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August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

Greetings all!

Please use this thread to post your reviews of the following:

Food from Plenty by Diana Henry

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  1. Turkish carrots and lentils with herbs p. 73

    Very nice dish! Green lentils and carrots are cooked with onion and garlic, flavored with coriander, dried red pepper, tomato paste, sugar, S&P. Top with fresh chopped parsley or mint etc. and some lemon juice/olive oil. Can be served between hot and room temperature.

    1 Reply
    1. re: blue room

      Oh that looks so good blue room! Just like the picture in the book. I've intended to make this for a while, my kids have developed an unfortunate aversion to lentils! I'm hoping they grow out of it soon.

    2. Cauliflower, bacon, and Cashel (Saga) blue gratin p. 79

      This is florets of cauliflower and chopped almost-crisp bacon baked in a casserole with blue cheese and a sauce. The sauce is milk and butter, flour, cheddar, and mustard. A little lemon juice.
      Topped with biggish fresh bread crumbs. We liked this very much, you can tell it is comfort food!
      D. Henry says just add milk and some stock to make a (pureed) soup.

      4 Replies
      1. re: blue room

        I made this the other night but omitted the bacon because I was serving it as a side dish for Toulouse sausages. I also subbed dolcelatte for the Cashel Blue. We liked it very much and I caught Mr Gg sneaking leftover spoonfuls, so much so that there's only 1 portion left! It would be even better with the aforementioned bacon and Cashel Blue, which is one of my favourite blue cheeses.

        1. re: greedygirl

          Hearing that it was very good even without the bacon puts it on my list - thanks!
          PS - just bought a book on walking the Dales countryside. Fingers are crossed.

          1. re: LulusMom

            It's really gorgeous up there. Keep me posted!

            1. re: greedygirl

              It looks absolutely beautiful and very walkable. This is just an exploratory sort of thing - but having it sitting on my bedside table will be a hint to LulusDad that I'd like a solo vacation sometime soon (it's been a while!).

      2. Barley, parsley, and pomegranate (plum) salad p. 126

        Barley can be so good, but this salad needs more. Cooked cooled barley is mixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parsley and pomegranate. I used fresh plum for the fruit. When a recipe has so few ingredients you can sort of tell what it will taste like, I should have known better with this one. Just not exciting.

        3 Replies
        1. re: blue room

          I wonder if pomegranate would've made a difference - it is very assertive compared to plums plus another textural note.

          1. re: herby

            The plums (I chopped them smaller)were fruity, a little tart.
            I think I just prefer barley in savory dishes. There are other alternate barley salads on the same page -- spinach and mushroom, and winter squash/chiles I think. Those might be winners.

            1. re: blue room

              I made the spinach and mushroom variation (reporting in cooking from thread). I recall finding it useful as a side dish to soak up sauce from a lemony chicken dish, and I liked that it incorporated the veg and grain in one dish. But it was a bit plain to stand on its own -- sounds like this was similar.

        2. Turkish lamb kofta with cherries and yogurt p. 183

          Loved this, but the wonderful huge sweet cherries I had made it almost too sweet. Next time, tart fruit or less sugar.
          The lamb meatballs (kofta) are heady with cinnamon, cumin, cloves, black and red pepper.
          Both fresh and dried cherries are cooked with more cinnamon and onion, also brown sugar and lemon juice.
          When this is simmered until thick (mash some of the cherries) it's done. Sauce with thinned Greek yogurt, and garnish with mint or parsley or cilantro.
          The color (deep cherry red and browned meat) is so appetizing. Seems like a natural for Christmas, but fresh cherries would be hard to find.

          3 Replies
          1. re: blue room

            This looks great! Must try while we still have local cherries.

            1. re: blue room

              Turkish lamb kofta with [pluots] and yogurt p. 183

              blue room's review caught my eye and when we received a pound of ground lamb in our csa this month, I figured it was a sign. It's past cherry season here and I didn't stock up, so I originally intended to try Henry's suggestion of using apricots instead. I later realized that apricot season came and went while I was traveling, so I went with two varieties of fresh pluots as well as dried apricots. The color wasn't quite as nice as cherries would've given it (more orange than deep red), but the flavor was great. I went on the light end of the sugar due to blue room's comments and we thought it was just right.

