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The recipe file project: reports

Since it was my idea, I'm kicking off the reporting thread for The Recipe File Project (introduced here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7485...).

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: http://rickrodgers.com/rick_rodgers/r...

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.
              http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...

              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:

                  http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/de...

                  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!

                  2. I started this project myself on 'The "I finally cooked from my unused cookbook" thread':
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5290... I didn't get very far! Ha! ;-)

                    I'm so glad to know I'm not alone... I guess I'm hard on myself, but from reading everyone's posts and all the cooking they do, I just always assume everyone is much more organized and better about actually carrying out their good intentions than I am!

                    The one recipe that I really loved recently from my recipe file was the Salty Chocolate Peanut Butter Brittle. I didn't know where I had cut it out from, but when I yahoo-ed it, it came up as a Rachael Ray magazine recipe... I think I had cut it out of an issue that my grandma had given me. http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/... I know most Hounds are haters, and I'm not a huge fan, but this brittle is really good! Comments at work were "orgasmic" and "the best thing I've ever put in my mouth"! So, that one was a pleasant surprise.

                    1. We left the country for 9 months in 2005, hoping to become expats (drat, it didn't work) and purged myself of 100s of printed and cut-out recipes collected since i was a teen, largely unused. so bummed! i have a rather small stack that I'm going through now, and I found a simple typed page, obviously taken from some website, with no title, and no instructions, but simply ingredients: 2 tbs butter, 1 c water, 1 c ketchup, 1 tsp salt (optional), 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 c onion, finely chopped, 2 tbs Worcestershire, 2 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs brown sugar, 1 tsp dry mustard powder. what do people think this is? bbq sauce?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Yes - or the base for sloppy joes. Which is basically the same thing. : )

                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          I have those, too - always takes a minute to figure it out and why i didn't write down what it was! Glad I'm not alone!

                          1. What a GREAT idea! I've got a folder that's stuffed with clipped and printed "must-try" recipes. Now I'm inspired to sift through it and actually try something new.

                            1. The first scrap of paper from the first folder I touched, anticipating this project, was a honey-almond-pistachio nougat recipe -- all French and classy -- how nice will *that* be for Christmas?
                              Umm ... if it works!

                              1. An adjunct to the miscellaneous recipe file is what often happens when I actually pull one out to make. I review similar recipes in my cookbooks, and oftentimes, make a totally different version. So often, my clippings are an indication of my interest. Gravlax is a good example. I printed out Ina Garten's recipe once upon a time, but found the inclusion of fennel seeds to be odd, and the mustard-dill sauce had ingredients that also seemed off. So, I chose the New New York Times cookbook version, which was perfect.

                                So, for me the clippings can be just the inspiration for expanding my repertoire.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: smtucker

                                  That's a great point, and explains all of my duplications. I usually make a comglomeration of several and if it then if it turns out nicely, then that's the recipe I either type or handwrite out to keep in my "favorites" recipe binder.

                                2. Folks, can we make this thread just for reports? If you want to make comments about the project, please use the other thread I linked to my first post. Thanks!

                                  1. Alton Brown’s Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes - (recipe torn from a Food Network Magazine that had been cast aside without regret at the airport and would have been collecting lint at the bottom of my purse had Ruth not started this thread!!)

                                    I love chipotle and sweet potatoes so this recipe had immediate appeal when I saw it. It really is quick and super-simple to make. Peel & chop potatoes, steam ‘til tender, s/mash w some butter, salt and you guessed it, chipotle pepper. I don’t know why but for some reason, I’ve never steamed potatoes prior to mashing, I’ve always boiled them but I much preferred this method, no risk of them becoming water-logged.

                                    The potatoes were scrumptious, just enough chipotle to add a smoky, nutty flavor without too much heat. Unlike me, Mr bc is not a fan of chipotle and he loved these potatoes…even after I told him what was in them.

                                    This recipe is a hit, I’ll definitely make them again and again. I can imagine they’d be fabulous w some bbq’d ribs or chicken too.

