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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

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  1. Baked Ziti in Bianco with Fontina and Salami (Ipad Version)

    I have heard of ziti many times, but have never seen any here in Vancouver so I simply used Penne. This dish called out to me because I love cheesy pasta bakes and this sounded like something a teenage foodie would make when his parents were out of town. Other than a sprinkling of herbs this is basically noodles, butter, melted cheese and salami.

    The recipe calls for you cook your pasta for 12 minutes but I simply followed the instructions on the package but just went a touch al dente since they were going into the oven for a bit. Mind you, I would make sure they were almost completely cooked since they are only in the oven for 15 minutes and there is no sauce to help the noodles cook.

    Meanwhile you grate your fontina, slice your salami, pick your fresh oregano, and get your dish ready with some butter and a touch extra butter for dotting the multiple layers of the dish. Once the pasta is cooked you layer it with the cheese, salami, season with salt and pepper, and dot with butter, repeating the layers till you end with the cheese at the top (3 layers for me).

    You then bake for 15 minutes, pull from the oven and stir the lot before garnishing with a touch more oregano. That's it, definitely very simple.

    She did call for a souffle dish, something I don't have, so I simply went with an oven safe pot that was about the right size. I toyed with the idea of just using a regular casserole dish, but I think that would have resulted in a drier pasta than ideal. I also likely had closer to 10 oz of pasta which was good for 4 small servings. I wouldn't want to eat anymore than a smallish serving as it was very rich. That said, we both really enjoyed this dish. Melted fontina is always so good with it's nutty flavour and stringy texture, and we love salami so that was a no brainer. Was the butter necessary, I think so because the dish needed something to wet it a bit.

    I dare say it would be a departure but I wonder if a fontina based sauce mornay would elevate this just a tad further and make this a little less teen home alone and a little more mom's mac and cheese.

    Either way the flavour profile was nice, the prep easy, and the results different but quite pleasing in it's simplicity.

    5 Replies
    1. re: delys77

      I'm no teenage foodie and my parents have been "out of town" for a very long time, but Damn, I'm going to love this recipe, Delys. Ziti, Fontina, Genoa Salami. These are some of my favorite things. The recipe is on page 120 for those who need to look it up immediately.

      1. re: Gio

        ha ha, that gave me a good chuckle. I kind of love the sound of music (guilty pleasure).

      2. re: delys77

        Looks and sounds great! And I love your teenage foodie line.

        1. re: delys77

          Baked Ziti in Bianco, Pg. 120

          What a dish! It's a great dish but better suited to a freezing day in January. Followed the recipe carefully except did not add butter between the layers. Nor did we add salt because to my palate salami is plenty salty. I did not have fresh oregano at the ready so used minced parsley and basil. I really hate when I have to do that but I feel the substitutions were in the spirit of the Italian cuisine. The fontina and Genoa were bought at our local salumeria.

          The finished dish was full of flavor and quite hearty for me. Loved the melty cheese throughout and the bite of the salami. Additionally, I served sauted broccoli rabe with plenty of garlic and red pepper flakes which was a perfect foil for the rich pasta.

        2. Is this thread supposed to be for recipes that include pasta *and* fish, or either or?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Atomic76

            Hi atomic, this thread is for all recipes contained in the fish or pasta chapters of the book.

          2. Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi," Bok Choy & Shitakes, p. 147.

            A few years ago on an adjunct thread this recipe received several very positive reviews, so I decided to try it for this month's COTM.

            (BTW, this recipe is available exactly as Gold wrote it on google books.com so I will not describe it in detail.

            I think that Gold is very strong on her salmon recipes and this is an especially delightful way to serve this fish. All of my guests loved it, as did I. The strengths of the recipe are its delicious Asian flavors and the fact that it feels very summery and fresh, esp. with the bok choy/shitake accompaniment. Another strength: Despite a list of 12 ingredients and several steps, the recipe goes together relatively quickly and easily. None of it takes much skill and you can do some of it ahead if desired: for instance, I made the marinade and marinated the salmon a few hours ahead, setting the fillets up on their baking sheet in the refrigerator, meanwhile also boiling the marinade ahead and reserving it for rewarming later. The bok-choy and shitakes were all sliced ahead and ready for their final stir-fry. While the salmon baked I stir fried the veggies.

            A few minor comments: I used brandy because I had no rice wine, at a reduced ratio of 1 tsp brandy rather than the 1 TBS rice wine in the recipe. (I found this substitution on the internet--another sub is dry sherry.) The bok choy and shitakes needed more than two minutes to become tender: more like10 minutes. I broiled my salmon filets as recommended in the recipe, but I see no reason why one couldn't oven-roast them at 500 F if desired.

            I served it with the coconut and pistachio rice, p. 274 and the whole cauliflower with ras-al-hanout crumble, p. 262. Went together fine!

            13 Replies
            1. re: Goblin

              I love this recipe, I think the results are restaurant-worthy and as you note it comes together very quickly.

              1. re: Goblin

                Korean Style Salmon Bulgogi with Bok Choy and Shiitakes

                Goblin's write up sounded tasty and we are in the midst of the Salmon season here in Vancouver so I thought I would give this one a try.

                I followed the recipe as directed except that I did cook the mushrooms separately and then added them to the bok choy just as I was wrapping the cooking on the bok choy. Reason being that I abhor mushy mushrooms and I wanted a good sear on mine. My approach worked very well for us, the mushrooms were browned and flavourful and the bok choy cooked down to crisp tender in about 5 minutes.

                We also thought this one was a real winner. The flavour profile is very reminiscent of bulgogi and paired very well with the salmon, giving it a lovely umami boost. I cooked for the full 8 minutes and might suggest cutting down to 7 or so as I found the fish was nicely done, but I like mine perhaps a touch rarer.

                I also copied Goblin's suggestion of serving with the pistachio rice (thanks Goblin), along with the wasabi miso asparagus. All together this was a super flavourful meal.

                1. re: delys77

                  Glad you liked it, delays77, and I think your suggestion about searing the shitakes on their own is a good one--would benefit their texture and flavor.

                2. re: Goblin

                  Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi," Bok Choy & Shitakes (page 147)

                  I had high hopes for this after all the rave reviews on both this and the adjunct thread. I can only attribute my disappointment to user error, but not at all sure where I might have gone wrong. The only change I made to the recipe was to leave the sugar out of the marinade. Hard to believe that could have made a significant difference, but perhaps it did. I thought the mushroom/bok choy part of the dish insipid; maybe I didn’t salt it enough? And the marinade was too salty, even though there was no added salt. Maybe I reduced it too much? maybe my soy sauce was extra salty? maybe I dabbed the marinade on the cooked fish too thickly rather than just glazing it?

                  The fish itself, at least, was a success. I used a Costco wild sockeye fillet, and the fish was cooked perfectly. (That, I must say, was a huge relief. I love everything about my new GE Café range except the broiler which, in the couple of times I’ve used it, have given me very disappointing results. Not so here. I wouldn’t have minded if the salmon was a bit more rare, but I was quite happy with it as it was.)

