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May/June 2010 Cookbook of the Month: GOURMET TODAY

Caitlin McGrath May 3, 2010 12:35 PM

Welcome to the May and June 2010 COTM! Our cookbook for these two months is GOURMET TODAY: MORE THAN 1000 ALL-NEW RECIPES FOR THE CONTEMPORARY KITCHEN.

New to Cookbook of the Month? This page explains how it all works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

We will use this thread for geneal discussion about the book, menu planning, and online links to the book's recipes.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Please post full reviews in the appropriate threads linked below.

Drinks; Hors D'oeurves and First Courses; Soups
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705557

Salads; Vegetables
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705559

Pasta, Noodles, and Dumplings; Grains and Beans; Vegetarian Main Courses
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705561

Fish and Shellfish; Poultry
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705562

Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705567

Breakfast and Breads; Sweets
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705568

NOTE: I have elected not to create a thread for the chapter Grilled Dishes. Instead, please post reorts on those recipes in the most appropriate thread, e.g., Vegetables, Fish and Shellfish, etc.

As M. Jacques Pepin says, Happy Cooking!

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  1. Caitlin McGrath RE: Caitlin McGrath May 3, 2010 12:40 PM

    The Dairy Queen supplied this link to the cookbook site, which has a dozen recipes and three videos: http://gourmettodaycookbook.com/recip...

    In addition, many of the recipes are likely available on Epicurious, so I propose that if you make a recipe, you might look for it by name on www.epicurious.com and supply a link if one exists.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
      The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 3, 2010 12:43 PM

      Thanks, Caitlin! I found some more links, too including some to some "cookthrough" blogs that don't have recipes (I don't think) but still might be interesting.

      Cookthrough blogs:
      http://gourmettodaycookbook.com/links

      Spiced Chicken
      Plum Berry Crisp
      Roasted Kohlrabi and Butternut Squash
      Devil's Food Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
      http://www.wral.com/entertainment/foo...

      Balsamic-glazed pork chops
      Pork chops with pomegranate and fennel salsa
      http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/...

      Chicken empanada and other viewable recipes
      http://www.projectfoodie.com/recipes/...

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com...

      ~TDQ

    2. Rubee RE: Caitlin McGrath May 3, 2010 01:32 PM

      Epicurious links to recipes in the "Hors D'oeuvres" section, p. 37-84:

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

      Beet Chips with Curried Sour Cream
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Catalan Tomato Bread
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Dried Apricots with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Chive and Pine Nut Dip with Sourdough Toasts
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Smoked-Trout Spread
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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

      Cheddar Crisps with Roasted Grape Relish
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Stilton Cheese Puffs
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Miniature Camembert Walnut Pastries
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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

      Hazelnut and Olive Rugelach
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Caramelized-Onion Tartlets
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Wasabi Shrimp Crackers
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Bacon and Cheddar Toasts
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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

      Korean Pancakes/Bindaedok
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Mini Shrimp Cornets
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Shrimp Sates with Spiced Pistachio Chutney
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Salt and Pepper Shrimp
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls/Cha Gio
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Shrimp and Pork Pot Stickers
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Mussels on the Half Shell with Ravigote Sauce
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Mussels with Serrano Ham
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Oysters with Champagne-Vinegar Mignonette
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Rice-Studded Meatballs/Shen Shu
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      Pork-Belly Buns from Momofuku
      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      9 Replies
      1. re: Rubee
        The Dairy Queen RE: Rubee May 3, 2010 11:55 PM

        So, I know this is going to be a weird assortment of recipes. Partly driven by some dietary constraints I have and partly driven by what produce I think I can find now'ish here in the upper Midwest, and then a few that I had to throw in because they sounded good.

        Selected epicurious links from the grains & beans chapter:

        Wild Rice with Roasted Peppers and Toasted Almonds
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Wild Rice and Bulgur with Braised Vegetables
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Black Rice with Scallions and Sweet Potatoes
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Quinoa with Mango and Curried Yogurt
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Spinach and Chick Peas with Bacon
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Selected recipes from the Quick Weeknight dinners menus (pg884):

        Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Tahini Sauce
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        (hmmm..didn't find many I felt like looking up).

