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Nov 22, 2010 10:44 PM

The recipe file project: reports

Since it was my idea, I'm kicking off the reporting thread for The Recipe File Project (introduced here:

The idea is to start working our way through the piles of recipes we already have sitting in file folders, card boxes, drawers, stuck to the fridge, wherever, making all those recipes we saved because we thought they looked delicious but never made.

I rifled through my reams of papers yesterday, looking for something to start with. I found a cluster of three apple galette recipes. Clearly at some point I was thinking of making apple galette, but I never did ... until tonight.

One reason I probably didn't make it before was that I'm paranoid about working with that type of dough and I'm inept with a rolling pin. But a while back I read a tip here on Chowhound that recommended grating frozen butter into the flour mixture to facilitate it being incorporated with a minimum of working. I tried it with scones and it worked well, so I was ready to take the pie crust step.

Of course, I messed up the first batch and learned a valuable lesson: once you've put too much liquid into your dough, you might as well dump it and start over. Thinking it might firm up in the chilling phase I wrapped it and chilled it, and when I took it out the excess moisture had soaked the wax paper and I couldn't peel the dough off. However, the second attempt went well, and I ended up with a really flaky crust, the best one I've ever made, so score one already for the project!

This is the recipe I chose:

In the spirit of the project, I decided to make the actual recipe with only minor alterations (used different apples, used some thinned creme fraiche instead of cream). Technically it was a success, but I wasn't completely thrilled with the flavor. I love ginger, but this had a bit too much of the medicinal ginger quality. It's still good, just not great.

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  1. I have a recipe for Lobster Thermador dip that is printed on yellowing newspaper, definitely at least 20 years old, and was contemplating trying it on Christmas Eve. But since I have some lobster meat right now, maybe I'll throw it together Thursday and report back. See I'm already picking up speed.

    I'll have plenty of cookies to report on in the next few weeks.

    9 Replies
    1. re: coll

      This recipe makes a delicious cream sauce, but why they call it a dip is beyond me. They say to put it out in a chafing dish (very '80s!) but don't even say what you're supposed to be dipping in it. My husband was mystified, and just fished the hunks of lobster out and ate them on a plate. It was very soupy, I would thicken it more next time somehow.

      2 cups cooked lobster meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I didn't measure, used a lb or more that I had)
      1/2 stick butter
      1 shallot, minced
      3 Tbsp flour
      2 Tbsp dry sherry
      2 Tbsp dry white wine
      1 cup chicken broth (I accidentally used all I had on everything else yesterday and had to sub lobster broth) (trying to follow the rules, sorry!)
      2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
      2 Tbsp minced parsley
      1 cup heavy cream
      1 tsp Dijon mustard
      sea salt
      white pepper
      2 Tbsp sliced black olives

      Melt butter in skillet, add shallot and saute 1 minute.
      Whisk in flour.
      Add sherry, wine and broth
      Cook 4 minutes, whisking constantly.
      Stir in lobster meat, 1/3 cup cheese, parsley, cream and mustard.
      Cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
      Season to taste with salt and pepper.

      Pour lobster mixture into shallow baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over dip and broil til cheese is lightly browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to chafing dish and garnish with olives. Makes 4 cups.

      OK so I made this yesterday in the middle of all my other cooking. I guess I didn't read the end about covering with grated cheese and broiling, because it was coming out so soupy I was losing interest. I'll probably eat the leftovers over rice...or maybe served as a soup. Also never got to the olives......but don't think that would have been key.

      Well a nice recipe for Thermidor sauce anyway!

      1. re: coll

        Followup: Yesterday I felt like tasting the lobster straight from the fridge, and the consistency was perfect! So for a dip just serve it cold. Hot app, now I'm thinking to serve over mini puff pastry. It didn't hurt that I still had almost a lb left of lobster and mixed that in, and that's what I'm having for breakfast in a little while!