              The last lamb meatballs I made were Ottolenghi's lamb meatballs with barberries from Jerusalem and I'll give those an edge for flavor, but this recipe uses ingredients I'm more likely to have on hand or readily available (barberries and dried figs requiring slightly more planning ahead).

              1. re: blue room

                Sounds wonderful! I hope there are a few Washington cherries still hanging about.
                (P.S. So happy to catch glimpses of your magical tiles again, blue room!)

              2. Kaye korma curry p. 74

                Described as a mild curry, it can be made with “whatever is abundant” – I almost followed the exact recipe, but it's nice to have the flavorings in a list with proportion to be used with any vegetables.
                It is Very Mild – much will depend on your chile pepper, we like it mild.
                It needs black (yellow for me) mustard seeds, onion, garlic, ginger, chile, turmeric, and coriander.
                Also carrots, potatoes, green beans, and peas. Also lime juice and coconut milk, and chopped cilantro leaves.
                The coconut milk was barely discernible, but I wouldn't leave it out.
                I think kids would eat vegetables more readily if prepared this way, it's just a nice come-together of flavor that everyone would agree is good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: blue room

                  Great to see all your reports from this book, br. There haven't been a lot over the past year on the cooking-from thread, and these reports (accompanied by your appetizing photos) may just inspire more!

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    Yes, "Plenty" looked under-represented, and it's the only D. Henry book I have :) I just dove in last week. Have more planned from this book, and will just read about her other books this time.
                    Thanks, Caitlin.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Yes , agreed. I love this book and will be cooking from it this month too. It's nice to have company!

                  2. I wanted to add some of my favorite recipes I've made from this book, they tend to get buried in the Cooking From thread....

                    Radish Olive Anchovy and Parsley Salad, p. 70 -- Amazing salad, so delicious for anchovy fans, my favorite thing to do with radishes. Have made this multiple times & highly recommend.

                    Lentils with Spring Cabbage and Peperoncino, p. 102 -- I love this humble combination of lentils, cabbage, garlic and chile peppers. Use your best olive oil to make it sing.

                    Vietnamese Chicken with Nuoc Cham, p. 23 -- a wonderfully vibrant and delicous chicken and rice dish to make with your leftover roast chicken .... or thanksgiving turkey!

                    Clothilde's Beef with Wine, Bay and Thyme -- a classic French pot roast. Not the right time of year for this one but I think this is the best pot roast I've ever made. Usually don't even like the dish that much but this one was lovely. My husband said the carrots in this dish were the best carrots he's ever eaten.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: Westminstress

                      Radish Olive Anchovy and Parsley Salad, Pg. 70

                      We made this salad as one of the side dishes for the Lamb Scottadito on page 142 of Change of Appetite. It was the second time we've assembled this salad. The first time we used all farm fresh ingredients, slicing the radishes lengthwise, using green olives, and omitting the leaves. Last night we had fresh farm vegetables, sliced the radishes in rounds, used Kalamata olives, included the bright leaves. We love anchovies, and radishes have been practically a staple all Summer.

                      We both didn't like the leaves even though I regularly include them in a tossed salad. I'd make it again sans radish leaves. It was a good side to the lamb!

                      1. re: Gio

                        Glad you liked the salad though sorry about the leaves! I find radish leaves too bitter for many applications but I like them in this salad.

                      2. re: Westminstress

                        Radish, Olive, Anchovy, and Parsley Salad, page 70.

                        The ingredients are pretty much the recipe on this one: sliced radishes, sliced black olives (kalamatas here wanted oil-cured Moroccan, but no luck), chopped anchovies, chopped parsley are all tossed together. (You can use the radish greens if they look fresh and healthy, but mine were too limp to be inviting). In addition, a crushed garlic clove, a shredded red chile, olive oil, pepper, and balsamic vinegar make up the dressing. Ideally white balsamic, but I had dark, and didn't think my shelves could hold yet another vinegar. DH wisely cautions against adding salt, and the salad is salty enough without it. We loved this salad, and it's our second favorite thing to do with radishes (the first being the pasta, radish, and bacon dish from Radically simple). The next day the radishes were not quite as crisp, but the flavors were perhaps even better.

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          All black olives please me she said with a can in her hand.

                          Speaking of cans, the only anchovies I know are canned, rolled into little spirals with a caper in the middle. Is this what is meant in a recipe like this?