        Select recipes from vegetarian menus (page 891):

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

        rhubarb creme brulee
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Spinach Stracciatella Soup
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Green Beans with Crisp Shallots, Chile, and Mint
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        broiled tofu with cilantro pesto
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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

        Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
        (gah! it has raisins in it).

        sauteed broccoli rabe and peas
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Roasted-Vegetable Panzanella
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        green leaf lettuce pomegranate and almond salad
        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

        Random recipes from above sections I couldn't find on epicurious (for those curious about how many of these recipes are actually in epicurious I'd say about 1/3 are not based on my random sample):
        Mushroom barley pilaf; black beans and rice with sweet potatoes; bulgar pilaf; tempeh burgers; easy carrot soup with toasted pecans; asparagus quiche; spicy soba noodles with lacquered eggplant; grilled eggplant with spicy peanut sauce; poblano tortilla gratin; three bean salad with cilantro chile dressing;

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          Caitlin McGrath RE: The Dairy Queen May 4, 2010 10:35 AM

          I'm sure raisins could be skipped, or replaced with dried cranberries! Anyway, karykat has recommended that wheat berry Waldorf salad in wheat berry threads in the past.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 4, 2010 10:37 AM

            Good idea! I don't know why I despise raisins and currants so much, but I have no issues with cranberries or other dried fruits.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen May 4, 2010 10:40 PM

              TDQ: I don't know why you despise them so much either, they've always spoken very highly of you.

              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                Caitlin McGrath RE: The Dairy Queen May 24, 2010 09:50 AM

                TDQ, last night I was looking through the book, and noticed that in GT, the Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad recipe calls for dried cherries, not raisins.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 24, 2010 10:26 AM

                  Thank you, Caitlin. Interesting! That's a word to the wise--there are many look alike recipes on Epicurious that appear to have been tweaked for inclusion in the book. (For the better in this case, since they've removed the vile raisins.)

                  oakjoan--you crack me up.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    Caitlin McGrath RE: The Dairy Queen May 24, 2010 10:39 AM

                    Yes, sometimes there seems to be a slight change in the wording, or in the presentation, and others have minor changes to ingredients; and plenty have no changes at all, from the small sample I've looked at. In the introduction, Reichl says the recipes were all retested and edited for the book.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                      The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 24, 2010 10:55 AM

                      I've also noticed that, for any of the recipes that I have found on Epicurious, they were all highly rated. I wonder if they culled the most loved recipes from Epicurious as their starting point.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                        LulusMom RE: Caitlin McGrath May 24, 2010 10:58 AM

                        Interesting! Wonder why they didn't add more lime juice (and possibly some garlic) to the cilantro pesto with those broiled tofu slices. I did notice that one recipe I make often (from epicurious) has been slightly changed in the book. Wish I could remember which one it is, and what the change is. If I do, I'll get back to you. From what I can remember, it wasn't a change I thought was necessary.

          2. w
            walker RE: Caitlin McGrath May 4, 2010 07:24 PM

            I wonder if someone is going to make the coconut cake -- with real coconut. I'm planning to make it for a special occasion and wondered how long it can sit out unrefrigerated.

            1. Rubee RE: Caitlin McGrath May 4, 2010 11:01 PM

              From "First Courses" p. 85-105

              Asparagus Flan with Cheese Sauce/Sformato D'Asparagi con Fonduta
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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

              Salt Cod in Tomato Garlic Confit
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Arctic Char Gravlaks with Cucumber Jelly
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Hot Pepper and Garlic Shrimp/Gambas al Ajillo
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Goan Curried Clams
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Scrambled Eggs en Coque with Caviar
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Salmon and Scallop Terrine with Frisée Salad
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Chicken Empanada with Chorizo, Raisins, and Olives
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              16 Replies
              1. re: Rubee
                bayoucook RE: Rubee May 5, 2010 08:40 AM

                Yay, I'm looking forward to this one, have the book. Hope to participate this time.

                1. re: bayoucook
                  oakjoan RE: bayoucook May 6, 2010 06:12 PM

                  I just got the book from the library and now I'm leaving for a 3 week trip. Smart move. Actually I hope to look it over in the next couple of days and make some notes about which recipes look tempting. Not being a fan of either Gourmet Mag or Ruth Reichl, it's going to be a chore. I'm trying to put aside my prejudices.

                  I do plan to check on you guys while I'm gone, so start cooking and writing!

                  1. re: oakjoan
                    Caitlin McGrath RE: oakjoan May 6, 2010 08:13 PM

                    Lucky for you, it's a two-month gig, OJ! If you can't renew, try looking for the recipes that interest you on www.epicurious.com and save them to a recipe box there (or bookmark), as many are there, it seems.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                      The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 7, 2010 02:33 AM

                      Or paste the links into this thread, then you will always have access to them.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen May 7, 2010 12:17 PM

                        Good idea, you two. Thanks.

                        1. re: oakjoan
                          oakjoan RE: oakjoan May 7, 2010 05:07 PM

                          So I've not been a fan of Ruth Reichl or Gourmet mag. and have been vocal about it.

                          I now officially and publicly beg their forgiveness. I just looked through Gourmet Today and found literally scores of recipes that I'd love to try. I will try to do a couple before I leave next week.

                          1. re: oakjoan
                            The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan May 7, 2010 05:31 PM

                            Wow! I'm so excited for you!

