonaise to be overwhelming - so much so that I could not add any of the wasabi mayo to the tuna. The tuna itself was very moist, but not enjoyable because of all the mayo. This recipe might work better by seasoning the tuna with soy and sesame seed oil, sear and serve with a light drizzle of wasabi mayo. Not a recipe we'll try again.

                                                                                                              1. Apricot Chicken with Almonds, p. 396

                                                                                                                Recipe is here at Epicurious:
                                                                                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                Boneless chicken breasts are roasted with a sauce of apricot preserves, soy sauce, whole-grain mustard, and butter (just a bit). I expected it would be nice enough, but I really liked it, much more than I expected I would! Plus it was quite fast & easy to boot.

                                                                                                                You roast the chicken for 10 min while toasting the almonds and assembling the sauce. I used a single turkey tender, which worked perfectly for a half recipe. I toasted almond slivers on the stove top instead of toasting sliced almonds in the oven. I measured the sauce ingredients into a measuring cup then microwaved it to melt the jam rather than dirtying a saucepan. I did not add salt to the sauce -- granted, it doesn't call for much, but it already had plenty of soy sauce! I used some Creole mustard, which added a great zing. I was tempted to leave out the butter, but I remember some past COTM where we found that soy sauce and butter can be spectacular, so I included it (it's only 1 tbsp anyhow, 1/2 tbsp for half a recipe).

                                                                                                                My soy sauce was so dark that the sauce was nearly black, so I skipped the final step to brown it under the broiler. I wouldn't have been able to see any browning! Anyhow, because the turkey tender was thicker than a chicken breast, I had roasted it for an extra 5 minutes, so the sauce was probably reduced a bit already.

                                                                                                                Surprisingly tasty! I served it with roasted Brussels sprouts and kamut.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                  Karen, I'm interested in the kamut khorasan wheat you served with the chicken. Do you season it or serve it plain?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    Kamut is probably my favorite whole grain! No additional seasoning, I just salt it when I cook it. We find it so toothsome and tasty that extra seasoning seems unnecessary, especially if whatever I serve it with has a tasty sauce.

                                                                                                                    I always cook up a large batch and freeze it in 2-person portions. Also, I usually end up with some extra water in the pan when it's done cooking, so I drain that off and use it when I need some water/broth in a recipe. Kamut broth, it's tasty too.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                    I had passed this one by thinking it didn't sound very interesting. Can you tell me - how sweet is it? I'm not normally a fan of fruit in my savory, but have found that there are times when it works.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                      The mustard and the soy sauce temper the sweetness quite a bit, for me at least. A good comparison might be a barbecue sauce (although some of those can get too sweet also!). I'd say try it once and see what you think. Worst case, you can scrape the sauce off to the side and still eat the chicken.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                        Thanks Karen, that bbq sauce thing gives me a very good idea of the sweetness level.

                                                                                                                  3. Crab Cakes with Wasabi Caper Sauce, p. 383

                                                                                                                    These made excellent crab cakes with little filler, yet held together nicely (I chilled them for about two hours before frying). I did increase the ginger, used scallions (white and green) instead of leeks, and the suggested option of Colman's mustard since I didn't have Chinese mustard. Other ingredients were egg, mayo, red bell pepper, s&p, and panko. The sauce was made with mayo, capers, and I added wasabi powder to taste since I didn't have wasabi paste. I also added some salt and lime juice. I used Costco's lump crabmeat in the plastic tub in the refrigerated section (swimmer crab).

                                                                                                                    Recipe link:
                                                                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                    Leftovers heated up really well in a hot pan with a little oil, and I had them for lunch with a salad dressed with an Asian vinaigrette (soy, sesame, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, chili flakes):

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    1. Turkey Sloppy Joes (with Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits), Pg. 416

                                                                                                                      Did you guess I didn't make the CBbiscuits? Well, you're right. *I* wanted polenta, so that's what *I* made to accompany this delicious sauce. We had half a 4 lb turkey left over from Sunday's Weber roast and there was just enough meat to include. I simply omitted the 2 1/2 lbs of raw ground turkey meat and added the already cooked meat, chopped in bite size pieces, to the sauce to heat it up and infuse it with the great smoky turkey flavor. Quite a few ingredients in this recipe but everything was in the pantry so no extra shopping was needed.

                                                                                                                      Into a large heavy pot (I used my "small" Mario: his 4 qt. essentials pot) go chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic. These are cooked for about 12 minutes... 15 for us. (The ground turkey is added at this point). In the meantime, a can of whole tomatoes with juice, ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire and Tabasco are combined in a blender and whizzed till smooth. Instead of the whole tomatoes I used a can of Pastene Kitchen Ready and whisked everything together in a bowl. Virtually the same thing. The tomato mixture goes into the vegetable(/turkey) mixture and simmers for 30-ish minutes. At around the 20 minute mark I added the cooked cubed turkey pieces and continued to simmer the pot for another 20 minute or so. DH tasted for seasoning and added Maldon salt & freshly ground Tellicherry pepper. Oh and a little more Tabasco. Yummmmm !

                                                                                                                      I have to say that this sauce, whether or not you use any meat at all would be great over rice or noodles. I served it over baked polenta and served a side dish of Mark Bittman's Radish Salad to which I added 2 sliced carrots. The recipe is here:
                                                                                                                      http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Hmmmmm. I tried to follow the link to get this recipe but it didn't work. Maybe the page was updated or the recipe removed?

                                                                                                                        Does anyone know where this recipe is online (or could I talk someone into giving me the proportions?)

                                                                                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                          I think most of the recipes can be found on epicurious.com.

                                                                                                                          Here's a link to that one:

                                                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                          1. re: soypower

                                                                                                                            Thanks soypower!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                          Me again. I did one more search and found the recipe on epicurious.

                                                                                                                          So I'm set.

                                                                                                                          I think this might be good to make and freeze in individual portions for lunches. Since it received Gio's vote of confidence.

                                                                                                                        3. Seared Salmon with Sesame Bok Choy and Spinach (pg. 340)

                                                                                                                          This was delicious and satisfying. what was really nice was that other than making rice, all the other dinner components came together quickly. I especially liked the vegetables in this dish.

                                                                                                                          Seared salmon - fairly ordinary and basic in prep. Just salt and sear.

                                                                                                                          Vegetables - After the salmon is cooked, you saute shiitake mushrooms until they are almost cooked. Then you add baby bok choy and garlic and saute some more. The one change I made is the cut of the bok choy. These instructions (and others,) have you quarter the baby bok choy). I despise this cut. I think it gets too stalky and it just really takes my enjoyment out of this vegetable. Instead, I chop the stems into one inch pieces and leave the leaves fairly intact. Anyway, after the baby bok choys soften up, you add ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and baby spinach. Stir without heat, until the baby spinach wilts.

