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Cooking from Radically Simple by Rozanne Gold

Since I was very sad that this didn't make COTM this month and there seemed to be a lot of interest I thought I would start a post for those who would like to cook from it and share their experience.

I have had this book for a while but pulled it out recently to start actually cooking from it. I have two recipes ear marked for this week.

I don't have the book handy right now for the exact names but one is a pork chop and apple recipe with Madeira and the other is an asparagus recipe w/bay leaves and fried capers. I'll be sure to report back after I make them.

Happy cooking!

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  1. Is it possible to post the table of contents or the title to some of the recipes of this book?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Hank Hanover

      I think I found the table of contents or something close from a review.

      Brunch - which has a great variety of recipes from drinks to a number of beautiful egg dishes, frittata's and a great recipe for Smoked Salmon, Basil and Lemon Quesadillas - with many others.

      10 minute salads - a number of great recipes here as well, running the gamut from Spiced Salmon on a Moroccan salad to Watermelon Salad with Feta and Black olives. There are a number of salad dressings as well.

      Soups - everything from 5 minute soups to broths, Tortellini in Pesto Broth, Carrot Soup with Ginger and Crispy Carrot Tops, and accompaniments as well, like biscuits, muffins and crackers.

      Pasta - also a number of recipes, many are 10 and 20 minutes, like Fettuccini with Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraiche and Lemon, Gemelli with Sausage, Leeks and barely wilted Snow Peas and Warm Sesame Noodles with Ginger and Snow Peas.

      Fish - at least 30 recipes here from 3-minute Wasabi Salmon to Green Curry Swordfish with Shitakes and Basil and Crunchy Crumbed Cod with Frozen Peas.

      Poultry - I loved this section as it groups the recipes by part: Chicken breasts, chicken thighs, cut-up chicken parts, whole chicken and turkey and has a great variety from Asian Chicken with Scallions to 'Radically Simple Chicken Parmesan'.

      Meat - includes recipes using beef, lamb, pork and veal from cuts to some very interesting roast recipes like Pot Roast with Burnt Onions & Kimchee and Pork Loin in Cream with Tomatoes, Sage & Gin.

      Vegetables - include two sections. The first is 10-20 minutes and includes recipes such as, Spinach, Ricotta and Basil Puree, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Medjool Date and Carrot Nib Orzo and another section called Slow & Easy with Creamy Potato Gratin, Sweet Potato Puree with Fresh Ginger and Orange and many more.

      Desserts - with some incredible recipes, also broken into section of: 10 minute Desserts, Tarts & Cakes, Cooked Fruit Desserts, Custards, Cooks & More and Sorbets & Ice Creams.

      1. re: Hank Hanover

        Grilled Veal Chops with Prosciutto and Basil-Lemon Oil - p. 232

        This is another incredibly quick, but elegant meal. You make basil-lemon oil after blanching the basil and pureeing it with oil, lemon zest, garlic, and water. The veal chops are seared in a skillet and then finished in the oven. Arugula is placed on plates, drizzled with basil oil, topped with chops, drizzled with more oil, and draped with prosciutto.

      2. re: Hank Hanover

        You can see all the recipe listings if you go to EYB. Try this:
        Don't take your impression from the juice recipes at the top, keep scrolling down.

        I voted for Radically Simple also. My library copy had to go back, but I've ordered my own. I'll be happy to participate when the book arrives.

        1. re: L.Nightshade

          I found a few of her recipes on her website: http://www.rozannegold.com/recipeinde...

          Don't know whether it's in this book or not but I plan to make her "Chocolate Obsession" recipe. It is a flourless cake. It's basically a ganache folded into whipped eggs and baked.

      3. Tomorrow I'm going shopping for the Chilean Sea Bass with Pesto. I have all the pesto ingredients at home, so it's mostly just the fish I need to buy.

        1. This sea bass/pesto/pistachio dish was delightful. I want to try it with red snapper.

          But I'm writing because two of my Book of the Month clubs are offering a "4 books for $40" sale this weekend, so I was able to get a copy of RADICALLY SIMPLE for $11.26, incl. shipping and tax (I'm in PA, and so are they).


          P.S. The flourless chocolate cake Hank mentioned IS in the cookbook, or something very similar, at least (I don't have the book in front of me now).

          1. Pasta with Radishes, Bacon, and Greens, page 123

            It is rare that I get such out and out raves for something that took only a few minutes to prepare. Put the pasta on to boil (I used fettucini instead of the perciatelli or spaghetti listed in the recipe), saute up some chopped bacon, add sliced radishes and their greens, a dash of olive oil, add all to the pasta and grate some pecorino romano. Absolutely splendid!

            Because the dish is simple, the quality of ingredients is crucial. I had lovely radishes in my CSA box, I used a combination of French breakfast and red. The FBs had a fair amount of bite, the reds were sweeter, they combined well. I used a locally-made pepper bacon, and a decent Pecorino.

            One thing I really like about this cookbook is that it has some tasty looking recipes that can be thrown together using a few common ingredients. In deciding what to cook last night, I narrowed it down to several pasta recipes, all of which I could put together without going to the store. Handy in busy times.

            24 Replies
            1. re: L.Nightshade

              That looks and sounds incredible. Maybe we can get a groundswell for July CORM. Either way, this discussion has convinced me to buy the book.

              1. re: LulusMom

                This was indeed a wonderful dish. I'm hoping for more radishes in my next CSA box, so I can make it again. I'd definitely be on board for making this book a COTM in July!

              2. re: L.Nightshade

                Quick question - it seems as if the pasta dishes are appetizer size (or certainly not the size our family is used to). She often calls for 8 oz. of pasta to feed 4 people. I figured I'd just double everything. What did you do about that when you made this pasta? And did you double everything, or just the pasta?

                1. re: LulusMom

                  8 oz. of pasta works for the three of us (and usually have enough for a lunch serving the next day). Always serve with a salad, or some other vegetable side.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Yeah, 8 oz. won't work for us, unfortunately. My husband always wants some leftovers, Lulu wants some leftovers, I'm lucky if I get any. And yes, I serve a salad too.

                  2. re: LulusMom

                    As I recall, I made the pasta dishes with the amounts specified in the recipe. (I've made a couple more that I haven't posted yet.) I do serve it with a substantial salad. It seems to feed two of us (second helpings for Mr. Nightshade), with a bit left over for a lunch. If you were to double the pasta, I would suggest doubling everything, as the proportions seemed exactly right.

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      Thanks LN. We are 3, one a very hungry man, one a very hungry 5 year old, and all of us liking leftovers if available. I will def. just double everything.

                  3. re: L.Nightshade

                    Based on LN's review, I tried this tonight for dinner. Pretty risky - husband's last dinner before going out of town for a week, and not sure Lulu and husband were going to go for radishes. Well, not to worry. It was a hit. I used a full 16 oz. of fettucine (like LN) - I noted that RG's 6oz was for 2 people, and we like having leftovers. So I almost tripled the other ingredients to make up for it. I especially love the greens with the (turkey) bacon - really nice combo. And lots of pepper (as recommended) brings out the flavor of the radishes. I think my husband was especially thrilled with this, but we all really liked it. Thank you for bringing this to my attention LN - I totally would have overlooked it without your review.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Oh, I'm so glad you liked this! I probably never would have tried it had it not been for an abundance of radishes. Mr. NS still refers to this dish with a longing look in his eyes.
                      I think I was channeling this recipe while cooking a pasta dish the other night, an attempt to use some of our CSA bounty. No radishes or greens, but started with some bacon, added turnips and snap peas. This is the "inspired by" dish, if you are interested:

                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                        We did like it - thank you so much for pointing it out. I think the greens mixed with the bacony flavor were my favorite part, and agree that it is definitely a recipe you can play around with. Your turnip idea is brilliant.

                      2. re: LulusMom

                        Sorry Lulusmom, I posted my question in a non-related thread ... Oops.
                        Would love to know where to get turkey bacon - as I'm drastically reducing pork and such from my diet.

                        1. re: Blythe spirit

                          Hi Blythe S. (great moniker, by the way). I can't tell from your posting history or profile where you live, but I find turkey bacon very easily in the regular grocery store (even here in pork-addicted North Carolina). But certainly you can find it at specialty stores, and duck bacon at D'artagnan's online site. If you're in the USA it really shouldn't be a problem; just ask your local market if they can get it for you. Good luck!

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Thanks Lulusmom!
                            I'm in SF bay area and did not see it at Whole Foods ( the only place I thought it might be ) last time I went. Since it's not hard to find, perhaps I should just check my regular local market. Will post on the RS thread soon :-)

                            1. re: Blythe spirit

                              I'm surprised that a Bay area WFs doesn't have turkey bacon! Do check your regular grocery - mine carries 2-3 different brands. Good luck!

                            2. re: LulusMom

                              Trader Joe's usually has it too...of course I have only noticed this as I reach for the pork version, so can't speak for taste/quality :)

                              1. re: mebby

                                Thanks Mebby
                                I know what you mean. Bacon is kind of like Chocolate - hard to imagine an adequate substitute.
                                I'm going to TJ tomorrow - so maybe they'll have it :-)

                                1. re: Blythe spirit

                                  Pasta, radishes and greens, page 123
                                  This was one of the best recipes I've tried in a long time. As one who has not willingly eaten a radish in years ( they always seemed unpleasantly hot and bitter ) I was stunned by how they were transformed by just a few minutes in a skillet. Probably my favorite part was the greens. I used half regular bacon and half turkey bacon ( which was indeed hiding in my regular market - thanks Lulusmom). The turkey bacon was not bad... but it was not exactly my favorite. This seemed to be a textural issue and if turkey bacon gets another opportunity to be featured in this dish, much smaller pieces would probably work better.
                                  This recipe was indeed 'radically simple'..and very beautiful as well! As LNightshade said, this recipe produces delicious results with very little prep work/ cooking time.

                                  1. re: Blythe spirit

                                    It is a really surprising recipe isn't it? Sorry about the texture issues with the turkey bacon. It has been so long since I had the real stuff (30 years?) that I honestly can't compare them.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      I'm so glad you and L.Nightshade reviewed this recipe - it's one of the recipes I'd never have tried otherwise! And I'm glad I at least I tried the turkey bacon. I'm learning I actually like lots of healthier options (the soy chorizo you recommended I like better than the real thing). The turkey bacon was just too chewy or something - so perhaps smaller pieces would make the chewiness less noticeable.

                                      1. re: Blythe spirit

                                        No question about it. When I cook it for something like this, I cut the turkey into fairly thin (maybe 1/3 of an inch) slices. I do, however, leave them whole for making BLTs.

                                        I think L Nightshade deserves the credit for this one. I, too, would have passed it over without her report. There are some real winners in this book that are easy to overlook.

                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                          What a wonderful way to use a bunch of radishes! I cut the recipe in half and only had one bunch of radishes so didn't have quite as many radish greens as the recipe called for, but thought it was very tasty. I would have never imagined that radishes and greens sauteed in bacon could be so tasty. This is something I never would have tried if I had not seen the reviews here.

                          1. re: stockholm28

                            Funny that this should pop up today. I bought some multi-colored and breakfast radishes at the Farmer's market yesterday and murmured "surely there is some way I can use this greens" as I tossed them into the compost heap.

                            Are the greens very bitter? Can you compare them to other greens? Too late this week, but I will be eating lots of radishes as long as they are in season.

                            1. re: smtucker

                              I tasted the radish greens raw and did not really care for them. They are bitter with some of the radish pepperiness, but the leaves I had were kind of tough and I didn't like the mouth feel of the raw leaves. However, I really liked them sauteed in combination with the bacon and pecorino and readishes. They cooked down to nothing. This was a super easy dish.

                              1. re: smtucker

                                It is funny this just popped up again. I made this dish just the other night, using orecchiette. I love how the round pasta looks with the radish discs.

                                The taste and texture of raw radish leaves is nothing like how they are in the finished dish, as stockholm indicates. They are indeed rather tough, and slightly thick. But they cook down wonderfully, like other somewhat bitter greens. I actually don't really like radishes, but love them cooked this way. So, to my mind, both the root and the leaf are infinitely better sautéed with bacon!

                          2. More cooking from Radically Simple%3

                            Grapefruit, Date, and Arugula Salad with Parmesan Shards, page 57, and

                            Pasta with Sausage, Leeks, and Barely Wilted Spinach, page 132.

                            This recipes combines flavors for a refreshing, interesting salad. Over a bed of arugula tossed with olive oil, place grapefruit zest and sections, quartered dates, and shaves of parmesan. Grind a little pepper on top. Slightly bitter greens, tart grapefruit, sweet dates, and salty parmesan work so nicely together.

                            For the pasta, gemelli is listed, I used torchiette. While the pasta cooks, chopped leeks are cooked in oil, then crumbled sausage is added. When the sausage is done, cream is added as is slivered chili pepper. Scotch bonnet is called for, but I only had serranos and jalapenos, so I added some of each. The cream is thickened, then the pasta and baby spinach are added with a bit of the pasta water, and stirred until the spinach is just wilted. My one word of caution with this would be to cook the pasta to be underdone, as it continues to cook with the spinach and sauce. I cooked the leeks only lightly, and I enjoyed the slightly crunchy counterpart to the pasta. This dish doesn't end up with a thick cream sauce, just a nice coat and mouth feel around the ingredients. This was not an unusual or knock-the-socks-off dish, but it was easy and tasty. I'd do it again.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                              The pasta looks delicious. My own copy of RADICALLY SIMPLE came in the mail yesterday, so I will probably make this.

                              1. re: Jay F

                                Oh good, I'm glad you are on board here. Our favorite thus far was the pasta with radishes (and I don't particularly like radishes!), but there are so many recipes in this book that look wonderful. I think she has a great sense for combining flavors.

                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  Someday soon, probably when someone has a birthday, and I can just forget about diabetes and migraines, I'm going to make the chocolate cake and eat a piece.

                                  1. re: Jay F

                                    you are not by yourself. you might try agave as a sweetner, melt your own unsweetened chocholate. yes, your blood sugar will rise a little, but it is delicious and your blood sugar will not go through the ceiling like it will with white sugar.

                                2. re: Jay F

                                  Thanks Jay! Hope you enjoy cooking from it.


                                  1. re: rozannegold

                                    Well, look at you, all chowin' down, Rozanne. Welcome to our world.

