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APRIL 2011 AMFT/Greenspan: Chicken and duck; beef, veal, pork, and lamb; fish and shellfish

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  1. We particularly liked the pork tenderloin with oranges and cardamom - you cut the tenderloin in inch or so slices, brown them in butter, and simmer them in OJ with cardamom seeds added. I put the orange filets and julienned rind in at the end. Very nice dish and super for the winter when a nice sunshiny fruit goes well and the oranges are at their best. Wonderful with Temples (my favorite citrus except for blood oranges).
    The daube de boeuf is also delicious and simple to make.

    8 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      Okay buttertart, that one sounds great! As I open my copy of the book, thinking about what to make tomorrow night...

      1. re: buttertart

        Hah, as soon as I started to read your post I was thinking "blood oranges would be great" so it was funny to see your final note on the oranges. I'll have to look for Temples as I think we've seen the last of the blood oranges here for now. Glad to know this is a hit buttertart, it's one I've flagged for the month ahead. Great review!

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          I think Temples are done though - they're a Feb/March orange here (can you get them in T.O.? I've only seen them in NY).

          1. re: buttertart

            I saw them over at Fairway today so there are still some around but yeah, they are one of those very short season things and my fave too, except for a late Jamaican citrus variety I have not been able to find for a few years. ortaniques

            1. re: jen kalb

              I love ortaniques jen, haven't seen them in ages here either. I'll be sure to report back if I can find Temples

              1. re: jen kalb

                UWS Fairway? Must send husband if so. Thanks v much, jen kalb.
                I've never had an ortanique.
                On the Chinatown fruit thread jumpingmonk tantalized me with the report of a blood orange-tangelo cross - that I'd really like to get my mitts on.

          2. re: buttertart

            This made a satisying and healthy dinner tonight. The pork was tender and delicious. I especially like how quick this is to put together and that the dish only contains 4 ingredients (pork, orange, cardamom and onions).

            1. re: buttertart

              Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin – p. 273 (Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb)

              The most time-consuming element in the preparation of this dish it the supreming of two oranges. The recipe calls for 4 oranges in total. Two are supremed and two are zested then juiced. You also need to finely chop an onion or, 4 spring onions. I chose to use both; cooking the regular onion and, garnishing w the green onion. Pork is cut in to 4-8 even pieces depending on the size of the tenderloin.

              Equal portions of butter and oil are heated in a skillet and when the mixture is hot, pork pieces are browned on all sides and seasoned w S&P as you go. DG then instructs you to add the zest, juice, onion and cardamom. Since I chose to use regular onion I decided to add that first to let it cook a little before adding the remaining ingredients. Once the sauce starts to bubble, the lid is placed on the pan and heat is reduced to produce a gentle simmer and is left undisturbed for 10 minutes. Orange segments are then added, pan is covered again and sauce continues to simmer for 3 minutes or, until the pork is cooked through.

              DG instructs you to remove the pork and orange segments and cook the sauce down if it is not as thick as you’d like. Dish is then plated and served asap.

              Unfortunately someone must have stolen my cardamom pods because there were none to be found in my pantry. Ok, so maybe I forgot to replenish my stock when I finished them off the last time. Luckily I did have some ground cardamom that I picked up a couple of weeks ago so that had to suffice tonight. Not sure how much that impacted the outcome of this dish but it was just “alright” for me. Very, very orangey w a hint of cardamom . . . a little too “one note” for my taste though mr bc said he was ok w it and would eat it again. Pity, because I won’t be making it. This just didn’t do it for me.

              We served this over steamed basmati rice.

               
               
               
            2. Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote, p. 302

              Not sure how to link up an earlier, excellent and detailed review of this dish by BigSal, in the previous AMFT thread. Here is a link (I hope) to that original thread: (Her review was Oct. 23.) Please let me know if there is a better way to refer back to these previous reviews:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731319

              Though BIgSal described the process, I'll repeat it for this thread: A salmon fillet is placed atop several basil leaves in a foil packet, to which are added lightly-seared-in-oil grape/ small cherry tomatoes (I added this oil to the packet.) Then sliced scallions, lemon zest, more fresh herbs (basil and thyme or rosemary); then lemon juice and oil are drizzled, thin lemon slices added on top, and the packet is sealed and baked in the oven at 475 F. She suggests 10-12 minutes; mine took about 18 minutes because my fillets were larger than the suggested 5-oz size and some of my younger dinner guests prefer "non-jiggly" salmon at the center.

              Big Sal and I both agree that this is a attractive, light entre, which produces beautifully moist and tender fish with a delicious sauce, despite having nary a pat of butter! I opened my packets before serving and slid the contents onto the plate. Making parchment packets would be a bit more complex than using foil, but would be fun for people to open up for themselves. Another boon is that you can set everything up ahead and refrigerate.

              I served this with ciabatta bread, asparagus/anchovy/rosemary "bundles" (a la Jamie Oliver) and Dorie's cauliflower-bacon gratin (p. 362.) In my opinion the salmon, delicately-flavored as it is, pairs well with a savory side or two, though you could certainly cut down on the fat and just serve a loaf of good bread or rice with it to sop up the sauce. Mr. Goblin says that for him, the salmon needed the full-flavored sides.

              Must say, Dorie's instructions and suggested bonnes idees are a joy to read and learn from.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Goblin

                Try permalinking the specific report. This way, it will pop to the specific report within the giant thread.

                Thanks for pointing out this recipe again.

                1. re: beetlebug

                  Thanks for the suggestion, bettlebug! So I just hit "permalink" to copy the individual report! I didn't know this. Life will be easier from now on!

                  1. re: Goblin

                    Yes. Hit permalink, then control c to copy the web address. Permalink assigns a number to the specific comment. Lastly, paste it into your new reply.

                      1. re: beetlebug

                        If I did this right, the link below is to BigSal's previous review of salmon and tomatoes en papillote, p. 302. If I didn't do it right; back to the drawing board!

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                        1. re: Goblin

                          Yes, the permalink is perfect!
                          Both reviews are great, this sounds like exactly the kind of dish I'd like to add to my repertoire this Spring. Will be trying this the next time I find good looking wild salmon, thanks.

                  2. re: Goblin

                    My turn for the salmon and tomatoes. As others have reported, this makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Like Goblin, I used a larger piece of salmon, which took about 18-20 minutes to cook instead of the suggested 10-12. I also had to leave out the thyme/rosemary because I didn't have any, but I'm not sure that this affected the outcome much. Served with bulgur wheat (simply cooked with water. salt and EVOO) and steamed green beans dressed with anchovy butter. As with the other recipes made from this book so far, we liked the outcome but didn't love it. There wasn't much basil flavor despite having lots of basil in the packet - I'm thinking that I would have gotten more bang for the buck by garnishing with finely chopped raw basil instead of steaming the basil with the salmon. I'm rather glad I elected to get this book from the library instead of purchasing it.

                    1. re: Westminstress

                      Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote, Pg. 302

                      Instead of salmon I used a nice big fat fillet of cod about 1 1/3 lbs., as per the recommendation. I refuse to buy farmed salmon even though salmon is my absolutely most favorite fin fish.

                      One large piece of aluminum foil was placed on a baking tray then all the ingredients: many basil leaves seasoned with S & P, fish, a drizzle of EVOO, .grape tomatoes unseared for us, grated lemon zest, chopped scallions instead of a Spring onion, lemon juice, thin lemon slices, fresh herb leaves, and another drizzle of EVOO. This was topped with a matching piece of AL foil and the edges were sealed. We roasted the packet in a 475F oven for 18 minutes.

                      The finished dish was wonderful. Full of flavor, juicy, tender...just so yummy. the side dish was Green Beans in Oil from Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. I was going to serve garlic bread as well but G decided we had plenty to eat. Just saying he went back for seconds so there's not a crumb left...

                    2. re: Goblin

                      Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote, p. 302

                      I didn't have fresh basil, so I thawed some of those frozen Dorot cubes you can buy at Trader Joe's and smeared them on top of the salmon (actually steelhead). Because I didn't have leaves underneath the fillet, I rubbed a bit of oil on the foil. I did sear the tomatoes (I used six to a fillet), and rosemary, because I had that. I forgot about the optional scallions when I was shopping, but they would have been welcome. My fish ended up a bit overcooked to my tastes, but that's not the fault of the recipe but of timing issues. I wish I'd used more lemon juice and oil on the fish, because I had no "sauce" to speak of. It was a fine meal, but it didn't knock my socks off.

                    3. Go-To-Beef Daube

                      Others have already done a great job of writing this up:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                      I pounced on this recipe after my copy of the book came in from the library, as snow was in the air, and there's nothing like a snow storm in the spring to make a daube sound good. Anyway, made it exactly per the directions, including the optional parsnips, with one minor spice addition, a single allspice. I liked this dish a lot, Mr. QN less so (deep down he's a beef bourguinon guy). For sure with the cognac, spring parsnips, fruit forward wine and carrots, there was a sweetness to the dish, but with the salt from the bacon, and robustness of the beef (I used top blade), I thought it was well balanced.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: qianning

                        When you made the Go-To-Beef Daube, how much liquid did you have left in the pot? I made it today; and am planning on letting it cool; then having it for dinner tomorrow. I am concerned that I don't have enough liquid left to have a good sauce. Any suggestions?

                        1. re: JulesLP

                          I served it the day that I made it, and there was plenty of sauce, maybe 3/4 of the way up my dutch oven, but nor did I reduce the sauce as it seemed right to me as was.

                          Looking at the left overs, which we haven't eaten yet, I see that the sauce to "stuff" ratio is much lower than the other night, I assume because the veggies have absorbed some of the liquid, still it looks to me as if there will be enough to reheat the meat and serve.

                          If you think there isn't enough sauce left, you could probably add either a little beef broth or some more wine (be sure to boil off the alcohol), or a little water (DG's suggestion in the book), but I would not go hog wild, as the concentrated flavor of the sauce was quite nice.

                          1. re: qianning

                            Thanks for your suggestions; I will let you know how it comes out tomorrow night.

                      2. Mediterranean swordfish with frilly herb salad p. 297

                        JoanN and I both tried this dish last year. Here are our reviews.

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                        Marinate swordfish (1/2”thick pieces) in lemon zest, lemon juice, thinly sliced onions, capers, caper juice, olive oil, sea salt , pinch of piment d’espelette, pinch of sugar, and minced rosemary. Marinate for at least an hour and reserve the caper, onion, juice mixture. Pat the fish dry and cook until done and serve with the reserved ingredients (heated up in the microwave). We cooked this on our indoor grill. This fish cooks up quickly since it is only a ½” thick. The lemony, briny marinade adds a wonderful, fresh flavor to the fish. I’m looking forward to trying this again on the outdoor grill when the weather permits.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: BigSal

                          Mediterranean Swordfish (Salmon) w/ Frilly Herb Salad pg 297

                          We had this for dinner a few nights ago and just swooned over it. Not much to add to the previous posts excpet to say that we grilled the fish over charcoal and it worked wonderfully, setting just a perfect crust, and keeping the fish totally moist inside. I had meant to get bluefish to make, but wasn't able to and got salmon (neither of us is a huge swordfish fan) and I was surprised at how good it was because as I said to Mr. QN "This is hardly the best piece of fish I've bought" his reply "Well it tastes like it is!" If you like grilled fish try this dish, it is wonderful.

                          1. re: qianning

                            Thanks for posting this. I'll have to try this with salmon next.

                            1. re: BigSal

                              Do! And do try the grilling option, it worked a treat.

                          2. re: BigSal

                            Mediterranean swordfish with frilly herb salad p. 297

                            This was an excellent summer meal. What's especially wonderful is that all the young herbs are coming in and that salad just complements the lemony, capery swordfish perfectly.

                            Not much to add other than I used a combo of lime basil, thai basil, oregano, chives and tarragon to mix in with the parsley. I also upped the amount of lemon juice and olive oil because it seemed a bit dry.

                            Delicious and fairly quick, other than the hour plus marinating time.

                             
                            1. re: beetlebug

                              Great picture! We've tried this several times since my go round with various fish (bluefish, chum salmon, salmon steaks) and still love it. Will have to try branching out more on the herbs...great reminder BB, thanks.

                            2. re: BigSal

                              Mediterranean swordfish with frilly herb salad p. 297

                              I should have searched before cooking, not that I would have done much differently. Swordfish must be in season since it is now the same price as cod. The piece that I bought was just under a pound and 1 inch thick. I much prefer swordfish cooked in large chunks, so I did not cut it into smaller pieces. I marinated for about 1 1/2 hrs as described by BigSal. We grilled it over charcoal for 4 minutes per side which was perfect.

                              I made the dressing as described, but dressed lettuce instead of herbs. Can't stand to waste farm lettuce and it was time to eat this. The only change I might make in the future is to substitute shallots for the onions. I think that would work really well. Served with tiny boiled potatoes with chives and a zucchini fritter leftover from last night's meal.

                              We both enjoyed this fish immensely; a nice change from my usual squirt of lemon juice.

                              1. re: smtucker

                                isn't that marinade great on grilled fish? we've used it several times this summer. i think it is my favorite recipe from this year's cotm books.

                                1. re: qianning

                                  It was. I can't imagine any fish, except for maybe mackerel or bluefish, that wouldn't enjoy sitting in this marinade for a few hours.