                  I purposely didn’t reread the reviews before making this dish, but now that I have, I think Caitlin’s idea of adding the extra marinade to the veggies is a good one and I’m making note of it. But all in all, I’m in no hurry to try this again.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    I'm so sorry you were disappointed in this JoanN! I am sure I've left the sugar out too, I nearly always do, but have loved this.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      I'm also really sorry to hear this wasn't a hit for you. I'm one of the people who really loved it (although i agree that the bok choy/shiitake mix isn't killer). My thinking is that the sugar adds a little something to balance out the sauce, but I doubt it was the reason you didn't love this.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        Oh that is too bad Joan! I would say that my broiled salmon came out slightly glazed looking before I very lightly dabbed it with the sauce, I almost felt like the sugar added a tiny bit of caramelized affect to the top of the fillet. Not to say that the sugar was the culprit for your lack lustre result, but for me I definitely enjoyed the balance of the sauce with the sugar in it as well as the effect the marinade had on the salmon.

                        Veggie wise I agree, your bok choy need to be well seasoned and for me I abhor quickly cooked mushrooms so I gave them a good sear on the side, this helped make the little garnish more enjoyable.

                        Again, just my two cents.

                        1. re: delys77

                          I think I may try the salmon part of the dish again when I'm back to eating sugar. Your comment about the caramelization makes a lot of sense. And I definitely wouldn't glob on the marinade as I did. As for the bok choy (and I, by the way, adore mushrooms in just about any form), I think I'd just pass on it. I'm sure the salmon would be very good on many other Asian vegetable stir-fries.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            You are definitely correct that her vegetable accompaniment isn't necessarily the perfect match. For me a nicely roasted or crisped mushroom is sublime but less cooked mushrooms always make me think of these canned things my grandmother used to serve. Lol I suppose it is just a back childhood food memory.

                      2. re: Goblin

                        I made only salmon and skimming through Goblin's review realized that I read "rice vinegar" instead of "wine"! I made the marinade a night before and used Pacific wild salmon filets. I was cooking it at the cottage the day I arrived and so somewhat rushed. I marinated for maybe 1/2-hour and grilled on cedar planks on the BBQ. It was absolutely delicious and everyone raved - definitely to be repeated, and next time I'll try it at home under the broiler sticking more closely to the recipe ingredients :)

                        1. re: Goblin

                          My mother is in town and Lulu had the afternoon at home (and we spent some time at the pool - always fun), so I needed something easy and foolproof. I went with the bulgogi salmon. I skipped the vegetables and did roasted broccoli and rice. Very nice meal with very little effort.

                          1. Sole Provençal with Petit Ratatouille, p. 152

                            A sautéed vegetable mixture that you then steam sole fillets atop. I made two changes to the vegetable prep: I doubled the amount (I wanted it to serve as a real vegetable component rather than just dressing the fish), and I cut the vegetables in small dice rather than chopping finely. The sauté starts with scallions and jalapeño (I didn't have the latter, so added some red pepper flakes; I also added a few minced cloves of garlic), then sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers (I used one each red and yellow), and zucchini go in. When the vegetables have softened, sherry vinegar, honey (I did not double this), fresh thyme, and water (I used dry white wine) go in. Sole fillets, folded in half to keep them from overcooking, are placed atop the vegetables, drizzled with olive oil, and salted, and the pan is covered until they're cooked through. She calls for 4 7-oz sole fillets; I used about 1 1/2 pounds of petrale sole, which meant many smaller fillets, so I shortened the time slightly. I used substantially less oil than called for - she calls for sautéeing the vegetables in 3 T and drizzling the fish with 2 T, then drizzling more over to serve. Though I doubled the vegetables, I used no more than 2 T to sauté, and I didn't drizzle any over before serving.

                            This is a nice, light dish that feels fresh and summery. It's not assertively flavored or spiced, but the vegetables are bright. Good use of sun-dried tomatoes, especially given that tomato season hasn't quite arrived yet around here. The subtlety works well with the delicate flavor of sole; that said, the fish itself is very plain, so really must be eaten with the vegetable garnish. Leftovers were good eaten cold.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Sole (Pollock) Provencal with Petit Ratatouille, p 152.

                              Seduced by Caitlin's detailed discussion and positive review above, I made this last night with some fresh CSA pollock.

                              The method of first making the ratatouille and then steaming the fish on top works perfectly and makes this a one-pan meal. Since my pollock filets were thicker than sole filets, I just increased the time of steaming them. I also increased the ratio of vegetable to fish by 2 to 1 which gives a generous amount of the very savory veggie mixture.

                              My finished ratatouille had a lot of flavor, which I think was due to the fact that when I sautéed the scallion-jalapeno mixture over high heat for 10 minutes, some of it browned and started to create a fond. I also took Caitlin's advice and used white wine for the liquid and also diced the veggies rather than chopping them finely. I liked the extra texture this provided.

                              The honey-sherry vinegar combo gave a sweet-sharp dimension, and I liked the aromatic note of the fresh thyme. The sun-dried tomatoes were quite flavorful as well. I haven't tried it yet, but I think this version of ratatouille would be good as a side for grilled chicken, for instance, or in an omelette.

                              Used my own summer squash and fresh thyme in the recipe: yippee! Summer may finally be here on the Cape.

                            2. Pasta with Radishes, Bacon and Greens, p. 123

                              This dish is well-described over on the cooking from thread, here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7860...

                              Reading those reviews, I had a feeling I would like this dish. I love bitter greens, sauteed radishes, pasta, cheese and bacon! So I was pretty sure I would like this dish. My changes to the recipe were as follows: used fusilli instead of fettucine, used parm instead of pecorino, and used more of it than called for (possibly because it's less salty than pecorino). Both subs worked well, though I think the pecorino would have been very good in this dish.

                              To make the full recipe as written, I used all the greens from two bunches of radishes, but only 1/2 a bunch of radishes themselves. Not really a big deal because I have a butter-braised radish recipe that I LOVE which will easily use up the rest. But for those that would rather come out more even in terms of radishes and greens, I think you could augment the radish greens with dandelion or swiss chard (less bitter than radish greens but I think the flavor would go well) or a peppery arugula (add at the end, it cooks very quickly). I would probably do this if doubling or tripling the recipe.

                              My husband and I really enjoyed this pasta. My kids liked the pasta, cheese or bacon part but picked out the veg. One recipe wasn't really enough for the four of us (my husband and kids are pasta fiends), but I made extra pasta and served it with leftover pesto for round two. I served the pasta with a big green salad on the side.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Westminstress

                                This sounds so good. I am wondering if you think that a regular bunch of radishes--not necessarily the harder-to-find (in my area) "French Breakfast Radishes"--would also work? Sounds as if the FBRs are somewhat sweeter and milder. I realize that it depends on one's taste. I happen to like the pepperiness of radishes of any stripe, especially when they are sautéed, but I'm wondering about the balance of flavors with these stronger-flavored radishes for other guests.

                                1. re: Goblin

                                  I just used regular radishes -- forgot to mention that. In fact they were on the woody side and not the best for eating raw. They cooked up nicely though. I'm sure your commonly available radishes would be great in this dish.

                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                    Thank you, Westminstress--you have reassured me about just going ahead and making this recipe as soon as possible! I appreciate your advice.
                                    Who can resist a dish of healthful radishes and greens with the added joy of pasta, pecorino/parm and bacon!!

                                  2. re: Goblin

                                    French Breakfast Radishes are on the peppery side. I love them on their own with salted butter and baguette.

                                  3. re: Westminstress

                                    This is one of my favorite recipes from this book, certainly the one I've made the most frequently. I make it now with orecchiette, just because I like the look of the round pasta with the round radishes, but it works with most any pasta.