                                    FYI, I served these tonight w Cajun Meatloaf. (review posted under COTM - Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen - Meat)

                                    I just Googled this recipe and found it on the Food Network site so have pasted it below. In the spirit of the thread, just be sure you want to make it right away if you print it…you don’t want to be adding to that “Recipes to try” file!!

                                    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                     
                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Next time instead of steaming, roast the sweet potatoes whole. Then proceed. Delicious!

                                      1. re: tall sarah

                                        I think that roasted squash and sweet potatoes are two of the most underrated recipes on the planet in proportion to how delicious they are.

                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                          I agree oakjoan. I have an abundance of both at the moment. I try to scoop up as many as possible at the end of the season so I have a good stash over the winter!

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Breadcrumbs: Glad you mentioned their long shelf life, too.

                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        I second tall sarah's recommendation to roast the potatoes- they sweeten up very nicely.

                                        I first made this dish from a Bobby Flay recipe which called for roasting, and it turned out beautifully.

                                      3. Here's another one that I made for the first time yesterday (no company so I was feeling experimental). The recipe I got here years ago from my favorite recipe inventor, goodhealthgourmet. At the time ghg posted two dips, a healthy black bean and a pumpkin hummus. I ran out of time that year and only made the black bean, which was such a tremendous hit all around that I never got to the second one. Since I'm overstocked on canned pumpkin (due to the shortage scare)and have pepitas on hand, I decided to give it a whirl.

                                        It is unusually tasty while being extremely healthy, like all of ghg's recipes. I may have underseasoned, I never measure spices, and my husband guessed it was pumpkin; he hates anything overtly healthy LOL! Just noticed on the bottom of the recipe it's suggested you can also add curry powder or Garam Masala, but he doesn't like those flavors so I wouldn't have done, even if I saw that. What I did do after initial tasting was add cinnamon, and thought that was a nice touch for this time of year.

                                        This and the black bean dip, maybe a tapenade too and you are done with making appetizers after 15 minutes work. Love it!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: coll

                                          Can you post the recipe please? Sounds delicious!

                                          1. re: thursday

                                            I took this from her post:
                                            here you go!

                                            GHG’S PUMPKIN HUMMUS

                                            1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
                                            1 cup pumpkin puree
                                            2 tablespoons tahini
                                            2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                                            1 large clove garlic, smashed
                                            1 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted
                                            ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
                                            ½ teaspoon wheat-free tamari
                                            ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
                                            ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                            1 tablespoon toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

                                            Combine all ingredients in bowl of food processor and process until smooth. If mixture is too thick, thin it out by adding water one teaspoon at a time, OR 1-2 tablespoons plain, fat free yogurt. Taste for seasoning, and add additional spices and/or an extra dash of tamari if desired. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, and serve with baked pita chips.

                                            Note: it's also wonderful with a teaspoon of toasted curry powder or Garam Masala.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Thanks so much! Can't wait to try it!

                                        2. Sheesh, I finally get myself to toss out a lot of recipes I'd cut out of various publications over the years and rarely used. I kept the oversize roladex (sp) I used to store them, but only one recipe remains and it's for some lame-sounding punch.

                                          I was feeling sorry for myself as well as dumb when I remembered I also had a drawer full of collected recipes! So now I can participate. It shouldn't take me more than a few years to go through the gigantic stack of yellowing pages from NYTimes, SF Chron, Oakland Tribune and recipes copied from books I got out of the library.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                            And don't you find most of them seem pretty dated when you look back on them now? Some of them I even wonder what possessed me to think that I would ever feel the need to make that particular recipe. As I get older, and lazier I seem to want to stick to my tried and true recipes. I don't like to experiment as much these days.

                                            1. re: millygirl

                                              I stopped collecting recipes (until I came here) once I had enough tried and true recipes for every day of the year.

                                          2. Back in October there was a thread about simple soups. I made note of a few and, inspired by this project, dug one out today.

