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February 2013 COTM “Bistro Cooking at Home” Savory Gratins, Gallettes, and Tarts; Fish, Bistro Style; Chicken and Other Winged Things

blue room Jan 31, 2013 11:31 PM

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Savory Gratins, Gallettes, and Tarts 101 - 124
Pasta, Risotto, and Polenta 125 - 148
Fish, Bistro Style 149 - 176
Chicken and Other Winged Things 177 - 208

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  1. Gio RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 07:47 AM

    Walk-Away Chicken with Onions and Potatoes, Pg. 181

    My kind of roast. Rub a whole chicken with a savory marinade; prepare onions and small red potatoes separately but with the same sauce, I included chunks of carrots. Place vegetables in roasting pan, nestle chicken into vegetables, bung into a pre-heated 375F oven, roast till perfectly done. Remove veggies and place on a serving platter. Take chicken from pan and pour juices into roasting pan. Rest chicken while the sauce is made.

    While the roasting pan is over heat pour in some lemon juice and stock. Bring to boil scraping up the fond. The sauce will thicken just a bit. Carve chicken and serve with the vegetables. Pour the sauce over all.

    For a 3 1/2 lb.chicken it took about 1 hr 20 minutes. A carefree 80 minutes! Unless, of course, one makes a salad. But that's just incidental. The marinade/rub was very well seasoned with: EVOO, Dijon, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice, S & P so the finished chicken was so delicious. Crisp skin most of us love, perfect juices, somewhat caramelized onions, roasted potatoes that were just beginning to crust but were soft inside. It seems to me I had just such a roast as this at the restaurant...

    The salad was the Hearts of Romaine with Watercress and Creamy Parmigiano Dressing on page 35. Lovely meal.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Gio
      Breadcrumbs RE: Gio Feb 2, 2013 07:57 AM

      This sounds wonderful and carefree Gio. I had it tabbed, but will move it up in the queue. Thanks for the inspiration.

      1. re: Gio
        LulusMom RE: Gio Feb 14, 2013 04:46 PM

        Made the Walk-Away Chicken with Onions and Potatoes (and parsnips and carrots) tonight. I liked that I had the carb and the veg all done at the same time as the main. My chicken was a bit larger than called for, so it took longer to cook. I was concerned that he doesn't call for you to turn the bird at any point, and turned it myself. I was glad that I had done so. We all liked this a lot, but I would say that it won't replace my favorite (River Cafe) roast chicken. Still and all, there is nothing like a nicely roasted chicken and some potatoes, and this fit the bill. Lulu raved about the smell (probably the mustard part of it).

        1. re: LulusMom
          blue room RE: LulusMom Feb 15, 2013 05:55 AM

          Which is your favorite chicken, Lulusmom? Of course now I need to know. From one of the (London) River Cafe books?

          1. re: blue room
            LulusMom RE: blue room Feb 15, 2013 06:38 AM

            Yes, from Italian Easy (one of the River Cafe books). You stick it in the oven with either thyme or rosemary (I usually go thyme) stuck inside and a cut lemon. And that is it! Easy peasy and always good.

            1. re: LulusMom
              blue room RE: LulusMom Feb 15, 2013 06:50 AM

              Thanks!

        2. re: Gio
          bonbon35 RE: Gio Feb 19, 2013 09:34 AM

          Made this last night and it was nice, but nothing stand out for me. I was drawn to the ease of having the side dish made along with the chicken but found that the veg didn't crisp up nicely like stand alone oven roasted ones do. Pleasant meal but still searching for the perfect roast chicken recipe!

          1. re: bonbon35
            LulusMom RE: bonbon35 Feb 19, 2013 10:41 AM

            (nudge, nudge - Italian Easy). Here is our own greedygirl's take on it when IE was recipe of the month:

            (sorry, can't seem to figure out how to put in the link):

            Chicken with lemon, Italian Easy, p 147

            This is basically a pared down version of Marcella Hazan's recipe for roast chicken with lemons, which is the way I usually roast chicken. This method has you roll a lemon on the counter to soften it, then pierce several times with a fork. Put the lemon in the cavity of the bird, along with some fresh thyme, season well and secure with a toothpick. Roast in a 200C oven, breast-side down, for an hour, then flip the chicken over and roast for another 30 minutes.

            This was spectacular, really moist and juicy and falling-off the bone tender. It was a free-range bird from the farmer's market so the flavour of the meat was very good. I served it with the pan juices, and the courgettes from ITE, which I've reported on in the appropriate thread, and some sourdough for mopping.

            The only difference between this recipe, and Hazan's is the addition of the thyme, and that you keep the oven temperature constant (Marcella has you raise it for the last portion of cooking time). I think you might also flip the bird later in the cooking process as well. Anyway, the results were just as good and as it's a slightly simpler method, with no faffing about with the oven temperature, this will become my new standard.

            1. re: LulusMom
              bonbon35 RE: LulusMom Feb 19, 2013 10:59 AM

              Thanks so much Lulusmom! This looks so delicious and so simple. What a great description by greedygirl...This is next in line on the poultry queue for sure - can't wait to try it! Aside: I'm also jazzed at the rolling of the lemon. Bizarre kitchen quirk of mine - I love bashing and rolling citrus fruit on the counter, so that's a plus :)

              1. re: bonbon35
                LulusMom RE: bonbon35 Feb 19, 2013 12:20 PM

                I hope you love it. It is definitely my go-to recipe for roast chicken. so easy, and always good. Simple and delicious.

        3. blue room RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 12:32 PM

          Chicken Pipérade p. 188

          A good one! Chicken breast is sliced and marinated in sherry vinegar, browned in oil and butter, and set aside. Then you'll cook (I'm oversimplifying the method) onion, red bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, some matchsticked ham, cherry/grape tomatoes. ( I used sliced Roma tomatoes -- I won't say how much they wanted for grape tomatoes because if I told you you would DIE.) Anyway, the chicken and a little more sherry vinegar is reintroduced into the softened vegetables of the pipérade and cooked a little more -- then wilt some cress into the mix (first time I've ever had watercress!) and you're done.
          Big success with Mr. blue room, and I loved it.
          I've since looked around the 'net and see many versions of pipérade -- this one is pretty simple, but certainly doesn't lack flavor. I was pleased to marinate the chicken (15 minutes) in just sherry vinegar -- not six or seven ingredients. It smelled so good the minute it hit the hot oil!
          The book notes that this is a Basque dish, and a French bistro favorite.

           
          8 Replies
          1. re: blue room
            LulusMom RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 01:20 PM

            Hmmm, wrote a reply to this but it seems to have disappeared. Anyway, as I was saying, I am happy to hear that you liked this - I am planning to make it on Monday. Because that is my craziest pre-dinner day I'm planning to prep the veg and slice the chicken ahead of time and am hoping that makes it into a quick dish. Do you think that will do the trick? Is it pretty simple once the chopping is done?

            1. re: LulusMom
              blue room RE: LulusMom Feb 2, 2013 01:53 PM

              I would say yes, if you have sliced chicken and vegetables beforehand you'll be sitting around wishing you had something to read... :)
              I looked to be sure you have the book, so you'll see that some things go in before others, also a little minimal stirring, but I made it I think in less than 45 minutes without *anything* pre-prepped, and fooling around with other household stuff too.
              Hope you like it, I know you'll let us know.

              1. re: blue room
                LulusMom RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 04:46 PM

                My "something to read" will be getting Lulu out of her ballet outfit, helping her with her homework, and quickly downing a glass of wine to deal with the insanity of my Monday late afternoons. Thanks for the assurance. Much appreciated.

                PS - I'm doing mine on a bed of baby spinach, since there was no watercress to be found today at the grocery store. I believe this was given as a reasonable alternative.

            2. re: blue room
              Allegra_K RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 02:00 PM

              Ooh, how lovely, Rue Bloom! I had this on my list but couldn't locate any watercress this time around. Happy to hear it turns out so well.

              1. re: blue room
                d
                DebHo RE: blue room Feb 4, 2013 01:03 PM

                Funny, I am making that tonight for dinner but from a different French cookbook. I will have to try this and see how they compare.

                1. re: blue room
                  LulusMom RE: blue room Feb 4, 2013 04:05 PM

                  We loved the Chicken Piperade. I did most of the prep work in the morning (cut the veg, cooked the veg, cut the chicken, cut the grape tomatoes, cooked the turkey bacon, which I subbed for the ham - and yes, totally different but still delicious) so taking Lulu to ballet directly after school and meeting a friend for a glass of wine did not make things especially stressful. The sherry vinegar really does give it a lovely tang. I cooked mine with baby spinach instead of watercress (didn't see any in the store). Served with polenta. Delicious.

                  1. re: blue room
                    Allegra_K RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 06:50 AM

                    Chicken Pipérade p. 188

                    This was a nice, relatively simple dish. Marinating the chicken in the vinegar added a good flavour to the usually-drab breast meat.
                    I made a half recipe; just perfect for two. There was plenty of tasty sauce pooling around the meat & veg, which I sopped up with the suggested polenta. The Mr. & I decided that mashed potatoes would have been a better vehicle for excess juice distribution.
                    Mr. Allegro has a "knack" (his words) for being able to turn anything into a sandwich, and this meal was no different. He ended up smooshing the ingredients between a few thick slabs of french bread instead, which he claims bettered the dish.

                     
                    1. re: blue room
                      L.Nightshade RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 05:27 PM

                      Chicken Pipérade, page 188.

                      Blue room nicely describes the dish, above, so I won't add to that. I also liked the quick soak in the sherry vinegar. And when the chicken hit the pan, the entire house smelled lovely. While we liked this dish, we ended up describing it as "good, not great." I'm not quite sure why. I think the sherry vinegar, while acidic, was also a bit too sweet, and perhaps needed something else to balance it. I'm not sure exactly what made it less than great for us during dinner. I ate some of the leftover the next day for lunch, and it seemed delicious!

                      Anyway, it certainly was a very pretty dish, with fresh, bright colors. Also, easy to prepare.

                       
                       
                    2. Breadcrumbs RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 06:58 PM

                      LU LU'S FAVORITE LINGUINI – p. 129

                      While this may be Lu Lu’s favourite, it was a little too rich for our blood. Cholesterol counts be damned – with 1.5 cups of heavy cream, and 4-6 oz of cheese, this recipe isn’t for the faint of heart. Truly.