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: oakjoan
                              JoanN RE: oakjoan May 7, 2010 05:42 PM

                              No hurry, OJ. I believe both of these Gourmet books (Today and Yesterday [thanks TDQ]) will become staples for today's generation in the same way the two-volume Gourmet was for mine in the 60s. I still have those books pseudo-elegantly bound that my parents bought for me and are enscribed 1968. I've got a sense this thread is gong to be active for a good, long time.

                              1. re: JoanN
                                oakjoan RE: JoanN May 7, 2010 10:37 PM

                                JN:

                                Funny, I never had any Gourmet books except one called, I think, Salads. My bibles in late 60s and early 70s was the NY Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne and his NYT International Cookbook...along with, of course, Julia.and Sunset Magazine cookbooks. I think the Sunset books and the mag were only (or mainly) in the West.

                                1. re: JoanN
                                  c
                                  cpw RE: JoanN May 8, 2010 05:57 AM

                                  I am picking my Goumet today and yesterday from the library today. I am looking forward to dive in.

                                2. re: oakjoan
                                  s
                                  smtucker RE: oakjoan May 7, 2010 06:56 PM

                                  Wow. So glad to hear that this book excites you. I have recipe marked. Just need to actually have the ingredients in the house before I become a cooking whirlwind.

                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                    mebby RE: oakjoan May 7, 2010 10:51 PM

                                    I'm with you -- never a big Gourmet Mag fan, but this book really hits the spot for me. My "short list" of recipes to try is now on its third page. And whereas I couldn't work up any enthusiasm for Bittman and had no problem leaving it behind in the bookstore, I think this will be a useful book for a long time to come. I like that it feels like a generalist book for today's home cook -- in flavors, techniques, ingredients, etc. And for the true cookbook geek, it's got a fantastic index, which so few books do. It seems like they really took the time to try to do it right, which I appreciate.

                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                      buttertart RE: oakjoan May 9, 2010 07:56 AM

                                      That was my reaction as well, they kept the smarminess out and the recipes are amazingly appealing. I'm going to get a copy and start cooking from it again next month (had it out of the library for a look-see because I was also leery).

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        oakjoan RE: buttertart May 9, 2010 05:27 PM

                                        AND it doesn't have perfume samples!!!

                                        1. re: oakjoan
                                          buttertart RE: oakjoan May 10, 2010 09:59 AM

                                          Yes, wasn't that perfectly dreadful. And I love perfume. Doesn't belong near food though.

                                      2. re: oakjoan
                                        b
                                        Beckyleach RE: oakjoan May 19, 2010 07:43 AM

                                        This is my new favorite cookbook! Glad to see it here...now, if I only can drag myself in from the garden with enough energy to cook, this month. :-/

                          2. Gio RE: Caitlin McGrath May 19, 2010 09:39 AM

                            I wonder why the new COTM hasn't appeared on the Archive page yet. We've been cooking the book for 19 days now.

                            1. yamalam RE: Caitlin McGrath May 19, 2010 08:38 PM

                              This is my favorite COTM book of the past year. COTM is back baby! I never would have bought this book, thinking all the recipes are free on Epicurious, but I love it, and the Epi reviews and pictures are a nice bonus. It's big enough where I can look in the index for ingredients I have on hand and find at least a handful of ideas, but also has a lot of recipes that excite me enough to make special shopping trips.

                              I like the new two month format, because it's taken me until now, 2/3 of the way through May, to read the posts, figure out I wanted the book, and go buy it.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: yamalam
                                LulusMom RE: yamalam May 20, 2010 08:04 AM

                                I might feel differently (likely!) some other time, but knowing that I'll be out of town part of June, and my husband for most of that month, I'm glad I have more time to cook - I'm getting in as much cooking this month as I can to make up for what I won't be able to do next month. And yes, I'm liking this book a lot too.

                                1. re: LulusMom
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom May 20, 2010 08:14 AM

                                  You know it's funny, I also had some crazy commitments the first half of May and have only been able to start participating this week. In the old one-month scenario, we'd be having our "June book" discussion right about now, and, withonly two more weeks to go in the current month, I might not have bothered to jump in for the May book if I didn't already own it.

                                  Maybe the more relaxed pace of the two month scenario enables people to juggle COTM around their busy schedules a bit more... It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

                                  I've only tried two recipes so far, but I already like this book. Normally I don't like big heavy cookbooks without photos because I find them to unweildy. But, for whatever reason, I find this book very approachable. Everything sounds delicious. And there are plenty of lighter options as well as decadent options.

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    g
                                    gfr1111 RE: The Dairy Queen May 23, 2010 06:17 AM

                                    Yeah, Dairy Queen, I agree. The two month format is much better. In one month, it's too hard to get the book, find time to cook recipes from it, and report back. If all we did were to cook, it would be different, but this activity must be fit in to schedules that don't always allow for instantly starting to cook, especially in the summer.