                                            Posted by kleine mocha:

                                            Thai-Spiced Pumpkin Soup (I used butternut squash.)

                                            http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                                            This is about the simplest soup recipe I've ever made and it was really delicious. It's a short-cut recipe using thai curry paste along with coconut milk and salt. I used approx 3 tsp curry paste and will probably add a bit more next time. It's going in the keeper file. Love having a new, quick supper recipe.

                                            You know, I almost *never* use the recipes I've saved. This project is a wonderful thing.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Georgia Sommers

                                              Thanks for reporting back! That sounds yummy, and now you have a new one for the keeper file!

                                            2. Adding healthful to the simple easy recipes on file:
                                              Chili with Corn
                                              1/2 cup diced onion
                                              1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped
                                              1 or 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or crushed
                                              1 teaspoon ground cumin
                                              1-1/2 teaspoons California chili powder or more to taste
                                              2 teaspoons onion powder
                                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                                              freshly ground black pepper to taste
                                              2 cups cooked black beans
                                              1-1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
                                              14 oz. can of diced tomatoes in juice
                                              2 Tablespoons molasses (optional)

                                              Put onion, bell pepper, and seasonings in medium saucepan and add 1/2 cup water.
                                              Simmer for 10 minutes until onion is softened.

                                              Add remaining ingredients and heat to serving temperature.
                                              Top with Tofu Sour Cream if desired.

                                              then the recipe morphs into Eggplant Chili
                                              following the Chili with Corn recipe
                                              I substituted 2 cups of diced eggplant for the corn.
                                              Simmer with the onions, peppers and seasonings - salt to taste
                                              and a few grinds of whole black peppercorns.
                                              Add remaining ingredients and heat to serving temperature.
                                              This may take longer to cook the eggplant tender- I tried roasting the diced eggplant at 400°F on Silpat for 30 minutes, and then, I steamed the eggplant... before adding it to the chili - because the eggplant cubes were chewy not tender after the no-oil oven roasting.

                                              another optional technique: let the water in the onion-eggplant mix evaporate on the stovetop
                                              and the vegetable will brown slightly. Add another 1/4 cup of water to the vegetables, let that evaporate and brown again.
                                              Then, add another 2 Tablespoons more water and stir, let this 'caramelize'.

                                              Tofu Sour Cream
                                              1 - 12 oz. box of Mori-Nu Silken Soft Tofu (or, 9 oz. regular tofu + 1/2 cup water)
                                              1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
                                              1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                              1 teaspoon salt
                                              1 teaspoon onion powder
                                              2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives

                                              - Place all ingredients in blender - except the chives. Blend for one minute until silky smooth.
                                              Add chives and blend for one second or you will have green sour cream. If you chill this, it will thicken.

                                              1. Like the rest of you, I've been flipping through clippings this past week, but decided to go to my on-line file, specifically to a recipe from Christina Mason's blog, Culinspiration, that I had bookmarked ages ago: Julius & Rachel's Fennel Sausage Pasta. Since this is great cold-weather fare and (by our standards) last night was cold(ish), and since I had everything on hand, even a fennel bulb that needed using, and since it's such a long way from turkey and dressing, it was a logical choice for last night's dinner.

                                                The recipe: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                                                I made a half-recipe, I guess, as I used only 1/2 lb. pasta and 1 link of Italian sausage, but I started by chopping a whole fennel bulb (baseball-sized) and two large shallots, as the recipe stipulates, cooking it, covered, over very low heat (about 20 min.) before uncovering and letting it start to brown. I used 1 1/4 c of white vermouth for deglazing (we wanted to drink the white wine we had), and, since coming by a decent tomato is near impossible this time of year, I used canned (two as they were pretty small and ended up pouring in about 1/2 c of the juice). I tossed in a bunch (6-7 leaves) of sage, which I pulled out after simmering the sauce and before adding the browned sausage and 1/4 tsp dried basil. As the sauce had reduced quite a bit by the time the pasta was cooked, I added about 3/4 c of the pasta water at the end, and then salt and pepper. Although Christina says she likes it with fettucine, the photo shows orrechiette and that looked really good, so I opted for that. Once drained, I added it to the sauce, tossed, and served. I had some excellent pecorino romano on hand, so we grated it over each portion. And sprinkled on a little chopped parsley as well. (I do have to disagree w/Christina's assessment that this dish is not photogenic. It's her photo that first made me salivate--and last night's version of CM's J & R's F S Pasta was also quite comely.

