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May 3, 2010 12:18 PM

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

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

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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?


      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.

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

      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, 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

                Recipe link:

              2. Oven-fried Panko Chicken Half recipe (page 297)
                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:

                      1. re: 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.


                        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.


                      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.