                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                      I think I would actually have a hard time pairing the radishes with a long skinny pasta! But I wouldn't know because I am stuck in the land of short chunky shapes until my kids have a bit more manual dexterity. Orecchiette sounds good, I like that shape in general.

                                    2. re: Westminstress

                                      I got some nice, fresh radishes with greens from the farmer's market on Sunday and had some bacon to use up, so gave this recipe a whirl. It was easy and pretty tasty - not a complete wow for me but Mr GG really enjoyed it. My radishes weren't the French breakfast variety but still quite peppery. I can usually get the French ones so will try this recipe at some point with those. I'd also add more greens - probably rocket - as I didn't feel that the leaves from one bunch of radishes were enough. Still, a solid dish.

                                    3. Capellini with Chili Paste and Crispy Egg, p114 (picture on p115)

                                      This could be my new favorite "Need something I can make quickly with what is in my fridge" dish. I tried this a couple of weeks ago and have made it at least once a week since that time.

                                      Basically, it is spaghetti tossed with butter, some Chinese chili paste, and parmigiano. You top the pasta with a fried egg and then top with some orange zest and thai basil (regular basil works fine too).

                                      I like things with some heat, so I add more chili paste than she calls for. I've also tried it with sriracha which works well too.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: stockholm28

                                        I must confess I am always confused when these types of condiments are called for. In my pantry I have sriracha, Sichuan chili bean paste and lan chi chili paste with garlic (this one never gets used). Is any of these "Chinese chili paste" and if not what is?

                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                          She calls for "Chinese chili paste with garlic" and I didn't have that variation, but it sounds like the last one in your list could be that.

                                          I've tried it with the Sichuan chili bean paste, sriracha, and harissa (I know that one isn't Chinese :). It worked with all 3. I've got some kochujung in the fridge too, so might try that next.

                                            1. re: stockholm28

                                              Interesting discussion, because I never knew exactly what Chinese Chili Sauce was either--in my refrigerator are presently residing "Hokan Chili Sauce with Garlic" (Malaysian) and "Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste," neither of which seems quite the thing. The Thai version has several more ingredients than the former, including anchovy extract, dried shrimp, and tamarind.

                                              Anyway, according to a recipe I found on the web, Chinese Chili Paste with garlic (la jiao jiang) has relatively few ingredients and isn't that complicated to make--here's a recipe I found if you are so inclined.


                                              BTW, I used the Hokan Chili Sauce with Garlic when I made the Korean-Style Salmon "Bulgogi," Bok Choy & Shitakes, p. 147, and I thought it was really very acceptable.

                                          1. re: stockholm28

                                            CAPELLINI WITH CHILI PASTE AND CRISPY EGG, P114.
                                            I really liked this and can see myself making this when I'm too tired to do more than boil up a pot of noodles.
                                            I used sriracha and cut down on the butter and cheese just a bit. This would be good anytime but was a great excuse to have pasta for breakfast.

                                          2. 3-minute Wasabi Salmon (p. 138)

                                            Extremely easy to make and very tasty. I've used this method with fish before of making a flavored mayo, covering fish with it and then roasting. Always leaves the fish nice and moist and gives lots of flavor (and yes, fat). Anyway, with this one you mix together mayo and wasabi powder mixed with a bit of water (next time I'd just go with the tube of wasabi we have in the fridge, which seems a bit fresher), then spread over fish to cover completely. Roast for 20 minutes at 450. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds (which I couldn't find at the store so left off - we loved it anyway so no biggie, but I'm sure they'd add a nice bit of crunch). I sliced a bit of basil and topped it with that.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              3-minute Wasabi Salmon, Pg. 138

                                              This recipe could not have been more simple. Three minutes indeed. LLM describes the procedure well so I'll just say we had a jar of TJ's wasabi mayo in the fridge to which I added a smidge of wasabi paste just to beef it up and it worked a treat. Also the wild caught sockeye we used was 1 pound not the 3 1/2 - 4 pound side the recipe calls for. Although I felt the fillet was slightly over cooked G didn't but it was Very tasty and full of flavor while allowing the lovely salmon to shine. I do like my fish rare, though. Did not have any black sesame seeds.

                                              The side dish was freshly shelled peas with scallions and prosciutto from "Vegetable Love", and what's become our Summertime salad du jour" chopped cucumber, radish, tomato, sweet onion with our own house dressing.

                                              I have used the very same technique with boneless chicken thighs which were rolled in Panko then roasted. Something else to keep in mind. This was a terrific meal for a very lazy Sunday.

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                I hope if you eat wild salmon rare, it has been frozen first. I did a lot of research on this recently, and wild caught (Pacific) salmon can be assumed to be infected with anisakis simplex (a roundworm) and also can transmit tapeworms to humans. It is not even legal for a restaurant to serve raw salmon in the US that has not been frozen. Some people are under the mistaken belief that wild-caught is "safer" than farmed, but where parasites are concerned, the opposite is true.

                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                  Oh, thank you Mell.... I have no idea. The salmon was bought at our local northeast coast Whole Foods Market this past Saturday and when DH goes back this coming week-end I'll have him ask the fish monger. OTOH, if it was caught on the west coast wouldn't it be frozen on board because these fishing vessels stay out a number of days before returning to port, and then the fish has to be shipped to the distribution center for MA ?

                                                  The salmon was delicious, but now you have me worried. What should I be looking for if I'm doomed?

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Odds are that it was flash frozen after harvest, Gio. Even here on the west coast, almost all wild salmon available in our markets, especially from Alaska (which is where the main fisheries are), was frozen for preservation and transportation.

                                                  2. re: MelMM

                                                    Wow, interesting and helpful info. I guess the good news for me is that we actually prefer (I know, this is weird) the Atlantic salmon varieties. They seem fattier and tastier and cook more evenly. But man, will I ever be watching out for this if Pacific is all that is available. That said, I second Gio in thinking that if it is sold on the east coast it surely must have been frozen first (right?).

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      I would think most of the wild-caught salmon here in the East has been frozen.

                                                      BTW, Atlantic farmed salmon in the US is not necessarily safe either. It depends upon the farming method and what the fish are fed. If the fish spend any time in fresh water, they are prone to parasites, which is why the wild ones are not safe. Also, if they are feed a food that contains other fish, they can get parasites from the food.

                                                      In the EU, there are salmon being farmed off Scotland and Norway that are safe to eat raw. But all salmon in the US should be frozen.

                                                      And yes, you are right, the farmed salmon are fattier.

                                              2. (Garganelli) with Sausage, Leeks, and Barely Wilted Spinach, page 132.

                                                A couple deviations from the recipe: I had been dying to try making garganelli, so I did, and made this dish with fresh tubular pasta, not dried gemelli. I also did not use fennel sausage, but some I had in the freezer, made of duck, duck liver, and armagnac. A lot of the flavor in this dish comes from the sausage, so that probably makes a difference in the taste, but not how it comes together.

                                                She calls for cooking the pasta first, but since I was using somewhat fragile fresh pasta, I just had the water boiling and cooked the pasta when everything else was about ready. Minced leeks are cooked until soft, then the crumbled sausage is added and browned. Cream and slivered chile are added. Once the cream has thickened, the pasta goes into the sauce, then the spinach is added and just wilted. (You're supposed to add a bit of the pasta water here too, but I had drained the pasta over the sink. Oops! Didn't miss it at all.)

                                                This was just great. It was a time consuming dish with the homemade pasta, but would be quick with dried pasta. The sausage really does make the dish, of course, and it would be fun to try it with different types of sausage. I think the fennel sausage called for would be great.