                                    I've found a bunch of recipes that sound great, and I'm looking forward to trying them.

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      Gio RE: The Dairy Queen May 23, 2010 07:46 AM

                                      One reason the 2 month COTM is working with this selectioin is that there's so many recipes to cook. Not all cookbooks are so chock full. I'm wondering if a 2 month format will work with future books.

                                      BTW: the current selection is not posted on the Archive board...irs it because it's current? And yet the HTCE book is still called current.

                                      1. re: Gio
                                        The Dairy Queen RE: Gio May 23, 2010 07:59 AM

                                        Yeah, I agree about your point about this book having a lot of great recipes. But, my point was really more about how the two-month thing enables people to participate when they are out of commission for a week or two. Before, it might have seemed like, "why bother?" whereas now it seems like you might as well. But, if it were a book that we were having less luck with? Hard to say.

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: Gio
                                          mebby RE: Gio May 23, 2010 08:50 AM

                                          I wonder the same thing, Gio, although as an overscheduled person who doesn't cook something new every night, I get TDQ's point as well.

                                          I do worry that the 2-month format might also cut down on our potential selections and tend to lead to a lot of these "portmanteau" books, which I think would be a shame, as some of the more focused books have been among the most successful COTMs. I also think we'll be better judges of the 2-month format a month from now, when we might be looking at that giant green book on the counter with a bit of weariness and longing for a fling with some exotic new cuisine.

                                          1. re: mebby
                                            The Dairy Queen RE: mebby May 23, 2010 09:11 AM

                                            Yep, I think it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out!

                                            ~TDQ

                                          2. re: Gio
                                            JoanN RE: Gio May 23, 2010 09:49 AM

                                            Not only are there so many recipes, there are so many *good* ones. I think there are a number of participants who were skeptical at first but have been won over. Two months with a big book with a lot of mediocre recipes could seem like a long time.

                                            Also, I haven't been around much in the past 6 months or so so perhaps I'm wrong about this, but it seems to me as though we have quite a few new and very enthusiastic COTMers. Excitement generates excitement, and that's a wonderful thing to see.

                                            I, too, will be very curious to see how this plays out. I wonder if it will make us more cautious about the books we choose. With a selection lasting only one month, it was easier to be experimental or to step a bit out of our comfort zones. And we had some outstanding selections as a result. As mebby notes, I hope this doesn't mean we'll tend to select exhaustive compilations simply for the variety they offer.

                                            1. re: JoanN
                                              Gio RE: JoanN May 23, 2010 05:23 PM

                                              Well I for one have come to the realization that I much prefer a more focused book. One that concentrates on a singular cuisine whether it's ethnic or ingredient specific. I love COTM..make no mistake, and even the during the months which I didn't participate agressively I still had the opportunity to preview the current book selection and thus found some bits of information I could apply in my own kitchen. GT will be a terrific resource in months to come. There are so many ways to use the recipes presented and they inspire even more spin-offs. I'm thankful we have this avenue in which to explore new cookboks and treasured old ones.

                                              1. re: Gio
                                                mebby RE: Gio May 24, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                Take this FWIW as I am a newbie to COTM participation, but single subject books are my preference also, in part because they offer the additional pleasures of delving into the cultural/educational aspects behind that single subject. Whether it be getting a new sense for a particular culture as expressed through its food or really exploring the full range of a single subject like seafood, even beyond the kitchen, that kind of deep dive into one area offers something that is missing from those broad compilations.

                                                That said, Gourmet Today is definitely going to stay on my shelf and be my go-to compilation.

                                    2. a
                                      allyall RE: Caitlin McGrath May 20, 2010 08:25 PM

                                      I was able to get this at the library finally and have gotten very excited to try a lot of recipes in it after reading through it. It was a very nice cookbook to flip through and read and right now I definitely want to buy it as well. Will try cooking some stuff first.

                                      1. greedygirl RE: Caitlin McGrath May 24, 2010 03:32 PM

                                        There are so many recipes in Gourmet Today, it's almost overwhelming. So I'm enjoying it being COTM, because people are reporting on recipes that I had totally overlooked.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: greedygirl May 30, 2010 05:28 PM

                                          I agree. I used up much of a pack of tape flags marking recipes that interest me, but I'm sure there are many I would like but overlooked, or that didn't strike a chord for me until I read someone's report on them.

                                          I've noticed a lot of recipes, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, that call for shallots, which I like and think are underused in the US.

                                        2. The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 26, 2010 01:12 PM

                                          General question: what kind of salt is everyone cooking with? I ask because I am noticing that there has been frequent feedback in the G.T. threads that the dish turned out too salty.