                      On paper, this sounded a little like a Carbonara without the eggs but on execution; it’s far heavier than that. Not sure exactly why this didn’t work for us. I don’t love dried herbs and this called for 2tsp of herbes de Provence. My dried herbs were fresh enough, a friend of mine just brought them back from France but I really think fresh herbs work much better w pasta.

                      To make this dish you sauté sliced bacon and onions over medium-high heat then add a 3:1 mix of white wine and dry sherry. Once the browned bits are released from the bottom of the pan, heavy cream is added along w parsley. This mixture is simmered for approx 4 mins before adding in the linguine and Asiago.

                      This was so rich it made our faces tingle. Proof that sometimes; there can be too much of a good thing. I wouldn’t repeat this dish.

                       
                       
                       
                       
                      1. d
                        dkennedy RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 07:15 PM

                        HAMERSLEY'S ROAST CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, LEMON AND PARSLEY, p. 182

                        This is the first recipe I made after I bought this book. I posted my thoughts about the recipe back when I first made it but am reposting them now so everyone will know to make this excellent dish.

                        Thoughts and suggestions: The Roasted Chix recipe is outstanding as written. Not too much work for a school night if you make the marinade the night before. I would also opt for removing the backbone and flattening it before broiling, rather than cutting it up. It calls for making two chickens, so this would be a real workhorse for a second meal during the week. The backbones could also be used to make a chicken soup later in the week so really 3 meals from this one dish. Love, love, loved it!

                        Recipe adapted from Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley (Broadway Books, 2003).

                        Ingredients:
                        
Marinade/Wet Rub:

                        1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
                        
3 garlic
                        
3 shallots
                        
2 teaspoons kosher salt
                        
2 teaspoons Coarsely ground black pepper
                        
6 tablespoons olive oil
                        
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
                        
1 tablespoon dried herbes de Provence

                        1 teaspoon dried rosemary
zest of 1 lemon
                        Chicken:

                        2 whole chicken (3-pounds each)
                        
salt
                        
black pepper

                        1 Garlic head (unpeeled)
                        
1 tablespoon olive oil
                        Sauce:
                        
1 1/2 cup chicken broth

                        1 lemon, 1/2 juiced, the other 1/2 sliced

                        1 tablespoon butter

                        salt
                        
pepper
                        
parsley
                        Instructions:


                        To prepare marinade: 

                        Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process to a paste.

                        To prepare chicken:

                        Coat chicken with marinade.
 Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
 Preheat oven to 350F.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
 Place on rack in roasting pan. 
Separate cloves of garlic but do not peel them. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap garlic in foil and place alongside chicken to roast. Take out after 1 hour.
 Roast chicken for 1 1/4 hours. 
Remove from oven and let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 30 minutes.
                        To prepare the sauce and finish the dish:
                        
While the chicken is resting, pour off the pan juices and degrease the pan with the chicken broth. 
Quarter the chicken and return to the pan, skin side up. Top with lemon slices.
 Broil for 7-8 minutes.
                        
Meanwhile, prepare a sauce pan for the pan drippings. Put the lemon and butter in it. 
When the chicken comes out of the oven, put them on a plate and pour off the juices into the saucepan. 
Reduce the sauce by 1/2. 
Squeeze roasted garlic cloves into broth mixture. 
Serve with chicken. 
Garnish with parsley.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dkennedy
                          abby d RE: dkennedy Feb 3, 2013 11:52 AM

                          I made the ROAST CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, LEMON AND PARSLEY and served it with BISTRO POTATO & LEEK GRATIN (I'm cooking from online recipes so am unsure where in the book the gratin comes).

                          both were excellent. I used a whole chicken and just rubbed the marinade over it, not portioning, cooling and then reheating under a grill with lemon slices. I loved the gravy.

                          the gratin recipe was also fiddled with a little - I used more leeks than called for and mixed the cream with creme friche to lighten it a bit. delicious.

                          1. re: dkennedy
                            delys77 RE: dkennedy Feb 4, 2013 12:24 PM

                            Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley

                            I didn't get the book so the version I made was pulled from the link that is attached to this recipe on EYB. It seems to be essentially the same except that it includes a side recipe for roasted onions and potatoes which are to be served as an accompaniment.

                            The chicken recipe as written was excellent. I was cooking for just the two of us so I went with 1 large bird, and cut the marinade and sauce ingredients by about 1/4. The chicken was close to 4lbs and took about 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350, and it came out stupendous. Juicy and flavourful form the marinade, most especially the breasts which had received a healthy slathering of the marinade under the skin. I sectioned the chicken, and broiled for about 8 minutes and the skin and meat had just the right amount of browning. This dish is definitely a winner.

                            The potatoes and onions were a very nice accompaniment, but I would modify the technique on these next time. He has you quarter them and place them on a heated and oiled baking sheet. You then season and roast along with the chicken. The challenge I found was that a quartered (lengthwise) russet is quite large and a bit on the awkward looking side. Plus the oil in the pan, even when you roll the veggies around in it, wasn't really enough to coat the vegetables, so they did dry out a bit and the seasoning didn't really stick to them. Next time I would quarter the onions and cut the russets into large chunks, then toss with oil, salt and pepper, and simply roast as directed. The result should be more seasoning and browning given the larger surface area of the cut potato.

                            Overall though a very very nice dish.

                          2. d
                            dkennedy RE: blue room Feb 2, 2013 07:30 PM

                            OVEN BAKED PENNE WITH ONIONS, WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE, p. 128

                            Oven Baked Penne with Onions, Walnuts and Goat Cheese, page 128

                            I made this yummy dish at Lulu’s Mom’s suggestion, and it did not disappoint. The pasta is simple to prepare, 1 lb. of pasta is precooked and then tossed in some oil to keep it from sticking. The onions are browned and then bathed in some wine. The wine mixture is poured over the pasta, along with some goat cheese, cream and parmesan, walnuts, and parsley. The dish is served warm.

                            I really enjoyed this dish though I think next time I will do some tweaking. The cream seemed to be entirely absorbed by the pasta which made for a very rich pasta with very little sauce. I wonder if by substituting equal parts buttermilk for the cream I can cut out a whole lotta calories and fat without sacrificing taste. I’ll try it and get back to you.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: dkennedy
                              Njchicaa RE: dkennedy Feb 10, 2013 10:02 AM

                              I am definitely trying this one!!

                              1. re: dkennedy
                                Njchicaa RE: dkennedy Feb 18, 2013 06:24 PM

                                Finally got around to trying it. Yum yum yum. This recipe is a keeper!

                                1. re: dkennedy
                                  Gio RE: dkennedy Feb 19, 2013 04:27 AM

                                  Oven Baked Penne with Onions,Walnuts, and Goat Cheese, Pg. 128

                                  After deciding to make a different macaroni dish for dinner I chose the Penne and was glad I did. And, taking DK's recommendation to increase a few of the ingredients I'm glad I did that too. Here's what I did: Used 1 cup of white wine and 1 cup of home made no-salt chicken broth, 1 T fresh thyme,
                                  1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes, 1/2 t salt, 1 t pepper, 1/4 c half and half, subbed hazelnuts for the walnuts, and grated Reggiano for the topping. The directions were followed exactly, then the baking dish was put into a 350F oven for about 15 minutes. When the penne was taken out of the oven chopped parsley was sprinkled over top.

                                  Even though the liquids were increased I thought the final dish was not very saucy. Tasty, yes. Texturally pleasing, yes. But then, perhaps it's supposed to be dense. Pasta is not something I usually order at a restaurant so I've never had it at the Bistro. Actually I don't think I would because it's quite "heavy", like macaroni & cheese without all the cheese. A little goes a long way and there's enough left over to feed the republic.... G absolutely Loved it.

                                  The side dish was the Tomato Salad on page 31. That was a perfect accompaniment.

                                  1. re: dkennedy
                                    jen kalb RE: dkennedy Mar 11, 2013 08:00 AM

                                    This was our Sunday dinner last week, with some peas and a green salad with fennel, and was a major winner. The flavor melding with the walnuts, goat cheese, white wine and herbs was excellent - we didnt find it at all too rich or miss a surface creaminess - the dish was both rich and tender.My husband was very impressed.

                                    1. re: dkennedy
                                      Goblin RE: dkennedy Jun 14, 2013 08:26 AM

                                      OVEN BAKED PENNE WITH ONIONS, WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE, p. 128

                                      My turn to make this the other night, as a hearty side with Fiona's Easy Halibut, p. 151 in this book. We really liked the flavors--I combined half toasted walnuts and half hazelnuts-- and it was definitely copious! It made at least enough for 10, IMHO (recipe said serves 6.) Fortunately the remainder held up well as leftovers for the next day.
                                      In the light of other posts, I upped the liquid to 1 cup white wine and I think next time I will do as Gio suggested and add a further cup of chicken broth. The dish needs a bit more sauce, especially if it is held for any period of time. I think you could easily make it ahead and bake it later, if you wished.

                                      And just because my refrigerator fooled me with an unopened carton of cream which turned out upon examination in the midst of my cooking to have expired in March--how could this ever have happened in my highly-organized shelves? ;-) -- I ended up using 3/4 cup of milk instead, which was fine given the amount of goat cheese, which I upped slightly. I also mixed more of the cheese INTO the pasta before baking rather than sprinkling most of it on top, again because of another ingenious poster's suggestion. I also upped the fresh thyme and made it a buxom pinch of red pepper flakes, per suggestions.

                                      The verdict? Very nice dish which worked for us as an accompaniment, which would also be a good pot-luck or buffet-dish. Not overly saucy or cheesy: noo strings of cheese accompanying the serving spoon as people try to serve themselves. Loved the goat cheese--nutty flavor.

                                      Note: I also served this with the Garlicky Tomato Confit on p. 269. Strangely enough, the flavors worked fine together!

                                    2. Caitlin McGrath RE: blue room Feb 3, 2013 09:52 PM

                                      Grilled Mackerel with Beets, Fennel, and Lime Vinaigrette, p. 166

                                      The three cooked components (mackerel, beets, fennel) are all done separately, but each is simple: roast, peel, and cube beets; slice and saute fennel; grill fish. The beets and fennel are combined and dressed with a vinaigrette made from lime juice, shallot, Dijon mustard, pinches of red pepper flakes and fennel seed, and olive oil; I used 2 T oil instead of 3 because I like a tarter vinaigrette. I don't have access to a grill, so I broiled the mackerel fillets using instructions and timing from Fish Without a Doubt, which worked a charm.