                                                                                                                          The vegetables were really tasty and had a lot of different textures between the mushrooms, bok choy stalks and the greens. Plus, the flavor went really well with the salmon.

                                                                                                                          I did play fast and loose with the amounts of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. I probably had more vegetables then needed as well.

                                                                                                                          All in all, a quick and satisfying dinner.

                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                            thanks for the tip on cutting baby bok choy. i've never thought to do this, but i think i would like this vegetable a lot more cut your way.

                                                                                                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                              I know what you mean about that way of cutting bok choy! It especially drives me crazy when it's served that way at Chinese restaurants, when you have no way to cut it into manageable pieces, just chopsticks.

                                                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                I made the vegetable portion of this dish to serve with the tofu with cilantro pesto. My baby bok choy wasn't so small, so I just trimmed off the bottoms and cut it crosswise into segments about one inch or so wide. I forgot to buy more fresh ginger, so I made do with some bottled ginger juice, and I used dark soy after unexpectedly running out of light. I left out the sesame oil because I thought the flavor of sesame oil was somewhat prominent in the pesto, and I didn't want redundant flavors on the plate.

                                                                                                                                I liked the flavor and texture of the veggies a lot, and they are, as beetlebug says, quick and satisfying, so I'm sure I will make again, probably without even referring to the book.

                                                                                                                                1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                  Seared Salmon with Sesame [Bok Choy] and Spinach, Pg. 340

                                                                                                                                  G picked up our first CSA basket of the season yesterday and from the farm stand bought a beautiful thick fillet of salmon weighing a mere ounce under the pound called for in the recipe. Although we now have an overload of 5 different green leafy vegetables no bok choy, alas, so I used the inner heart of a head of green leaf lettuce, along with baby spinach. I too "played fast and loose with the amounts" of the seasonings using 1/8 cup olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, and 2 t of the sesame oil.

                                                                                                                                  Beetlebug describes the recipe so I'll just say that we loved everything about this dish. The salmon was perfect after a quick sear, and the combination of shiitakes and greens with the seasonings was very tasty and satisfying. Brown basmati steamed in chicken broth was the accompaniment.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                    That sounds lovely Gio and as you've demonstrated, a great recipe to use the season's bounty. Thanks for reminding us about this one.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for reminding us about this, recipes, but also this book! I loved cooking from this book back when it was COTM and this is a good reminder that I should cook from it more!

                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                        Thanks BC & TDQ. The green Gourmet, although a bit heavy, is a wonderful cookbook chuck full of tempting and tasty recipes. I'm keeping extraneous cookbooks beside my chair this Sumner and GT is one of them. (The others are vegetable based...)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                          Well, ya know...I don't know if either of you have looked at the new Epicurious cookbook but it takes some of the top rated recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit (and a few other Epi recipes) and puts them all in one place. Now I know the recipes are all online as well but there's something to be said about having a book with nothing but popular, top-rated recipes that work every time in it.

                                                                                                                                          Photos, tips and some reviewer comments have been included too....

                                                                                                                                2. Spicy Catfish Tenders with Cajun Tartar Sauce (p. 345)

                                                                                                                                  I"m slightly scared of deep frying, but hey, time to conquer fears, right? You marinate the fish in egg and hot sauce for 10-30 minutes, then dust with a flour/corn meal mix and fry in hot oil. Simple. My pieces were a bit bigger than called for in the book, so I left them in a little longer than the 1 1/2 - 2 minutes suggested. They were nicely cooked - crispy on the outside, cooked through but tender inside. I found the tartar sauce much too salty, but blame this mostly on the cajun seasoning I bought (it was the only one at the store that day) - I cannot imagine they meant it to be as salty as mine turned out. Still, it went nicely with the fish (although a little went a long way, given the salt). I liked this well enough, husband called it "a fun meal" and Lulu said "pretty good." So no one was really raving, but everyone left a clean plate. Served with corn on the cob and leftover potato salad. Sorry for the miserable quality of the photo.

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                    (Spicy Catfish Tenders with) Cajun Tartar Sauce, Pg. 345

                                                                                                                                    I made just the tartar sauce from this recipe and unlike LuLu'sMom we didn't think it was too salty at all. But, I used Virginia Willis' recipe for Creole seasoning instead since I still had some in the pantry. It's from her jambalaya recipe and I make it without salt. It's very spicy and we Love it. Here's an adapted version from the RecipeWizards blog:

                                                                                                                                    http://www.recipewizards.com/tag/creo...

                                                                                                                                    "To make 1/4 cup Creole seasoning, combine 4 teaspoons cayenne, 1 tablespoon each coarse salt and white pepper, 2 1/4 teaspoons each dried thyme and freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage and 1/4 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 3 months. "

                                                                                                                                    The original recipe is in her Bon Appetit Y'All book and makes a large amount... probably 4 times that adaptation. Anyway, this sauce was served with roasted haddock with vegetables and complimented the dish very well. Steamed Basmati rice was also served.

                                                                                                                                    The ingredients for the sauce are:
                                                                                                                                    mayo, sweet pickle relish, capers, lemon juice, prepared horseradish, hot sauce (Tabasco), and just 2 teaspoons of the Cajun (Creole)seasoning. Major spicy deliciousness...!

                                                                                                                                  2. Grilled Scallops Teriyaki (p. 521)
                                                                                                                                    Quick and easy to make. One makes the sauce out of soy, sake, mirin and sugar (this can be made in advance). Grill scallops with glaze and drizzle glaze on finished scallops. Overall this was good, but the sauce was a little too sweet for me (my fiancée thought it was just right, although he does have quite a sweet tooth). I think next time I will use less mirin. I do prefer Shizuo Tsuji's teriyaki sauce (less sweet and his has equal amounts of the 3 ingredients). The sauce (as is) would probably taste more balanced too with a fattier fish like salmon, tuna, swordfish, or yellowtail. The sauce itself is versatile and could easily be used with chicken or pork. Would make again with minor adjustments.

                                                                                                                                    1. Chicken Curry with Cashews, Pg. 404

                                                                                                                                      Up thread I said that I would be making the Panko chicken last night, but on a whim I changed my and made this delicious entrée. The curry sauce was perfect , IMO. Not too spicy, not too anything. Just nice simple flavors that enhanced the chicken beautifully. And, though there are quite a few ingredients it all went together quickly and easily which is our criterion for weekday evening meals.