                                    I love, love, love all the fish recipes. It's my favorite food. And I still have to try the chocolate cake.

                                    1. re: rozannegold


                                      It must be a real thrill to write a book and then see people discussing it. Well, as long as the discussion was positive... probably the opposite, if it wasn't positive.

                                      I'm sure you have a bio, somewhere, but I haven't read it. Can you tell us something about yourself?

                                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                                    I don't know where the %3 came from, just to let you know it is of no significance. Oddly enough, I had taken a screen shot of this to tell someone about reviewing recipes on Chowhound, and it was not in my original post!

                                    1. Pork Loin in Cream with Tomatoes, Sage, and Gin, page 219.

                                      I'm really enjoying cooking from Radically Simple, everything is doable even on a workday, and there hasn't been a disappointment yet.

                                      For this dish, pork loin is marinated in a blend of fresh sage, garlic, and oil (oregano too, but I somehow completely forgot to add this). It is then browned on the stovetop. Grape tomatoes are added to the pot and cooked briefly. Small amounts of cream and gin are added and the pot is popped into the oven to roast. A little more cream, sage, and gin are added after 40 minutes. The recipe specifies cooking at 425, which we found a bit too hot. We turned it down to 400, but not soon enough, as the liquid at the bottom of the pan was very burnt. (The pork, however, was perfectly cooked.) So when the time came to remove the pork and reduce the sauce, I ladled it into another pan and added a touch more gin and cream (to compensate for the burnt losses) before reducing.

                                      We thought this was an excellent way to cook pork. Very nice, and interesting, flavors. Although the alcohol had burned off, the juniper flavor of the gin was very predominant. Mr. Nightshade said he couldn't give it five stars, because he couldn't keep giving everything five stars, so maybe 4.5. To complete the main course, I served this with a beer risotto from Seductions of Rice.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                        Just noticed that my photo of the whole roast didn't get posted, so here it is.

                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                          Made this for dinner tonight, using a pork tenderloin for the two of us. Used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup gin, throwing it all in after the tomatoes had been cooking a minute or so. Into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let the meat rest while the juices reduced.

                                          This was delicious, but really only enough sauce for 2 to 3 people. Will definitely make this again, probably for company.

                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                            LN and Pikawicca, how do you think this dish would turn out using a turkey loin (or whatever it is they call the cut of meat that is very similar in shape to this from a turkey)?

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              LLM, not addressed to me, but I think if you were very careful not to overcook the turkey it would be wonderful!!

                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                Thanks Gretchen. I have absolutely zero experience cooking pork, so I'm not really sure how different the timing/temps should be, but I'll do a little research on it. I bet someone has done subs and has a chart or something.

                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                  Yeah, but you have LOADS of experience cooking turkey!!

                                              2. re: LulusMom

                                                Pork is so lean these days, it's like the new turkey. Use a probe thermometer, and I think you'll be just fine.

                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                  Agree with pikawicca here. Just a matter of cooking time and temperatures. But the flavors? Turkey and sage? With the juniper flavor in the gin? I'm sure it will be great! Please let us know if you try it.

                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                    Thanks again to you both. And I agree - it seems like the flavors would go great with turkey, and it would be a very different kind of meal than we usually have around here. If I make it I will let you know.

                                            2. Bombay Turkey Sliders with Hurry-Curry Sauce, p. 204

                                              These are basically ground turkey burgers with interesting flavors (cilantro, scallions, cumin, chil powder, ginger) topped with a curry-flavored mayonnaise sauce (mayo, curry powder, ketchup, yogurt, garlic). It was delicious. I cut the recipe down and made just 2 large burgers which we ate sans buns. I'm not a cilantro fan, so I subbed other herbs, but I'm sure the cilantro would be great if that's your pleasure. The burger alone was tasty but the sauce really elevated it. I'd make it again.

                                              "Chipped Beets" & Beet Greens, p. 256
                                              Beets and garlic are 'chipped' (coarsely chopped) in the food processor, then sauteed by themselves for 5 min, with greens & stems added for another 5 min, with orange juice, balsamic, and water for another 5 min, covered and steamed for the last 5 min, then finally sprinkled with feta to serve.

                                              It was pleasant but seemed a bit underflavored, other than the feta. I would boost the garlic, oj, and balsamic if I made it again. Made a fine side dish for the very flavorful turkey burgers.

                                              One problem with the recipe as written is that she calls for cooking the recipe entirely on high heat. Even with my good, heavy pan, I couldn't keep it on high without it starting to burn. Maybe this technique was supposed to replicate the caramelization of roasting the beets in the oven, but with chopped garlic involved it just started burning too easily.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                "Chipped Beets" & Beet Greens, p. 256.

                                                Made this because I had a lovely organic bunch of beets and I'm glad I did. I like having a recipe that uses the entire bunch, too. Karen helpfully summarizes the ingredients and method above. She also warns against using high heat and advises increasing the flavoring. Right on both counts! Thanks to her, I doubled the other flavoring ingredients (except for the 3-oz. of feta) and reduced the heat and was pleased with the results. The chopped greens and beets become very tender and turn a lovely deep red and the finished dish served six easily. Easy, casual, and flavorful. Next time I might sprinkle some toasted pine nuts over all to give some "crunch."

                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                  I brought my CSA box home last night and took out a bunch of radishes. I was all set to make some sort of roasted radish dish tonight when I discovered they were actually smallish golden beets. I guessed they were about half the size called for in the Chipped Beet & Beet greens recipe so cut down on the other ingredients by maybe a 1/4(but used 2 garlic cloves). I also took Karen's heat warning into consideration and it turned out awesome! I guess visually it was different as I didn't use red beets but it didn't matter.

                                                  1. re: Goblin

                                                    "Chipped Beets" & Beet Greens, p. 256

                                                    Made this today and it was OK but boring dish. I followed the recipe as written but had to reduce the heat to prevent burning. Even my grandboy who will eat roasted or even boiled beets as is was not keen on it. Won't be making it again.

                                                2. Rozanne Gold had another post in this thread, and it was deleted, as was my response. I think because both posts referenced her blog. I'm unclear about the rules on that, but evidently they were broken.

                                                  I'm going to try again, just to thank Rozanne for checking in on this thread, and to say how much I'm enjoying Radically Simple. I've had great success with the recipes I've tried so far, the dishes are flavorful, interesting, attractive, and very doable within a busy schedule. I look forward to trying the many additional recipes that I've bookmarked. Cheers!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                    Thank you! I guess I shouldn't have mentioned my blog. I wanted you to know about it because I have many recipes posted there throughout the week. I am always thrilled when I come across online communities discussing my work. Really glad you are enjoying cooking from Radically Simple!!

                                                  2. Pistachio-Coconut Rice, p. 274

                                                    (Her ingredients, my cooking method.)

                                                    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
                                                    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
                                                    1 cup basmati rice
                                                    1 cup light coconut milk
                                                    1/2 teaspoon salt (my addition)

                                                    Saute the rice and curry powder in the butter for 2 minutes, stirring. Add coconut milk and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then bake, tightly covered, at 350 degrees until done, about 20 minutes. Stir in pistachios.

                                                    Served with salmon teriyaki. It was delicious, and I'm certain I'll be making it on a regular basis.
                                                    1/3 cup toasted pistachios, finely chopped

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                      That does sound good. And here you are, cooking from Radically Simple, and sticking with the rice seductions theme!

                                                    2. Radically Simple has a couple nominations right now for Cookbook of the Month. In case anyone is not aware, the nomination thread is here:

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        If this is already a thread for cooking from the book "Radically Simple", why do another one and limit it to July?
                                                        Am I missing something about the process for Cookbook of the Month?

                                                        1. re: BangorDin

                                                          Cookbook of the Month doesn't mean it's limited to July. A lot of people still post to the old COTM threads. I think what it does is get a focus going on one book for a month, and get a lot more people on board to cook from it. The book is often divided into subject areas, each with its own thread. So you can select what area you want to browse without reading through a thread with hundreds of posts.

                                                      2. Oven-Steamed Halibut with Carrots, Lemon & Thyme, p. 155

                                                        This is a very strange recipe, but it works. (Note that you cook it, chill it, and serve it cold.) Halibut steaks, cherry tomatoes, fennel, carrot, lemon and thyme are bundled up in foil and steamed at 450. Recipe says for 12 minutes, but I used a probe thermometer set to 138 degrees, and it took 22 minutes to come up to temp.

                                                        While the fish is cooking, you process olive oil (I used really good stuff), garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. When the fish comes out of the oven, carefully open the packet, add the garlic oil, reseal and let sit at room temp 1 hour. Then chill. Recipe says overnight, but I did this early in the morning.

                                                        This is a great summer dish for entertaining -- delicious and very pretty on the plate. I think the recipe lends itself to many interpretations. Next time, I think I'll go Thai with fish sauce, lime juice/zest, and cilantro, maybe some crushed peanuts sprinkled on top before serving.

                                                        1. Pork Chops & Apples, Madeira-Bay Butter Sauce, p. 214

                                                          This was scrumptious! Didn't have chops, so used thickly sliced tenderloin. You broil the pork and apple slices, then top with a sauce made of a Madeira/chicken stock reduction, infused with bay leaves and finished with a swirl of butter. Garnish with chopped tarragon and voila -- a quick and easy, elegant weeknight dinner.

                                                          1. Fettuccine with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche & Lemon, p.110

                                                            8 oz fresh fettuccine
                                                            4 oz smoked salmon, thinly sliced
                                                            8 oz creme fraiche
                                                            6 T Parm
                                                            1/4 c finely chopped chives
                                                            Grated zest of 1 large lemon

                                                            I made a number of changes, based on what I had on hand and personal preferences, but the basic recipe was the backbone.

                                                            I used hot-smoked salmon, dried short pasta shape, added about 1 cup of blanched English peas and 1 caramelized white onion, Asparagus cut in 1 !/2-inch lengths and blanched would also be a nice addition.

                                                            We loved this. It was super simple to prepare, and a big return for very little effort. (I'd say that it feeds 3 and not 4, however.)

                                                            1. I got sidetracked by my last RADICALLY SIMPLE meal, scallops w/puree des petits pois, and have been making other simple scallop dishes, and last night and tonight, moules marinieres. I have arthritis, so debearding the moules is painful now (*radically* painful, even) in the area between the thumb and the wrist.

                                                              Long story short, I look forward to making something RADICALLY SIMPLE on Sunday. I think I'm going to start with a look in the salad section.

                                                              Of all the cookbooks I bought this year (~10), this is the only one I'm actually using.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                Look for farmed mussels -- no beards.

                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                  Thanks, pika -

                                                                  These were from Prince Edward Island, and only some had beards. But it was enough...arrgh.

                                                                2. re: Jay F

                                                                  The farmed mussels I've bought still had beards. But I noticed that when I called ahead to the fishmonger and ordered the amount I wanted, they cleaned then for me. If you have a kind-hearted fishmonger you might explain your plight.
                                                                  I agree with you about Radically Simple, it is absolutely my current go-to book.

                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                    Based on this thread, I went ahead and ordered it from amazon sight unseen.

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                      I hope you'll be as enamored of it as I have been. I think it's a standout for great tastes without big time investments. I'm eyeing the Smoked and fresh salmon en chemise for tomorrow's dinner. Let us know what you think about the book when you get it!

                                                                3. Smoked and Fresh Salmon en Chemise, page 143.

                                                                  Fresh salmon fillets are swaddled in a thin layer of smoked salmon, and quickly roasted. Then they are plated atop a room temperature sauce of blended tomatillos, basil, oil, cilantro, onion, lime juice and salt. Pea shoots are scatted on the salmon.

                                                                  I liked this dish quite a bit. The salmon "chemise" infused the fillet with its smoky taste. While I wouldn't want a full serving fillet of smoked salmon, I liked that the fillet took on the smoky flavor. The sauce was a good counterpoint to the salmon, bright, green flavors. The pea shoots atop the salmon was a frivolous addition, curly and cute. Fun to eat, but didn't really add that much to the total flavors of the dish. Love those little preemie pea pods though.

                                                                  I will admit that Mr. Nightshade thought this dish was just OK. He says it's the first Radically Simple dish he's been ho-hum about. But he wants that green sauce on seared tuna, or maybe fish tacos.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                    Smoked and Fresh Salmon en Chemise, p. 143.

                                                                    I remembered L. Nightshade's review and finally made the recipe the other night! I don't have anything to add to Ms. Nightshade's excellent description of the recipe, except that in my case I had to truncate it quite a bit-- but it still turned out satisfactorily. Enrobing the salmon filets in smoked salmon is a really nice method that I will use again. The covered-up salmon says moist even at 475F and the smoked salmon does impart a very pleasant taste--almost as if it had been grilled on a cedar plank. In fact, the 5-year-old said it was the best salmon he'd ever had and asked for seconds.

                                                                    What I didn't do was make all the wonderful "fixin's" with the sauce. I couldn't find tomatillos at the market to save my life, and ended up going home with some lovely wild salmon filets, Scottish smoked salmon, and that's it. I just roasted the seasoned salmon filets in their little chemises and then served them with a sauce that Mario Batali taught me about in Molto Gusto, p. 35: 6 TBS creme fraiche, mixed with 1/4 cup Evoo and 2-3 TBS chopped fresh chives. The suave nutty flavor of the creme fraiche seemed to complement the smoky flavor of the filets. (Lox and cream cheese come to mind!)

                                                                    Besides missing the bright green flavors of the sauce in not following the recipe exactly, my dish lacked the pretty contrast of the red salmon atop the green sauce (see L. Nightshade's photo above.) Next time I'll serve the filets on top of something green like Mesclun mix, or perhaps a few butter lettuce leaves.

                                                                  2. I'm another one who voted for Radically Simple so I'm very glad to find this thread! Last night I made a somewhat eclectic anniversary dinner menu featuring five recipes from the book. I'll review each in separate posts.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                      Looking forward to hearing about what you made and how it turned out. I have this sitting next to my bed, but between solo parenting (husband away) and a bad sinus infection, I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. Hopefully today.