                                      Hamersley instructs us to plate the fish and vegetables, and to drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the fish. I lifted the vegetables with a slotted spoon in order to leave behind any extra vinaigrette, and there was just enough for a tiny slick on the fish (of course, my volume was less 1 T oil). This felt less like an integrated dish than plain broiled fish and salad side by side. I really liked the combination of beets and fennel with the lime vinaigrette and would certainly make it again, with or without fish. If I wanted to do the whole thing, I'd make extra vinaigrette to put on the fish. I also sauteed the beet greens and served them alongside.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                        w
                                        Westminstress RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 4, 2013 07:13 AM

                                        Thanks for the feedback as I'd flagged this one. Do you think it could be made even simpler by roasting the fennel along with the beets?

                                        1. re: Westminstress
                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: Westminstress Feb 4, 2013 01:44 PM

                                          You could certainly do the fennel in the oven at the same time, but if so, I'd roast it in wedges in a separate pan than the beets (I don't usually use a pan for beets, though, just wrap in foil) because it would take less time, then slice it after. The fennel didn't take much time on the stove, and I used the same skillet afterwards to saute my beet greens.

                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                          q
                                          qianning RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 6, 2013 07:28 AM

                                          Interesting, sounds like the beets & fennel did more for you than the fish....if you were making it again to serve with fish, do you think pretty much any grilled fish would work?

                                          1. re: qianning
                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: qianning Feb 6, 2013 10:14 AM

                                            Yes, while the fish was good, it was, as I said, plain broiled mackerel. I think the salad would pair best with an oily fish, so if not mackerel, salmon would go nicely. And if serving with fish again, I'd make extra vinaigrette to spoon over it.

                                        3. a
                                          Abby0105 RE: blue room Feb 4, 2013 12:07 PM

                                          Risotto with Butternut Squash (and Maple Syrup) - p. 135

                                          A pretty standard risotto. I completely forgot to buy maple syrup at the store, so I just left it out, and I didn't miss it. In fact, my dinner companion and I both commented that it might have been a strange addition.

                                          Preparation was pretty standard, as I mentioned. Sauté onions and butternut squash (diced into 1/2 inch cubes) in butter and olive oil until the onions are soft. Add garlic, rosemary, and sherry vinegar (the recipe calls for the maple syrup to be added here also), then rice, then cook the rice by adding a cupful of broth at a time. Sherry is mixed in with the heated broth, which is atypical for me. (Usually I add the wine just after sautéing the rice, before the first cupful of broth.) Once the risotto is done, stir in fresh parsley and grated parmesan.

                                          I served this as a stand-alone dinner, and thought it came out nicely. Again, nothing spectacularly unique, though the sherry and sherry vinegar were a nice touch. I also used a particularly strong batch of homemade vegetable stock, which I think balanced the strong sherry flavors. Not sure how it would have done with a weaker broth.

                                          Part of me is curious about how it would taste with the maple syrup, but not curious enough to make a special trip to the store.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Abby0105
                                            juliejulez RE: Abby0105 Feb 4, 2013 01:04 PM

                                            This is one I was interested in trying out. Good to know about the vegetable broth, I would have to use store-bought, so it sounds like maybe using a bit less sherry vinegar might be a good idea.

                                            I've made other butternut squash dishes w/ maple syrup and they were different, in a good way , so I'm sure it'd be good here.

                                            1. re: Abby0105
                                              geekmom RE: Abby0105 Feb 9, 2013 06:47 AM

                                              Risotto with Butternut Squash and Maple Syrup - p 135

                                              I made this exactly as Abby0105 described above, but I did add the maple syrup. I didn't have sherry or sherry vinegar, so I used white wine and red wine vinegar instead. We served it as a light vegetarian dinner on its own. I liked the flavours very much - there was a citrusy fruitiness that was really delicious and unusual and we liked the way the squash was still ever so slightly al dente which made a nice textural contrast with the creamy rice. The maple flavour was definitely there but not overpowering. I would never have thought to add it to a risotto but surprisingly it does work quite well.

                                              This dish is sweet but not cloyingly so, and I can see why Hamersley suggests serving it with some roast meat as I think it would be a great accompaniment to poultry.

                                               
                                            2. q
                                              qianning RE: blue room Feb 6, 2013 08:04 AM

                                              Autumn Vegetable Stew with Cheddar-Garlic Crumble Crust, pg 113

                                              Making this was a last minute decision; my clean out some odds and bobs from the crisper draw vegetable mix was a bit different than GH's, and I only made a half batch, but otherwise followed the recipe. As I was putting this in the oven I had real doubts, of the why didn't I stick with plain old roasted vegetable variety of doubts, but in the end this was a delicious little dish. I can see this recipe and variations on the theme going into regular use around here.

                                              Make the topping first--it is somewhere between a dumpling dough and a biscuit dough--flour, salt, baking powder cut into butter, add cream, garlic, pepper, mix, add grated cheddar. Set aside to rest--he doesn't say to, but mine rested in the fridge.

                                              Make the stew next--brown chopped root veggies in a skillet with some olive oil and butter, put them in a oven proof dish; de-glaze the skillet with a wine, broth/or water, and tomato paste (not sure the tomato paste is needed if you are using broth), pour it over the veggies, cover the pan withe foil and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes. At this point it seemed very "juicy" to me.

                                              Remove the pan from the oven, remove the foil, at this point it still seemed too juicy to me, but I soldiered on, scooping the dough on top, using an ice cream scoop, and return to the oven for 25 minutes until the topping is cooked and browned.

                                              Well god bless chemistry, or is it alchemy? The stew thickened up to perfectly done veggies with a lovely sauce, the topping had a delightful pillow soft interior with a just right crunchy crust and a hint of garlic and cheddar flavor. Long after dinner I was going back to snitch little pieces of the left-overs.

                                              Here it is just out of the oven, and served with a salt & pepper chicken thigh.

                                               
                                               
                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: qianning
                                                Allegra_K RE: qianning Feb 6, 2013 08:46 AM

                                                Looks and sounds delightful! This one has been high on The List, so I am pleased to read that it is worth it!

                                                1. re: qianning
                                                  blue room RE: qianning Feb 6, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                  Beautifully browned (and described!) I know the cheddar topping will be popular in my house.

                                                  1. re: qianning
                                                    geekmom RE: qianning Feb 9, 2013 06:55 AM

                                                    This is a fantastic dish, and I'm glad that you had such great results, qn! We have made it a few times (it was the first thing we made the day we got the book) and it is a huge hit in this family. The last time, we couldn't stop picking at the casserole in the middle of the table and eventually someone had to take it away because we were all stuffed but found it impossible to stop eating.

                                                    1. re: geekmom
                                                      q
                                                      qianning RE: geekmom Feb 9, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                      LOL, it does have that can't stop nibbling at it quality, doesn't it?

                                                    2. re: qianning
                                                      bonbon35 RE: qianning Feb 20, 2013 07:25 PM

                                                      Mmm more comforting winter food. We really liked this and I agree with Qianning that it'd be easy to vary, especially as a-clean-the-fridge-of-winter-veg meal. I found the ratio of veg to crust to be a little off as it seemed about 1/3 veg to 2/3 crust - and I was faithful to following the recipe (or thought I was at any rate). The fact that no one else has commented on this makes me wonder... That said, the cheddar crust is really yummy but for me the ratio made it a bit heavy - and I'm the kind of person that usually goes for extra of the naughty bits!

                                                      1. re: bonbon35
                                                        geekmom RE: bonbon35 Feb 22, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                        That ratio issue hasn't happened to me the couple of times I've made this so I wonder if maybe your veg were a little on the small side?

                                                        1. re: geekmom
                                                          bonbon35 RE: geekmom Feb 23, 2013 11:54 PM

                                                          Thanks for letting me know Geekmom. Something obviously went awry for me...wouldn't be the first time! I've gone over the recipe but can't quite figure it out. Will try again and see!

                                                    3. s
                                                      smtucker RE: blue room Feb 7, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                      Chicken Paillards with Lemon and Capers, page 192

                                                      So, Mr. SMTucker brought home boneless chicken breasts yesterday since he knew there wasn't much time available for food preparation. Given a choice of this recipe or the preceding one [Crispy Chicken Breasts], he chose this one. On the face of it, it seemed like a piccata with an addition. In reality it wasn't.

                                                      He has you pound half a chicken breast into a paillard, about 1/4 inch thick. I actually cut each half in half to make 4 paillards from one chicken breast. You then cook this chicken over high heat. In order to cook two at a time, I needed a fairly big pan. But when you make the sauce afterwards, the large pan means that everything begins to burn, fast.

                                                      So, back to the prep. Pound your chicken, dust with flour and cook in an oil/butter combination. Then you add some minced shallot [here is where the burning began] and cook for a minute before adding lemon juice, chicken stock and capers. He says to simmer until it thickens, but since mine was going nuts, I poured it into a tiny saucepan so I would have some. The chicken is placed on the dinner plate and the sauce is poured over.

                                                      This wasn't a bad dish of food or anything, but I prefer a straight picatta with lots and lots lemon juice. We won't make this one again.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: smtucker
                                                        Gio RE: smtucker Feb 7, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                        Oh dear, what a shame.for you, SMT. But, whew for me... the crispy chicken is on the menu at Gio's Bistro tonight. I actually love chicken picatta and have this on the to-do list. I guess I'll have to rethink that.

                                                        PS: Glad to see you posting again!

                                                        1. re: Gio
                                                          s
                                                          smtucker RE: Gio Feb 7, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                          I thought the crispy chicken sounded more vibrant as well. Will look forward to your report.

                                                        2. re: smtucker
                                                          blue room RE: smtucker Feb 7, 2013 10:11 AM

                                                          I too saw your name here with a little happy/surprised heads up!
                                                          (I really only have one head, really!)
                                                          Your warning is noted -- I like chicken with lemon and capers *my way* too.

                                                        3. TheCarrieWatson RE: blue room Feb 7, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                          I have this on hold at my local library but am almost definitely going to want to own it. Is it out of print or something? Seems quite expensive on Amazon, for instance.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: TheCarrieWatson
                                                            juliejulez RE: TheCarrieWatson Feb 7, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                            It is out of print, and I noticed the prices went up pretty soon before this was named COTM. A few months ago (when it was up for December's COTM) it was much cheaper, so perhaps once the buying has died down, the price will go down. I know I paid around $35 with shipping, which is way more than I usually will pay for a cookbook, but I love it.

