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February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 9-12

Welcome to our February COTM: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 9-12: Fish, Shellfish, Poultry, Game, Beef, Veal, Lamb, Pork, Sauces, Dressings, Condiments, Rubs and Preserves

Please use this thread for review and discussion of recipes from these chapters of THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK. Give us the name of the recipe along with the page number. Photos are welcomed.

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.

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  1. Ok, last review for me this early morning. And this one's a good one. The Meat and Spinach Loaf (p. 524) turned out to be a great tasting meatloaf, with a nice touch from the spinach. We just used a 'meatloaf mix' of ground meat from the grocery store, and forgot to buy the bacon so we went on without it. I imagine it would add a whole other layer of flavor though, so next time I'll definitely use it. A pretty simple recipe, it came together easily and without much trouble, and really came out of the oven looking great. One of the better meatloafs I can remember, but I don't really have meatloaf much so that might not be saying much, although I'd definitely make it again. Paired with the Mashed Potatoes Anna (p.294) and String Beans with Ginger and Garlic (p.260), which were all linked by the books serving suggestions, we had a great meal.

    6 Replies
    1. re: JVHcook

      Your statement "One of the better meatloafs I can remember" and from the book "...the only meat loaf I would serve to guests."
      Sounds like a must-try.

      1. re: blue room

        I agree. And meatloaf is a favorite among the little ones at my house. When asked what he wants for his 4th birthday tomorrow, my oldest said "meatloaf". I think I will stick with our regular home recipe for tomorrow, but will mark this one to try later. I especially like that it has spinach in it. Definitely not above trying to sneak some green veggies into the kids.

      2. re: JVHcook

        Great review JVH, I'm really looking forward to trying this. Meatloaf is a fave at our house and I love the idea of the spinach inside. I make a lasagna w spinach and its our favourite recipe.

        1. re: JVHcook

          Is there a link to the meatloaf recipe?

          1. re: JVHcook

            For my final recipe from this COTM February I made this meatloaf and we were really pleased with it. I also forgot to buy bacon but as I used a beef pork mix from the Italian butcher I thought there was a perfect amount of fat. I couldn't believe how well the spinach incorporated- I initially thought it was way too much. In case anybody is counting we made a lot of ground beef recipes this month as hubbie is having dental work done and can't eat steak. After he's done we won't be able to afford steak either. ha ha. Hope Jamie has some good mince recipes. I'm off to pick up my copy of the Naked Chef at the library and turn in a my the library copy of Essential The New York Times Cookbook. I did buy a copy from Amazon and am looking forward to using it for many years.

            1. re: JVHcook

              Meat and Spinach Loaf, page 524

              We got some ground meat in our organic ranch drop this month so, a couple nights ago, I decided to go back to the ENYT, as I remembered posts about this recipe.

              I used a mix of ground beef and pork, about half and half. (I would have like to use veal, but none was to be found.) I couldn't get my breadcrumbs to pulverize enough (too fresh, I think), so I threw it in with the milk, parsley, and celery in the blender, which did the job. I used fresh baby spinach, just barely wilted and then chopped. I used pepper bacon on the top.

              As JVH says above, the spinach is a really nice touch. It also makes the loaf a bit lighter, unlike some brick-like meat loves I've seen around. The bacon on top adds eye appeal, and the drippings going into the meatloaf don't hurt the flavor either. Without a doubt, one of the better meatloaves I've had (although I admit I'm not a frequent meatloaf consumer).

              I did not make the tomato sauce, instead roasted some tomato quarters with thyme, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil (à la Ottolenghi). Mr Nightshade made a lovely multi-vegetable risotto to go alongside. A simple potato dish would work well also.

              And it is nice to have some leftover meatloaf waiting in the refrigerator.

               
            2. I made the boeuf bourguignon II, and it was possibly the best boeuf bourguinon I have ever made, and this is a dish I have made since I was a teenager! However, I was intrigued by the method described in the first recipe, and I would be tempted to try that the next time.

              4 Replies
              1. re: roxlet

                Quite an endorsement, wow! How did it compare in complexity to other BB recipes you've tried? Can't wait to hear how BBI compares!

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  You know, I'm just not sure, but it might have been the cognac, because there is very little else that truly differs! It also could have partly been the meat. My husband has taken to buying a whole chuck at the Restaurant Depot, and breaking the meat down into roasts, chopped meat and stew meat.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    You're so right about the meat roxlet, I find some of our favourite dishes can turn out completely different if we purchase meat from a new spot. Glad you've found a great source and, this recipe sounds like a winner. I'd bookmarked both recipes but will definitely start w this one! Thanks for posting.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Well, maybe it WAS the meat. My husband bought another chuck and when I looked at the package, I realized that it is prime chuck. Prime chuck. Who ever heard of that??!!

              2. Yucaton Fish with Crisp Garlic p. 431

                This was a winner for us, although with some slight modifications. But I would say, if you don't like lime, you might want to skip this one.

                This recipe is a minimalist one, and thus pretty simple. You start by browning 5 sliced garlic cloves in canola oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. This is then reserved. Next you take flounder (or other white fish) fillets and cook in a large nonstick skillet with dried hot chiles. The instructions don't say anything about breaking up the chiles and I did not. I used 2 whole dried arbol peppers and they didn't seem to add much heat. If I wanted this hot, I would definitely add more, or break up the chiles next time. Conspicuously absent was any instrucyion to season the fish. Normally, I would have salted and peppered the fish before searing, but I tried to be a good COTMer and followed the recipe, so just into the pan naked with the oil and peppers. after 2 minutes, you turn down the heat and add fresh lime juice (almost 1/2 cup) and cherry tomatoes (optional, I used). You are supposed to cook another 2minutes until cooked through. The recipes explicitly states "do not turn the fish". Now, my flounder fillets were huge, about 3/4 lb each and pretty thick. They were nowhere near cooked through at the end of the second 2 minutes. Hesser, in the cooking notes says to preheat your oven so you can finish the fish in the oven if needed, but I was using a huge skillet to accomodate all the fish (didn't want to have to wash 2) that it wouldn't fit in my oven. So I just flipped the fish. There was no indication of why NOT to flip it and I couldn't see what harm would come of it (aside from the fish fillets breaking in half). Once cooked through, you remove the fish to a platter and then stir cilantro into the pan. Then you spoon the cilantro and pan juices onto the fish along with the browned garlic slices and oil and additional fresh lime juice.

                The final result was way underseasoned, in my opinion, but with the addition of salt at the table was delicious. Fresh, light, flavorful and easy. My husband who loves lime, loved it. The toddlers wouldn't eat it-- they saw the chile peppers go in and wouldn't touch it. I think it would have been too limey for them anyway. (They got a plain pan-fried flounder fillet and were happy with that). When I make this again (and DH has already requested that I do), I will up the garlic and cilantro. My husband and I were fighting over the sauce, which is really like a cooked salsa. The garlic also becomes very mild as it is cooked. I would also season the fish before searing with salt and pepper and maybe a little cumin. I would also probably sear the fish on both sides before adding the lime juice.

                 
                12 Replies
                1. re: greeneggsnham

                  What a spectacular photo and, fabulous review g!

                  I've made some notes in my cookbook based on your experience and appreciate the detail you provided. I agree its quite odd that the fish go into the pan unseasoned. It sounds like your instincts were right on. A great compliment to you that your husband already wants it again!! High praise indeed!

                  Your post has made me very hungry!

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Although I thought the final result was quite good, this one did make me think about what TDQ said about possible poor testing in Bittman's recipes. maybe the lack of seasoning on the fish was an oversight or an assumed step. I feel like the insistence on not turning the fish was also sort of weird without any explanation.

                    But still, those are pretty minor points overall for a dish that I will definitely make again.

                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                      Great review GENH! I've borrowed this book and SO's BD is on the horizon and he loves fish. This may be on the menu/

                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                        Great review and wonderful photo. I too have made notes based on what you said. Hoping to make this soon.

                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                          Yucatán Fish with Crisp Garlic, p. 431

                          Greeneggsnham has this recipe covered and I agree on all points. I used 4 whole chiles de árbol and they didn't contribute much heat. Next time I'll break them in half. My fish also wasn't cooked so I covered the pan for a bit.

                          We loved this, and I am always happy when E likes a dish that is healthy (he said this was "absolutely fantastic"). I did make some changes. I used grape tomatoes cut in half and tilapia seasoned with Penzey's Shallot Salt, and Adobo Seasoning (garlic, onion, Tellicherry black pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin and cayenne red pepper). I also substituted the lime, which kind of defeats the purpose of a Mexican dish, for lemon as my Ponderosa lemon tree is covered with fruit. It's one of the reasons E liked this dish so much - he really loves lemon with fish. I also toasted more garlic.

                          I served with a romaine and radish salad tossed with an avocado-cilantro dressing. Easy, fresh, light, and healthy dinner, will be adding this to the rotation. Leftovers were great in fish tacos the next day (I sprinkled a little Penzey's ground ancho on the fish) with salsa roja, shredded romaine, cilantro, and more of the dressing thinned with crema. Taco picture: http://twitpic.com/3vaucb

                          Recipe link:
                          http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                           
                           
                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                            Just made these tonight, went the taco route. They turned out great looking, and great tasting except for the spice, which was our fault however. All we had were dried Habaneros, and we ended up using 4 and breaking them up too. Turned out verrry spicy, we definitely should have used less or not cut them because we were using that type of pepper. Otherwise though we really enjoyed them, and followed some of your advice with the salt and pepper, as well as flipping them because we used a thicker fish fillet as well(halibut). Would definitely make them again, next time with less spice, overall a great and simple recipe.

                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                              Yucatán Fish with Crisp Garlic (page 431)

                              Had some Costco frozen flounder fillets in the freezer and find them so boring I wasn’t sure how to use them up. Was so pleased to find this recipe—and the reviews.

                              As I often do when cutting a recipe in half or quarters, I played fast and loose with the quantity of ingredients. I probably used the full amount of garlic and red chiles and half the amount of lime juice while using a quarter of the amount of fish. I skipped the optional tomatoes and since I didn’t feel like going out to buy cilantro, I used an ice-cube sized chunk of pesto. Took everyones’ advice and seasoned the fillets with s&p before cooking. My fillets were thin and ended up being perfectly cooked with exactly the timing given; no turning or covering necessary.

                              I also loved this. Served it with a simple salad and kept pushing the greens into the sauce to soak up more of it. So good, and so easy, it makes me think maybe I should keep frozen flounder fillets on hand after all.

                               
                              1. re: JoanN

                                Did you have to defrost the fillets first or does this work straight out of the freezer? And was it a frozen ice cube of pesto you used? (questions from a gal who wants to make better use of her freezer).

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Yes, I defrosted the fillets first. They thaw very quickly--maybe an hour? hour and a half?--at room temp. And, yes, the pesto cube was frozen (or as frozen as pesto gets with all that oil in it). I just tossed it into the hot pan and it melted in seconds.

                                  I nearly always have Costco fish and shrimp in the freezer. Sometimes its the already packaged, already frozen stuff, sometimes I buy it fresh, take it home, portion it out, and seal it in FoodSaver bags. Although I have easy access to excellent fish, there are many times I just don't feel like shopping. I pull the fish out of the freezer in the late afternoon and it thaws quickly, as does the shrimp in cold, salted, water. I can make myself a quick, healthy meal in practically no time.

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    Very smart, thank you. I might have to employ that strategy!

                                    ~TDQ

                            2. Chicken Roasted With Sour Cream, Lemon Juice And Mango Chutney
                              I served this with the Bulgur Salad http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632...
                              We really enjoyed this dish. The chicken was super tender and the sauce very flavorful. I know TDQ mentioned that her eaters didn't care for mango, but I didn't find the mango to be a major flavor, so I think you could sneak this dish by them! This dish really couldn't be simpler.

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                Simple and inoffensive to mango haters. What's not to love? Thank you!

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                  This one was on my list of "to-make" dishes KN, so glad to hear its a success. Did you make any revisions at all or was the dish good as is?

                                  I don't recall whether you have to make the chutney or use prepared. If its the latter, which brand did you use?

                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    I made it as is (for once!). I considered using my new curry that I got at Penzey's that the lady called the 'Cadillac of curries', but I wimped out because it's expensive! I used my regular Penzey's curry, half of the spicy, half of the sweet. I don't think it specifies on the chutney, but I had just about 2 T. left of Crosse & Blackwell's Major Grey Chutney, so I used that up.

                                  2. re: Katie Nell

                                    Did this taste very much like Mayonnaise? This looks great, but I'm not really very fond of mayonnaise and I'm not sure whether the dislike would transfer to the final dish. Should I try it out anyways?

                                    1. re: JVHcook

                                      I don't know? I don't really think store-bought mayo has a distinct flavor, at least to me. I just asked my husband what he thought and he said, "no, it tasted like curry"! Sorry, that's not much help!

                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                        No, that's more than enough help! I think I'll have to try it now as I've grown a new love for curry lately, and my family likes mayo anyways so if I don't I'm sure they'll eat it. Thanks for the opinion.

                                    2. re: Katie Nell

                                      As a side note, the leftover sauce made a great salad dressing! I was making my grandma's layered salad to take to a family lunch tomorrow, and I wanted to make a little salad to go with our pizza tonight. But, I ran out of mayonnaise, and in a pinch, I decided to use the leftover sauce on our salad. I added a pinch of sugar, a tiny bit of pureed red onion, and a tiny bit of vinegar. My husband had two helpings of salad, which is saying a lot for him!!

                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                        Chicken Roasted with Sour Cream, Lemon Juice, and Mango Chutney – p. 480 – Chapter 10

                                        Katie’s review above enticed us to give this a try. We’re sure glad we did. Here’s our story:

                                        We thought this dish was delicious . . . just take a look at our sorry looking picture below!! This smelled really yummy as it baked in the oven and we were so looking forward to trying it we completely forgot to take a photo! It was only when mr bc was scraping up the last dregs from his plate that he proclaimed “Crap! We forgot to take a photo!!” At this point, I only had a couple of bites of my piece of chicken left but mr bc swiftly whisked my plate away for a quick snap! While I doubt the visual will entice you to try it, at least you’ll know we enjoyed it!!

                                        This really couldn’t be easier, a perfect quick weeknight meal. Two boneless chicken breasts are placed in a baking dish. A sauce of equal portions of mayo and sour cream, mango chutney (like Katie, I used Major Grey’s), curry powder, juice of a Meyer lemon and ground pepper is whisked together and poured over the chicken which is then baked in a 450 degree oven. Hesser suggests 15 mins however ours took 25 mins. It all depends on the size of your breasts I guess. (Well, not “yours”)!!!

                                        The sauce was really tasty and well-balanced w no one flavour prevailing. I did feel a little guilty using ½ cup of mayo though . . . not that it didn’t taste terrific, just that it seemed like a bit much for 1lb of chicken. I’ve made something similar in the past using plain yogurt and I think I’d replace the mayo/sour cream w that next time and perhaps reduce the lemon juice since the yogurt has its own tang.

                                        As I was enjoying this I was thinking how good it would be w some broccoli or broccoli rabe on the side. . . . . next time!

                                         
                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          Chicken Roasted with Sour Cream, Lemon Juice, and Mango Chutney p.480

                                          Breadcrumbs and Katie have given such great outlines of the process for making this that there's nothing really I can add. Except that it took far longer than 15 mins for the chicken breasts to be cooked through - more like 30 mins. Though I may have misunderstood the instruction on halving the breasts. I read whole boneless, skinless breasts, halved as being the double breasts, halved down the centre division between the two breasts but now I read it again I think it should have been each breast halved. And I think the cut should probably be horizontal to ensure cooking in 15 mins. My breasts were quite plump (ha!) so would have taken longer than 15 mins with a vertical cut.

                                          Anyway, we liked the end result. I wouldn't say I loved it, it was a bit too "fatty" for my taste but it's a good quick dinner when all you have are some chicken breasts and store-cupboard ingredients.

                                          1. re: JaneEYB

                                            I agree it was too fatty or just too many empty calories for two people and I hear you about chicken breast sizes. Recipes are always so exact about spices, an area that deserves wiggle room IMHO, but seldom say how many ounces a chicken breast should weigh. I wasn't too thrilled with the recipe but my oven can get too hot so I think it cooked away a lot of the sauce- it was done in less than 15 minutes. I also felt there was not enough curry but I used Trader Joe's curry powder, perhaps a better quality or just more of it would have helped.

                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            How much sweetness did the mango chutney give it? I'm not a big fan of sweet in my savory, but it sounds pretty good ...

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Hi LM, we're not averse to sweetness so I may not be the best judge however, that won't stop me!! ; )

                                              I purchased a new jar of Major Grey's to make this recipe and, I did taste the chutney in advance of adding it to the dish. I think that brand is sweeter than Cross & Blackwell's which is my usual brand. That said, We didn't find the sweetness to be prevalent in the finished dish LM, the flavours were balanced for our tastes. Perhaps you could just add the chutney a little at a time until it suits your tastes. Folks can always add more later if they wish.

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                Thanks BC. We're all fairly averse to sweetness in anything but dessert (we only recently got over the whole dried fruit in Moroccan food business). Maybe your suggestion of just trying a little at a time is the best, if I make this.

                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                This reminds me, I forgot to report, I made this again with all Greek yogurt... my husband liked it better, but I didn't really like it at all. I'm sad to say that I'm just a full fat kind of girl! It definitely wasn't very attractive... the yogurt kind of clumped together. Maybe I shouldn't have tried *all* yogurt?