                          1. re: blue room

                            BR... This but one of many brands of tinned anchovies in olive oil. Another kind is salted anchovies in a jar. No capers in either.


                            1. re: blue room

                              We buy 1kg cans of salted anchovies. We buy a carton of six at a time! (Obviously, we love anchovies!) They are very large and flavorful, but they have sharp spines and jaws, so they must be filleted. (We haven't bought them from Amazon, but they had the best photo.)

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                Once you open the can, how quickly do you have to use them up? I just buy small tins, but I've never had a clue how long they keep in fridge once opened.

                                1. re: stockholm28

                                  I think those that are canned and packed in oil easily last a couple months when re-packaged in glass. The salt-packed anchovies are supposed to last at least six months, re-packaged in glass, and covered with coarse salt if needed. Ours don't last that long, but only because we eat them! I do find they lose a bit of texture as time goes by, but I can't tell any difference if they are chopped or dissolved in something like bagna cauda.

                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                              I hate to say it, but white balsamic vinegar is definitely worth the shelf space. Also, 6x1kg tins of anchovies! Respect.

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                Sigh. OK, I will take your word for it, and be on the lookout for white balsamic. My other 23 vinegars will just have to slide over.

                                And, yes, we do go through a lot of anchovies!

                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                We have the same top two radish dishes ... glad you enjoyed!

                              3. re: Westminstress

                                After reading many of Westminstress's raves about the Vietnamese Chicken with Nuoc Cham and promising myself I'd make it, I finally did. And wow, is she ever right. This is pretty much Vietnamese heaven on a plate for not a lot of effort. I didn't have any leftover chicken (or turkey) but very much wanted to make this. So I bought a couple of chicken breasts (not my favorite, but quick and easy to cut into bite size pieces) and cooked those up with the shallots. I left the seeds in one of the peppers (I went with serranos - as usual no red peppers at the grocery) in the nuoc cham so it had a nice zing to it. I suggested that Lulu might want to put just a small amount on her plate and see how she felt about it. She tasted it, nodded, said "It is spicy, but it is very good" and then poured it over her chicken and rice. My mouth was zipped shut, not about to comment (while cheering inside). The only possible negative comment was that maybe it would be better to add the mint (and I think basil or cilantro would work equally well) once the meal is plated. Our mint got a bit cooked in the hot rice and looked kind of dark and unpleasant (but flavored the rice nicely). A huge hit, and we'll be making this again and again, I'm sure. We all really loved this one.

                              4. Crispy-skinned salmon with Vietnamese caramel sauce - p. 152

                                Great, low-effort meal! Pan-fried salmon is paired with a quick Vietnamese caramel sauce. The hardest part was trying to determine when the sugar had caramelized. After you soften some ginger and garlic, she has you add soy sauce and light brown sugar and cook until you smell caramel. The scent of ginger, garlic, and soy completely overwhelmed the smell of the sugar for me and obviously it was too dark to tell by sight, so I guestimated. After it's caramelized, you add some fish sauce and water followed by tamarind and lime juice. The resulting sauce is incredibly flavorful. I was worried it would overwhelm the salmon, but the sweet and tangy flavors worked well together. She suggests serving with boiled rice and stir-fried greens. I opted for some farro with stir-fried bok choy mixed in. It was a great way to return to COTM and start on this book.

                                1. The Nominations Thread for September 2014 is up:


                                  With the new site format, not sure how obvious this will be, so I am posting the link on several other COTM threads. If you think there is some spot I've missed, or a better way to get word out, please let me know.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Indian beef with peas p. 207

                                    This is pleasant, but in the future I'd do other COTM Indian dishes I have instead of this one.

                                    Ground beef is cooked with onion, garlic, green peppers, ginger. Ground coriander, cumin, a pinch of brown sugar, and cayenne go in to spice it. Beef stock and tomato paste are added. Cook for 30 minutes (I needed to add more liquid.) Then add peas and cook 10 minutes more. That seemed long for frozen peas, and again needed more stock.
                                    Finished up with lime juice, garam masala, and cilantro right before serving.
                                    Could be wildly spicy depending on the peppers I suppose, but I just didn't find the base very interesting. Rice or warmed Indian bread are suggested, we had it with toasted Italian bread that was on hand.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: blue room

                                      There is something very similar in 660 Curries. I don't own that book but found it when looking for recipes online (and I think someone recommended it in the COTM dinners you've made more than 3 times thread), and have kept that recipe to make with ground turkey. Thanks for the review - I'll stick with the 660 one instead of trying this.