                                                            1. re: juliejulez
                                                              TheCarrieWatson RE: juliejulez Feb 7, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                              Yeah, that's more than I typically pay too but it sure looks like a good book. Thankfully I can 'audition' it through the library before paying that kind of premium.

                                                              1. re: juliejulez
                                                                TheCarrieWatson RE: juliejulez Feb 7, 2013 11:31 AM

                                                                Thanks a lot, Gio. (and sorry; it did not even occur to me to do a search first).

                                                              2. re: TheCarrieWatson
                                                                Gio RE: TheCarrieWatson Feb 7, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                It's available from Amazon resellers...
                                                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin...

                                                                OR
                                                                by phoning the Bistro itself...
                                                                http://www.hamersleysbistro.com/basic...

                                                                Here's a discussion regarding the book's availability
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8856...

                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                  juliejulez RE: Gio Feb 7, 2013 01:04 PM

                                                                  LOL at the ones asking $100+.

                                                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                                                    nomadchowwoman RE: juliejulez Feb 13, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                    Kind of nutty, isn't it?

                                                              3. blue room RE: blue room Feb 7, 2013 06:13 PM

                                                                Curried Zucchini Risotto p. 136
                                                                Please see my post here:
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8887...

                                                                 
                                                                1. LulusMom RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 03:45 AM

                                                                  Caramelized onion, bacon and potato tart (p. 119)

                                                                  Catastrophe. This just did not work for me.

                                                                  Baked two potatoes, waited until cool and then thinly sliced. Cooked bacon (turkey, yes, but that can't have made that much difference), cooked onions and garlic slowly over low heat. Layered. Whisked together 3 eggs, 3/4 cup heavy cream, nutmeg (left ouf the pinch of ground cloves), salt and pepper and poured over the mixture (which was over tart dough). At this point I became concerned - unlike every other tart/quiche I've made, it didn't zoom up to the top. It seemed as if there wasn't enough of the egg/cream, but I trusted the recipe instead of my gut and put it in the oven. Baked. Brought it out after 40 minutes and ... hmm, not really right looking. It felt apart as I cut into it. LulusDad said "this just didn't meld somehow." And that was it - there were potato slices, there was caramelized onion, and bacon, and there was dough but each part seemed somehow different and not part of one cohesive thing. The flavors were fine, but it was a miss. Served with the Chopped Salad with peas, cucumbers, radishes with a tarragon vinaigrette.

                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                  1. re: LulusMom
                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: LulusMom Feb 8, 2013 05:53 AM

                                                                    LlM, so sorry to hear about that, how disappointing. I think you're likely right...perhaps not enough eggs. That's too bad. Thanks for taking one for the team!

                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                      q
                                                                      qianning RE: LulusMom Feb 8, 2013 05:54 AM

                                                                      Oh dear, that sounds like a lot of work for a fail, poor you.

                                                                      1. re: qianning
                                                                        LulusMom RE: qianning Feb 8, 2013 06:02 AM

                                                                        Thanks ladies. I had high hopes for this dinner, and so I was pretty disappointed. Lulu was funny - she said "Oh yay! Bacon!" and was perfectly happy with it. But trust me, her Dad very rarely has negative commentary, so it meant something that he wasn't thrilled with it.

                                                                      2. re: LulusMom
                                                                        q
                                                                        qianning RE: LulusMom Feb 8, 2013 05:56 AM

                                                                        Now this one sounds really good...and easy. Mr, QN has a thing for fried chicken, but it has to be dark meat, glad to read this worked with thighs, with the chicken breasts in the title I would have ignored it if not for your write up.

                                                                        1. re: qianning
                                                                          q
                                                                          qianning RE: qianning Feb 8, 2013 05:58 AM

                                                                          This was supposed to follow Gio's entry on crispy chicken--but I forgot to leave and re-enter the thread before posting....I really wish the powers that be at Chow could fix this bug.

                                                                          1. re: qianning
                                                                            Gio RE: qianning Feb 8, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                                            Q, I only use chicken breasts if I absolutely Have to. I keep a few in the freezer only to make a quick poached chicken for the broth when we run out of our weekly homemade stock. I find thighs add more flavor than the breasts and can easily be substituted. Plus, I hasten to add that I read every recipe that sounds even mildly appealing knowing that I'll substitute if I want.

                                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                                              q
                                                                              qianning RE: Gio Feb 8, 2013 10:08 AM

                                                                              convinced! we are going to have this tonight, with one of his salads as a side. will report back!

                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                juliejulez RE: Gio Feb 8, 2013 10:24 AM

                                                                                One thing I've found that helps w/ chicken breasts (especially the frankenchicken 8+ozers) is to cut them in half lengthwise, especially when used in dishes like this when the breast is cooked whole. The thinner piece of meat means less cooking time, and the outside cooks as evenly as the inside so it stays juicy.

                                                                                I agree that thighs are tastier though, I just know around here they are often more expensive than the breasts.

                                                                            2. re: LulusMom
                                                                              geekmom RE: LulusMom Feb 28, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                              Caramelized onion, bacon, and potato tart - p 119

                                                                              I really really liked the sound of this tart and keeping in mind the disappointing experience LulusMom had, I approached this recipe with a certain amount of trepidation. I'm pleased to report that it worked out extremely well. My pastry puffed up a bit in the pan in spite of the weights I used while blind-baking, so the resulting pastry shell was fairly shallow. When I poured in the egg/cream mixture, I was very watchful, and prepared to add an extra egg and a bit more cream if necessary but it turned out to not be needed (in fact, I should have done a better job of building up the "walls" of the tart because some of the filling ended up leaking out of the shell at one end, where the pastry walls weren't deep enough). While baking, the egg mixture actually puffed up a bit and filled up more space than it originally seemed to, and it did a great job holding together the onions and potatoes. I am now very curious to know what the heck happened that made this tart work while LLM's fell apart and was so disappointing.

                                                                              I saved time by pre-cooking the potatoes, onions and bacon the night before. I kind of wish I'd done the pastry the night before too because the entire process on the night I made the tart took about 2.5 hrs from start to finish including the various resting and pre-baking stages of the tart shell.

                                                                              We actually wished we had a lot more of the caramelized onions but otherwise I would say this was a very successful dinner, served next to a big green salad. The tart was homey, warm and nourishing and really just the ideal thing after a long busy day rushing around out in the cold rain.

                                                                              Also, I continue to be completely infatuated with this pastry recipe (Hamersley's Bistro Tart Dough - p 115). I can't say enough about how well it works for me, the pastry-phobe with SO MANY pastry disasters in my past. The sound of the flaky pastry shattering under my fork just made me so happy.

                                                                              1. re: geekmom
                                                                                LulusMom RE: geekmom Mar 3, 2013 08:39 AM

                                                                                Sick with flu here, so only just catching this. I'm thrilled for you that it worked out and i am banging my head trying to figure out what i did wrong. I followed the directions, and definitely did not have enough of the egg mixture. Must have a problem with the size of my pie pan?? This one sounded so good that I'm glad someone out there was able to achieve what was meant to be achieved.

                                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                  geekmom RE: LulusMom Mar 4, 2013 07:55 AM

                                                                                  I did wonder if the shape and size of the pan might have had something to do with it. Mine was an 8x11.5x1" rectangular tart pan, for what it's worth.

                                                                                  1. re: geekmom
                                                                                    LulusMom RE: geekmom Mar 4, 2013 08:22 AM

                                                                                    Mine was a 9" round.

                                                                            3. Gio RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 04:08 AM

                                                                              Crispy Chicken (Breasts), Pg. 190

                                                                              When these breaded chicken pieces were cooking the aroma in the kitchen was positively mouth-watering. It was the wonderful savory ingredients in the breadcrumb mixture that did it. We couldn't wait till they were finished cooking. Of necessity I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs but that's the only substitution I made. The coating consists of: fresh breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat bread), garlic, shallot, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, and hot paprika. I have Pimenton De La Vera and that combined with the herbes de Provence pushed this ordinary fried chicken into another dimension.

                                                                              After prepping the chicken into egg whisked with Dijon it goes, then into the crumbs. Fry the pieces in melted butter laced with a little oil... I used olive oil. Brown both sides being careful not to burn the crumbs. The whole process probably took less than 15 minutes. I found the coating to be really moist but patted each piece of chicken well so it stayed on.

                                                                              We both loved this rendition of fried chicken and will certainly make it again. The chicken was juicy, full flavored - I tasted the crumb mixture to make sure it was well seasoned - and yes the chicken was crisp. Roasted broccoli and baked yams were the side dishes..

                                                                              18 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Gio
                                                                                Breadcrumbs RE: Gio Feb 8, 2013 05:55 AM

                                                                                This sounds sensational Gio and I know mr bc will love it. You know herbes de Provence isn't a mix I typically use but like you, I'm really enjoying it this month. It's nice to re-discover something!

                                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                                  juliejulez RE: Gio Feb 8, 2013 09:04 AM

                                                                                  Yum, this is another one I'm planning on trying soon as it sounds like an easy weeknight meal. I don't have hot paprika though, only regular and smoked. Would one of those be OK to sub in you think? Maybe add some cayenne?

                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                    Gio RE: juliejulez Feb 8, 2013 10:07 AM

                                                                                    Yes, I think your substitution will work very well. Use smoked and some cayenne. To your own taste, as always. Hope you like it!

                                                                                  2. re: Gio
                                                                                    q
                                                                                    qianning RE: Gio Feb 9, 2013 07:06 AM

                                                                                    Crispy Chicken Breasts (Thighs) pg. 190

                                                                                    Yep, Gio is right this recipe works fine with thighs and the crust is lovely. Easiest fried chicken I've ever made.

                                                                                    I didn't bother to make an aioli to go with it, but we were having the avocado and orange salad as our side, and the extra dressing from the avocado did the job. We took Hamersley's rec on wine and the Tavel was a nice match. As for the Inuit carving in the picture, guess Mr. QN thought it suited the weather last night.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    1. re: qianning
                                                                                      Gio RE: qianning Feb 9, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                      Oh I'm so glad it worked for you, Qianning. You know, I completely forgot about the aioli but we didn't miss it. Love the Inuit statue! Perfect touch.

                                                                                      PS: Hope you're warm & dry...