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                  Duck, duck liver and armagnac sausage sounds like just about one of the best things ever.

                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                    And where did you find such amazing sausage? Made yourself, perhaps?

                                                    1. re: herby

                                                      Ha! No, but we did recently purchase a meat grinder attachment for the stand mixer. But these came from D'Artagnan. This link isn't exactly what we got, because our ingredients said duck liver too, so maybe they've changed the recipe, but this was where we got them:


                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        And they were wonderful. Come to think of it, they'd be great over creamy, cheesey grits with a fried egg on top. Mmm.

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          Thank you for the link, LN! I thought for sure there will be no pork as duck has plenty of its own fat, but not the case...

                                                          ETA: I am thinking that this pasta dish would be good with duck confit instead of sausage and I have a few legs sitting in the freezer and a leek in the fridge and nothing planned for dinner :)

                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                              Thanks Westminstress, delys, and nomadchowwoman! I missed your kind comments until I came back to this thread to read through salmon reports!

                                                          1. P. 156 - Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes & Saffron Vinaigrette

                                                            This was a wonderful recipe. It was very easy to assemble and it was very flavorful. I made a smaller portion just for myself and my husband and we both enjoyed it very much. I can see how this dish could work well for serving a crowd as it is easy to prepare, the fish remains moist and it looks lovely when served.

                                                            A couple notes: My fish took a little longer to cook (18 minutes total) as the Halibut steaks I used were pretty thick. So, depending on the thickness of your fish, check for doneness after the 10 minute mark. Also, I would not recommend using a baking sheet as the recipe indicates. The tomatoes and the fish let off quite a bit of liquid during their cooking so I recommend something deeper, like baking pan. I spooned this “sauce” over my fish and it looked great! Lastly, I did not have white balsamic vinegar on hand so I substituted apple cider vinegar and it worked out just fine. Overall, the fish was moist and very tasty!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: CMCooks

                                                              Roasted Halibut (white sea bass) with Tomatoes & Saffron Vinaigrette, p. 156

                                                              What a difference a few weeks makes. I posted elsewhere in this thread at the start of the month that tomato season wasn't quite in swing yet here, and now the farmers' market is bursting with great tomatoes. Also found at the farmers' market, a couple of thick fillets of very fresh white sea bass, which I used here.

                                                              It is, as CMCooks says, easy to assemble: Place chopped tomatoes and cherry tomatoes in a pan (I followed the above advice and used a baking dish), season with S&P, lay fish on the tomatoes, pour over a vinaigrette of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, minced scallion whites, cilantro basil, saffron, S&P. Let sit for a few minutes, then roast. It's a huge recipe meant for eight and calling for 4+ pounds of tomatoes and 4 pounds of fish. For my pound of fish, I used a bit more than a fourth of the tomatoes called for, a fourth of the oil, a third of the vinegar, and all of the scallions, cilantro, and basil (she only calls for 2 T of each). My fish also took longer, but there was no harm to the tomatoes.

                                                              I have to agree that little effort returns a dish full of flavor, and is a great way to highlight summer tomatoes, which, mingled with the vinaigrette, make a delicious sauce for firm white fish.

                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                Sounds delicious. Here's a link for those who would like to see the recipe and don't have the book: http://books.google.com/books?id=oRzo...

                                                            2. Pimiento Mac (iPad Edition)

                                                              Hello adult Kraft Dinner! I'm not sure if American's have eat Kraft Dinner but if you do this dish will definitely remind you of it, but in a good way.

                                                              Inspired by pimiento cheese this is essentially just macaroni tossed with a sauce of blended sharp cheddar, mayo, garlic, and roasted red peppers. The result is very reminiscent of the colour of the Kraft concoction but of course tastes nothing like it. The flavour of the sharp cheddar, garlic and peppers came through nicely, if a little less sharply than I had expected. That said, the dish was quite tasty and definitely very different.

                                                              I'm not sure I would repeat because it was just good not great, but it was enjoyable.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: delys77

                                                                So I'm planning on doing the Pimiento Mac tonight. I quickly read the recipe before heading to the store and saw "6 oz jar of roasted red peppers". I never buy the jars, just do it myself, so I have some red peppers in the refrigerator. Now I read the instructions and I'm supposed to use the "brine" that the peppers come in. I've looked on the web and the "brine" can be a lot of things, but sounds like it's often just a salty liquid with some onions perhaps. I'm just wondering *how much* liquid this was in your jar. I'll improvise here.

                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                  Hey there Dgresh, I'm at the office right now so can't check but my jar was more than 6 0z, I'm converting from metric but I had to guess I'd say 9 oz and the contents were essentially just a typical pickling brine, perhaps with a touch of sugar (that might have been form the pepper). Mine had not onion or anything else in the brine.

                                                                  I litterally added a splash, perhaps a few tablespoons. I think you would likely be ok with a touch more but I wasn't sure I liked the commercial brine so I held back.

                                                                  Best of luck

                                                                  1. re: delys77

                                                                    I threw in a splash of lightly salted water, just to get a more liquid consistency in the food processor.

                                                                    That said, this was not a hit in my house. Just seemed weird and boring. Not sure what purpose the peppers serve other than to give it a really crazy color.

                                                              2. "Silver Packet" Flounder with Miso Mayo, Pg. 152

                                                                The fish was a cinch to put together, it's fish en papillote and we've cooked many such recipes over the years. We had fresh off the boat in the morning yellowtail flounder from our CSF. It was perfect for this application.

                                                                A sauce of mayo, white miso, mirin, and cumin is made first then set aside. The ingredients for the fish are baby spinach, dry sun-dried tomatoes, ramps or scallions, fresh basil, EVOO, and red pepper flakes. I subbed shredded napa cabbage for the spinach, and used scallions instead of ramps. The fish is baked in an aluminum foil packet with everything except the greens. To serve the uncooked greens are laid down, fish is set on top, sauce is poured over.

                                                                G felt there was so much juicy sauce that he served the napa and flounder in a bowl. The sauce alone, having mixed with the fish juice and seasonings, was picante with cuminy overtones. I liked the sun-dried tomatoes which softened with cooking but I thought they would be better chopped instead of halved per the recipe. The yellowtail was perfectly cooked, tender, moist, with subtle flavors and a bit of bite from the peperoncino. I'd make it again, and serve something to absorb the tasty sauce. The side dish was the Asparagus, Bok Choy, Radicchio Salad on page 48.

                                                                11 Replies
                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  You know, I had one very bad experience trying to cook fish en papillote years ago and have never tried again. It always looks and sounds simple and delicious, but mine was just short of a catastrophe. You make this sound so good though ... Any thoughts, tips to get me back on the bike?

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    In days gone by I learned how to fold parchment packets like The Pros. When DH started to cook I showed him how to fold simple foil flat packs which work just as well. In fact better because these flat foil packs can be placed over coals as well as in the oven. Here's a very simple method of folding aluminum foil. Scroll down to the photos... and, Goodly Luck! You Can Do This.


                                                                    For good measure:

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Ah, thanks a million Gio. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who has found this method a little intimidating.

                                                                    2. re: LulusMom

                                                                      Hi LLM,
                                                                      Just saw your post today as I'm getting ready to dip into this book again. I learned how to do fish this way from a Kelsey Nixon recipe ( I believe there is a video posted as well) - on the Cooking Channel (a sister of Food Network). It is a Salmon/ginger papillote recipe and one of my favorites. The technique is really easy and removes the 'intimidation' factor.

