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December 2012 COTM: How To Eat -- Basics, Etc; Cooking In Advance; One and Two; Fast Food

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Basics,Etc. 7 - 66
Cooking In Advance 79 - 117
One and Two 123 - 157
Fast Food 161 - 190

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  1. Basic White Loaf p. 29

    http://sarah-discovers-how-to-eat.blo...

    My husband loves white bread so I thought this would be a nice treat for him. I did heed her suggestion and used compressed fresh yeast (my first time using it).

    This is quick to make on a Sunday morning. The results were very good. Simple and comforting . The crust was a little browner than I’d like, so I’ll adjust my baking time if I make this again. We enjoyed the bread with soup, in sandwiches, and buttered.

    1. Chicken with Morels p. 135
      http://winterskieskitchenaglow.blogsp...

      Chicken thighs are browned in butter and oil. Chicken is removed and then garlic and onions are sautéed until soft. Add morels (soaked in water), Marsala, reserved morel water with chicken stock cube (I used better than bouillion), return the chicken, cover and cook until done. Remove chicken, reduce the sauce and add mascarpone (one could use cream or half and half here). Return the chicken to cover with the sauce and add parsley.

      The dish results in a very succulent chicken with a rich sauce. We’ve made this twice already this week (after my husband got over the shock of the cost of the morels). The first time we made it with 3 chicken thighs. The next time, I’d use a little less butter since the chicken skin renders quite a bit of its own fat. I’ll also remove the chicken skin once the chicken is cooked. The skin lends a nice flavor to the sauce, but the soggy skin on the finished dish isn’t as appealing.

      We also tried a version with boneless, skinless chicken breasts using 1/2 T butter and 1/T oil. The chicken breasts did not need to cook very long at all. It was not as good as the version with thighs, but the passable when trying to eat lighter.

      15 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          This is so easy to make after work. Soak the morels for 30 minutes and in that time I can chop the onion, garlic, parlsey, measure the marsala and mascarpone, wash the dishes and change out of my work clothes. At that point, the dish is ready to cook. The other reason we made it twice was that I had chicken breasts that needed to be used or frozen.

          1. re: BigSal

            BigSal, I love your description... it is very much like Nigella!

        2. re: BigSal

          Thanks for such a mouth-watering review Big Sal. That sounds wonderful and I look forward to giving it a try. Not so sure I can get fresh morels but dried shouldn't be a problem.

          1. re: Breadcrumbs

            The recipe calls for dried morels so you should be set. I hope you enjoy it.

            1. re: BigSal

              Excellent, thanks so much!! I just cooked my first recipe from the book tonight (and loved it) but I had already fallen in love with the book It's such fun to read!

          2. re: BigSal

            Thanks for the review and the tips, Big Sal. This is on my list. So much to make from this book.

            1. re: BigSal

              We made the Chicken with Morels last night. It was very good and easy.

              We weren't sure if Nigella meant sweet or dry Marsala. As we had none my DH went and bought one of each (375ml so you don't think we are profligate!). He tasted and decided on the sweet. What do you use?

              The only other change I would make is to double the sauce ingredients so there is enough for the second set of thighs as we each normally eat one.

              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                We also bought the small bottles of dry and sweet Marsala and ending up using only the sweet in her recipes so far.

              2. re: BigSal

                Made the chicken with morels tonight for dinner and it was a huge hit with all of us. Sopped up the extra sauce with baguette slices. Pure heaven, and very easy (although it will be easier next time, when I don't feel like I have to read the paragraph as instructions). Thanks to Big Sal for once again pointing me in a great direction.

                I should mention that I made this with skinless boneless thighs, so didn't bother with the first round of browning the chicken, just set them in with the onions, morels, marsala mix and let cook for about 20-25 minutes, then took out and reduced sauce. I basically doubled the recipe and it worked out well.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  Glad to hear that you enjoyed this (whew)!

                  1. re: BigSal

                    You're off the hook. We loved it.

                2. re: BigSal

                  Just curious, what did you serve this dish with? Also do you think it would be ok without the bouillon cube?