                                                )

                                                We really enjoyed this, and I'll definitely make it again. The caramelized fennel/shallot is subtle, the tomato, understated; they complemented well the (sweet) Italian sausage. With the pungent kiss of the cheese--perfect.

                                                I served the pasta with glazed brussels sprouts and a salad. (The "half-recipe" I made could have served four.)

                                                I especially like easygoing recipes such as this that are pretty quick to prepare and forgiving in terms of ingredient proportions. This is easy enough for a weekday supper but can certainly rise to the occasion of company.

                                                1. This is a recipe from a culinary mystery (fun genre) -- the name of the book was "Dying for Chocolate", the heroine I think had a catering business, hence the recipes in the book. This one is
                                                  "Goldilocks Gourmet Spinach Soup".
                                                  I've long since forgotten the story, but I kept some of the recipes. This one is a cream of spinach soup that also contains butter, mushrooms, scallion, chicken broth and milk, cream cheese and Swiss cheese, a little nutmeg, salt & pepper. Came together fast. all one pot. I was afraid the Swiss cheese wouldn't melt well and gum up my hand blender, but it was fine. A squirt of lemon juice brought it to life, I thought, tho' it was not in the recipe. Serve hot, not cold like it gets after taking its picture for Chowhound!

                                                   
                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                    I think this came from one of the Goldy Schultz series by Diane Mott Davidson. Goldy is a caterer and there are always several recipes in each book. Fun reads, but you get hungry!

                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                      Yes, that sounds right--now I remember the character name "Goldy Schultz".
                                                      I don't know why murder mysteries and cooking go together, but they do! (Both perfect for a rainy day, I guess.)

                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                        Some of my all-time favorite recipes come from The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout and the Editors of The Viking Press. My favorite recipe from the book is Creole Fritters with Cheese Sauce. It's very rich and my husband doesn't like it because any kind of fish cakes remind him of the cafeteria in junior high school.

                                                        It's just a shrimp cake served with a rich cheddar (recipe calls for Vermont Cheddar. I'll be glad to paraphrase if anybody's interested.

                                                        There's also an interesting recipe for Rossi Salad, interesting because it was written in 1973 and it calls for mustard sprouts, escarole, watercress, Boston lettuce and nasturtium leaves. Very far ahead of its time, eh? There are croutons and a lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

                                                        Another favorite is the Potage Germiny - Sorrel Soup. I love that sour taste! I think I was reminded of this book by the soup photo in blue room's post.

                                                        Most of the recipes are very rich and of another time. Some have great names, such as Shad-Roe Mousse Pocahontas, Brazilian Lobster Salad, The Real Nero Wolfe Trout Deal, Squabs a la Muscovite.

                                                        One dinner features Curried Beef Roll and Celery and Cantaloupe Salad

                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                          I have that (high calorie!) cookbook too. Have appreciated it more and more -- it was way above my young head in the seventies. The "Devil's Rain Dressing" is especially nice on salad. Oh I'd love to try the fig souffle, and *many* others. (Including now the Creole Fritters. My Mr. also turns up his nose at fish cakes--salmon patties? cat food to him, more for me!)
                                                          I bought the book because I loved the mystery series--had a big crush on Archie! But now I have a pretty sophisticated cookbook that I'm glad I kept all this while.

                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                            Great to hear that there's another fan out there.

                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                              Yeah, I have that one. There are a lot of interesting things in there that just look really difficult.