                                                                      1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                        It seems like the least intimidating thing in the world, unless you've almost set the kitchen on fire once when trying it - erp. I'm ready to go now, what with Gio's links for the good wrapping technique. If I need more motivation I will definitely google the Kelsey Nixon video - thank you!

                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                          Ha! I know what you mean. I once had a terrifying incident with flaming cognac that diminished my confidence for quite a while. Good luck with the fish :).

                                                                        2. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                          That's a good video, Blythe spirit. She didn't cut out a heart before she assembled the ingredients. That's what some people find intimidating, I think. Everyone has their own way of doing things. it's great to have different methods. I was surprised about coating the parchment with oil, though. I would have thought that would cause smoke.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            Pardon me for being somewhat OT, but the "cut out a heart" reminded me. There's a Le Succès in MtAoFC, vol 2, that I made once. Had to have been about 40 years ago. You pipe out layers of meringue in the shape of a heart. I still have the heart template I made back then tucked into the pages of the book. Never made the Le Succès again, but whenever I need a heart shape, I know exactly where to find it.

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              I had never had nor seen fish prepared in this manner until I happened to see it on her show one day so have never seen any other technique - though I have heard of the heart shape method since then. That shape makes a lot of sense both in terms of fitting around the piece of fish and the folding technique. One of these days I will have to learn to fold like the pros, because I think it would make the presentation even nicer.
                                                                              I have never had these smoke or catch fire - but they are only in the oven ten minutes or less.
                                                                              For me, "en papillote" is great for cooking quickly and healthily - and I just adore Nixon's recipe. Will have to expand my repertoire and try the Flounder with Miso Mayo, which sounds delicious. But the last time I bought white miso I thought the taste was strange and gave up trying to cook with it. Is there a particular brand you recommend?

                                                                        3. re: Gio

                                                                          Nice write-up. I hadn't noticed this dish; it's on my radar now!

                                                                        4. Tortellini with Yogurt, Mint & Smoked Paprika Oil - p. 116

                                                                          Cook the (cheese, in my case) tortellini while preparing 3 custard cups with toppings. Olive Oil, crushed garlic & smoked paprika, pinch of salt in one. Yogurt with olive oil & salt in one. Torn mint leaves in one.

                                                                          My garden mint was extra-assertive (or as my husband says "too loud") in this, and we left it off our 2nd small helpings of pasta.

                                                                          A blogger who made this cut the oil in half, and I'd agree, omitting the oil from the final toss of pasta and from the yogurt (unless you want that pourable), and (proportionally) reducing the quantity of smoked paprika oil unless you have a purpose for the leftover - only need about half the amount for this dish. I also would omit the salt from the pasta water and yogurt.

                                                                          Ms Gold doesn't specify the oz. for the Greek yogurt. We used less than 2 oz to top our quarter-recipe.


                                                                          I served this with simply warmed shrimp in butter / Old Bay Seasoning, and the Apple Cider Cucumbers - P. 64

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                            I forgot to whisk the yogurt with salt and oil, but made everything else as stated. We didn't find it too oily, but we served it as a main dish with broccoli soup with pistachio-lemon butter (p. 90) on the side. We used frozen cheese ravioli, but only because I couldn't find a good meat tortellini without pork last time at the store. Overall this dish was a real winner, and is becoming part of my last-minute recipes with easy to keep around ingredients.

                                                                            1. re: tandooritaco

                                                                              Thanks to Midwesterner for posting the link to this recipe, as I don't have the book (despite LLM's best efforts ;-)). I really like Turkish manti with yoghurt, so this was a real winner, and so quick and easy after a long day at work. I used 400g of meat cappelletti for the 2 of us, 2T of olive oil, half a cup maybe of Turkish yoghurt, and mint from the garden. With a salad, a lovely meal.

                                                                          2. Seared Tuna with Fresh Corn & Wasabi “Cream” (page 162)

                                                                            Cut the kernels from three cobs of corn. Cook 1½ cups of kernels until soft, blend with water until very smooth, then strain through a sieve. Stir in salt and wasabi paste. Cook remaining corn kernels and drain. Salt and sear a thick tuna steak two minutes on each side. Pour sauce over tuna and garnish with cooked kernels.

                                                                            This was just super! I loved it. The sauce had a lot of kick to it and I think would work well with ¾ of teaspoon of wasabi rather than a full teaspoon.

                                                                            I’ve been on Weight Watchers for five weeks now, and when I first got this book and flipped through it, I was discouraged. So many recipes called for a lot of oil and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to find anything here that I could adjust to be plan friendly. But the other day I decided to sit down and look at it more closely. The “cream” in this recipe is nothing but corn, which is on plan. But her way of preparing it makes it seem like a rich cream sauce. I obviously dismissed this book too quickly. That will be amended. This is a dish I could very happily eat all summer long.

                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                              Looks great, and perfect sear on that tuna!

                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                  Re: all the oil, I've been reducing by half a lot and still getting flavorful results.

                                                                                  Do take a peek at the honeydew-kiwi sorbet, served on watermelon slice. p.324 - made N/A, it was a wonderful way to finish a meal.

                                                                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                    Thanks, MwTT. That's good to know about the oil. And I'll definitely keep it in mind as I look for more recipes to try. Heading to look up the sorbet right now.

                                                                                  2. re: JoanN

                                                                                    Seared Tuna with Fresh Corn & Wasabi "Cream" p. 162.

                                                                                    Great photo, JoanN!

                                                                                    This was an example of how important really good ingredients are in the construction of simple recipes. To cut to the chase: I felt that the finished sauce in my rendition of this recipe was rather one-dimensional and lacked enough depth of flavor. I loved the delicate sweetness of the corn-cream sauce and its smooth texture but the final sauce needed something. I salted the corn cream carefully and used the recommended 1 teaspoon prepared S & B paste. Maybe I should have used more? I didn't want to make it too hot for the kids at the table, not to mention, Mr. Goblin with his delicate taste buds ;-)

                                                                                    Perhaps my wasabi paste ("S& B prepared wasabi in tube" says the label) was anemic. I note that the ingredient "wasabi" appears nowhere on the label: horseradish is first. I also see that my wasabi powder jar (McCormick brand) has a listing of actual wasabi, fourth after horseradish powder, corn starch and mustard flour. Perhaps I should have whipped up my own paste from the powder?

                                                                                    Anyway, I can imagine the corn cream (sans wasabi) as a accompanying side to seared tuna, with wasabi paste served on the side. Then people can mix up their own flavor-profile. I missed my picked ginger, too.

                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                      That's very interesting about the wasabi paste, Goblin. Mine, too, is S&B, but if the ingredients are listed, it's in Japanese and I can't read it. No ingredients listed in English. But mine definitely had a real kick to it; even made a note in the book to cut back a little next time.

                                                                                      By the way, this is as good a place as any to say that the leftovers heated up very well indeed. I put the sauce, corn kernels, and leftover tuna in my warming oven at a very low heat and the meal was just about as good two days later as it was originally.

                                                                                      1. re: Goblin

                                                                                        And I just checked my wasabi paste, and it is also S&B. Ingredients all in Japanese but it does say "prepared wasabi" on the outside - are they allowed to say that if it doesn't have wasabi in it? Ours has a nice kick to it.

                                                                                        1. re: Goblin

                                                                                          My just-purchased S&B Wasabi "prepared wasabi in tube" has English & Japanese ingredients list. Horseradish is first, and wasabi is 9th on the list.