                                                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                                                        q
                                                                                        qianning RE: Gio Feb 9, 2013 07:24 AM

                                                                                        All cozy here with the fire going, and even the family down on the south shore came through fine, thanks. Hope you are OK there--looks to be a good day for some cooking!

                                                                                    2. re: Gio
                                                                                      Caitlin McGrath RE: Gio Feb 26, 2013 11:52 AM

                                                                                      Crispy Chicken Breasts (cod fillets), p. 190

                                                                                      I took a kind of left turn with this recipe. I had bought some wild Alaskan cod, and thought of doing some version of the recipe with white wine that LulusMom reported on below, but then decided that crispy sounded good and that the seasonings here would work well with this firm-but-mild fish. I cooked it for about 8 minutes total, which was perfect for a fillet just shy of an inch thick. I used a considerably smaller proportion of oil for the cooking, which was still sufficient to get the crumb coating nicely crisp and brown. The end result was delicious, so I'll definitely keep this in mind for firm white fish as well as chicken in the future.

                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                        Gio RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 26, 2013 12:45 PM

                                                                                        Oh Caitlin, what a super idea. I'm going to adopt it. Many thanks for the inspiration.

                                                                                        Did you find that after dipping into the two coatings the cod were very moist? I'm wondering if a light dredge in flour, then shaking to remove the excess, would be a good thing to do.

                                                                                        ETA: Can you guess what word I had to delete so people wouldn't laugh hysterically?

                                                                                        1. re: Gio
                                                                                          GretchenS RE: Gio Feb 26, 2013 12:54 PM

                                                                                          I can. Tee hee. :)

                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                            blue room RE: Gio Feb 26, 2013 02:05 PM

                                                                                            Got it! :)

                                                                                            1. re: Gio
                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: Gio Feb 26, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                                                              Gio, I didn't have a problem with excess moisture when just using the egg and crumbs. If the fish seemed damp before dredging, I might just try to pat it dry very thoroughly before seasoning. You certainly could use the three-step method, but I don't think it's necessary based on my experience.

                                                                                            2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                              Breadcrumbs RE: Caitlin McGrath Feb 27, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                                                              Caitlin I agree w Gio, what a great, smart idea you had! I have some beautiful black cod in the freezer that I'll most definitely use for this recipe! Thank-you.

                                                                                            3. re: Gio
                                                                                              Breadcrumbs RE: Gio Mar 1, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                                                              Crispy Chicken Breasts (Cod) – p. 190

                                                                                              Gio & Caitlin did such a great job describing this dish I simply couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately my cod didn’t co-operate but I’d happily make this again w chicken or, another type of fish.

                                                                                              I try to purchase sustainable seafood and since I wasn’t able to get some Oceanwise approved Pacific Cod, I went with the black cod. Well who knew that black cod isn’t cod at all, it’s actually sablefish. And guess what happens to black cod if it is subjected to too much moisture? It turns to mush! Honestly! Someone has even posted a thread about it. When I arrived home from work there was a lot of liquid in the bag w the defrosted fish. Of course I had no idea that could be problematic and the texture and appearance of the raw fish didn’t concern me in any way, it seemed fine. The frying process went fine. I did dry the fish and coat in flour before proceeding with the Dijon/egg dip and the lovely breadcrumbs. Plated, the fish looked great. The crust was crispy and beautiful. That said, when you cut into it, it was mush! If anyone has ever seen Christmas Vacation when Chevy Chase Cuts into the beautiful looking mahogany turkey only to have nothing inside, you’ll have a sense of our experience and, reaction! Wow, what a bummer. The fish was inedible. We carefully peeled away some of the top crust and savoured it along w out tomato confit and roasted potatoes.

                                                                                              We did love the breading. As others note, when the protein hits the pan, the aromas are so enticing. Also, the technique of adding fresh garlic and fresh shallots (I chopped mine finely vs slicing) to fresh breadcrumbs was new to me and I have to admit I was a bit skeptical but we truly loved it. Can’t wait to do this again!

                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                Gio RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 2, 2013 08:25 AM

                                                                                                What a shame BC. The one and only time I used frozen fish was last week when we cooked an EGOR sweet and sour dish. It was not mush, and didn't throw any water during thawing. In fact the recipe was wonderful and the fish, shallow fried, was perfect. I wonder if the fish you had was past the use by/whatever date... Photos look good , as usual, though.

                                                                                                1. re: Gio
                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs RE: Gio Mar 2, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                                                  Thanks Gio. Actually I purchased the fish fresh the week prior and froze it myself. I've never had this issue before so I'm thinking its the variety of fish.

                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 10:33 PM

                                                                                                    I think this is pretty odd. We recently purchased an entire black cod, filleted and divided it, and froze portions. It has all been wonderful. Sablefish is one of my favorites, I've purchased it fresh, and frozen, and never had any difficulty. I'm sure you would know if you had a power failure in your home or freezer, but that is almost what it sounds like!

                                                                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: Breadcrumbs Mar 10, 2013 09:50 PM

                                                                                                  I missed this earlier, but how disappointing for you, Breadcrumbs. I've only cooked sable at home a couple of times, and like Gio had no issues, but I'll bear your experience in mind! At least you now know you'll like this recipe next time around...

                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: Caitlin McGrath Mar 11, 2013 02:56 AM

                                                                                                    Thanks Caitlin & LN. I'm still at a loss as to why that happened and the only thing I could come up w was all the liquid in the bag causing the fish texture to deteriorate.

                                                                                                    No power failure LN. The only other thing we wondered about was whether the fish wasn't really fresh in the first place. I did ask and this is a fish monger we've shopped from w no issue in the past. That said, the store was a bit bare on our last visit and 2 big coolers were empty/dark. I chalked it up to the fact we arrived in a snow storm but perhaps not. We'll,see what our next visit brings but I'll definitely mention this incident.

                                                                                              2. L.Nightshade RE: blue room Feb 8, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                                Braised Wild Mushrooms with Red Wine Risotto, page 134.

                                                                                                I've posted about this dish in the risotto thread. (I'm double dipping, I guess.) Please view it here if you are interested:

                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8887...

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 04:14 PM

                                                                                                  looks lovely LN. Are those new bowls? beautiful!!

                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: Breadcrumbs Feb 8, 2013 04:16 PM

                                                                                                    Thanks Breadcrumbs. A dear neighbor gave the bowls to me. I'm always happy to have something new and different for serving!

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                      Breadcrumbs RE: L.Nightshade Feb 8, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                                                      Oh I know what you mean LN. They are beautiful...they look frosted. They'll be wonderful for summer dishes too!

                                                                                                      I just ordered some Donna Hay dinner plates from Royal Doulton. I love her blue colour and fell in love w these plates in her magazine.

                                                                                                2. juliejulez RE: blue room Feb 9, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                                  SPLIT ROASTED CHICKEN with HERBED BUTTER p. 184

                                                                                                  So this is my very first ever COTM contribution. I apologize that my "review" is long, I'm a wordy gal :)

                                                                                                  This was a very easy roast chicken, with very few ingredients, so good for a "still learning" cook like me. I think it could easily be done on a weeknight, even though I did it tonight (Saturday). Recipe calls for a 3-3.5lb chicken, mine was about 3.25.

                                                                                                  The first step is to combine butter with garlic, salt, fresh thyme and rosemary, and then roll into a log and refrigerate. I did the butter step on Friday night.

                                                                                                  So, the next step is to remove the backbone of the chicken. I've never spatchcocked a chicken and was always scared to do it, but it was so easy! I froze the back and neck bone to use for stock later. After doing that, you take your herbed butter and cut into coins, and then separate the skin from the bird and put in the coins throughout. between the skin and meat. Then, put it in the oven! The cookbook calls for cooking for 50-55 minutes but mine was very finished after 45. Also, I did have a smoky oven issue as the dripping butter was very "sputtery" and was getting on the oven. This might be remedied if I had a deeper roasting dish.

                                                                                                  Once the chicken is cooked the book instructs to remove the fat from the roasting pan and then saute some shallots in the pan. I actually transferred to a small skillet because my roasting pan is rather small and doesn't do well with making pan sauces since it's too big for one burner but too small for two. After a minute or so of the shallots cooking, you add some sherry, and once that boils, you add chicken broth. After that, you let it come to a boil, then reduce the heat, and let the sauce reduce by half. The book suggests adding butter for a "velvety" sauce, so I added a tbsp (hey, it's my splurge meal for the week!).

                                                                                                  After that you just cut up the chicken however you want, in 2-4 pieces. The book suggests serving the sauce on the side to preserve the crispy skin but I just poured on top as I'm not a big skin fan anyway. I served with simple sides of baked potato and roasted asparagus.

                                                                                                  The book suggests you can use this same technique with other flavored butters, or a spice rub or marinade. I'd be interested in trying it with some spice rubs to save on the calories.

                                                                                                  Overall I was very pleased with this chicken, especially the ease of it all.

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                    blue room RE: juliejulez Feb 9, 2013 08:54 PM

                                                                                                    Ta Da! It's beautiful, and nicely browned. It took me a long time to spatchcock a chicken. After I did, it seems like the right way to cook one.

                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                      LulusMom RE: juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 02:28 AM

                                                                                                      Congratulations! I've never spatchcocked a chicken. I'm happy to hear that it is easy, because I've got a recipe I've been wanting to make but holding back on from fear.

                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                        geekmom RE: LulusMom Feb 10, 2013 08:19 AM

                                                                                                        It *is* super easy -- if you have a nice strong, sharp set of kitchen shears, you should be able to get that backbone out in under five minutes.

                                                                                                        1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                          Gio RE: geekmom Feb 10, 2013 08:23 AM

                                                                                                          That's what I use... the shears. So easy and quick, and then you have the backbone to save for stock as Juliejulez mentioned.

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio
                                                                                                            LulusMom RE: Gio Feb 10, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                                                                            Thanks ladies. I've got a great pair of kitchen shears, and will give it a whirl.

                                                                                                          2. re: geekmom
                                                                                                            juliejulez RE: geekmom Feb 10, 2013 09:56 AM

                                                                                                            Yup, mine came out REALLY easy, and my shears aren't even all that great. It probably helped that the chicken was on the smaller side maybe? Bones weren't as thick? Anyway, I was rather impressed with myself LOL

                                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                              LulusMom RE: juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 10:45 AM

                                                                                                              I'm *really* excited now, instead of scared.