                                  1. re: smtucker

                                    oddly enough, i've used it on bluefish filets (scaled, skin on) on the grill several times, and we like it very well. i don't think that it would work on stove top, but on the high heat of the grill, it is an excellent treatment for oily fish like bluefish. bearing in mind that we grill with charcoal not gas, which might make a diference, not sure.

                                    1. re: qianning

                                      Then I will have to try this the next time my fisherman friend brings me one! I usually cook them on the grill, whole to get a bit of that smokey flavor which suits bluefish so very well.

                                      1. re: smtucker

                                        A friend who brings you bluefish, lucky you!

                                        I've never grilled a whole bluefish, a bit more food than Mr. QN & I can handle at once. I do grill whole mackerel and sardines & etc as often as I can get them, have you tried Marcella Hazan's "Grilled Adriatic Fish" (it's in a couple of her books), excellent way to grill whole mackerel, assume it would be good for bluefish too.

                                  2. re: qianning

                                    It is one of my favorites from 2011 COTM too. Being reminded of this recipe makes me want to make it again.

                                2. re: BigSal

                                  Mediterranean (Salmon) with Frilly Herb Salad, p. 297

                                  I had a variety of fresh herbs that needed using, and so I hit on this recipe, since I remembered the reports where people used salmon. I did it with coho steaks, which I marinated for less than an hour. I don't think the shorter time detracted, given that the marinade becomes a sauce - and not sure I'd want to go much longer due to all the lemon juice. I used parsley, tarragon, and dill for the herb salad. I'll be honest, though the herbs I had were what led me to this recipe, I was indifferent to the herb salad. The fish and marinade, however, were as wonderful as everyone here reports and are definite keepers for me. Terrific flavor.

                                3. Moules Mariniere – p. 312

                                  This happens to be one of my favourite dishes so of course I had to give DG’s version a try. Her prep and ingredients are pretty standard. Some recipes have you sauté the veg after the mussels have steamed, and others, like DG’s, have you do this in advance of adding the mussels to the pan. I happen to prefer the latter approach so this recipe is almost identical to my own except that I typically use more white wine, chopped vs sliced garlic and, more butter. Also DG suggests the optional addition of 1/4 of a chicken bouillon cube. This was a new one for me and I chose to exclude it. I'm not a big fan of bouillon cubes as I find them to be over-salted and oddly oily. Needless to say, I passed on this step.

                                  Onion, garlic and shallots are finely diced and sautéed in some butter prior to adding wine, herbs (thyme, parsley & a bay leaf in this case) and lemon zest. Simmer the lot for 3 mins before adding the mussels, covering the pot and increasing the heat so the mussels boil until done. 4 mins in my case.

                                  I tasted the sauce prior to adding the mussels and it was too acidic for our tastes so I added 3 tbsp of butter.

                                  This is a solid dish that won’t lead you astray. If you haven’t tried mussels this way, I’d encourage you to give this a try. Delicious, w the additional butter of course! We served this w a fresh from the oven Boule (I bought the bake and serve dough from a bakery). This made for a lovely lunch. I cooked and served w a yummy '09 Benziger Sauvignon Blanc from Napa.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    Those mussels really look appetizing. Good call on the bouillon cube, that seems like a creepy addition. You mentioned elsewhere that you visit BC. Make sure if you are there that you have some mussels from Salt Spring Island. They produce the best mussels I've ever eaten. And we can't get them here, just across the border!

                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                      Thanks LN and I'll definitely remember to try those mussels, I've never seen them inToronto either. We tend to get PEI mussels here. Thanks for the tip!

                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                        I had some *amazing* mussels on my last trip to BC; probably the best I've ever had. Now I get why! Thanks for the explanation, LN.

                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        I love mussels but I've never made them because I'm too scared. I've been feeling more and more tempted to give it a try though, and this one looks like a good place to start!

                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                          sarah definitely give this a try. When you bring your mussels home, if you're not using them right away just place them in a bowl in the fridge and top them w a damp tea towel. You can keep them overnight if need be. When you're ready to use, run them under cool tap water and look through them to see if any remain open. If so, tap lightly on their shells to see if they close...it may take a minute or so. If any remain open, toss them. In my experience, mussels take no longer than 5 minutes to cook. Once your mussels have cooked, discard any that remain un-opened.

                                          If you have any questions, just ask.

                                          1. re: sarahcooks

                                            I was scared my first time too, and then found out that they're actually very easy to cook. Cleaning them can be a pain, but if you buy the ones in those mesh bags they're often *fairly* clean already and just need to be rinsed and de-bearded (much easier than it would be with a human!).

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Yes, I would rather de-beard a mussel than a human!
                                              Sarahcooks - be sure you get good, very fresh mussels from a reliable fish monger. My entire life I thought mussels were both tough and slimy. Until I moved to the Pacific Northwest. So look for mussels that live near-by, or were rapidly transported.
                                              Mmmm, all this mussel talk makes me want to drive up to Salt Spring Island!

                                            2. re: sarahcooks

                                              I love mussels and used to be intimidated by them too. I've actually found that it's much better not to overthink it -- most of those instructions about the prodigious soaking and scrubbing and debearding are related to wild mussels, not the much cleaner farmed ones, which are mostly all you see these days anyway.

                                              I just made mussels last week (based in part on this recipe and several similar ones) and all I did was swish them around in bowl with a few exchanges of water and called it a day. Delicious, not gritty at all, no beards -- and it couldn't be a faster or easier meal. Yum. In fact, the only time I ever messed mussels up was by carefully following instructions about salty water and ending up with disgustingly salty mussels that had to be tossed.

                                              I do find that it makes a big difference to go out of your way to go to a great fishmonger though with super fresh and reliable seafood -- and since mussels are so cheap compared to other seafood, it still won't break the bank!

                                          2. Lemon-Grilled Chicken Breasts – p. 137

                                            As I’ve mentioned before, a meal isn’t a meal to mr bc if it doesn’t have some meat in it! That said, I saw DG’s “Bonne Idee” for Lemon Grilled Chicken Breasts in the sidebar on p. 137 and thought I’d make and freeze this dish so I’d have them on hand to add to meatless dishes I intend to make later in the month.

                                            DG suggests pounding boneless, skinless breasts to a 1/3” thickness however I find that breast meat tends to dry out too easily on the grill so I decided to grill our monster breasts (about 12oz each) as is to preserve as much of their moisture as possible. To DG’s suggested marinade of lemon juice and olive oil I also added some dried oregano and, fresh garlic. Breasts marinated over night and were grilled the following afternoon.

                                            This is a fairly basic recipe and prep but since it was in the book, I figured I’d report on it. I did cut into the chicken to give it a taste and it really turned out beautifully. I seasoned w S&P just prior to grilling. Nice subtle lemon flavour, lots of garlic and a little whiff of the Mediterranean w the oregano.

                                             
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            1. Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux, Pg. 200

                                              This is a little different method for roasting a chicken in a pot. The outcome was a well cooked chicken if a little underseasoned, lots of tasty vegetables which absorbed the juices and juice soaked slices of baguette on which the chicken rests while cooking. I followed the recipe as written without deviating..

                                              Completely oil the inside of a Dutch oven, pre-heat oven to 450F. Place several slices of baguette on bottom of pot. Season chicken with S & P, place gizzards in cavity, put in sprigs of Rosemary, thyme and oregano and half a head of garlic as well. Place chicken on bread, throw in the other half head of garlic and strew more herbs around the chicken. Sprinkle with EVOO and dry white wine the put pot in oven to roast for 45 minutes. While this is cooking I prepped/sliced potatoes, carrots, shallots and a few mushrooms. These are tossed into a large bowl and seasoned with EVOO and S & P. At the 45 minute mark, strew the vegetables around the chicken and roast 45 minutes longer. Leave the chicken in the pot to rest for about 10 min before carving. There are instructions for removing the chicken and resting with bowl under but I skipped this... and also did not make a pan sauce since there was plenty of juics already.

                                              This wasn't a WoW dish but was tasty and satisfying. It certainly is a Lazy Person's dish. The vegetables were delicious and the bread was fabulous... all that fat and juice. I'd probably make it again but concentrate on more seasonings. Side dishes were Pancetta Green Beans on page 333, and Orange and Olive Salad, page 117. We didn't have the trouble cleaning the pot as Roxlet describes below...

                                              .Roxlet's report of the same dish on Jan 24, 2011:

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Gio

                                                I also made this dish, and thought that it was just OK. The bread for me was not fabulous -- in fact, it laminated itself to the bottom of the pot, and it took lots of soaking and elbow grease to convince it to relinquish its hold. Personally, I'm not lazy enough to make it again!

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  The funny part is, Roxlet, this is very nearly how I make my own roast chicken with vegetables except I use a regular roasting pan with no bread slices, of course. That's a real lazy person's method...and, clean-up's a breeze.

                                                2. re: Gio

                                                  Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux

                                                  I made this tonight as my first recipe from the book (finally) and we really liked it, although I may have "over-done" it a bit on the bread. I used ciabatta to practically line the bottom and the rich crispy/chewy bread was so good, I ate too much and couldn't finish the rest of the dish! E loved the pieces that had the chicken liver spread on them. I used a 5+ pound chicken, fresh herbs from the garden, and added carrots and russets halfway through. Wish I had thought of shallots like you did. While the chicken was resting (I just put it on a plate), I coated the vegetables in the pan juices.

                                                  Changes: Instead of brushing the Creuset with oil, I used chicken fat (always have some in the freezer), seasoned the chicken with Penzey's Fox Point seasoning, and used vermouth instead of white wine. Also, roasted in a convection oven. I didn't have a problem with the bread sticking or clean-up. I actually loved how easy it was since I didn't make any other sides, and would make it again, seasoning the same way.

                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    That is one good looking roast chicken.

                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                      I agree Rubee, just lovely. I'd forgotten about this recipe so thanks for the reminder. I know it was on my list during the COTM but as always, so many recipes...so little time!

                                                  2. CHICKEN IN A POT Pg 206

                                                    I've made this half a dozen times now... I guess that is all I need to say! I love this dish. It is slightly different than a roast chicken, since the liquid comes almost up to the top of the chicken. But the meat is so flavorful, to tender, and the vegetables so luscious, that it doesn't matter that the skin doesn't crisp all over. This is really easy - even the dough seal - and beautiful to present as well.

                                                    I don't mess with the first step of boiling the preserved lemons. I make my own and use them right out of the jar. I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes so I always make it with regular potatoes. And I throw in a little more wine, herbs and veggies even than she calls for. (I use both pearl onions and large chunks of sweet onion.)

                                                    It is also of note, if someone was mistaken as I was, that the dough is completely inedible. I seasoned it the first time, which of course was a waste of time!

                                                    Give it a try, even if you like a crisp roast chicken. It is terrific. Oh! And the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves?? Incredible. Wow.

                                                    29 Replies
                                                    1. re: Tom P

                                                      So glad you wrote this up.

                                                      Noticing your comment on skipping the step on boiling the preserved lemons, when I read the recipe I thought that adding sugar to the lemons was a bit strange....Have you tried it both with and without that step? Is there no noticable difference or you prefer the lemons without the sugar....I have a jar of homemade pres. lemons in the fridge and was planning to try this dish later in the week.

                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                        Qianning... if you have homemade preserved lemons, I would skip the step entirely and just throw them in. I think store bought preserved lemons can be much saltier and not as soft, at times, as homemade. My homemade are very soft, which to me is the point... so you can eat the rind. I don't think you need the sugar, particularly if you use sweet potatoes.

                                                        1. re: Tom P

                                                          Got it, that makes great sense, thanks.

                                                      2. re: Tom P

                                                        Chicken in a Pot, the Garlic and Lemon Version
                                                        I loved the idea of the presentation of this dish, and breaking the pastry seal at the table, but I ran into a time crunch and I ended up not doing it that way. So I did the recipe exactly, but in a clay cooker, one of Dorie's offered alternatives.
                                                        I did boil the lemons in sugared water as directed. I thought this was an odd method, but did it anyway. My homemade lemons are soft, but pretty salty. I cannot compare boiling the lemons to not boiling them, as I have only done it one way, but I certainly have no complaints about this dish. The carrots, sweet potatoes, and garlic cloves were perfectly tender and tasty, and the chicken was moist and flavorful. This is a very simple dish (at least it is without the dough seal), and worked well for a casual dinner. I served the salmon rillette as an appetizer, the spiced squash, fennel, and pear soup as a first course, and Marie-Helene's apple cake for dessert. It was a tasty dinner with a simple country French feel. The preparation of all the dishes allowed plenty of time for visiting and filling wine glasses.

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          Oh, your appetizer, soup and dessert as well as the main -- what a *nice dinner* you provided.
                                                          This one must be the one on the cover -- the dough seal -- how could anyone resist that classy-yet-homey touch?
                                                          It's always nice to have a little different way to cook chicken, I appreciate this thread. (I read them all even if I don't comment each time!)

                                                        2. re: Tom P

                                                          @Tom; did you cut the flesh of lemons off and used only rind as she instructs in the book? I recently made preserved lemons but never cooked with them.

                                                          Planning on making this dish for tonight's dinner and will serve the a nice crusty bread. To start, will serve a selection of salads - made carrot and beet from AMFT last night and will make squid salad from Seductions of Rice this afternoon.

                                                          No idea what to make for desert... Have fresh pears and very good salty chocolate icecream. Any ideas?