                                                                                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                            How funny that some tubes have English translations and others don't! Disappointed to hear this about the horseradish.

                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                              I"m finding this discussion about wasabi paste interesting. I never suspected that the tubes of S & B "prepared wasabi paste" might or might not have actual wasabi in them! Apparently, you don't often get "real" wasabi anyway except in speciality shops and restaurants.

                                                                                              From Wikipedia:
                                                                                              "Wasabi is difficult to cultivate, and that makes it quite expensive. Due to its high cost, a common substitute is a mixture of horseradish, mustard, starch and green food coloring. Outside of Japan, it is rare to find real wasabi plants. Often packages are labeled as wasabi, but the ingredients do not actually include wasabi plant. Although the taste is similar between wasabi and horseradish, wasabi is green and hotter.[7] In Japan, horseradish is referred to as seiyō wasabi (西洋わさび?, "western wasabi").] In the United States, true wasabi is generally found only at specialty grocers and high-end restaurants."

                                                                                              1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                I've come to realise that most wasabi pastes or powders don't include any Japanese wasabi (properly grown), or in such small quantities that it's not really contributing anything. IIRC, there is wasabi being cultivated in the US, which is used in certain preparations, but it's apparently not close to the real thing.

                                                                                      2. Golden Fettuccine with Sardines, Fennel and Saffron, p. 113

                                                                                        We are suckers for sardines. This simple preparation uses only canned tomatoes, garlic, cayenne and turmeric in addition to the headliners. The saffron provided a nice earthy background for the fish. Easy-peasy, tasty. For what more could one ask?

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: painperdu

                                                                                          i just made this tonight. Totally agree-- very very simple and very good. I honestly have never had sardines before; I thought the "one can for 4 people" didn't sound like much (mine were 4.5 oz instead of the 3 something specified), but it was just right. (I used this recipe since I'd already returned the book to the library) http://rozannegold.wordpress.com/2012...

                                                                                        2. Salmon with Lime Leaves, Poppy Rice and Coconut Sauce, p.139

                                                                                          I have some kefir lime leaves in the freezer that I keep looking for ways to use. RG proposes wrapping salmon in plastic with a couple of leaves and steaming the pieces. This resulted in a very delicate fish and flavour.

                                                                                          This technique is interesting, and I will use it again. But the accompanying rice with poppy seeds (I substituted black sesame) and coconut sauce with sake (I substituted sherry) were too bland to provide a good contrast or complement. Both the rice and the sauce called for butter, which softened them even more.

                                                                                          1. Sauteed Cod with Chorizo, Orange and Wild Arugula, p. 148

                                                                                            True confession time, I rarely pan fry fish. But this combination of flavours looked too good to fall victim to my cowardliness. The chorizo is crisped in a skillet. The orange is segmented, and some of the juice goes into a sherry vinaigrette. Greens are tossed with the vinaigrette and the chorizo/pan drippings, garnished with the orange slices. Then fish is sauteed and finished with remaining juice and sherry vinegar before plating with the greens.

                                                                                            The recipe calls for 4 6 oz thick fillets. My pieces were scrappier, so of course cooked less evenly. And I used less oil than the recipe called for (a lot!) While the plate wouldn't win any beauty prizes, especially in comparison to the photo in the book, it was very good, and helped my deal with my fear of frying.

                                                                                            1. Riso in Bianco with Shrimp Scampi (p. 173)

                                                                                              I've kind of had my eye on this recipe for a while now, but was suspicious of it. It is basically a fast sort of cheat on risotto, served with garlicky shrimp on top. Decided there was no time like the present, and so it was dinner last night.

                                                                                              You toss arborio rice and finely diced red onion into salted boiling water. Her instructions here weren't totally clear (at least to me) but you let the rice water (lots of water - much more than one would normally use - more like cooking pasta) keep boiling (surely not, I was thinking to myself) without covering. But I do think that is what she wanted, and the rice turned out the right consistency. Let this cook for about 16 minutes, saving half a cup of the cooking water. Drain, put back in the pot, add butter, basil, parsley, the cooking water and then some grated parmesan. Meanwhile broil (I had to just cook at a very high temp) shrimp that have been tossed in garlic and oil, S&P until just opaque. Make sure to add some of the pan juices from the shrimp (my favorite part) when placing the shrimp on top of the rice.

                                                                                              We liked this well enough - the shrimp was wonderful - garlicky and full of flavor. The rice, however, was kind of dull, and I think this comes down to the fact that the only salt being added is to the water at the beginning. Every bit of it that had a bite of either the shrimp or the oil the shrimp was cooked in was much better than the bites without. We all needed to salt the rice, and I'm in the camp that believes most carbs are really best when salted as you cook them - not after. My husband went back for seconds on this - no one else did. If I'd salted the rice after draining but still being stirred with the butter and herbs it could well have been a bigger hit. Served this with the Flexitarian fennel salad which was a great combination.

                                                                                              eta: I think I also missed that bit of flavor that wine often gives to a risotto.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                I make these kinds of rice dishes pretty frequently -- more frequently than I do risotto simply because it's faster and easier. The rice usually does need a bit of extra seasoning after being drained, and I often mix in a bit of lemon juice as well to add some acidity. I make this kind of dish most often in the spring as I find this style of rice to be a good canvas for spring vegetables. But the shrimp scampi sounds good to me too.

                                                                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                  I think lemon juice would have improved it quite a bit. It needed something, and salt and lemon juice probably would have done the trick.

                                                                                              2. BAKED ZITI WITH FONTINA & SALAMI P. 120

                                                                                                This was a bit rich for me. I love salami - but don't tend to like it cooked for some reason. I would prefer black forest ham.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Blythe spirit

                                                                                                  Baked Ziti with Fontina & {Salami} Ham - p 120

                                                                                                  I made quite a few ingredient substitutions - so many that this isn't a "review" of the recipe but rather the concept. I can at least comment on the quantity - a half-recipe made 4 dinner-sized servings for us. For my half-recipe I used 4 oz. whole-grain penne pasta in place of ziti, cubed ham in place of salami. And thinking there should be added seasoning to compensate for the more intense salami, dried Italian seasoning in place of the fresh oregano, tsp. in place of T. (note to self- just use oregano next time). The 3 oz. of Fontina cheese, shredded for my half-recipe, was just enough to lightly accent but not coat or clump the pasta while baking, and the 1 T. of butter dotted in the pasta before baking was just right to help keep the mixture soft, not so much as to be oily.

                                                                                                  This was fast, easy to prepare and well-liked. Served with small romaine/tomato dinner salads and warm whole wheat mini-loaf bread.

                                                                                                2. Chilean Sea Bass (Dogfish) with Pistachio-Pesto Crust and Green Bean "Fries" p. 158

                                                                                                  This one was an easy winner. Chilean Sea Bass fillets, for which I substituted dogfish (a small shark), are seasoned with s&p and topped with pesto followed by finely chopped pistachio nuts. Green beans are tossed with olive oil and salt. Everything goes on a baking sheet and into a 450 degree oven for 17 minutes until done. My fish was smaller so I cooked for about 12 minutes, then took out the fish and roasted the green beans for a few minutes longer until they were brown and blistered. Recipe also called for lemon wedges for serving but I forgot them. This was my first time high-heat roasting green beans and I loved them cooked this way. The fish was really easy and everyone loved it. It would have been super fast (5 minutes) if I had prepared pesto but of course I had to complicate everything by making my own pesto first (from my own freshly harvested garden basil no less) but even with all that it only took about 40 minutes to prepare. Served with a baguette and green salad, a very nice meal.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                    Love roasted green beans - especially when they get all shriveled and have black bits on them.