                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                        Ah, I found it -- "Spicy Ground Beef with Peas and Chiles"
                                        page 182 in 660 Curries.
                                        Sounds superior for sure.

                                        1. re: blue room

                                          I tried to find the link again, but it seems that what I had done was copy and paste the recipe instead of the link - sorry about that. That one is on my short list right now.

                                    2. Strawberry and rose ice cream p. 253

                                      Sweet strawberries & cream with a rose background. Since this was the first time with this recipe I cowardly used 31/2 tablespoons of rosewater instead of five. For me it was just enough rosewater, so I guessed correctly. Then some lemon juice, superfine sugar, good strawberries, and cream. This isn't a cooked custard ice cream -- into the ice cream maker for about ½ hour and you're done!
                                      Very glad I tried this, seems like a good way to show-off at summer gatherings.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: blue room

                                        Sounds delicious - I love berries with rosewater - and your choice of dish ware couldn't be more apt!

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          Agree! How perfect is that serving dish and plate! Lovely.

                                      2. Blackberry and ricotta hotcakes with honey p. 246

                                        Wow, these will now always be in the back of my mind.
                                        Made with ( homemade) ricotta and fat blackberries (I had to cut them in half.) Orange zest and a little vanilla go with eggs, flour, butter and sugar to make the cheese batter. Fry smallish mounds in butter until gold on both sides. Both powdered sugar and honey are used to top the cakes, but I used only sugar. I wouldn't want the honey to compete with the berry flavor, or the ricotta.
                                        These have replaced my usual cottage cheese pancakes.
                                        Should mention the whites get whipped to peaks and folded in.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: blue room

                                          Blackberry and Ricotta Hotcakes with Honey

                                          The photo caught my eye as I was flipping through the book. Can't think why I didn't notice these before, but after seeing the photo I immediately bought blackberries and ricotta. The pancakes came together pretty easily (even whipping the egg whites by hand with a whisk). Our blackberries were a bit tart so we topped the pancakes with honey but skipped the powdered sugar. Delicious!

                                        2. Cherry and almond croutes p. 254

                                          These are dessert toasts or “crusts”, sprinkled with Kirsch and lemon juice, then covered with marzipan and fresh cherries, fine sugar and thin-sliced almonds.
                                          I wish I'd used brioche as in the book (optional) but I had a smaller plainer loaf. I piled everything on and baked for 30 minutes. After a short cool down, a shake of powdered sugar.
                                          Wowza – worth it with plain bread, I know I'll do it again with a fancier type. I have exceptional cherries this year, the fruit quality makes a difference of course. Can also be made with other nice ripe stone fruits.
                                          I did have trouble sprinkling Kirsch and lemon juice – you can't really flick it off your fingers, or pour it, so I ended up dipping a quarter-teaspoon measuring spoon into a eggcup of Kirsch and carefully dotting the bread that way.
                                          Also, you use 5 ounces of marzipan for 4 slices of bread – that's nearly all of a 7 ounce tube, so this can be a pricey dessert if you are making a lot of it. Nevertheless, I'm glad I found this.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Love these reports BlueRoom. I haven't cooked from this book for while but will try to remedy that this coming week.

                                            1. Saigon crepes p. 45

                                              Oh oh we liked these! The crepes (made with rice flour and coconut cream) were tricky and fragile – bright yellow with turmeric and curry powder, I would like to perfect these. They're supposed to be crispy (?) but mine were foldable and slightly chewy. Very tasty though, and perfect for the filling/topping of cooked pork and mung bean sprouts, chiles and garlic, onions and mushrooms, S&P, a little fish sauce.
                                              Sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro.
                                              I'll do this again.

                                              1. Chicken, wild rice, and blueberry salad p. 31

                                                I'm glad I tried this if only for the dressing – a Dijon/honey/oil and vinegar mix using both peanut oil and olive oil. I think it's particularly good.
                                                The salad itself is cooked chicken and fresh blueberries and a wild rice mix, with some greens (spinach for me) The idea of wild rice appeals to me but then I rediscover it's too darn chewy. Nuts and parsley go into this too.
                                                Pretty – red rice and dark blue berries.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  Wow, blue room, it looks like you are catching up on missed reviews; it all looks so appealing!