                                          3. Southeast Asian Chicken, 2 ways. p. 489

                                            This is another Bittman Minimalist recipe that I made and liked. Again, pretty easy, although I did manage to complicate the recipe a bit to accommodate the non-spice eating toddlers in my family. My first modification was to use chicken wings and thighs (total about 2.5 lbs) rather than a whole cut up chicken, based on my family's preferences. These are supposed to be marinated in soy, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. I split the batch and marinated some sans red pepper flakes for the kids. These are then browned in a skillet with a bit of oil. They are supposed to be finished in the skillet as well, but I put the browned pieces into a 350 degree oven to cook through since I wanted to keep the kids portion without the pepper flakes. Once your chicken is cooked, you get the split into the "two ways". You can then serve with lime and cilantro for a "Thai" style dish or add sugar, more garlic, ginger, RPF and fish sauce to the pan to make a glaze of sorts for a Vietnamese style chicken.

                                            I served the kids the plain chicken with just the soy, ginger garlic marinade and they were quite pleased. For my husband and I, I tried both ways. For us, the "vietnamese" style was the winner. It makes a sweet/savory glaze which was great on the wings, especially. I am not having a superbowl party, but if I were, chicken wings prepared this way would definitely be on the menu. My husband didn't quite lick the bowl, but he did put an extra scoop of rice into the serving bowl to sop up all the sauce. I'm not sure how authentic this is, but it is delicious.

                                            I served this with Japanese rice and sesame roasted broccoli. Overall, a big success.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                              Oh this does sound good g. Somehow, in selecting over a 100 recipes, I managed to miss this one!! Now I'll have to add it to the (growing) list! Yum!

                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                It really was good! If you get to it, I'd love to hear how you like it. You have your work cut out for you this month!

                                            2. New York Strip Steak with Horseradish-Mint Glaze (p. 566)

                                              This was absolutely delicious and very easy! Normally, I would grill strip steaks, but these had been in the freezer for awhile and needed to be cooked and it's way too cold and snow-covered to think about grilling outdoors. Also, I had some horseradish I needed to use up, so this recipe really fit the bill. Although I wouldn't usually choose this type of glaze for steak, it worked beautifully and the steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare -- I followed the directions exactly. Served the steak with horseradish-scallion mashed potatoes (a CI recipe) and kale sauteed with garlic. Lovely meal. This was the first recipe I've made from this book, so it's nice that it was a winner! I would definitely make this again.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: foodtrip

                                                Horshradish+mint is an unfamiliar flavor combo to me, so I was curious about this one, so thank you for reporting on it. As you say, how nice that it was a winner!

                                                ~TDQ

                                              2. Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew, ENYT, 560

                                                I’ve had my eye on this recipe since I first opened the book, and while I wouldn’t call it a disappointment, it didn’t quite live up to my (lofty) expectations. Mainly, I found it a tad too mustardy, which perhaps should not have been surprising—the recipe calls for ½ c dijon plus another ¼ c whole grain mustard.

                                                I cubed my chuck roast (ended up with a little over 2 ¼ lbs) and chopped a lg. onion and three lg. shallots this morning so that I could cut down on this evening’s prep time. To start, salt pork, about ¼ lb, which I happened to have in the freezer, went into a lg. LC DO. Since the SP comes packaged in thinnish slices, I cut the slices into thirds instead of dicing and rendered the fat over low heat, removing and discard SP pieces once they crisped. Onions and shallots were added and cooked over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft. After transferring the cooked onions to a bowl, I put 2 T butter into the pot, turned up the heat to med. high, and began browning the beef, which had been lightly dusted in flour and seasoned w/s & p. I did this in three batches (and had to add another 1-2 T butter after the second batch). I transferred the meat to a bowl and deglazed the pot w/ ½ c. cognac for a few minutes before adding 2 c. beef broth, ½ c. smooth dijon, and 1 T. whole grain (Maille) mustard, whisked everything until smooth and brought the mixture just to a boil before adding the meat and onions to the pot and lowering the heat to a simmer, partially covering, and cooking for about 2 hours (recipe calls for 1 ½ and that would have been fine, no doubt, but I got distracted and forgot about it). I then added the carrots (four, sliced). The recipe says to cook for about 30 minutes longer, but it was an hour before the carrots were even crisp-tender. I then added the mushrooms (1/2 lb., quartered, sautéed separately in 1 ½ T butter), and although the recipe calls for the addition of ¼ c red wine and 3 T whole grain mustard at this point, I found the stew already very mustard-y so reduced the WG mustard to just 1 T and increased the wine to 1/3 c. The stew cooked another 5-6 minutes; in a further attempt to tame the mustard, I stirred in 1 T crème fraiche (all I had, but I think the stew would have been improved by another ¼ c or so). I sprinkled some parsley over the stew, and we ate it w/buttered egg noodles and a spinach salad.

                                                Although I have a simmer burner that burns quite low, I still found the stew, which was pretty thick, burning on the bottom twice during the first hour or so of cooking so I added at least an additional cup of beef broth during that time, and ended up adding between ½ and ¾ c of chicken stock (as I’d run out of beef broth) while the carrots were simmering. It definitely needs more liquid than the recipe indicates.

                                                This was pretty good (tender meat in a flavorful sauce) and not terribly difficult--but not a practical week night undertaking for most people (about 4 hours, start to finish). I loved the idea of this stew (dijon, cognac, mushrooms—how could it be bad?), but if I were to make it again, I’d start w/ half the mustard and adjust from there. I’m not sure that I would make it again: for similar time, effort, and ingredients, I think I’d just as soon have beef bourguignon.

                                                 
                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  wow--great review and photo on this one! Surprised (but glad to know) as I thought the same thing with dijon, cognac and mushrooms--how could you go wrong?!

                                                2. Shrimp Creole p. 397

                                                  I thought this was good. The sauce is kind of sweet as she says and it is important to add a lot of Tabasco to the rice, so that it cuts the sweetness. I didn't add quite enough even though I thought I might have over done it, so add more than you think. My kids both loved it.

                                                  I do think that there is not enough rice. The recipe only has you cook one cup. The sauce could easily support as least two cups, I would definitely double it.

                                                  I should have added parsley before the photo...apologies.

                                                   
                                                  1. Nina Simond's Broiled Halibut with Miso Glaze p. 413 http://tinyurl.com/6arwwsy

                                                    Quick and delicious dinner. Marinate fish (I used black cod) with a mixture of white miso (I used saikyo shiro miso), mirin (Mitoku) and grated ginger. The recipe instructs us to marinate for 30 minutes, but I ended up doing it for about an hour an a half. The fish is then broiled. The fish was moist, flaky, and gently sweet. The ginger adds a nice touch. A much faster and easier version than Nobu's. It is also not as sweet and the flavors are a little more delicate in this iteration. I like both versions, but do appreciate the simplicity and quickness of this one.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                      Yay! Nina Simonds sis-boom-bah! One of my all-time favorite culinary authorities.

                                                      1. re: BigSal

                                                        Ooooh, this looks awesome. How did I miss it? That's so much for pointing it out. I will have to make this. Once, when I was in med school I made Nobu's black cod with miso for a very special occasion and thought it was awesome. I also remember feeling like I was spending my whole month's food budget on ingredients :) No time for that kind of endeavor now, but this looks doable.

                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                          Nina Simond's Broiled Halibut with Miso Glaze

                                                          2 1/2 years later and I finally made this. Totally agree with BigSal that this is a quick and delicious dinner. I did add a little bit of sugar to the marinade as I like the sweetness of Nobu's version and thought the kids would eat it more readily with a little sweetness. I only had darker red miso and used that with no ill effects.

                                                          Very nice. Need to remember this for the next time I have halibut and not a lot of time to get dinner on the table. Making the rice took longer than putting the fish together, marinading and broiling.

                                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                            Glad you enjoyed it too. It's perfect for the changing seasons and a hectic schedule. Thanks for the reminder.

                                                        2. Oliver Clark's Meat Loaf, Pg. 554

                                                          For my initial foray into The Essential NYT Cookbook this was a wacky and bizarre but quite a flavorful combination of ingredients. Bits and pinches of 14 different elements some of which we couldn't detect in the final dish, nevertheless came together to create a light and different meat loaf...that old standby comfort food.

                                                          I only had to make one substitution, a mild goat cheese for whipped cream cheese, but I eliminated the 1/2 lb. of bacon as we thought it was just too much of a good thing. Also, instead of 2 lbs beef and 1 lb. pork or sausage I used 2 lbs minced turkey. I'd make this again, definitely, but will include the pork sausage meat.

                                                          To begin, onions and garlic are sautéed for a few minutes, seasoned with S & P, then removed from the heat to cool. Into a large bowl go: a chopped portobello cap, a chopped green bell pepper, bread crumbs, garlic powder, Dijon mustard, Cajun seasoning, Parmigiano, ketchup, mayo, cream cheese, the meat, onions and garlic, eggs. The instructions say to "paw at it with 2 forks" to mix thoroughly. Shape into a loaf on a baking dish and bake for 50 - 60 minutes. Ours took 1 hr 10 minutes. Of course we're looking forward to the sandwiches.

                                                          ETA: This was served with braised Brussels sprouts and potatoes.

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            "Of course we're looking forward to the sandwiches." :) Isn't that the truth.

                                                            We had meatloaf last night, too and I looked at that recipe but went with our standard home brew to please the kiddies. Will have to try the 2 NYT meatloaf recipes at some point.

                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              I made this lovely meatloaf last night and I had a bit of a genius thought. I try to always grind my own meat using my KA meat grinder. So last night I was about to grind the beef and pork for this, when I thought about the mincing of all the vegetables. I went ahead and put the portobellos and the green bell pepper through the coarse plate, and then ground the meat through into another bowl, and then reran the meat through the fine plate into the bowl with the vegetables. This was simple and it mixes the meat easier than with your hands, for sure. Anyway, this simplified the prep quite a bit.

                                                              I think I would have missed the bacon. Since the meatloaf does not have a glaze I felt the bacon was necessary. I might mix up one of CI's meatloaf glazes next time actually. We missed it. The meatloaf itself was fantastic though, I will make it again.

                                                              I did make the meatloaf a little thinner than he said so that it would cook faster. My meatloaf was probably 2 inches high. It cooked in an hour. I served with the bacon potato puffs and the spinach and artichoke casserole.

                                                               
                                                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                Clever girl...!

                                                                I forgot to say I made a glaze of ketchup and sriracha for the top of the meat loaf.
                                                                We managed to get a meal of sandwiches, and fried up the last of it, cut in slabs, for an additional side dish last night. Quite a nifty loaf to have on hand, I'd say.

                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Oh, that does sound perfect, Gio. I definitely think every meatloaf should be adorned with something. I think I am about to make me a meatloaf sandwich for lunch.

                                                                2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                  What a great idea. I don't usually grind my own beef, but I do grind my own pork. Definitely going to try this your way. In fact, may make your whole dinner. You've got a bunch of my favorite foods on that plate.

                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                    Yes Joan, it was a very delicious meal. Those potatoes are grand!

                                                                3. re: Gio

                                                                  Oliver Clark's Meat Loaf, Pg. 554
                                                                  Finally made this last night and loved it but have a question. We followed the directions to the letter and my husband asked what about the rest of the olive oil? The recipe's first ingredient is a 1/4 cup of olive oil and then the first direction says to heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. That was the last mention of it that I could find so I added a splash to the final mix. There was a lot of fat that came out of the finished product so it really seemed like overkill.

                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                    Oh gosh... I don't remenber, Berheenia. The book isn't with me at the moment, but I'll check my notes later and get back to you. I'm one of those nasty people who actually write in books...that I own, of course.

                                                                    FWIW, I usually reduce the amounts of oil & salt in any recipe I read. But that's not what you want to hear right now...

                                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                                      Berheenia, my notes say that I cut that 1/4 cup olive oil to 1/8 cup. Then it just sat there while we used 2 Tablespoons EVOO to sautee the onion and garlic. So yes, that oil measurement does not appear in the directions at all. Just the ingredient list.

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        Thank-you! Guess I better amend my copy. We were rushing when we actually made the recipe and hubby went perfectionist on me. <grin>

                                                                  2. Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Chipotle Sauce, p. 413

                                                                    Made this for four adults, so I shaped it into eight medium sized patties, which worked well as an entre, with two sides. They would also make a pleasant first course if you made 12 3-oz cakes. The consensus was that the dish was delicious with a nice spicy riff (chipotle flavoring in the yogurt sauce.) I used wild sockeye salmon. Good flavor and nice deep pink color. I made one discovery, one change, and one mistake!
                                                                    The discovery I made was that you can condense the stated 6 to 24 hour draining time for converting the Fagol yogurt into yogurt cheese down to ONE hour if you are desperate because you didn't read the recipe correctly and dinner is in 1 1/2 hours. I put the yogurt into the strainer lined with a paper towel as directed, then covered it and placed a heavy can on top to help press out the whey (or whatever that liquid is.) Got about 1/4 cup out. After the hour in the refrigerator like this, I removed the cheese and squeezed by hand additional whey out--another 1/4 cup. To my eye and taste it was just like yogurt cheese I've made the more lengthy way! My change: I used olive oil rather than safflower oil: tasted fine to us. My mistake: I accidentally used extra-large eggs rather than the directed "large" ones and my batter was rather soupy. I couldn't create semi-solid little cakes for the baking-pan; they spread out too much. So I sauteed them as mentioned in the notes, and they firmed up fine in the hot fat which of course only added to the flavor and nice crispy edges. I'm sure they were more caloric (I used an oil and butter mixture to saute, as recommended in the notes.)
                                                                    Oh yes; one personal suggestion: I used three canned chipotles rather than two, because we like extra heat. Still quite acceptable to the one diner at the table who is a bit of a wimp. ;-)

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                      Another wimp here, but interested in the salmon cakes -- would you say they'd be good with just a squirt of lemon or a fat knifetip of tartar sauce?

                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                        I think that they'd be very good with either. Or both, if the spirit moves! This is not a particularly creative recipe for salmon cakes, except I thought that they were extra good even just on their own. May have been because they were sauteed in a bit of butter along with the oil, but I also liked the texture of the finished product, with its good-sized flakes of salmon which had been lightly poached just before cooking. Just the right amount of fresh bread crumbs, IMHO. Again, very doable for a week-night meal. You could set them up ahead in the refrigerator, too.

                                                                      2. re: Goblin

                                                                        Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Chipotle Sauce, p. 413

                                                                        I made these tonight for dinner, serving over a spinach salad, and making a spicy sauce with sour cream and Ghost Chili hot sauce. I used large eggs, but this batter was still too soupy. I think a cup of mayo and 4 large eggs just seem too much for 1 pound of salmon. They were too loose to coat in crumbs, so I just fried them in butter and oil, using a small measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the pan. E said dinner was delicious (and "the sauce makes it"), but I wouldn't make these again because of the liquidy batter.

                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                          Too bad. They sure do look tempting. I gather not good enough to try adjusting the batter thickness?

                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                            Interesting that Rubee had the same experience I did with soupy batter, which I think proves that the salmon-mixture doesn't need this many eggs or this much mayo. Don't know if this was a fault in the original transcription of the recipe, or what. In my case, I also threw in about 1/2 cup of extra breadcrumbs that I had left over but still didn't have a mixture formable into satisfactory salmon "cakes." More like salmon pancakes that had to be coaxed into the saute pan. My family also loved the end results of frying them in butter/oil--but who wouldn't?
                                                                            I will make this again because it's flavorful and attractive as an entre , but I'll start with 2 eggs and less mayo and try to keep the mixture from getting soupy as I go along.
                                                                            I also think Rubee's idea of adapting the sauce using use sour cream is great and saves a lot of time.

                                                                            I love how folks keep cooking and reporting on the recipes in this book!

                                                                            1. re: Goblin

                                                                              Thanks for that, Goblin. I may give it a try and will make a note of yours and Rubee's changes in the book right now.

                                                                              I'm sure people will be cooking from and reporting on the recipes in this book for a very long time. One of the great things about having been with COTM from the get-go is that whenever someone posts to one of those old threads, it pops right up on your "My Recent Threads" listing. There are really quite a few books that many of us return to again and again, especially those that tend to be more seasonal.

                                                                              1. re: Goblin

                                                                                I wonder if it's possible they are *meant* to be pancake-like?
                                                                                I ask beause I have the opposite-- a recipe for "chicken pancakes" that are as chunky as can be, certainly not pourable. But a whole cup of mayo and 4 eggs does seem excessive for 1 pound of salmon.

                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                  BlueRoom, I wondered about this, so I just went back to look: the instructions say to shape the salmon mixture into patties, coat with breadcrumbs, place on a baking sheet and then bake at 450 F. That's what misled Rubee and me, and surprised us when the mix was too liquid to shape satisfactorily. The Notes to the recipe recommend that "these cakes are baked, but they can be sauteed in a mixture of butter and oil if you want crisper edges." So a helpful alternative to baking them WAS suggested. The reason I'm going to pursue making them into firmer cakes, with fewer eggs, etc., is that I love things I can set up ahead in the refrigerator if I'm entertaining. Or even if I'm not.
                                                                                  But as we noted, our diners didn't complain about the frying!

                                                                        2. Pan-roasted Chicken with End-of-Season Tomatoes pg 482

                                                                          Calls for very ripe, chopped tomatoes but, in Chicago in February in the middle of a blizzard, I looked for something to make from the book using what I had. Not to mention the challange it would have been to find the tomatoes anyway. Have you noticed the tomato packaging has changed from a green plastic tube of hard styrofoam-like tomatoes but the quality is the same?
                                                                          Anyway, I had a good can of San Marzano plum tomatoes and chopped those with a little reserved juice.

                                                                          This was my first experience brining chicken and I could (and myhusband could) tell the difference. Left the chicken in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. I had a 5 lb chicken so closer to 40 minutes than 20-30.

                                                                          Removed the chicken from the pan and kept warm in the oven while I made the sauce. Had a great bottle of Spanish sherry and the sauce was flavorful, probably a little heavier than it would have been with fresh tomatoes but still a little pulpy and not "drippy".

                                                                          Wanted to make the chips but ran out of time so I made some angel hair and that went well with the sauce.