                                                                    2. SAUTEED COD WITH CHORIZO, ORANGE & WILD ARUGULA, SHERRY VINAIGRETTE, p. 148.

                                                                      I've suddenly developed a passion for chorizo so I knew this recipe had possibilities and I was not disappointed. The title summarizes the ingredients, and the preparation goes together quickly: oranges are peeled, pithed, and segmented; chorizo is quickly sauteed until just crispy. A vinaigrette of 6 TBs of olive oil and 1 TB of the sherry vinegar (plus S & P) is whisked together. The greens are tossed with this dressing and then heaped on separate dinner plates and topped with the oranges, chorizo, and any pan drippings. Cod fillets are sauteed just until firm, then 1 TB of sherry vinegar and 2 TBs of the oranges' juices are briefly reduced in the pan with them, after which the fillets are placed on top of the greens and the pan juices are drizzled over everything.

                                                                      Very savory and fresh tasting. I did not have "wild arugula" but used only fresh-picked mesclun greens and they wilted slightly under the other hot ingredients and were very tasty--arugula would probably be even more delicious. The recipe specifies using two oranges (I used naval oranges) and I felt this produced an over-preponderance of orange segments. I only used about half of them but you could use them all if you especially like the contrast of a lot of orange-segments in the dish. The recipe specifies only two TB of sherry vinegar for the whole recipe but it adds such a nicely piquant flavor that next time I might add a bit more to the pan juices.

                                                                      Anyway, this was a very good way to "perk up" some nice fillets of cod, and was quite attractive on the plate. The kids at my dinner table liked it (sans the wilted greens) and the adults wiped up everything they were given!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Goblin

                                                                        Did you use Spanish chorizo or Mexican chorizo? Does the recipe specify?

                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                          Finally got a chance to look at the book this morning and am really impressed. Marked lots of things I'd like to try, so need to reread this thread and see what others have tried that is on my list.

                                                                          She mentions Spanish chorizo in that particular recipe.

                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                            Thank you. I was actually looking at this book this morning before I left for work to see if there was anything that jump out at me and said "make me for dinner tonight".

                                                                            I remember looking at this recipe a while back when I first got the book and thinking that it sounded good. I couldn't remember which type of chorizo it was using certainly though Spanish was the better option.

                                                                          2. re: DiningDiva

                                                                            Diva, here's a quote from the intro to the recipe which answers your guestion:

                                                                            "The better the chorizo (dried Spanish sausage) the more earthy this becomes; but Goya chorizo, available in most supermarkets, will suffice."

                                                                            Having said that, I could only find the Portuguese version in my supermarket, called "chourico"--I bought a brand called "Gaspar." It looked thicker in diameter than the Spanish version in the accompanying photo, but to my uneducated palate, it tasted fine.

                                                                            1. re: Goblin

                                                                              And I'd end up using the vegetarian fake stuff from Trader Joes, and not minding at all. I think probably it depends on what your palate is used to.

                                                                        2. This appears to be an excellent book just by reading this thread. Seems like it would pair nicely with my CSA share this year! I'm going to have to pick it up so I can play along!

                                                                          1. A RECIPE FROM 1841: MACARONI & TOMATOES, p. 120.

                                                                            I confess to trying this recipe mostly because I wanted to see how the intriguingly simple method of cooking it worked but it also turned out to be very tasty, with a satisfyingly chewy texture. The ingredients are uncomplicated: 8 oz. dried ziti, 7 TBs EVOO or garlic oil, one 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes in puree, 1 TB fresh thyme leaves, and 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. I love Parmesan cheese so I used a heavy hand with it.

                                                                            Here's the interesting part, at least to me who hadn't heard of it before: you soak the dried ziti in the extra-virgin olive oil for twenty minutes or so (mine was more like half an hour) in the pan you intend to bake it in--Gold suggests a soufle dish which worked well and was deeper than a shallow pan. Process the tomatoes and their puree in a FP until almost smooth and mix this into the olive-oil and ziti mixture. You bake at 425 F until ziti is softened and slightly chewy, about 45 minutes (stirring 3 times) and when done, you stir in half the thyme and half the cheese. To serve, she suggests transferring the ziti and tomatoes into individual bowls, topping with the rest of the thyme and cheese. I ended up just sprinkling this remainder on top of the baking soufle dish and serving from there.

                                                                            Here's what surprised me: the texture was great and so was the flavor. No problems with managing a big pan of boiling water, draining the ziti, and making sure it wasn't overcooked. So easy that this may become my go-to baked ziti/tomato recipe. The pureed tomato mixture cooked down very nicely without getting at all dry. I did add a clove of minced garlic to the tomato-ziti mixture--Gold had also suggested using garlic oil, which I didn't have. I liked this addition.

                                                                            One caveat: Gold suggests adding 1/2 tsp. of salt along with the pureed tomato mixture before you bake it. I found that the tomato puree reduced enough to concentrate the sodium that was in my canned tomatoes--plus the cheese was salty too and I had used extra. My finished dish was on the verge of being too salty, so next time I will use only 1/4 tsp.

                                                                            What did people think? I served this with the Cod and Chorizo recipe on page 148, which made for a very hearty bunch of flavors, but it seemed to work because people ate it up. It could also be a main dish with a salad. The 8 ounces of pasta was more than enough for 4 adults and 2 kids as a side.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Goblin

                                                                              I think that sounds fantastic and I can hardly wait to try it!! Thanks for the detailed guidance.

                                                                            2. ROASTED SLICED CAULIFLOWER WITH CHEDDAR AND ROSEMARY, p. 262.

                                                                              Another fresh and flavorful take on a common ingredient, in this case the humble cauliflower--I'm beginning to realize that this is Rozanne Gold's hallmark. Here a medium head of cauliflower is cored, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices, then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Roast the slices at 475F for ten minutes; flip the slices and roast another ten minutes until tender and golden brown. Transfer to a platter and toss with 4 oz. grated extra-sharp cheddar, 2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary and 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives. I didn't "toss"--just sprinkled. Serves 4.

                                                                              With so few ingredients, the cheese really makes this; my suggestion is to use a quality cheddar--which can be from the supermarket (mine was Cabot's aged New York cheddar.) Also, don't stint on the herbs--I could have appreciated more rosemary flavor, but maybe it was because what I had growing was young and mild in flavor. Finally, don't cut out too much of the core of the cauliflower-head. You need to leave a lot of the core so that the slices stay together (mine fell apart into flowerets and I ended up not turning them at all, which actually tasted fine, but they weren't as attractive to serve.)

                                                                              People thought this had a nice savory, cheesy flavor ("not too cauliflower-y" said one person who usually won't eat it) and was a good side for the Cod and Chorizo, p. 148.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Goblin

                                                                                This one really caught my eye while looking at the book today. Glad to hear it was as good to eat as it sounded like it would be.

                                                                              2. POACHED ASPARAGUS WITH LEMON-MINT PANKO, P. 252.

                                                                                In this easy recipe, two pounds of thick fresh asparagus are first poached in a skillet of boiling water till just al dente, for about ten minutes, and then topped at serving time with a mixture of one cup of panko crumbs what have been sauteed in a mix of butter and olive oil till golden, with lemon zest and juice added to the panko and sauteed for 30 seconds, plus salt, pepper, and chopped fresh mint stirred in. One TB of butter is dotted over the hot asparagus before topping with the panko crumbs.

                                                                                For me, this was a rare example of a disappointing recipe from this book. I and my dinner guests felt that the panko mix was too "gritty" as a topping for the poached asparagus spears. The one TB of butter dotted over the hot asparagus didn't soften the panko-mixture enough. We agreed that we wanted a more sauce-y topping. Another option would be to use less panko--just a sprinkling. I'll be interested in hearing what other cooks think if they try this recipe.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                                                  That seems like way too much panko to me. I love to use panko as a topping for vegetables. My method is to put some panko into a small bowl and add just enough olive oil/butter to moisten thoroughly, then brown in a skillet. (I sometimes add grated Parm once the panko is browned and off the heat.) For 2 pounds of asparagus, I might use half a cup of panko.

                                                                                2. ORANGE FLOWER STRAWBERRIES & MINT SUGAR, p. 290.

                                                                                  A light and pretty perfectly Spring-y dessert, nice after a rich menu. Not many ingredients: very ripe strawberries are hulled and halved, macerated briefly with 1/2 tsp of orange flower water and one TB of granulated sugar. Five TBs of sugar are then processed in a FP with 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves. The strawberries are divided into four bowls or glasses, and the sugar-mint mixture is sprinkled on top. Finally, a dollop of creme fraiche mixed with confectioners' sugar is added on top.

                                                                                  My dinner guests loved the mint-sugar addition to the strawberries. The crunch of the sugar was perfectly complemented by the smooth cream topping. I didn't have creme fraiche, so I used Greek yoghurt, thinned a bit with two TBs of half-and-half plus the confectioners' sugar. I had to search out the orange-flower water; I think a small amount of orange liqueur would also work.

                                                                                  1. My copy of the book has always had a tendency to fall open to pg. 182, which happens to be the recipe and photo for Crisped Chicken w/Chimichurri & Avocado. Soooooo, since the book seemed to be so persistent about it, I made the recipe last night for dinner.

                                                                                    Boy, is this good. Mine didn't look quite as nice as the photo but it sure tasted good. For the chimichurri - mince cilantro, add dried oregano, minced garlic, juice of a lime, a dash of apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste, a little water and a little olive oli. I minced my cilantro in the food processor and I let the chimichurri sit for about an hour or so before I actually used it. In that hour, the cilantro softened up quite a bit and the flavors came together nicely. The only change I would make to the chimichurri would be to up the red pepper flakes a bit.

                                                                                    Then rub about a third of the sauce over boneless/skinless chicken breast and let sit about 10 mintues. I actually let mine sit about 30 minutes. Dredge in panko and quickly saute. Serve with avocado slices and the remaining sauce. The chicken was crispy, tender and still juicy and the avocado was a nice smooth and creamy counterpoint to the chimichurri.

                                                                                    I was into leisurely cooking yesterday so I really was in no hurry to get this dish done, but based on how really simple and easy it is, this could conceivably make an appearance as a weeknight meal. I wasn't sure if the food processor would overprocess the cilantro; if you're observant with the pulsing it won't. The chimichurri is the most time consuming part of the recipe and it could be made entirely in the processor. I gave the plump end of the chicken breasts a couple of good whacks with a mallet to make them a uniform size for cooking. Prep the rest of the meal while the breasts are marinating and I think you could have a complete meal on the table in about 45 minutes.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                      Yippee! Got my dinner entre planned for tonight! Thanks, Diva.

                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                        Ho boy, that does sound good. But I have this strange but strong aversion to apple cider vinegar. Do you think a simple white wine vinegar would make a huge difference?

                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                          I think you could use whatever type of vinegar you wanted. The vinegar is truly not discerinable as an independent flavor. It just ads another acidic element along with the lime juice. I think this chimichurri sauce is quite versatile and lends itself to customization pretty well.

                                                                                      2. I made the coucous that goes with the cardamom chicken for dinner tonight, though I didn't make the chicken. I really liked the coucous. I am not a huge fan of cumin and thought about reducing the amount but I'm glad I didn't. First, the recipe yields a LOT of couscous and since that's rather bland by itself, the amount of cumin in the recipe is about right. Second, cumin and orange is a very nice combination...who knew. This batch will take me most of the week to eat, but I will make it again but probably cut the recipe in half. I also think I'd decrease the amount of garbanzo beans slightly and increase the amount of scallion.

                                                                                        Try this recipe, it'll go with a lot more than just chicken.

                                                                                        1. SWISS CHARD WITH LEMONY TAHINA & CASHEWS, p. 264.

                                                                                          A flavorful way to use chard for a casual, quick, and easy side--I had Rainbow Chard in my CSA box. First, 1/2 cup tahini, grated lemon zest from 2 lemons and 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1 peeled garlic clove are processed in the FP with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water to make a smooth sauce. Taste for salt & pepper. Then 2 cups of finely chopped onions are sauteed in olive oil over high heat (stirring constantly so they don't burn) for three minutes and the chopped chard is added to the pan and cooked for 5 minutes more. A large pinch of salt is added before covering the mixture and steaming for 5 minutes longer (till tender but still green.) To serve, the drizzle the cooked greens with the tahini sauce and 1/2 cup of roasted cashews, roughly chopped.

                                                                                          This has a nice nutty/lemony flavor from the tahini. I liked that the recipe does not instruct the cook to separate the chard leaves from the stems --everything is just chopped into 2-inch pieces, which makes for very quick prep. The result was fine! My chard, however was pretty tender with only medium-sized leaves and stems--don't know how this would work with big winter chard leaves with hulking stems. Maybe these tougher stems would need to be sauteed first for a few minutes. But I'm going to use Gold's recommendation next time anyway because I find stripping those leaves out of their stems is pretty tedious!

                                                                                          One tiny quibble: the ingredient list for the recipe asks for "grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons." Then the instructions says to add only 1/4 c. of lemon juice. My 2 large lemons produced at least a 1/2 cup of lemon juice. I couldn't bear to waste the extra juice so I added it just before serving--and I think this made things a bit TOO lemony. Next time I'll just juice one of my zested lemons first and see if the requisite 1/4 cup is produced.

                                                                                          1. Heirloom tomatoes with lemony tahina (p. 45)

                                                                                            Picked up some nice tomatoes at the farmers market and immediately thought of this recipe. I had pasta as the main, with this as a side, and we loved it. Slice tomatoes, salt, cover with the dressing (tahini, lemon - zest and juice, a little water), and some torn parsley or cilantro. I used parsley, and maybe used just a bit too much water in the dressing. It was lovely, if a little thinner than it should have been. Will make this again. Tasty, easy, and pretty.

                                                                                            1. Salmon with Lime Leaves, Poppy Rice and Coconut Sauce (p. 139)

                                                                                              This was very good. We usually like BIG flavors, and this is more subtle, but a hit with all of us. I was nervous about the rice cooking method (rice, water, salt all started together to a boil for 12 minutes, turn off, add poppy seeds and butter after draining and lid back on for a few minutes), but it worked wonderfully, and the poppy seeds in the rice give it such a great texture. I ended up sauteing the salmon instead of steaming it (husband wasn't about to eat streamed salmon, let alone steamed in plastic wrap)), and it was wonderful that way - not a problem to make that change (sorry Ms. Gold). A thin sauce is made of a small amount of coconut milk with sake, butter, S&P, and a you make a curry oil with a little olive oil, salt and curry powder. Plate the rice, fish on top, then the coconut sauce, then a little curry oil drizzled on top. Very tasty.