                                                                                                        2. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                          geekmom RE: juliejulez Feb 10, 2013 08:20 AM

                                                                                                          This sounds wonderful! I had overlooked the recipe because it sounded a bit plain but now I see I was wrong. I think I'll go buy a chicken & make it next weekend. :-)

                                                                                                          I didn't think your review was too long (mine often are, I admit) and I hope you'll contribute more in the future. :-)

                                                                                                          1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                            juliejulez RE: geekmom Feb 10, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                                                                            Thanks! I'm planning another COTM recipe next Saturday.

                                                                                                            Also I forgot to add in my review that I think adding lemon zest to the herbed butter would be lovely.

                                                                                                          2. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman RE: juliejulez Feb 13, 2013 01:54 PM

                                                                                                            That looks and sounds wonderful--very impressed by your taking on spatchcocking right out of the gate.

                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                              juliejulez RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 13, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                                                                              Thanks! I love cutting meat, is that weird? If I were a richer woman I'd go learn how to be a butcher. For my 30th birthday, my SO got me a "whole beast butchery" book with lots of amazing pictures... he knows the way to my heart LOL

                                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                LulusMom RE: juliejulez Feb 13, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                and apparently now you know the way to his ...

                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez
                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman RE: juliejulez Feb 13, 2013 07:14 PM

                                                                                                                  "Artisan" butchers are popping up everywhere suddenly. When a new one opened here recently, I was there the second day. (But what we really need is one of those old-fashioned butchers, where you can go in, ask for what you want--and it doesn't cost $35 lb!)

                                                                                                                  You could probably do very well as a butcher should you be so inclined. But you've obviously got a great advantage as a cook if you're good at cutting meat. I wish I had that skill.

                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                    juliejulez RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 13, 2013 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                    I hear ya on wanting butchers that don't cost an arm and a leg! I get to go to one tomorrow to buy the short ribs for one of the COTM dishes, and I'm dreading what the price will be. But I do love going in there and looking at all the pretty meats :)

                                                                                                                    But yeah I've always liked it. When I was a kid my dad put me in charge of trimming the steaks before he grilled them. My SO went deer and elk hunting this past fall and I was pissed he didn't get one... I wanted to do some cutting!

                                                                                                            2. h
                                                                                                              Hadil100 RE: blue room Feb 10, 2013 02:03 PM

                                                                                                              CHICKEN PIPERADE
                                                                                                              Since this has been done a few times, I won't go into much detail. We also that it was good, but not "wow." I ended up adding a bit more vinegar after taking it off the heat, and that definitely helped to perk things up. Next time, I also think I will leave out the cayenne. I thought it kind of muddied the flavors.

                                                                                                              1. LulusMom RE: blue room Feb 11, 2013 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                Fiona's Easy Halibut (Cod) with White Wine, Shallots and Basil (p. 151)

                                                                                                                I really liked this a lot. Unfortunately I oversalted it, and that made my husband not crazy about it (which didn't stop him from going up for seconds). Totally my bad. This is a lovely way to serve fish. Butter your pan, put fish on top (he calls for halibut steaks, I used cod filets), cover with sliced shallot, salt, white pepper and white wine. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat and let sit for about 8 minutes. Take fish out/keep warm and add basil and parsley to sauce (I thought I had parsley but didn't, so skipped the parsley) and reduce, then pour over fish. Very easy, fairly elegant. Just don't oversalt. My bad for not measuring.

                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                  q
                                                                                                                  qianning RE: LulusMom Feb 28, 2013 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                  Fiona's Easy Halibut with White Wine, Shallots and Basil, pg 151

                                                                                                                  Nothing much to add to LLM's review, except to say we enjoyed it too. I used a lovely wedge of halibut rather than a streak cut and snuck a few slivers of garlic into the pan (a suggestion from the recipe head notes), but otherwise followed the recipe. Very nice, and a good reminder that I don't always have to steam/poach fish Chinese style.....at least not until March cotm!

                                                                                                                  1. re: qianning
                                                                                                                    q
                                                                                                                    qianning RE: qianning Mar 3, 2013 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                    finally catching up on downloading some photos, here's the halibut...spoon looks silly here, but gosh the sauce was good.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                  2. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                    Caitlin McGrath RE: LulusMom Mar 10, 2013 09:46 PM

                                                                                                                    Fiona's Easy Halibut with White Wine, Shallots and Basil (variation), p. 151

                                                                                                                    I noticed that in the head note, he suggests making this with garlic and mushrooms and I had a few cremini mushrooms that really needed to be used, as well as a shallot. I sliced them and seared them until brown in a dry pan, then put them over the fish (wild halibut fillet) along with the shallot and a few sliced garlic cloves. I had no basil, but used extra parsley. A very simple prep, with very good results. I'd reduce the proportion of wine a bit in the future, so it would cook down faster after the fish is out.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                      Goblin RE: LulusMom May 24, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                      Fiona's Easy Halibut with White Wine, Shallots, and Basil, p. 151.

                                                                                                                      My turn to report on this quite simple yet quite satisfying rendition of poached halibut. Thanks to LulusMom's comments, I only added 1/2 tsp of kosher salt at the beginning, and adjusted the seasoning AFTER I had reduced the sauce.

                                                                                                                      What did I like about this dish? First of all, who doesn't like a white wine-butter-shallot sauce with white fish? (I'm going to try adding the suggested garlic and mushrooms next time to the poaching liquid.) The basil chiffonade and chopped parsley give a nice fresh touch, both for flavor and appearence. Plus, it's a lovely easy way to poach thick cuts of fish--I used halibut filets but I could imagine swordfish or another firm white fish working well--and you could adjust the poaching time accordingly. Reducing the sauce was the only thing that took a little attention, but the results were worth it. As LulusMom says, it is an easy family dinner that could work at a more formal meal, esp. if you added the mushrooms. Served with some oven-roasted broccoli florets, and my new favorite white-rice dish, Rick Bayless's Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf from Mexican Everyday.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Goblin
                                                                                                                        Goblin RE: Goblin Jun 14, 2013 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                        Fiona's Easy [Cod] p. 151, again.
                                                                                                                        Just wanted to add that I have made this three times now, the second time with swordfish and last week with hake. With the hake I used the suggested sauteed mushroom slices (shitakes in my case) and chopped garlic as a bed for the fish in the poaching liquid. It was even more delicious and equally easy. Obviously the hake filets were a lot more pliable than halibut or swordfish, but I was careful while removing them to a warm platter while reducing the poaching liquid, and people were complimentary about the results. A keeper-recipe.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Goblin
                                                                                                                          d
                                                                                                                          dkennedy RE: Goblin Jun 14, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                          See, this is why COTM is so great. I would never have looked at this recipe twice, and now it is on my list for next week! Thanks Goblin!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Goblin
                                                                                                                            LulusMom RE: Goblin Jun 14, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                            I"m just really happy to have the reminder that this easy, delicious recipe is right there on my bookshelf!

                                                                                                                        2. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                                          Breadcrumbs RE: LulusMom Jun 5, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                          FIONA’S EASY HALIBUT WITH WHITE WINE, SHALLOTS AND BASIL – p. 151

                                                                                                                          My turn with this delicious dish. I'd been eyeing it since the COTM and when I saw a lovely piece of halibut at Costco this week, I knew exactly what I'd make. As others have commented, I loved the simplicity of this recipe. It's most definitely weeknight-friendly as it comes together in no time and lends itself well to substitutions. I too can imagine this working well with other fish or even shrimp. In addition to the shallots, parsley and basil, I added mushrooms and garlic but once I tasted the sauce I realized how delicious capers would be in there and I think green beans would be nice too. Though I placed most of the mushrooms atop the fish this time, I think I'd put the veggies right in the sauce next time so they could poach vs steam. I used a Sauvignon Blanc that was a little on the drier side so for our tastes the sauce was a little too acidic and I ended up adding a little more butter to balance the flavour. Next time I think I'd do a 50/50 wine/stock mix. I believe fish, clam or vegetable stock would all work well.

                                                                                                                          Big thanks to all of you who posted ahead of me. Your enticing reviews kept this on my radar and I'm glad to have this recipe and technique in my repertoire.

                                                                                                                          For those of you who may not have the book but would be interested in this dish, I found the recipe online here:

                                                                                                                          http://www.recipecircus.com/recipes/C...

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                        3. geekmom RE: blue room Feb 12, 2013 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                          Hamersley's Bistro Tart Dough - p 115

                                                                                                                          Recipe here: http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/hamers...

                                                                                                                          I used this pastry to make the Apple Tarte Tatin - see my enthusiastic review in the desserts thread.

                                                                                                                          I don't know about the rest of you, but pastry is my nemesis. I made up my mind that this winter I would face my pastry fears and I have been trying various recipes, with inconsistent and occasionally very frustrating results. I am very happy to say that this one actually worked out quite well for me. I was skeptical when the recipe explained the "fraisage" technique (see link above) and said it would make my dough almost like puff pastry but lo and behold, when my pastry came out of the oven it was indeed flaky with actual, visible LAYERS. I look forward to making this one again.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                            q
                                                                                                                            qianning RE: geekmom Feb 12, 2013 07:02 AM

                                                                                                                            Thanks for pointing this one out. Your comment "laky with actual, visible LAYERS", has got me think I should look into this.

                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                              q
                                                                                                                              qianning RE: geekmom Feb 14, 2013 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                              Hamersley's Bistro Tart Dough, pg. 115

                                                                                                                              It worked pretty well, and I liked the resulting crust a lot; Mr. QN was less thrilled, but he's impossible on this subject, so I've learned to discount his comments when it comes to crust.

                                                                                                                              But here's my question, not matter what I do, I always get either a few cracks or holes in a blind baked tart shell--today I patched them with egg white (thanks Joan N) and plugged them with some goat cheese (was making the goat cheese tart)--but am kind of wondering what I am doing wrong to always have this problem.