                                                          1. re: herby

                                                            herby - I did not cut off the flesh. I also make my own and I love the flesh as well as the rind... and also what I call the 'goop' that is in the jar. I just threw a couple of slices and a little goop into the pot with the vegetables, etc.

                                                            If you have never cooked with them, there are tons of sues. I often roast an entire chicken with the goop slathered all over and inside. Wonderful. I love to dice fine the rind and flesh and toss it with warm cous-cous (and other vegetables.) And the goop is a wonderful addition to salad dressings, both vinaigrettes and creamy dressings.

                                                            Fresh pears: slice them and toss them with a little lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Roll out a couple of puff pastry sheets (I like Pepperidge Farm, though some people on Chow have been recommending a more expensive one they like even more) and pile the pears in the middle. Fold the sides up over some but not all of the pears (I usually make a hexagonal shape) and dot with butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. You can do an egg wash on the crust if you like. Bake at 350 for 20 min (just keep an eye on it). This is a very easy fruit crostata I make all the time with a variety of fruits. It is very simple, very easy and people love it.

                                                            1. re: Tom P

                                                              Thank you very much, Tom! Great idea about pears - will report back tomorrow:)

                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                Tom, we stuffed ourselves on chicken and apies - I did not make the desert. Keeping it in mind for next time when I need something quick and easy. I actually defrosted the puff pastry - have to make something in the next day or two.

                                                              2. re: Tom P

                                                                I also leave the flesh on when I make preserved lemons. I have some in the fridge right now from the Meyer lemon tree next door. I can eat them as a snack. Mmmm.

                                                            2. re: Tom P

                                                              CHICKEN IN A POT

                                                              I made this for the first time last night using homemade preserved lemons and organic chicken cooked whole. The resulting dish was a bit bland but very satisfying. I found that lemons gave it a bit bitter taste that I did not mind but my friend, not a lemon lover to begin with, said that she would enjoy it more without lemons.

                                                              The dough was a pain - it turned out very sticky and had to be patched around the rim of the pot. I envisioned shaping it in a "rope" and placing on the top of the rim and not sticking it to the rim. Puzzled by the use of hot water for making the dough - any thoughts? Next time will try to make usual but plain dough that could be rolled into a "rope".

                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                I wrestled with the dough the first time. It has become much easier. Just keep adding water until it is not sticky/hard to roll, and more pliable and easy to roll into a long cigar shaped rope. I usually do three of them to make it easier to put around the rim.

                                                                Mine has not been very bland but I salt and pepper the heck out of it and throw in a lot of garlic and herbs. Glad it was satisfying, though!

                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                  I made this dish last week. It was terrific and garnered kudos from everyone at the table. I've been making a similar dish for years --Chicken with forty cloves of garlic. The easiest way to deal with the dough is to buy the cheapest supermarket-brand unbaked dinner rolls you can find. Pop the container open and form the dough around the pot edge and press on the lid.----Probem solved.

                                                                  1. re: BernieMSY

                                                                    Bernie... absolutely Brilliant...!

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Indeed. But does this really beat just using foil, crimped to the pot? It must be a throwback to the time that pot lids didn't fit well and there was no aluminum foil.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Great idea indeed, Bernie! Though I'll say - as someone who cannot do dough at all - after the first time, it was pretty easy. Buttertart, I think not only does it seal it beautifully, even with a really good lid that fits, but the presentation is fun as well.

                                                                2. re: Tom P

                                                                  chicken in a pot

                                                                  Made this yesterday, and we really liked it. Looking at the previous write ups, and DG's text, and based on our preferences, I made a bunch of modifications (didn't sweeten the lemons, used a whole lemon rind + pulp, used 1+ head garlic not 4, added some parsnips, black radishes and one lonely-needed-a-good-home white potato, used thighs and drumsticks all on the bone, but some skinned, browned my veg & meat in the ductch oven & drained the oil & etc) . This really is a recipe that is easy to "play" with and still get good results. We really loved the play of flavors between the garlic and the lemon, to us the sauce was delightful. I'd definitely make this again.

                                                                  1. re: Tom P

                                                                    Chicken in a Pot: The Garlic and Lemon Version – p. 206

                                                                    My turn with this dish tonight and with thanks to the many talented CH’s that have reported before me, no need for me to cover the prep process since it’s been expertly covered above!

                                                                    Without a doubt, this was our absolute favourite dish from the book. This recipe makes an outstandingly moist, perfectly cooked, juicy chicken infused w lemon-herby goodness! The sweet potatoes are such a perfect match for the chicken, I’m so glad I didn’t use white potatoes instead. One of the best chicken dishes we’ve had, ever!

                                                                    I made the recipe just as it was set out in the book with the following exceptions:

                                                                    • I didn’t boil my preserved lemon, just rinsed it
                                                                    • I removed the skin from the garlic cloves after reading a few comments online about folks not liking to have to mess w the skins. I’d highly recommend this. The garlic retained its shape and was ready and waiting to be smeared on your broth-dunked bread!
                                                                    • I did not let my raw chicken come to room temperature before browning. Call me crazy but all I’ve read about food safety made this step scream “DANGER” to me so out of the fridge and into the pan it went! I’d be interested to hear how others handled this
                                                                    • I used pearl onions vs “small white”

                                                                    DG also notes you can use a whole chicken or, pieces. Since my butcher had run out of whole chickens, I used an un-split breast and, 2 leg quarters.

                                                                    I noticed a side note on the third page of the recipe suggesting that pizza dough could be used as a suitable alternative to making the dough paste to seal the pot. This seemed like a great time-saving tip for a weeknight so pizza dough it was! Perfect! As you’ll see in the photos, it may have risen more than the paste dough but did the trick and still managed to look fairly presentable.

                                                                    This started tempting our taste buds the moment all the veggies started browning and things just kept getting better from there on in! I’d recommend using the pizza dough for the lovely baking aromas alone, never mind the presentation value. Mix the intoxicating aroma of baking bread w lemons, thyme, rosemary and well . . . you get the idea! Sheer bliss!!

                                                                    We served this w a Liberty School Cab Sauv and it played beautifully with the flavours of the chicken and that “almost worthy of bathing in” broth!!

                                                                    Of course, we’d highly recommend this dish, it dazzled on all levels.

                                                                    The first photo is of the dish prior to adding the dough seal and, placing in the oven.

                                                                    I did find a variation of the same dish on DG’s website and since she includes some additional information about holding the chicken if you aren’t quite ready to serve it and, breaking the dough-based seal, I thought I’d paste the link here in case folks are interested in taking a look:

                                                                    http://www.doriegreenspan.com/2007/01...

                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                      If you use actual bread dough, is it edible when the chook is done? I know the flour and water regular dough isn't, but this would be, no?
                                                                      You are some cook there, Ms bc.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Thanks so much bt, that's kind of you. You're quite right, the dough on the interior of the pot was definitely edible whereas the paste dough that DG provides a recipe for is not.

                                                                        That said, we did give it a try but since the underside of the dough is "steamed" I found it to be a little soggy. Others were fine w it but given the option of fresh, crusty bread and the denser dough/crust, the preference for bread was unanimous.

                                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                        Absolutely beautiful! Even though I did mine in a clay pot, which doesn't permit the dough seal, I agree that the chicken comes out tender and juicy, just perfect.
                                                                        Mr. Nightshade is fanatical about letting all meats come to room temp before cooking (as is the lesser celebrity Thomas Keller). So I just block out all my microbiology and go with the flow on that one. I like to think that the danger comes when things are out for longer periods, or when things aren't cooked thoroughly
                                                                        Nicely done, I think I can smell it from here!

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          Thanks so much LN. That's good to know that you've been doing the room temperature thing w no adverse effects. I do that w our steaks and rib roasts but I've never done it w chicken or pork. We have a good friend who's a health inspector and I think he's terrified us w his stories!!

                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                          Thanks for the link to D. Greenspan's instructions on how to break the dough seal. I can't wait to bring a screwdriver to the table!
                                                                          I can't imagine anyone not liking this, & you've made it look *so* appetizing.

                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                            Thanks br! I have to say, that screwdriver works like a dream! Steam was billowing from the small spot where the dough ends joined and w one quick tap w the screwdriver there was a slight "woosh" and the seal was broken and the lid came off effortlessly! Everyone loved it!

                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            So glad to know it works with pizza dough.. and now I have to try it with sweet potatoes! And also glad to know it works just as well with pieces rather than a full chicken.

                                                                            1. re: Tom P

                                                                              Thanks Tom. One of the great things about pizza dough is that it stretches so easily so the rope was super-quick to make . . . . I just had to convince the dog that it wasn't a toy!!

                                                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                              What size pot did you use Breadcrumbs? Very pretty. Is it a le creuset? It looks like the perfect size.

                                                                              1. re: audreyhtx1

                                                                                Hello Audrey and thanks! Yes, that is a Le Creuset French oven. It's a 24cm pot w just over a 4 litre capacity. It's the first LC piece I purchased and it's still the one I use the most. The size is perfect for soups and stews and great for braising too of course.

                                                                                Here's a link:

                                                                                http://www.lecreuset.com/nl-be/Export...

                                                                          3. BEEF CHEEK DAUBE with carrots and elbow macaroni pg. 247

                                                                            I was very excited to make this, given the addition of macaroni and the use of chocolate as a finish. I was a little disappointed, although it was indeed good. The people to whom I served it liked it a lot more than I did. It did get much better the next day. And it was pretty easy to cook. I think I was expecting more flavor.

                                                                            it is worth a try, I guess. But I would never cook this over my own beef stew recipe, which I love (and is a bastardization of one by Suzanne Goin.)

                                                                            1. Chard-Stuffed Pork Roast – p. 276

                                                                              Tender, juicy, flavourful and super quick and easy to prepare . . . this is a wonderful recipe, one of my all time COTM favourites.

                                                                              JoanN and smtucker made this dish late last year and inspired me to make this dish. I’ve pasted a link to their reviews below and won’t repeat the prep process here:

                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                                                                              Variations I made to the recipe in the book: I used a large pork tenderloin vs a pork loin roast. I opted for dark raisins as I was able to pick up some locally grown organic ones on the weekend however I soaked them for 30 mins in warm water to plump them up. I replaced the coriander seeds w fennel seeds.

                                                                              To save time for a weeknight meal I prepared the stuffing on Sunday afternoon so I just needed to cut and stuff the meat today. The stuffing held up beautifully and this was a great time saver as there were fewer dishes to deal w today as well.

                                                                              We really enjoyed this roast. The stuffing was so delicious and the texture of the chard really held up. The fennel peppercorn crust was so delicious and really gave this an Italian flavour. We adored this dish and would highly recommend it.

                                                                              We served this w another COTM dish, a fabulous Quinoa, Fruit and Nut Salad. Here’s my review and photos if you’re interested:

                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7758...

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  Great review as always, Breadcrumbs!
                                                                                  This recipe sounds so delicious and I really-really want to make for a Friday dinner when a friend is coming over for a casual visit but do not eat pork. Do you think I can make it with turkey instead or veal?

                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                    A roast is too much for my small household of 2 -- so I'm gonna skewer or tie or toothpick a few pork chops together with the stuffing in between. Or maybe the chops on a bed of...
                                                                                    If I'm careful, this will work. I'll still get the flavor as it was intended, must be sure I don't toughen the chops.

                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                      Breadcrumbs used a pork tenderloin so that would work for you, wouldn't it?

                                                                                    2. re: herby

                                                                                      Thanks so much qianning and herby. mr bc is a good photographer, I can't take the credit!

                                                                                      herby, I think I'd go w the veal. The stuffing itself has no richness so I think the turkey might just be too lean. I think the veal would work well, maybe a tenderloin or even stuff some thick veal chops...make a pocket perhaps?

                                                                                      It will make for a lovely meal, I can't wait to hear how it works out!

                                                                                    3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                      I've got this on my list, so I'm happy it turned out so well for you. Your description and your photos are great. How do you ever get Mr BC to take you to a restaurant when you keep putting such beautiful meals on the table at home?

                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                        LN, thank-you, you're so kind! mr bc does a great job of making my cooking look good in photos.

                                                                                        We share a love for food and while we don't dine out as frequently as we used to, we still delight in going out to try a new restaurant or, enjoy an old favourite. It's hardest when we travel because I love cooking so much I can't wait to get to the local markets and food shops to cook w local ingredients but at the same time, we always go w a long list of restaurants we want to try!!

                                                                                    4. Curried chicken, peppers, peas en papillote p. 221 Round two

                                                                                      A simple, healthy and tasty dish. Chicken breast cut into strips, thinly sliced red onion, frozen peas,diced red bell pepper, currypowder, olive oil and salt and pepper are mixed together and then baked in a foil parcel. I was out of red bell peppers so I skipped those and added a little more peas. Based on my first round with the dish (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...), I made a couple adjustments to the recipe. I used madras curry powder instead of my regular curry. This added a little more spice and heat. I also used melted butter instead of olive oil- only 1 t per serving. Served with brown rice to sop up the juices.

                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: BigSal

                                                                                        I plan on making this for dinner tonight. Any reason why I can't use a shallow baking pan and loosely cover it with foil? For some reason, making four foil packets seems a bit silly when it's just two of us eating.

                                                                                        1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                          I would think it would work just fine. Just make sure it is sealed well so the steam doesn't escape.

                                                                                        2. re: BigSal

                                                                                          I'm going to report my experience, even though I made slight alterations to just about every aspect of this recipe, based on what I had available.