                                                                                              Sheet-pan Spinach (p. 270)
                                                                                              Served this with the fish. She's absolutely right - a great way to make a pound of spinach go a lot farther than it normally does. We also liked the slightly crunchy bits that some of it got. Would definitely do this again. Basically you roast the spinach (drizzled with olive oil) on a baking sheet at high temp (500) for 10 minutes, with a couple of spritzes of water in the middle.

                                                                                              All 3 of us finished everything on our plates and I got raves from Lulu and her dad. And I liked it too.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                Sheet-Pan Spinach, p. 270

                                                                                                I liked this approach a lot. The only decent spinach to be had was really, really small leaves of baby spinach, so I only roasted for a total of 8 min., just doing 3, 2, and 3 with spritze between, instead of 5, 2, and 3, and the timing was good. I am living with a very small oven that can fit nothing larger than a half-sheet pan, so I couldn't fit the full pound of spinach. I wanted more spinach! I really liked the texture - fully cooked, but not at all damp/watery. Because doing two pans at once wouldn't work in this oven logistically, next time I'll just do two batches.

                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                  What I love about this recipe is how much more spinach you end up with. And I did happen to love the pieces that got nice and crispy along the edges. Glad you had a hit.

                                                                                                2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                  This sounds really interesting. Would it work if you placed some thin fillets of fish on top do you think?

                                                                                                  1. re: loukoumades

                                                                                                    Are you talking about the spinach? I don't really think it would work, because you need to spritz the spinach a couple of times, and because you want the crispiness that some of the edges get. I'd just saute the fish and then serve it along side, if I wanted that combination. But I've certainly been wrong before, so if you want to try that, I'd love to hear how it works out.

                                                                                                3. Poulet au Creme Fraiche (p. 198)

                                                                                                  Wow. So little effort, so much reward. Just a simple french chicken dish, but so loved by all of us. Lulu went for 3rds (granted, as a 5 year old her first and second helpings weren't huge, but still). Husband was sent to the grocery store because of a conflicting birthday party on shopping day (always iffy, even with the seemingly most detailed instructions) and came back with boneless skinless thighs. Oh well, we'll try it anyway. And guess what? STILL wonderful. So much so that I'll do it again that way next time, since he and Lulu prefer their chicken thighs boneless (yeah, I know, and agree). Basically you mix up a cup of creme fraiche and a quarter cup of strong dijon mustard with a large garlic clove (I used 2) and 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves (I just kept deleafing so it could well have been more), and let the chicken marinate in that, then roast. Really pleasant. Served with salad and baguette. Both of them asked me to make it again soon. And I will. Another winner.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                    That poulet does sound lovely, I don't think I even noticed that recipe, so thank you. You are doing a great job holding up the Radically Simple thread! I will be back again to post. So many cookbooks....etc, etc.

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                      Thanks LN. I've been away half of the year, away from kitchens and home, and I've been so desperate to cook. Reading early reviews of this book had me chomping at the bit, so I'm trying to do as much as possible while I can. Won't be able to cook much next week (traveling yet again), but ... Sunday night I do hope to make another from this book. So far it has been wonderful.

                                                                                                      Definitely understand so many cookbooks, etc.! Trying hard to focus on one at a time, just for sanity's sake.

                                                                                                      But main point: this is a lovely and simple chicken recipe. If you find yourself rushed, this is more than well worth the tiny amount of effort.

                                                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                      I've been making a version of this for years, with yogurt instead of creme fraiche, and in a covered casserole dish so it's more like a braise than a roast, and results in a yummy sauce. With my version, there's no marinating, just mix it together and bung it in the oven. Makes for a very fast dinner, especially with boneless skinless chicken breasts, though thighs are more forgiving and less likely to dry out, of course. I'm sure creme fraiche would be even nicer than the yogurt.

                                                                                                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                                                        I was thinking of trying it next time with a low fat sour cream, just to see if I could save a bit on the fat side, so hearing about your yogurt version makes me optimistic.

                                                                                                      2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                        I also have been making a version of this for years, mine dates back to when it was on the menu at The Cheesecake Factory and the only recipe I could find that was similar was from The Silver Palate, I forget which one, red or white. In any case, the recipe always needed some tweaking. Will have to try this version. Just checked this one out of the library and it has already creeped into my cart (sigh) along with a bunch of others...dear me.

                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                          I hope you end up liking it (the book and the recipe). This book has really come through for me on most occasions (but do NOT make that sardine pasta - shivers-).

                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                            Poulet au Creme Fraiche, p. 198

                                                                                                            Made this tonight for dinner and it really wasn't our thing. I have a similar recipe I make out of The Silver Palate and it is vastly superior.

                                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                              So sorry to hear that. I made the salade normandie last night and it was lovely.

                                                                                                      3. For dinner last night I made the Halibut in Crispy Proscuitto Wrappers, Red Onions and Crispy Basil (pg. 156). Another winner. The recipe is amazingly easy. Wrap a piece of halibut in proscuitto, brush with garlic oil. Slice up a red onion and scratter on a rimmed baking sheet, place the fish on the onions and roast in a hot oven (450*) for 10 minutes.

                                                                                                        I will tweak the recipe a bit to suit our personal tastes, but this recipe is definitely a keeper.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                          Diva, I'm so glad you reviewed this because it slipped by me the first time, and we love halibut (and prosciutto!! Please let us know how you tweak it!

                                                                                                          1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                            We really like halibut too so I'm always looking for new things to do with it. A couple of adjustments came to mine pretty readily as we were eating it. The first was to put a a large basil leaf on the fish before it's wrapped in the proscuitto. The second was to add a sauce. We consistently get very good grape tomatoes. I'm thinking about halving some grape tomatoes and lightly sauteing them with a little more garlic (and maybe some olives) and then folding in a little chiffonade of basil at the end and spooning a bit over each fish packet.

                                                                                                            This dish is easy peasy and I can do a sauce while it cooking.

                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                              I really like the idea of the grape tomato sauce with this. I used to make a similar dish with cod and (turkey) bacon that had thyme stems under the bacon. Always thought it could use a little something else, and the sauce sounds perfect.

                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                This dish was surprisingly more filling than I thought it would be. The recipe calls for a 7 oz piece of halibut. I had one piece that was 6 oz and the other was 8 oz. Neither one of us was able to finish our entire piece of fish. I think next time I might go with a 4 or 5 oz piece of halibut and see how that works out.

                                                                                                                I served this with some round, yellow, ball squash that I had picked up at the farmers market. I think with the tomato sauce it would be an almost perfect combination. I also think a smaller piece of fish, the squash and perhaps some farro would be nice

                                                                                                        2. FYI this book is available for the NOOK

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                            But how easy is it to use. I've got a couple of cookbooks on my Kindle and have found it a bit cumbersome to use in that format. Is it easier with the Nook?

                                                                                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                              I haven't tried a cookbook, probably because I think it would be "a bit cumbersome." Somehow it just wouldn't be the same as leafing through looking for an interesting recipe - - - I think.

                                                                                                              1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                                It is (cumbersome) and it's not the same :-). Until they refine these readers better, stick to the bound copies.

                                                                                                          2. Okay, so I'm trying a couple more recipes.

                                                                                                            Cream Cheese - essentially drained sour cream. This one is in progress. Not convinced it's going to work all that well since it was a commercial brand and had a lot of added gums and stablizers - and - no weeping after having been open a few days. So, we'll see on this one.

                                                                                                            Carrot Marmalade - I really like the flavor on this, but it doesn't really seem like a marmalade, too much carrot and not enough of the jammy part. I suspect it will go really well with the cream cheese. I plan to take both to a meeting Tuesday night.

                                                                                                            1. (Rotini) with Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Raisins, page 124.

                                                                                                              I was on my own tonight for dinner. I tried this recipe as I had all the ingredients (or variations thereof) on hand. Cauliflower florets and pasta (I used rotini instead of short rigatoni) are cooked separately and reserved. Then anchovies are smooshed in a pan with heated oil and butter. Cauliflower, golden raisins, minced garlic, and salt are added and cooked for five minutes, and then 1/3 cup of the pasta water is added and cooked for another minute. Then the pasta is added with chopped fennel fronds. Actually I didn't have the fennel fronds, but I had added a few ground fennel seeds into the saute. The dish is topped with salt, pepper, and Parm-Reg.

                                                                                                              This dish was perfectly decent (faint praise compared to most of my Radically Simple reviews). It was certainly quick and easy, and a plus that I didn't have to do any shopping. I just thought it needed a little something extra. Maybe include a few slices of fennel bulb in the saute? Or maybe it would work just fine as an accompaniment to an entree. For me it was the main, and I did not feel that the flavors fully satisfied me. Getting too picky probably, but Ms Gold has set the bar so high!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                (Bow Tie) with Cauliflower, Anchovies, and Raisins, page 124.

                                                                                                                Like LN (just over a year ago!), I'm on my own for dinner tonight and wanted a quick and easy meal from what I had on hand. I used chopped dill in place of the fennel fronds and added a bit of hot shattered Hungarian paprika thanks to LN's warnings about it needing a little something extra. I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. Maybe it was the low expectations, but I thought it worked nicely. The raisins in particular are not something I would've thought to add, but they worked quite well in it. A satisfying, quick and easy dinner.

                                                                                                              2. Lemony (Greens) and Sun Dried Tomato Salad with Smoked Mozzarella, page 55

                                                                                                                The dressing is made by placing lemon flesh in a blender with garlic, oil, salt and pepper, and whirring until smooth. I did not have enough arugula so I mixed in miscellaneous greens with the radicchio. The lettuces are tossed with the dressing, topped with thinly sliced smoked mozzarella dried tomato strips. A bit more dressing goes over, then toasted pine nuts top it off.
                                                                                                                I liked this salad a lot, and thought the flavors worked well together. Mr. NS is not a fan of lemony dressings, so I picked a good night to try this one out. He'd probably be fine with a slight tweak to the dressing. A good quality smoked mozzarella is essential here (well, where is it not?).

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                  Made this tonight, and we really liked it. Another recipe from this book that not only tastes good, but is very pretty -- would make a great salad for Christmas dinner. Go easy on the dressing, as it's quite lemony. Also, I find smoked mozzarella to be rather insipid, so used smoked Gouda instead. Smoked Cheddar would be good, too.

                                                                                                                2. The Tian of Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Herbs (p.284) is bubbling away in the oven, perfuming the house with its intoxicating aroma. I plan to serve it at room temp tonight, along with a small roasted leg of lamb.

                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                    Pikawicca, could you, please, paraphrase the tian recipe? I had to return the book to the library and have all veggies and a nice selection of herbs.

                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                      1 eggplant (about 1 1/4#), thinly sliced
                                                                                                                      4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                      4 onions, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                      1 cup olive oil
                                                                                                                      1 T. kosher salt
                                                                                                                      2 t. dried thyme
                                                                                                                      2 t. dried oregano black pepper
                                                                                                                      3/4 c. Parm

                                                                                                                      Brush a 10-cup grating dish with a little of the oil. Layer in half of the eggplant, then tomatoes, then onions. Sprinkle on half of the salt, herbs, and cheese. Repeat layers of veggies. Pour oil over all, sprinkle with remaining salt, herbs, and cheese. Bake at 300 for
                                                                                                                      2 1/2 hours. Drain off half of the liquid (save for vinaigrette). Return to oven of another half hour.

                                                                                                                      This is slightly different than the recipe in the book -- she calls for fresh thyme and Pecorino. Definitely serve with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful liquid!

                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                        Thank you very much! Did you use the whole cup of oil? Is it necessary or could I get away with half-cup? Did you bake covered?

                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                          I used the whole cup, would not try with less. (Quite a bit of the oil gets drained off after 2 hours, and what's left is scrumptious mopped up with crusty bread.) Baked uncovered.

                                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                            OK, if you say so:) I am going to try making it tonight but might run out of time. Have to bake two types of squares for a sick friend for Wednesday visit - amazing what sick people ask for! This time it was zucchini soup (very good) and blueberry and peach squares.

                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                              Finally made the tian but it was not exceptional - not sure why. Did you love yours? The cheese on top got very dry whcih I was afraid would happen and it did. The dish needs extra flavour - maybe anchovies and/or garlic? Curious to hear about your experience.

                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                We really liked it -- no dried-out cheese. The eggplant, tomatoes, and onion were fresh from the farmers' market that morning, so that might be why the flavor was so outstanding.

                                                                                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                  The top of my veggetables and cheese was not covered in oil though I poured 1 cup as per recipe. My veggies were ordinary, maybe this is why. But the cheese on top turned brown and brittle:( Had it for lunch at room temperature today and it did not improved - I was hoping that it would. I am going to try Anna Olsen's tian recipe next - she uses different technique and no cheese if I remember correctly.

                                                                                                                  2. Have you made the 18 hour pork roast? Mine was done in 8 hours.

                                                                                                                    1. Cardamom Chicken with Chickpea and Orange Couscous (p. 185)

                                                                                                                      Second time making this; first time made as written, this time used bone-in, skin-on breasts, which I prefer, although it takes a bit longer. Made a dry rub of cardamom, S&P. Started on the stovetop, skin side down in 50/50 butter and oil. Flipped them over and into the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes. This produced a nice fond, which I deglazed with a little dry vermouth and water. (Pour this over the couscous.) Lovely meal -- the couscous is a winner in its own right, and the chicken is special: cardamom is an under-used spice, IMO (at least here in the States).

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                        This is on my list - thank you for the info on the small changes. We love couscous. I think I'd like to make it with bone-in thighs.

                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                          I agree, cardamom is underrated. I adore it!

                                                                                                                        2. "Peking" Pork with Scotch and Scallions (p. 217)

                                                                                                                          Another bizarre-sounding recipe that is actually very good.

                                                                                                                          pork butt
                                                                                                                          olive oil
                                                                                                                          hoisin sauce
                                                                                                                          star anise

                                                                                                                          Brown the pork in the oil in a Dutch oven. Throw in a bunch of scallions a a few star anise. Cover and braise at 300 for 3 1/2 hours for a 6-pound roast. Mine was 4 pounds, so I dropped the temp to 275 for the full time. Remove meat (I also discarded the scallions and star anise). Defat, add the Scotch over medium heat and cook for a few minutes. (I swirled in a couple of tablespoons of butter to gild the lily. Served over rice. This was another keeper (this was actually my second time making this). Really like the mysterious smoky quality that the Scotch adds to the sauce.

                                                                                                                          Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT a Scotch drinker.