                                                              There's an interesting new one out called Brunetti's Cookbook from the series by Donna Leon.

                                                              1. re: yayadave

                                                                Ah, I was wondering how long it'd take them to put out a cookbook. Pretty interesting that it's called "Brunetti's" cookbook since his wife does the cooking. Maybe it means her, too because she's a Brunetti.

                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                  In the book, Leon says that her inclusion of food and meals was just incidental to the way Italians live and regard food. She said after about the forth book people started to write requests for recipes.

                                                      2. re: meatn3

                                                        I made a recipe from one of her books before, though I don't remember which one. It was a surprinsingly low-fat quickbread -- her recipes tend to be super rich -- with orange juice and dried pineapple. It was really good, but it never became a regular because I don't often have dried pineapple at home.

                                                    2. I wanted to bring a vegan dish to the holiday potluck at work, so I flipped through the recipe files and chose a recipe for cold sesame noodles that I had printed out many years ago from this site: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mjw/recipes/et...

                                                      I made it pretty much as directed, except that instead of honey (not strictly vegan) I used three tablespoons of corn syrup and one tablespoon of light molasses. It was a big hit, especially for my appreciative vegan co-worker.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                        Ta da! The perfect dish just sitting there for years waiting to make its debut at a party.
                                                        I like the instructions for making the hot flavored oil at the end, too.

                                                      2. Just made Leek Confit - I cut the recipe out of Bon Apetit at least two years ago, so I don't have the exact date. Delicious. I cut the recipe down since the leeks at the grocery store weren't that great and I couldn't find enough. Mixed some of the confit in with some scrambled eggs for lunch and it's great, although I'm sure I'd eat it straight out of the pot too.

                                                        1. Wife just made the Lemon-Glazed Cheesecake from Bon Appetit, February 1978. It's been our standard for, well, all those years. I guess that's not in keeping with the spirit of this thread, re-looking at old, saved, but untried recipes.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: yayadave

                                                            Will have to try this. I love lemon anything and have started trying diff cheesecakes. I made CI's lemon cheesecake but wasn't impressed, not sure if my lemon curd was successful. On the other hand, I loved CI's Pumpkin Cheesecake.

                                                          2. Not exactly from the recipe file, but "favorited" a recipe here on Chow a long time ago and finally made it: sausage-stuffed baked pears. I did as they suggested and fried up a little patty to check the seasonings and I thought it needed a little zing, so I added a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger. They turned out great and everyone liked them (especially my somewhat picky father).

                                                            http://www.chow.com/recipes/10830-sau...

                                                            1. I dug out on old Canadian Living magazine I've been saving since christmas 2003 and made a citrus salad for christmas breakfast. Thickly sliced, peeled, oranges, and the dressing was cranberry juice (I didn't have any on hand so used Raspberry/Cranberry juice), orange zest, dried cranberries, liquid honey, ground ginger and ground cloves - simmer until syrupy (it never got syrupy), pour over and serve. It was the hit of christmas breakfast! Even I liked it and I'm super picky sometimes. The failure to turn syrupy could have been a couple of things - I realized I didn't have any ground ginger and liquid honey, so I had already started the dressing, which had to sit and wait until hubby ran out and picked some up; and perhaps I cooked it on too low a heat. Then hubby turned the spare fridge way too cold and the oranges partially froze, so I had to heat the dressing up to compensate (which may have saved the dish). Will definitely make it again!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: nsstampqueen

                                                                This sounds really good, (I have a box o' oranges from Florida relative!) a pretty and healthy plate for any day, not just Christmas.

                                                              2. so I love orange cake, and have had this recipie in my cake / dessert folder for quite a while...I froze some fresh picked strawberries this summer - cut and in a very light sugar syrup, and was needing something to go with them for dessert. Finally today I made this Orange cornmeal cake that I first saw on Salt and Chocolate. I made it pretty much as is with a few small changes. Used an 8" pan, added a tsp of vanilla, and used 1/4 c evoo and 1/4 c canola oil.