                                                                                          First, I used boneless, skinless thighs instead of breasts, which I cut into chunks. Yellow pepper instead of red, and sugar snaps cut in thirds instead of frozen peas, and more of both than called for, because I wanted to up the vegetable content. In addition to the curry powder, I added a bit of cumin and a pinch of cayenne. I decided against doing it in foil packets, so I baked half the amount in a Pyrex pie plate covered with foil (saving the rest for a second meal to be cooked later); I added a small splash of white wine just to be sure it would steam alright. I baked it for 35 minutes, which was perfect for cooking the chicken, and a little longer than necessary for the vegetables, though they were not unpleasant or very overdone.

                                                                                          This was a serviceable meal that was both simple to cook and healthful, but it tasted very naked, by which I mean that the spices didn't register much at all.

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                            I have a small gripe (gripette?) about some of the posts here. Please note the recipe you're making at the top. If it's discussed above, we don't need all the info again, but if it's separated by a bunch of posts, it's a pain to scroll up to find out what you're talking about.

                                                                                            Love and kisses, Peevish in Oaktown

                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                              Point taken, Peevish. Hope I haven't offended too many times...

                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                oakjoan, your posts never fail to elicit a smile.

                                                                                            2. re: BigSal

                                                                                              Curried Chicken, Peppers, Peas en Papillote, Pg. 221

                                                                                              Taking heed of oakjoan's admonishment... I hope she notices.

                                                                                              This was dinner last night, Sunday, along with a lentil, rice and onion dish from Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food and Ana Sortun's Tzatziki from her book, Spice, which was a COTM during July 2009.. All I can say is double yum. Maybe even triple.

                                                                                              I used bone-in turkey thighs, added crushed red pepper flakes and 3 teaspoons of Madras curry. Followed the directions without diviating, for a change, and at the end we were very satisfied.

                                                                                              And that's all she wrote.

                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                Big Sal, Caitlin & Gio, thanks for pointing this one out, I'm looking forward to giving it a go. As luck would have it, I picked up some parchment cooking bags at the grocery store last week as they were a new product and well-priced. This seems like a great way to give them a test run.

                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                  I can def. see doing this one again but adding more curry powder/other spices so it doesn't taste so "naked." Easy to cook, nice, juicy results (with the boneless thighs I used).

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    Gio,

                                                                                                    How much longer did it take to cook the bone-in turkey thighs?

                                                                                                    Sally

                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                      Hi Sally, The thighs took just about 1 hour to cook. They'll make an encore appearance tonight since there were 4 large ones left over...

                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                        Thank you. I'll have to try these again with bone-in turkey thighs.

                                                                                                        1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                          You're welcome. I think the dish will be wonderful with turkey. What a super idea...

                                                                                                  2. re: BigSal

                                                                                                    Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote

                                                                                                    I made some adjustments to this, based on the above reviews. I had quite large organic chicken breasts (someone in COTM once called them "Jayne Mansfields," which still makes me laugh), so I upped the all the vegetables, and used a combination of red and yellow peppers. I did not make the packets, but put the chicken strips and vegetables in a baking dish and covered it with aluminum foil. Based upon the comments about mild flavor, I ground a curry blend with some punch (about 10 different spices and some dried peppers), and used about four or five times the recommended amount . (One teaspoon? Don't think I would even taste it!)

                                                                                                    I think this would have worked better if I had done the papillotes. Cooking time would be different as the heat would circulate around the packets. As it was, by the time the chicken was done (about 30 or 35 minutes), the peas were overdone. The peppers were OK, and the onions were perfect. If I did it again in a pan, I would add the peas at a later time. The curry flavor was still pretty mild, but we are a pretty high-spice household. I think there are different blends of curry for coating and roasting vs. simmering in a sauce, but I don't know how the components differ. So the fault may be in my blending of spices.

                                                                                                    Anyway, this was an extremely easy weeknight meal that made the kitchen smell lovely. It didn't knock our socks off, but Mr. Nightshade said he'd be fine to have it again. I would make it again if all I had in the fridge was chicken breast, peas, onions and peppers. (I'll agree with Caitlin's descriptor "serviceable.") Otherwise, I'd go to an Indian cookbook.

                                                                                                    (Breadcrumbs, did you notice my new baking dish? I'm not a copycat, but I do try to learn from the best!)

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                      Curried Chicken, Peppers, Peas en Papillote, p 221

                                                                                                      Made this last night. Started out by doubling the curry powder, but then came here and read the reviews and quadrupled it instead. Also added 1/2 tsp piment d'espelette. Used the foil packets (actually parchment-lined foil).

                                                                                                      I think I my reaction to this recipe is similar to everyone else's. Good, but not memorable. A tad bland, even with the increase in seasoning. I am wondering some some Patak's curry paste wouldn't have been better here than curry powder. Still, this was so incredibly easy to make, that I might experiment and see if I can come up with a version that suits me better.

                                                                                                    2. Tuna Confit with Black Olive Tapenade and Tomato Salsa, page 305
                                                                                                      I've got the day off today and I'm trying to catch up on posting.
                                                                                                      I made this on a weekday, which was a bit of a stretch, but it worked out fine. I put the tuna in to marinate in the morning, and finished up the dish and the sides after work. The tuna marinates in a mix of preserved lemons, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, spring onions, celery, parsley, thyme, rosemary, fleur de sel, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil to cover. My tuna steaks were arranged to fit exactly into a loaf pan, so I didn't require the full cup of olive oil to cover them. After marinating, the tuna is slow baked (at 225) for an hour, covered in plastic wrap or foil. I didn't do any checking just took it out after an hour, which was perfect. While it was cooking I made the salsa with grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, preserved lemon with some of their liquid, peppadew peppers, olive oil, and pimente d'espelette. I did not add the mentioned salt because my preserved lemons are pretty salty. I also made her tapenade (page 487). As suggested, I served the tuna confit with mashed potatoes. (First course was the mozzarella, tomato, and strawberry salad.)
                                                                                                      This was a great dish, we were extremely happy with the flavors. It's a different way to prepare tuna, and I loved the taste of it with the salsa and tapenade. Smaller servings of this dish would also be wonderful for a first course in a multi-course dinner.
                                                                                                      (I really need a new camera, the actual dish looked quite appetizing, the photos, not so much.)

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                        This sounds really good and so different. And I think the pictures look very nice!

                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                          Thanks LulusMom, kind of you to say. This dish is a little different, which is part of what attracted me to it. I love to eat something that has great flavor, and is a little bit surprising.

                                                                                                      2. Roasted Salmon and Lentils – p. 300

                                                                                                        This happens to be one of my favourite dishes so I looked forward to trying DG’s version.

                                                                                                        Lentils du Puy are rinsed, boiled for 2 mins in water, rinsed again then boiled and simmered in chicken (or veggie) stock for 25 mins along w an onion, carrot and a celery stalk. Veggies are then removed and diced if you wish to use them (I did), lentils are drained and a cup of stock is retained. 1/2cup of stock is pureed w 3/4cup of lentils and then returned to the pan along w the remaining 1/2cup of stock and the lentils. This mixture is re-heated once the salmon is cooked. A salmon fillet is placed on a foil covered baking sheet and coated w olive oil, S&P then baked for 12 mins at 475 degrees F. Fish is plated over the warmed lentils.

                                                                                                        Though this is a simple preparation, the results were delicious. I have no idea what value the first boil and rinsing of the lentils adds but somehow this dish was tastier than our usual salmon and lentils dinner. I’d definitely make this again; we both loved it.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                          So glad you wrote this up BC, I wanted to make it but so far I can't find the darn French lentils, now I guess I'll have look harder.

                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                            qianning you will find the Lentils du Puy at Formaggio Kitchen, in either JP or Cambridge:

                                                                                                            http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/shop/...

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                Sometimes you can find them at the Whole Foods on Fresh Pond. They come in a very small box, with a window. I have thrown out my box to store the lentils in glass, so I can't tell you the "brand."

                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  Here in Canada we can pick them up rather inexpensively by weight at Bulk Barn stores and, The St Lawrence Market in Toronto

                                                                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                Last month you did Jamie's salmon with lentils, also with beautiful photographs. How would you compare the dishes? If you had to recommend one, which would it be?

                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  Yes, it was the Jamie Oliver recipe with ham-wrapped salmon-- I thought it would detract from the salmon, but Breadcrumbs made a good argument for including the prosciutto--
                                                                                                                  you know, the only way to know for sure is try it both ways, side by side. Maddening.

                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                    Hello there, what a great memory you both have and wow, that's a tough question. DG's salmon is very plain, just roasted w olive oil, salt and pepper. I do happen to like my fish and seafood straight up so I always enjoy it this way. That said, I did love how the herbs I tucked under the prosciutto had infused the meat w their delicate flavours and, we both loved the crispiness the prosciutto added. So, if I had to rate the salmon alone, not factoring the lentils into the equation, I think I'd give JO's salmon the edge here. Now the lentils. We loved both versions. I'd never stirred fresh herbs and spinach into a lentil side dish before so that really appealed to us, wowed us even, w the JO lentils. Then, there was that yummy yogurt drizzle on top of the lentils that really took them over the edge. The cool, freshness of that drizzle really accentuated the lemon-herby goodness in the lentils. It also looked beautiful. The other thing I loved about Jamie's dish is that it was just as delicious cold and I would definitely serve it cold in the summer months. It would be fabulous as a dinner party dish because you could do all your prep ahead.

                                                                                                                    DG's lentils were more "stewy" Cooking them in stock along w some vegetables and then pureeing a portion of them ultimately served to give them a rich, hearty flavour, they were so delicious that they could have easily stood on their own as a dish. As a matter of fact, I was tempted just to sit down w a bowl when they were finished because the smelled and tasted so appealing. I think their full flavour was a great contrast to the simplicity of the roasted salmon, together they were a perfect team.

                                                                                                                    I'd serve either variations to company w no worries. Both were great. If I had to rate them, I'd have to give an edge to Jamie's total dish because of its versatility. Great in any season, hot or cold, beautiful presentation and, super simple to prepare.

                                                                                                                    I wouldn't serve DG's dish in the summer months and, overall prep wasn't as straightforward (though it was simple. . . just more draining, rinsing, boiling, straining etc).

                                                                                                                    Can't wait to hear what you both think if you try them!!

                                                                                                                    Here's the link to my original review of JO's dish:

                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7691...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                      If you have the Zuni book, that's another one to try - fantastic, as I remember it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                        Oh I do have that book LM, thank-you. I'll definitely check that out!

                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                          The Zuni lentils are fabulous as are the ones from the Lucques book.

                                                                                                                          1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                                            Thanks beetlebug, I've made a note on that one too!!

                                                                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                          I remembered your prior post because your presentation was so striking. It could have been a magazine shot!
                                                                                                                          Thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response to the question. I will certainly report back when I try one of these dishes.

                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            Thanks LN, mr bc was so happy when I shared your comment w him! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the dish.

                                                                                                                  2. Seafood pot-au-feu, p. 308-310

                                                                                                                    Made this one last night for four adults and two young kids. The suggested serving-size for four worked out fine. First, a broth is made of 3 cups chicken broth + 1 cup water, simmered for 5 minutes with a bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp. dried), 1 strip lemon zest, s & white pepper. Then 1/2 # potatoes (new or Yukon gold), 4 scallions (or 2 spring onions, which I didn't have), 2 cut up carrots, 1 cut up leek, and 4 mushrooms, sliced, are added in stages and simmered. Dorie gives precise timing instructions for this part; I found that my potatoes weren't quite tender when all the other veggies were, so I removed the others with a slotted spoon and simmered the potatoes a few more minutes.
                                                                                                                    If you wish, you can make the dish a few hours ahead to this point (I did) and set it aside , with the veggies held in a separate dish. Later just before serving, bring the broth to a boil, add 1 # mussels and simmer than just until they open. Then remove them from the broth and discard the shells. You then add 1 # salmon fillet, cut up,and poach for 6 minutes, then add 12 scallops, followed by the shelled mussels, the sugar snap peas, and reserved veggies. Cover and heat everything up for 2-3 minutes to warm veggies and cook scallops. Serve in wide soup bowls into which you have layered first the veggies, then the seafood, and finally spooned some of the broth over all. Dorie also suggests aioli and/or pesto as an accompaniment; I made her aioli (p 490)--YUM!

                                                                                                                    None of this is difficult to execute, but one does need to use some care in prepping the items to certain recommended sizes and then timing the sequential additions. But if you follow her instructions things do work out (with the exception of my potatoes, which I didn't cut small enough.) While easy, to get the most from this dish one shouldn't be a distracted cook ;-) Which I am sometimes but fortunately I was able to pay attention last night and what resulted was a very nice, delicately savory dish that was very pretty with the different colors of the veggies. The layers of flavors were very satisfying, yet it was light. The kids liked the various components placed separately on their dinner plates; the adults devoured everything in soup-plates with aioli mixed into the broth and wiped their bowls with lots of good bread.

                                                                                                                    My substitutions: couldn't get mussels so substituted peeled raw tiger shrimp, added near the end with the scallops. They added just a few minutes to the final simmering time. Couldn't find sugar snap peas but snow peas were fine and added that nice touch of green. This would be a good party dish as well as a satisfying family dinner. And it WOULD be relatively low-fat if one eschewed the aioli!

                                                                                                                    Served this with green beans and pancetta (p. 333) and Sophie-Charlotte's Macaroni Risotto, a variation of Dressy Pasta Risotto (p. 369.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                      Nice meal! 3 (three!) kinds of seafood at one dinner--I'd be in heaven.