                                                                                                                                      I did have to make a few adjustments to compensate for what was in our larder and our preferences: instead of 4 Ts butter I used 2 Ts butter & 2 Ts EVOO; instead of 2 medium onions I had to use a 1 large Spanish onion; 6 small garlic cloves instead of 2 large; 2 Ts hot curry powder (Penzey's) instead of 3 Ts plain; just used 1 t salt instead of 2; 1/2 cup chopped cilantro instead of 1/4; 2/3 cup cashews instead of 1/4; 2/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt instead of whole milk; and finally, 2 1/2 lbs chicken legs and thighs instead of a 2 1/2 whole cut up chicken. I don't think these modifications hurt the dish in the least since we absolutely Loved it...and that's all that matters in the end, IMO.

                                                                                                                                      So... Heat the fat in a DO and add chopped onion, garlic, ginger and cook about 5 minutes. Add curry pdr, salt, grnd cumin, cayenne, cook stirring for about 2 minutes. Add chicken, cook - stirring to coat - for 3 minutes. Add 14 oz diced tomatoes w/juice (I used Hunt's organic) and cilantro. Bring to simmer, then cover and simmer gently 40 minutes, or till chicken is "cooked through."

                                                                                                                                      While that was cooking I measured out yogurt and prepared the cashews. I used a mortar & pestle to crush the cashews till they were "finely ground." They and the yogurt are added into the pot and simmered till sauce, with the chicken, is thickened.

                                                                                                                                      The serving suggestion is to serve this over rice, but since I have a Huge bowl of left over pinto beans from Sunday I heated up 2 cups of that and served the curry over. As I said, we loved it. Broccoli with Olive Oil and Parmigiana, pg. 574, was the side dish.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                        I'm so glad you liked this! For a long time it was my go-to dinner party recipe (at least for people who aren't eating ninnies), and I always got raves. I doubt it is very authentically Indian, but it is still delicious.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                          Yes I agree about the authenticity, but the flavor factor is there. Also, I don't think any of the ethnic recipes are authentic but they do produce a similar taste. Anyway, we loved it and I'll be making it again. I might just serve it over rice, too....

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                            It is wonderful over basmati (or jasmine) rice. With some raita on the side. Oh, I do love this curry. Maybe I need to make a batch soon. Thanks for reminding me.

                                                                                                                                      2. Salt-Roasted Chicken (p. 410) is nothing new if you're familiar with the Zuni Cafe roast chicken recipe. If you're not familiar with that method, oh, you've got to try this! The only thing I did differently from the GT instructions is that I start the chicken back down directly on a preheated cast iron skillet. (I used a small chicken and a 12 inch skillet.) Oh, and I also don't cover the chicken with plastic wrap during the salted refrigeration. If you have a crowded fridge, I can see the practicality of that. I find the skin drying out uncovered results in crispier breast skin, but doesn't always make for the best presentation, as some chickens don't have a lot of fat over the breast. (If you're making this for guests, and especially if using a lean bird, you may want to use the plastic wrap.) This produces flavorful, succulent meat and crispy skin and is absolutely delicious. Highly recommended, and other than the salting time, quick. No trussing, so easy for beginners, too.

                                                                                                                                        1. Chicken Cacciatore - p.401

                                                                                                                                          Due to an overstuffed refrigerator and pantry, I've been looking for recipes that have only a few ingredients or utilize things I already have at home, so this recipe was perfect.

                                                                                                                                          I've never made or eaten Chicken Cacciatore, so I didn't have anything to compare it to. What resulted from chicken thighs, green peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, red wine and chicken broth was much more than I expected. The sauce was quite rich and so good that I found myself burning my mouth several times to get another taste.

                                                                                                                                          I ended up taking out the chicken and tossing the pasta in the sauce to cook for a bit and thickened up the sauce as well.

                                                                                                                                          The only thing is that the chicken tasted a little under-seasoned. But still, quite delicious.

                                                                                                                                          Sorry for the terrible photo...

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          1. Grilled (sauteed) Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce (p. 512)

                                                                                                                                            This is one of those that is so much better than the name would have you think. It was looking like rain, and sometimes the grill tends to make my husband into a bit of a maniac, so I decided to just cook the salmon on the stove while I roasted some asparagus. Turned out beautifully (about 10 minutes total, 3, 2, 2, 3 per side turning down the heat for the second go round of each) - tender without any rawness. The sauce is dead easy to make: garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of lime juice (zest them first and save zest as a garnish), salt and pepper zipped through a mini-prep and then add melted 4 tablespoons of butter. When salmon is ready top with the butter sauce, then the zest. Couldn't be simpler, and it really did get raves from all of us.

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            1. Hot Pepper and Garlic Shrimp. p93

                                                                                                                                              A really easy starter, this and pretty good. It's basically shrimp sautéed with lots of garlic, olive oil and hot pepper flakes. I used headless, rather large shrimp in shells and it was a nice start to a summery meal. The juices were great mopped up with homemade sourdough.

                                                                                                                                              I sort of halved the recipe, cut down on the garlic a bit but used the full amount of red pepper flakes, which was the right amount of spice for us.

                                                                                                                                              1. Chicken Curry with Cashews, p 404

                                                                                                                                                I served this with minty limeade (Forever Summer, COTM July 2007), raita, and warm garlic naan.

                                                                                                                                                I have cooked Indian dishes a fair amount, and I am always up for a creamy chicken curry, so I wanted to try this recipe. I did like the simplicity of the preparation and the accessibility of the ingredients, especially for a weeknight (the last chicken curry I tried, Nigella's Mughlai Chicken, called for garam masala, cardamom, coriander, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay, chili, plus the garlic and ginger). I just moved and have to restock all of my Indian spices, so this version was less daunting and less costly (spices here are simple: curry powder, cumin, cayenne). I usually prefer to make my own garam masala etc, so I couldn't quite get past the idea that I was cheating a little by using "curry powder." Cringe. But then I laughed and moved on with the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                So, as suggested in the note, I prepared the dish a couple of days ahead of time, waiting to add the cashews and yogurt right before serving. I sauteed onions, garlic, and ginger, then threw in the curry, salt, cumin, and cayenne, then added the chicken. I used all bone-in, skin-on breasts as they were on sale :-) although I usually use all thighs, actually.
                                                                                                                                                Then I added one 14-ounce can tomatoes, diced, with juice, and covered/simmered for about 40 minutes. My Le Creuset French oven (7.5 quart) worked nicely here. Cooled, popped in fridge, and two days later gently reheated and swirled in the ground cashews (used my mini-processor) and the yogurt. GREAT for company with all of the prep ahead of time!