                                                                It's a really quick cake to put together as you don't have to wait for the butter to come to room temp:) and it's a really tasty cake (even without the strawberries). The top has a nice crust from the sugar - which seemed a little weird as I was making it, but turned out to be my favorite part! I will defenitely be making this again!

                                                                http://www.saltandchocolate.com/2008/...

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                  I'm always looking for cakes made with unusual flours. I just made some cupcakes last weekend from rice flour and some of the cakes in the Rose Bakery book Breakfast Lunch Tea are made with alternative flours like the Lemon Cake with rice flour and polenta and a version of the orange and almond meal cake.

                                                                  The cake you describe sounds wonderful and looks great.

                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                    oakjoan I can't recall if I asked you...do you have "Good to the Grain"? I purchased it in December and there are so many amazing-looking recipes I want to try. I've heard nothing but good things about the book, it even won the Tournament of Cookbooks on The Piglet:

                                                                    http://www.food52.com/the_piglet

                                                                    We have an old grist mill nearby and I can't wait to head up there to pick up some whole grain flours to make these recipes.

                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                      Breadcrumbs: No I don't have Good to the Grain. I'll have to look it up.
                                                                      Thanks for the info!

                                                                      1. re: oakjoan

                                                                        Joan, this thread will give you a preview of what's in Good to the Grain: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/702840

                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                          Caitlin thanks for posting that link. That was before my time here on Chowhound and will be an interesting read.

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            If you bake from the book, please do add your reports to that thread. I would like it to be sustained, so we have a collective record, and I do post when I bake something more.

                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                              Absolutely Caitlin, I only took a cursory look at the thread but am delighted to know you started it. My motivation to cook or bake from a book increases significantly if there's a community to share experiences with. I was particularly impressed, at first glance, that you ground your own oat flour (if I remember the grain correctly). I truly loved the book and saw it as a platform to start baking w grains I'm less familiar with so I could build a skill and, hopefully produce results as tasty as they appear or sound in the book. Thanks again for sharing that thread.

                                                                2. "...we saved because we thought they looked delicious but never made.
                                                                  ... reams of papers..."

                                                                  You've seen my life, Ruth! What you said describes me exactly. SO glad to know I'm not alone. Sometimes I've made the recipe right away, but then never used it again. So I'm glad to join in with this project. Thanks!

                                                                  Starr*

                                                                  1. P.S. thanks for the idea of grating frozen butter into the flour mixture. I'm definitely going to give that a try.

                                                                    1. I have been watching this project for a while, but only just had an eligible recipe...I had printed it off and tucked in that brown manila folder I stole from the office in 1976 and marked "Recipes to Try".

                                                                      So here goes Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf available at www.foodnetwork.com › Recipes › Comfort food

                                                                      What made this different (for me anyway) was a new mixing technique. Ina's recipe calls for pre-mixing and cooking the spicing and most of the liquid ingredients to a reduced and conentrated paste, which is then cooled and added to the mixed ground meat, breadcrumbs and eggs.
                                                                      I have always added all my spices, onions and liquid (usually milk) to the meat along with the breadcrumbs/oatmeal, eggs, all at the same time. I like to get in there with my hands and turn this assortment of ingredients into a glorious entity and pop it in a loaf pan.

                                                                      But I gave this technique a chance and I have to say I am a convert. The meatloaf seems to have a better texture as I did not have to overwork the ground meat to ensure a thorough mix of seasoning. It sliced up easily after a 1/2 hour 'rest' and kept its shape on a bed of spinach last night. Today it made excellent turkey meat loaf and cranberry sauce sandwiches.Family agreed they enjoyed this more than my usual Salsa Turkey Meatloaf.

                                                                      I should also note that I halved this recipe: the original calls for 5 lbs of ground turkey and that was just TOO daunting. Clearly,that Ina Garten's is a party-animal!