                                          I use sea salt because that's what I have and I guess I've been too lazy/forgetful to pick up regular table salt at the grocery store. I notice on page xv, Reichl says to use regular TABLE SALT (her emphasis, not mine) unless the recipe otherwise specifies. (This shocks me, because I thought serious cooks almost always eschew regular table salt... )

                                          I did look glance in the book at some of the recipes where the "too salty" feedback was given and all of those recipes just call for salt, which should mean table salt.

                                          Anyway, are we having a table salt vs. sea salt problem? The thing is, I thought a measure of table salt was actually saltier than the same measure of sea salt (because the latter is more coarse), so, it seems counter-intuitive to me that if people are using the wrong kind of salt (that is, if people are using sea salt instead of table salt) that it would make their food too salty rather than the other way around.

                                          Or, am I confused about the differences between the "saltiness" of table salt vs. of sea salt?

                                          Or, am I just generally confused?

                                          (P.S. I have to admit I'm a little afraid to switch to table salt at this stage of cooking from the book, even though I keep meaning to. But, I fear my food will be too salty.)

                                          ~TDQ

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                            LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen May 26, 2010 01:38 PM

                                            Huh, I hadn't noticed the "too salty" thing, very interesting. The *only* salt issue I remember having is that the cilantro pesto needed more, not less, of it than as written. I use sea salt for cooking (had to go check, to be honest, which is slightly scary).

                                            I am, however, sometimes finding that I need things to be a little spicier, or pepperier I guess you could say, than as written. Not, by any means, always though. But I have seen other complaints besides mine about things labeled "spicy" simply not being spicy. Not a big problem - I now know that I need to add more of the hot stuff if I want something that will work for my (and my family's) taste buds.

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: The Dairy Queen May 26, 2010 01:52 PM

                                              I use fine sea salt with grains about the same as table salt, so the only adjustments I make are if a recipe calls for kosher salt, but regardless, I'm usually estimating or just salting to taste as I cook when making savory recipes. I rarely formally measure, so I am generally salting to my own taste. The "saltiness" of equal volume measures of sea and table salt will vary depending on how large-grained your sea salt is. I hadn't noticed many reports of overly salty results, but I may just not be remembering.

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath May 26, 2010 02:05 PM

                                                Thanks Caitlin and LLM. Maybe I'm just imagining the trend of "too salty" reports.

                                                Caitlin, the sea salt I use is also very fine and seems, to me, to be about the same grains as regular table salt. I think I was undersalting for many years (because I thought salt was "bad" for you), so, I am just now learning how to "salt to taste" and taste as I go along.

                                                I know this is weird, but I sometimes to forget to taste my food. I will find myself thinking, "oh, I'm so curious how this is going to turn out" as if it's going to have some kind of surprise ending or something. When I catch myself doing that, I have to remind myself that I should taste it now, before it's too late.

                                                ~TDQ

                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  Rubee RE: The Dairy Queen May 26, 2010 02:14 PM

                                                  I use both kosher salt, and sea salt (Penzey's Pacific Sea Salt Extra Coarse) that I have in a grinder. I also noticed some of the recipe reviews mentioned saltiness, but I'm trying to cut down on salt for E's blood pressure now so have been salting to taste. I do have table salt, though, as E prefers it in a shaker. He thinks my salt grinder is "too fancy" ; )

                                                  And thanks for pointing out that Reichl specifically says table salt for the recipes, I had completely missed that.

                                                2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                  oakjoan RE: Caitlin McGrath May 31, 2010 03:29 PM

                                                  Caitlin. Recently I bought some "fine sea salt"in bulk at Berkeley Bowl. It seems fine to me, no pun intended. Is this what you're using or is it some fancy salt from Market Hall or somewhere?

                                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: oakjoan May 31, 2010 05:24 PM

                                                    What I'm using was bought in a package from I forget where, but it was inexpensive and prob. the equivalent of the bulk stuff at the Bowl. Definitely not fancy.

                                                3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen May 27, 2010 09:02 AM

                                                  I had a big "Duh!" moment as I just tossed out the much-too-salty cajun tartar sauce from the book. That was probably one of the mentions of something being too salty that you are talking about. But honestly, I think that has to do with the cajun seasoning I got, although heck, they must all be at least somewhat on the salty side. So, my apologies to you TDQ, for not remembering this! You were right.