                                                                                                                                                My guest raved and raved, but then he has not tried my other Indian fare. I did like it a lot, too, but I think I might try Nigella's Mughlai again and see if her version is really worth the extra time/fuss/spice for the results. I remember being thrilled, can't-stop-eating-this-thrilled, when I made the Mughlai, but then I did a fine job of eating my bowl of *this* recipe, plus more!

                                                                                                                                                I plan to turn some of the leftovers into some kind of sandwichy lunch with yogurt on naan.

                                                                                                                                                1. Hainanese Chicken Rice - p. 410

                                                                                                                                                  Again, never had the dish before, so I really don't have anything to compare it to, but it was pretty good. Although I'm just not a huge fan of chicken skin that isn't crispy. Poached chicken, fine, but with the skin on, eek.

                                                                                                                                                  I used thighs instead of a whole chicken here. Basically season the chicken with salt, put into boiling water with smashed ginger. Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove pot from heat and keep covered for another 15 - 20 minutes. Then plunge into ice bath. Drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil over chicken.

                                                                                                                                                  Take some reserved chicken fat and saute shallots (i used scallions and red onion), rice, and then garlic for a few minutes. Add rice (I used brown) and saute for a couple more minutes. Use a few cups of reserved chicken broth to cook the rice.

                                                                                                                                                  Chili sauce was shallots, thai peppers (i used 1 habanero + 1 jalapeno), ginger, garlic, salt and 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice, processed to a coarse paste. I think 1/3 cup of lime juice was far too much as my paste was super runny and it took 4 limes to get there. I should have just stopped at 3. Also, it was very sour so I ended up throwing some fish sauce and sugar in it. After those add-ins, the sauce was the star of the meal.

                                                                                                                                                  Serve with cucumber ribbons (I did shredded cucumber so I could use my new vegetable shredder), rice and a bowl of broth. The broth was sort of meh, so I added more salt and some sake and it was great.

                                                                                                                                                  I was able to get a quick taste while the rice was hot and the chicken had just been slathered w/ the soy sauce/sesame oil mixture and it was quite good. But I had to run out for plans and came back to cold rice and chicken. Not as good, but still worth eating and the chili sauce really perked everything up. The chicken was very tender but the skin really was too much for me. It didn't bother me when I ate it immediately after it had been out of the ice water bath and slathered with sauce, but not so much as leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                  All in all, a pretty good meal and nice because I didn't have to worry about what starch and veg to pair the main with.

                                                                                                                                                  And I was able to get a nice pic of the dish before I ran out the door.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  1. Grilled Peruvian Chicken (pollo a la brasa) p. 530

                                                                                                                                                    Recipe link:
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                    Instead of cut-up chicken, I used this as a marinade for a chicken I cooked on the rotisserie. Juicy with nice flavor. I really have to start making a list of my favorite marinades, and add this one to it. I marinated a 4 pound chicken overnight in soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, black pepper, and oil. Instead of a blender, I mixed it in a mortar.

                                                                                                                                                    I served it for dinner with a simple salad, and it was just as good the next day shredded in soft tacos for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                    I asked E which he liked better, this one or the lemon-coriander one I reported on above. He said "both". I think I liked this one better, but it could be because it was marinated overnight.

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                      Yowsa. That's one good looking bird.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                        Peruvian Grilled Chicken [page 530-531]

                                                                                                                                                        I am lucky enough to live three blocks away from a Peruvian restaurant that serves a really good pollo a la brasa. But, I have only purchased this chicken once. Not because it wasn't delicious, just due to economics. So, I was delighted to find this recipe in Gourmet.

                                                                                                                                                        I did make a few changes. First off, I wanted to keep the chicken whole and use the charcoal grill rotisserie. Secondly, I increased the spices by 50% but left the amount of soy sauce and oil the same. I mixed the marinade in a large food-safe bucket. I washed and dried the chicken before dumping it into the bucket. With my hands, I massage the marinade all over the chicken and put it into the fridge. Over the next 24 hours, I turned the bucket upside down and back side up repeatedly; perhaps every 4 hours or so.

                                                                                                                                                        This was really good! The marindate had actually seeped into the meat and the cumin taste was really good.

                                                                                                                                                        Served this chicken with grilled corn [first local corn of the season!] brushed with a cumin and lime butter sauce from FISH: Without a Doubt. We ate the corn with some queso fresco trying to imitate a roasted corn I smelled at this restaurant. .. and some steamed local green beans.

                                                                                                                                                        I would call this meal a success and will serve it again when I am craving some roasted cumin on meat.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                          Oh a taco! What a brilliant idea Rubee. Just the meat inside a corn tortilla? or did you top the meat with something else as well?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                            Hi smtucker!

                                                                                                                                                            I used the shredded meat topped with fresh pico de gallo with lots of cilantro, and some Tapatio hot sauce. I just cooked another rotisserie chicken last night using a marinade from another cookbook with bourbon/honey/soy/garlic. Good, but I like this marinade better. I just joined EatYourBook.com, so I put this in my 'favorite' recipe file. Next time I'll try your tip of doubling the spices!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                              p.s. I did 50% more, so 1 tsp became 1 1/2 tsp.

                                                                                                                                                              p.p.s. Oh, I have all the makings of a delicious pico de gallo in my house already. Now that sounds really tasty! I will substitute some tomatillo sauce I made and froze into little containers.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                            Made the Peruvian Chicken last night, although all the grocery store had in the way of organic chicken was skinless boneless (I went with the thighs), so I didn't really get the full effect with that lovely shiny skin that shows up in Rubee's picture. Very tasty. Liked all around. My favorite grilled chicken is still the grilled Indonesian Chicken from C. Solomon (hope I'm spelling that right). But again, maybe not having the skin on it makes the comparison unfair.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Chipotle Grilled Chicken Thighs (p. 528)http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                                                                                            Mix lime juice, olive oil, chipotle Tabasco and salt together. One uses part of the mixture to marinate the skinless, boneless chicken thighs and the other portion is used to make a sauce with the addition of honey. The chicken marinates for 15 minutes, grilled and then brushed with sauce the last minute of cooking. The flavors in our marinade were not evenly distrubted (my fault). I did like the bright flavors from the lime and the smoky heat of the tabasco. Had I not unevenly marinated, I think this would have turned out much better. I will try this again with more marinade to ensure even distribution of flavors, more tabasco (I like heat) and marinate overnight instead of 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                            1. Brown Sugar Barbecued Chicken (p. 528)
                                                                                                                                                              A sauce is made by sautéing onions to soft and then whisking in chicken stock, ketchup, dark brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. This is reduced for 25-30 minutes. Then the chicken is seasoned and grilled and the sauce added during the last few minutes of cooking. My fiancé enjoyed this much more than I, although he does have quite a sweet tooth. For me, the flavors were much to sweet with out any contrast (acidity, heat, tang, something) to balance out the flavors.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Grilled Indian-Spiced Chicken (p. 526)

                                                                                                                                                                I will admit that if Gourmet had not been the COTM, I would not have made this particular version of an Indian grilled chicken dish. But, as I told my eating companion, 'we are taking one for the team.'

