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September 2011 COTM, Slater/Kitchen Diaries: Autumn

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters for September, October, and November.

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  1. Pork Ribs with Honey and Anise (KD, page 298)

    Brought Kitchen Diaries home from the library; made this dish that night; ordered Kitchen Diaries from Amazon the next morning.

    You marinate spareribs in honey, oyster sauce, garlic, crushed red pepper, star anise and salt and pepper for at least an hour, preferably overnight. I used some pine honey I brought back from Turkey and marinated my not particularly meaty, bought on sale in Chinatown, ribs for about three hours. They’re baked for an hour and 15 minutes @ 350F, turning once. He says you need to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, and you do. As you can see in the photo, mine were pretty charred after an hour and 5 minutes. The char wouldn’t have mattered if the ribs had had more meat on them. But even a bit burnt, these were so tasty, and so easy, it’s taking restraint not to run to the butcher for better ribs and make these again immediately.

     
    3 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      They sound AMAZING - putting them on my to make list immediately.

      And you've caved already!

      1. re: greedygirl

        Probably the quickest cave ever. Got a used copy for less than $10 including shipping. I figure if there are just one or two more recipes as good as this one, it will have been worth it.

      2. re: JoanN

        10.2 Pork Ribs with Honey and Anise, Pg. 298

        We made this recipe last night and like JoanN we loved every morsel. Our so-called ribs were boneless pork cut from the shoulder with a good amount of fat and very meaty. They were long and thick so I sliced them in thirds. They marinated overnight and we cooked them for dinner. As an aside, our honey didn't come fromTurkey... only from Rhode Island. Because NS says to watch that they don't burn I lined a baking tray with aluminum foil then spread the ribs around in a single layer. The ribs roasted for the stated time but didn't char although they were glistening, cooked through and looked pretty much like the picture on the opposite page of the recipe. Definitely a repeat recipe.

        G was pleased with the "balance of flavors" of the whole meal: Fragrant Basmati Rice from Real Fast Food, the Vietnamese stir-fry, stir-fried eggplant from Tender, these ribs, and his much loved corn on the cob.... so was I.

      3. Pan Fried Sausages w/Mustard Mashed Potatoes, p. 323

        I made this easy supper dish for my daughter and myself, even though neither of us is super keen on mustard. It is exactly as it sounds: pan fry the sausages until they are “deep, burnished golden brown”, which took longer than the 20-25 minutes suggested on my moderately low heat. Make mashed potatoes with light cream – I used heavy cream cut with milk – adding a generous TBSP each of Dijon mustard and whole grain mustard. The mash went very well with the sausages, as you would expect, and we both enjoyed this supper very much.

        8 Replies
        1. re: mirage

          mirage: Which brand of Dijon did you use? I used to buy Grey Poupon, but found the Faillot mustard at my local store and thought it was much better...can't explain way. I ran out and my husband bought a jar of GP to replace. Faillot isn't available at most stores around here - just Berkeley Bowl, but he didn't go there.

          So now I've become a Faillot junkie and find GP almost inedible. Anybody have this problem?

          1. re: oakjoan

            Yes, I do. Don't even care that it costs an arm and a foot at Fairway. I'm hooked

            1. re: oakjoan

              Yup. I discovered Faillot years ago, and can't go back. I order it by the case from http://www.frenchselections.com/

              Reasonable price if you buy a case of 12 jars.

              1. re: oakjoan

                I'd never even heard of it but now I'm going to have to look out for it. Thanks a bunch. I usually buy Maille, or Amora if I'm in France.

                BTW I think it's Fallot not Faillot.

                1. re: greedygirl

                  And you are, one again, correct. :-)

                  They are the last family run mustard company in France. I visited the "headquarters" on one visit. The smell was intoxicating.

                2. re: oakjoan

                  I used Maille. And Inglehoffer for the whole grain one. Of course now I'm going to look for Fallot.

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    I'm also partial to Edmond Fallot Dijon, which I buy at the same place oakjoan does. As a fallback, Maille, which I also like. After it was recommended tome here on CH, I bought some Trader Joe's Dijon (made in France, who knows by whom), which is nice and hot.

                    Last time I was in the mustard aisle at Berkeley Bowl, I notice that they carry a number of the flavored Edmond Fallot mustards seen here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_gro...

                    Maille makes a whole slew of interesting flavors that I've never seen in the US. After a trip to Paris, my mother gave me small jars of Maille Hazelnut and Nutmeg, and Fig and Coriander Dijon mustards, both of which I like quite well.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      Oakjoan, get on the email list of Le Village, a French foods wholesaler in San Leandro who has open warehouse sales every now and then. That's where I discovered Fallot mustard, and I too am devoted to it.

                      http://www.levillage.com/Page.bok?tem...

                      Their cheese locker is superb!

                      The selection of goods on the website is limited and the prices higher than at the warehouse (although pricing at the sales is odd too sometimes). But it's worth a trip, if only to listen to the French ex-pats chatter while filling their carts with their beloved Petits Suisses.