                  1. re: Westminstress

                    This month has been such a whirlwind that I'm having a hard time remembering what we served with it. Probably brown rice and a steamed vegetable of some sort. And yes, I think you can make this without the bouillon cube. Maybe re-hydrate the morels in chicken stock, but just water should work too.

                  2. re: BigSal

                    This dish didn't catch my eye when I was looking for recipes to try, but your description changed my mind. Though the chicken recipe was easy enough, I think still spent almost two hours prepping dinner. (I spent all the "down" time on sides: roasted beets, sautéed beet greens, and boiled new potatoes.) My chicken thighs released a lot of liquid, so reducing the sauce took a while. When I make it again, I will probably leave the sauce a bit thinner. By the time I stirred in the mascarpone, mine was a little gloppy, but tasted delicious!

                  3. Chicken with Scalliions, Chili and Yogurt p. 187

                    This was just ok for us. The appeal of the recipe is how healthy and quick it is to make. Nothing terrible about it, but just not something we’d seek out.

                    Chicken breasts are marinated in lemon juice and olive oil and cooked in a skillet. Serve with tzatziki (yogurt, garlic, scallions, green chili, mint, cilantro,and cucumber).

                    We served this with couscous and chopped cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: BigSal

                      I have this one marked as a "must try" Big Sal. Since it seems as though it was good but not great for you, I'm thinking of changing it up a bit by adding some garlic and aleppo pepper or chilis to the marinade. Do you think that might help?

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        Yes, I think the zipping up the chicken marinade would definitely help. Also her tzatziki was fine, but I prefer the version from the Olive and the Caper or the one smtucker shared from The Periyali Cookbook.

                        1. re: BigSal

                          The one from the Olive & Caper is my absolute favourite Big Sal. I picked up cukes today so I could make it and I'll definitely use it w this recipe based on your feedback, thanks!

                          1. re: BigSal

                            I tried both of these tzatziki (and other versions too!) - The Periyali is my favourite. I bought the book after smtucker spoke highly of the book and like it a lot. Yhe Olive and the Caper left me indifferent somehow.

                            I make a similar chicken to the one you described, BigSal (my book is still not here). I do not marinate, cook skinless/boneless breasts on stovetop in oil/butter for about 10min, squeeze some lemon over, scatter a few capers and let rest a few minutes. Supre easy and rather tasty.

                        2. re: BigSal

                          Ohhh, too bad. I had this one marked with a note that says to up the spicing. But now I'm thinking it will move to the bottom of the list.

                          1. re: LulusMom

                            I hate to dissuade others. I think you and Breadcrumbs are on the right track by upping the spicing. It was the chicken that was lackluster. The tzatziki is not bad, but I was really wowed by the other version. Maybe just add some red wine vinegar to Nigella's version. I look forward to seeing reviews with tweaks, because it is such a quick and healthy meal.

                        3. Sweet and Salty Rice Noodles p135 UK edition

                          I noticed the page numbers are different in BigSal's version of the book. (She has Chicken with Morels in her p135). This non-recipe is in the introductory text of One & Two, in the paragraph about thick jellied white rice noodles. It has 'noodles, garlic, spring onions, chilli, soy, sesame oil' written on the side of the paragraph.

                          The recipe is very simple. Fry garlic, spring onion and red chilli. Add cooked greens, noodles. Then season with mirin, soy, and black bean sauce. Drizzle with coriander and sesame oil. I made this for a packed lunch and cooked it in true 'store cupboard' style. I didn't have spring onion or red chilli. I also used egg noodles instead, which I have to precook. The black bean sauce I use is Lee Kum Kee. Along with the sesame oil, I drizzle some chilli oil (Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe) as well. I packed this with a kale cup and a mini meatloaf (hence skipping the greens).
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8762...
                          This is eaten the next day, reheated in a microwave.

                          If you are after a very simple but delicious noodle recipe, to serve with meat and veg, you need to try and learn this one. It's really really good for the minimum amount of effort it takes. I can see it up there with egg fried rice for me. Something I'll cook when I don't know what to cook and am pressed for time.