                                                                          I'd make again.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ldubois2

                                                                            I went right past this recipe since end-of-season tomatoes are out of season. Maybe I will be put this back into the option list. San Marzano tomatoes are always in the pantry.

                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                              You could always use grape toms or those really nice "cocktail" tomatoes on the vine, they have good flavor even now.

                                                                          2. Saltimbocca, p.561

                                                                            Not much to this preparation, and the ingredients are typical--veal scallops or cutlets (I used 6 oz.), pounded thin, prosciutto (I used 3 slices, cut to fit the veal pieces), 1 1 /2 T ea. butter and olive oil for sauteeing, 8 sage leaves, splash of white wine, s & p. The real difference here, according to the book, is that the veal is rolled *around* the prosciutto so that it is not exposed and doesn't get crisp. While I had never realized that was a problem, I have to say that I did like this technique: I didn't need toothpicks, and in fact, rolled this way, the veal seemed at less risk of being overcooked.
                                                                            I heated the butter and olive oil until it was sizzling, put in the veal "packets" (I eneded up w/6 small rolls) and the sage leaves and rolled them around briefly until they were browned. I transferred them to a plate and put them into a 250F oven (w/the fried sage leaves--why discard them, asthe recipe instructs?) while I "finished" the sauce--i.e., splashed some wine into the skillet and swirled around for a minute or so before pouring it over the veal rolls, adding s & p,and sprinkling it all with chopped parsely. I served it w/ fettucinne alla romana (p. 310) and broccoli sauteed in olive oil, garlic, and dried red pepper. Delicious.

                                                                            My husband loves this dish, and I've made it several times. (We had a memorable rendition on the way home from our wedding trip so it's special for us. In fact, when he came in tonight and saw I was making this, he thought he'd forgotten our shortly upcoming anniversary.) To my surprise, this minor variation in technique made for easier, more confident execution. I will do it again this way. A simple recipe, but a winner.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                  Saltimbocca, Pg. 561

                                                                                  Made this for Sunday night dinner last night. My veal cutlets were very thin and narrower than Nomad's so I only used 2 slices of prosciutto for each. I rolled them as she suggested but didn't serve the sage leaves nor sprinkle chopped parsley. Perhaps my prosciutto was more salty than that which Nomad used because to my palate the finished dish was almost too salty. G didn't think so, though and loved it. (I'm beginning to think that the meds I'm taking are having an effect on the way I taste food lately. Bah Humbug!) This was served with Crostini Romani, pg 77 as a first course and Caramelized Endive, pg.238 as a side dish. Happy Valentine's Day everyone...!

                                                                              1. Bademiya's Justly Famous Bombay Chile and Cilantro Chicken p. 471

                                                                                http://tinyurl.com/679dp84

                                                                                Spicy, vibrant, flavorful chicken. Toast coriander seeds, black peppercorns and cumin seeds, and grind to a powder. Make a paste of the powder and add garlic, lemon juice, cayenne, ginger, salt, oil, and water. Once pureed, stir in chopped cilantro. Marinate skinned, bone-in chicken (drumsticks and thighs) for 4-6 hours- ours went about 7 hours. Grill until done. The intensely sesasoned paste sticks to the chicken and creates a bit of crust. And wow, was this spicy and packed with flavor! This recipe is not shy on heat like some other recipes might be. I'd also recommend cooking this in a well ventilated area. Both of us started coughing almost as soon as the chicken hit the grill. They suggest serving this with a cilantro sauce (cilantro, garlic, cumin, lemon, walnuts, jalapeno, salt and pepper, water). The sauce was bright and delicious, but we found the chicken so full of flavor that the sauce was unecessary, although some naan would have been welcome. We served this with yogurt rice which helped temper the heat of the chicken. Definitely a make again dish or us.

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                  I love the name "justly famous" -- puts any doubts to rest right away!

                                                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                                                    I've been eyeing that one, too. You've convinced me. As soon as we have some grill-conducive weather, I'm going to do this one. It's justly famous, after all.

                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                      Bademiya's Justly Famous Bombay Chile and Cilantro Chicken p. 471

                                                                                      This was just delicious. I'm glad I didn't see this ahead of time because I probably would have skipped the cilantro sauce. But, I loved the sauce as well.

                                                                                      This was a bit more work then anticipated. After toasting the spices, silly me decided it was too much work to get out the spice grinder and I didn't want to wash both the spice grinder and then the food processor. I decided to use a mortar and pestle, thinking there weren't that many spices. Wrong. Regardless, I pounded all those spices into powder, and the blended it with the garlic, lemon juice, cayenne/paprika, ginger, salt and oil. Mine marinated for probably about 8 hours.

                                                                                      Instead of grilling the two whole legs outside, I decided to use the oven. Hesser recommends broiling for about 15 minutes (with one flip) and then finishing it at 350 for about 15 minutes. I broiled skin side down first and then finished it with skin side up for a crispy skin. After the baking time, I pulled the legs out, thinking that they may have been done. Not even close. It took about another 45 minutes past Hesser's cooking time for these leg/thigh pieces to be completely cooked through.

                                                                                      Meanwhile, the chicken was dripping a lot of juices into the pan, including all the lovely marinade. Because of this, my chicken, while absolutely delicious, wasn't as spicy and BigSal's was. But, the cilantro sauce more then made up for it.

                                                                                      I would make this again and I've made a note that this takes a lot longer than the recipe states. We were both more than cranky by the time we sat down to eat, but it was worth the wait. I served this with white rice and stir fried baby bok choy.

                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                        I'm glad to see you enjoyed this as well. We cooked ours on the stovetop grill. Your tips about cooking it in the oven will be helpful for next time (with skin:) ) and it would eliminate all the smoke and coughing.

                                                                                      2. re: BigSal

                                                                                        The above reviews by beetlebug and BigSal inspired me to try this recipe, and the writers have my gratitude! What a great success. I kept hearing "wow" at the table. This is a company-worthy dinner. Although I wouldn't attempt this after a 12 hour workday (the chicken requires several hours of marinating), I did not find it terribly time consuming. I used a spice grinder, not a mortar and pestle, so that makes it quicker (I just clear it by grinding white rice between uses, so no major clean-up is added to the time). My partner bravely grilled out in the cold. He was reluctant to grill skinned chicken, tried to get me to leave the skin on, but he is now a convert. With no skin, there is no fat dripping, so no rogue flames, and less unexpected burning of the chicken. We used a whole chicken, a little over 4 pounds, cut up. It took longer to grill than the recipe stated, maybe almost 40 minutes. We both loved the cilantro dipping sauce, plan to try it also on fish. I could not get tamarind on a Sunday, so mixed lime juice with a little brown sugar and amchoor. Not tamarind but a very tasty addition. I served this with green beans roasted with garlic and ginger, and naan bread. What a meal!

                                                                                         
                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                          Bademiya's Justly Famous Bombay Chile and Cilantro Chicken p. 471

                                                                                          Finally made this tonight as grilling weather has arrived down here in NOLA. Not much to add to the great posts already here. I made half a recipe, using thighs and drumsticks, We loved this. I made the cilantro sauce, and it was delicious, but concur with others that it wouldn't be necessary. The chicken, with its nice spicy, fragrant crust was great on its own. I served it with sliced lime and red onion garnish, a carrot-cilantro salad (Jamie Oliver), beets in orange vinaigrette, and paratha.

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                          1. re: BigSal

                                                                                            Bademiya's Justly Famous Bombay Chile and Cilantro Chicken, p. 471

                                                                                            I had three chicken thighs and wanted something new to do with what was on hand, and so I made this - or a slightly pantry-is-bare version - and glad I did, as it is, indeed, "spicy, vibrant, flavorful," as BigSal says. I didn't have fresh ginger, so added some bottled ginger juice. In the event, I was down to a half tsp. or so of cayenne, so I dropped in a lone serrano chile, seeds and all. No grill here, and I'm leery of my oven's broiler, so I simply bakes. And no sauce, as I had neither walnuts nor jalapeño. In fact the only suggested accompaniment on hand was lemon, but that didn't stop me from serving up a delicious dish!

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Thanks for reminding me of this chicken dish and I'm glad to read that you enjoyed it.

                                                                                          2. Brisket in Sweet and Sour Sauce p. 565

                                                                                            I love these kind of recipes. I threw all the sauce ingredients in my Vita Mix, dried the brisket, and poured the sauce over it. I cooked it three hours until fork tender, refrigerated overnight, then sliced it and rewarmed it in the oven. Simple, flavorful, and hearty. Plus, I was able to scrape off about a cup of fat before I warmed it up. I was pleased that it really wasn't too sweet, it was very well balanced.

                                                                                            I served this with smoked mashed potatoes. They were perfect with it. I will always want them alongside it now.

                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. Shaking Beef p. 569 http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                              Last month’s COTM allowed me to tackle this stir-fry recipe with confidence. We made a ½ recipe. Cubed beef tenderloin is marinated in chopped garlic, sugar, salt, and oil for two hours (ours sat for about 5 hours). In a wok, cook beef until it browns (we only used ½ T oil instead of 2 T), and then brown the other side. Next, cook sliced red onion and green onions for 1 minute, add mixture of fish sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and soy. Shake mixture and finish with butter. Serve the beef drained of juices with watercress, lime wedges and salt and pepper mixture.

                                                                                              We liked this dish quite a bit. The beef was tender and flavorful. It was a nice combination of sweet, salty, sour and savory with a buttery finish. The peppery watercress was a nice addition, as was the squeeze of lime and the s&p mixture. The Mr. said it’s a dish he would gladly eat again.

                                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                Shaking Beef – p. 570 – Chapter 11

                                                                                                Big Sal’s positive review along with my fond memories of last month’s COTM “stir-fry-fest” caused me to welcome this recipe like an old friend.

                                                                                                I loved pulling out my wok and, as Big Sal said, knowing I could tackle this recipe w confidence. Sear the meat . . . no problem, thanks to Grace I knew to leave it undisturbed in my hot wok for 1 minute!! No need to cover the prep and execution since Big Sal did a stellar job.

                                                                                                We really liked this dish. I’m not a huge red meat fan but mr bc loves it so he was quick to declare this a winner dish and, said he’d be happy to have it again. Hesser suggests that the beef be drained prior to serving but I loved the vinegar infused broth and refused to part w it. I served it over my watercress and especially enjoyed the spritz of lime and the last minute hit of salt and pepper to really bring the dish to life. This is a keeper. Quick to make and, sadly, even quicker to eat!!

                                                                                                We served this w the COTM’s Takeout-style Sesame Noodles – p. 355 from Chapter 7 here’s the link if you’d like to see our comments and photos:

                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632...

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                 
                                                                                                 
                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                  How lovely, and your plates are wonderful.

                                                                                                2. re: BigSal

                                                                                                  Shaking Beef (page 569)

                                                                                                  I made so many mistakes and changes here that I debated whether or not to post, but the photo came out well so here you go.

                                                                                                  The supermarket had prime top round at less than half price. I allowed myself to be seduced by the word “prime.” But top round is top round, not tenderloin. Don’t do it.

                                                                                                  I used black vinegar. What kind of vinegar did you two use? I think the black may have been a bit too much, although I really love the stuff. And I may, not sure, have used double the amount I should have. Looked like an awful lot, but I wasn’t tossing the rest of the ingredients I’d already put in a prep bowl.

                                                                                                  And I didn’t bother with the butter at the end. Seemed like overkill to me. And who ever heard of butter in a stir-fry anyway?

                                                                                                  I served it on arugula because that was what I had. And after Breadcrumbs comment about saving the juices, I decided to make Jasmine Tea Rice (page 354) as a juice conveyer and was glad I did. In fact, if I were to make this again (but I doubt that I will because it doesn’t hold a candle to Hunan Beef with Cumin [page 575] which I don’t think anyone has reported on here but a number of us have over on the appropriate Dunlop thread), I wouldn’t bother with the greens and would just serve it, with the juice, over rice.

                                                                                                  ETA: Forgot to mention that the recipe suggests cooking the meat in two batches, but for us now-experienced wokkers that's not at all necessary. I just used Grace Young's method of spreading the meat out in a single layer, letting it sit until it got a good sear, then tossed the meat and let it sear some more. Worked just fine.

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                    I used rice wine vinegar when I made mine. I do have the Hunan beef on my list, especially after seeing the Dunlop thread where many of you used less oil than suggested and also because the cumin infused Burmese chicken from last month's COTM was a hit at home.

                                                                                                    Do you think chuck roast would work in the recipe or should I go out and buy some bonless short ribs?

                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                      I've made the cumin beef three times now, once with flank steak, once with boneless strip steak, and once with lamb. Dunlop says that instead of sirloin you can use "a braising steak" such as chuck or round, so you'd probably be fine with the chuck roast.

                                                                                                      ETA: Just realized Hesser calls for boneless short ribs, but Dunlop doesn't mention that at all.

                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                        Probably because she's British, and we don't really have short ribs here.

                                                                                                      2. re: BigSal

                                                                                                        Hi Joan,

                                                                                                        Your dish does look lovely! Like BigSal, I used rice wine vinegar which definitely brings a lighter flavour to the sauce than the dark vinegar would. Although I questioned the inclusion of butter, in the end I went along with it since mr bc doesn't love vinegar as much as I do and I figured it would round out the flavours. It really did the trick. I really thought the sauce was delicious.

                                                                                                        I'll have to give the Hunan Beef a try, it sounds great!

                                                                                                      3. re: JoanN

                                                                                                        @Joan, BigSal, Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                        Do you think rib eye or sirloin would work in the Shaking Beef recipe?

                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                          I think either would be excellent. It's what I should have done.

                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                            Totally ncw, you could also thinly slice (across the grain) vs cube if you have any concern at all about the tenderness. I wouldn't hesitate to use either cut in the future.

                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                              Thanks, Joan--and I've also bookmarked the Hunan Beef recipe you mentioned. I'm going to learn to cook a few decent Chinese dishes if it kills me.

                                                                                                            2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                              I agree with bc and JoanN that either would work. Also, jsantopietro made the shaking beef with sirloin and confirmed that it turned out well. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632... The tenderloin, although extremely tender, was a bit of a splurge, but it was only the two of us and we made a half recipe (although we could have easily eaten more).

                                                                                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                Oh, I missed that post somehow. Thanks all.

                                                                                                          2. re: BigSal

                                                                                                            Shaking Beef p. 569

                                                                                                            This recipe didn't work for me at all. I'm not sure what went wrong, but I knew as I was cooking that it wasn't right.

                                                                                                            I used a top loin, tenderloin or something like that. It was one of the pieces from my CSA and I forgot what was on the label. It was 1.5 lbs so the weight was spot on for the recipe. If anything, the sauce flavor should have been more pronounced since I was on the lower end of the meat weight.

                                                                                                            Did the 2+ hour marinade. Not quite sure what the purpose was since there was no discernable marinade flavor post cooking either. The big thing that went wrong was when I started to cook the cubes. True to Dunlop and Young's technique. I heated the wok until smoking, put some oil in until smoking, swirled and dumped. Then I added the meat and let it sit for a minute in the wok. This is where the problem came in. Instead of browning and caramelizing, my cubes started letting out liquid. A fair amount of liquid. So the sides never browned. I did a quick stir fry and tried to get them brown again, but more liquid started coming out of the meat. Then I was worried about overcooking the meat so I added the onions, etc. I did add the butter at the end because I knew it needed all the help it could get.

                                                                                                            The meat was kind of tough and I found the whole dish bland. It did work better when you mixed the watercress and took bites of the meat with greens. And what really saved it was the salt/pepper/lime dipping sauce (I put the lime juice right into the salt and pepper for ease of eating).

                                                                                                            Afterwards, I took another look at the recipe. I couldn't quite figure out what went wrong. Part of it was probably cubing the meat v. slicing it (the way I would for other chinese dishes). And then I saw it. This is a Mark Bittman adaptation. It's a rare thing when one of his recipes actually works for me and my tastebuds.

                                                                                                            This was a huge overall disappointment.

                                                                                                            1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                              Totally agree with you on the slicing vs. cubing for this recipe, especially if using a lesser cut than the called-for filet mignon. My meat was more than just "kind of" tough. Also agree that the whole dish was less than inspiring.

                                                                                                              I doubt though, that the lack of success here can be put in Bittman's lap. I got the impression from the headnote that his main "adaptation" from the original chef's recipe was to sear the meat in two batches to accommodate the lesser heat of a home burner.

                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                I know I'm not being fair to Bittman. It's more that if he likes the taste of something, I probably won't find it to my taste.

                                                                                                                I knew I should have made Dunlop's cumin beef but I was trying to try a new dish. I just love that cumin beef.

                                                                                                                1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                  Me, too, on the Cumin Beef. Making it again tonight. I've made it so often, I thought I'd be sick of it by now. Not yet!

                                                                                                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                    The cumin beef is so good, I am impressed that you tried something else!

                                                                                                            2. Blue Cheese Dressing, Pg. 464

                                                                                                              This dressing is meant to be served with Janice Okun's Buffalo Chicken Wings but I used it as a dressing for a chopped green salad of Napa cabbage, and Romaine and Iceberg lettuces. Delicious...!

                                                                                                              Mayo, some chopped onion and garlic, parsley, sour cream (Greek yogurt), lemon juice, white vinegar, S & P & cayenne and as much blue cheese as you want are mixed together then chilled for at least an hour. Well, we couldn't stop sampling the dressing, dipping lettuce leaves into the sauce, so it never did get chilled. Definitely will make this again.

                                                                                                              1. Sausage, Bean and Corn Stew – p. 538 - Chapter 11

                                                                                                                This dish by Jacques Pepin caught my eye when planning my Superbowl menu. I thought it would make an interesting alternative to our traditional chili.