                                                                                                                          1. Asian Chicken with Scallions (p. 180)

                                                                                                                            This is dead easy. I took her at her word and used thighs instead of breasts and put them on the grill. I think the grilling helped give it a nice flavor. Perfectly pleasant grilled asian chicken, but not close to my favorite - the Indonesian Grilled Chicken in The Complete Asian Cookbook (which is also pretty easy to put together). Still and all, this is something you can likely toss together (although it needs to sit overnight) very quickly and be pretty pleased with. You just marinate the chicken in fish sauce, garlic and scallions. Everyone liked it. But everyone also agreed that the other one we do is better.

                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                              LulusMom, could you please post your recipe for Indonesian Grilled Chicken?

                                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                Happily! It turns out it is actually called Grilled Chicken with Hot Spices and is in the Indonesia chapter.
                                                                                                                                3 lbs chicken pieces (or cut up a chicken)
                                                                                                                                2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                3 tsp pepper
                                                                                                                                3 tsp. sambal ulek or ground fresh chili
                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons finely grated onion (I just use my box grater for this)
                                                                                                                                2 cloves garlic, crushed
                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
                                                                                                                                2 tsp. palm sugar or sub (I use brown sugar)
                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons lemon juice
                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons peanut oil

                                                                                                                                Score the chicken skin, combine everything else and rub into the chicken. She says leave out for an hour or in the fridge for longer. I usually leave overnight. Do your usual brush with marinade if you wish (I don't think we even bother after 24 hours in the fridge). This is so easy, and so delicious. My favorite recipe so far from the Complete Asian Cookbook, which is huge, but I've delved into pretty well.
                                                                                                                                This is not to disparage the recipe in Radically Simple, which is perfectly pleasant. But the one above is killer, and almost as easy.

                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                  Thank you so much!! Sounds pretty easy and I like recipes using chicken pieces. Not too spicy for the kids with a tablespoon each of pepper and sambal ulek, is it? Do you rub the marinade off before grilling and oil the chicken?

                                                                                                                                  After I read your post, I actually found her book on line with a lot of recipes, obviously has been scanned, and came across an Indonesian grilled chicken recipe that has you marinating the chicken in a spice paste, boiling it in coconut milk until cooked through and then BBQing to give it some colour - I started to copy it and then thought that I will most likely never make it with my grandboys around:)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                    The book was COTM a little while back (maybe a bit over a year ago?), so you can, I believe, read a review of the recipe you're talking about there. Since I have a (now) 5 year old, I tend to go with recipes that have less steps for the time being, and so the braising AND grilling was a little much for me. But if I remember correctly, that one was a hit with at least one reviewer.

                                                                                                                                    Hmmm, on the spiciness, I'm lucky that my daughter is pretty brave with food. We just never mention to her that some things are spicy or might not be to her tastes, and so it never occurs to her. Tonight she ate mashed potatoes with a more than decent amount of wasabi in them and was very happy. So ... your mileage may vary. This *might* not be the thing to serve to the unadventurous, but I can't say for sure. I just know that we really love it, and it definitely does have a lot of flavor. You could make half a batch this way, and half Ms. Gold's way and see which they prefer? I wish you luck!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                      I will try your recipe as is and will make something else not spicy in case some boys would rather not have spice. I have three very different grandboys when it comes to food (all under five) - one has not yet met a veg he does not like and is very adventurous taste-wise, another who is super-picky without clear road-map to what food he will eat at his next meal, and yet another who loves his meats, cheeses and starches without any veg coming close to his mouth. It's the one in the middle that I am spending two weeks next month with all by myself:) I know we will do fine - he is not going to starve in two weeks but I really want to engage him in food; will stop now as this is not an appropriate subject for this thread...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                        Just have fun. I saw your other thread, and I agree with the suggestions of getting him involved in the food. Lulu LOVES helping cook, and going to the farmers market and things like that. And she also loves how "famous" she's become in the restaurants around town for being such a brave eater. Lots of positive reinforcement helps. But mostly, I hope you have tons of fun with him!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                          Thank you for good wishes! Having fun is the whole point:)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                            Hi Herby, belatedly weighing in here to say that the Indonesian chicken from Complete Asian Cookbook is my two kids' favorite meal. They are 6 and 10 and pretty picky eaters with zero spice tolerance and absolutely nowhere the adventurousness of Lulu. I use the full amount of spices and even add extra garlic and just err on the side of marinating it for less time (the one hour at room temp called for or 2-3 in the fridge) rather than overnight. For whatever reason it's a hit with my kids despite all odds. My son actually picked this recipe to go in his kindergarten class' cookbook of favorite recipes and both my kids ask for it on birthdays! Plus, as LLM noted, it is dead easy and fast.

                                                                                                                                            For the adults I often heat up the leftover marinade as a dipping sauce on the side (may have to add some water if you're using the dark soy as it can get too intense/salty).

                                                                                                                                            Good luck!

                                                                                                                            2. Confession: I don't actually like flan. So why did I make the Pineapple flan (pg. 305)? I'm going to use the extreme heat making me stupid as an excuse. That said, LulusDad and Lulu both liked it a lot. I thought it was ... nicely flavored flan (weak compliment in my case, but that is because it is me, not anything to do with the flan). It is a really easy recipe to make, except if you've never made a flan before (and really, if you don't like flan, why would you have?) there are a few holes in the recipe. "Using an electric mixer, beat the whole eggs and yolks. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and beat 1 minute." OK ... she's told me how long to beat after the addition of the sugar, but how long before? Then I"m told to beat in the pineapple juice; again, no time given or even hints about how it should feel or look. Mine was very frothy. I also think it is weird that this recipe is made to serve 5, in 5 5 oz. "custard cups." I almost, almost used my cupcake mold, but used ramekins instead, which were slightly bigger than 5 oz. Didn't seem to cause a problem, but ... there was plenty of the mixture left over after filling the cups (more than enough for an extra, which would maybe make more sense). The texture was great - just what you expect from a flan. If you like flan, and like pineapple, this is a nice, light end to a thai style meal.

                                                                                                                              1. Beets with Balsamic Syrup, Mint & Walnuts, p. 46.

                                                                                                                                1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar (reasonable quality but not the rather syrupy, well-aged kind) is reduced with one clove of garlic put through a press, down to about 3 TBs. 1 cup walnut halves are lightly toasted. The toasted walnuts and reduced vinegar are then added to 2 14-oz cans of small beets which have been halved. 2 TBS of olive oil and another "pressed garlic clove" are mixed in a small bowl, then added to the beet-vinegar mixture. Season with s & p, then arrange on a serving platter with 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint ("preferably spearmint" says Gold) and 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese sprinkled over.

                                                                                                                                What's not to like? The sweet flavors of the reduced balsamic vinegar and refreshing chopped mint married well with the textures of the toasted walnuts and goat cheese (I used Feta.) Nice summer salad, especially if you are a beet-lover, which I am. Because I had a surfeit of beets in my CSA box this week, I used oven-roasted fresh beets (in aluminum foil at 425 F) rather than canned and this probably enhanced the salad a lot--but I think it would also be a good way to dress up canned beets. And it can be made ahead and served at room temperature--always a plus in my mind for summer meals/picnics, or indeed, any entertaining.

                                                                                                                                One thing to watch: My balsamic vinegar was probably too syrupy to begin with, and by the time it was reduced to 3 TBS, it had begun to caramelize into several chunks of "candied balsamic vinegar." Still quite delicious--my guests loved the chewy "candy"--but I don't think this is what Ms. Gold intended! Watch the reduction carefully so it doesn't get over-cooked.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                  What was the quantity of fresh beets you used?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                    Hi DiningDiva,
                                                                                                                                    I figured that 2 14-oz. cans equaled 28 oz of beets, give or take a little juice, so I roasted about 1 3/4 pounds of fresh beets.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                      Thanks, I wondered if you did a one-to-one replacement. I've looked at this recipe too but didn't want to use canned beets, which I really don't mind, I just like fresh better :-)

                                                                                                                                2. Made two dishes from the book tonight - both hits. Only have time to report on one right now (will report again tomorrow). SALADE NORMANDE, p.50. This was so simple, but absolutely lovely. I want to make it again and again. 2 heads of butter lettuce, fresh tarragon and chives, and then a dressing of heavy cream and lemon juice with a bit of salt and pepper. I've had salads like this in my favorite little french place in DC, and in France, and I was so happy to recreate it, and to have it be so easy. It makes a LOT of salad, but I was thrilled. Lulu and I both went back for seconds. I can see someone making this and saying "this is just a salad" but it isn't - it is a superb and simple salad. You could add beets or avocado and make it a bit more substantial.

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                    After enjoying all of the reviews, I finally made something from Radically Simple. LLM's review of the Salade Normande had me convinced that this would be a great salad in this steamy weather, and boy was it. Creamy, refreshing, and simple. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, I would most certainly have overlooked it based on the recipe alone.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                      Yay! Really glad you tried and liked it Sal. It would be really easy to overlook in the book.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                      I am on a library kick right now, have out In the Hands of a Chef, Radically Simple and Mustards Grill. Two of the three have already made their way into my cart, but I am mentioning them here because I just last night made a wonderful salad out of In the Hands of a Chef using the heavy cream/lemon juice dressing and was really impressed with it. Definitely going in my arsenal of "go to" recipes.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                        The mixture of lemon and cream is so much more exciting than it sounds, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                        You're doing some amazing cooking on the current COTM, btw.

                                                                                                                                    3. Just want to thank everyone on this thread for introducing me to this book. My copy arrived the other day and immediately made the Salmon with Lime Leaves, Poppy Rice and Coconut Sauce (p. 139) already reported on by LulusMom. The dish was delicious, with a lot of great and subtle flavors. I also really enjoyed being introduced to a method of cooking salmon (steamed in plastic wrap) that won't smell up my whole apartment for days!

                                                                                                                                      I do a lot of reading on the Home Cooking board, but not a lot of posting. I look forward to cooking alongside everyone as I delve deeper into this book.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                        So happy to have you joining in here! I've slacked off from this book a bit lately, with so many other culinary commitments, but I drop by and read, and plan to cook with you all sometime soon.

                                                                                                                                        I've had several knock-down successes with RS, have high hopes for more! Hope you will continue to cook and share your outcomes!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                          Thanks! I do want to start posting more. I get so many ideas from these threads that I really do need to to start contributing.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                          Welcome potato or yam! Glad to have you cooking along. Always interesting to have varied takes on different meals, or have someone try something new. And I'm really glad you also enjoyed that salmon dish.

                                                                                                                                        3. Runny Eggs on Creamy Scallion-Bacon Grits (p.11)

                                                                                                                                          These were a big hit. I'm not really a fan of eggs myself, but I know my husband and daughter love them, and this looked good to me. You use instant grits and add butter, chopped scallion, grated Parmesan, and crumbled bacon (I used turkey bacon) and let cook for 5 minutes. Either poach or fry eggs so that they are still runny (the one way I like them ... I think that is why this recipe appealed!), and serve on top of the grits. Really very tasty, especially with the egg yolk running down into the grits.

                                                                                                                                          1. Fennel-Roasted Striped Bass, Tiny Tomatoes & Crispy Capers (p. 157)

                                                                                                                                            A fennel bulb, stripped of its stems and fronds (which are reserved) is sliced thinly and spread down the center of a rimmed baking sheet. A medium red onion, also thinly sliced, is scattered over the fennel. A 2 1/2 pound fillet of striped bass (seasoned with s & p) is aligned on top, 20 halved grape tomatoes are scattered around the fish, and 1/4 c. olive oil is poured over. 3 TBS capers are scattered on top and the whole is roasted at 450 F for 20 minutes, or until just firm (my fillet took about 27 minutes.)

                                                                                                                                            Meanwhile, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 TBS of brine from the capers , 1 large garlic clove, minced, and 2 TBS chopped fennel fronds are whisked together. When the fish is cooked, this dressing is drizzled over the top. Any remaining chopped fennel fronds can be used to decorate the platter.

                                                                                                                                            This made a beautiful buffet dish, with the red tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes) contrasting with the white fish and green chopped fennel. People served themselves from the baking pan. The prep was easy and the cooking method equally so. My only complaint is that the flavors did not seem to be pronounced enough. I think that the caper-brine just wasn't strong enough to give enough body to the vinaigrette drizzled over each serving and meant to liven up the subtle flavors of the fennel/red onions/striped bass. Next time I would taste the vinaigrette more carefully and up its flavor --by seasoning it more, maybe using another glarlic-clove, or perhaps adding more of the brine.

                                                                                                                                            I served this with grilled summer squash and stir-fried broccoli, both from Jaffrey's World Vegetarian.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                              I do think using the caper brine as the acid in a vinaigrette is a really neat idea. I'm going to remember that.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                Caitlin, I hope you will try this and report back on your results!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                It reads like it would be great, doesn't it? Maybe some of the fennel salt that came from the Flexitarian cookbook might have given it a bit more bang for your fennel buck. It is basically just crushed fennel seeds with salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                                              3. Tomato Salad with Zatar Pesto - writing this from work without the book so no page #

                                                                                                                                                This was a really simple but tasty recipe.The pesto was just zatar mixed with grated parmesan cheese and olive olive oil which was spooned over sliced tomatoes. The whole thing is then sprinkled with some toasted pine nuts. I loved the flavors in this dish, I always have these ingredients on hand but never would have thought to put the together.

                                                                                                                                                The only thing I would skip next time is the sprinkling of salt she has you put on the sliced tomatoes before the addition of the pesto. My zatar (which I get from Penzey's) is already on the salty side so the whole thing verged on being overly salty.