        1. re: coll

          How about as a crepe filling? BTW, I could not keep enough true, traditional carbon steel crepe pans in stock this fall and early winter. I even bought a new one and have been seasoning it. Are crepes coming back in popularity?

          1. re: Candy

            Were they only the crepe sized pans, or are carbon steel pans becoming better known?

            What do you consider a crepe pan? That's not a smarmy question; I really want your definition.

            Maybe the new fad is making wraps?

            1. re: yayadave

              I just saw this, and the one I have is from Matfer. Carbon Steel, very shallow, 1/2" deep, flared sides.

            2. re: Candy

              That's an excellent idea! I make crepes often enough, but use a wedding gift from the 70s: an Oster crepe maker which does the job very easily.

              1. re: Candy

                I think crepes may be making a comeback. Last shopping trip I passed something I'd never seen (or never noticed?) before: premade ready-to-fill crepes in a package.

                Wasn't tempted to try them; they could be awful. But their mere presence in a mainstream supermarket here in Albany might indicate a resurgence in popularity.

            3. re: coll

              This sounds like it would make a great soup! Thanks for reporting back, I was pretty curious how it would turn out but hadn't been back to read the thread in a while.

              1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                It would have made a better soup than the Lobster Bisque I cobbled together on Christmas Eve. Wish I'd had time to think! I threw out the recipe, glad it's still here anyway.

          2. I'd have to say at this juncture that I've been successful and unsuccessful. I got a new recipe for potato soup the other day and just had to make it (and it was great), so that's my "fail", but my success came in making a broken-olive marinade recipe that I've been wanting to make myself for many years. I used it in a mufulatta; it was fabulous, and I'll be making it again. I think little wedges of the mufulatta, well-pressed, would make a fun hor's douvre with cocktail hour.

            1. This is too ambitious for me before two major (food) holidays but I'm certainly guilty of recipes that pile up and I cook/bake daily! So, RL, I'll be back!

              1. So, Ruth L. -- now do you discard that gallette recipe, or keep it and try again with different ginger?
                I want to be strict with myself and cull all but wonderful winners.

                4 Replies
                1. re: blue room

                  Good question! I'll definitely tackle a galette again, and now that I have that crust recipe down, I'll probably use it for other things. I'd play with the flavors in the filling, though. Actually, I already did that -- I had trimmed off the edges of the dough after I rolled it out, and I used the trimming to make a mini-galette with some more apples and mixture of cardamom ground with Meyer lemon zest that I'd played with over the weekend, and dollop of honey. That one turned out pretty well, too, although there's a little too much cardamom in the mixture.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Actually your filling looked to me to be perfect in consistency. Meaning it set nicely when you cut it.

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Yeah, I actually goofed and added more flour in with the fruit than the recipe called for. From a technical point of view I was really pleased with the result.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        lol, somehow my "goofs" never turn out that nice!
                        I going to try this. OOOOOh, now here's another recipe to add the pile!

                2. My "recipe file" is electronic, but nonetheless stuffed.

                  Here's one I finally got around to trying recently:


                  Apple-bean soup

                  I found it to be kind of meh. It SOUNDED like it ought to be really good. Instead I found that the beans kind of spoiled the apple flavors. If you were looking at it from the point of being mainly a bean dish, I suppose the apples improved the flavor of the beans. In any case I'll not be making it again. It wasn't horrible but it didn't earn a place among things I'd like to eat again.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ZenSojourner

                    I was electronic for years but I hate bringing my laptop into the computer. There is something about greasy, dirty hands covered in flour or oil that I don't like bringing near my laptop. I decided I would print out all my favorite, signature and untried recipes into one book, 62 pages later I have a really great resource for everything I like to make. I 'bound' it in a binder and made a fancy cover.

                    Best 4 nights in front of the TV I have ever spent.

                    1. re: Kooper

                      My kitchen PC has a raincoat :) keeps the potential messes at bay. But I have my trusty plastic binders filled with my fav recipes and ideas on hand too!