November 2012 COTM: Second Helpings -- Side Dishes and Condiments; Desserts; Pantry
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Side Dishes and Condiments 231 - 264
Desserts 265 - 314
Pantry 315 -322
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Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies, p.306
The authors acknowledge right away that these aren't meant to replace your family recipe, but are popular in the restaurant. I wanted a cookie that would use some Halloween leftovers -- Hershey's "Cookies 'n' Creme" mini candy bars. They are white "chocolate" with crisp little dark chocolate cookie dots, so I chopped some to stand in for the chocolate chips in these oatmeal cookies. Also added a few chopped and toasted walnuts. I was happy with the recipe, which is pretty standard, with good directions, and cautions against overbaking.
So I watched the clock and kept them pale and was rewarded with sweet mellow cookies. Not flashy but solid as a base oatmeal cookie.
Apple and Mortadella Stuffing, p.235
At first this struck me as too odd a combination to work. Then I thought that giblets, oysters, sausage etc. are used in stuffing, so why not mortadella? But it didn't work, and I wouldn't recommend this. It's entirely possible that the mortadella they use differs *completely* from what I had. (They used Italian, mine was Boar's Head Brand.) (Anybody know how far apart they are?)
Anyway, raisins and apples and apple cider go into this, and onions and celery, pine nuts (I threw in a small handful of sliced almonds instead) and green olives, sage, S&P, sourdough bread cubes and yes mortadella. Everything gets put together in the end, after the raisins are plumped, the onions softened in butter, etc. It's cooked and stirred, the book says it will be very moist and they prefer it that way, can be cooked down more if you like. As you can see, it's very moist, but at this point I knew I just couldn't like it. Has anyone ever had something like this that worked ?
re: blue room
Not having the book in front of me I googled and found the online version...
How did it taste? Too salty? I find mortadella tends to much too salty for my taste. Plus green olives... It's those green olives that would have put me off. We have a very good Italian grocery near by and I'm tempted to make this stuffing just to see what it's like. They have excellent salamis and such and aell two kinds of mortadella: w and w/o pistachios. I'd use the pistachio version and not use the pine nuts if I do make it.
re: blue room
Ugh, sorry to hear this, blue room. I have it down as part of my Thanksgiving menu. We have a local deli that makes their own mortadella, but they don't always have it. I like the apple idea, and I plan on making the turkey with apple gravy. What do you think of subbing sausage for the mortadella? I don't want to take any chances with guests coming.
I would say don't "take any chances with guests coming." I would say use a tried (by you) and true stuffing for your Thanksgiving menu. I had great curiosity about this recipe, if you do, I would say satisfy your curiosity in private! I'm afraid "ugh" exactly describes my feelings about this. The things that are good in these books are so good! But the letdowns are not fixable, IMO.
Baked Potatoes with Roasted Onion and Sour Cream, p. 248.
I forget how baking potatoes with salt imparts such flavor; I should do it more often. The potatoes are topped with chopped onion (also roasted on coarse salt) and sour cream. I served with our Sunday night roast chicken. A "simple variation" but a nice richness without adding butter.