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                                  I must never have actually looked at the recipe - I just assumed it was regular basil pesto with zaatar in it, and somehow I wasn't getting that tastewise. So glad you tried it and explained. Sounds very good.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                                    I have some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes sitting on my counter that are going to go in this salad tomorrow night. Thanks for the review.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                                      Tomatoes with Za'atar Pesto
                                                                                                                                                      I've been neglecting this thread, but still cooking from RS from time to time.
                                                                                                                                                      I would have skipped by this recipe but for potato or yam's review. I've made it several times since p or y brought it to my attention. It's a stellar dish if you have great tomatoes. First time I made it i had orange cherry tomatoes from my CSA - absolutely great. The next couple of times I used tomatoes from the farmers market, should have been great, but, not so much. So when you've got a great garden tomato, it's definitely a dish to try. Photo here:

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                                        Tomatoes with Za'atar Pesto

                                                                                                                                                        I am amused at Gold's saying za'atar "looks like marijuana, smells like Jerusalem," though mine (from Penzeys) has far too much red sumac to fit her visual reference. This is a terrific way to simply dress up great summer tomatoes. I had some red, a yellow-orange, and a dark green-red tomato from the farmers' market, and it made a pretty bowl. I used only 4 T. olive oil (not 6), which was plenty for me, and mindful of potato or yam's report, didn't add extra salt. A juicy and delicious salad.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                          I've made this dish so many times that the last time I just multiplied the dressing and popped it in the fridge. Any time I get some nice tomatoes I bring it out again.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                            I have always thought Za'atar smelled like marijuana when I grill my flatbread. Not sure I agree it looks like marijuana. In any case, it is a lovely smell. What is it they say? 1/2 the taste is in the smell, I think that is true in this case.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                              Interesting, I think za'atar smells a bit like marijuana too.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: potato or yam

                                                                                                                                                              Finally, Finally got around to making this (the tomato salad with zatar pesto). Wonderful! Incredibly easy and incredibly tasty. I'll make this again and again - any time there is any sort of semi-busy in the last moments main, this would be the perfect side. You can make the pesto the night before; you can slice the tomatoes an hour before ... then just dress and plop the toasted pine nuts on top. Very flavorful.

                                                                                                                                                            3. BLT Chicken with Cumin Seed and Lime Mayonnaise (p. 181)

                                                                                                                                                              Do you like BLTs? Make this. This is wonderful, and very flavorful. I had to take a couple of liberties: 1) she calls for boneless chicken breasts with skin on; my local grocer said whoever asked for that is crazy, but I think this is just because he is from a small town that doesn't have certain things, so I just went with skinless, boneless breasts; 2) she wants the chicken broiled and my broiler doesn't work. I almost never pick chicken breasts, usually go with thighs, so I wasn't totally sure how to deal with this. After a bit of research of other recipes on the web, I decided to roast at 450 for about 20 minutes. This seemed to work fine. Anyway, back to the recipe. You put the breast in a roasting pan with olive oil, crushed garlic, lime juice and some salt and pepper. Meanwhile chop bacon (I used turkey bacon, and added some olive oil) and fry about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and cumin seeds. Finally, toss in some baby romaine and red wine vinegar until wilted. Top the chicken breast with the bacon/tomato/lettuce mixture. Top this with a mayo with lime zest and juice. Very very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                Made the BLT chicken with cumin seed and lime mayonnaise again last night, and for whatever reason, I really really did not like it this time around. No idea what the problem was, although on thinking about it I can say that I didn't detect a hint of the cumin this time around (and I'm sure I put it in). It just tasted sort of off somehow, so maybe some component wasn't fresh enough? Used organic breasts; I"m no a huge breast meat fan, and the roasting of them was sort of off-putting. I just don't know. Doesn't that make you crazy when you make something and love it and then make it again and don't like it at all?

                                                                                                                                                                Parsnip "fries" p.268
                                                                                                                                                                I love parsnips and roast them often. These were fine - seemed to be a big hit with the rest of the family. You cut them into fry shaped pieces; mine were almost like shoestring fries. Then roast with olive oil, S&P. At the end, add thyme leaves and romano cheese (I used parmesan as that was all I had). There were tasty but I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of cutting them into such small shapes next time around.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight for dinner I made the SHEET PAN MUSSELS WITH RED-CURRY GARLIC BROTH p. 170.
                                                                                                                                                                These were a hit, even with my husband who never eats mussels. The mussels are baked in a 500 degree oven with some dry white wine and then have a combination of melted butter, garlic, Thai red curry paste, and some of the mussel infused wine poured over them. I made two small changes to the recipe. Instead of dry white table wine I used a dry vermouth. I also doubled the amount of vermouth (that the mussels had been cooked in) that was added to the butter sauce. My favorite part of eating mussels is sopping the broth off the bottom of the bowl with bread, so I wanted a little more of it.

                                                                                                                                                                The amount of curry paste was perfect, it added a little but of heat but didn't overwhelm the flavors from the garlic and mussels. This wasn't much easier than steaming mussels, but I'm sure I'll be making it again.

                                                                                                                                                                I served this with BASIL-SCRUBBED TOASTS p.102 which I also drizzled with a little bit of olive oil, and a arugula, tomato salad.

                                                                                                                                                                1. KOREAN-STYLE SALMON "BULGOGI", BOK CHOY & SHITAKES, p. 147.

                                                                                                                                                                  Wow. This recipe produced a restaurant-quality meal in 30 minutes. You simply cannot beat that! You assemble a marinade of soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, Chinese chili paste, sugar, ginger, scallion, garlic and marinate your skinless salmon fillets for 10 minutes while you prep your vegetables. This consists of slicing up a large bok choy and some fresh shitakes and mincing some garlic. Then you drain off the marinade into a small pan, boil it for 1 minute and set it aside. You broil the salmon 8 inches below the broiler for 8 minutes. I wasn't sure what to make of those instructions (seemed a LONG way below the heat) but they resulted in a perfectly-cooked piece of fish. Meanwhile you stir-fry the veggies. Put the fish on top of the veggies, brush with the reduced marinade to glaze, and in my case add some steamed white rice and presto, there you go!

                                                                                                                                                                  The flavors were really amazing and it all tied together beautifully and looked gorgeous as well -- in fact, it looked just about exactly like the picture in the book! I would not change anything about this, it was great. Also, I did what I often do which is to cut the fish amount in 4 (in other words, 1 7 oz fillet for me) but only cut the sauce and veggies amounts in half because I like sauce and veggies. For me, that was too much although it would probably have been fine if I didn't have rice too. But the reduced marinade was so assertive that a half recipe was way too much and I ended up scraping about half off, then it was perfect. So not only a good recipe but really good proportions. I'm really excited about this book now that I finally got it off the wait list at my library!

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                    I've had this recipe on my "must make" list since I got the book. Now it's REALLY going to have to be made. You did a great job of describing it. My mouth is watering. My only problem: a non-working broiler. I usually find a way around this though.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd just put it in a hot oven then. Should work just fine. Being so far from the broiler it did not form a crust anyway. I might well high heat roast it next time myself because it was kind of hot stir-frying with the broiler on and the oven door ajar.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                        After years of having a non-working broiler (with a viking ... don't get me started) I've gotten pretty good at cooking proteins I know well some other way when broiling is called for. And when you say it didn't form a crust, that really tells me it will be just fine.
                                                                                                                                                                        This WILL be made soon. I have to say, this book has been well worth the money.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                          I need another cookbook like I need another hole in my head -- I already had a ton and then of course I took a bunch of my mother's rather than see them given away -- but I can see that when I give this back to the library I will NEED to buy my own copy.... Sigh. Time to get a second bookcase just for cookbooks.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                            I've got tons of bookspace, and a chunk of it was reserved for cookbooks. But my husband's sister decided to send EVERY book they had saved as kids after Lulu was born, and guess where they ended up?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                      My turn on the Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi" bok choy and shiitakes (p. 147)

                                                                                                                                                                      Loved this. Lovely flavors. Served with rice, which soaked up some of the great sauce. As I mentioned before, my broiler doesn't work, so I just roasted the salmon at 425 for about 12 minutes. Perfect. My only problem with this recipe is how many dishes you have to wash up afterward. I think it would also be great with roasted tofu. We felt very saintly, as it is a pretty healthy dish.

                                                                                                                                                                      [Edit: I did have to cook my boy choy and shiitake mix longer than the 2 minute she gives. I'd say I cooked them more like 5-6 minutes, and the bok choy retained it's nice crunch.]

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                        Korean Style Salmon, bok Choy & shiitakes, page 147
                                                                                                                                                                        Amazingly delicious - that's how this recipe is billed and it lived up to it's promise.
                                                                                                                                                                        Only a few things to mention as there are already two good descriptions above. King salmon is so delicious right now - and this is very quick. I ended up marinating my salmon right in a saucepan ( an old small le crueset) while my broiler heated. Removed the fish and placed it in the lid (the lid, upside down, is a small skillet.) The fish just fit.. Yeah!! Only one dish dirtied. The fish cooked very fast.
                                                                                                                                                                        Meanwhile, reduced the marinade and when I tasted it, it seemed a bit strong, so just added a teaspoon of unsalted butter to soften and 'round it out'. Served atop the quickly stir fried bok choy, this was truly delicious. I'm sure it will be even better with shiitakes but I forgot them....
                                                                                                                                                                        I'm making this for company some time.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                        Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi," Bok Choy and Shiitakes, p. 147

                                                                                                                                                                        Like everyone else who posted, I thought this was really good. I upped the sauce ingredients so there would be extra to mix with the vegetables, and also upped the amount of bok choy and doubled the garlic. I used mirin for the rice wine, so I skipped the sugar in the marinade. The timing in the recipe was more than I needed for the salmon (either because of my oven or the size/shape of my fillets) and less than I needed for the bok choy, but all worked out well.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. Pistachio-Coconut Rice, p. 274

                                                                                                                                                                        Very simple recipe - you cook 1 cup basmati rice with 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. It should be ready in 15 minute and you mix it with toasted chopped pistachio, curry powder, butter and S&P. Sounds easy and yummy but something went very wrong for me. I used brown basmati and made 2 cups of rice cooking it with 2 cups of coconut milk, 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt. It took about 45 minutes for the rice to become tender but the liquid was far from absorbed. We drained the rice because everyone was starved by then and kids were going crazy and I did not even bother with pistachios and butter. It was bland and salty...

                                                                                                                                                                        Not a good introduction to the book which I bought because all of you were raving about it.

                                                                                                                                                                        I served the rice with roasted cauliflower (p. 262) which was very good and planked wild salmon (Bobby Flay) that was outstanding and super easy.

                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                          Oh Herby, I'm so sorry that your first recipe was a bomb. I've never used brown basmati rice, so don't know if/how differently it works from other regular white rice (which I assume is what she called for?). Don't give up on the book yet!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                            You shouldn't blame the book, as you radically altered the recipe. the recipe, as written, is excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                              Herby, I'm sorry to hear your had problems with the recipe. Most of the ones I've tried from Radically Simple have been pretty accurate with regard to proportions and timing.

                                                                                                                                                                              Most rice - white or brown - does not cook in 15 mintues, and the brown basmati I regularly cook takes at least 22 - 25 minutes to finish, and that's if I use speed cooking methods. It generally takes closer to 30 mintues if I'm cooking a full cup of raw rice. Chances are that even though the rice was tender enough to eat when you drained it, it may not have been completely cooked. If it had had the extra time to absorb all the liquid, I suspect you would have had a much more flavorful result.

                                                                                                                                                                              Once you begin expanding recipes the balance in them changes as well. This is particularly true of seasonings like salt. While 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of liquid is a fairly standard 1:2 ratio and not affected by doubling, the salt is. 2 tsps. of salt is probably at least 1/2 tsp., if not more, too much. Less salt, full absorption of the cooking liquid and the butter, probably would have mitigated the blandness you experienced.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'd urge you to try it again and, if don't need the extra volume provided by doubling the recipe, make it as written to see if turns out any better and if you like it or not. 2 Cups of raw rice makes an awful lot of cooked rice, and brown rice has a different flavor profile than white. It sounds like you made enough changes to the original recipe to alter the finished product in a not so good way.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you very much for the advice! I am not giving up on the book, LulusMom, as the cauliflower was delicious:) And I am not blaming the recipe, Pikawica, just wonder what went wrong. DiningDiva is absolutely right about brown basmati vs. white and of doubling the salt. I know that recipes are not easy to either shrink or expand but never had trouble with plain rice and Indian pulaos. I will try again as written and hope that it will be a success - will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad that you're willing to give it another go, as my family is very fond of this dish, and it goes so well with many different mains.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                    That is what attracted me to this rice in the first place - I thought it would go with so many dishes. Pikawicca, do you make as written without any changes? I am a bit concerned about rice to liquid measure - is 1 cup rice to 2 cups of liquid right? I never measure but pour liquid to cover rice to the first knuckle of my index fingure as a Japanese chef taught me years ago - always turns out perfect whether white or brown.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, 1:2 is the correct ratio for rice, white or brown.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, DD, I will give it another try and report.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                        Personally, I believe that 1:2 is too much liquid. I prefer 1:1 3/4. I always bring the rice to a boil on top of the stove, then put the covered pot into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes (for white rice).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it depends upon the rice you're using and how old it may be. I've got lots of ways to cook it :-).

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Blistered Chicken, Tandoori-Style (page 198): Slash 8 bone-in skinless chicken breasts and 8 bone-in skinless thighs a few times and rub all over with a spice mixture of 2 1/2 tablespoons each of turmeric, cumin, garam masala, sweet paprika, and 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne. (Add salt, too; I'd say 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons for this quantity.) Toss in a couple large bowls with 4 cups plain yogurt (you could use quite a bit less, though) and grated onions. Cover and marinate in fridge for 12 to 18 hours. Spread out on racks set over baking sheets (separate the pieces and spread marinade on top) and cook at 550°F for 35 minutes, until "firm and golden."

                                                                                                                                                                                Made this last night to go with the chopped broccoli and spinach dish from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian (page 145). It was excellent. Definitely a keeper. For just three of us I used a whole cut-up chicken rather than just thighs and breasts (next time I'd do just thighs—they were by far the best), cut the spices approximately in half, used about 1 1/2 cups yogurt, and used just 1/2 onion; salt is missing from the recipe, and I added about 1 teaspoon to the spice mixture. I only marinated for about 10 hours (prework to postwork), but that was plenty. My @%$ oven shuts itself off if it gets over 500°F, so I ended up cooking a little longer than in the recipe and then broiling the chicken from the middle rack for about 8 minutes at the end (off and on, since the broiler turns off when the oven gets hot—a safety feature, I guess, but a terrible one), until cooked through and blackened in spots. Husband said it was some of the best chicken he's ever had. A little too spicy for the five-year-old.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Liana Krissoff

                                                                                                                                                                                    The best chicken he's ever had?? Wow, high praise indeed. A previously skipped recipe suddenly going on my list. Thanks for the report.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Liana Krissoff

                                                                                                                                                                                      "My @%$ oven shuts itself off if it gets over 500°F, so I ended up cooking a little longer than in the recipe and then broiling the chicken from the middle rack for about 8 minutes at the end (off and on, since the broiler turns off when the oven gets hot—a safety feature, I guess, but a terrible one), "

                                                                                                                                                                                      That's why you leave the oven door slightly open when you broil. It may even have a detent when you open it a few inches.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Linguine with Pesto Rosso, p. 109

                                                                                                                                                                                      This is in the 10-minute Fresh Pastas section, and it comes together quickly. The pesto is grape tomatoes, lots of parsley and basil, pine nuts or almonds (I used pine nuts because that's what I had), a garlic clove, grated parm-reg and pecorino romano, and olive oil, blitzed in the food processor until smooth and seasoned with S and P. Fresh linguine is cooked and tossed with the pesto and more pecorino. The amount of pesto made is the perfect amount for coating the fresh pasta called for. I used garlic-parsley linguine from the very good fresh pasta vendor at the farmers' mkt. because it seemed a good match.

