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September 2011 COTM, Slater/Tender: Kale through potatoes

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters from kale through potatoes.

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  1. French Beans with Shallot Butter (page 397)

    Boil or steam the beans, stir finely chopped shallot into a bit of butter and let soften, drizzle in some white vinegar (I used Moscatel vinegar), drain beans and toss with shallot butter.

    Loved these, and thought the hint of vinegar a perfect touch. Great side for braised pork chops the night of the hurricane.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JoanN

      Made these a couple of days after the hurricane! A simple but scrumptious way to serve haricot verts, and as JoanN says, the dash of vinegar is a perfect touch. I'd always just added lemon juice so it's good to have another idea. Served with Kitchen Diary's Chicken with Vermouth, Tarragon, and Cream, p. 141.

    2. Also served with the pork chops and green beans:

      Classic Roast Potatoes (page 423)

      Peel potatoes, cut up so each piece is about two bites (love that instruction), boil for five minutes or so, drain, and return to the pan. Shake the pan a bit to "fluff" the edges of the potatoes to help them crisp. I roasted them in duck fat for 45 minutes at 400F.

      I thought they were outstanding. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. And much more flavorful than when cooked in butter or oil. My grandson thought the duck fat tasted like MacDonald's cooking oil that's been hanging around too long. He requested that next time they be made with bacon fat. Maybe for him; not for me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JoanN

        Yum! We make potatoes like this around the holidays, but we follow Nigella Lawson's recipe for Perfect Roast Potatoes. The only difference is once the potatoes are drained, she adds a bit of semolina before the potatoes are bashed about. Deliciously crispy on the outside, but light and fluffy inside.

      2. Mustard and Parsley Mash - p. 443 (UK)

        There are only two lines in this recipe.You just add grain mustard and chopped parsley to buttery mashed potatoes. There is a picture in the book that shows this recipe being made, looks like in a stand mixer. I guess I veered from the recipe by using coarsely mashed potatoes with the skins still on, and just stirring in the mustard and parsley.

        So the verdict is, a very useful way to season mashed potatoes. I think you could make them any way you want - smooth or chunky - the point is the mustard, really. We enjoyed this as a side with some sausage and spinach (loosely based on another Slater recipe).

        1. Baked Peppers for a Summer Lunch p. 379

          I am a bit obsessed with this wonderful recipe. I’ve made it 5 times this summer so far. I’ve done different variations but find the recipe as printed is the best. Quick version is halving bell peppers (I use red. Yellow or orange), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then fill, like boats, with cherry tomatoes, also tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. (I vary the color of the cherry tomatoes as well) Bake at 400 for an hour and drizzle with a blend of olive oil and basil.
          It is very easy to make and the presentation is gorgeous. While they are wonderful right out of the oven, the also are good at room temperature, so they have a variety of uses. Anything left over you can chop up and use as a wonderful pasta sauce.

          The picture in the book does it better justice but here is a version of mine halfway through:

          5 Replies
            1. re: Tom P

              As Tom P says, this is a great recipe and the mix of colours and flavours makes it quite stunning. I also appreciated how simple it is, especially when I don't have time to make elaborate stuffings for baked peppers. Have some good bread to mop up the juices!

              1. re: Tom P

                That sounds great! I'll be trying it this week. Hmmm... maybe even today to go with lobster rolls.

                1. re: Tom P

                  Made this tonight for supper. Didn't have any basil so I thinned down a little jarred pesto with warm water and lemon juice and used that as a sauce/dressing. Served with some left over moutabal (aubergine purée, report in the appropriate thread), some crusty bread and a salad with pear and blue cheese. Slightly odd combination, but it was all lovely! Will definitely make the peppers again - easy and delicious.

                  1. re: Tom P

                    My husband would do anything for you if he was fed roasted peppers beforehand. This sounds great.

                  2. Minted Pea Puree p. 367

                    Boil peas and mint, drain and puree in a food processor with olive oil.