                                                                                                                                                                For this dish I pulled out 5 boneless drumsticks [I used the bones for stock earlier this Spring] which equaled a quarter of the recipe by weight. I adjusted all the seasonings by the same percentage. To start, you create a paste with onions, ginger, thai chile, garlic, oil and salt in a food processor. I used my immersion blender with small bowl attachment, but with so few ingredients, paste creation was not possible. Added the yogurt to the bowl, and it was far more successful. To this you add some coriander, tumeric and cayenne pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                I rubbed the chicken with the marinade and it went into the fridge for 4 1/2 hrs. [The recipe says a minimum of 8, but these pieces were much smaller than the recipe's assumptions.] My eating companion thought that firing up the grill to cook 5 pieces of chicken on indirect heat was ridiculous, so I used my cast iron grill pan. The recipe calls for basting with ghee, lots of ghee. I rubbed the pan with some, and the top of the chicken with even less and felt that was more than enough.

                                                                                                                                                                The net results were perfectly pleasant. The recipe needed far more 'hot'. More of the chile and cayenne quantities, and a more complex mix of spices. In fact, I would call this recipe "Ethnic-Lite." in the future, if I am planning far enough in advance to marinate chicken for 8 hours, I will pull out Sahni or Jaffrey for more complex and interesting flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                Served with Sahni's Everyday Dal, basmati rice and garlic naan.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                  I've found so far that, just as with the Bittman book, if you're a fan of heat, you really have to up the ante when you add whatever is giving the dish it's spiciness. I am very much enjoying the book, but def. use a heavier hand with things like peppers and cayenne. And thanks for taking one for the team!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Grilled Chile-Lime Arctic Char (Salmon) - p. 514.

                                                                                                                                                                  Husband made this. Recipe calls for 2 lbs fish, he used about 1.6 lbs, but upped the spices. We really liked it a lot - the ground chipotle works beautifully with the flavor of having grilled, and the fish was incredibly moist. Picture once my computer gets out of th hospital.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. South Indian Shrimp Curry (p. 367)

                                                                                                                                                                    I can't seem to be able to resist a curry recipe. This was fast, and it was good. I added more spice than called for and could have stood more, but we all liked it a lot. First you pulse cut onion, ginger and a serrano pepper together (I used 2 peppers). Heat oil and add this mix to it along with a little sugar and some salt, after this cooks a bit add curry powder (I also added some extra cumin and cayenne) and cook until fragrant. Next add coconut milk and lime juice and let simmer until thickened. Then add the shrimp and (suggested in the headnote) a handful of frozen peas. Served with rice, yogurt and some cilantro chutney (also finished with fresh cilantro). Not outstanding, but very nice and certainly very easy. Picture once my computer is up and running.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Fried Perch (catfish) with Garlic Chile Sauce (p. 353)

                                                                                                                                                                      We loved this. Not as spicy as I was expecting (which I should know by now with this book) but delicious. Sort of almost like a sweet and sour thing, without being at all cloying. Aside from using catfish (one of the suggested subs - also suggested is shrimp which I think would be great) I followed the recipe to a t. Make a sauce of chicken stock, fish sauce, light brown sugar, sambal oelek and distilled white vinegar and just a little rice flour. Slice your fish into 1 inch pieces, then dust with the rice flour and salt, let sit and drain (mine didn't drain at all). Heat about an inch of oil in a wok or pan, and fry the fish in batches; keep warm, get rid of the oil and just add a couple of tablespoons to the pan. Cooked 2 cups sliced scallions, some garlic and 3 dried red chiles until soft, then add that mix you made at the start and boil until slightly thickened. Pour over the fish pieces. My picture doesn't do this any justice at all (that is asian cucumber salad on the side). Much easier to make than I anticipated (not sure why they give a 45 minute active time for this) and yummy. Everyone had seconds.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        Oops - photo.

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                      2. Chicken Parmesan Heroes (sorry, don't have the book handy, so no page number)

                                                                                                                                                                        I cheated and used bottled sauce (newmans mushroom marinara), and STILL found this to be way to labor intensive for what it is. I got a really nice ciabatta for us, I like the sauce, and the chicken itself was tasty enough. But it just seemed like way more work than something like this should take. Pound the chicken breasts (and good luck finding the "small" breasts which are called for) to about 1/3 inch; dust with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs and parmesan mixed together. Fry (supposedly for 6 minutes total, but because the smallest breasts I could find were still pretty huge, I tried 8), then drain on a paper towel. Cut bread in half lengthwise, put sauce on each half, top bottom half with chicken and bake at 400 for a few minutes with mozz. on top. Once cheese starts melting add baking sheet with top halves of bread (also with sauce on them). Did all this, daughter and husband constantly walking into kitchen asking questions, etc. making me very nervous about timing issues. Take the stuff from the oven only to find that my breasts were not cooked through. Oops. Into the microwave when the breasts for about 3 minutes. This seemed to do the trick. They were very pleasant, but really, not worth the effort. I can't even imagine if I'd made the sauce myself. Oh well, chalk that one up as a learning experience!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers pg 415

                                                                                                                                                                          I picked out this recipe a few days ago without really reading it too closely. So when I actually went to make it last night, I became a bit skeptical. Why? It just seemed too simple, with too few ingredients. And my past experiences with turkey burgers? Well, some majors FAILS!

                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, I forged ahead. The recipe calls for sauteeing 1/4 cup chopped shallots in olive oil, with some salt and pepper. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb turkey ("not labelled 'all breast meat' "). Oops, my package says 94% lean, and it's just one lb. Hmm, does that mean its all breast? I used the entire 1/4 cup shallots, and it was a packed 1/4 cup, 'cause I had already chopped it up.

                                                                                                                                                                          The sauteed mixture is then combined with the meat. Yup, that's all there is to the burger.

                                                                                                                                                                          Next, one forms patties in 2 layers. In between is sandwiched a slice of pepper jack cheese. Now I could have sworn that I reserved said cheese from making burritos a few nights ago. But where did it go? Didn't think Mr. Clam liked pepper jack enough to put it on a cracker....We used sharp cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                          The burgers are supposed to be fried on a ridged griddle. Don't have one. Didn't matter. They are also supposed to be served with some kind of sun-dried tomato, tomato mixture. Don't particularly like sun-dried tommy-toes. Didn't matter. These were delicious served simply on onion sandwich buns with lettuce, mayo and fresh tomatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                          ps. Chowpup was very impressed with the magic of the cheese in the middle. Me too.