                          1. Clementine Cake p.75 (UK edition)

                            This is one of those recipes that everyone who owns 'How to Eat" seems to end up baking at some time. It's incredibly easy and very delicious. You do have to plan ahead as you boil citrus fruit for 2 hours (I used tangerines this time but you can also use oranges or lemons instead of clementines). Then after removing the pips (seeds) you blitz everything (skin, pith, flesh) in the processor then mix with eggs, ground almonds and sugar. That's your cake which cooks for an hour. It's wonderfully moist with a great citrus flavor. The recipe is available on the Food Network site:
                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ni...

                            30 Replies
                            1. re: JaneEYB

                              Clementine Cake, pg. 66 US edition.

                              Not being much of a baker, why of all things this was my starting point for Ms. Lawson I don't know. But as Jane points out above everybody seems to give this one a whirl, and having done some googling before making it, mostly to see what the differences were between Lawson's version & C. Roden's, I can assure you there is plenty of copy on this cake in the blog-o-sphere, including on chow.

                              Anyway, Jane's got the process well out-lined above, and I followed it, except that I used Roden's equal weights for the almonds and sugar, rather than Lawson's cup measurements, and since I couldn't find my spring form pan, I think it is in a box in the basement somewhere, but don't ask me which one, I used a loaf pan lined with parchment, and upped the cooking time by about 15 minutes. It worked fine, but I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have a clementine and a handful of almonds rather than a slice of this cake.

                              1. re: qianning

                                and here it is, just after un-molding, and before plating.

                                 
                                1. re: qianning

                                  Qianning, which Roden's book this recipe is from? I would love to try the "real" thing after making the Nigella's version :)

                                  1. re: herby

                                    Here's a link to a discussion from when Roden's book was COTM. Make sure you follow the entire sub-discussion because there is confusion regarding which edition the recipe appears in http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: herby

                                      Hi Herby--sorry I just saw this. Hope TDQ's post answered your questions. If not, its in "A Book of Middle Eastern Food". Here's a link to the recipe:
                                      http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes...

                                  2. re: JaneEYB

                                    Jane,do you think Meyer Lemons would make a good choice?

                                    1. re: angelsmom

                                      I have made this cake with Meyer lemons, and it works very well.

                                    2. re: JaneEYB

                                      I have a question about the ground almonds in this cake. Are they the same as almond meal, which I can buy prepackaged, or are you grinding almonds in the FP and, if so, to what consistency? Thanks!

                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                        Westminstress, in the UK ground almond is shelled, blanched almonds, ground to a very smooth texture. We buy them prepackaged and is used in a lot of baking.

                                        1. re: lilham

                                          Oh, it sounds like almond meal, which is essentially almond flour. Thanks for the clarification!

                                      2. re: JaneEYB

                                        Here's a secret: you can prick your citrus and microwave for 5-10 minutes instead of boiling for 2 hours. I'm sure I posted about this on Chowhound but I can't find it. Here's another site that discusses this shortcut:
                                        http://morselsandmusings.blogspot.com...

                                        I suppose you'd get more flavor (possibly more bitterness) from your citrus because it's not being leached into the water. I suppose someone should make them side by side and compare them (calling Cook's Illustrated!). All I can say is that it worked for me. I've usually made the chocolate version, though, so it may be more forgiving of strong flavors.

                                        1. re: JaneEYB

                                          Clementine (tangerine) Cake p.75 (UK edition)

                                          Finally I made something out of the book and it is this cake. It is still in the oven for another few minutes and will be my treat thris afternoon to go with a cup of tea. It smells delicious :)

                                          I wonder if anyone knows why tangerines need to be boiled for such a long time?

                                          1. re: herby

                                            Herby, glad you asked that question, I wondered about that myself, and have no idea why...hoping someone else weighs in with the answer.

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              I find it very useful to understand the "why" of the cooking :) I am going to check Roden's recipe if it is in one the two of her books that I have. She is usually good at these kind of things.