                    This blew our collective minds. It has become for me the perfect illustration of how fresh ingredients, used simply, can lead to amazing results. Honestly, I’d never even make such a thing but I had some fresh peas this summer I needed to use and had some mint and so I gave it a try, along with some other dishes from the book. We ended up standing over the food processor eating it with a spoon. (I did add salt). Wow. So good.

                    1. Black Cabbage and Bacon - A fry up, Pg. 275

                      We made this a couple of nights ago with a bunch of cavolo nero from the farmers' market. Very simple in the extreme: chop garlic, chop a piece of pancetta, clean and destem the kale. Fry garlic and pancetta till fat becomes golden. Add the kale which has been torn into large pieces and combine well with the garlicky fat. When the kale has wilted it's done.

                      Because this was to be our main dish I tossed in 8 oz of firm tofu that I had cut into chunks. Served with plain steamed new potatoes dressed with a little EVOO and chopped parsley. Great... he says "fantastic", and it was.

                      1. Green Beans, Red Sauce, p. 401

                        (Seems strange to post this under the "P" section, but I guess "Pole Bean" is the heading!)

                        Simple summery dish. A pound of tomatoes arranged in a single layer is roasted at 400 F and seasoned with a bit of olive oil, S & P, a little red wine vinegar and a few bay leaves tucked in. When juice has collected in the pan and their skins have started to blacken (about 30 minutes) remove the pan and mash the tomatoes up with a fork. Adjust seasoning, and mix into this rough sauce a pound of green beans, steamed until tender. Sprinkle with grated lemon zest and serve.

                        All went as written, except my large tomatoes weren't at all blackened not particularly softened by 30 minutes at 400 F, so I broiled them for a few minutes until they were.

                        I used heirloom tomatoes and fresh-picked green beans. While the finished dish was good, even with the lemon zest I felt it somehow needed a bit more zip. Maybe a bit more red wine vinegar then the suggested one teaspoon. Next time I might sprinkle a few chopped cloves of garlic into the roasting tomatoes. Maybe some chopped fresh basil. Oooh, a little grated parmesan perhaps sprinkled over the mashed tomatoes and broiled briefly until melted. The usual suspects. But nothing complicated, because the beauty of this is the simplicity and the rustic but attractive presentation. I liked the mashed-up tomatoes. I also think it would work well with those larger supermarket green beans.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Goblin

                          Green Beans, Red Sauce

                          When I read over the recipe, I thought it looked just a mite too plain (even if a celebration of wonderful seasonal ingredients), and I anticipated Goblin I suppose, because I added a couple of roughly chopped garlic cloves and a sprinkle of dried oregano to the tomatoes prior to roasting. My tomatoes were variously sized, and I cut the few medium and large ones into pieces roughly the size of the smaller ones so they would cook at the same rate. After a while, I realized I'd neglected to include the red wine vinegar so, since I figured a bit more acid might be welcome, I added lemon juice along with the zest when I combined it all.

                          All in all, a straightforward dish that really highlighted terrific summer tomatoes.

                        2. New Season's Potatoes with Pancetta, Walnut Oil, and Sherry Vinegar, p. 438.

                          This turned into a delightful potato salad--the kind that I think of as "French" because the sauce is a vinaigrette rather than dairy-based. First you steam 14 oz. of new potatoes until tender, with the skins left on. According to Slater the potatoes can be waxy OR floury as long as they are "new." Either choose small potatoes all the same bite-size, or cut them up as I did.

                          In a separate bowl, whisk 1TBS of Dijon mustard with a pinch of sugar and three pinches of salt. Whisk in 1 TBS of sherry vinegar, then 4 TBS of walnut oil. Finally, add 1 TBS of cold water and a little pepper.
                          Meanwhile, you have broiled 8 slices of pancetta and snapped them into short pieces, and chopped a little parsley. Gently toss the warm potatoes with the vinaigrette, then fold in the parsley and pancetta, and serve.