                                                                                                                I’m so glad I made this dish, we loved it! The creaminess of the beans, and the sweetness of carrots and corn were a nice compliment to the heat of the sausage and peppers. Although I’d put out bowls of sour cream and green onions to garnish this dish, we decided it didn’t need anything and was delicious as is. I’d definitely make this again. We did have some nacho chips on the side.

                                                                                                                It was only when I started preparing the dish that I realized there were some issues with the directions. I subsequently Googled the original recipe and found the clarification I was looking for. I’ve noted the discrepancies below.

                                                                                                                Dry navy beans are not pre-soaked, just added to cold water w salt and boiled then simmered until still a bit firm. Hesser suggests this will take 50 to 60 minutes at which point my beans were not ready. I continued cooking for another 20 minutes. When I referred to Pepin’s original recipe in the NYT, he suggests this process will take approx 75 minutes.

                                                                                                                Next Hesser has you prick the sausages and add them to a large saucepan over medium heat. No mention of oil, butter or anything that would stop them from immediately welding themselves to the pan. A quick check w Pepin’s recipe provided the direction I was looking for. Pepin has you place the sausages, along with ½ cup of water in a pan over high heat then, lower the heat to medium, cover them and cook for 20 mins until most of the water will have evaporated and, the sausages will be browning in their own fat. This made more sense to me so this is how I proceeded.

                                                                                                                Next Hesser has you remove the sausages from the pan to make room for the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Pepin leaves the sausages in the pan. Since they weren’t yet cooked through, I stuck with Pepin’s method and continued the cooking process with the pan covered for about 10 mins.

                                                                                                                Once the beans are cooked they are combined with the sausage mixture along w some fresh thyme and chopped plum tomatoes. At this point Hesser has you cover the pan and cook for 10 mins where Pepin has you cook the stew uncovered for 15. I stuck w Pepin in fear of over-cooking the beans w the pan covered. Once you’re almost ready to serve the stew is brought to a boil and, fresh corn kernels are added and cooked ‘til done. While I'm certain "in-season" corn would be magnificent, I used frozen peaches and cream corn today and we were very happy with the results.

                                                                                                                We did have some of this stew early on but actually preferred it after it had simmered for a couple of hours in the crockpot. As some of the beans broke down, the broth thickened and made for a richer dish. Delicious!

                                                                                                                I served this dish along w others including another COTM dish - the Guacamole Tostadas which were also a hit. Here's a link to that post and photos if you'd like to take a look:

                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632...
                                                                                                                Go Packers!!

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                  Sounds like a delicious meal. I don't think I would have picked this recipe, so thanks for pointing it out!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                    Yeah, I hadn't noticed this one but it is going on the short list. Looks good!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                      Thanks roxlet and Becca! We liked this a lot and I was feeling sad that there were no leftovers but then thought you could use canned beans to simplify the dish for weeknight prep. Even cook the sausages ahead for that matter.

                                                                                                                      Here's a link to Pepin's original NYT version in case you want to refer to it:

                                                                                                                      http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/738...

                                                                                                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                      Looks fab! I'm a little confounded/confused by the adjustments she made to the recipe, especially since they didn't seem like they helped. I was under the impression that she did re-write some recipes. especially older ones, to make them more clear and more applicable to modern kitchens, ingredients, and tools, but I thought for the most part she was trying to stay true to the original recipe and that she was putting any departures from the intent of the recipe in her notes that follow the recipe.

                                                                                                                      I'm just a little confused now about the premise of the book.

                                                                                                                      I'm glad you found the original recipe. Who knows what the outcome would have been otherwise!

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                        You're right--that looks like an excellent alternative to traditional chili. Nice photos!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                          Lovely. My Mr. won't eat beans, I'll substitute diced potato.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                            Wow, this does look great, and one that I passed by initially. Thanks for the great review and pictures. And (as a displaced wisconsinite) GO PACK!

                                                                                                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                              Thanks so much gesn'ham let us know if you try it! I took some for lunch today and topped it w a little cheese and green onions. It was terrific. Jacques didn't disappoint w this one! I do think that the sausage will make or break the dish though. Using sausage you love it definitely important.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                I will definitely post when I try this. Thanks for tip on the sausages. Sausage is one of those things I rarely make, but when I do I always get happy faces around the dinner table.

                                                                                                                          2. Steak au Poivre (page 573)

                                                                                                                            Last night was my friends’ last night staying with me and we traditionally go to a steakhouse, Keens more often than not. But one of them was sick as a dog and just wanted to stay home and have soup and tea. Took a quick look at Eat Your Books and realized I had nearly all the ingredients, including a couple of exotic ones, to make Steak au Poivre with Caesar Salad. All I needed was the steak, and I can get great prime meat just a few blocks away.

                                                                                                                            The recipe calls for strip steaks, but I bought shell steaks which is really just a strip steak on the bone. I bought one large one for the two of us, but made the full amount of sauce just because the numbers were easier. Hesser recommends you use a mix of peppercorns, but I only had two: Tellicherry from Penzey’s and some long pepper I brought back from Indonesia. You season the steak, press in the crushed pepper, sear on each side for 2 minutes, and put on a rack in a 400F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. She calls for a temperature of 135. I was aiming for 125 to 130. Mine took about 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                            While the meat rests, you sauté a sliced shallot, reduce some Cognac or brandy in the same skillet, add and boil down 2 cups of beef broth “until thickened and reduced by half.” Mine never thickened, but I didn’t see why it should. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and rinsed green peppercorns in brine—which, goodness knows why, have been sitting on my shelf for longer than I want to know about. Spoon sauce over steaks.

                                                                                                                            The steak was perfect, but I expected it to be. It’s more or less how I always cook steak—with or without the pepper. But oh, the sauce! Exquisite. I’d have been thrilled to have been served this at a high-end steakhouse. Jury out, though, on the green peppercorns. They seemed a little too strong and salty (even after being rinsed) and not really necessary. Good chance it was just mine and that they’d been sitting around way too long. But I wouldn’t hesitate to make the sauce without them. Not at all convinced the green peppercorns are necessary.

                                                                                                                            Since I’d made the full amount of sauce, I had at least half a cup left over. Into the freezer it went. Curious to see if thaws and reheats well. If so, it’ll make the next batch of steak au poivre a snap.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                              Your wonderful description and photo had me salivating Joan! I have to try this sauce, I know we'd love it!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                Au Poivre sauce is a fairly traditional french recipe. I agree the taste of the peppercorns are a little off-putting, but I think the key is to make the sauce as is, then fish out the peppercorns, save a few for presentation, and use the sauce without them. I first made this recipe about 20 years ago and it is impressive. I will have to try this rendition, thank you for the review.

                                                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                  Hard to imagine the green peppercorns would add much other than salt if removed from the sauce before serving. And I didn't think they added much to the presentation, either. I kept thinking I must be missing something. I'm interested to hear you say that the taste can be a little off-putting. I thought it was just perhaps that mine had been hanging around for a decade or two too long.

                                                                                                                                  You got me thinking, though, so I did a bit of research. Julia doesn't use them at all, at least, not in MtAoFC. James Peterson in Glorious French Food uses half as many and says the brine-cured ones should be chopped before being added to the sauce. Even Larousse Gastronomique, the old one, says they should be used only in very small quantities and should be added only at the very end.

                                                                                                                                  I think I'll make a note to go with the Peterson: use half as many and chop after rinsing.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                    LOL, all this talk about those green peppercorns reminded me of one of the very rare occasions where mr bc was making dinner (this was for my Birthday a couple of years ago). He mistook the green peppercorns in the fridge for capers and chopped 3tbsp into a sauce for our pasta!!!! :( Needless to say we ordered pizza that night.

                                                                                                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                Steak Au Poivre – p.573 – Chapter 11

                                                                                                                                Our turn for this dish last night, I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about this sauce since reading Joan’s review. No surprise, we loved it.

                                                                                                                                The steak itself was prepared as we typically do if it’s too cold to bbq so no surprises on that front. Joan did a wonderful job describing how the sauce comes together so no need to repeat here. I used the brandy and given Joan’s comments regarding the green peppercorns, I didn’t want to take any chances so decided to invest in some fresh ones since my bottle must have been in the fridge for years!!

                                                                                                                                As Joan said, the sauce doesn’t thicken and when I tasted it after the addition of the cream (but before adding the green peppercorns) it wasn’t as flavourful as I’d expected so instead of taking it off the heat as directed, I decided to leave it on a slow simmer while the steak finished in the oven. Just prior to serving, I stirred in the green peppercorns. While the sauce didn’t reduce significantly, that extra simmer did help the flavours develop and, made for a scrumptious sauce. We loved the peppery flavour burst and subtle “pop” that the green peppercorns brought to the sauce. I’ve posted a photo of the brand we used as I’d highly recommend them.

                                                                                                                                Thanks Joan for pointing this one out, we’ll definitely make this again.

                                                                                                                                We served another COTM dish alongside. Here’s the link to my review and photos of the wonderful Wilted Chard w Pickled Red Onion if you’re interested:

                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632...

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                  Sounds as though I would have loved your green peppercorns. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout. And that rib steak looks like a gorgeous hunk of meat. Perhaps I'll use that cut when I test my frozen sauce.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                    Thanks Joan. I picked up those peppercorns at my butcher shop, he said he's tried several brands and has landed on these as the only brand he'll use and sell. They really were lovely.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                      I love the packaging and the not-very-PC label!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                        I know what you mean gg. You get the sense that this (French) company has been using the same labelling since they first started selling the product.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        I was on a green peppercorn jag once, and those are definitely the best, imo, but last year when I went looking for green peppercorns, I couldn't find those anywhere; in fact, I could only find some very mediocre jarred ones. But I'll have to add these to my list of things to look for when I go out of town in the next couple of months--b/c I sure like the looks of that steak that you and others have reported on. Lovely.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          I went looking to see if I could buy those peppercorns online about an hour ago and could not find them in stock, in any size, anywhere. I wonder what the problem is? I signed up on Amazon to be notified when they're available.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                            I don't know if it's because they've gone out of fashion, but they seem to be nowhere. And it's possible the ones I bought last year in the jar (Reese?) had been on the store shelf for a decade.
                                                                                                                                            Now, here I am obsessed w/green peppercorns and acquiring the "right" ones. This site is so dangerous!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                              We picked these up yesterday Joan and the butcher's wife said they had just rec'd a new shipment in on Friday and put them on the shelf that morning so someone must be shipping them.

                                                                                                                                              There's an 800 number on the tin, not sure if it may be of any value in finding a local source but just in case it's:

                                                                                                                                              800 206 1177

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                @NCW: Isn't it great that we have such a wonderful place where our obsessions seem almost normal? I guess there are worse things to be obsessed about than green peppercorns.

                                                                                                                                                @BC: Having had no luck online, it occurred to me that if you found them at the butcher shop, maybe I could as well. Citarella is only a few blocks away, so I took a walk up there and voila! They had them! So I picked up a prime boneless strip steak while I was at it and sometime in the next couple of days I'll see if my frozen sauce held up. I'll strain out the old, crummy peppercorns and add the new ones. Thanks so much for this discovery. Can't wait to try them.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                  Yay!! Glad you found them Joan! ncw I hope you have the same success at your butcher shop.

                                                                                                                                                  I love Chowhound for this, it's a real community of like-minded folks with a passion for cooking and sharing with others. Thanks for caring about my peppercorns!!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                    Ya know, we spend our lives as cooking geeks hearing “It’s all about the ingredients.” Sometimes, though, you just don’t know what the good stuff is. The Steak au Poivre with Breadcrumb’s brilliant discovery was a whole other ballgame. I strained my frozen sauce removing the old green peppercorns and reheated the sauce with the new ones. Perfection! Loved the peppercorns! Wouldn’t chop them up if you paid me. Even nibbled a few right out of the can. The frozen, thawed, reheated sauce was indistinguishable from the original. And I still have some left. Back into the freezer it goes. The gift that keeps on giving. Thank you, Breadcrumbs. Big kisses. Now to go look for other recipes calling for green peppercorns—my new addiction.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        @ Breadcrumbs: Looked for those Madagascar peppercorns at Citarella again where I had found them before and they told me they're no longer available. :( Couldn't find them online, either. Are you still finding them? I ended up using Delicias brand imported from Spain. Good, but not as.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                          Hi Joan, I still have 2 tins in my pantry and I'm thinking the last time I purchased them was in December 2011. I'll take a look next time I'm at the butcher's shop though and let you know.

                                                                                                                                    2. Orange-braised short ribs with fennel and oregano p.544

                                                                                                                                      Not a traditional Superbowl meal but very easy to make, then just leave for 60-90 mins in the oven (it can also be made a day ahead).

                                                                                                                                      I may have misunderstood the type of shortribs to get - I got them boneless and only half the quantity she suggested - I got 2 lbs rather than 4 lbs she suggested for 4. So I halved everything else and it worked out fine. It was plenty for me and two teenagers with leftovers. 4lbs of meat seems a heck of a lot for 4 people so I assume hers must have been on the bone.

                                                                                                                                      The meat is rubbed with cracked fennel seeds, browned in a Dutch oven then set aside while thinly sliced red onions are sautéed. Garlic & red pepper flakes are added, then red wine, orange juice, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, ketchup, mustard, oregano. Then it goes in the oven for 60-90 mins.

                                                                                                                                      The sauce was rather sweet due to the combination of red onions, balsamic, ketchup, and orange juice but I liked the flavor. Did simple side veg - mashed potatoes and steamed green beans - which worked well. I'll definitely make this again, next time trying to make it a day ahead to improve the flavors.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                        I almost always halve new recipes, just in case. Fennel, OJ, and oregano would be one of those cases. But I like sweet+meat, so I'm glad to know this is out there.
                                                                                                                                        I noticed in the notes Amanda H. said some people think short ribs should be left alone --
                                                                                                                                        I think they need at least a little something.

                                                                                                                                      2. Sauteed Trout with Brown Butter, Lemon and Macadamia Nuts (p 392)

                                                                                                                                        My husband did the shopping, and as our grocery didn't have regular trout that day he bought steelhead trout which is pretty much indistinguishable from salmon, not the best substitute. You dip the fish in milk and flour and saute it in butter. In a separate pan you brown butter then add lemon juice, chopped macadamia nuts and parsley. She says "when it begins to brown" to add the juice, which will obviously stop the browning. So I let it brown just a bit longer.

                                                                                                                                        This just didn't work for me, though I'm sure it was partly the steelhead trout. It has a strong flavor like salmon, and completely overwhelmed the macadamia nuts. They just added crunch. The parsley added nothing, but that's what I always think about it.... It wasn't a bad dinner, just wasn't as flavorful as I like.

                                                                                                                                        I served it with Potato "Tostones" (p 301) and Al Forno's Roasted Asparagus (p 233)

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                          I am going to remember this the next time I am annoyed when husband calls from the market when he can't find something on the list. I love salmon and steelhead trout, but the macademia nuts wouldn't work with that for me either.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                            Sorry this wasn't what you'd hoped for sarah. If its any consolation, it sure does look fabulous and appetizing!

                                                                                                                                          2. Staff Meal Chicken with Salsa Verde pg. 484

                                                                                                                                            Cut up chicken on the bone marinated in an olive oil and lemon + dried spices paste, baked at a high heat (400 F) for 30 minutes, then lowered heat (300 F) for 15 minutes. A side salsa of tomatillos, jalapenos and cilantro made in a sauce pan, then a blender.

                                                                                                                                            This was scrumptious and dead easy. The marinating paste comes together very easily, not least of all because the recipe calls for granualted garlic and onion, so no chopping or peeling involved. The paprilka ends up being the ingredient that turns the marinade from a liquid to a paste, so don't skimp there. The recipe doesn't specify, so I used a combination of sweet, half sharp and hot paprika, which worked well. I made the recipe as written, but did halve it, and used pre-cut thighs, which I had on hand.

                                                                                                                                            The chicken cooked up with a nice crispy packed with flavor crust, and a succulent moist interior, the simple cooked salsa verde was a wonderful counterpoint. Served with a chayote el vapor & a skillet corn bread (not from this book), it was a very tasty Monday night meal.

                                                                                                                                            26 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                              It's great that you posted this recipe, qianning, I have it on my list for this week-end. I don't care for granulated garlic, though. Do you think I could used whole garlic cloves and fresh onion finely minced, or whizzed in the mini food processor?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                Qianning,

                                                                                                                                                Can you tells us more about the chayote el vapor?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                  dianna kennedy's recipe from the art of mexican cooking, effectively lightly sautee steamed chayote with jalapeno and cilantro. it was a nice soft almost neutral dish to have with the salsa & the chicken, and and i thought made a good counterpoint to the intensity of the salsa and the chicken spices.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                  I posted a reply, but it seems to have disappeared, so if this is appearing twice on the other end, my apologies.

                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I don't see why fresh garlic/onion wouldn't work. The only thing is that it might up the amount of water in the marinade, and so the skin might not get to the same consistency. Hesser is emphatic that powdered garlic/onion not be used, and I can see why, they would be too penetrating/intense for the other flavors, but with fresh you'd be headed in the other direction in terms of intesity/penetration, so I'd think it'd be OK.

                                                                                                                                                  True confession, I had granulated onion, but not garlic, so I whizzed some dehydrated garlic chips in the food processor...pretty sure that's the same as granulated garlic, but not positive. In any case it was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                    Many thanks, Q. I'll take your response under advisementt but not hold you responsible.
                                                                                                                                                    The dish sounds delicious...and that's what we're looking for.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      we loved it hope it works for you.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                        If you make this with fresh garlic and onion, I hope you'll let us know how it turns out, I'd like to try it that way also, but it won't be too soon.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                    Staff Meal Chicken with Salsa Verde pg. 484

                                                                                                                                                    I missed this dish during the Essential NYT COTM, but qianning had mentioned it in the 2011 COTM recipes worth repeating post and I'm so glad she did. We made this tonight with hungarian paprika, chicken thighs and 2 T oil (instead of 4 T oil for half a recipe). I made the marinade last night and added the chicken this morning before I headed to work. I made the tomatillo salsa while the chicken was baking so it was an easy after work meal. This dish was bold, flavorful and spicy. We served this with some rice which helped temper the heat of the chicken and salsa. This was the most flavorful (home-cooked) meal we've had in a while. We will definitely make this again. Thanks again qianning for pointing this one out.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                      Wow, high praise indeed. Going to see if I can find the recipe online.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                        Here's the receipe. http://lexiskitchensb.blogspot.com/20.... I hope you like it. It was easy to pull together and had a nice kick from the red pepper flakes in the marinade and the jalapeno in the salsa. I think I've been missing the heat from the last two months of cooking.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you so much, Sal! I'm definitely going to try this one very soon. I go a little crazy without spice too.