                                                                                                                    2. Chicken Breasts Diable, page 217
                                                                                                                      Very stressful day at work, so I was looking for something quick and easy, but tasty of course. This recipe fit the bill. Just two of us tonight so I halved the recipe (Dorie says this dish is best eaten immediately, so I didn't want leftovers).
                                                                                                                      Organic boneless, skinless breasts are lightly pounded and slipped into butter and oil. They are browned on each side, then cooked fully, seasoned with salt and pepper, covered with foil, and set into a warm oven. Finely chopped shallot and garlic go into the pan to soften, then white wine is added and brought to a boil, at which point cream is added. When the cream boils mustard and Worcestershire go in. I used half dijon style, and half grainy. Sauce goes over the chicken breasts and dinner is done.
                                                                                                                      I'm trying to get better at gaging the doneness of chicken by finger pressure instead of making a little slit. I have to say I hit it with these. Chicken was tender and moist. I thought the sauce was very flavorful, mustardy, of course. I liked it quite a bit for a quick weeknight dinner, and I'd do it again. Just served it with roasted broccoli, couldn't be easier!

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                        That looks absolutely fabulous LN! This is one of the dishes on my menu for the week ahead so I'm delighted to hear it was a hit and it looks like you plenty of sauce w half the recipe. mr bc loves his sauce so I'd considered keeping the original quantity even though it will be just the two of us that night. Good to know!! Thanks for the great review and lovely photo!

                                                                                                                        Tonight I'm giving the Mussels and Chorizo with pasta a try. I have a fave recipe for a similar dish from Epi so we'll see how this compares! mr bc doesn't share my mussel or chorizo love so I'm interested to see what he thinks of this too.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                          I love mussels and chorizo, and I've got Dorie's recipe bookmarked. I'll be eager to hear what you think. Someone started a thread stating that their parents kept sending them Spanish chorizo, and they didn't know what to do with it all! I was jealous.

                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            You should email them your address LN!! What a wonderful "problem" to have huh?!!

                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                          Chicken Breasts Diable, Pg. 217

                                                                                                                          We made this a couple of nights ago but I just haven't had time to report...so I'm glad you did, LN, now I can piggy-back. Instead of chicken breasts I used thighs and drumsticks and the outcome was quite favorable. I suppose the browning time of the chicken pieces took a little longer but not too much. We liked the sauce for which I used all grainy mustard. Also, I used 2 cloves of garlic instgead of 1. G is getting a little heavy handed with his "pinch o' salt" lately, though. Frankly, this recipe is not quite as Diable as a Diavolo but it was tasty nonetheless.

                                                                                                                          Served with baked yams and a tossed salad.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                            I also used some thighs as well and they were fine. Served them with a sliced potato casserole my son brought, and a big green salad.

                                                                                                                            Dessert was the Apple Cake in the book....too lazy to look up page.

                                                                                                                            A very fine meal for 6. Everybody was happy.

                                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            I made this recipe as well, and thought it very tasty. However, some in my household were not as enamored of the large amount of mustard, and they suggested that it be cut back the next time.

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              Good to know roxlet, I have this on the menu for this week. I have some chicken defrosting and it's a toss up between this dish and the Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup for tonight.

                                                                                                                              I'll be sure to taste the sauce as I add the mustard. Sometimes I find it all depends on the brand you use. Recently my supermarket only had their "no name" brand of plain Dijon on the shelf and it had such a washed out flavours, I ended up returning it. I was considering using my grainy Dijon for this recipe but I've had it in the fridge for almost a year now so it will likely be much stronger tasting then when I first opened it.

                                                                                                                              I'm so glad you mentioned this!!

                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                              Chicken Breasts Diable – p. 217

                                                                                                                              Quick & delicious, great for a weeknight, what’s not to like about this yummy dish!?

                                                                                                                              My turn w this dish tonight. L. Nightshade did a wonderful job of explaining how this comes together so no need for me to cover here.

                                                                                                                              I’d hoped to make this w my grainy Dijon but decided against it when I did a taste test and found it to be too strong tasting. It had been in the fridge for about a year now so I decided to toss it and go w my plain (and very fresh) Dijon! Thanks roxlet for the head’s up on the mustard. Like Gio, I upped the ante w the garlic and used 2 (pretty hefty) cloves.

                                                                                                                              My breasts were HUGE so I browned them on the stove and finished them in the oven at 325.

                                                                                                                              We went w DG’s suggested accompaniment, the Garlicky Crumb-Coated Broccoli. Here’s a link to that review if you’re interested, it was super-simple and quite tasty btw:

                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7758...

                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                Looks delightful, I must try this. What is with those Jayne Mansfield chicken breasts you get nowadays??? LWhit has a great term for them: Frankenchicken.

                                                                                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                I made the Diable chicken breasts for a dinner party last weekend. A big hit and quite simple to make.

                                                                                                                                Greenspan is wrong when she says these are "best eaten immediately". I had a few left over and they were fantastic sliced in sandwiches with the mustard sauce drizzled over the next day.

                                                                                                                              3. Mussels and Chorizo with or without Pasta – p. 316 (Fish and Shellfish)

                                                                                                                                I love the flavour combination of mussels and chorizo so this dish had immediate appeal and the fact it could be served over pasta made it perfect for our “spaghetti Fridays” menu. I should also mention that I do have a “go-to” recipe for Pasta w Mussels and Chorizo; it’s a tried and true recipe from Epicurious that I’ve been making for years now.

                                                                                                                                In my view, this dish doesn’t compare to the Epi dish and this is the first dish from AMFT that I won’t recommend.

                                                                                                                                Prep for this dish is very quick and straightforward. Mussels are rinsed and scrubbed, chorizo, red bell pepper, onion and garlic are chopped. Wine is measured and pasta is put on to boil. DG does not specify whether to use hot or sweet chorizo so I opted for sweet figuring if she intended you to use hot, she’d have indicated such. This dish really comes together in the time it takes to bring your water to a boil and cook your pasta. Veggies and thyme sprigs are softened in some olive oil before adding the chorizo and 28oz of canned, diced tomatoes. (I used Pomi). When you’re almost ready to serve, mussels and white wine are added before covering the pan and cooking the mussels until done (approx 4-5 mins).

                                                                                                                                I served this over Fettuccine. The dish was okay for us but not great. One of the things I love about mussels is their liquor and I love how it infuses sauce w it’s flavour. In this case I felt that the tomatoes were overpowering everything else. Perhaps if only 14 oz were added I may have felt differently but this was very much a tomato sauce w chorizo and mussels in it in my view and neither the chorizo or the mussels really had a chance to shine. I also felt the sauce lacked seasoning. The two thyme sprigs were inadequate to deliver any real flavour to the sauce and the mild chorizo was rather lost I felt. It did add some smokiness but was otherwise washed out. We eventually add some chili flakes to our plates and that seemed to help a little bit but this dish was disappointing.

                                                                                                                                Here’s the link to the Epi recipe, which in my view, produces a tasty, well-balanced dish where the mussels and the chorizo are really the stars:

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

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for another thorough review. Thanks also for linking to your favored recipe. I've been unable to find my mussels and chorizo recipe (even with the help of EYB, so I must have had it written out at some point), and haven't yielded the same results by winging it, so I'm looking forward to trying the one from epi.
                                                                                                                                  I do also make a mussels dish (mussels alla diavolo) with tomatos and some really strong flavors (olives, capers, red pepper flakes), and I suppose they detract from the pure mussel taste, but I love all the flavors.
                                                                                                                                  As usual your photos are very appetizing, must be nice to have a resident photographer!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                    Thanks LN, mr bc is blushing!! Yes, do give that Epi recipe a try, it's really delicious. Your mussels alla diavolo sound yummy and like you, I also like those puttanesca-like flavours. I think they'd be nice w the mussels and no one flavour would dominate like in the dish above where the tomatoes really were the main event...

                                                                                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs: I have a question about the chorizo. At my market they only have one kind of chorizo, made by Saags. I don't think it's sweet, but, since it's only called "chorizo" I can't be sure. It is quite spicy. Actually they have another chorizo 0 a bulk, Mexican kind, but I figured she was talking about the Spanish type. I'm going to have to try this dish to see if my chorizo is spicy enough to come through in the recipe. Will let you all know.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                      Hi oakjoan, we don't have Saags here but I did Google it and note that it's hickory smoked and, there wasn't any mention of peppers/chilis on the ingredient list so I'd likely be more inclined to go w the bulk Mexican you have access to. You could even purchase a small amount to test out the flavour. I think the traditional chorizo seasonings are very complimentary to the flavour of mussels and I'm not sure how well the hickory would work.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                        The Saag's chorizo has a slightly smoky flavor and there certainly are chilies in it. A Wonderful sausage. I don't know if Mexican chorizo would work. It's extremely oily and comes in bulk like hamburger meat.

                                                                                                                                        I make a winter soup that's easy and deelish using chopped Saag's chorizo, potato chunks and onion in a chicken broth base. Very tasty and easy and great on a cold, rainy night.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                          It sounds like your Saags would be wonderful then oakjoan, the chilies are key so if you already love the sausage I'd go for it. I can get a bulk chorizo but it isn't oily so I agree, if yours is, it wouldn't be ideal here.

                                                                                                                                          Let us know how it turns out if you do make it!!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                        OJ, if you're ever headed North Berkeley way, you could hit up the Spanish Table there on San Pablo for a better chorizo selection.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                          Wow, I didn't know there was a Spanish Table in Berkeley, must have opened after I left the Bay Area. Interesting! I am a frequent shopper at the Spanish Table in Seattle. Great store. The only place I know to get anchovy-stuffed olives, for my current favorite cocktail.

                                                                                                                                    2. Almond flounder meuniere - p. 290

                                                                                                                                      A very simple dish. Flounder is given a coating of ground almonds mixed with flour and lemon zest, then sauteed in brown butter. The flavor of lemon zest was not discernible in the final dish. Garnished with lemon wedges, toasted sliced almonds, and parsley (I skipped the parsley). She says to use a nonstick skillet but I used my all clad with no problems. It wasn't earthshattering, but we did enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                      By the way, this is the first month I've been able to cook along with COTM. I'm very excited! I have a 10 month old baby, so you will find me making simple dishes, and sometimes reporting on how the baby likes it (more on that in the months to come, I'm sure!).

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                        I've been wanting to try this one, thanks for the report!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                          I'm happy you've been able to join in on COTM, I just started in February and I'm having a great time! I'm also frequently on the lookout for simpler dishes as I work during the week. But at least my work doesn't follow me around the kitchen and play with pots and pans. I'm always wowed by moms of young children who put together lovely meals. Well done!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                            Welcome to COTM--I think you're really going to enjoy it! You'll meet some really nice, helpful folks who are just as nuts about cooking as you are! ;-) I'm new since February as well and it's been a lot of fun.

                                                                                                                                            I'm glad to have your review of this flounder recipe to encourage me to make it, because I know that my husband will love it, and the two kids (5 and 7) that I cook for will, too.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                              Welcome Westminstress! We love flounder so I was very glad to read your report. It's on my To Make list...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                Hello Westminstress and welcome to the COTM! It's nice to have another cook on board! I'm fairly new here as well. I joined Chowhound last fall and the first COTM I participated in was Arabesque in September. Here's a link to the historical COTM threads in case you're interested:

                                                                                                                                                http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

                                                                                                                                                If you happen to have any of these books on your shelf and you're cooking from them in the months ahead, you can still add to these threads which is great!

                                                                                                                                                Thanks too for your Flounder review, this sounds like a dish we'd enjoy!

                                                                                                                                              2. Café Salle Playel Hamburger – p. 240 (Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb)

                                                                                                                                                As DG explains it, when the NY Times asked the Café Salle Pleyel’s creator to explain why this burger was so popular in Paris she said “It has the taste of the forbidden, the illicit – the subversive even.”

                                                                                                                                                Of course I had to make it!

                                                                                                                                                While mr bc and I might not have picked the same words to describe this burger, we did find it to be tasty with unique flavours. We served it on Brioche buns w the Onion Marmalade. (recipe for marmalade also included in the book)

                                                                                                                                                The marmalade is made first and could easily be made a day prior. Prep is simple. A red onion is chopped and placed in a small pan along w water, ground coriander (I used ground fennel), butter and S&P. Instead of just using water I did a 50/50 mix of water and juice from my gherkin bottle. (I was using the last of the gherkins in the burger prep below so it seemed like a shame to waste that liquid!) DG suggests that this be brought to a boil then simmered over medium-low heat until “soft and jammy” a process she says will take approx 20 minutes. In my experience, for a mixture to become “jammy” it has to contain sugar or some sort of sweetener. I know the term “marmalade” is used loosely these days but I would not consider this to be a jam or marmalade of any sort. What is produced are seasoned, softened onions. Even w some of the sweetened gherkin water in my mix, the onions never got “jammy”. At the 60 min mark I called it a day as most of the water had evaporated so I set my onions aside to add to my burger.

                                                                                                                                                The burgers come together super-quickly, especially if you have a mini food processor. Sundried tomatoes, capers, cornichons, tarragon (I used basil as my stupid-market didn’t have tarragon) and parsley are all chopped in your mini-chopper then incorporated in your ground beef. DG recommends sirloin or a mix of sirloin and chuck. I used the latter; 1 lb of sirloin and ½ lb of chuck. Patties are shaped and you’re good to go.