                          Nothing remarkable about this, but it was unusually good! There was a lot of dressing for less than a pound of potatoes, but the finished dish was savory without being overpowered by really strong flavors. Maybe letting down the vinaigrette with a little water helped. Perhaps it was also the garnish with the more delicate pancetta rather than the usual crumbled bacon--I sauteed the pancetta rather than broiled it because my slices were thin. Finally, I used pistachio oil because I didn't have walnut oil at hand, and this was also really good!

                          Anyhow, I'm making it again for a picnic tomorrow!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Goblin

                            Good to read your report Goblin, as I have this down to make later next week. I have new fingerlings to use. That will work, I think. Plus the walnut oil and pancetta...

                            1. re: Gio

                              Wanted to add a comment to my previous review of the potato-pancetta salad. I have made it twice more since the first time, both for larger groups of 18 people. (You can tell I liked it!) I ended up increasing the amount of potatoes by 3 times, but only multiplying the sauce ingredients by 2. This is because the recipe as stated makes a LOT of vinaigrette for the recipe's required 14 oz. of new potatoes--more than I feel is needed or absorbed by the warm potatoes. A lot of it ends up just sitting in the bottom of the bowl, and eventually separates.

                              Oh yes; in my calculations I just rounded the amount of potatoes up to 16 oz. (one pound) because I buy my potatoes in 1 pound bags! Easier that way and you've still got lots of vinaigrette.

                            2. re: Goblin

                              New Season's Potatoes with Pancetta, Walnut Oil, and Sherry Vinegar, p. 438

                              We made this today using walnut oil. This was a nice change of pace from the mayonaise-laden potato salads. We steamed about 500 g of potatoes (just over a pound) and as Goblin indicates, there is plenty of vinaigrette. We probably could have made another salad with the leftovers. The potato salad was not something my family would request, but at the same time, they'd happily eat it again.The crave-worthy title, at least for my family, goes to Ottolenghi's Royal potato salad.

                              I enjoyed the potato salad more than the rest. I liked the combination of the gently mustardy vinaigrette & the savory pancetta. Nice flavors and did not sit in my stomach like a ton of bri

                              1. re: Goblin

                                New Season's Potatoes with (Serrano Ham), Walnut Oil, and Sherry Vinegar, page 438.

                                Goblin does an excellent job of describing the preparation for this dish, so I won't go further into that. Heeding the warning about too much dressing, I cut the amounts down in relation to the amount of potatoes I had. I had Serrano ham, not pancetta, so I sauteed the ham until crispy.

                                This was a big hit in the Nightshade house. The dressing had zing but not too much bite. The crisp Serrano ham brought the right touch of salt and crunch. Definitely a do-again dish.

                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  That looks incredible! I just received Tender in the mail yesterday, so I'm ready to dig in, and this looks like a tasty starting-off point...

                              2. Roast potato salad with rosemary and garlic p. 449

                                This recipe takes a very good version of roast potatoes, to then be tossed, right out of the oven, with a dressing made of 2T red wine vinegar, 2T mustard and 5T olive oil. (You slightly crush the potatoes to crack them open before you add the dressing.) They were really wonderful. The dressing is thick, so I ended up adding a touch more of olive oil after I tossed them the first time. If someone does not like mustard, you will hate this. Otherwise, it was a big hit and I will make it again.

                                One note: I cooked the potatoes an hour and they were crisp outside, soft inside, perfect. They are roasted with cloves of garlic, unpeeled, so you get that wonderful soft roast garlic you can ooze out of the skins, At an hour, some of the smaller cloves became hard. So the next time I make it, I will wait to throw in the garlic cloves until about 15 minutes into the roast.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Tom P

                                  Roast Potato Salad with Rosemary and Garlic, Pg. 449

                                  Don't know why I haven't made this recipe sooner. It was so full of tangy garlicky goodness. I used small red bliss potatoes, the optional thyme leaves, and lovely big fat juicy garlic cloves. I always slice the root end off garlic cloves when I roast them with skin on, it makes it easier to slip the soft garlic out of the crisp skin. I have nothing much to add to Tom's clear description of the directions. At the finish my potatoes were enveloped in the wonderful dressing but still crisp on the outside, soft and mellow inside. I didn't think the mustard in the dressing overpowered any of the other ingredients but simply added to the overall complexity of the sauce. This is a super delicious warm potato salad.