                                                                                                                                                          Quick question: what did you use for granulated garlic/onion? Can I just use regular? I will check the posts directly above this, I bet this question has come up before ...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                            I did end up buying granulated garlic and onion for this recipe. I think qianning is right about using fresh garlic and onion may change the intensity of the seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                              I lucked out! My husband did a run to WFs yesterday, and I asked him to look for them and he found them. Thanks to you both for the help. I'll be making this the week after next.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                              Tonight I made the Staff Meal Chicken with Salsa Verde. We really liked this. My only little quibble is that it was on the salty side, but I have a feeling that might be because I marinated it for something like 36 hours, so the salt had plenty of time to sink in. But man, it was so wonderfully flavorful and nice and moist. The rice was a nice counterpoint to the heat/salt, and I especially loved the salsa. There was plenty of that leftover. I've put that in the freezer and hope to make something like a burrito casserole and top it with that. Thanks so much to qianning and BigSal for pointing me to this. I think it will go into rotation.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                I'm relieved to see that you enjoyed it ( such pressure :)).

                                                                                                                                                                P.S. The new picture of LL is adorable.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                  The weight is off your shoulders (and boy, do I know the feeling!). This was definitely a hit. Lulu took one taste and gave me a thumbs up. Her Dad said "mmm this is really good." All were fans.

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks - I figured it was time to change that almost 3 year old poster. She just turned (gasp!) 6 last week.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                    Ditto to Big Sal's comments!

                                                                                                                                                                    And as for the saltiness, I've tried making it with less salt, and it didn't quite work for us, but I've never marinated it for longer than overnight, and usually not that long. Can't remember what AH's recommended salt is, but I'm using Diamond Crystal Kosher.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                      Mine was Morton's Course Kosher. I do think having put the chicken in to marinate the morning before cooking it might have had something to do with the saltiness. Still and all, loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        I know this is going to sound strange but Morton's kosher salt tastes saltier than other brands. See this piece about it: http://www.chow.com/food-news/47641/t...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks - that is really interesting, and explains why we had that reaction while others didn't. I appreciate the information.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                            So glad it was a hit for you too. Mr. QN requests repeats of this one more than any other COTM dish. (although Tonkatsu is starting to mount a challenge to Staff Meal Chicken's reign).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                              I did read the above posts and saw that you feel that while it might be a little too wet, it is probably safe to use real garlic and onion. I'm wondering if Gio ever got around to trying it. I will do it that way, since I don't have (and had never previously heard of) the granulated stuff.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm, the more I think about it the more I am not at all sure if it will work with fresh garlic and onion.....the just right intensity of flavor and slightly crispy skin is what makes the dish so yummmy......we make special trips to Penzey's just for the granulated onion and garlic......Mr. QN is very co-operative about those side trips....but I think most grocery store spice aisles should have the granulated stuff. On the other hand, if someone does try it with fresh garlic onion it would put the question to rest....Good Luck!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                  I'll let you know - in the meantime I'll be searching for the granulated!
                                                                                                                                                                  thanks for the tips.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                Ah yes, the tonkatsu was a hit with my Mr too.

                                                                                                                                                          3. Pork and Squash in Coconut Milk p.555

                                                                                                                                                            Good, quick everynight dinner. Cubed pork (a fattier cut rather than tenderloin) is browned, then a sliced onion added and softened. Cubed butternut squash (you can sub sweet potatoes), a can of coconut milk and some fish sauce are added then simmered for 30-40 mins. Juice of a lime added at the end and chopped cilantro sprinkled on top.

                                                                                                                                                            I liked this a lot, probably because I like all the individual ingredients in this. I served it with plain rice. I wouldn't go quite as far as Amanda's comment "I could eat this dish every day" but it's definitely going on my rotation.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the review, Jane. That one's on my list to try! Glad to hear it comes together well.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                Pork and Squash in Coconut Milk, Pg. 555

                                                                                                                                                                This was last night's dinner along with the Roasted Potato Salad on pg. 285. I used pork shoulder, all the ingredients as Jane listed and 2 T fish sauce which added a wonderful flavor to the stew as did the coconut milk. We're all out of limes so subbed lemon juice. Outstanding meal. I'll make this again, definitely.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Braised Ligurian Chicken, p 491

                                                                                                                                                                This one's a keeper. It's a Jaime Oliver Recipe (who Amanda called the blonde tufted celebrity chef in the intro, which I think is so cute). This makes me enthusiastic about the possibility of March being Jaime Oliver Month!

                                                                                                                                                                This is a pretty quick and easy stovetop braise with chicken pieces dredged in seasoned flour and then browned. You add garlic, rosemary, white wine, olives (I used Kalamata), anchovies, and tomatoes and then braise until done. This was quick and simple and had lots of delicious flavors. We had had Julia's Coq au Vin over the weekend (made by my mom) and I have to say I preferred this dish to that one! They are both delicious of course, but this one had a bit more brightness I thought, with the white wine, tomatoes and relatively quick cooking time.

                                                                                                                                                                I served this with roasted broccoli and cauliflower. Next time I will definitely serve with some noodles or polenta or something to sop up the lovely gravy that this makes. We had actually run out of bread at our house, so we were left to try to sop it up with roasted veggies-- just not the same!

                                                                                                                                                                My whole family loved this! Definitely going into the rotation at my house!

                                                                                                                                                                21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                  I just made this recipe, thanks to greeneggsnham's review. I agree that it is quick and easy and very savory with the anchovies, garlic, tomatoes and Kalamata olives (Jaime Oliver recommends using olives WITH pits, but I used pitted Kalamatas because there were young children in the family.) Also, my daughter doesn't like anchovies but she never objected for one minute to the flavorful sauce!
                                                                                                                                                                  LIke so many braised dishes, this can be made ahead and reheated and even tastes better for it. Winter plum tomatoes are very anemic, so I used a 14-oz can of Muir Glen organic tomatoes, cut up. (I used the sauce left in the can, too.) Instead of buying a whole 4 # bird to cut up, I purchased two half breasts and two legs which about equalled 4 pounds of chicken. I cut these up into four breast quarters and four thigh and drumstick pieces. Even so, I found that the chicken parts took longer than the 15-20 minutes in the recipe to become nice and tender--30 minutes, in fact. (I almost always find that chicken takes longer than the recipe directs to become tender; maybe this is a reflection of the larger size of the chicken parts available to me?) Thus in spite of Jaime Oliver's directions to partially cover the casserole "and simmer until the chicken is cooked and tender and the broth is reduced to a rich sauce, 15 to 20 minutes," I ended up covering the casserole until the chicken was finally tender after 30 minutes; then removing the chicken and reducing the sauce for about 15 minutes more until it was thicker and very flavorful. Which worked just fine, but took longer.
                                                                                                                                                                  I served this with steamed carrots, green beans, and a big loaf t of francese artisan bread to sop up the delicious sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                  I'll make it again.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                    I can't imagine buying two breasts and two whole legs in the UK which would weigh four pounds. That's one big chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                      The chickens in the states have been bred to be HUGE. Well, more accurately, the breasts are huge. I actually go to a specialty store to buy a "normal" chicken in the 3-3.5 lb range.

                                                                                                                                                                      I might add, that as the chickens get bigger due to commercial raising techniques, flavor is left out as an undesirable trait.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                        smtucker is right on about the large size of American chicken breasts. I always cut each half-breast in half again for serving. At my local butcher I CAN get a whole chicken in the 3 1/2 lb size, which has more "normal size" pieces, but so often I succumb to the relative ease and convenience of just buying chicken in "parts."

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                          Back in the days when we had a real butcher who cut up their own chickens whenever they would have pre-cut up boneless breasts for sale they would call them show girls.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, I like "show girls"! Must admit (and this dates me) I've been known to introduce the giant modern chicken breasts to my dinner guests as "Jayne Mansfields"!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                              Just did a spit take with my beer. Great one, goblin.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                        Glad you liked it Goblin! I actually just made it again as well because my husband requested it for v-day (testament to how much he liked it). Funny you should mention the timing. I actually cooked it way longer than directed this time (due to trouble getting everyone home and to the table) and it was no worse for wear. I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. We made this tonight with haricort verts w/ balsamic vinagrette. Happy diners we were tonight. The chicken is dead easy to put together - pantry staples (always a plus). If this is any indication of what March will be like, it will be a great month.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                          I kept reading the great reviews by greeneggsnham and Goblin, finally got around to trying this recipe, and I'm glad I did. I took greeneggnham's suggestion and served it with polenta, which was a perfect combination. Like Goblin, I removed the chicken when it was tender and reduced the sauce. It was quite watery when the chicken was just done, but reduced nicely, just thick enough to spoon over the polenta. The anchovy flavor was not overwhelming, just added a little something extra, and the rosemary really made the dish fragrant.
                                                                                                                                                                          I have never cooked from Jamie Oliver, so this was my introduction. I'm looking forward to next month!

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                            Braised Ligurian Chicken – p. 491 – Chapter 10

                                                                                                                                                                            It seemed fitting that on the eve of our Jamie Oliver COTM, I’d prepare a JO meal from this month’s COTM. greeneggsnham, Goblin and L.Nightshade have done a great job of describing the prep so I won’t repeat here.

                                                                                                                                                                            We loved this one-pot Jamie Oliver dish that comes together in no time and produces wonderfully aromatic, flavourful results. The anchovies and olives give the chicken juice infused tomato sauce a nice salty kick and, a depth of flavour not normally achieved without a longer braising period. I liked the rosemary in this however would also like to try fennel seed instead (which I’d toast in a dry pan first). Like others, I elected to use a 14oz can of Italian tomatoes vs the flavourless grocery store Roma’s. The recipe is intended to be simmered stovetop but I put mine in the oven at 300 for an hour, then reduced the heat to 200 and held for another 30 mins. While it could have come out sooner, the longer braise allowed more flavours to develop in the sauce and, to permeate the chicken. The meat was fall off the bone tender, no knives required. I plated w a small amount of gnocchi, which worked well w this dish. I really like the idea of reducing the sauce and I’ll definitely do this next time around.

                                                                                                                                                                            I used bone-in, skin on chicken pieces (4 thighs and 2 breasts) and achieved a wonderful golden brown crust during the initial frying however since I braised the chicken skin side down, the lovely crust, melted away in the braising process and I removed the soggy skins prior to serving.

                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                              Another nice report of a success, BC. I love seeing your Canadian spellings. Have had them drained out of me over the years!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oops! Dreadfully sorry, miss! Wasn't thinking. Obviously.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    English-Canadian as my spell-check Dictionary likes to remind me!!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                      You wouldn't find anyone in the UK using the word "flavourful" ( or flavorful) though. Definitely a transatlantic thing!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                That's another one on my list; after all the positive reviews (this may have been the most popular Feb. COTM recipe), I can't wait to try it--maybe during JO month.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think you may be right ncw! I know I just had to squeeze it in because of all the positive reviews here. It also appealed because it calls for ingredients I typically have on hand. Always a plus! Can't wait to see your review!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                Braised Ligurian chicken, p 491
                                                                                                                                                                                Made this today and it was quite good. As others have noted, my chicken also required more than 20 minutes to braise and I think I will braise for longer and slower in the oven next time around. Served this with the roasted Italian potatoes which were excellent - even though I had issues with the one inch cubing.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                                                                                                  So glad to see this thread pop up again. You've reminded me of how much I enjoyed cooking from this book, one of my favorite COTMs ever. So many good recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                    Same here ncw. I just found an earlier book of Amanda's, "Cooking For Mr. Latte", and am enjoying it thoroughly, especially the anecdotes.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. Fish Steamed Over Vegetables and Fresh Herbs, page 434

                                                                                                                                                                                I was looking for an easy weeknight dinner, and found this. This recipe is truly an easy, one-pan dinner. The only cleanup was the skillet and the cutting board. I am not usually a big fan of steamed fish, I prefer it grilled or seared. But in this dish, the fish absorbs some subtle flavors from the vegetables and herbs, and it is quite nice. We started off with the cored and chopped tomatoes as directed, but upon tasting them, realized they were pretty devoid of flavor. So we substituted a can of organic fire roasted tomatoes. Otherwise followed the recipe. Our fish took a little longer to cook. At the end of the 12 minutes it was still not cooked in the thicker areas. Although we generally "err to the rare" with fish, this took 13 to 14 minutes of steaming. I found this to be a great method for preparing a simple dinner, and the result was colorful, fragrant, and flavorful. I will definitely try it again, and play with different vegetables and fish. The photo shows the dish after plating.

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                1. Shrimp in Green Sauce, p. 430

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another easy weeknight dinner, which could be a first course at a dinner party as well. Basically this is raw shrimp baked in a savory paste made of chopped garlic, scallions, italian parsley, crushed chiles or red pepper flakes, oil -- plus 1/3 c. extra liquid (broth, water, or white wine) added when baking. Easy to set up ahead in the refrigerator if you wish (I did) and then give yourself 10 to 20 minutes in a 500 F oven, depending on size of shrimp and if they are chilled.
                                                                                                                                                                                  This is not really an unusual preparation, but the sauce is attractively green and very savory/spicy and the best part is that it needs only some good bread to accompany it---in fact, bread is required! I used ciabatta to sop up the deliciousness. And the hot oven with one stirring means that the shrimp cook fast and evenly without a lot of attention in a pan. Just start checking after 8- 10 minutes and take them out as soon as the sauce is bubbling and they turn pink I was careful with this, and they were very tender and could be reheated the next day for lunch. (Meanwhile the garlic seemed to have intensified overnight!)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Again, the young children in the family ate the shrimp willingly and the adults wolfed down the sauce. I served Rachel's Green Beans with Dill (p. 251) to give the kids some semblance of a balanced meal. If I served this for a first course, I'd use shallow individual ramequins, and larger tiger shrimp. The 21-24 per pound size were fine for a dinner serving, and the 2 # of shrimp made at least enough for 6 people (the recipe said serves 4).

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the review, Goblin. This is one I've been wanting to make, but just haven't been feeling like peeling shrimp recently. So glad to hear your family liked it. Maybe this will give me the motivation to go for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Greeneggsnham (love the moniker): I buy the raw shrimp frozen in the bag; they are billed as "easy peel" or something like that; the shell is already cut down the back and they sort of slip off. But I know what you mean; one has to be up for tackling the whole process.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hope your family likes it. There will be lots of really garlicky sauce. The kids appreciated the shrimp; the adults moaned over the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Country Captain Chicken, p. 455.

                                                                                                                                                                                    This is a recipe from the 1960s which I probably wouldn't have thought of making if I hadn't been browsing through the ENYT cookbook. (One benefit about participating in this COTM is that I have been looking for recipes that I actually intend on cooking soon and reviewing, rather than bookmarking ones that look Interesting for Someday!) Anyway, Country Captain is an American standard that appears in Joy of Cooking and was taught at James Bard's Cooking School; I thought this particular NYT recipe was easy and light and flavorful, without cutting any corners: only 13 ingredients as opposed to the 19 required by Joy of Cooking, which depends more heavily on various spices and brown sugar and currants. I served it as a weeknight dinner on a cold night for 4 adults and 2 children--they all liked it, though the kids refused to use the mango chutney!

                                                                                                                                                                                    My only changes to the recipe were minor ones: I used red bell pepper rather than the traditional green because I prefer the flavor, and I cooked the chicken longer than the 20 minutes indicated in the recipe--more like 35 minutes. (I like braised chicken to be very tender.) I'd make it again for the family or for an informal buffet. It calls out for steamed rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                      Michele Kayal of the Associated Press wrote an interesting article recently about the history of Country Captain and its recent re-emergence. http://smdailyjournal.com/article_pre...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh JaneEYB, that article was fascinating! I had no idea that I was part of a trend! I'm going to look up the more modern recipes on EYB as well. Thanks so much for bringing Kayal's interesting article to my attention.
                                                                                                                                                                                        This sort of thing is what I am loving about my first foray into COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                          Country Captain Chicken, p. 455.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I made this tonight and liked it. I haved the recipe since I am the only one eating; used chicken breasts on bone since this is what I had. I did not think there was enough salt and added more. I also find the sauce too acidic and added about a teaspoon or slightly more of honey. Served with brown basmati rice and will take the same dish for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Moroccan Chicken smothered in Olives, page 482

                                                                                                                                                                                      I was happy to find this recipe, as I found COTM just after you covered the Wolfert books. I seem to be drawn to the olive recipes.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I used skinless chicken breasts instead of the thighs, that is what I had on hand, (and I am definitely a white meat person), and I realize that probably makes a big difference in the final outcome. I did brine them as directed in the recipe. My olives seemed rather large, so I cut them in half. This dish was quite easy to prepare.
                                                                                                                                                                                      The color and aromas of this dish were wonderful, and the brined chicken was moist and tender. The flavors, however, didn't merge quite like I expected. The taste was great only if you got a piece of chicken, an olive, some onion, and a little broth, all in one bite. However, the next day, the leftovers seemed tastier. I think the chicken absorbed more of the flavorful broth given extra time.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade. I'm sorry you found us after Wolfert month was over, but I'm glad you did find us. Just as an aside, people post to the COTM threads in perpetuity, so if you decide you still want to delve into Wolfert, it's never too late!