                                            2. re: herby

                                              herby, did you see Karen_Schaffer's post in this thread (before yours, 12 hours) about microwaving the citrus instead of boiling it?

                                              1. re: blue room

                                                I did see it but I do not have a mictowave so I boiled. But I was in the kitchen anyway making kale salad and eggplant and lemon risotto from Jerusalem - delicious!

                                            3. re: JaneEYB

                                              I'd like to make this cake tonight or tomorrow. I have all the ingredients and my choices for baking are a 9" springform or 9x4" (I think) loaf pan. She says to use an 8" round. Any suggestions as to which of my pans to use and will I need to modify the recipe in any way? If so, how? Thanks!!!

                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                Just took mine out of the oven and earlier today I was doing a lot of Googling about different issues since I do have an 8" springform pan. But I came across quite a few comments from those who used a 9" springform and said it came out just fine with a bit less baking time. The one comment I read from someone who used a loaf pan said it never unmolded from the pan and they had to cut slices while it was still in the pan.

                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                  Westmintress, according to this site
                                                  http://allrecipes.com/howto/cake-pan-...
                                                  you'll be fine with a 9 inch, like JoanN said. It'll be a little flatter of course.

                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                    May be too late to help....but I made it in a loaf pan lined with parchment, which worked fine as far as on-molding was concerned.

                                                  2. re: JaneEYB

                                                    Clementine Cake UK edition

                                                    I made this for christmas lunch, and everyone loves it. I basically followed the recipe, using 4 clementines. But instead of boiling the clementines on the stove, I put the fruit in my slow cooker and cooked it on high for about 4 hours. I didn't know what boiled citrus smells like, but it stinked up the whole house. I wouldn't recommend using the slow cooker if you don't like the smell! Also I used a 20cm sandwich tin, instead of a 21cm springform tin as specified in the recipe. The sandwich tin was very shallow and luckily the cake didn't rise much or I'd have a oven disaster. (I guessed it wouldn't given there's only a tsp of baking powder). I didn't have any problem unmoulding the cake, but it could because my sandwich tin is silicone.

                                                    1. re: lilham

                                                      I had never heard the term "sandwich tin," so I googled, and it seems to be what we in the US would call a cake pan. This is why I love the internationality of CH. I'm always learning something new.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        I figured it to be a loaf pan, for sandwich bread.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            Huh? I wonder how that happened-- how does "sandwich" fit with round shallow baking vessels? Maybe because you often sandwich two cake rounds together, for layer cake?

                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                              Yes that's exactly what a sandwich tin is. They are for baking two halves of a Victoria sponge, for example.

                                                    2. re: JaneEYB

                                                      Clementine (satsuma) Cake

                                                      Made this cake this morning to rave reviews. I used satsumas instead of clementines and needed 6 to make a pound as they are quite small. The cake was easy to mix and baked up nicely in my 9" springform pan. Two questions though. First, I thought the cake could have benefitted from a touch of salt, any suggestions as to how much to add? Second, I saved the water leftover from boiling the tangerines bc it smelled amazing - is there any good use for it? It tastes like bitter oranges.

                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                        Clementine Cake (page 66, US edition)

                                                        My turn. I brought this as a hostess gift for Christmas dinner to a gluten-free home and it was very much appreciated and enjoyed.

                                                        The only thing I have to add regards the grinding of the almonds. I had almost enough blanched, sliced almonds and filled in with whole, unblanched almonds. I had planned to chop them in the food processor, but after a bit of Googling decided to grind them in a Zyliss cheese grater. I was thrilled with the result. Wonderful, even, very fine texture. And the bit of skin from the unblanched almonds wasn't noticeable. The cake may have been slightly undercooked since the center fell a bit on cooling. Perhaps the cake was a tad more moist than it should have been, but none of the guests seemed to think so.

                                                        Not sure why this cake became so iconic. It's good, and it's easy, but not something I'd be in a hurry to make again except under similar circumstances.