                                                                                                                            2. blue room RE: blue room Feb 12, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                              New Potato Galette with Crème Fraîche and Olives p. 116

                                                                                                                              This is made with Hamersley's Bistro Tart Dough (page 115).
                                                                                                                              The dough, which is made with a new-to-me technique called *fraisage*, was a success. I watched a Youtube video about fraisage which helped with the written instructions.
                                                                                                                              Video here: (fraisage comes about 2:00)
                                                                                                                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRW-XT...
                                                                                                                              OK, dough done, it goes to rest in fridge. Then you need cooked (in salted water) potatoes, cooled and sliced. Thinly sliced onions and garlic and oregano are cooked with butter, white wine, S&P. Chop some black olives, crumble some feta cheese for a topping. The dough is rolled out into 7 inch rounds (rustic rounds, thank you.) The potato slices and onion mix and toppings go on the dough rounds, which are folded (rustic folds, thank you) up and over the insides. A mix of crème fraîche, cream, and egg yolk is then poured over all.
                                                                                                                              Bake and eat!
                                                                                                                              I'd do these again, yes.
                                                                                                                              The name "New Potato Galette..." makes you think it is one big tart, but the recipe is for 6 small galettes.

                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                geekmom RE: blue room Feb 12, 2013 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                This sounds really delicious and flavourful but not too difficult (aside from fiddling with the pastry to make the galettes - I like the sound of making them as "rustic" as possible, haha!) I think I'll bookmark this one. Thanks, BR!

                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                                  blue room RE: geekmom Feb 12, 2013 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                  That fraisage is something I'd never heard of until I read your post. Skeptical is exactly the right word! But it works.
                                                                                                                                  And it seems fine with both sweet (your apple tarte tatin) and savory.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                    MelMM RE: blue room Feb 13, 2013 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                    Shirley Corriher uses a technique like this for pie crust. In her recipe, you just cut the butter into chunks, and then roll it into the flour with a rolling pin, instead of using a pastry cutter. So you get these large, thin flakes of butter, and the pastry really does come out with visible layers. It works wonderfully and I've been using that technique ever since "Cookwise" came out, or at least, whenever I really care about my crust.

                                                                                                                                2. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                  q
                                                                                                                                  qianning RE: blue room Feb 12, 2013 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                  Looks lovely.

                                                                                                                                  Thanks to you and geekmom I'm totally intrigued by this tart dough...got to check it out!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: blue room Feb 12, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                    Beautiful blue room and big thanks for that link, very useful. Your tarts look and sound incredible. Well done!!

                                                                                                                                  2. bonbon35 RE: blue room Feb 12, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                    OVEN BAKED PENNE WITH ONIONS, WALNUTS AND GOAT CHEESE, p. 128

                                                                                                                                    My kind of comfort food! Warming, simple and yet elegant. Enjoyed the making of it - the dish puts itself together with ease. To suit my tastes, I amped the thyme, onion, wine (I used vermouth) and walnuts. The pasta itself wasn't quite saucy or goat-cheesy enough for me so next time I'll add more wine and melted goat cheese or sprinkle goat cheese throughout the entire dish. The top noodles got a sprinkiing of goat cheese and I found myself taking portions from the top because it was so much tastier than the plainer noodles lurking below.

                                                                                                                                    Served with some picked beets and a crisp salad of thinly sliced honeycrisp apples and greens in a sherry vinegar & dijon vinegrette. Simply lovely!

                                                                                                                                    Will definitely make this again for myself and think it would make a very appropriate "drop-off for a friend-in-need dish". Looking forward to my next Bistro Cooking meal...

                                                                                                                                    1. q
                                                                                                                                      qianning RE: blue room Feb 14, 2013 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                      Fresh Goat Cheese, Roasted Beet and Walnut Tart, pg. 120

                                                                                                                                      I'm a sucker for the perhaps passe combination of goat cheese and beets, so looking for a reason to try the tart dough recipe, this was a likely choice. Especially as I had all the ingredients on hand.

                                                                                                                                      First, make and blind bake a tart shell (comments on that in the tart dough thread). Then dice a couple of roasted beets. I had cooked beets in the fridge already, otherwise GH gives directions on how to roast them his way. Brown some sliced onion in butter, and add a little white wine to de-glaze the pan, add this to the diced beets. Separately mix eggs and cream. Spread the beet/onion mix on the bottom of the tart shell, add the egg/cream mixture, dot the top with soft goat cheese, bake at 350 for 20 minutes. then you are supposed to sprinkle the top of the tart with chopped walnuts and some optional walnut oil, but walnuts and I don't get along, so I opted to serve toasted walnuts on the side instead, continue to bake for 15-20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, serve warm. I served it with a side of sauteed beet greens, and the chopped walnuts for those who can eat them. Here it is out of the oven, and on the plate.

                                                                                                                                      It was OK, but for something that rich, maybe not quite good enough to repeat, still the color scheme is right for today--Happy Valentine's!

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: qianning
                                                                                                                                        Breadcrumbs RE: qianning Feb 17, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                        qianning, I missed this when you posted it but oh my goodness what a beautiful looking tart you made! I'm not a fan of goat cheese but mr bc loves it and I can imagine how well these flavours would work together. It seems you may have encountered the same issue we did w the linguini up thread, just a bit too rich for our tastes. Nonetheless, it sure looks beautiful!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                          q
                                                                                                                                          qianning RE: Breadcrumbs Feb 18, 2013 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                          Thanks BC. You know it wasn't so much that the tart tasted all that rich, it was more that knowing what was in it, if I'm going to eat that much butter/cream/cheese in one go, it had better taste over the top good (assuages the guilt somehow!), this was good, but not quite good enough to make it seem worthwhile. BTW, I did think the leftovers eaten at room temp tasted better than the out-of-the-oven warm tart.

                                                                                                                                      2. geekmom RE: blue room Feb 16, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                        Salmon wrapped in leeks with anchovy butter - p 156

                                                                                                                                        4" sections of leeks are sliced in half lengthwise, cleaned and parboiled. Meanwhile, butter is mashed with anchovy fillets and lemon juice. The leeks are laid out on a baking tray, a 6-7 oz salmon fillet is laid over top and covered with a generous amount of the anchovy butter and a sprinkling of fresh marjoram or oregano, then the leeks are wrapped around the salmon and covered in slices of lemon, and the whole thing is baked until the salmon is not quite done (it will finish cooking after it's removed from the oven).

                                                                                                                                        We served with the suggested sides: sauteed spinach (p 255) and lentil salad (p 197) and they worked quite well together.

                                                                                                                                        As dinners go, this one is pretty straightforward, and the flavours are really delicious together. I did have an issue with the actual assembly of the leek-wrapped salmon packets. The recipe calls for medium leeks and instructs you to use 4" segments. So far so good - but unfortunately I seem to not have correctly guessed what size GH was thinking of when he said "medium leek". The ones I used were slightly different in size - one seemed medium-sized, the other I would have deemed large - but there was no "leaf" of leek that was large enough to wrap all the way around my salmon fillets. I think I would have needed extremely skinny pieces of salmon in order to accomplish this with the leeks I had, so instead I just made sandwiches with leek slices on the bottom and top and the salmon in the middle. (See photo below - I used every last scrap of leek available to me and was nowhere near to being able to wrap the fish.) If you're thinking of making this, I would encourage you to use the larger sized leeks available to you, keeping in mind that only the outer few layers of the leek will actually work for wrapping your salmon fillets.

                                                                                                                                        The finished product went over extremely well - in fact, the leeks were the yummiest bit as they had absorbed so many interesting flavours but had also retained their essential leekness (another argument for using larger leeks - there will be more leeks to eat at the end!). The anchovy/lemon butter that melted into the baking pan was spooned over top of our fish and it was divine. In future I might serve this dish with some rice so that none of that delicious butter goes to waste!

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                                          Goblin RE: geekmom Feb 17, 2013 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                          Salmon Wrapped in Leeks and Anchovy Butter, p. 156

                                                                                                                                          Geekmom beat me to a review! And what a good job she did in describing it. I defer to her review, and she is completely correct about the Problem Of The Too-Short Leeks. Size matters! To completely wrap the salmon pieces you need at least twice the recommended length of 4 inches, or maybe more if your pieces are thick (mine were.) I'd definitely trim the leeks into 8-inches at least, so you can be sure of having enough to wrap the salmon completely.

                                                                                                                                          I like the idea of this recipe, but it didn't work quite as well for me. First of all, I didn't take the salmon out of the oven as soon as the recipe recommended; one of my diners has an aversion to what she calls undercooked fish. Just leaving my thicker filets in the oven an extra 5-7 minutes caused the leek-wrapping to become overly dry and crisp. Hammersley said not to worry if the leeks become brown because they will become deliciously toasty. It was more like actually eating parchment-paper. Also, the finished flavor of my anchovy butter needed an extra flavor-boost. I used the refrigerated oil-packed white anchovies that I prefer, but I think they needed more anchovy-saltiness. There wasn't the burst of flavor I wanted. Next time, taste the anchovy butter first!

                                                                                                                                          I did serve this with the recommended French lentil salad and sauteed spinach. Nice accompaniments.

                                                                                                                                        2. geekmom RE: blue room Feb 16, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                          French lentil salad with classic bistro vinaigrette - p 197

                                                                                                                                          It's a fun quirk of this book that hidden in the "Chicken & other Winged Things" chapter is a recipe for a truly delicious, nourishing vegetarian dish. It's suggested as a side for duck confit but worked extremely well with the leek-wrapped salmon dish and indeed, on its own.

                                                                                                                                          The preparation is quite simple - briefly saute carrots, leek, garlic and marjoram in olive oil, stir in puy lentils and simmer in chicken broth until tender. Strain and cool, then toss with GH's Classic Bistro Vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                          This is a wonderful thing to have in the fridge for a quick lunch, and the leftovers hold up extremely well for a day or two, if you can keep it around that long! I think using French lentils is essential, if you can possibly track them down (they are not easily available here, but you may live in a more enlightened place!) as they retain their shape and texture extremely well after cooking, which you really need against the soft carrots & leeks otherwise you will probably feel like you're eating a pile of mush.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                                            Goblin RE: geekmom Feb 17, 2013 08:16 AM

                                                                                                                                            French Lentil Salad with Classic Bistro Vinaigrette, p. 197.

                                                                                                                                            Like Geekmom, I made this to accompany the Salmon Wrapped in Leeks, p. 156. Not finding lentils du Puy at my supermarket and being a lentil-doofus, I substituted the smaller pink lentils which I COULD find. Geekmom's description of "A pile of mush" is spot-on for what I got after simmering this type of lentils. Delicious mush, I must say. No one complained as it soaked up the buttery anchovy sauce from the salmon packets, but I would have preferred the firmer "salad texture" of separate lentils. My "mush" had so much flavor that I didn't feel the need to add the Classic Bistro Vinaigrette (p 29) to the soft mixture. Ended up using the dressing on a tossed salad of crisp romaine lettuce, and it was delicious there.
                                                                                                                                            Live and learn.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                              dkennedy RE: geekmom Jun 1, 2014 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                              So glad to find this dish has a review! I made David Leibovitz' duck confit this weekend, and am planning to serve them over this lentil salad. Will report back, here and on the DL thread once I serve it.