                                                                                                                                                                                        I can see how this Moroccan chicken dish would be better on day 2. I think that's true with a lot of complex dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for that info, I just assumed boards would close at the end of the month. So I can delve into Wolfort and Grace Young! (Not that the NYT book isn't keeping me busy.)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                            You can absolutely post to all of the old COTM threads. They aren't locked or anything. The only difference is that most people have shifted their focus away from the "old" book and to the "new" book. But, this week alone I've seen posts pop up on one of the Dunlop books, which was COTM about 3 years ago, and Flexitarian Table, which was maybe 2 1/2 years ago. And the Grace Young threads still seem pretty lively. It's never too late!

                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                          Because of L.Nightshade's review above I made Moroccan Chicken Smothered in Olives last night with a few slight procedural modifications. I think they helped the flavor. First of all, I did use bone-in thighs AND breasts (halved) to satisfy different tastes in my family. I brined them for 2 hours as recommended. I started the dish early in the afternoon, cooked the chicken until tender, removed the pieces from the casserole and reduced the sauce by about 1/3 to meld the flavors. I then returned the chicken to the pot and simmered it for ten minutes with the olives and lemon juice as directed by the recipe. Then I just let it sit for a few hours to give more time for flavor development, before reheating it for dinner. The sauce was interesting yet mellow, and the chicken tasted wonderful. You could of course accomplish all this by making it a day ahead, but that takes more planning!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Our family found that the 11 oz. of olives in the recipe was a lot--this amount gave wonderful flavor to the sauce but some of us left olives on the plate, me included. (Admittedly, two of our number were children.) What I should have done was remove some of the olives before serving and save them to chop up as a topping for bruschetta.
                                                                                                                                                                                          All in all, a very satisfying and easy dish that everyone really liked. I'll make it again. And, man, did my kitchen smell terrific while it was cooking! Oh yes: I served it with cous-cous, Moroccan Carrot Salad (p. 187), and oven-roasted broccoli spears.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                            I, too, will try it again, making the same modifications you did. The aroma in the kitchen really was wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                            Moroccan Chicken Smothered in Olives, Pg. .482

                                                                                                                                                                                            Made this last night and we thought it was delicious, even though I completely forgot about the 2 hour maranade. I used skinless boneless chicken thighs and pretty much followed the recipe as written except G thought 2 onions chopped was too many so I used 1 1/2. The onions were quite large. The olives I used were small and briny but I had to pit them... just smashed each as I do with garlic. Easy peasy. Didn't weigh them, used about 1 1/2 cups.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Very tasty dish. Served with Spicy Orange Salad Moroccan Style, pg. 180 and a helping of the Drunken Beans pg. 287.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Breaded Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Cheese, Pg. 465

                                                                                                                                                                                            Easy, Quick, Delicious...three of my favorite words. Made the full recipe and followed the recipe without having to change anything except to use 1 t dry tarragon (from my garden) instead of 1 tablespoon fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Put a bit of flour in a flat dish, beat an egg with a little water and S & P, combine fresh breadcrumbs with parmigiana. Do the 3 dip thing with the chicken: flour, egg, breadcrumbs, then heat oil in a skillet and cook the breasts till golden brown on each side. Remove to a plate and keep warm while the sauce is made. Butter, tarragon and lemon juice blended in the skillet is the sauce... Really, really nice. I served Escarole with Roasted Garlic and Lemon on page 248 as the side dish. Lovely combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds good, Gio. I do a similar Nigel Slater recipe called Bang Bang Chicken - or maybe that's just what my kids called it, as you flatten the breasts with a rolling pin before breading them. I'll try this one though.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                The finished dish was Very flavorful, Jane. G is still talking about how much he enjoyed it. We'll have it again as it goes into our regular rotation. Funny about your bang bang chicken, though, because there is a Sichuan chicken recipe called Bang Bang Chicken:
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.chinesefooddiy.com/BangBan...

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                Breaded Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Cheese, Pg. 465

                                                                                                                                                                                                After happening upon one large (BS) chicken breast in the freezer this afternoon, not long after reading Gio's report, it seemed fated that I try out this recipe. I halved the CB and proceeded w/the recipe. The only change I made was using parsley instead of tarragon. With the parmesan-bread crumb crust and the lemon-butter sauce, this was very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                It was really a hit with my husband. (No surprise as he loves anything that is fried or seems fried as well as anything cutlet-esque.) We'll definitely make it again. Tonight I served it w/ a wild mushroom risotto and roasted brussels sprouts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Breaded Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Cheese p.465

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wanted a quick dinner tonight with chicken breasts so this leapt at me. I rather ruined the "quick" aspect by choosing to make the Italian Roast Potatoes p.300 which Amanda suggested as an accompaniment as well as Broccoli Puree with Ginger p.253 but at least the chicken part of the meal was quick and easy. I didn't have any fresh tarragon so did the parsley variation suggested by nomadchowwoman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I liked this, it was tasty and very quick to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                    HAHAHA! That's totally the type of meal planning mistake I would make. I'm glad you still liked it despite the small menu snafu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Breaded Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Cheese – p. 465 – Chapter 10

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gio and ncw enticed me to give this a try given their positive reviews. Mr bc loves chicken so I knew right away this would be a great main course for our Valentine’s Day Dinner, especially since Valentine’s Day falls on a weeknight and this chicken was quick and easy. Like Gio and ncw, we just loved this dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My fellow hounds have covered the prep process so no need for me to repeat here. I did find Hesser’s cooking note interesting though. She liked the technique of seasoning the egg vs the flour because it ensures more even seasoning of the chicken. I have to admit I haven’t ever seasoned the egg mixture with dry ingredients before either and although in this case the seasoning was just salt and pepper, I’d like to try this again using other seasonings that I typically add to my flour. I definitely think this technique shows promise and would be especially useful to consider when I want to layer flavours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken is tender, crisp and juicy. The only change I made to the recipe was to use a mixture of fresh and dried thyme in the sauce vs the fresh tarragon as I wanted the flavours in the chicken to align with those in the pasta dish I was serving on the side. Come summer time I’ll definitely try this with some fresh tarragon from my garden as we love the somewhat creamy hint of anise it lends to dishes. I also think capers would be great in the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was a hit and I’ll definitely make it again. Mr bc gave the meal a “10”! I’ll save my report on the pasta, the first Jamie Oliver recipe I’ve ever made, for next month. (it really was amazing though!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                3. The other night I tried the Shaking Beef by Charles Phan via Mark Bittman. It was so delicious. I will make this again and again. I was surprised that you don’t serve the meat with the sauce. And since I hated the thought of throwing it out, I saved it to eat later with rice. When I tried the sauce-less beef over the lettuce leaves (another surprise, which I had my doubts about) I thought it worked beautifully. It didn't need the sauce. I added thinly sliced stir-fried sweet potato rounds for a little starch. Delicious. I also used top sirloin. It was 8.99 a pound instead of the 25.99 a pound filet mignon. I thought the top sirloin worked really well. Filet seems like a bit of a waste in this recipe. But I should try it nonetheless, when it's on sale!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Made the Meat and Spinach Loaf yesterday for work. It was delicious - definitely a dish that I will make again or would serve at a dinner party. The method was interesting. It calls for blending together the parsley, celery, and milk. Does anyone know the reason for this technique? I assume it's to flavor the milk and disperse those flavors more evenlying over the meat. I'm convinced that the fresh breadcrumbs and handfuls of cooked spinach made it so much lighter than other meatloaves I've made. It's like meatballs, if you add dried breadcrumbs, they will be dense. If you add fresh bread and then moisten it, they will be so much lighter. This recipe was a cross between a meatball and a spinach pie. I would not serve it without the sauce. The bacon is a nice touch -- to flavor the loaf and lock in the moisture. The only additions I would make is I would take a little piece of the raw meatloaf mixture and sear it in a pan to test the seasoning. It's not clear in the recipe how much salt to add.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was surprised by some of the instructions. It didn't say what heat level to cook the onions and spinach over. Do you think she didn't change the recipes from their published forms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jsantopietro

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In her intro, she made it seem like she left some recipes completely as is, and re-wrote the directions for others to make them more clear. But, in the case of this recipe http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7632... it seems as if she totally rewrote it. If she pops back into these threads, I hope she clarifies this. I don't know what difference it makes. I'm just curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      By the way, you've been busy cooking! Love reading your reports.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was emailing with Amanda recently, and have seen her on these boards quite a bit. I asked her if she would be interested in a Q&A with the Home Cooking Board. She said "yes". So if we have questions for her, we should send her a list of them. Would this be of interest to any of you? I've really been enjoying taking part in the COTM. The feedback collected here is amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jsantopietro

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, that is very kind of her (and you). I wonder if people haven't seen this post because it's kind of buried within this thread. I'll see if I can post a link to this post and see if other people have questions for her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7661...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi there -- I left this message on the chapters 1 to 4 thread, so you may have missed it. Re-posting it here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just wanted to thank all of you for joining in to test out my book -- after working on the book for 6 years, there's nothing better than getting a chance to see how you use it, and to hear your thoughts on recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd like to point out two errors in the book so you can correct your copies. In the Purple Plum Torte on page 764, the ingredient list should call for 1 teaspoon cinnamon, not 1 tablespoon. And in the brined turkey recipes on pages 475 and 478, step 5, the temperature for doneness should be 165, not 130.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you have any questions about these recipes or anything else in the book, please don't hesitate to ask on these threads and I'll try to respond promptly. Also, you can always find me at www.food52.com (a cooking community, which I founded with Merrill Stubbs) or on Twitter @amandahesser -- thanks again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you! I have made a note for those recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Could you please tell me if any references were made in the recipes of White Truffle Oil....I see in the shopping section you tell where to buy it, but I cannot find any mention of it in any recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. T-Bone Steak with 6666 Soppin' Sauce, page 539

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This recipe was adapted from Pitchfork Ranch in Guthrie TX, back in 1989.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My husband thought this was a 7 out of 10. I thought it was good, not amazing, but then I'm also not especially a dry-aged steak lover or the kind of person who thinks a good steak needs a sauce, either, so maybe that's not fair. I did think the sauce itself was delicious. I wanted to just sit with the pan and eat it with a spoon. But as a topping to steak? Meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyway: mix in a saucepan bring to a boil, then simmer together for an hour: tomato paste, chili powder, S & P, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, water, white vinegar, lemon, butter (I used 1/2 butter, half canola oil), cayenne pepper (here's a bugaboo of mine; if it doesn't matter what order you put add things in, why call for a dry ingredient after wet ingredients--messes up my measuring spoons?).honey, brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Set aside half and reserve the rest for another use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Season steaks (both sides) with garlic salt and pepper and broil, brushing occasionally with the sauce. She says 10 mins one side, 6-7 mins the other for medium rare on 1 inch steaks. I did 7/7 and thought that was slightly too long for medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, I didn't use half the sauce, I poured a heaping ladle into a bowl and still only used half of that, despite basting generously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        She does say the sauce recipe "Makes a very large amount," but warns that the cooking time would change if you cut the recipe in half. She doesn't say if that changes the flavor of what, but the sauce recipe makes a RIDICULOUSLY large amount. Even half, I think would leave you with too much sauce. But it is delicious, so I'm going to have to figure out something to do with it. Any ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        We served this with the AWESOME Italian Roasted Potatoes on pg 300 (I will add my comments to the appropriate thread). OMG I'm in love. If they didn't call for so much oil, we use that recipe for potatoes for the rest of our lives. Note: I think this turned out be bad menu planning on my part as my roasted potatoes had to sit for 15 minutes while my steaks were broiling and lost a little of their crispy magic. My fault, not Hesser's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't explain why, but between these two simple dishes and some steamed broccoli, I managed to turn the kitchen into a complete disaster zone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Totally with you on the wet ingredients after dry issue. Back in the day when I was editing cookbooks I used to rearrange the ingredients lists to achieve that. I was called anal more than once. Now I just use two sets of measuring spoons: a set of oblong spoons for dry measurement—oblong because the fit easily into spice bottles—and round for wet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for your sauce, it sounds like a fairly standard barbeque sauce and I would think it could work well with just about anything you’d want to barbecue—either on the grill, under the broiler, or in the oven: chicken, chicken wings, pork chops, ribs. I might marinate the protein in the sauce for however long it seems practical and then just keep basting as you did with the steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks JoanN. In this case, I just picked the dry ingredients from the list and did those first, then moved onto wet. I worry about doing stuff out of order like that, though, for fear I'll double up or miss something, but oh well. I usually plan to keep my dry measuring spoons dry, but somehow, eventually manage to mess up. Having physically different measuring spoon sets (instead of two identical sets) of the might do the trick though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the ideas on what to do with my sauce!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is in response to Joan N's use of two sets of measuring spoons, one round, one oval - brilliant!!! Thanks for the tip! I was disappointed about TDQ not loving the steak, it was on my short list. My short list, BTW, is getting longer based on all the great reviews! I was so emerged in reading this months CBOM responses, I completely missed participating in March's nomination process. Oh well, sounds like Jaime was a lock either way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Today I am taking a break from my friend, Amanda's recipes. Instead, I am making the most delicious roast chicken, wild mushroom and onion soup courtesy of Bruce Poole (Chez Bruce). The recipe is set out on page 29 of Soup Kitchen, by Hugh Fearnley-Wjittingstall. It is a cross between the best mushroom soup and the best french onion soups you've ever tasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi DQ, great review! You made me wish I had some of that sauce as well!! I took a look at the recipe and based on the ingredients, it should freeze nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I make a large batch of rib sauce at the beginning grilling season and portion it into 1 cup amounts then freeze it (flat) in ziplock bags that way I can pull out what I need, when I need it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Choresh Qormeh Sabzi, page 533

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made this because I have been reading the Marsha Mehran novels, and I was in the mood for something that might be served in the Babylon Cafe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            My difficulty with this recipe came with the measuring of ingredients. The recipe called for 3 cups of chopped spinach, about two 1-pound bunches. As much as I chopped the spinach, and pressed it down, 3 cups was only about 8 ounces of spinach. Similar measuring difficulties with the herbs, described as volume vs. bunches. So I followed the recipe using the volume measurements. Wrong decision. Of course the greens cooked down to a couple spoonfuls, not enough to really give the impression of a green stew. So back to the store, another bag of spinach, appropriate quantities of additional green herbs, and a fresh round of sauteing in the skillet. Much better this time. The herby aroma is fantastic, but the flavor could use a little punch up. If I make this again, I will measure ingredients by weight and bunches, and try it with the spices Mimi Sheraton suggested in the notes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I served this with the Moroccan Carrot Salad, which was a great flavor and color contrast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Grapefruit and Meyer Lemon Marmalade (page 611)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not the easiest or quickest marmalade I’ve ever made—not by a long shot—but if early tastings hold up it will definitely be among the best. The flavor is bright, not overly sweet, and the bitterness of the rind makes your mouth tingle in a good way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was one of the first recipes to catch my eye when I got the book, but I knew that I’d need not only the time, I knew I’d have to be in the mood. I had all the ingredients on hand, and this morning the stars aligned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Zest and sliver enough grapefruit zest to make 3/4 of a cup. Cut off remaining rind and pith and supreme five cups (five pounds) of grapefruit segments reserving the membranes. Cut the peel from three or four Meyer lemons (I used four, although that was more than the one pound called for) and cut into 1/2-inch squares. Supreme the lemon, cut the supremes into 1/4-inch pieces, and add the lemon membranes to those of the grapefruit. Put membranes in a jelly bag (I just tied it up in cheesecloth), and bring the contents of the jelly bag, the grapefruit and lemon segments, the lemon squares and the grapefruit zest to a simmer, add lemon juice and water, and cook about 25 minutes until the grapefruit peel is tender. When the jelly bag is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the pectin, return the pectin to the pot, add five cups of sugar, boil until temp reaches 220F, put into sterilized jars, and process in a boiling water bath.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some Notes: Recipe doesn’t specify red or white grapefruit. I didn’t realize I had bought red until I cut into them. Wonder if it makes a difference? The red sure does look pretty. I had a very scant five cups of grapefruit supremes even though I used the five pounds of grapefruit called for. I chalk that up to my supreming technique which would have made me a laughing stock on Top Chef and resulted in fingers decorated with Band-Aids. I made a mistake and added the sugar at the same time I added the lemon juice and water. I was able to remove about half of it. Best I can tell, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference. My yield was just under eight half pints, not six. Can’t imagine why. And finally, the marmalade hasn’t yet set up quite as much as I had hoped (but it’s only about 3 hours out of the water bath and I know from past experience that it can take while—sometimes as long as a few weeks). I’m fairly confident since it not only passed the gel test, but the temperature was confirmed both by a candy thermometer and my Thermapen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm SO impressed!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I saw this in the book and thought "naw, nobody'll do this..."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                It looks beautiful! And I loved your post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed, just lovely! I'm not sure I have the patience for it, but I am envious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That does look great - and it is marmalade making time of year. Unfortunately, I still have last year's batch (not big marmalade eaters)! Also no Meyer lemons here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I never bother with thermometers - just do the "wrinkle" test on a saucer that's been in the freezer. Don't process either - I think that's more of an American thing. We just use hot, sterilised jars (dishwasher is good for this) and I've never had a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That was my mom's way too, she never used a thermometer even in candymaking (the ball in cold water tests sufficed).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Joan I'm so impressed. Your marmalade looks spectacular and I certainly tip my hat to you for supreming 6lbs of fruit!!! I'm in awe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, like many people, I take a drug daily which interacts badly with grapefruit. [Folks, who knew that so many drugs forbid eating grapefruit?]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But I have a ton of Meyer lemons right now, and love marmalade. Could I substitute more Meyers lemons for the grapefruit? or "normal" lemons?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's a much easier recipe for Meyer Lemon Marmalade that I've made a number of times with great success.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think I'd try the ENYT recipe with Meyer Lemons alone simply because the lemons are even more of a pain than the grapefruit to supreme. I can't imagine how many you'd need to yield 5 cups. Even if I had a ton, I wouldn't want to have to supreme a ton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you so much. Looks like a manageable amount, and your recommendation is good enough for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Totally off since I was only inspired by Joan's ENYTC posting, but wanted to report that the epicurious recipe that she offered as a replacement is excellent. Wow! So easy to make and so delicious. Many, many thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So pleased to hear that it worked for you and that you liked it. I've been making it annually for many years now and it never disappoints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I made another version of this marmalade with so so results, thanks for letting me know this version is good. Can't wait to try it. Try using it instead of apricot jam when making rugelach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a spectacular idea! I really don't like apricot jam and the only time I ever use it is when I make rugelach. I'd probably have to put it in the blender to eliminate the chunks of peel, but that's not a problem. Thank you so much for mentioning this. I may have to make rugelach sooner than I'd intended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Curious about the other version you tried and why the results were only so-so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Joan.....Wow. Outstanding that you tackled this one and beautifully done! Had my eye on it and so pleased to read what you wrote about the flavor...it sounds heavenly, albeit labor intensive. Bravo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Short Ribs w Coffee and Chiles – p. 579 – Chapter 11