                  2. I prefer Fallot too. Grey Poupon always tasted too salty to me. However, I like Maille grainy mustard...but we still keep Gulden's spicy brown on hand.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Gio

                      Fallot also makes a whole grain mustard that I'm eager to try, but Fairway doesn't carry it and I haven't gotten around to mail ordering it. Have you tried it? Do you prefer the Maille whole grain to the Fallot?

                      http://www.amazon.com/Edmond-Fallot-W...

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I do prefer it..... love the wine they use.

                        1. re: JoanN

                          I don't think I've tried the Fallot whole grain, Joan... however I will in just a few days. Thanks for the link. The Maile has a pleasant sharp flacor without being too salty that I like and I can buy it at our local market. I used to buy Pommery, mostly for the crocks which make nice rustic flower vases,, but then I switched to Maille.

                      2. 11.8 Slow Roast Chicken and Creamy Onions, Pg. 336, USA Ed.

                        What a wonderful meal this was. The chicken was juicy with crispy skin and the onions were delectable with a creamy cheese sauce.

                        First the chicken. The recipe for the chicken is nothing more than a few lines under the heading for the onion recipe...bless his heart. I used a 4 1/2 pound free-range chicken (no mention of size) slathered with butter, salt and pepper, and a little extra olive oil. After seasoning the cavity I tucked sprigs of sage, rosemary and thyme inside. (he says a few herbs). Roast the chicken at 350F for about 1 hour. Ours took about 1 hour 35 minutes.

                        While the chicken is roasting peel medium to large onions (3 medium fresh new season white onions), place in a deep pan of water, bring to boil, then simmer for 25 minutes. Take them from water to a plate with a slotted spoon or spider. Slice the onions lengthwise from top to bottom through the root end. This is tricky but I used tongs to grasp each onion then used a serrated knife to slice them through. Still grasping with tongs, I slid the knife under the onion half to place it into a baking dish. Worked a treat.

                        Pour 1 1/4 cup whipping cream over onion (3/4 cup 1/2 & 1/2 cream), sprinkle with S & P and "a good handful" grated Parmigiano (3/4 cup). Bake 25 - 30 minutes till "golden and bubbling."

                        Both dishes were absolutely perfect. Another ooohhh and aaahhh experience. I served a carrot salad (Carrot Thinnings, Tender, page 124) on the same plate as the chicken and put the onions in their own individual small bowls with the creamy sauce. Stunning dinner.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Gio

                          Gosh Gio that does sound good. And perfect for a casual dinner with friends, maybe? I'm very impressed with the number of recipes you've made already, btw!

                          1. re: Gio

                            Seriously Gio, you are amazing so far this month. You are rocking the Slater!

                            1. re: LulusMom

                              Thanks GG and LLM. None of these recipes are terribly time consuming and the ones that are i make on the weekends. We're both loving his methods and the results.

                            2. re: Gio

                              It was a dark and stormy night. . . . so I made this exact dinner because Gio's reviews sounded so appetizing and warming on a nippy fall evening! I was not disappointed.

                              The onions in cream could not be simpler, once you have peeled and simmered them till tender. Then it's just slice them (good tip about the tongs) pour cream over, scatter a handful of grated parm over and bake at 350. Mine took an hour to become really golden. It's such a simple dish, but unctuously smooth and rich and once in a while, that's just what you want. I've never been a big fan of those marble-sized creamed onions you have to chase around and spear on the plate. These fat onion halves are much more user-friendly. I restrained myself from adding anything else to the sauce--no garlic, no herbs, just S & P--and the trio of onions, cream, and parm was still fully satisfying.

                              AND--the onions provided the perfect foil for their oven-mate, a roast chicken. For some reason I never roast a whole chicken, generally preferring to concoct more complicated treatments for chicken pieces. But I'm going to change my tune because everyone appreciated the final tender and juicy product so much. The eight-year-old even grabbed her first drumstick and ate it down (I'm always trying to convince the white-meat-only folks at my table that dark meat tastes better!) I just did what Gio said: Rub with butter and oil, stuff with herbs, roast in oven. I turned mine once--my four-an-a-half pounder took not quite an hour and a half. I did drain off the roasting-pan juices, reduce them with 1/2 c. dry vermouth and more tarragon, and pour them over the chicken at the table. With a cry of "voila!"

                              Served with scalloped tomato pie, and a side of steamed broccoli for the health-nuts. ;-)
                              Not the best photographs, but for once I remembered to take them.

                               
                               
                               
                              1. re: Goblin

                                Oh I'm so glad you and your family liked this dinner. I think it almost makes an alternative for Thanksgiving for those who don't need a zillion side dishes. Just a few other necessaries like, potatoes, cranberry sauce and a green somethingorother... Looks like we both used the same gratin dish for those marvelous onions. Mine is red...LOL

                                Now, your scalloped tomato pie looks fabulous. What a great meal, Goblin.

                            3. Fresh Borlotti with Olive Oil and Focaccia – p. 293 (UK Edition) – Autumn/September

                              Fresh beans are a summer treat and we tend to enjoy them most in the simplest of preparations. This is one of those simple recipes where the finished dish is greater than the sum of its few, high quality parts.