                                                                                                                                                                                      This was really wonderful. The flavors all came together beautifully, and I and the person I served it to agreed that it was a must-repeat recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                        Another one I'd overlooked. Will put it on the list too.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                          Made the linguine with Pesto Rosso based on Caitlin M's review. Cheated: used dry linguine, and because my basil had wilted to the point of grossness, left it out and used double the parsley. I'm sure it would be even better with the basil, but I'm here to tell you that it was wonderful even without it. I probably doubled the garlic. Lulu got to help with this (in other words, she dumped the measured amounts of things into the processor and got to turn it on) and she was so proud that she'd made something so delicious. We were all very happy. Another winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                            I made this again last week, using all basil, because I had a lot that needed using. Also used equal amounts of parm and pecorino this time, instead of twice as much pecorino as parm, and chopped tomato instead of grape tomatoes. Equally wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. "Thunder and Lightening" pasta (p. 126)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Gold says in her headnote that thunder refers to the fried chickpeas and lightning to the excessive amount of cracked black peppercorns. Either way, I loved it. Husband was ok with it (enough so to get seconds) but he really doesn't much care for chickpeas and told me later that while he liked it, he didn't love it. So, mixed opinion. Lulu liked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            You heat oil in a pan and when hot add the chickpeas and garlic (she calls for 2 large cloves, i used 3). Heat until the chickpeas start to pop or about 4 minutes (mine were popping pretty much immediately), so I just let them go another few minutes. Add chicken broth, dried sage, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black peppercorns. Let this reduce by one-quarter, simmering about 10 minutes. Drain your pasta (orecchiette, which was pretty much perfect for this), and toss it with 2 tbsps butter, and to the chickpea mix and toss well, add parmesan and toss (and be careful with the salting - I think mine was a little on the salty side, all my fault). Again, I truly loved this. The sage and chickpeas give it a nice earthy, autumnal quality and the broth brings a little more to it than just pasta water. Served with the salade Normande that I raved about earlier. When Lulu saw the salad she said "I remember that salad, I LOVE that salad!" and we fought over the leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Full review tomorrow, but if anyone is even slightly considering making the swordfish with sardine "bolognese" - please don't! I love sardines and I just hated this sauce. Husband didn't like it. Lulu wouldn't even taste it given the smell (and she likes sardines on crackers). Really really bad. My first absolutely no-no from this book, but a big one.

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                Not going to bother to post any more about this (Swordfish with Sardine Bolognese), but suffice it to say that it is probably the worst thing I've ever cooked. I really love this book, but this dish is absolutely dreadful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, I'm so sorry to hear that this recipe was a disaster, because the idea of swordfish with a sardine Bolognese sauce is intriguing. If Lulu didn't even try it, it must have been quite pungent, as I've observed through your postings that she is a very adventurous eater. Thanks for the warning and we'll heed your advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Please do! I thought it sounded intriguing too, and so did my husband, so it was more than just a slight let down for us. I normally insist that Lulu have 2 bites of everything, but with this the smell was so bad, and she was so put off, and I couldn't possibly force the issue, since my husband and I were pretty much pushing the sauce to the side ourselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel like the anti-Gio here ... she made her best pasta ever this week, and I made my worst meal ever. Eeek!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've got the book from the library, and yes, this recipe seems so intriguing! I may just have to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm thinking that to be safe, I may drain the sardines before making the sauce (she has you add the oil) or maybe try it with Italian canned tuna?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Has anyone been brave enough to try it?

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Warm Sesame Noodles with Ginger [& Snow Peas], p. 133

                                                                                                                                                                                                I made this for a quick lunch last weekend, omitting the snow peas. The sauce was excellent, just the right balance of peanut butter and sesame flavor. Best of all, the sauce comes together while the noodles are cooking, making this dish extremely quick. The only thing I would change is increasing the Sriracha slightly as I didn't really get any heat from the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                To make, cook linguine, adding snow peas 3 minutes before the pasta is done if you happen to use those. Meanwhile, peanut butter, chopped ginger, chopped scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, chopped garlic, Sriracha, and water are combined in a food processor and processed until smooth. Toss the pasta with the sauce and top with julienned cilantro or mint or both (I used mint).

                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds really nice, and easy. I think I had somehow skipped over this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made this last summer, but neglected to report on it (along with a few others; I'll try to remedy that soon), and I agree that it is quick, easy, and satisfying. I did increase the sriracha (she only calls for like 1/4 tsp. so I figured that little wouldn't register). I also didn't use the snow peas, but sautéed some snap peas and red peppers while the pasta cooked. It would be very easy to add any vegetables that might go well with the sauce, as well as quick-cooking (or leftover) proteins such as chicken or shrimp, so I think it's a pretty versatile template for a quick dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is perfect. LulusDad will be away for about a month during the spring, and while we usually take the chance to have "ladies night" when he is away, I think a month full of restaurant meals would be tiresome. But this sounds easy enough (and with some leftover roasted chicken or shrimp a full meal all in one) that the two of us could make it together. I'm starting a list right now of easy to make and clean up after dishes for that month, and this is the first thing on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kandy Black Pepper and Soy Eggplant Salad, page 34 and
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sticky Szechuan Pork with Sesame Seeds, p. 108

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Returned my copy to the library yesterday as my new copy arrived from Amazon (love Amazon prime 2 day shipping) so I've been busy tabbing the recipes I've already made and loved. Think I already reported upthread about the two salads I tried. Today's report is on the Kandy Black Pepper and Soy Eggplant Salad, page 34 and the Sticky Szechuan Pork with Sesame Seeds, p. 108.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you are thinking you already read my report on these two dishes it is because I posted it on the March COTM nomination thread when Mighty Spice was a contender that didn't win (again). Grrrrrr!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Both dishes came out effortlessly. For the eggplant I picked up a regular eggplant at TJs so I am guessing it would be that much better with a Japanese eggplant. The eggplant is cut into wedges, stir fried, then garlic is added then the sauce (tomato paste, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, lime juice) The sauce thickens to a glaze. The recipe then calls for pouring the warm eggplant over cold tomatoes, onions and green peppers. I modified here slightly to stir fry the onions (cut in wedges) as I don't enjoy the taste of raw onions. The crisp, fresh flavors of the green pepper and tomatoes played nicely when offsetting the crispy, sweet flavors of the eggplant. We ate it warm but would also be nice at room temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The pork dish calls for pork belly and this was my first experience with using belly. I overpaid for my belly as I went to a fancy butcher on the west side (I am addicted to this place, they buy whole animals and do everything themselves - and teach butchering classes) but I didn't mind because I wanted to make sure it was really fresh. The pork belly is stir fried to become brown and crispy then braised for 1 1/2 hours. This renders much of the fat but not all of it - the broth is defatted, sauce added, reduced and then the pork is returned to the pan to create a sticky, decadent treat. My kids loved this dish! I will make it again but next time I will try pork belly from the local Asian market at (I am guessing) a drastically lower price point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is to let everyone know that my report above for Kandy Black Pepper and Soy Eggplant Salad, page 34 and
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sticky Szechuan Pork with Sesame Seeds, p. 108 is from Mighty Spice, not Radically Simple. I just realized I posted it in the wrong thread when reading through this today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love the idea of red peppers and chicken or shrimp with this to turn it more into a meal instead of a lunch time snack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. ROASTED ASPARAGUS with BAY LEAVES & CRISPY CAPERS - p.252

                                                                                                                                                                                                      So easy, so good:) Basically, trim asparagus, toss with olive oil and fresh bay leaves (I only had dried) and roast in very hot - 500F - oven for 10 min; mine took a couple minutes longer. Briefly fry capers or caper berries in olive oil and pour over asparagus when it comes out of the oven. Yum-yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Crunchy Crumbed Cod with Frozen Peas (p. 150)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        We live in a college town, and one that is obsessed with college basketball, and the town is going slightly nuts right now. With the husband away, we'd normally go out to dinner, but I suggested that it might be a nice night to (be safe) cook dinner at home together. Lulu was game, and we narrowed it down to this recipe. Easy and quick. And it is definitely easy and quick. Not very exotic, but perfectly fine. Take a box of frozen peas and mix in a bowl with sliced scallions, thyme (she calls for fresh, but given that I won't be cooking anything else this week, we went with dried), olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread this out on a rimmed baking sheet. Mix panko with olive oil, garlic and salt; salt and pepper the fish, top with the panko mixture and put on top of the peas. Cook at high heat for 12 minutes. Perfectly fine dish, but I felt that it would have been more interesting with something more - maybe some lemon zest mixed into the panko? We both cleaned our plates (with just this - the peas serve double duty as both carb and vegetable) and Lulu said she'd eat the rest tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Watercress, Endive, and St. Agur Blue Cheese, p. 53

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Endive isn't my favorite vegetable, but I once had endive with blue cheese as an appetizer at a friend's house and it was excellent. This recipe improves on that concept and adds walnut and watercress to the mix (I also assumed it was a sign that I should make this when watercress appeared in our CSA box, there was still endive in the fridge, and I'd bought blue cheese that was on sale with no purpose in mind). To make, walnuts are toasted. Endive is separated into leaves and mixed with watercress. Both are tossed with walnut oil (I used sunflower) and rice vinegar. The whole thing is topped with walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. All in all, an excellent and satisfying combination.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try Endive with crumbled St. Agur, toasted walnuts, a drizzle of honey and a splash of balsamic reduction.....so amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Chicken Thighs with Rosemary & Two Paprikas, p. 194

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made a slight riff on this today. Gold says it's one of her family's favorite "emergency meals." It was an emergency meal for me in the sense of, "What can I make without going to the store?" The recipe call for 8 bone-in, skin-on thighs to be slashed, rubbed with pressed garlic, sprinkled with a lot of sweet paprika and smoked paprinka mixed with salt, and rosemary sprigs to be tucked in the slits before the chicken is roasted. I had 2 skinless bone-in thighs and no fresh rosemary, but fresh thyme. I skipped the slashing and covered the thighs with a liberal amount of minced garlic and thyme leaves, sprinkled on the paprika mixture (using 1/4 the amount she calls for for my 1/4 number of thighs), and dabbed the chicken with olive oil before roasting at a slightly lower temp. due to the proclivities of my oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The chicken was moist and juicy, with lots of great flavor from the garlic and paprika, really tasty. I roasted small sweet potatoes on the same sheet pan while the chicken cooked, and had them with it, along with spinach sauteed with garlic, which sides were great for mopping up the spiced juices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            While I'm at it, I'll report on a few recipes I made last year but neglected to post about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fusilli with Braised Escarole, Garlic & Ricotta Salata, p. 131

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is a straightforward recipe that reflects its name, or it would if the title was "sauteed" not "braised," as there's no liquid involved. This is one of many recipes where Gold instructs us to saute a mixture including garlic on high heat for a long period, and I don't know what kind of stove she's using but I've never lived with one where that wouldn't lead to burnt, unpleasant garlic. At any rate, all there is to this recipe is sauteing torn escarole and garlic in olive oil until the escarole is tender and beginning to brown on the edges (I added the garlic later in the process instead of at the beginning), then adding cooked fusilli, more olive oil (I used less), pasta water if needed, grated pecorino romano, and finally ricotta salata (I used her recommended sub, sheep's milk feta). This was fine, but a bit too basic to feel more than the sum of its parts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spaghetti with Aged Gouda & Frozen Olive Oil, p. 118

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I tried this one because I found it intriguing, but I'm afraid it was a big miss. She explains that it's a variation on aglio e olio, and that the frozen olive oil coats the pasta better than warm oil, while the garlic distributes well without the danger of burning. The recipe is simple: olive oil, salt, and a single pressed garlic clove are frozen for a few hours in a ramekin. The spaghetti (I subbed linguine) is cooked and added to a serving bowl, where it is tossed with the broken-up frozen oil/garlic mixture, red pepper flakes, and a few ounces of finely grated aged gouda; I also added parsley for some color. Well, the frozen oil did cling and coat the pasta, but while the garlic was distributed well, despite there only being one clove, it had an unpleasantly sharp, raw flavor - nothing like the mellow deliciousness of traditional aglio e olio. But the biggest problem was that the dish was bland, bland, bland despite salt, pepper flakes, and 3 oz of good cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blasted Green Beans & Cherry Tomatoes, p. 265

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another basic recipe, but how can you go wrong with roasted veggies? Trimmed green beans are tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted 8 minutes at 450F, then halved cherry tomatoes and dried orregano are added, and all is roasted a few minutes more, until tomatoes are shriveled, then pepper flakes are tossed in. No going wrong with roasted green beans, and the juicy softened tomatoes and spices liven them up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sauteed Peppers with Golden Raisins & Arugula, p. 270