                                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                            I think the all-breast meat packages are labeled something like 99% lean, and so the one you had was not.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                              I agree. And it makes a big difference in flavor (the fattier, not surprisingly, the tastier).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                I'ld never noticed these percentage designations on the packages before. Perhaps because the writing was so very teeny tiny. Does anyone know what the ranges are? My curiousity is piqued!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the size of the type depends on the brand. Purdue, for instance, has the lean/fat ratio in fairly large type right on the front of the package. I also think that the ratios depend on the market and the brand. Sticking with Purdue, they have an 85/15 blend, a 91/7 blend, and then what they call Ground Turkey Breast that the label says is 99% fat free.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I buy my ground turkey at the farmers market and although they don't specify the amount of dark meat in the mix, I know it must be fairly high simply because of the color and the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                              This made a satisfying dinner tonight. We served it with the the sun dried tomato mayo. I think it'd be just as good with the cheese on top of the burger. We stuffed ours with habanero jack. The spiciness of the cheese adds a nice kick and the shallots add nice flavor to the turkey. Cooked on a non-stick skillet without oil. Not bad at all.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                Can someone explain what Pepper Jack tastes like so I can come up with a substitute?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll try to help greedygirl. It wasn't always readily available here in Canada so a friend of mine used to "make" his own version for his favourite Nachos, a replica of a dish he'd get when visiting Buffalo. He was told it was essentially Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapeno and Habanero peppers mixed in. Since he needed a melted version for his nachos he'd just melt Monterey Jack cheese and stir in some finely diced peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe others can weigh in to say if that sounds about right, its not a cheese I normally buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                    Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers pg 415

                                                                                                                                                                                    GG. pepper jack cheese is simply cheddar into which chopped hot chile is incorporated.

                                                                                                                                                                                    We had the turkey burgers last night too. Had everything except the pepper jack cheese so I used sliced Swiss cheese sprinkled with crushed red pepper flakes. The minced turkey was all dark meat from the farm: juicy and delicious. Bottom pattie - cheese and RPF - top pattie grilled on the indoor grill pan. Worked very well. Loved the sun-dried tomato mayo. Served with the lettuce and sliced tomato additions.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    You could try havarti or a mild cheddar and mix with minced jalapeno or serrano (or Gio's idea of red pepper flakes). Monetery Jack cheese is very mild, but melts easily. Hope that helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                      Monterey Jack cheese (do you have that? - a very mild white cheese) with chopped hot peppers in it. Melts nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, that's basically a mild cheddar. I had a choice between Swiss, fontina and gouda for my substitution and thought the Swiss had more flavor to compete with the shallots, turkey and mayo. Hot sauce would have worked in the mayo as well, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                          I liked the havarti idea. Melts kind of the same way, and has that mildness. And then put lots of lovely RPFs on it!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                          Nope, no Monterey Jack here. Will have to try the cheddar thing, although I never buy mild cheddar. Maybe edam would work?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                            GG, I used "sharp cheddar" (albeit, "left of the pond" sharp cheddar) and thought it was a great sub.

                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW, did you all actually cut the cheese as directed in the book? I thought it was kind of weird to stuff a half-inch piece in the middle. I used two 1/4 slices laid side by side. I did have a little oozing though....

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                              We don't have "sharp" cheddar either! Is that the same as strong or mature cheddar?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, pretty much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think of Monterey Jack as very mild; wouldn't Swiss be closer than cheddar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I think the milder, the better. And I think it needs to be something softer so that it will have the same sort of melt.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                I think edam or gouda would work as substitutes too.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Steamed (bass) with Ginger and Scallions p. 346.

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                          This one was a real winner for us. Subbed flounder filets for the bass since that's what looked good at the fish market. Loved how simple the prep was for this one and the payoff was really great for a few ingredients and minimal work. The recipe in the book is actually a little different and slightly more involved than the one on epicurious. There is the extra step of frying the ginger in oil at the end and then pouring that on top of the steamed fish. I thought slightly fried ginger/oil made a nice finishing touch, but could see myself throwing it all in to steam together in the interest of laziness. However, even as it's written in the book, the recipe is pretty darn easy. The hardest thing for me was setting up the steaming apparatus since I don't have a wok or a chinese steaming rack. A large pot with some ramekins to elevate a pie plate over the boiling water worked out well, although getting the finished fish out was a bit of a trick. Between the boiling water, steaming hot pie plate and hot sides of the pot, it took my husband and I working together to get the pie plate out without dumping all the fish out all over the place (or ending up with serious burns). Will have to think about if there's a better way for next time. Because there will be a next time!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Everyone loved this dish including my two toddlers! Victory!

                                                                                                                                                                                          I served it with steamed Japanese rice and a doctored up version of the Soba noodles on p. 239 (reviewed in appropriate thread).

                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds excellent! I'm inspired!

                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds delicious -- and healthy to boot. Love the idea of the slightly fried ginger over the steamed fish. I will definitely be trying this! Our go-to fish is halibut -- I assume that would work as well, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Re: the whole steaming apparatus conundrum, there was a whole discussion about a similar chicken recipe when we did The Complete Asian Cookbook as COTM -- might be useful to look at. There was a lot of discussion about what to use and various solutions (mine was a pyrex bowl with a lip that fit right into my big pasta pot). Link below:
                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7246...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, definitely very healthy-- and I'm sure halibut would be wonderful as well. I personally wouldn't use a really thick fish because the sauce is fairly delicate and I'm not sure it would penetrate into a thicker fish in the short cooking time. But, I was just thinking that if I wanted something a little punchier, I might try adding some preserved black beans and see how that worked. I feel like I've had something somewhat similar at Chinese banquets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And thank you for the tip about the prior steaming thread from The Complete Asian Cookbook. The steaming technique is a little different for this one since the plate is not supposed to be partially submerged in the water, but the problems are definitely the same. And I think I just found a new recipe to try! That steamed chicken (Ga Hap Ca) sounds like a real winner too!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Steamed Chicken with Black Mushrooms and Bok Choy p. 408 http://tinyurl.com/dbqow8

                                                                                                                                                                                              This steamed dish reminds me of the Ga Hap Ca method of steaming chicken from The Complete Asian. I only made the chicken, since I did not have bok choy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (cut into thirds) are marinated for 30 minutes in soy sauce, rice wine, corn starch, sesame oil, salt, rehydrated shiitake, scallions and ginger. Steam for 25 minutes then serve with sauce, sliced scallions and rice. This was a quick and healthy dish. The sauce was delicious with the rice. The next time I make this, I will try boneless, skinless thighs and I would also slice the shiitake to make it easier to eat. A solid, but not mind-blowing meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Black Sea Bass (grouper) with Ginger (p. 348)