                              Fresh borlotti beans are tossed into a pan of boiling water and left to bubble away until tender which was about 30 mins in my case. While Nigel has you toss them in all alone, I decide to add a couple of whole cloves of garlic because we love garlic and, it is fresh, delicious and abundant in my neck of the woods at the moment.

                              Beans are then drained, tossed w some salt and drizzled w a little olive oil.
                              Garlic is then sliced and warmed gently (without colouring) in 4 -5 tbsp of olive oil before adding the beans to coat. This mixture is then supposed to be tipped onto a plate atop some freshly washed arugula. For their first appearance on our table, we elected to simply eat the beans straight-up atop some crostini.

                              Simple, buttery with a hint of garlic and a slight grassy flavour from the Corsican EVOO, these were a delightful addition to our antipasti table.

                               
                               
                               
                              1. Stilton, Onion, and Potato Pie - p 352 (US ed)

                                I just read this recipe and ad-libbed off it, so take this review with a grain of salt.

                                The original recipe has you boil some potatoes, and meanwhile saute some onions until soft and sticky. When the potatoes are done, you make a smooth mash by beating them with some hot milk. He has you grease a baking dish, and put down layers of the potato mash, caramelized onions, and stilton. The top layer would be potato, on top of which you would grate some parmesan cheese, and bake until gold and bubbling.

                                I didn't do this. I did boil potatoes, and caramelize onions. I also added some diced speck to the onions. I then just mashed the potatoes with the onions, speck, and the blue cheese, and called it a day. And it was great. Served this with a Sausage and Apple Hotpot from Tender V II.

                                1. A Wonderfully Moist, Fresh Plum Cake (KD, page 278, UK edition)

                                  I really like Slater's self-assured recipe titles - and there's not much I can add to his succinct description.
                                  For this cake, he has you whisk together a simple cake batter, to which you add plenty of ground almonds and chopped walnuts. After the mixture has been spooned into the cake tin, you put in 16 quartered plums. It seems like far too many, but I found it best to place them with tips pointing up and very close together. They stick out rather oddly, but the batter rises up around them during baking and leaves you with a nicely sweet/tart, nutty and yes, wonderfully moist plum cake.

                                  1. Zucchini and Lancashire Cheese Crumble - p. 288 (US ed)

                                    The introduction to this recipe states, "I am aware that this sounds like 1970s vegetarian restaurant fodder but I make no apologies for it." It does indeed, and indeed he needn't. This is a hearty vegetarian main, or it could well be a side. It could be easily tweaked to a non-veg dish with the addition of some bacon/ham/prosciutto/speck/etc. Anyway you cook it up, this is good stuff.

                                    You start by slowly cooking a roughly chopped onion in butter. Add some finely chopped rosemary, and once the onion starts to turn gold, some diced potato. This is one dish where you can get by without a mise en place. Chop the onion, add to pan, mince the rosemary, add to pan, dice the potato, and so on. Slow-going stuff, here. This all cooks covered, then the diced zucchini is added, along with salt and pepper. Then add some vegetabe stock (I confess I used chicken stock), cover and let bubble for a while more.

                                    In a food processor, you are to grind up some bread, walnuts, rosemary, and and cheese into crumbs. This goes on top of the zucchini mixture, and it is placed, uncovered, into a 350 degree oven. Bake the whole thing for a while and you come out with a very hearty, crunchy-topped, savory vegetable main or side. This was a main for us. with a side of creamed corn. Very homey, surprisingly hearty, and very, very good.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: MelMM

                                      Zucchini and Lancashire Cheese Crumble, p. 288 (US ed.)

                                      I agree with Mel's assessment that this is homey, hearty, and very, very good. Neat idea, for a savory crisp, and one I'll probably riff on. It hit the spot on a rainy evening. I used five-year-old Canadian cheddar for the cheese - the layer under the crumble is nice - and substituted white wine. I used olive oil instead of butter for the saute and also drizzled some on top of the crumble mixture before putting it in the oven, which really helped it crisp up.

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        Caitlin I really like your idea of substituting white wine for the stock. I'm thinking of making this dish today and it was great to see you and Mel had reviewed it here.

                                    2. My Very Good Chocolate Brownie Recipe (p. 323 US Ed)

                                      Recipe online: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                      Nigel was not kidding when he describes these as 24-karat. Yes, these were a little bit of work, but only when compared to box mixes, and anyway was totally worth it. So rich and deep-tasting. I did add a good sprinkle of pecan pieces and a generous amount of kosher salt on top, which I think it really needed. The salt especially was a great contrast with the dense taste of the brownie. Plus I love a great salty-sweet combo.

                                      One note however: in the US edition Nigel calls for a 9-in baking pan, which I did not have. In choosing between my 8-in square pan and the 9x13-in, I chose the 9x13 and I think that was the wrong choice. The brownies ended up incredibly crumbly, to the point that I had a very hard time getting it out of the pan. I am hoping that next time I make these and use the 8-in pan that the texture will be much better and fudgier. Because I will be making these again!

                                      PS: they also seem to last a really long time, even at room temperature.