                                                                                                                                                I made the patties in the morning to allow the flavours to develop and then we grilled them over charcoal at dinnertime.

                                                                                                                                                While DG indicates that ketchup may be used, we gave our toasted buns a quick smear of mayo then added some of the onion “marmalade” and shaved Parmesan.

                                                                                                                                                These burgers smelled fabulous at every stage of the process (raw, on the grill and cooked). They were very flavourful, perfectly cooked (medium for us) but not as juicy as we’d have liked. I’ve made other sirloin or sirloin-mix burgers in the past and tend to find this can be an issue, especially without the addition of an egg. The “marmalade” was tasty and if you are making this recipe, I’d encourage you to try the gherkin liquid or adding a little something to sweeten the mixture as it was the subtle sweetness of the onion mixture that really appealed to us and it worked nicely w the parmesan. I can’t imagine using ketchup as I think that would be far too sweet, especially since there are the already sweet sundried tomatoes in the burgers.

                                                                                                                                                I’m glad we tried this, the burger was good but not fabulous enough that I’d make it again. That said, it was nice to try something different for a change of pace.

                                                                                                                                                btw, I was sure I'd seen someone else's review and photos of this dish but I couldn't find the post at all yesterday. If anyone sees it could you please post a link here?

                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                  Café Salle Playel Hamburger, Pg. 240

                                                                                                                                                  After reading the recipe at the beginning of the month then reading Breadcrumbs' report I decided we could make the burgers even though we don't eat red meat. Here's what I did:

                                                                                                                                                  Used minced bison meat instead of the beef, minced several slices of Genoa salame and mixed the two together, lastly shaved aged sharp Provolone over the finished burger instead of Parmigiano. When I made the so-called onion marmalade I added 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and then after cooking the onion for a few minutes I added a short glug of Balsamic vinegar. Sort of an Italian riff of a French recipe, with all due apologies to everyone who needs one...LOL.

                                                                                                                                                  The resulting bisonburger was very tasty if I may say so. The onion marmalade still needs a little work, however. With the additional sweeteners there was a decidedly jammy taste if not exactly a jammy texture. We cooked the onion for about 45 minutes. G prefers Kaiser rolls so brought home some freshly made ones from our local bakery. The whole thing came together very well and we enjoyed a different kind of burger. No, we didn't even take the katsup out of the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                2. Pork Roast with Mangoes and Lychees, Pg. 278

                                                                                                                                                  My what a lovely dish this is. The lychees were eliminated, however, since I didn't have them and couldn't get them in time. I had thought of substituting porcini or shiitakes but decided to go ahead and faithfully adhere to the recipe as written without the lychees. Nevertheless, the final dish was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                  Not sweet but a fine combination of flavors, a bit of heat off-setting the sweetness of the wonderful mango.

                                                                                                                                                  A 2 1/2 lb. pork loin roast is first browned in a Dutch oven then removed to a plate and seasoned with S & P. Chopped onion and garlic are now sauteed, seasoned with S & P, and when translucent red wine vinegar is poured into the pot and reduced. Next dry white wine is added along with soy sauce, lime juice and honey. Bring this to boil and add piment d'Espelette, bay leaf,thyme, mango chunks (and lychees). After a minute or so return roast to the pan, baste, then cover the pot and place into the oven. This braises for about an hour at 300F. DG is very concerned here about the inner temperature of the meat and it's checked frequently to make sure the meat is not overcooked. When it's done to prefection it's removed to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes. At this time the sauce can be reduced if desired. We didn't, but did serve the juices over the slices of meat. Definitely will make this recipe again!

                                                                                                                                                  The side dishes were Herbed Potato Salad (which has no vinegar) from Gourmet Today, page 180 and a tossed salad of Boston lettuce and grape tomatoes dressed with the Nut Oil Vinaigrette from AMFT, page,485

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                    Suggest you try the pork tenderloin with oranges for something somewhat along these lines.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks BT will do... that's with cardamon as well, I think. A flavor I'm particularly fond of.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, cardamom. It's a terrific dish.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Veal Chops with Rosemary-Thyme Butter (p. 268). Season chops with chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, S&P, olive oil, cover and refrigerate overnight. Make compound butter of rosemary, thyme, salt and freeze. Saute chops, make a quick pan sauce of white wine and chicken broth, top with sauce and compund butter and serve. This was good but not great. I really hate the taste of dried herbs and guess what the fresh herbs coating the chops tasted like once they had been sauteed at high heat in oil! It also needed a bright note somewhere. So if I were going to make it again, I think I'd scrape the herbs off before sauteeing, add a bit of vinegar (I'm thinking champagne vinegar but maybe tarragon) to the pan sauce, up the herb quotient in the compound butter and add some lemon zest to it. On the other hand, I found myself thinking that on the rare occasions that I splurge on a special piece of meat, overall I think I prefer steak. Don't get me wrong, my plate was clean, but not sure I'd do it again. I will gussy up the rest of the compund butter and it will be great on whatever comes off the grill in the future.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                      Veal Chops with Rosemary-Thyme Butter, page 268

                                                                                                                                                      This was a winner for us! I picked up some veal chops at Costco because they looked so good and I was looking for a recipe to pan roast them tonight. I picked this recipe for ease and availability of ingredients and for us it really delivered! I actually used dried thyme and rosemary and cut back the amounts for both for both the pre-season of the meat as well as the compound butter. I subbed vermouth for the white wine and cut the volume a bit, since I find that sometimes vermouth becomes a bit overpowering for me when it is reduced. I found that the pat of butter melting down over the meat combined with the pan sauce was a perfect accompaniment for the succulent meat.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm one of those people who rarely cooks with butter (olive oil all the time, for the most part). This recipe for me was a bit of a revelation as to how much butter can add to meat. I loved it and will put it in the repeat file.

                                                                                                                                                      I served with oven roasted potatoes and broccoli rabe and the plates were practically licked clean.

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                    2. Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port, p. 254-5 I'm currently finishing this dish for dinner tonight, started it last night. I'm actually making it with grass raised bison short ribs, because I'm serving my mom tonight, who doesn't care for beef. (Curiously, loves bison, though!?!) I'm not accustomed to broiling the meat, so this is a new technique for me. I usually brown the ribs in the same pot I braise them in, so I'll let you all know if I notice any differences. I'm thinking I'll serve it with russet potatoes, but haven't decided how to cook them yet. Maybe I'll go have another look at the sides thread...

                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: amyzan

                                                                                                                                                        Last night I made the Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine,.p. 284. I used a couple of large shoulder chops for the lamb (cut into chunks). This tajine is quite easy and extremely deeelicious. The apricots are soaked in some boiling water with chicken bouillon cubes mixed in so that they plump up.

                                                                                                                                                        The lamb is seared in a dutch oven or skillet and browned on all sides, then onions and garlic are sauteed until just starting to soften. Chopped tomatoes (she calls for canned, but I only had some great cherry tomatoes from Baja and so used them) and the chopped apricots are added.. It's seasoned with a couple of small dried chiles (I used chiles de arbol), coriander seeds, fresh ginger, cumin, cinnamon and chopped fresh cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                        She puts the lamb on a plate above the vegs, but I didn't notice that instruction and so just stirred it all together, sealed the pot and baked it for about an hour. She also adds sliced toasted almonds to the pot in the last 15 minutes, but I just sprinkled them on top after it was done, along with some chopped cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                        My husband HATES couscous and so I made some basmati rice instead.
                                                                                                                                                        We both thought this was fabulous. It's quite mild but verrrry flavorful and we scarfed up the whole thing. This is going to be a regular at our house!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                          I'm so glad you posted this. I've been unable to find boneless lamb shoulder in this area, but I recently spied some shoulder chops, so I've been eyeing this dish. I've got turkish apricots just waiting in the cupboard. This might go on the menu for the weekend!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                            Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine
                                                                                                                                                            I made this last night, part of a Moroccan-influenced dinner.
                                                                                                                                                            I don't think she calls for putting the lamb on a plate above the vegetables, but the wording she uses could certainly suggest that. I think she is just saying to put the lamb and all of the juices that are on the plate into the vegetables. Anyway, like oakjoan, that is the way I did it.
                                                                                                                                                            This dish was good, but it fell a bit short for us. I used to cook a lot of North African food, and I love the meat - spice - fruit combinations, but this dish didn't live up to my expectations. The aroma was wonderful while it was cooking, so I think the spice combination was the right one, maybe just not enough. There are a few possible reasons why this dish mildly disappointed. I used canned tomatoes, those plus the broth made it pretty liquid. Perhaps the lamb I finally found wasn't the best quality (Trader Joe's). We ate it pretty much right out of the oven, maybe the flavors improve over time.
                                                                                                                                                            Again, don't get me wrong, it was good, just not great.
                                                                                                                                                            I served it with plain couscous and a Moroccan spiced carrot salad with yogurt (from Plenty).

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                              This tagine is on the menu here for tomorrow. I've already made the other one and wanted to try the lamb. G is out hunting for the boneless shouder as I speak. Having read both your report, LN, and OJ's I'll know what to look for and how to proceed.

                                                                                                                                                              BTW: Gorgeous dinner set...!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                I've made that recipe a couple times and had a similar experience. Previous to this recipe, I was adapting one I found in the Chanterelle Staff Suppers cookbook. I can't remember what cut he called for, but I was using shoulder chops almost consistently and having much better results than with boneless meat. Yes, it takes an extra step, and most days I'd cook it the night before, put it in the fridge overnight, and continue the next day, removing much of the congealed fat. Perhaps it was both the bones and the overnight rest for flavors to meld, but it's MUCH better this way. Oh, and I prefer prunes to dried apricots, especially if all I can find is the Turkish ones, which aren't as flavorful as dried California varieties like blenheims. I usually add a bit more cumin and cinnamon, too. If you like, you can sprinkle over orange or rose water before serving. This preparation works well with lamb shanks, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                  Well LN, what that meal may have lacked for you in "wow" factor, you more than made up for it in presentation. This could be on the cover of a food or travel magazine! Stunning, truly. What a lovely dinner service, even your silverware is themed perfectly! Beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                    Just wanted to comment that your photos were beautiful! Beautiful composition and all your lovely dishes!!! Wow! The presentation was foodie magazine worthy.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: audreyhtx1

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks to those above for your kind comments on my photos. I love to set a thematic table. I would go crazy with dishware if I had a dozen more cupboards!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                        Well you did a fabulous job LN! I also share your passion. Martha Stewart got me started and, after that I started collecting linens and dishes/tableware. We don't entertain as much as we used to but sometimes, even "just for us" I'll break it all out just for fun! Then from mr bc I hear "uuuggghhh. . . how much of this can't go in the dishwasher!!!" ; )

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          "uuuggghhh. . . how much of this can't go in the dishwasher!!!"
                                                                                                                                                                          That made me laugh out loud. Where have I heard that before? Almost nightly!
                                                                                                                                                                          It is evident from your photos that you place importance on the aesthetics of a meal, in addition to the taste.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks LN, that's very kind of you. Aesthetics are really important to me, in all aspects of my life. I've always loved making people/things "comfortable.

                                                                                                                                                                            When I travel, for business in particular, I like to make the room feel "homey". Once, when I came back to the room (Back Bay Hilton in Boston) there was a note on the bed saying "we like what you did to the room" I still chuckle when I think about that!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: amyzan

                                                                                                                                                                  Okay, too late to edit, but reporting back, the bison short ribs were delicious! I made the glazed carrots with cardamom to go with the leftovers tonight, along with some roasted asparagus. I did have to simmer down the remaining braising liquid yesterday, but it had already reduced to about 12 ounces, so didn't take long to get thick enough to glaze. I found that bison required an extra hour to become tender enough. YMMV. Highly recommended.

                                                                                                                                                                3. (Monkfish) and Double Carrots, Pg. 294

                                                                                                                                                                  We made just the carrot component of this recipe a few nights ago. I used 6 medium carrots, those sweet dark purple ones from the farm, and organic carrot juice from Trader Joe's. This is a very simple recipe and it cooks very quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                  Peel the carrots and slice them in 1/2" rounds. Put carrot juice, a bit of butter, EVOO, and rosemary into a saucepan and bring to boil. Add the carrots, season w/ S & P, cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover pan and cook the carrots on low heat till they're tender . Take pan off burner and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                  There is an additional sauce to be make when you make the fish component of this recipe but we stopped after the first step. Very simply it's a butter sauce seasoned w/ S & P and rosemary, but for us this was unnecessary.

                                                                                                                                                                  Besides looking beautiful on a white plate the carrots were delicious. The carrot juice was slightly sweet and the carrots had a pleasant soft middle yet crunchy edge with the hint of aromatic rosemary. It reminded me of something Ottolenghi would create. Served with garlic/lemon/EVOO marinated grilled chicken breasts and steamed basmati rice. We Loved This...