                                                                                                                                                                                                This was very pleasant, but not spectacular. You bake the fish with chopped ginger and shallot in some fish stock (almost more like poaching). Then take out of the oven and remove fish and reduce the sauce by about half, add cream, then some butter and a bit of lemon juice, pour over fish. My husband is not a fan of cream sauce on fish (or so he says - every time I serve one he likes it) and wasn't excited, but had to admit that he liked it. My problems with this dish 1) probably because I changed fish, it took much longer to cook than expected - almost 20 minutes instead of 5-10; I somehow ended up with almost no sauce, even though I reduced for a shorter period than suggested (and yes, I did have my eye on it - it sort of happened all the sudden). I think Lulu was the biggest fan. She gobbled it right up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Probably with the correct fish and not having the sauce disappear this is much more elegant than mine was, but I won't bother making it again. Very quick and easy though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for reporting back. Sorry to hear it was a bit disappointing. I was looking at this one but thought the ginger, cream and lemon combination was a bit odd. My husband is also not a fan of cream sauce on fish and so it sounds like I will just skip this one.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Having more fish for dinner tonight (at the request of our 3 year old) and I think I will repeat the steamed bass with ginger and scallions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is a nice lighter dish with more KeBang! power than the one I made. I'm still in love with the book - my batting average has been very high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have really liked the book as well. It's funny because I wasn't going to buy it but just got it on impulse when it went on super-sale on Amazon.com. But I am so happy with it and so glad I bought it! Totally worth it! The only problem is lugging it around and the fact that it has so many little scraps of paper sticking out of it now for recipes I want to try that everytime I open it up, some little scrap is falling out. I need to invest in post-it strips, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had just gotten All About Braising and thought December would be devoted to exploring that book, but Gourmet is giving braising a run for its money! COTM really does help make it fun, too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think my husband would marry the Gourmet book if he could. He keeps saying "This one is from that book too?! Incredible." He loves it. He's giving it to his sister for christmas (shhh, don't tell).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow LM, that's a great endorsement ! Nothing better than "happy pappy!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is a huge endorsement. He likes a lot of what gets made for COTM, but this book is more fun because it doesn't repeat flavors (like the constant fish sauce when I became obsessed during Vietnamese month!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Brown Sugar Barbecued Chicken p. 528

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nah, there are better ones out there. It wasn't too sweet for me, as Big Sal found it (a post in this thread June 2010), but just not exciting. The ingredients are few though, and you probably have them in your home right now: chicken broth, onions, catsup, mustard, brown sugar,
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Worcestershire sauce. I'd do this again if I were limited to these, the result is "sticky...and carmelized" like the book says, but if you already have a favorite BBQ sauce, stick with that for now, I'd say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Chicken and Corn Stew – p. 402

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Finally, I’ve gotten around to making one of the many, many recipes I’ve flagged for the COTM!! It is frightfully cold here so a stew seemed in order along w some crusty bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Boneless, skinless chicken is seasoned and sautéed ‘til lightly browned then removed from the pan to make room for onions, garlic (more than required in this case. . . we can’t help ourselves!) and fresh thyme. Once that’s softened and fragrant, flour is stirred in to coat the lot. The recipe then calls for the addition of stock and water but since there were so many lovely brown bits in my pot I thought I’d bring in the big guns and use wine instead of water. Once that’s boiling nicely, corn and in my case, “blue” potatoes join the party. I should say that blue potatoes were all I had on hand so all I could do was hope that they didn’t turn the whole stew purple!! Chicken is then added back in and everything just simmers away nicely. The recipe said for 10 mins but I let mine simmer for over an hour. Just before serving ¼ cup of heavy cream is stirred in. I tasted the stew prior to the addition and it was already quite rich and flavorful so although I did add the cream this time, I wouldn’t bother again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We really enjoyed this dish. The corn added a lovely sweetness to the broth and while I was worried about those little blue potatoes they were marbled inside and their sweet, nutty flavor came through as well and really added to the dish. Loved the thyme in this as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is one of those recipes that when I looked at it again today it seemed so plain on paper that I wondered why I picked it . In the end, I was so glad I did. Super-quick to assemble and flavours far exceeded effort! Definitely something I’d make again (and will have to as mr bc polished off a second bowl and we don’t have any leftovers!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Guessing this was the recipe? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Where does one get whole corn cobs this time of year? Or did you just use frozen corn kernels?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's the recipe CM, with the exception of the corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interestingly, no mention of corn cobs in the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It just calls for "1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels" and yes, I used frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Like you, I pretty much overlooked this one due to the simplicity. But it's going on my list now. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You won't regret it LM, nothing better than a flavourful, hearty dish that can be made in no time!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've gotten in the habit of chopping my fresh chicken when I purchase it so it can be frozen prepped for quicker weeknight meals. It doesn't seem like much but not having to scrub down chicken coated cutting boards, knives, sink etc really does make weeknight meal prep much simpler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is a hugely helpful tip. I'll try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I usually do as much prep work as I can while Lulu is in school (3 hours in the morning - preschool) - the chopping, getting the ingredients out next to the stove, etc. and I find it so much easier when dinner time comes around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm in need of really simple (and cold weather!) recipes right now, so this is a great recommendation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the great report. This is one I had passed over as well. But it sounds and looks delicious, and given the cold snap we're having in north carolina a stew sounds great. Plus I am all about flavors exceeding effort!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I find myself snowed in with all (!!!) the ingredients for this dish (the chicken stew with corn and potatoes). Kismet! I've got it on the stove now, gently bubbling away. It smells wonderful. I subbed wine (actually white vermouth) for the water too. Husband braved the snow to get us some crusty bread. Thanks breadcrumbs - we're all looking forward to a hearty cold weather dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The stew was wonderful (chicken with corn and potatoes). Great on a cold, snowy night. My husband said he loved how it mimicked the boxing day leftovers flavors he grew up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So glad you enjoyed it LM, it really is a perfect cold-weather dish and wonderful to know its husband-approved! I'm craving it all over again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken and Corn Stew – p. 402