                                                2. Asian pork balls [with chile dipping sauce] - p. 199

                                                  blue room's mouthwatering reports reminded me that I hadn't reported on a dish from a few nights ago. I scaled down these meatballs from 2 1/4 lb of pork to 8 ounces so that we wouldn't end up with a large amount of leftovers. The meatballs are made by combining ground pork, chopped bacon, garlic, ginger, red chile, lime zest and juice, chopped scallions, and chopped cilantro. I scaled all of the other ingredients accordingly, except for the chile (the mr. likes things spicy) and lime zest (down to half a lime). She suggests frying them, but warns that they tend to fall apart unless you chill them for an hour or so beforehand. Rather than patiently wait or deal with the frustration of crumbling meatballs, I opted to oven roast the them instead. My bacon was on the fatty side, so I rendered off quite a bit of fat that way. Finally, Henry suggests that the pork balls are just as good tossed with noodles and hoisin sauce, so that's what I did, skipping the chile sauce and adding in some bok choy for a bit of green. The bacon flavor dominated the pork balls giving them a very smoky taste that worked well with the hoisin and noodles. Another good, quick and easy meal from this book. I especially like that this one calls for ingredients I almost always have on hand. The portion sizes do seem a bit overly generous though. Using roughly 1/4 of the recipe, the two of us had enough for dinner plus a little bit leftover.

                                                  1. Smoked Paprika Roast Chicken with Aioli, Pg. 18

                                                    I loved this rendition of roast chicken. Although the recipe calls for a 5 lb. whole chicken we used 2 1/2 lbs of organic chicken quarters, 4 of them. I left the amounts of the other ingredients as written. A mixture of EVOO, S & P and a goodly amount of smoked paprika is made to paint all over the chicken. It's then popped into the oven to roast while the aioli is made. I cheated though and used organic mayo, pressed garlic, a little pepper, and lemon juice. DH has the chicken roasting at 375F for 1 hour 50 minutes. I had no compunction changing that direction to 425F for 40 - 45 minutes or till skin is crisp and juices run clear, which it was and they did.

                                                    The chicken was absolutely delicious in every way one wants a well roasted chicken. I thought the aioli was superfluous, however. My little cheat recipe produces quite a similar taste to one made from scratch so it wasn't that. The chicken was fabulous on its own and I'll make it again that way omitting the ailoi. A whole quarter each was served on a bed of arugula which gave a pleasant bite to the piquant meat.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      This sounds good and I love your idea of using chicken parts instead of a whole chicken.

                                                    2. Spanish Tomato and Bread Salad

                                                      I love bread salads of all kinds and enjoyed this one. It calls for 1.5 pounds of tomatoes of various sizes and colors but I just used the cherry tomatoes from my garden. The special twist here is that the bread is first soaked in milk, then squeezed dry and fried until golden and crisp in olive oil. Ms. H says that this makes the bread less soggy, however I did not find this to be the case. The milk-and-oil soaked bread was pretty tasty though. The other ingredients were an entire jar(!) of anchovies, 2 tbsp capers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a touch of sugar, and the leaves from a small bunch of basil. My husband really loves anchovies, so naturally he especially loved this salad.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Westminstress

                                                        Have this one flagged. Just how soggy was the bread?

                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                          I would say a bit soggier than usual ... but I started with a fresh loaf whereas I usually use very old and stale bread, and I think that made a difference. Also, I'm realizing that I usually toss the stale bread with olive oil and toast it in the oven ... so I don't think this recipe is very different from my usual method. Oven toasting may dry the bread out a bit more than pan frying. Sorry, I'm realizing this response is totally not helpful. Basically, if you toss and eat your salad right away, your bread will be crispy. But if you let it sit in the tomato juices for an hour, it will soften up. I like it both ways so I don't mind. If you want to minimize the sog, use a wide, shallow bowl and don't let it sit too long before eating.

                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                            Thanks, good advice. I'd like it either way, but my partner in crime prefers a bit of crunch.