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Get a cup of tea or a glass of wine, this is a long one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hesser’s description of these “earthy, spicy” short ribs enticed me to give them a try. It turns out that the original recipe appeared in the NY Times precisely three years, to the day, ago! This is a Mark Bittman “Minimalist” recipe and though I do own 2 of his cookbooks, this is the very first MB recipe I’ve tried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The meat was really tasty, fall-off-the-bone tender and, uniquely flavoured. That said, I’d recommend this recipe with some reservations and, modifications.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Read on . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prep is extremely quick and easy. A carrot is peeled and chopped along w onions and garlic. Two dried chilies are called for: a pasilla and a chipotle. Both are stemmed, seeded and minced. I didn’t have any dried chipotles so substituted a canned one. Red wine and strong coffee are measured and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oil is heated in a heavy pot and ribs are browned and seasoned then removed to make way for a pinch of sugar and the vegetables, which are cooked until the onions are soft. Coffee and wine are then added and cooked until reduced by half. Ribs are then returned to the pot, which is covered and either cooked stovetop over low heat or, in a 300 degree oven for 2 -3 hours until the meat is fall off the bone tender. Mine went into the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This smelled enticing from the moment the ribs hit the sizzling oil and aromas just became more complex and tantalizing from that point forward. Somehow the “earthy” aromas of this dish really seemed to be appetite inducing and even though we had a late brunch, mr bc was reporting hunger pangs almost immediately after this hit the oven!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, why am I recommending this with reservations? Well, I don’t know about you but if I’m braising, one of the things I most look forward to is the braising liquid. After I removed the ribs from the oven (3 hours in our case) I tasted the braising liquid and it was “extra-dry.” Dry as in peel a banana and press your tongue against the inside of the skin. Hesser notes that the addition of sugar and carrots were her idea, she was right, I can’t imagine how much dryer the sauce would have been without those additions. At this point I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice the sauce so I contemplated what I could add to make it edible. I first thought of a balsamic glaze I made so I pulled that out and tasted it and although it is sweet, it also has enough of a tartness that I felt it would be unsuitable. After a couple of other taste tests, I decided upon some Manuka honey which has an earthiness and caramel-like flavour. Adding a little at a time it took approx 2 tbsp to balance the braising liquid. It helped to draw out the flavour of the carrots and, heighten the caramelized flavour of the beef. The chilies added a nice warmth to the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For sake of clarity, on their own, the ribs were fabulous. If I were to have opted to serve them without any sauce, we would have given them rave reviews. However, because we wanted to evaluate the entire dish, I felt the need to report on that sauce. After dinner I Googled the recipe and couldn’t find one photo where the dish was served w the braising liquid. Even the NYT photo shows the ribs “un-sauced”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, w modifications, the sauce wasn’t just edible, it was lovely. The carrots were a perfect compliment to the beef and when I make this again, I’ll make them chunkier and likely add more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hesser suggests polenta as a possible side dish. We had crash hot potatoes alongside. If I were to make this again, I think I’d try a sweet potato mash with a view to serving the ribs and sauce over top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't even much like meat, and that looks incredible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks so much LM, it really was a nice, simple and flavourful dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Rabbit in Mustard Sauce (pg 466)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Made as directed, except I used fresh rosemary & thyme rather than dried, and realized I didn't have fresh parsley, so omitted it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A whole rabbit is cut into 8 pieces, marinated in dijon mustard for 3 hours, then the marinade is removed, the rabbit dredged in flour. Meanwhile a couple of pieces of diced bacon are sauteed in a large skillet, removed, a minced onion is sauteed on the rendered fat, removed from the pan, butter is added, rabbit pieces are browned in two batches, removed from the pan, pan is deglazed with white wine, broth and herbs are added and brought to a simmer, rabbit and onions are returned to the pan and simmered very low for an hour, rabbit is removed, sauce is reduced, 1/4 cream is added to the pan, simmered briefly, rabbit and bacon pieces are added back, and voila!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was a wonderful dish. The flavors meld beautifully, the mustard is present but not dominant, and the rabbit cooks to a succulent perfection. Served it with home-made egg noodles, the much and deservedly bally-hooed escarole from page 248, and the nice young Chablis that was also used to cook the dish. A delightful Sunday dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A few things I'd tweak in the future: 1) remeber to buy parsley 2) be sure to brown the rabbit as dark as possible, it lightens considerably while simmering 3) if serving to guests over noodles, remove the meat from the bone after cooking, one of Hesser's suggested options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love Rabbit in Mustard Sauce - must try that one. Did you use farmed or wild rabbit? Cider would also be a good alternative to the white wine, I reckon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used a farmed rabbit, fresh not frozen. Cider should work just fine, I might just steal that idea next time :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I looked at couple of other similar recipes in other sources, the differences were pretty minor, creme fraiche vs sweet cream, flour the rabbit before browning or not etc. But I think the real key to Hesser's technique is the low heat slow simmer, 1 hour, instead of 1/2 hour at medium heat that others called for. The texture of the meat was just wonderful using Hesser's approach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think low and slow is the way to go. Rabbit can be tricky because it's such a lean meat. I would probably use creme fraiche too, because that's the French way and I always have it to hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hesser's recipe calls for sweet cream, and as I had that on hand and needed to use it up that's what I used, But if I were making it again, and shopping from scratch I would definitely try the creme fraiche.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a little late, but here's a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Does anyone have a link to the Meat and Spinach Loaf pg. 524--I'd really like to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flfoodie2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    FL... with the book in front of me I read the recipe at the website below and found it to be almost exactly the recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/meat-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only exceptions I noticed are that in the book's recipe 1 lb spinach and "unsalted" butter is used instead of what's listed on-line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Gio for taking the time...I had searched online but didn't find it like you did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil p 422

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, what a fast and tasty dinner this is! It was perfect for feeding my last minute dinner guest! Just wrap salmon, a little olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and basil in foil and pop in the oven for 10 minutes. I served it with roasted asparagus, which, handily, also take 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven. Next time I would chiffonade the basil, the wording in the recipe sounds like one should lay the leaves on whole. They look nice, like a wrapping, but, after cooking, are difficult to cut with a knife. With a chiffonade you could get more bits of basil with each bite of salmon. You can't really see the tomatoes in the photo, but they are there, under the basil. Otherwise, just perfect. We've had lots of fish cooked in parchment or foil, this one is particularly flavorful and pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've had my eye on this one for summer, when I have lots of tomatoes and basil. I'll probably try it on the grill, or maybe in the toaster oven. Way to hot that time of year to turn on the real oven!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great tip about the chiffonade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Packets on the grill in the summertime, what a great idea, I wouldn't have thought of that. I look forward to trying this with summer tomatoes too. Fortunately, while most tomatoes are tasteless this time of year, there are some very good cherry and grape tomatoes around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for posting about this recipe (Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil). It sounded perfect for my purposes and it was! This is so easy and so quick and delicious and attractive as well. One that I'll definitely be making again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Elizabeth Frink's Roast Lemon Chicken pg 478

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is a really good chicken recipe. It calls for a 3 pound chicken, but that size sure is hard to find. The smallest chicken I could get was 5 pounds, so the cooking time was a lot longer. The chicken becomes lemony from the strips of lemon peel rubbed on the skin before cooking, the juice squeezed over the chicken, the lemons inside of the chicken cavity, and more lemon juice squeezed over the chicken half an hour before it is done cooking. Very easy, but you have to stick around the house in order to baste every 15 minutes. I think 325 is a low temperature to roast a chicken, and I finally raised the heat to 350 because I was getting pretty hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Served with the String Beans with Ginger and Garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Linda513

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Looks delicious! I love a roast chicken but never seem to be able to follow a recipe for it. Always end up improvising

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Linda513

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Elizabeth Frink's Roast Lemon Chicken, p. 478

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with Linda - this was a very good roast chicken, perfect for dinner on an unusually windy and rainy Phoenix day. Like Linda, I also ended up increasing the heat to 350; it didn't seem to be browning as much as I would like it at 325. I don't usually baste, so I didn't with this either, but it was still juicy and tender. Mine was 4 lbs, I smashed the garlic and didn't peel them, added water to the pan so the drippings didn't burn, and did the last step of squeezing one more lemon over and sprinkling with chopped parsley about 20 minutes before it was done. Served it with Italian Roasted Potatoes (p. 300) and a salad with citrus vinaigrette. The potatoes were good on their own, but even better when they soaked up the strained lemony sauce with the chicken. I can see why it says the leftovers will make great sandwiches. E's verdict? "Delicious".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recipe link:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great! I'm making this today, also with a 4 pounder. I'll definitely do the slightly higher temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I’m starting to think I have a wok-monkey on my back, I really seem to be missing all the stir-frying we did last month so tonight I found myself using EYB to re-purpose the chicken I’d taken out for another dish and, identify a second main w ingredients I had on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With a big thank-you to EYB I was able to find two dishes I could prepare in my wok tonight. Both were great in my books but we’d give an edge going to the shrimp. Here’s what we ate:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hot Pepper Shrimp – p. 403 – Chapter 9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yummy and fun to make too! Hesser notes that “if you’ve never made a dish like this, you’re in for a surprise” in reference to the effect the addition of the vinegar-based sauce has on the dish. I won’t spoil the surprise for you but, rest-assured, it is fun to watch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prep is simple and straightforward. Shrimp are tossed w a lightly beaten egg white and cornstarch. A sauce is made by mixing together rice vinegar, soy, cornstarch, sugar and rice wine. Garlic is minced, scallions are chopped, fermented black beans are measured, rinsed and drained, and hot green chilies are thinly sliced to yield 1/3 cup…yes, you read that right!! (Hesser used jalapenos, I used long green hot chilies.) Yes, I did question the quantity but in the end, decided to go big or go home. . . even though my chilies were pretty darn hot on the tongue!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I debated whether to skip the first cooking step entirely and simply start stir-frying but in the end, I followed directions to the letter and I’m glad I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 cups of oil are heated in the wok and the shrimp are deep-fried until pink. This took about a minute in my case. The shrimp are removed and drained on paper-towel and all but 3tbsp of the oil is drained.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Veggies go in next and are stir-fried for a minute before re-inviting the shrimp to the party and stirring in the magical sauce. Once shrimp are coated you can call it a night!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We really loved this dish. mr bc tolerates shrimp whereas I love them. He loved this dish, finished them off! This is a first! There are a lot of great things about this dish, the shrimp are sweet and just pop in your mouth, the sauce is spectacular, the perfect blend of hot, sweet, sour, salty and an earthy kick from the black beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you like these ingredients, try this dish. It’s a winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stir-Fried Chicken with Creamed Corn – p. 483 – Chapter 10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hesser notes this dish is Mark Bittman’s riff on a fish and corn dish he had in California. She describes this as a “brilliant variation” so who could resist, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Surprisingly, I liked this more than my chicken-loving husband did. I think it’s the corn that tipped me over the edge, I love corn! This dish is on the sweet side w the addition of the creamed corn but somehow it works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chicken is cubed and marinated in soy, sesame oil and rice wine. Ginger and garlic and a small chili are minced. I used 2 Thai bird chilies and, when I make this again would use 4 because there’s enough sweetness from the corn to allow for extra heat (if you like that kind of thing!). A can of creamed corn is opened and, a cup of fresh or frozen corn is measured. Hesser used frozen and I followed suit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cooking process couldn’t be simpler. Oil is heated, chicken’s added and left undisturbed for 2 mins in this case before stir-frying for another 2 mins. Heat is reduced to medium-low before adding garlic, ginger and chili, which are stir-fried for 15 seconds before both corns are added and stir-fried ‘til heated through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hesser likens this dish to pigs in a blanket in that you can’t explain its appeal. While mr bc was a little on the fence, I fully agree w her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great report and pics! Now I want to know what the surprise is! I get the impression you thought deep frying the shrimp was really important for the final result? I am averse to deep frying with all my little kids around. plus my innate cheapness make it hard to throw out 3 cups of oil. It certainly sounds and looks delicious! maybe I'll try it just stirfrying everything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi ge'shman - Like you, I was hesitant to deep fry, its just something I rarely do and, I also shared your concern about wasting oil. That said, I do think that the initial deep fry was an integral part of the cooking process as the hot oil causes the cornstarch marinade to build somewhat of a "skin" on the shrimp. Now, what I did was more of a not-so-deep fry. I used the wok w about 2 cups of oil (at most) and fried the shrimp in smaller batches. You could likely get away w 1 cup of oil but would need to flip the shrimp since they likely wouldn't be floating. Just a thought...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks BC! I like your idea about the "shallow fry." It sure looks delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had the Hot Pepper Shrimp bookmarked, and I definitely want to make it (but the last few times I've tried, I haven't been able to find fremented black beans, even at the Asian market--though that could be a translation problem, as is often an issue there). But I have a question: did you find the amount of chiles a bit too much ("my chilies were pretty darn hot on the tongue!!")--. i.e., would you use the same amount next time? And were the chiles you used hotter than/less hot than jalapenos? The selection of chiles here can be pretty limited, so I'd probably go w/jalapenos, but I'm pretty sure my husband would find anything w/ 1/3 c of jalapenos inedible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But, omigosh, does that look delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi ncw, thanks so much! mr bc is still talking about these shrimp!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I definitely think this dish needs the fermented black beans. Not sure if this helps but some brands are labeled "Preserved Dried Salted Black Beans" I've attached some pics in case this helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now, on to those chilies. I did taste them first because I was apprehensive. In my view, they were hotter than jalapenos, there was quite a burn to my tongue so I did remove their pithy veins and seeds but in the end, I did use the 1/3cup. Surprisingly they did not make the dish too hot. In fact, the heat was terrific and balanced. I don't have the book w me but I seem to recall Hesser saying she used jalapenos so she likely would have said in her note what quantity she used. If you do use jalapenos perhaps you could be guided by her experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I'm so psyched about trying this recipe that I trekked across the river to the Asian market today, and searched high and low until I finally found the fermented black beans, not, mind you, in any place that seemed logical to me, and along an aisle filled w/bags, of various contents, that all looked alike--but who cares? I found them, and I'm making this recipe in the next few days (but not tonight as I couldn't resist going and having a much too large lunch at one of my favorite Vietnamese spots that happens to be near the market . . .) .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought both jalapenos and Thai bird chiles so I hope I'll be able to figure out a good heat level.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now that's true COTM dedication. Here's hoping you are appropriately rewarded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yay!! So glad you tracked down those beans ncw!! Looking forward to hearing about your dish! Thai birds are my absolute favourite chilies because they seem to always provide a reliable, consistent heat level. If you end up going w those, you definitely won't need anything close to 1/3 cup. I tend to find that jalapenos lose some of their bite in the cooking process and, at least in this neck of the woods, their heat level can vary significantly from pepper to pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy wokking ncw!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've made Mark Bittman's chicken and creamed corn stir fry from The Best Recipe in the World. Pretty good - it's very much like chicken and sweetcorn soup you get in every chinese restaurant in England.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hot Pepper Shrimp, p. 403

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Like Breadcrumbs and Mr. BC, we loved this. I think this dish would be excellent, too, with scallops or even a mild fish, and maybe pieces of chicken breast, in place of shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Since Breadcrumbs has already described the process, I'll just note the changes I made to the recipe. I don't own a wok so I used a 12-inch skillet. I decided to cut the amount of oil (I used peanut) to 1 cup, which meant I had to turn the shrimp once since they weren't fully immersed, but this didn't pose any real problem and saved a lot of oil. I subbed gin for the rice wine as I had heard somewhere that it's a good substitute. Instead of 1/3 c chiles, I used 1/4 c--a mix of three Thai bird peppers and seeded jalapenos, all sliced thinly. This seemed to add just the right amount of heat for us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I completely agree with Breadcrumbs: the hot-sweet-sour sauce is wonderful. I served this w/jasmine rice and broccoli stir-fried w/garlic and ginger. We were very, very happy with this meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Buttermilk Roast Chicken p.493