                                                                                                                                            2. nomadchowwoman RE: blue room Feb 22, 2013 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                              Trout with Lemon, Brown Butter, and Parsley, p. 161

                                                                                                                                              This is basically a meuniere preparation, the one I use most often for fish not headed for the grill. But I'd never used it for non-fillets, and I'd never included cornmeal in the dredge. The cornmeal added an appealing crunch, especially on the fish skin.

                                                                                                                                              I halved the recipe; I used rainbow trout and asked the fishmonger to hack off the heads while he boned and gutted the fish since my husband doesn't like his dinner "looking" at him. Sigh.

                                                                                                                                              The fish were stuffed with some thyme sprigs and chopped shallot, dredged in seasoned cornmeal/flour mix, and sauteed for 5 minutes or so per side in about 3 T butter until lightly crisp. (Since I had clarified butter on hand, I skipped the veg. oil). I stuck the cooked fish in a low oven while making the quick sauce--cooked 1 1/2 T butter 'til foamy and then splashed in about the same amount of lemon juice as I like it lemony and then a heaping teaspoonful or so of chopped parsely.

                                                                                                                                              Fast, easy, delicious.

                                                                                                                                              1. geekmom RE: blue room Feb 25, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                Crabmeat Risotto with Peas and Mint - p. 138

                                                                                                                                                We had a couple of whole, cooked Dungeness crabs hanging out in our freezer and we didn't quite know what to do with them (never bought crab before, but our community-supported fishery was offering them for the first time and I was feeling adventurous..). Enter this recipe!

                                                                                                                                                First, you have to either buy lump crab meat, or dress a crab yourself. (My 11-year old says it would be more accurate to call it UNdressing the crab.) You need 6-8 oz which turned out to be all the meat from one average-sized Dungeness crab. From there it's a quite standard risotto recipe. Heat up some vegetable stock, add white wine and let this simmer. In a separate pan, saute onions in butter, add garlic, stir in the rice and then slowly add in the stock one ladle at a time and let the rice absorb it. Closer to the end of the cooking process, stir in frozen or fresh peas and some chopped scallions, then when you're nearly done stir in your crab meat, more butter, parmesan, lemon zest and some chopped fresh mint. When it's all cooked through, serve it out garnished with a few fresh mint leaves.

                                                                                                                                                This was a lovely, warming dish and I liked the way the crab meat, once stirred in, worked its way through the whole risotto so you had strands of it in each bite. The amount of peas was quite generous too. Mr Geek and I were divided on whether the crab meat flavour was crowded out by the peas and mint or not. I liked how I could taste the crab in the background but it didn't overpower the other flavours; he felt like he couldn't taste enough of the crab. Nevertheless we all cleaned our plates and competed for the leftovers the next day. Like a lot of the recipes in this book, it made a lot, and could easily feed six, as advertised, possibly eight if you are serving a smaller portion in a meal with other courses.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: geekmom
                                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: geekmom Feb 25, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I'm so glad you made, and enjoyed this. We went searching for a crab this weekend, with no luck. I've still got it on my to-do list! I was wondering specifically whether one of the flavors would overpower others. You've described that delicate balance very well, and how different people will have different reactions.

                                                                                                                                                2. Berheenia RE: blue room Feb 28, 2013 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I was a big supporter of this book and got a copy (late) from the library. Afraid various unseen situations and a truly weird bird from the grocery store ended my attempt to make the famous chicken. Everyone's reporting of the chicken recipes sound very positive. I think I need to go to the restaurant, have an order of the chicken and buy an autographed copy of the book.
                                                                                                                                                  Maybe after things settle down I can try again.

                                                                                                                                                  1. L.Nightshade RE: blue room Feb 28, 2013 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Coq au Vin, page 186.

                                                                                                                                                    I was on thin ice preparing this dish, as Mr. NS is very attached to his own version of Coq au Vin. The recipe can be found online, so I won't go into all of the details.
                                                                                                                                                    http://www.starchefs.com/features/bis...

                                                                                                                                                    I have a mild case of Pine Mouth, much to my surprise, from previous meals which included pine nuts. I could taste things for a split second, then everything tasted horribly bitter. But that first split second was wonderful. My sense of smell is intact, and this smelled delicious. Happily, Mr. NS LOVED it. He raved! I served it with polenta, as suggested, which seemed perfect. I will happily make this again when I can fully appreciate it!

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                      Gio RE: L.Nightshade Mar 1, 2013 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Hmmmm... a color coordinated dinner. Lovely.

                                                                                                                                                      This recipe is on my list and I'll get to it eventually. Polenta is the perfect accompaniment. I'm glad to read that it was a successful dish, LN.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                        Goblin RE: L.Nightshade Mar 1, 2013 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Oh what a lovely plate! A beautiful presentation. I'm now suffering from a case of "china-envy"! Can you tell us more about the pattern?

                                                                                                                                                        Also, thanks for your review of the Coq au Vin recipe. I had been skirting this one because I also have my favorite "From Julia's Kitchen." Much as I love that one, your positive review of its delicious flavor encourages me to try Hammersley's version, which is updated and slightly streamlined. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Goblin
                                                                                                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: Goblin Mar 1, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Goblin - I don't know that it's really a pattern per se. I've had these dishes for ages. They're all hand painted, each a little different. On the bottom is written "made in Portugal" in all different hand writing, and with different spellings of Portugal. I haven't been to Portugal, so I probably got them some place like Williams Sonoma!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                            juliejulez RE: L.Nightshade Mar 1, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I've seen similar stuff like that at Home Goods, also labeled "Made in Portugal". We liked using them, especially the larger serving bowls, for home staging in glass front cabinets because it looks pretty behind the glass :)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                              Goblin RE: L.Nightshade Mar 1, 2013 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I like that they have different spellings of Portugal! They sound really hand-made. I will just have to keep an eye out, perhaps at Home Goods, meanwhile trying to stifle my china-envy. Thanks for the answer.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Goblin
                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                              dkennedy RE: Goblin May 24, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Not sure if you are still looking for these dishes, but they are from William Sonoma, only many, many years back. I have an oval and a round serving dish I got on sale when I was single (over 16 years ago).....

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy
                                                                                                                                                                Goblin RE: dkennedy May 25, 2013 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Oh dkennedy, how thoughtful of you to remember my search for that lovely pattern of LNightshade's and yours. I just went to the williamsonoma.com site, but didn't find that pattern amongst their offerings. You were smart to purchase them when you did! Thanks for thinking of me.

                                                                                                                                                                It's definitely dangerous for me to go to that site. . . big sale this weekend. . . . free shipping. . . .Step AWAY from that site.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Goblin
                                                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: Goblin May 25, 2013 06:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I thought it was probably Wms Sonoma. It was at least that long ago that I purchased them, probably longer. I have service for 12, a few pieces have chips and crazing, but I haven't broken any! Wms Sonoma used to have more hand painted Mediterranean style pottery, it seems to me. But they never held onto a pattern for very long.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                              blue room RE: L.Nightshade Mar 1, 2013 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Forgive this really clueless question, but doesn't the wine turn the meat purple (and the polenta greyish?) I've never tried this dish, and your (appetizing!) picture looks like no red wine has been involved.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                L.Nightshade RE: blue room Mar 1, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps because the chicken is seared first? Or because it's a quicker cooking method than the traditional coq au vin? Mr. NS's version cooks a lot longer, and he definitely ends up with reddish chicken. As to the polenta, it's just made separately, so it has no red wine contact until plating.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                bonbon35 RE: L.Nightshade Mar 1, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Wow - that looks both yummy and stunning! Was on the food fence with this dish, but you've inspired me to try it. Hope the Pine Mouth resolves itself soon!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bonbon35
                                                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: bonbon35 Mar 1, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks bonbon! It's already almost gone, a very mild case.

                                                                                                                                                              3. bonbon35 RE: blue room Mar 1, 2013 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                POLENTA SQUARES WITH PEPERONATA AND TRUFFLE OIL - Help needed

                                                                                                                                                                Can pre-baked polenta be frozen? I'm halfway through the recipe, having finished the stove-top cooking of the polenta and put it in the fridge overnight. Tonight I'll be baking it and finishing the dish but there too much polenta for the 2 of us. I'm wondering if I can freeze some of the the pre-baked polenta dough successfully?

                                                                                                                                                                Really appreciate any help you guys can offer on this one...Will update on how the dish turned out after it's finished.

                                                                                                                                                                1. q
                                                                                                                                                                  qianning RE: blue room Apr 11, 2013 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Barbecued Bluefish with Smoked Shrimp Butter, pg. 175

                                                                                                                                                                  Wanted to make this back in February, but where to find smoked shrimp? Still don't know the answer to that question (for this amount I wasn't going to order it on-line), so I made my own. This dish is simply a grilled fish + compound butter.

                                                                                                                                                                  The compound butter=butter, diced smoked shrimp, shallot, garlic, parsley (fresh out of it, I omitted), lemon juice (I added a little zest too), and S&P. Easy enough once I had the shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                  The blue fish is rubbed with a little o. oil, then rubbed with a spice mix of cayenne, paprika, herbes de Provence, salt, sugar. I subbed all hot paprika for the cayenne & paprika (GH doesn't say what kind of paprika, I'd guess sweet, which I was out of, therefore the sub, as I didn't want this to be too spicy). Rest the fish for 10 minutes, grill, add butter to the top. Serve.

                                                                                                                                                                  Yum! Making this it seemed like it might turn into a bastardized '80's type blackened fish. Not at all. The flavors really complement each other, a little spicy from the paprika, yet the delicate smoky-sweet flavor of the shrimp really pops.

                                                                                                                                                                  GH suggests dressing down with cole slaw and a beer, but I went the opposite way, serving the fish with spinach sauteed with anchovy lemon and garlic, and a potato cooked with H de P flavored o. oil. Mr. QN "How to take a cheap piece of fish and make it taste like great bistro food".

                                                                                                                                                                   
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