                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                    I also tried this. It was very good.. but for me, missed that one more level of taste to make it amazing. Maybe I expect too much of every recipe! It was indeed easy, looked great and was very very much about the carrot flavor. Definitely worth a try, I am just not sure I would return to it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom P

                                                                                                                                                                      I can certainly relate to Great Expectations of results, but I do know what you mean. It was a bit of a one-note taste, however this morning Mr. Gio said that he really enjoyed it. I don't know if I'll make it again but now I need to figure out what I'm going to do with the rest of the carrot juice other than drink it. I only used a cup from a quart bottle...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                        A friend of mine makes a "brunch cocktail" at this time of year that he calls his "Easter Bunnies" Carrot Juice, Orange Juice, Fresh Ginger and Vodka. Pretty darn tasty. Likely not what you had in mind though!!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          <"Likely not what you had in mind though!!">

                                                                                                                                                                          Wanna bet? Where's LuLu'sMom?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                            . . . and no pots or pans to wash after this dish!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                              I'll make my report as soon as I find the appropriate thread...wait. It's this one.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm in! Just please skip the carrot juice, orange juice and most of the ginger ...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                Hey, it didn't take you any time at all to find our party! Cheers LM!

                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds good, like a souped-up Port Franks Orange Juice (a screwdriver), also known as "it's 12 o'clock somewhere!".

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                <"sounds good"> . . . oh yes, they sure were, I had 2 just to be sure!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                Easter Bunnies Cocktail, via Friend of Breadcrumbs:

                                                                                                                                                                                I/2 cup organic carrot juice, 1/2 cup TJ's extra pulp OJ, 1/2 t fresh ginger, 2 oz. gin equals the most beautiful drink Ah evah did see. Sweet, but not too, cinnamony/nutmegy/slightly gingery goodness looking like an Arizona sunrise. Oh how did it taste, you ask? Just like a combination of carrot jc, orange jc and ginger. Deeelicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                Try some, amici, and don't forget to say, "cin,cin."

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                  Cin cin to you Gio!! So glad you enjoyed these; I'll be making up a pitcher of them for our brunch tomorrow. Nothing like a few Bunnies to get a party hopping!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Hachis Parmentier ... page 258

                                                                                                                                                                          This is the "French version of Shepherd's Pie", according to the recipe. No lamb (or mutton) here, though--it calls for both beef and pork sausage. Cottage pie, maybe.

                                                                                                                                                                          We have a freezer full of mild nice Utah elk from last fall, and just bought 1/2 pig from a (finally!) found humane pig farmer here. So this dish is chopped elk and homemade sausage, topped by mashed potato with cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                          The elk is simmered for 1 1/2 hours with carrot, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, bay leaf. Vegetables then discarded. Meat is chopped fine, then added to barely browned pork sausage, a little tomato paste, and broth from the simmering. This is the bottom of the dish -- top with a rich mashed potato/cream/cheese mixture, and put in a 400º oven for 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                          Very good, but not a big deal -- all of you have probably had something like this, and know how to make it good. I didn't think this was special.

                                                                                                                                                                          An interesting note, though, is M. Parmentier himself --

                                                                                                                                                                          from Wikipedia: "Thanks largely to Parmentier's efforts, the Paris Faculty of Medicine declared potatoes edible in 1772."
                                                                                                                                                                          Prior to an imprisonment, during which he had to eat potatoes or starve, potatoes were fed only to hogs in France. And now think of all the ridiculously delicious/fancy named French potato dishes there are!

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sorry to hear that this wasn't a knockout dish for you. I've got it planned for later in the week, now I'm having second thoughts. No need for another plain-ish cottage pie.
                                                                                                                                                                            Did you make the sausage yourself once you found a good pig? I've got a sausage-making (and a cheese-making) class coming up in May, so I'm getting increasingly curious about the subject. What type of flavoring did your sausage have (sweet, hot, herby etc.)?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                              Mr. blue room loved it -- he didn't spend 2+ hours chopping, mashing, smelling it -- so maybe it was better than I thought. The seasoning is all-important, (Gruyère or Comté or Emmenthal is too often supermarket Swiss or Cheddar in my house!)
                                                                                                                                                                              But the pork -- we (just me and he) don't like heat, so when I "make sausage" it only means I take fresh ground pork and add thyme, sage, salt, black pepper. These proportions:
                                                                                                                                                                              to 1 pound ground pork, add
                                                                                                                                                                              3/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                              1 scant teaspoon dried sage (crumble it between your fingers to get it fine enough to mix in well)
                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon pepper -- we just use black pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                              1/8 teaspoon ground dried thyme
                                                                                                                                                                              this makes the mildest "Jimmy Dean" breakfast sausage you can imagine, so put a teaspoonful in the microwave and taste it, then "up" the flavor until it suits you. Of course the hot or sweet maple syrup kind is out there too--.
                                                                                                                                                                              I form patties and cook, have not even considered stuffing casings.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the info blue room! I'll probably give it a go.
                                                                                                                                                                                This type of dish would be good to add to my repertoire when I start making sausage. I don't plan to stuff casings (at least not to start), so it would be nice to have a variety of recipes that use bulk sausage.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                              LOVE the potato/Parmentier info, blue room. Thanks so much for telling us.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                Lulu might be interested in this odd story too!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                Beautiful br, and I loved your wiki tidbit, very interesting! Sorry this wasn't one of your favourites but it sure does look and sound tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hachis Parmentier, page 258

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thought this would be a cozy dish, as, after a brief springtime flirtation, we are having a recurrence of winter here. Methodology is described above by blue room. I used a chuck roast, and Italian mild sausage, both from a local organic ranch. I chopped the vegetables and kept them with the meat. I used cave-aged gruyere on top of the riced and creamed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  As blue room states, this dish does require quite a bit of kitchen time when started from scratch. We thought this dish was pretty tasty comfort food. Not something I'd ever serve to guests, but great for family. It would be a handy dish to throw together when you already have something like leftover pot roast, instead of starting the meat from the raw, uncut state.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I remembered seeing this online somewhere, plated in rounds. It may be hard to see, but I cut each serving with a large tomato can. Mr Nightshade had three helpings, so I guess that makes it a hit. Definitely a satisfying, wintry supper.

                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                2. m. jacques' armagnac chicken pg. 204

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm surprised this dish hasn't gotten more attention here, because boy does it deserve some! Quite simply, cut up potatoes, carrots and thinly sliced onions are tosses in warmed oil until they "glisten." They are pushed to the sides of the pan and in goes a seasoned whole chicken. (It's supposed to be trussed, but you can see mine is just hanging out in all it's glory, due to not having any butcher string.) A bay leaf, and a sprig each of rosemary and thyme are added. Then one half cup of armagnac, cognac, or brandy is poured over. On goes the lid and into a 450 degree oven it goes for one hour.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DG says she once made this and after it went into the over she went out for a long walk. I was expecting, or should I say suspicious there might be a lot of smoke, so I stuck around. All the better to enjoy the aroma emanating from the oven....and no smoke!

                                                                                                                                                                                  I chose to use brandy for this recipe after pricing cagnac at the store. (Besides, I kind of think it's vile stuff.) It gave it a lovely, slightly sweet flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The last step after removing the chicken from the pan is to add in one cup of water to make a sauce. I skipped this after reading a review of this on the original AMFT thread. Instead I tossed the veggies around in what little was left of the brandied chicken juices to glaze them. They were quite wonderful and overall this was a terrific dish in which the most humble of ingredients were transformed into a special occassion worthy meal. (Good thing, 'cause it was the chowpup's birthday.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Will add pictures later. Gotta go for now....

                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh don't worry. Clams...it's on my list to make before the end of the month. Happy to read your report, though. I'll use brandy too.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                        Adding before and after pictures of m. jaques armagnac chicken...

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh clams, that looks absolutely scrumptious. I don't know how I managed to miss this recipe but we'll definitely have to give it a try! You've made me so hungry!

                                                                                                                                                                                          btw, did you know we're in the last hours of the vote for the May COTM? Here's the link jic you missed it and have an interest:

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7790...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                            Why thank you BC! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did, because, as they say: "your mileage may vary." That being said, if you are a big fan of rosemary, you might want to up the amount called for. There really was just a hint of it with one sprig, but we, especially M. Clam, liked it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                            re: May COTM, I've been lurking, but usally make it a policy not to vote, since I'm never sure of how much time I'll have, or then I get the book and have no access to ingredients, or M. Clam decides...whatever. I'm rooting for one of them though. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the tip on the rosemary; actually mr bc likes rosemary but, a little goes a long way w him. He's been known to ask "is there rosemary in this" on a number of occasions when I've gone a bit too far by throwing caution to the wind and tossing in an extra sprig or two!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              re the COTM, I think someone said we're almost in a dead heat at the moment! Talk about a Chowhound nail-biter!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yoo Hoo! Thanks LM. Shall we celebrate w an Ottolenghi & pomegranate? (a Champagne cocktail!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                          Clams Casino: What about cognac makes you think of it as "vile"? Isn't it just brandy that's aged more?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                                                            Funny you should ask.....I just put my second attempt at this recipe in the oven! Turned out I didn't have quite enough brandy left, so I pulled out the rest of that nip bottle of Cognac to make 1/2 cup. Sooooo, to answer your question, I just tasted the little itty bit left in the bottle. I think I don't really like it because it reminds me of bourbon, and I just don't like bourbon. Don't ask me why. It could get all Freudian.....Really looking forward to dinner though.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                                                                              I think one is grape and one is grain, although to me they taste pretty similar, except for the good stuff. I couldn't tell you which is grape and which is grain. And I agree - nothing vile about either one, as long as you are getting fairly reasonable stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                I am pretty sure both are distilled wine alcohols - cognac is made is one particular region and brandy could be made anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                                  According to my morning google search, you are correct Herby. Cognac must be made in Cognac, France. However, the type of grape also comes into play, with the result that Cognac is somewhat drier than other brandies. Of course a lot also has to do with how long the Cognac is aged.....Gotta love google. Learn somthing new every day. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and it turns out cognac is a *kind* of brandy (being from Cognac). Here I thought they tasted the same but came from different sources. Huh.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. CHICKEN, APPLES, AND CREAM A LA NORMANDE

                                                                                                                                                                                            I did the pork variation of this one. I overcooked the pork a bit, but all in all this was nothing special (at least for the fat and calorie content). I have a couple similar recipes I like better. I don't doubt that a better cook would have ended up with something better than mine. The method goes something like this: you dip the meat in flour, then brown it in the pan on both sides. Then you add an onion, an apple, and mushrooms. You're supposed to cook that for a while, then add broth and simmer it. Then you add alcohol (I used brandy) and cook that away. Then you add the cream and cook it down a bit more. The problem I ran into was that my pork was pretty much done after being browned (it was thin cut pork chops) and when I tried to put the onion, apple and mushrooms in there was barely room for them to touch the pan. I ended up taking the pork out and doing the rest of the recipe without it in the pan, so it missed out on simmering time and soaking up flavors. So I'm thinking if you use pork you want to use small thick cut medallions or something. Anyway, I won't be doing this again because a dish has to be pretty amazing for me to use all that cream and butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Duck Breast with Peaches (prune version) p. 230

                                                                                                                                                                                              DG says that she first made this with fresh peaches and vowed she wouldn’t make it again until the next peach season but it was so good she kept making it, using whatever fruit was then available, including dried fruit in the winter. This was excellent, and I too will keep making it with whatever fruit the season avails. You do the usual deep scoring of fat. DG wants you to start it in a hot Dutch oven (to control the splatters) but I went with the cold-skillet method I’d read about here, cooking the very large moulard breast on low heat for quite a long time (maybe even 20 minutes), spooning out rendered fat as I went along, and achieving a dark brown, fabulously crispy skin with virtually no fat at all except right on the edges where I should have trimmed better. Then over to sear the other side about 2 minutes, and per DG, wrapped in foil and allowed to rest in a preheated 250 oven for 5 minutes. At that point the sauce hadn’t quite come together so it rested another few minutes on the counter. Once it’s in the oven, you drain off about all the duck fat, stir a sprig of thyme and some smashed cloves of garlic in what’s left, and caramelize your fruit a bit (I actually skipped that with the prunes). Take out and add honey, balsamic, white wine vinegar (I used Champagne vinegar because that’s what I had) and ruby port and bring to the boil. Turn off heat, swirl in pieces of cold butter and add juices that have accumulated in the foil package and fruit. Now I was tasting as I went, as I do with this sort of sauce as I usually prefer less butter than is called for, and I was really worried about how acidic the sauce was. Adding in the juices from the foil packet, and later from the cutting board after slicing the duck, solved that and the sauce was absolutely fantastic and I will make it again and again. I think I would also add a few green peppercorns when I make this with prunes again, it seemed to be crying out for them, and maybe try using pomegranate molasses for the honey. Served with DG’s terrific celery root puree (reviewed in the appropriate thread) and beautiful young organic carrots, this was an amazing meal. “Twenty-nine ninety-five” my father said as he swiped the plate with his finger. “Thirty-four” I replied and he conceded he’d happily pay it. Instead, he had poured a lovely Earthquake Zinfandel to drink with it and we proceeded to kill the whole bottle. A lovely birthday dinner. Only sorry there was no resident photographer to capture it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                I, too, am sorry there was no photographer, I would love to see this dinner, but it sounds absolutely wonderful. You have a lucky father!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gretchen that sounds truly scrumptious and I wish my mr bc (aka house photographer) had been there to capture it for you. I loved to hear about the pricing debate between you and your Dad as well!! Happy Birthday Gretchen and pity I didn't know about that wine . . . I'm sure mr bc would have made his way over!! ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And we would have loved to have you! (It was indeed mr bc's lovely photography I was thinking of...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb (p. 283)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  After last weekend's 90+ degrees in L.A., it was cool and cloudy yesterday, so I swooped on what passes for stew weather here. DG says "the dish is a little like a French stew and a little like a Moroccan tagine" and I would add that there's definitely a very Indian factor here as well with the Madras curry and cardamom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was absolutely delicious -- and her description is perfect. I originally thought from reading the recipe (which includes apples, figs, honey) that this dish would veer more toward the Moroccan sweet/savory side (which I love, but I know not everyone does), but it was a lovely, somewhat subtle combination that definitely had elements of sweetness, but far less dominant than the tagines I'm used to. The apples and potatoes together wouldn't have been my first thought, but they really worked (and made me remember that potatoes in french are "apples of the earth").