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a Nigella Lawson recipe and I have cooked her original several times, The Tenderest Chicken from 'How to Eat'. That recipe is slightly different, with garlic, soy and Dijon mustard whereas in this recipe the flavorings are garlic, rosemary and honey. I marinated a spatchcocked chicken for 2 days in the buttermilk and flavorings and the end result was so delicious. The chicken was so juicy and moist with great flavor and a lovely crispy skin. A spatchcocked chicken (split down the backbone and flattened) cooks quite a bit quicker than a whole bird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I served this with Creamy Butternut Squash from Cook With Jamie (all the March COTM talk made me unfaithful) and leftover Broccoli Puree with Ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Due to Joan highlighting this recipe for me, I have a spatchcocked chicken bathing in buttermilk in my refrigerator right now. Last night was the first time I've ever spatchcocked a bird and it was easier than I imagined. Definitely a job for the kitchen shears. But since I just got a nice pair it wasn't too much of a chore. Not sure if I'm going to roast it tonight it let it go the whole 48 hours and do it tomorrow night. Depends on how late I get home from work and how hungry the family is. Do you think there's any significant difference in outcome between a 24 and 48 hour marinade?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can't imagine there would be a huge difference between 24 and 48 hours marinating. I think the critical timing is to do at least 24 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spatchcocked chickens are also great on the grill, when we get back into BBQ season. A much shorter marinade (a couple of hours though up to 24 hours is better) in olive oil, lemon juice, smashed garlic and chopped rosemary will give the bird a great flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also have a spatchcocked chicken marinating in the buttermilk marinade. We prepped it last night before starting dinner and we'll cook it on Tuesday night,. It will be interesting to compare the dish if you do elect to cook it tonight. The recipe was already on my to-make list so I was glad to read Jane's report. Haven't decided on the side dishes yet, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've spatchcked many chickens and I find it very easy to do when I use kitchen shears.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Parallel culinary lives, how fun! I will definitely post once I cook it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, the spatchcocking really wasn't bad. I'm not a big fan of butchering chicken in general. I am always worried about chicken juices flying around and contaminating all the surfaces in my kitchen. Plus, my counters tend to be cluttered (with food, toddler art projects, bills, everything), which makes it seem very unsanitary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last night after dinner I cleared the decks and got down to business. After I was done, I had a disproportional feeling of satisfaction after the whole thing (about my cleared counters and spatchcocked chicken). Gave myself a little pat on the back before going to bed. It doesn't take much to make me happy ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well.. good luck to you and your marinating chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FWIW: I have several plastic cutting boards of different colors representing diffferent cooking ingredients. For example a red one for meats, yellow for chicken, green for veggies. I simply take the one I need and put it on my wooden cutting board that is always in position to the left of the sink. Nothing goes on that board except food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Buttermilk Roast Chicken, Pg. 493

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So we made this last night and thought the flavor and texture of the chicken was terrific. The sauce was tangy without a noticabile swetness from the honey but I think the garlic balances that out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            After spatchcocking the chicken it's placed into a large freezer bag along with buttermilk, oil (I used grapeseed), garlic, S & P, rosemary and honey to marinate for two days. We did this on Sunday night and cooked it on Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To roast, place the chicken on a rack to drain off the marinade while the oven preheats to 400F. Line the roasting pan with foil and place the chicken (skin side up), drizzle with a little oil and roast for 45 minutes. Lower heat to 325F and cook till done. We had a 4 lb. organic chicken and it needed another 25 minutes. After resting for 10 minutes it's ready to carve and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Very, Very nice. Juicy, as Jane said, with somewhat crispy skin. I wondered at the reduction of heat for the final roasting but went along with the instructions anyway. I'd make this again but probably change the roasting temp and times. I served the Caesar salad with the chicken. All the flavors together were delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Buttermilk Roast Chicken. I made this last night as well and I will add my enthusiastic endorsement of this recipe. I had some issues with my execution, but despite that, the meat is SUPER juicy and flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My main error with this was I roasted this in a non-preheated le Creuset cast-iron pan. I don't own a regular roasting pan, but my mom had given me this le Creuset rectangular pan, which I assume is for roasting things. It weights about 20 pounds it seems and I'm sure will last forever, but this is the first time I've actually used it. I think in the future I will preheat the pan in my oven if I am going to use it to roast something. As you can see from my picture, my chicken ended up very unevenly browned. It seems like the pan was probably a heat sink and prevented browning of most of my chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Despite the odd appearance, the chicken meat tasted great. I thought the garlic flavor was not very pronounced but added a great savory flavor to the meat. Everyone gobbled it up. My finicky kids couldn't get enough if it. The skin was a disappointment, but I think that was my fault. I will definitely make this again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Buttermilk Roasted Chicken p. 493

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made this tonight after marinating for two days in yogurt since I did not have buttermilk. It was amazing - definitely one of the better chicken recipe and will stay from now on in my rotation. A foodie friend was over for dinner and declared it the best chicken she had in a long time. I wonder if it will be even better with buttermilk...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Buttermilk Roast Chicken pg 493

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We are on the bandwagon too! This was a lovely moist bird, with moderately crisp skin, and fine flavor. I made a few minor changes, reducing the honey & salt from 1 TBS to 1 Tsp each, and the final roasting at 330, not 325. It went very smoothly. Made this Sunday, and have found that not only was the chicken excellent served warm, but the leftovers, which are always the breast meat in this hoouse, have stayed very moist and made great chicken sandwiches. Mr. QN is enjoying the variety in roast chicken recipes and now thinks we should try the JO recipe this month....we'll see!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Buttermilk Roast Chicken, p.493.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My turn, and I agree with all the comments. The marinade (I did it for 48 hours) makes the chicken so moist and nicely seasoned. I also liked how the rosemary perfumed the pan drippings. I need to remember to spatchcock chickens more often - not only does it cook quicker (my 5-lb chicken using convection roasted in an hour), but it's easier to cut up and carve also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Chicken Paprikash, Pg. 461

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Make this dish...! It's absolutely delicious. Tender, juicy chicken in a luscious sauce that that made everything on the plate taste scrumptious. Lip smackin' good, even. I did change a couple of items, but nothing drastic. For instance, instead of a whole cut up chicken I used 3 large leg quarters and separated the thigh from the drumstick. The thighs were huge. Instead of sour cream I used drained yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The chicken is seasoned with S & P then browned on both sides in melted butter. Sliced onions and minced garlic are scattered around the chicken and paprika is sprinkled over all. I used {Penzey's} smoked paprika (pimenton) as suggested. Chicken broth is added to the pan, pan is covered then set to simmer for 10-ish minutes till chicken is cooked through. We needed 10 extra minutes. Remove the chicken and pour off fat if there is any. A cup of sour cream and 1T of flour are whisked together then stirred into sauce in the pan. Simmer for a minute. To serve pour sauce over the chicken. I served steamed broccoli and steamed Basmati rice as side dishes. Broccoli never tasted so good. I repeat, Make This Dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's quite the recommendation. I'll have to add this to my long list of dishes to make! I tried to make Chicken paprikash once and it was not good. Maybe I just didn't have the right recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Definitely inspiring -- might be dinner tonight chez mebby. And I like that you successfully subbed yogurt for the sour cream. My hesitation with paprikash has always been all that sour cream -- I'm not afraid of calories (lord knows), it just seems so heavy and like something that should be a delicate touch, not a main element. OTOH, I love yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When Gio says Make This Dish, who am I to disobey?! In a million years I wouldn't have pulled this one out to try -- but "luscious" and "lip smackin'" sauce? I'm in. And the whole family loved it and requested it be repeated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Like Gio I used yogurt (full-fat Greek) and smoked paprika (not Penzey's but good quality from Spain) and I did four largish thighs. It's a nice quick dish with only a handful of ingredients and very full flavor that you could do any night of the week. Served it with buttered egg noodles and peas -- yum. Classic home cooking of the variety I don't usually make, but will definitely do again. And so perfect for a cold, rainy night in L.A. Thank you, Gio!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're welcome, mebby...! I'm so glad you and your family liked it. I imagine yours tasted even better than mine since I used low-fat Plainfield yogurt. I'm beginning to think that at this stage of my life I really should stop using fat free and low fat products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have you tried the Brown Cow brand of no-fat yogurt? Full of flavor so I don't miss the calories at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've not seen Brown Cow yogurt. Plainfield is organic so I think that's a plus, and lately it seems denser more like Greek yogurt which I love. I used to make our yogurt back when I was a practising hippie...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If I remeber correctly, Russo's and Hannaford's carry Brown Cow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just a little correction to my post above... I used organic Stonyfield yogurt, not Plainfield.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fwiw, stonyfield owns brown cown, danone owns stonyfield...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And... Stoneyfield supplies Trader Joe's on the right coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think one of the reasons yoghurt in Turkey tastes so great is because it's always full fat. And it's still pretty healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was actually thinking about trying 2% next time around, particularly as it's hard to find the full-fat in smaller size tubs and I end up with a lot left over. But it's only a cup of yogurt for 4 servings, so not bad anyway and certainly has nutritional merits, so go ahead, live dangerously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I liked this recipe too but I thought it could use a little more kick. Addition of a liitle cayenne would be good next time. Served it over buttered egg noodles and side of roasted cauliflower. Another recipe that works well on a work day/night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Made this one last night for the family and I agree with all the positive comments: the sauce is remarkable for its piquant depth of flavor, while still being relatively simple to create. I used a Spanish smoky paprika, Greek 2% yoghurt (all I could find at the store) plus about 2 TBS of low-fat sour cream. My chicken pieces also took about 15 minutes longer than indicated to become truly tender. I served the dish with haricot verts with balsamic vinaigrette (p. 231), roasted broccoli, green salad, and "a perfect batch of rice" (p. 316) which was indeed perfect.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One thing I learned: this type of dish is better served as soon as the sauce is made and poured over the chicken. I completed the recipe a few hours ahead and refrigerated the casserole before reheating it for dinner. The sauce thickened up and then "broke" slightly. Just wasn't quite as smooth and plentiful as it seemed to be right after I made it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicken Paprikash, Pg. 461

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really liked this dish as well. Not much to add to Gio's fine report other than that I used two legs and thighs, smoked pimenton and the cooking time was also longer than stated in the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next time though, I would make some slight changes. More technique wise. After browning the chicken, I would take the pieces out, dump out the fat and then add the broth (I would add a bit more to compensate for the loss of liquid), onions, garlic and smoked pimenton. I did pour out about half the fat initially and it was still too fatty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, I didn't have sour cream but I did have this really tangy cottage cheese. I first whizzed it with immersion blender but didn't do it enough. When I added it to the sauce, it was a bit lumpy and it didn't fully incorporate. I don't think it effected the taste but the sauce did look kind of funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A keeper of a dish and a quick dinner overall (*give the chicken at least 30 minutes to braise though).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I served this with mashed potatoes and the sauteed escarole with lemon and garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Chicken Betty's Fried Chicken and Gravy, p. 462

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Although I hate frying, mostly because I've had very limited success doing so (and hate the mess of it), I had promised my husband I'd make him some fried chicken so I took a deep breath and made Chicken Betty's Fried Chicken and Gravy last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The recipe stipulates lard for (half) the frying medium so I bought lard for the first time in my life yesterday. Lard and Crisco shortening (3/4 c. ea) went into a 10-inch cast iron skillet to liquefy. I was making only half a recipe (four pieces--two thighs, two drumsticks), but still needed almost as much oil as the full recipe called for. The chicken was patted dry, dipped into an egg-milk bath, seasoned heavily (s & p; I added cayenne), on a separate plate, then dipped into a dish of flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The scariest thing about this recipe to me was no real direction about when the fat is ready. In the past I've used thermometers, bread cubes, timers, and I've inevitably failed: usually, the fat was too hot, and the chicken browned too much before it was actually cooked. But, as I've often heard, frying chicken is somewhat counterintuitive; lower temps are needed than for most deep-fat frying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Absent any specific direction from the recipe, I heated the oil over medium high heat for about 8 minutes, then put the chicken pieces in, fried for 8 minutes per side, then lowered the heat, covered w/a splatter screen, and cooked an additional 8 minutes, turning the pieces a few time. Well, this worked--though, obviously, cooking times would vary depending upon the size of the pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I drained the chicken briefly, then put it into a 250F oven while I made the gravy, again half a recipe. By far the most difficult step of the process was discarding the hot fat! I then sprinkled 1 T flour over the brown stuff in the pan and whisked for about 10 minutes until the "roux" was a dark copper. I then added 1 c. milk, whisking, simmering, and adding another 1/3 c. or so of milk until the gravy was thick and creamy. I added pepper and served this over mashed yukon golds with the chicken and another side of peas w/hedgehog mushrooms. I skipped the salad I planned to make b/c, really, at this point I wasn't pretending there was anything healthy about this meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The chicken was very good (though fried chicken will never be my favorite, and a mile from here, I can get the best, most shatteringly crunchy fried chicken I've ever tasted, minus the mess!), better than any I've ever tried to make (except Thai-style a couple of times), and that surprised me as this was very straightforward--no brining, marinating, buttermilk, cornmeal, crumbs, etc. And the trick seemed to be in keeping the fat from getting too hot. I think not obsessing over temperatures really helped (though I did follow the recipe's time suggestions for the most part). Did the lard/shortening combo make a difference? I can't really say. (Now, I'll have to explore ways to use up the lard.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Predictably, my husband loved this. I've never been a fan of milk/cream gravy, so when I suggested that if I made this again, I probably would skip the gravy, my husband, predictably, balked. He loved it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next time I get the crazy idea that I want to make my husband happy AND a big, greasy mess in my kitchen, I would certainly use this (really pretty simple) recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NCW, glad to hear about your frying success! your husband should consider himself very lucky! I, too am averse to frying, but your finished dish sure does look great. Makes me wish I had the place close by with the shatteringly crunchy fried chicken minus the mess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Roasted Salmon with Herb Vinaigrette, p.430

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I'm 5 for 5 with this book so far. This one was delicious. This is a Bobby Flay recipe and part of what drew me to it was the title of the original article "Salmon Hot from the Oven , and No Slaving at the Sink." Sounded like it must be relatively simple-- and who likes doing dishes? Parenthetically, one of the things that I am really enjoying about this cookbook is being able to cook recipes from so many different chefs and cook book authors all in one book. As someone who does not own a lot of cookbooks, I feel like I'm getting to sample a lot of different people at once and then can decide whose work I might want to get better acquainted with. The only problem is I'm liking everything, so it makes me think there's a lot of great recipes out there I've been missing out on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway-- on to the dish. I did make some substitutions here and there. First, you are supposed to bake in 2 8-inch terra cotta cazuelas or other shallow baking dish. I have no idea what a cazuela is and was too lazy to google it last night as I was getting dinner ready. So I used a shallow le Creuset gratin dish and an 8 inch square baking dish as my vessels. Sliced potatoes are laid in a single layer in the bottom of the dishes with olive oil and S + P. You are supposed to use "baking potatoes" but I only had Yukon gold so I used those. These are put in a 400 oven and roasted for 12-15 minutes (mine only took 9 minutes). while that's working you make an herb-dijon vinaigrette. For that, you are supposed to use rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley (I just realized that's the simon and garfunckel song, albeit out of order!) but I didn't have any sage and only had dried thyme. Vinaigrette is set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Once potatoes are done, turn oven down to 250 and put salmon fillets on top of potatoes and bake an additional 12 minutes or so. I checked it at about 9 minutes and was thinking that this dish might not turn out so well. The salmon looked kind of raw still and I realized that there was just going to be no kind of sear on it due to the low cooking temp and was thinking maybe I should have just cooked it my usual way which is to sear in a hot pan and then into a hot oven to cook until medium (we like our salmon cooked a bit more than medium rare). Also it just seemed like the roasted potatoes and pale fish just didn't really go together. And it seemed like the potatoes might be getting a little soggy from the fish on top of them in the low oven. I was starting to doubt master Bobby. Even worse, at this point, life intervened and baby started crying and toddlers started fighting and I ended up cooking it way more than 12 minutes. When I took it out it still didn't look that promising. I thought the dish was going to be ruined and was apologizing to my husband when he got home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But I forged ahead and finished it with the drizzle of vinaigrette. And, guess what, it was actually great! Although the salmon did look a little less than stellar when it came out of the oven, the herb vinaigrette prettied it up and covered over the lack of sear. The vinaigrette was delicious, even without the sage and the mixture of the roasted potatoes, buttery salmon and bright vinaigrette was great. The low heat cooking method was obviously very forgiving. although the salmon was more well done that I would have thought ideal, it stayed very moist and the vinaigrette added extra moisture as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To sum it up, this was delicious and very forgiving (and healthy as well). This is going to be repeated at our house. I served this with Al Forno's roasted asparagus, which was a recommended pairing (and also delicious).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What a great story GNH! Glad it came out well. Now I'm going to have to try in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Like Jerry, I really enjoyed your review gnh! Somehow I missed this dish on first pass of the book but rest assured I have it tabbed now. Quick and delicious and fairly fuss-free are some of my favourite things!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Jerry and BC! Hope you guys enjoy this dish as much as we did. Getting dinner on the table at my house is always an adventure so I love a forgiving recipe! This one was different than my normal style but surprisingly delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Pan-Barbecued Shrimp pg 402, adapted from Paul Prudhomme 1986

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm almost reluctant to report on this since I made so many changes. Basically, you just melt butter (4 tbsp) in a skillet. Add seasonings (minced garlic, rosemary, oregano, bay leaf, thyme, S&P ,cayenne). Add shrimp & cook (while stirring) for 3 mins. Add butter (another 4 tbsp), clam juice, dry white wine and cook (while stirring) for 3 mins. Serve with country bread or ciabatta with pan juices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wokker that I am, I soaked my shrimp in salt water first. I then heated my wok and swirled in 2 TBSP Canola oil (no butter). I proceeded with all steps as written (skipping over the "add more butter" part) until the very end, when I folded in fresh whole wheat pasta and steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hesser said the original recipe called for double the cayenne, which would result in "crazy hot" shrimp. I agree, it was pretty spicy even when served with a whole mound of pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enjoyed this and would make again. I'm sure it would be even more fantastic prepared exactly as written.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Spicy, Lemony Clams with Pasta, p.336

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My husband brought home a small sack of clams from the supermarket last night, and our plan was just to steam them and have them w/some lemon and butter and the mushroom