                                                                      Things I would do differently next time:
                                                                      #1. Spicing is too timid..I would both increase the thyme that is the only herb called for and add a generous tsp of sage and summer savoury as well. The Worcestershire Sauce works really well (though it seems like a lot of liquid when combined with the chicken stock) and contributes salt but if, like me, your chicken stock is home-made and/or unsalted, you will need to add more salt.

                                                                      #2. The other thing is that ketchup topping idea is just bland and boring...I think I might try something fruity next time, maybe a cranberry glaze or just a zestier ketchup variation.

                                                                      But technique wise, I am going to test this out on my favourite beef-pork-veal recipe...I think I am on to something that will improve the texture of all my mealtoafs.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: LJS

                                                                        Will definitely be trying this one soon, as a half batch.

                                                                        Ina has provided some of my best-loved recipes and is, along with Alton Brown, my most favored and consistently reliable source among the FoodNetwork bunch. Her Tequila Lime Chicken is absolutely excellent, she also has a delectably creamy recipe for Chicken with Morels.

                                                                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                          I am going to try the Tequila Lime Chicken-sounds like it would wake up winter-sluggish taste buds around my dinner table. I love her style, but often have to cut the recipes drastically...Ina has way more friends around her table at any given time than we do!

                                                                        2. re: LJS

                                                                          Would you think of a mango salsa as a replacement for ketchup topping?

                                                                          1. re: yayadave

                                                                            Boy, mango salsa (or chutney?) would work for me...I have a confession to make on the topic of toppings: one of my fall-backs is a theft from the 50's. Half chili-sauce, half (brace yourself if you don't go back that far!) grape jelly.

                                                                            I kid you not, just melt it on top of the stove, it is really good, nice and 'clingy' as a topping-also works well as a sauce for mini-meatballs or to nestle cabbage rolls in.

                                                                            After all, you don't have to confess, make 'em guess!

                                                                        3. OK, I've tried to make no-knead bread three times and failed miserably. I think this recipe file needs to be abandoned.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: piccola

                                                                            It's a fun thing and it will work, but I''m not sure how valuable it is to someone who already knows how to make bread.

                                                                            1. re: yayadave

                                                                              It's funny -- I can make regular bread no problem, but the no-knead stuff ends up totally misshapen and blah.

                                                                              1. re: piccola

                                                                                I think if you use a sponge, a slow rise, and some steam in the oven, you end up with the same results. Which is, of course, a good flavored bread with an open structure and a nice crust.

                                                                          2. I recently made a recipe from Mario Batali's cookbook called Spaghetti con Salsa or Spaghetti with caramelized onions with anchovies and toasted bread crumbs. This was my first Mario Batali recipe and I had high expectations but this recipe was not good! I do not know if maybe I made a mistake along the way with cooking but this was pretty much inedible in my opinion. Has anyone else tried making this recipe?

                                                                            1. I've been hanging on to a recipe for blueberry crumb bars from Smitten Kitchen forever, and finally got around to making it today!

                                                                              Recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/blu...

                                                                              The dough came together fairly quickly, though I did wish I had a pastry cutter to help with mixing in the cold butter. After a little while in the oven, my house smelled great too!

                                                                              The bars are delicious, but my topping is a little too dry and powdery. In my haste to make it, I think I may not have mixed the butter into the dough quite as well as I should have. I also made a second pan using sugar substitute (my dad is diabetic and I am test-cooking for an event where he'll be next weekend), and they turned out pretty well too!

                                                                              1. I can't tell you how many hours my Mom and sisters and daughter have poured over recipes in Mom's recipe "box" that have been in there since the 50's and 60's!! I'm not sure that they will ever be executed.....but are always lovingly placed back inside the box.....until the next time we sit around her table imagining what this or that recipe would taste like! After all, a recipe box jammed full of yummy goodness is all about the "possibilities" isn't it?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: riversuzyq

                                                                                  Like poring over travel brochures and never visiting the countries. A little sad.