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made this a few weeks ago and we loved it. It was perfect comfort food on a cold night. I added a bit more thyme and at the end, I added kale to give the dish some color. It was an excellent addition and made it a one pot meal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks for posting this because I probably wouldn't have seen it on my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So glad you enjoyed it beetlebug and thank-you for suggesting kale, I'll definitely try this and can imagine how good it would be. What a great idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I forgot to add, next time, instead of adding the chunks of potato, I think this would taste fantastic over mashed potatoes. This is what I'm going to do next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mmmm, you're right bettlebug, that would indeed be scrumptious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was thinking the kale and bean soup would be fantastic over polenta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      greetings from Australia everyone! I've torn a hamstring and Lulu has a stomach bug, but as she said "I'm NOT giving up!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ouch! Hope you still manage to have a good time. There is some great eating over there. Lots of farm-fresh, locally-sourced cuisine, not to mention great ethnic restaurants. We went to a fabulous Sichuan restaurant in Adelaide, best I've ever had. Also, if you like lobster, try the Moreton Bay bugs -- yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks karen. both of us seem to be recovering. We've been told about a fabulous bakery in our next stop - Beechwood - and plan to try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Kerala Boatman's Crab Curry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made a half recipe for last night's dinner, but kept the spice levels the same. I also misread the recipe and used 3 dried Thai chilli peppers so it ended up a bit more spicy than intended! I also cut down a little bit on the coconut milk - used a small can (165ml) and topped it up to 200ml with water. I splurged and used 3/4 lb of prepared white crabmeat from the fishmonger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We liked this very much, and it was quick to prepare and pretty healthy too for a curry recipe. I definitely recommend upping the spice levels a bit if you make the full recipe, but 3 chillis would probably be enough! I served it with some steamed basmati and a little spiced aubergine chutney (from a jar).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds really nice, GG. I love crab meat and after the "Indian" found that I love curries. Completely missed this recipe though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds relly nice, GG. After the COTM "Indian" month I found that I love curries, and have a long standing appreciation for crab meat... I completely missed this recipe, though. Thanks for the heads-up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kerala Boatman's Crab Curry p. 381.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had a lb. of Phillips lump crab meat that hasn't been beckoning to me, so thanks to EYB, I was able to find something that I thought I might use it for that would make it a little tasty. Breadcrumbs and mayo were out, so it was difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used all the same ingredients and techniques, with the exception that the crab was not fresh, and I made my own unsweetened coconut milk from Bob's Red Mill's shredded coconut - per his instructions. Also an exception was that I used for "vegetable" oil, coconut oil instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used 3 dried chili peppers, however, it did call for using all of the seeds, and I did not use all of the seeds, but about 1/2 of them. I could have used it a little spicier, but was afraid that I might ruin it with too much 'heat.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I served it with organic brown basmati and steamed organic red cabbage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All-in-all, a satisfactory meal, but one not repeatable for me as I would use a nicer, fresher crab meat for another dish; even though Indian cusine is one of my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tuna with Green Olive-Lemon Relish (p. 356)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This recipe comes care of Judy Rodgers at Zuni Cafe. You make a relish from chopped, lightly toasted almonds, green olives (Lucques are recommended) that are rinsed and patted dry, then coarsely chopped, capers, again rinsed, dried and chopped, lemon zest, lemon oil and olive oil. I wish that I had listened to her about the rinsing business, but I didn't and it was a bit overly salted to my tastes, although my husband thought it was delicious. Aside from saltiness I also thought it was very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For the tuna, you make a rub of fennel seeds, coriander seeds and salt ground together. Rub this onto the steaks and cook. She says 8 minutes for 1 inch steaks, but mine were def. 1 inch and I thought they were somewhat overcooked at something like 6 minutes (but I *really* dislike the mouth feel of cooked through tuna). So basically this was a mixed review from me. My husband, however, thought it was killer good, and said "I want to come to this restaurant again!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I should point out that the reasons I didn't totally love this were all my fault - not rinsing the olives and overcooking the fish (at least to my taste).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LLM,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for reporting on this dish.Even though it was not a complete success, the relish sounds great (I am crazy about Luques). I'll have to try this soon. There are so many gems in this book. I am looking forward to trying more soups from Gourmet Today when the weather cools in a month or two.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          P.S. I love your husband's coments about wanting to come to this restaurant again. It sounds promising enough that my Mr. might enjoy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Sea Scallops with Corn Coulis and Tomatoes (page 365)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great recipe to highlight the last of the season’s corn and tomatoes. The coulis: small amounts of shallots and garlic are cooked in oil until softened, the kernels from two large ears of corn are added along with some chopped basil and s&p and cooked just until the corn begins to brown. Add milk (the recipe calls for whole and I used skim because that’s what's in the house; next time will probably buy whole even if just for this recipe), puree, force through sieve, and either set aside or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. I made the coulis early in the day and reheated it when the rest of the dinner elements were ready.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The salad: seeded tomatoes diced and tossed with parsley and s&p.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The scallops: seasoned with s&p and panfried in olive oil for about two minutes on each side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marvelous dinner. Couldn’t be a better combination. You can almost picture yourself in early September on the deck of a beach house just before it’s time to head back home to reality. Just one caveat. You need to be careful not to overseason either the coulis or the scallops (as I did the latter) or it will overwhelm the delicate flavors. With that minor adjustment (which was a user error), very high on the do-again list for this time of year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joan that looks and sounds sensational! Beautiful plating!! Thank-you for pointing out this dish, I love corn and seafood together and your description of this dish is just so enticing. . . I was right there with you at the beach house!! Stunning!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It really was terrific. The plating, by the way, is as suggested in the recipe. She says this could also be served as an appetizer with three scallops instead of five. Would certainly make an elegant first course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Looks delicious, I'll have to add this to the list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Sautéed Cod with Lentils (page 349)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was not something I’d have searched out, but it was a decent enough meal found through EYB using ingredients on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Onions sautéed to golden are mixed with cooked green lentils. Fish is seasoned and sautéed in butter and oil and sprinkled with parsley and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Fish was terrific, and why not? Lentils left a bit to be desired. Not a lot of flavor; too soupy. Mostly my own fault. Didn’t season properly and added a tad too much liquid when recipe specifically called for just moistening. Still. They could have benefited from more oomph. Wouldn’t rush to do it again, but wouldn’t hesitate either if it was pouring rain and the ingredients were in house (as was true last night).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a really nice salmon (I *think* - might be some other fish) with lentils recipe in Zuni, and a cod, (again, maybe with lentils??) in Roast Chicken. I've loved both those next time you find yourself with those ingredients on a rainy night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I took a look at the Slater recipe but didn't have the ingredients for the salsa verde which sounded essential. I have more cod in the freezer, though; will buy the makings of the salsa and give this a try. And thanks for the heads up on the Zuni. Yes, it is with salmon. Typically more ambitious than I'm up for these days, but definitely making note of it. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You're absolutely right about he salsa verde - it was essential. And for a Zuni recipe, the salmon with lentils wasn't too incredibly labor intensive (of course it is all relative). I really liked both recipes a lot.