                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom May 27, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                    HA! Funny. I was probably noticing a trend where there really isn't one. I just recall reading that thing about table salt in the beginning of the book and wondered if it could be behind some of the salt dissatisfaction. But, it appears not! Good, because I don't really want to go buy table salt.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                4. Gio RE: Caitlin McGrath May 26, 2010 02:01 PM

                                                  Like Caitlin, I've been salting to taste but with Kosher salt because that's what I use for cooking unless sea salt is specified...just the reverse of her. As a finishing salt I generally use Maldon salt, but can't recall using any for recipes from GT. I usually reduce the amount of salt I use for any cooking I do with or without a recipe. Here's what I think: When DH is told to use "a pinch" of salt. His pinch is bigger than mine...LOL

                                                  Re: table salt, haven't used it for years.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                    LulusMom RE: Gio May 26, 2010 05:09 PM

                                                    Oh yes, something like maldon is wonderful for "finishing" the dish.

                                                  2. roxlet RE: Caitlin McGrath May 27, 2010 12:24 AM

                                                    I know not everyone was a fan of Gourmet, but I was, and this COTM has made me mourn the closing of the magazine even more.

                                                    25 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                      Rubee RE: roxlet May 27, 2010 01:14 AM

                                                      I agree - have always loved Gourmet. I think I bought my first subscription when I was 17. I wrote a blurb for the "Thank You Gourmet" website (I've been making that Stumptown Cheesecake for almost 20 years now).
                                                      http://thankyougourmet.com/search/CHR...

                                                      I'm going to try these recipes the rest of the week:

                                                      "Quinoa with Curried Yogurt and Mango" for lunch Friday (p. 275).
                                                      "Glazed Ham with Pineapple Mustard Sauce" for family Saturday night (p.476).
                                                      "Mushroom Strudels" to bring to Chowhound ArizonaGirl's house on Sunday (p.61).
                                                      and I promised E "Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie" for dessert on Memorial Day (p.774).

                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                        t
                                                        twilight goddess RE: Rubee Jun 7, 2010 09:59 AM

                                                        Rubee -- Have you made the quinoa or the mushroom strudels yet? I peeked but couldn't find the reviews, and I'm thinking of trying both. I've used a Moosewood recipe for mushroom strudel for years, but I might try this to see how I like it.

                                                        1. re: twilight goddess
                                                          Rubee RE: twilight goddess Jun 7, 2010 12:18 PM

                                                          I did make the mushroom strudels. I just have to load up pics and I'll report on it later today. I loved the flavor of the filling, but presentation-wise next time I would make phyllo triangles. It was hard to cut the rolls into neat even pieces without the phyllo dough tearing and flaking.

                                                          I've made the quinoa but haven't had it yet. Planning it for lunch today! I didn't like the method of cooking the quinoa though. This is the technique I usually follow, and much easier (and ha - doesn't result in a burnt kitchen towel):
                                                          http://penandfork.wordpress.com/2010/...

                                                          1. re: Rubee
                                                            t
                                                            twilight goddess RE: Rubee Jun 7, 2010 05:27 PM

                                                            I was crinkling my forehead over that quinoa cooking method (towel?) as well. I will cook it in the wide pan, let it sit five minutes, then fluff. That is how I have cooked quinoa in the past -- successfully.

                                                            My other mushroom strudel is an entree, so it's one big log, and the filling is creamy -- with a combination cream cheese and sour cream, and a lemony dill mushroom filling. I think I will stick with that, having perused the one on page 61-62 in Gourmet Today. I'm just not on fire of the idea of mushrooms in phyllo without the creaminess. I know myself -- and I *will* want the extra yumminess! Ha.

                                                            1. re: twilight goddess
                                                              Rubee RE: twilight goddess Jun 13, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                              That mushroom strudel does sound good! I have one of the Moosewood books, do you know which one the recipe is in?

                                                              1. re: Rubee
                                                                t
                                                                toveggiegirl RE: Rubee Jun 28, 2010 04:08 AM

                                                                The strudel recipe is in "New Moosewood Cookbook", on page 163. You can also find it online here:
                                                                http://www.theveggietable.com/recipes...

                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                  t
                                                                  twilight goddess RE: Rubee Jun 28, 2010 06:39 AM

                                                                  It is in the original Moosewood Cookbook, and I've been making it for years. It's always great to bring as a vegetarian option for a potluck or dinner party, or Thanksgiving even, as I did one year to the delight of the gathered guests.
                                                                  Recently, I found Rachael Ray's spin on this (I know, but at least she gives the credit to Moosewood) -- nearly the same as Mollie Katzen's version, but RR adds spinach, which sounds like a good idea. I haven't tried it yet.

                                                                  http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?...

                                                              2. re: Rubee
                                                                buttertart RE: Rubee Jun 8, 2010 05:33 AM

                                                                Elizabeth David has you put a tea towel under the lid on cooked rice once it comes off the stove - works very well for pilaf rice.

                                                          2. re: roxlet
                                                            LulusMom RE: roxlet May 27, 2010 03:48 AM

                                                            I loved it too. Between this being the COTM and the Bon Aps that they're sending me to replace my subscription, it is obvious how much I miss the mag. Bon Ap just really doesn't cut it for me.