                                                                                                    Will add this one to my try list.

                                                                                                  2. Holy Mackerel (iPad)

                                                                                                    This is my first recipe from this book that I was not very happy with. I will admit that I used cod in an effort to clear out my freezer, but I don't think that was the problem.

                                                                                                    Essentially this is broiled fish with a sort of tomato/bacon/onion relish spooned over top. To make the "sauce" you simply mince some onion and bacon and cook on high heat with some oil (3 tablespoons) for a few minutes, then in go some diced tomatoes which will cook on high with the bacon and onions for about 10 minutes until all is browned. In my case I cut the oil back but found I only needed to cook for about 7 minutes on medium high to get to the crispy browned stage. You toss in a bit of capers and some salt and pepper and you are done. Meanwhile you season and oil your fish and broil it. I used the broiling method form Fish Without a Doubt (hot cast iron). Once the fish is ready you plate, top with sauce, drizzle with more oil, and add some lemon wedges to the plate.

                                                                                                    In my case I found the dish to be a bit too oily. Cod is quite lean so I would imagine it would have been even oilier with mackerel. I didn't do the final drizzle with oil but I still had all that bacon fat and the oil from cooking the bacon fat. Also, while the bacon, onion, and tomato cook down very nicely, the touch of capers isn't enough to balance the richness. The tomatoes just sweeten as they cook down, and even the squirt of lemon didn't help much. I would say the dish needs some acidity in the sauce, perhaps a touch of white wine, or maybe some caper brine. Either way, the flavour was nice but a bit one dimensional and too heavy over the course of a whole meal.

                                                                                                    1. P. 174 Seared Scallops on Sweet Pea Puree

                                                                                                      Ok, this was a good dish! However, like Rozanne mentions in her "cooking in three dimensions" some dishes are easy but require technique. I think this was one of them.

                                                                                                      First off, The Pea Puree...use a blender! Preferably a Vitamix or a Blentec. I used a food processor and the puree did not get as smooth and creamy as I would have liked it. Also, I used fresh peas…she calls for frozen and I think you need to stick with frozen. The outer husk of my fresh peas were a little sturdier (even after cooking) than frozen peas so the food processor was not able to break them up enough. However, the flavor was nice!

                                                                                                      Second, make sure your pan is super hot for that sear on your scallops! Searing your scallops will also leave behind little bits of brown goodness that you will deglaze with the vermouth, which I had none of, so I used beef broth and it was very good! I also used a little beef broth in my pea puree instead of the suggested cooking water when I blended the peas and it added nice flavor.

                                                                                                      Finally, season your scallops well. I just used salt and pepper but you’ll notice there is very little seasoning in this dish so the seasoning of your scallops is important.

                                                                                                      I really liked this dish. The flavors were all there except my pea puree was not as smooth as I would have liked. I’ll use a blender next time :o)

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: CMCooks

                                                                                                        How did I miss this? Probably just wanted to avoid the butter. But it looks and sounds terrific, even if the purée wasn't as smooth as you'd have liked. What else is it that I see on the plate? Corn off the cob? Great idea. Think I'll steal it.

                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                          Hi JoanN. I really recommend the dish. It was delicious... and I did sprinkle a little corn for added garnish :o)

                                                                                                        2. re: CMCooks

                                                                                                          Seared Scallops on Sweet Pea Puree (page 174)

                                                                                                          Totally shameless, I know. I took one look at CMCooks photo, read her report, and knew I had to make this ASAP. Coincidentally, I was making a Costco run this morning, so picked up some frozen scallops. Making this Weight Watchers friendly, I ditched the butter and used 1 tsp of oil when blending the peas, and 1 tsp of oil to cook the scallops. No question it would have been better with butter (isn’t everything?), but I used a very good fruity oil and it was just fine. I blended the peas in my Vitamix and think I got an even finer puree than is shown in the photo in the book. And I had vermouth. Not sure what it added in terms of flavor, but it did add a lovely glaze to the scallops. As I said I would, I stole CMCooks idea of serving it with corn off the cob. Brilliant pairing. And a really good dinner that will be repeated. Probably soon.

                                                                                                        3. Halibut [Pollock] in Prosciutto Wrappers, Red Onions, & Crispy Basil, Pg.156

                                                                                                          This was absolutely delicious and we both loved it. Pollock was the catch of the day from our CSF so we used that, in fact RG does say any firm white fish fillets may be used. The recipe calls for fillets about 7 oz. each but we had 2 at just about 1 1/2 pounds.

                                                                                                          The fillets are wrapped in several pieces of prosciutto, which we seasoned first with FGBpepper. Pressed garlic is heated in EVOO. Red onion is sliced thinly and laid in a roasting sheet, fish goes on top and is brushed with the infused oil. Into a preheated 450F oven goes the pan to roast till just firm. Recipe calls for 10 minutes but ours was perfect at 8. While fish is roasting basil leaves are crisped in EVOO, laid on a paper towel, salted. The fish is plated on a bed ofthe roasted red onions, with a few basil leaves over top.

                                                                                                          We used imported prosciutto that was less salty than others we've had so the flavor of the fish was simply wonderful. The little touch of garlic infused oil and the salted fried basil enhanced the delicate fish. At first I thought the basil didn't lend anything to the dish but there was a slight herby taste that did come forth. Lastly, the onions were crisp tender not soft or caramelized, as I knew they would be with such a short roast but the slight crunch was welcome. The secondary dishes were a warm potato salad with chopped cilantro and a simple oil and vinegar dressing, and blanched sugar snap peas with a slight sprinkle of Maldon salt and EVOO.

                                                                                                          Addendum: this recipe is in a section of my book that that has completely come away from the binding, pages 147 - 218. So be careful, it could happen to you.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            Nice review! This dish is going into my ever-expanding list.

                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                              Made this tonight using California halibut. Liked it but think it got a bit overlooked. It would suggest using thin prosciutto slices; mine were a bit too thick. Served it with a tomato burrata salad and lime mint green beans. Would try it again.

                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                I made this dish last night and it turned out very well. I used wild halibut and very thinly sliced prosciutto di parma and it worked out great. Very easy to assembly and good flavor. I served it alongside the Roasted Asparagus with Bay Leaves and Crispy Capers (page 252).

                                                                                                                …also, my book is coming apart. Pages 127 through 198 have completely come apart from the binding :o(

                                                                                                                1. re: CMCooks

                                                                                                                  Same thing happened to my library copy.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                    My home copy is a mess - pages falling out all over the place.

                                                                                                              2. Well, I finally got my copy of the book from the library...on the 25th. Leapt right in and made two things last night:

                                                                                                                Braised Cod with "Sliced Tomato" Sauce and Fresh Oregano (p. 150) was great and very easy. Rather than large tomatoes, I used a mix of cherry and little gold tomatoes. I also used a mix of fresh herbs rather than just oregano - parsley, thyme, oregano, and a little basil. The dish comes together easily in a large skillet on the stove top. Oil-o-phobes might think there is too much in the finished product but we didn't. In fact, I had left over sauce and warmed it up this morning in a small pan shakshuka style with a couple of eggs. I will definitely be making this again.