                                2. Chicken with leeks and lemon p. 299

                                  A chicken fanatic, I had to try this one, given the ingredients and the flavors. It is a simple pan roasted chicken, with a sauce from vermouth, stock and lemon juice and/or white wine vinegar (the recipe says either, I used both.)

                                  This was quite good, though it would not supplant my own pan roasted chicken recipe. There ended up being so much liquid, the chicken did not crisp. It was extremely moist and tender, though, and the leeks ended up being very tasty. There was so much liquid I ended up making rice on the side, for the sauce, even though I also cooked Roast potato salad with rosemary and garlic (p. 449) to serve on the side with a salad.

                                  If I made this again, I would add some herbs to give it some more flavor, and really boil the liquid down at some stage to make the sauce thicker and more flavorful. It was a light, lovely version of chicken. Just not ‘Oh, wow, this is killer!”

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Tom P

                                    Thanks for the report and hints. I have (maybe had?) this on my list.

                                    1. re: Tom P

                                      I'm making this recipe tonight as a component of a $5.00 per person dinner challenge. I've noted your tips about the liquid, Tom, when I read the recipe in the book I realized 2 cups stock plus the vinegar was excessive. Thanks for confirming that. I intend to use 6 boneless chicken thighs.

                                      The other dishes will be steamed brown basmati rice and a cabbage with apple sautee recipe which is tucked within a paragraph in the cabbage chapter of one of his other books.... I think I'll meet the challenge with this.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Sounds wonderful, let us know how it goes!

                                      2. re: Tom P

                                        Chicken with Leeks and Lemon Pg. 299

                                        Well... we did make this last night as planned with 6 boneless skinless thighs and followed Tom P.'s lead by reducing the amount of stock from 2 cups to 1 1/2 c, used just the zest of a lemon not the juice but did use 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar, 4 oz. Noilly Prat, and 1/2 a large bunch of parsley. The 4 leeks were enormous so I sliced them a bit smaller than "the length of a wine cork" which is NS's measurement.

                                        The finished dish was very tasty. While it didn't give us a loud Wow factor each component was cooked well: juicy tender chicken, soft and mild leeks. The sauce was slightly tangy and added that little touch of savory finish. We had a favorable reaction to both the ease of preparation and the finished dish.

                                        A side dish was Cabbage and Apples the recipe for which can be found tucked within the first paragraph on page 151 of Real Fast food. G brought home some fresh corn on the cob so I cooked 2 ears of that instead of the brown rice I was going to make.

                                        As for the $5.00 p/p challenge...I went over the limit. If I just add up what we spent for the principle ingredients we bought specifically for the challenge we spent $5. 75. However, if we include what was already in our pantry (lemon, cabbage, apples, corn - not to mention garlic, vinegar, vermouth, homemade chicken stock, S & P) the total comes to $7.73.

                                      3. A Salad of Potatoes, Mustard and Cucumber, Pg. 444

                                        A little different take on that ubiquitous Summer standby, potato salad. Only 1/2 peeled, salted, drained cucumber and 1 - 1/2 lb. new potatoes are used in the recipe but when I make this again I'll definitely increase those amounts. The seasoning is: super fine sugar, white wine or cider vinegar (I used Bragg's cider vinegar), Dijon (Fallot), EVOO, juniper berries, dill (fennel fronds). I steamed the potatoes then after draining well folded them into the dressing while they were still warm. That makes all the difference - the flavors will soak into the potatoes. Slater says to eat this salad within 20 minutes of tossing but if you need to make the salad ahead of time double the quantity of the dressing.

                                        The only thing I would do differently is to slice the cucumber more thickly. While the slices
                                        did add a nice crunch and coolness they got rather lost in the sauce... Overall we liked the salad very well, though. This recipe is one that will go a long way this Summer. Served with butter poached Delaware Bay scallops and a quickly concocted relish of radishes and cucumber.