                                                            1. re: LulusMom
                                                              The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom May 27, 2010 04:21 AM

                                                              I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't much of a fan while the mag was alive because I thought of it as a cooking magazine and I've only recently developed an interest in cooking. I started subscribing the year they shut the mag down. Cooking from this book, of course, makes me wish I'd started sooner.

                                                              Here's a link to a story http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6571... "Fans of Gourmet Magazine Accept No Stand-Ins" where they say that Gourmet's fan base has basically disappeared. I love this quote: “I continue to read Chow and anything I can get my hands on with the Google alerts, and it’s amazing that people are not happy with the transfer of their Gourmet subscription to Bon Appétit,” said Merri Lee Kingsly, publisher of Saveur, owned by the Bonnier Corporation."

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: LulusMom
                                                                roxlet RE: LulusMom May 27, 2010 04:27 AM

                                                                Bon Appetit is like Gourmet with training wheels.

                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                  LulusMom RE: roxlet May 27, 2010 05:29 AM

                                                                  Well put. And it isn't like I'm a snob about this kind of thing. I actually quite like (and subscribe to) Everyday Cooking. I know it gives me something totally different from what I got from Gourmet. BA just ... doesn't really satisfy either need, although I must admit that I got 1 great recipe (pasta with chorizo and olives) a month or two ago. But that is it in the, what, 6 months since they switched my subscription.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                                    roxlet RE: LulusMom May 27, 2010 05:43 AM

                                                                    I am not a snob either, but BA just seems dumbed down. The thing about Gourmet was that, although the recipes challenged you, they were always accessible. And I just don't like it when I see BA recipes that use something pre-made as an ingredient in something else. A little Sandra Lee-ish to my way of thinking...

                                                                  2. re: roxlet
                                                                    buttertart RE: roxlet May 27, 2010 05:44 AM

                                                                    It (BA) has gotten a bit better lately - the May travel issue is quite comparable to at least a Reichl Gourmet, interesting articles on Galicia and Toulouse. It seems to be getting away from its fabulously rich people throw (doubtlessly catered) parties articles).
                                                                    I subscribed to Gourmet from 1970 until its demise (even had it sent to me when I was living in Taipei) and really was sad to see it do, even though I did not care for Ruth Reichl's editorial tone or the direction of the magazine toward the end. It was still always a treat to receive it.
                                                                    Am still in the throes of a move but will contribute to COTM in June once the dust settles.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                      roxlet RE: buttertart May 27, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                      I have been living abroad, so I have not had a chance to read any of the recent BA issues. I have to say that I do miss sitting down with a cooking magazine the day it gets delivered. It's one of life's small pleasures. I got the green book for CHristmas, but I left to come back to Cairo right after that so I haven't really had a chance to explore it at all. I am so enjoying this COTM though! Personally, I never had a problem with Ruth Reichl's editorial tone, and I also enjoyed her books.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                        buttertart RE: roxlet May 27, 2010 05:52 AM

                                                                        I lived in the Bay Area when she was starting out and got a snoutful of her when she wrote for New West magazine (preening, self-refer/reverential restaurants reviews a specialty). She was the best of the NYT recent restaurant reviewers, I'll give her that (reviewed places like the first Grand Sichuan for example, a place Bryan Miller wouldn't have stepped a toe into).

                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                          roxlet RE: buttertart May 27, 2010 05:58 AM

                                                                          LOL. LOVED Grand Sichuan, and I also enjoyed her as a reviewer. Sam Sifton seems to be wandering into some more unexpected places these days...

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            oakjoan RE: buttertart May 31, 2010 03:36 PM

                                                                            buttertart: I also lived (and now again live) in the Bay Area when Reichl was writing those awful reviews and seemed to be everywhere. I read one of her books and didn't like it (thought it too exaggerated about her mother - it didn't seem real). I also couldn't stand how Gourmet changed after she became editor. I mean it was pretty snooty before, but not as bad as it got later. Just don't like her "breathy" style.

                                                                            I didn't read many of her NYT reviews because of where I live, but I must admit now that I like the COTM

                                                                            1. re: oakjoan
                                                                              EWSflash RE: oakjoan Jun 6, 2010 07:38 PM

                                                                              Truth be told, I thought Gourmet got a lot more homogenized when she took over. One of the things I really liked about them was their "snootiness" for lack of a better term. Back in the old days they really had some food snobs on staff, and I learned so much more from the magazine than I ever did from Bon Appetit (home of the shiny happy home cook photos).
                                                                              Fred Ferretti (A Gourmet at Large) was a long-time favorite. Sort of an early version of Jeffrey Steingarten's outlook on food and its world.