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The process: Chopped onion and crushed garlic are softened in olive oil with Madras curry powder, cardamom powder and crushed cardamom pods, then cubes of lamb shoulder are browned, a bundle of mint stems are added (I didn't -- couldn't find my kitchen twine and after numerous ridiculous attempts to tie the mint stems together with another stem, gave up), water, chopped mint, honey (optional - I used), figs (see note on sub below) and raisins if using (I didn't). Then halved small potatoes and quartered apples are scattered on top and seasoned with S&P. After bringing to a boil, cover is put on and it simmers for 1.25 - 1.5 hours. Sprinkle with additional chopped mint and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Notes on subs:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  * Calls for boneless lamb shoulder, fat removed. I had bone-in and some significant marbling, so cubed most of it and then threw in some meaty bones as well. I also used more like 2 lbs than the 3 called for.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  * My grocery didn't have dried figs and I was unwilling to drag the kids to another store for one thing, so I subbed some roasted, glazed figs (they have those but not dried?!) and reduced the honey slightly due to sweetness of the glaze.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  * Since I used less meat and my husband is less of a sweet/savory fan and my apples were a pretty good size, I only used one apple instead of two. I reduced the potatoes a bit as well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  * Also, due to my ridiculous, cliched soccer mom schedule, I had to pause the process after adding the water and bringing to a boil, stick the whole thing in the fridge (I'm probably giving some health inspector out there palpitations) and spend the next few hours on the soccer sidelines before coming back to heat it back up for the 1.25 hour simmer. Don't know what impact, if any, it had on the result, but I lived to tell the tale and enjoyed the dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I served over whole wheat couscous, which worked great. I really loved this dish and it only continued to grow on me throughout the meal. My husband really like it as well, including the apples, although he was not so wild about the figs (not a fan in general). I do think they leant real flavor to the final jus however, so would be hesitant to leave them out. I will definitely make this again and wouldn't hesitate to serve it to company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds fantastic, and looks gorgeous too! It wasn't on my list but it's going on it now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you, mebby. I probably wouldn't have considrered this if not for your happy report.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      (My Mr. doesn't like "unusual" dishes--except for the ones he likes, of course.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      But what gives it the red red color?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just bad photography :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The curry definitely gave it a warmish brown, as did the bit of syrup from the figs, but nowhere like it looks here. No Mr. BC in this house!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree that this sounds fabuloso! So is your report. Another recipe to try. I've only done the lamb and apricot tagine, which was also wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Cod and Spinach Roulades, page 292
                                                                                                                                                                                                        This recipe requires a few separate preparations; It's rather time consuming, especially when you can't decide which sauce to use.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        In the preamble, Dorie suggests using the Cheating on Winter Pea Soup, page 59, for a sauce, so I made that and the tomato sauce. I used canned tomatoes for the sauce, and they are just simmered with butter and garlic, then blended with some preserved lemon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        The filling is chopped onion and garlic sauteed in butter, baby spinach is added and wilted then chopped. Preserved lemon is also mixed into the filling.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cod is pulsed in a processor with egg whites and cream, into a smooth mousse. It is then spread onto plastic wrap in a 3" by 5" rectangle. The spinach filling goes down the middle and the mousse is rolled up into a little sausage, which are steamed (the recipe makes four roulades). I used a bamboo basket over the wok, which worked well. A note on timing, Dorie says 10 minutes and the mousse will feel springy. Mine didn't feel springy so I went an extra two minutes. I should have stopped at 10, mine were very slightly overcooked.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I didn't have luck partially slicing and fanning the roulades as Dorie describes. It worked better for me to make smaller slices and plate them on end.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Except for the fish being slightly overcooked, I liked this quite a bit. The tomato sauce with preserved lemon is very tasty, and it was nice to have two sauces to try. This is another dish that would be lovely in smaller portions for a first course.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        As a plus, because almost everything goes into a processor, this would be a good dish to serve if you have toothless friends or family coming for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Toothless friends or family" ... oh dear ... ;>
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, you worked on this, spent some time. Do you think it would be successful as 2 sauces just served with UNprocessed cooked fish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Absolutely! I have both sauces left over, am eager to try them on grilled fresh fish, especially the tomato. The spinach stuffing would be great just rolled up in a fillet, also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. chicken tagine with sweet potatoes and prunes pg. 212

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wish someone else would weigh in on this dish, 'cause I'm ambivalent. Anyway, one starts by cooking 2 sliced onions in a tagine or dutch oven. (In case you don't read the recipe too carefully, this takes 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, you brown your chicken parts in another pan. Then you add to the onions some saffron, cinnamon, a point of star anise, honey, a bit of cayenne and a bay leaf. In go the prunes, a cup of chicken stock and some water. The chicken gets added and then its topped with cubed sweet potatoes. Your vessel gets covered and simmers away for 45 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now I thought this would be almost fool-proof. Silly me. I knew I didn't have saffron so subbed a bit of turmeric. No big deal. Skipped the star anise. Then mother Hubbard went to her cupboard to get her poor dish some prunes. When she got there the cupboard wasn't bare......but the dang prunes I thought I had leftover from Christmas (perfect, I can use them up!) were alas, apricots. Still, not too big a deal, Dorie uses those in a tagine with lamb. Then, after the 45 minutes of cooking time, the sweet potatoes were decidedly not done. Ugh oh, the timing of dinner, so carefully mapped out on the back of an envelope was shot to h--l. After 15 more minutes in which I had turned up the heat, the potatoes still weren't done and the chicken was a bit over-cooked. So that got removed and the potatoes went on for another 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This dish seemed so promising, but it was just too sweet and rich for my taste. Mr. Clam likes neither couscous nor rice, so I served it with Dorie's Onion Biscuits, sans the onions. I really should have made rice....this dish needed it to counteract the richnes. I'm sure this would be delicious in a multi-dish setting with off-setting flavors, but as a one-dish meal: Fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: clamscasino

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Clams, there is a review on the previous thread (not COTM) - here is the link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Chicken Basquaise, p. 210

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You start by making a piperade by sauteeing onions, red and green bell peppers, hot pepper, tomatoes and garlic, seasoned with thyme, bay and piment d'espelette. I made a few substitutions. First, I used frozen tomatoes and peppers. (I had several bags of frozen tomatoes and peppers from my winter CSA, which consists of veggies and fruits that are frozen when harvested during the summer and then delivered monthly in winter). Second, I did not have piment d'espellete, so used good quality italian red pepper flakes. Also, I didn't have hot peppers so added extra pepper flakes to increase the spice level. I had to adjust the cooking times somewhat to account for the fact that my veggies were frozen, but ultimately I don't think the outcome was much affected by my substitutions. There was quite a lot of liquid, but I cooked some of it down (and would have cooked it down further if it weren't for Dorie's warning to expect "a fair amount of liquid in the pot.") The CSA peppers and tomatoes, though frozen, were much tastier than anything I could get at the store this time of year, and overall, we liked the piperade part of this dish. (By the way, the recipe yields a huge amount of piperade - much more than is necessary for the chicken. I froze about half of it for another use. I think a half recipe would be more than sufficient for most people's needs, but I went ahead and made the full recipe in order to use all my peppers.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Once you have your piperade ready, you brown chicken parts and remove them from the pan. Discard the oil, deglaze with white wine, reduce the wine, add the chicken back in along with the piperade and simmer gently until the chicken is done. I was expecting something like a fricasee, but in reality this is more like a chicken stew, with a lot of liquid in the pot. Like most of the recipes I've tried from this book, we found it perfectly serviceable but we didn't love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used a whole cut up chicken, but I'm not crazy about the texture of stewed chicken skin. So if I revisit the recipe with the other half of the piperade, I will probably use bone-in thighs, but remove the skin. The piperade would also be good with eggs (as in the bonne idee), and I think it would be quite good as the basis for a fish stew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just an update to add that I fed some of the leftover stew and rice (short grain brown) to my 10 month old and he absolutely loved it! I felt better about this dish since he was so happy with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's great to hear Westminstress! Like you, we've had some dishes in this book that were good and nourishing but just not remarkable. Thankfully we've had some real hits as well. I'm glad this one was able to get some rave reviews today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Olive-olive Cornish Hens p. 225

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Winner, winner, cornish hen dinner! Wow, this was good and with the added attraction of about a 5 minute prep time, this is going right into the rotation. Cut the backbone out of your hen(s) (poultry shears make this very easy, one of my favorite pieces of special equipment), smoosh down on breast bone to flatten, loosen the skin and smear tapenade under it all over, put hen on broiler pan, brush skin with olive oil and squeeze lemon juice over and put in 500 oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Out it comes, crispy-skinned, juicy-fleshed and amazingly delicious. I added some grated lemon zest to the tapenade, as DG suggests in a different recipe (tapenade batons, IIRC,) and a tiny bit of olive oil to loosen. Would do that again and would also double up on the tapenade. Also I omitted the S&P she called for since tapenade is so salty and was glad I had. Special bonus is incredible juices in the bottom of the broiler pan which I did not discover till I was cleaning up, at which point they became chef's treat. ;) Served with the celery root puree I reviewed two weeks ago (great again) and sauted Swiss chard, this was another discreet-finger-wiping-of-plate dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Skate with Capers, Cornichons, and Brown Butter Sauce, p. 291

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Made this the other night for a family meal when my weekly "Cape Cod Fish Share" (sustainable, line-caught fish) turned out to be skate wings. I had never cooked skate before, but this recipe looked good when I consulted the oracle at EYB (thanks again to that indispensable resource!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, the skate wings (I only cooked two; the recipe calls for four, but I made the full recipe of sauce) are floured and then sautéed in 2 TBS of butter for about 3 minutes per side, or until browned and "opaque all the way through." They are then held in a 200 F oven to keep warm while the following sauce is made in the pan (which has been wiped out with a paper towel.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sauce:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cook 6 TBS of butter until it turns a light brown, then add 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 1 TBS grainy French mustard, 12 rinsed and thinly sliced cornichons, and 1 1/2 TBS rinsed capers. Pour over skate and serve!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                We liked this a lot, kids and adults. The sauce was not shy-- definitely piquant, but not overwhelmingly so. All that browned butter mellowed the vinegar-mustard-cornichon combo. And the skate itself was a nice surprise, with a delicate flavor and tender texture, yet still firm enough to stand up to this tangy sauce. It goes together very quickly if you've sliced the cornichons ahead. We served it with a simple rice pilaf, good bread, and thick asparagus spears, roasted in EVOO with sliced shitake mushroom-tops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interestingly, skate has a somewhat ambiguous reputation as sometimes having an ammoniacal smell. (Mine did not, probably because it was so fresh, caught that morning.) Chowhounders are advised in a couple of threads always to smell the skate first at the fishmongers. But this is actually a good idea with any fresh fish! Anyhow, I'll cook skate again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I absolutely love skate, and buy it whenever I can find it fresh. Glad you had such a good experience with it. Making my mouth water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Pan Seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats, pg. 232

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was rather nice, and although there are a few different steps to the recipe, much can be done well ahead, so it would make a nice choice for guests or a special weeknight meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  First the candied kumquats; wash, slice and seed the kumquats (this was easier and faster than I thought it would be), add them to a simmering mixture of water and sugar. Simmer 10 minutes set aside. A little quibble with this because a- it yields way more syrup than one needs for the dish (suggestions on what to do with extra kumquat syrup welcome) and b- it isn't as intensely orange-y as I'd like. If I were making it again I'd try using the same amount of kumquats, but reduce the sugar and water by half.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then the base of the sauce, red wine, balsamic vinegar, shallots, peppercorns, coriander, boil and reduce, add orange juice, cook 5 minutes, add stock, reduce again, strain and set aside. None of this took all that long, but it can all be done ahead if one would like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Prep the duck breasts by scoring the skin and seasoning with salt & pepper.Then pan sear. Like Gretchen S above I opted to try the cold pan technique, rather than DG's hot pan technique, and although it worked well, my temp control wasn't perfect, and my duck was ready to flip before all of the fat had rendered, still pretty close and with one more try I think I could nail it. Anyway, remove the duck breasts to a warm oven, extract all but a 1TBS of the fat from the pan--I left even less in the pan--add back the sauce base, bring to a boil, add in some kumquat syrup, and any juices that have collected around the resting duck, Gently warm the duck in the pan (not quite sure this is necessary). Slice and serve with sauce and extra kumquat slices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  One note, the recipe as written makes a fairly loose sauce. Initially I served it as is, but there was plenty left in the pan and I reduced that while were eating, and the results were also very good. It is a toss up which tasted better, but the thicker sauce would definitely be easier to plate if presentation is important.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I might just make myself a gin-less one of those right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was thinking along the same lines - add the kumquat syrup to a drink. With gin and soda, maybe with bourbon (I was so happily surprised by how well the ginger syrup went with it in E. Lee month), with tequila and lime juice. i'd be all over that syrup.