                                                                                                                I also made the beet broth (p. 99) which goes on another thread. Short story: nice!

                                                                                                                1. "Golden Robe" Salmon with Snow Peas and Red Cabbage, page 145.

                                                                                                                  I searched EYB using the ingredients I had on hand, and filtered by the book. Voila! I had a fillet of wild Lummi salmon, with the skin on. As directed, I applied the miso-garlic blend and turmeric. The recipe calls for broiling then roasting, but ours went on the grill. It was placed, oiled skin down, on the grill and the grill was closed. Not flipped. So probably pretty similar to being in the oven (but without the kitchen heat!). Red cabbage and snow peas were cooked in the wok, and garlic was added.

                                                                                                                  The salmon was plated over the cabbage and snow peas, then topped with toasted sesame seeds. So easy, and very good! I served the salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes, a nice combination. Big thumbs up at table.

                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                    What a visually stunning dish. This goes on my list of things to try before the month is out.

                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                      What a coup with that salmon, LN. I've never seen that here, but get very good wild salmon from Whole Food Market. I'll add this recipe to my list. Thanks !

                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                        Mardi Gras on a plate! Stunning indeed.

                                                                                                                        The more I read here, the more I regret not buying this book even though I've hardly been home this month to cook at all.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                          It is never too late. I had the same thought as you but actually went so far as to:


                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                            I'm crossing my index fingers toward you, warding off evil.

                                                                                                                            I've already ordered the new Diana Henry for next COTM (even though I'll be gone much of August too).

                                                                                                                            But you're right, of course, it's never too late . . .

                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                          Just beautiful! I have red cabbage on hand and will try this one.

                                                                                                                        3. Page 138 – Salmon with Cucumbers and Blackened Lemons

                                                                                                                          Well, this dish has potential. It turned out OK…but I think it could be quite good if executed a bit better.

                                                                                                                          First off, I used dry dill. Don’t do that. Use fresh! I bet the fresh dill would really make this dish pop. Also, season the salmon well as there is not much to this dish so it needs a good bit of salt. I used Coho salmon. It’s a bit leaner of a salmon so you have to be careful not dry it out in the broiler. Because my fish was lean, I had to pull it out before the lemons got blackened. I suppose I could have put the lemons back in the broiler but I was anxious to eat!

                                                                                                                          As I said, I think this dish has potential and I really advise anyone who make its to use fresh dill and perhaps use a fattier Salmon.

                                                                                                                          Lastly, I served this along side a tomato salad – tomatoes, basil, raw sweet white corn, a good glug of olive oil and salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                          1. Pasta Rustica with Sole (Flounder), Greek Olives and White Wine (p. 127)

                                                                                                                            Another delicious dish, and one that has your protein, carb and vegetables all in one. She calls for 8 oz penne but I used the full pound with only minor adjustments to the sauce and we were happy (with only enough for my husband's lunch left over). Cook your pasta; while cooking cut up 3 plum tomatoes and 2 yellow tomatoes. Add garlic to a hot pan (a wide one - you'll be adding the pasta after), then add the tomatoes, white wine (I used vermouth), parsley, basil, lemon zest and salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add strips of fish and pitted kalamata olives. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce and garnish with parsley. This is also a very pretty dish - the yellow and red tomatoes, the green from the basil and parsley, the black of the olives. I drizzled a bit of olive oil on each serving (not called for but delicious). I've had this one on my list for the longest time, and am so glad I finally got around to it.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                              I'm loving all the fish recipes from this book! I already made up my mind to cook the fish and ratatouille tonight with whatever we get from our CFS today but this recipe is definitely going on my list for another Tuesday dinner. Sounds great, LLM.

                                                                                                                            2. Bluefish Salmoriglio with Red Pepper Julienne, Pg. 162

                                                                                                                              Bluefish is a special treat for us in Massachusetts uring the Summer and when our CSF share gave us bluefish fillets off the boat today I had to see what Radically Simple had to offer for recipes. This one sounded as if we'd enjoy it, but alas 'twas not to be. Followed the directions precisely yet the outcome was less than stellar. My husband and I both agreed that the 2 beautiful fillets we received were mushy. No other descriptor can be applied. Don't know why or what we did wrong if anything.

                                                                                                                              Please note that we have been grilling bluefish over an open fire on a Weber from time immemorial. Tonight the fish was cooked under the broiler per the book's directions. The secondary dish was roasted eggplant with seasonal vegetables. Delicious.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                Gosh sorry to read this. I'd had this recipe flagged but never got the needed bluefish this month. Do you think it would be better if one grilled the fish, and just added grilled peppers at the end?

                                                                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                                  Frankly, whatever you do will be better than our outcome. I was disappointed. I love bluefish, especially when it's in season, and have cooked it so many different ways. I don't know if the strips of pepper on top of the fish inhibited proper cooking.

                                                                                                                                  One of the tastiest bluefish recipes we've made is Broiled Bluefish Dijonnaise, Fish Without A Doubt. Pg. 126. Good Luck, Qianning.

                                                                                                                              2. Crunchy crumb cod with frozen peas - p. 150 Easy, delicious, fast - what more could you ask for? With windows closed and AC on, I was looking for a way to cook the fresh cod fillets I'd just bought that wouldn't create lingering smells. This 475-degree oven, 12-minute method worked perfectly. Still-frozen peas with diced scallions (regular onion was what I had on hand), fresh thyme (I used dried leaves, and think this recipe would be fine with any herb)and olive oil serve as the bed for the cod. The cod, which I cut into palm-sized pieces (she calls for 6 oz fillets), is topped with panko that's mixed with minced garlic and olive oil.

                                                                                                                                I lined my rimmed baking pan with parchment paper, worried that the peas might otherwise stick, but it probably would not have been a problem.

                                                                                                                                Served with warmed bakery wheat bread and fresh red/green grapes, this was a great weeknight meal.

                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                  That looks wonderful, and was marked in my book with a Post-It. Moving it up on the list. Maybe even tonight.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                    That does look wonderful! On my list it will go. We pick up our fish share on Tuesdays and with any luck it will be a fish that will work. I'll give her one more chance and see if I can recoup the failure of 29 July. LOL

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                      Crunchy Crumb Cod with Frozen Peas (page 150)

                                                                                                                                      Read MTT’s review and went directly to the freezer to thaw a mahi mahi fillet. I quartered the fish part of the recipe and halved the veggie part. And I cut the total amount of oil to two teaspoons, one for the peas and one for the panko.

                                                                                                                                      Damn good thing I only halved the veggies. The mahi mahi must have been past it’s due date. I needed a steak knife to cut it. But I did have a taste before throwing it out and could tell just how good it would be with fresh cod. And the peas and scallions were lovely. Going to make this again soon. With the real thing next time. (Photo looks deceptively good, doesn’t it? Photos lie.)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                        Aww, so sad the taste w/ thawed mahi mahi didn't work out. The photo is, indeed, beautiful

                                                                                                                                    2. Campanelle with caramelised onions, peas and mint

                                                                                                                                      I found an online adapation:


                                                                                                                                      This was pleasant but not amazing for me. Mr GG really liked it - but he is blinded by love (and his stomach) and considers me a culinary genius, the poor man. I had fresh peas to use up - but this is really a storecupboard meal. I didn't think the fish sauce added much, and next time would probably cook the onions for longer. I do think the timings are slightly off in this book sometimes. I did like the addition of mint, of which I have an abundance in the garden at the moment.

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