                                                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                buttertart RE: EWSflash Jun 7, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                                                I loved Fred Ferretti too, I wonder why he doesn't seem to write about food any more - his wife, Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, certainly does. How about Lillian Langseth-Christensen and Joseph Wechsberg? Wonderful.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                  JoanN RE: buttertart Jun 7, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                  Oh, man. Now you're talking MY time. Wechsberg was one of the best ever. And I haven't heard anyone mention Lillian Langseth-Christensen in decades.

                                                                                  1. re: JoanN
                                                                                    buttertart RE: JoanN Jun 7, 2010 06:34 AM

                                                                                    I subscribed from 1969 or 70 (I was in my teens) until the bitter end. I just bought years' worth from sentimentally significant years in the 70's and 80's on eBay, v cheap - you could go down memory lane too if you wished! Ms. Langseth-Christensen was wonderful, talk about aspirational travel/food writing - I still want to go to the hotels she described.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                      jen kalb RE: buttertart Jun 7, 2010 10:12 AM

                                                                                      too bad you didnt walk by my stoop a few years back when I tossed out 15 years - at least - worth of these.

                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb
                                                                                        buttertart RE: jen kalb Jun 7, 2010 10:22 AM

                                                                                        Indeed, since your stoop was evidently very close to ours at the time. PS very happily settling in in NJ, a much easier transition than I expected. No PH of course (no street life to speak of at all) but very comfortable and the restaurants are more than acceptable.

                                                                  3. re: roxlet
                                                                    Gio RE: roxlet May 27, 2010 04:37 AM

                                                                    My mother had a subscription to the magazine so I basically grew up with Gourmet. It was inevitable that when I got married I too subscribed. Bon Appetit doesn't compare. I'm loving this big green book...pretty much everything we've cooked so far has been wonderful.

                                                                  4. Gio RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 2, 2010 06:22 AM

                                                                    The broken record plays on...
                                                                    Here it is June and Gourmet Today still has not made it's appearance as the featured COTM.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: Gio Jun 7, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                                      Gio, you'll be pleased to see (I assume!) that GT is now on the archive page. I emailed the Chow folks about it, and got a promise to try and keep the updates more timely.

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                        Gio RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 7, 2010 06:17 PM

                                                                        You're a dear, Caitlin. I don't know why but that just bugged me this month...Thanks so much and thanks for all you do for COTM.

                                                                    2. Katie Nell RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 7, 2010 08:40 AM

                                                                      I didn't want to want this cookbook, but after checking it out at the library, I really wanted it! Luckily, my sweetest sister-in-law bought it for me for my birthday, so I didn't have to even break down and buy it myself! :-)

                                                                      1. k
                                                                        Karen_Schaffer RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 7, 2010 10:11 AM

                                                                        Sigh, I seem to be the only one not in love with this book. I have yet to make those Southeast Asian turkey burgers, which do sound fantastic, but other than that, not much has piqued my interest (or else the recipes seem too similar to what I already cook to count).

                                                                        I think I prefer Bittman because his style of riffing on a basic recipe matches my cooking style -- not so much following recipes as using them for inspiration and a starting point. Not that I'm averse to following recipes, but, I dunno, GT just isn't ringing my chimes.

                                                                        Or maybe it's just that I already own Bittman and don't particularly want to find room on my shelves for another big, thick book! (Though I had no problem falling in love with Molly Stevens' Braising.)

                                                                        1. JerryMe RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 8, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                                          A little slow to join this thread but I am glad this is a two month foray into Gourmet. Just picked up this book at the library. I can't believe they had it on the shelf and I can't believe how much I owed in fines . . .Note to self - put the due date on the freaking calendar!

                                                                          Am looking forward to the adventure!

                                                                          1. LulusMom RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 12, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                                            I'd just like to say thank you to the people who were previously lurkers who joined in this month. I really liked having people who have obviously been following along add their comments, and hearing their points of view.

                                                                            1. a
                                                                              Agent 99 RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 13, 2010 04:15 AM

                                                                              This thread took so many turns it was hard to remember where it started, but it ended with the loss of a great food magazine and Bon App on training wheels. Pick up the June/July issue of Saveur all about Markets around the world...nothing short of brilliant. No one is doing this kind of thing in the world of food. It is not only beautiful, but so informative and gives me such an interesting perspective of the world's markets. Thank you Saveur for having integrity and no perfume.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Agent 99
                                                                                buttertart RE: Agent 99 Jun 13, 2010 06:51 AM

                                                                                That is a great issue. Saveur is definitely the best general-circulation food mag out there these days.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                  oakjoan RE: buttertart Jun 23, 2010 04:52 PM

                                                                                  I totally agree. I started out with Saveur by giving my sister a sub for xmas...then I said..."Hmm, how come SHE gets all the good stuff?" and subscribed myself. There are lots of very good sub deals online.

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