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I found this recipe on Epicurious a few years ago, and made it for a dinner party (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... ), and when I saw it in the book remembered that I'd liked it, so I made it this past Thanksgiving, where it was a nice, light counterpart to all the richness. It's also a colorful, festive-looking dish. Quick and easy: sliced peppers of various colors (red, orange, yellow) are sauteed in olive oil with fennel seeds, golden raisins, and salt and pepper until tender, at which point balsamic vinegar and baby arugula are stirred in just until the arugula wilts, and seasoning is adjusted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the report on the paprika chicken thighs. I've been meaning to make them for a while and keep forgetting about it. With a good report, now I have less of a reason to procrastinate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had the same issues with the frozen olive oil and gouda spaghetti, but I must've made it before I got in the habit of reporting. I should go through and double-check my copy to see if there are any reports I should add!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Steamed broccoli with blue cheese, red onion and mint (p. 254)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lulu and I are on our own for a month, and so I'm trying to look for dinners that are fairly easy but still give me a chance to try something new. Yesterday we were at Trader Joes and they were giving out tastes of their smart dogs (veg hot dogs). Bingo! This gave me a chance to make a side dish that had big kebang flavors. This one fit the bill. And this isn't something you'd make when you were making something complicated - not because this is a complicated recipe, which it very much isn't, but because it uses a pot for steaming the broccoli, a pan for frying up the onions, and a bowl to mix it all together in. Enough already with so many dishes to wash. I guess I could have emptied the pot I steamed the broccoli in and then mixed everything in there, but then I'm thinking I'd have had to dirty a colander, so what is the point. OK, enough complaining about dishes to wash. I really thought this was wonderful and so did Lulu. She much preferred it to the smart dogs she'd enthusiastically agreed I should buy in the store yesterday, because at home she insists on eating the bun separately from the dog and these dogs have a weird casing. But the broccoli was excellent. You steam it until just tender, still bright green. While doing that you saute/fry the onion in olive oil for about 10 minutes - until soft, dark brown and crispy. Drain the broccoli and put in a bowl, add the onions, the blue cheese and the chopped mint and season. Mix together. Wonderful. If you are someone who doesn't like mint, I think you could easily do without, although I liked the brightness it brought to the dish. I also think if you wanted to have a middle eastern type side dish you could switch the blue for feta and keep the mint. Again, apologies for complaining about washing the dishes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Link to the recipe: http://rozannegold.wordpress.com/tag/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think you need apologize for that complaint, LLM - I understand it isn't Gold's MO, but to me, radically simple cooking doesn't dirty a ton of dishes! Thanks for the report, and the thought that it would be good with feta. The feta/mint/onion seasoning combo sounds appealing to me, and also as if it might be good with a soft goat cheese. (Try as I might, I just can't like blue cheese; somehow it's the wrong kind of funk for me.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think the feta/mint/onion thing would work wonderfully (and really makes a little more sense). And a soft goat cheese would be delightful too, maybe with some basil instead of the mint?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And thinking about it, I don't see why one couldn't use this as a topping for pasta, although it might need some thinning out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight I did the "Almost Confit" chicken. It was AMAZING. I think I put more nutmeg in there than typical -and I also used a dried spice blend as I didn't have fresh bay leaf. It was a big hit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The beet vinaigrette is fabulous also. Exceptionally good with flavored balsamic (I used tangerine). I can imagine any strong balsamic would be wonderful in this dressing. It pairs well with creamy cheese, tomato and nuts in the salad. It is a beautiful dressing (all rose!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've had my eye on that confit chicken, good to hear it was a hit. Amazing is very big praise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Creamy, Lemony Eggs with Prosciutto - p. 8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm trying to go back through and add some recipes that I made before I started reporting. This scrambled egg recipe was a revelation for me. I've never had such creamy scrambled eggs. We thought these were just a little bit too lemony and then I realized I had forgotten the chives. With the chives, the balance was perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To make, 6 eggs and 3 egg whites (I used large instead of extra-large) are whisked together. The zest of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp lemon juice are added along with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. 1 tbsp butter is melted on the top of a double boiler and the egg mixture is added. Next, you're stirring constantly until the eggs thicken, an exercise in patience that is well worth it. You add in another tbsp of butter as you go along. The eggs get served over slices of prosciutto and garnished with chives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I tried using this method again without the lemon and didn't get the same incredibly creamy texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Carrot-Ginger Dressing - p. 66

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We always seem to be in carrot-overload thanks to our CSA box. This recipe provided a nice salad dressing that used up a bit of carrot. The ginger and sweetness from the orange juice worked nicely in the dressing. Best of all, this one uses ingredients I almost always have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Sauteed Chicken with Roasted Grapes and Grape Demi-Glace - p. 187

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used blue grapes for this instead of the suggested mix of red/black and green, so I ended up a bit turned off by the color this dish. The taste was excellent though and unique. It's not the quickest dish though because the grapes need to roast for an hour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To make, you roast half of 1.5 lbs of grapes while pureeing the rest. Butter is melted in a skillet and chicken is then cooked until browned on both sides. The grape puree is added to the chicken and cooked until chicken is done and sauce thicken. The chicken is removed from the pan and more butter and the roasted grapes are added to make a sauce. It's served topped with chives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TxnInMtl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can't help but imagine the blue-ish tint with the chopped chives. It sounds delicious but a little scary to look at! Do you think you could roast the grapes earlier in the day, when you knew you'd be in the kitchen (like breakfast time or something) and use them later?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't see why not. They get reheated in the sauce at the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As I mentioned when we discussed this recipe in another thread, I've made it several times (going back almost a decade), as it is also in Gold's Healthy 1-2-3, and I did roast the grapes earlier in the day. Works just fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks to both of you. Seems like the way to go to do the grapes in advance. I'll add it to my list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Lamb Chops with Smoked Paprika Oil, Cumin, and Arugula - p. 225

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is an elegant dish that can be cooked up in about 10 minutes. I went heavy on the arugula, making it more of a salad with a lamb chop on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To make, lamb chops are seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper and broiled for 3 minutes on each side. I was a bit worried that the cumin would overpower the dish, so I held back a bit, but I think I could've used the full amount. Arugula is tossed with olive oil and lemon juice and then placed on plates. On top of the arugula goes a lamb chop and then it's drizzled with paprika oil (olive oil, smoked paprika, and garlic) and topped with more arugula and manchego cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Do the watermelon salad. It is wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also............I tried the watermelon tomato soup. Sprinkled with chopped basil. Wow. Really nice. I served it chilled before a fish course. Fabulous. Very elegant in clear bowls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Watermelon Salad with Feta and Black Olives - p. 42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We had some leftover watermelon from making the watermelon salsa from Homesick Texan for a party and I decided that it might not be the best idea to try to use ALL of it in watermelon mojitos. A Turkish friend of mine introduced me to the watermelon and feta combination a few years ago and adding olives and basil seemed like an excellent idea. The salad is simple, thinly sliced watermelon topped with feta, chopped olives, and chopped basil. You drizzle with some olive oil and grind a bit of black pepper. She also suggests a bit of salt, but I thought it was salty enough with the feta and olives. Microgreens are optional and we passed on those as I didn't have any on hand. This was a light, refreshing salad and I'll certainly make it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Big Juicy Sun-Dried Tomato Burgers - p. 234

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love all of these ingredients in these burgers, so I expected them to be a huge hit. Instead, they just seemed bland and didn't hold together very well. Part of my problem may have been that the original recipe is for 3.5 lbs of beef or 8 burgers. Scaling this down to 2 burgers was a bit of a headache. She calls for chopping sun-dried tomatoes in oil, grating an onion to get the pulp and juice, and mixing all of that with dried basil (I used chopped fresh), ground cumin, salt, pepper, and a bit of reserved tomato oil. The salt seemed far too low for the amount of meat (1/2 tsp for the original 3.5 lbs!). Once the burgers are cooked, you splash them with balsamic vinegar. I was disappointed with this one and won't be repeating it, although maybe I would've had better luck with the full recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Chicken Ras el Hanout with Tomato-Ginger Chutney (p. 197)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is simple and very tasty. I had never used ras el hanout before, but I liked it. First we made the chutney (Lulu was my sous chef) - I used a drained can of diced tomatoes (to be honest, I was just being lazy). You put the tomatoes in the food processor with brown sugar, garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet (I used a serrano) pepper, and cumin. Zap, salt, ready. I'm not a big fan of the combination of ginger and tomato, and at first wasn't really sure I liked this. But with the chicken it was delicious, so there you go. My husband loved this chutney and ate most of it, but wanted the rest saved to have with scrambled eggs for lunch today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also wasn't about to use my broiler again given the incident with the fire department showing up at my house last week (yeah, it was like that) and it was too cold to go out and grill, so I simply pan fried the chicken. You first pound boneless, skinless thighs to flatten, then add to a bowl with the ras el hanout (you can sub garam masala), salt and olive oil, tossing to coat. Then I fried or sauteed them up. Serve with the chutney. I also made couscous with currants and had some roasted butternut squash. Not a killer great meal, but one we all enjoyed and it was different, which is always appreciated (by me at least).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. After reading over this thread, checking out the book from the library, and tabbing practically every recipe in it -I am amazed this has never made it to COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It seems it was nominated month after month, then everyone gave up! I still think it would make a great COTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think we will have to do something about that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm just happy to see this thread resurfacing. It will prod me to pick up the book again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a semi-picky relative coming into town and have been banging my head about what to serve (nothing spicy, nothing acidic, nothing rich) and I bet there is something here that would do the trick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The chicken confit recipe is really more than the sum of it's parts. I have made that several times and I am always surprised at how simple and wonderful it is!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh good - that one has been on my list for a long time. I'm a huge duck confit fan. Think this would fit the bill for the picky relatives?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, unless one of them hates nutmeg. There is a background flavor of it in the dish, but I don't think you would know it was nutmeg unless it was mentioned. It is really tasty chicken. I served it with a simple salad and a little cheese cracker plate to my very picky 9 year old niece and she ate every bit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sedimental, you are fantastic. Thanks so much for this tip. I do love the salade Normandy from the book - maybe that would make a nice side, and then just a baguette. Finish with chocolate mousse and serve lots and lots of wine (for me, if not for them!) and bingo - a lovely french-ish dinner. The simplicity makes it sound really good for entertaining too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I cannot tell you how much of a relief you've just given me. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I resisted this book for so long because I own her Cooking 1-2-3 book which, for some reason, I can't get myself to cook out of. My go to chocolate pot de creme recipe is from this book (1-2-3) and still, every time I crack the spine I walk away uninspired. I figured I would find RS the same. Boy, was I wrong! If it makes it to COTM, I hope we can get a companion thread going for her 1-2-3 books, as I am sure they too contain many treasures and I would love someone to point me to the not to be missed recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tortellini with Yogurt, Mint and Smoked Paprika Oil, p. 116

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is the first recipe I am trying out of this book. Checked it out of the library and quickly decided to buy it so my copy is on its way to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Made this yesterday for a quick lunch and I lOVED it. I only used a small amount of smoked paprika, substituting sweet paprika for the remaining amount. Came out great, but next time I will warm the oil and infuse the garlic in it before adding the paprika to intensify the garlic flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Just an FYI... Radically Simple is now in contention for Cookbook of the Month. You can view the thread here, and vote for either book in the running, if you are so inclined:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for letting us know! Going to go vote right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I am very late coming to this party. I needed some inspiration for cooking a weekday meal and seemed to remember this thread. I did some research and saw that the BLT chicken was reproduced on several web sites so I decided to give it a try. Also, it is tomato and salad season and I thought reviving this thread might inspire others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My adjustments: I was gifted with a bunch of grape tomatoes so i used them instead of whole tomatoes, I was out of cumin seeds and the limes looked awful in the market so I opted for epicurious' riff using rosemary and lemon. I used thighs instead of breasts and grilled them rather than baking them. I also added avocado and homemade croutons. It was very good and the recipe is a definite keeper. Next time I want to try the cumin/lime combination. I am not a mayo person but I liked the mayo in this. After having success with this recipe I'll definitely try some more recipes from this book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I loved this recipe, and the cumin-lime mayo is really good with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Homemade Turkey Sausage, Pg. 17

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When I make a burger it means I'm desperate for something quick, easy, and delicious. There was a pound of ground turkey usurping valuable real estate in the freezer that I wanted to use and from experience that meat Has to be amped up with seasonings that will make it appetizing. EYB to the rescue yet again: i.e. this wonderful sausage recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had 1 pound of the turkey, recipe calls for 12 oz. , so I increased ingredients as I went along: 3 pressed garlic cloves, 1 T ground cumin, 1/2 t ground coriander, 2 T olive oil. S & P, asafetida is optional - didn't have any. Mix thoroughly, make patties, heat oil in skillet, brown 2 minutes each side. Done! Served on grilled Kaiser roll with sliced tomato, red onion, and lettuce leaves. The cut side of the rolls were first shmeared with the lime mayo on page 181.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Boy oh boy did these hit the spot. Just what we both wanted. I can't even begin to describe the taste but the burgers had tremendous flavor. We also nibbled on tortilla chips and salsa, and a half sour pickle. Perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had totally overlooked this, but you have me salivating. Thanks for the pointer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Grilled Tuna with Lemony Tahina, Greens, and Pomegranate Seeds - p. 166

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This recipe reminded me of everything I love about Radically Simple. It's quick, easy, but nice enough that I wouldn't mind serving it to company. I served it with the chard and tahini recipe in the same book (and with a very similar sauce) because we had too much chard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To start with, you make a simple sauce of tahina, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro in the food processor. Tuna is then smeared with oil and rubbed with a 4:1 mixture of ground coriander and cumin. The tuna is seared in a ridged cast-iron grill pan (or in my case, a regular cast iron pan), keeping the middle very rare. The tuna is served on mesclun topped with oil with the sauce and pomegranate seeds on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes the garnishes in this book feel like afterthoughts to me, but the pomegranate seeds really add to the dish giving it a bit more textural contrast and pops of sweetness. Mr. TiM went back for more sauce and more seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My New Years resolution is to cook more simply.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have a 10 year old with me today, somewhat picky eater. I made the soup on page 85, tortellini in pesto broth. I used some leftover pesto I had made previously, so I didn't follow the recipe exactly (it assumes you don't have pesto available).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roseanne says that teens really like this soup. Well, everyone liked this soup! So simple, clean pesto flavor. Not earth shattering, but honestly, I wouldn't have thought to make a pesto broth for soup, I typically use pesto as a pistou. Nice. Will try to remember this one for weeknight bistro night of salad and soup!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try engaging your picky 10 year old in assisting you when you cook. I started engaging my little one when he was 18 months old. I taught him how to crack eggs into a bowl. He did it quite well and shortly moved on to egg separation. Today he is 37 years old and loves to cook for himself and his girlfriend. Give it a try. You will be surprised how much kids and toddlers enjoy the process of preparing any meal. Be patient, it takes time and cooking is a wonderful opportunity for you to keep the lines of communication open. You will be immensely rewarded during the teen and young adult phases of child development. Good idea for left over pesto.