                                                        2. re: Westminstress

                                                          Spanish Bread and Tomato Salad, pg. 65

                                                          This was great! Even he who loves everything crispy approved. I did dry out my more than day old bread in the toaster oven a bit before soaking it, and fried the bread last thing before dinner. Time will tell, but Ottolengh's marinated mozerella with tomatoes may now have competition during peak tomato season.

                                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                                            We loved this too. I had to fry the hell out of my milk-soaked bread to make it crispy (third day sourdough). And I forgot the sugar! Delicious though. I used a mixture of red, yellow and orange tomatoes and it was so pretty.

                                                          2. Ham hock and wholegrain mustard terrine, pg. 198

                                                            As terrines go this one looked easy, economical and built from readily sourced ingredients. Had to try it.

                                                            Boil hock in a seasoned- carrot, onion, celery, bay, thyme, garlic, star anise- broth for 2-3 hours, mine went the full 3 hours. Remove the hock from the broth and cool so that it can be handled. Once cool shred the meat by hand, removing fat and sinew (I removed fat and rind, but we like well cooked tendon so I left most of that in). Mix the meat with some mustard. Meanwhile reduce the broth to 1 cup. Mix chopped parsley and the reduced broth with the meat and put in a lined terrine pan. Chill to set.

                                                            Quite nice. Served with a simple salad and some toast, an easy cold meal. It would also work as part of a cold buffet or appetizer spread. Definitely a keeper for us.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: qianning

                                                              "..we like well cooked tendon.." well, that got my attention!
                                                              I've never made a terrine, but the flavors in this one appeal to me so I might..

                                                            2. Sorry folks, I can't quite be certain of this. The Diana Henry book I ordered from the library just came in today. But it's called Plenty, not Food from Plenty. Is this the same book? Whether or not, I'm mildly enthralled browsing through.

                                                              ETA, looking through these posts, at least some of the recipes seem the same. BTW, wow! Great posts, and I'm getting enthused!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                I think the title is slightly different in the US edition.

                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                  Yes, it's the same book, as greedygirl says, title is different for the US edition.

                                                                2. Succulent pork belly with soy and star anise - p. 186

                                                                  I noticed this recipe when I was first flipping through the book and was pleasantly surprised when our meat CSA sent us pork belly for the month. Our pork belly piece was only 1 1/4 lb, so I used that and then threw in some shiitake mushrooms which Henry suggests to extend the dish, keeping the broth the same.

                                                                  After cutting the pork belly into chunks (I went a bit smaller than her recommended 2" cubes on the chunks) and boiling and rinsing the pork, the pork simmers in a mixture of dark soy sauce, rice wine (we were out, so I used sherry), rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, star anise, garlic cloves, red chiles, and sliced scallions for a couple of hours. My chiles were a little on the mild side, so I put in two. I didn't really notice much heat in the dish, so I think if you want spice, you might want to increase it even further, but the broth was so rich, I didn't mind at all. I added the mushrooms in during the last half hour.

                                                                  She then suggests scooping out the pork to intensify the broth, but it already seemed salty enough for our tastes, so I left it alone. I served over noodles as a kind of pork belly soup. She suggests stir-fried greens on the side. I could've sworn I bought bok choy for it, but couldn't find it and instead mixed in some blanched haricot verts.

                                                                  Overall, a lot of flavor for very little effort (as promised!). The mushrooms seemed like a great addition because they really soaked up all of the rich flavors in the broth and provided a nice bit of variety with the pork belly.

                                                                  1. Plums with Red Wine & Rosemary, pg. 272

                                                                    I seem to be on a bit of a rosemary kick this week, but with dessert? Indeed, and in fact we thought this was wonderful.

                                                                    But first, the American edition of the book neglects to mention when to add the rosemary to the compote, fortunately this, http://www.ireland-guide.com/article/... , set me straight. Having resolved that minor issue the rest was easy.

                                                                    Dissolve sugar in a red wine solution with lemon zest, a sprig of rosemary, cinnamon stick (I subbed allspice berries), and peppercorns. Bring to the boil for 2 minutes, add the plums. My half batch was made using a 1 lb. medley of locally grown plums--methley, shiro and santa rosa). Remove plums when soft, strain the liquid return to a pan and reduce the sauce. Cool, then pour the compote over the plums and refrigerate. Serve with yogurt or sweetened yogurt with a dash of cream added. We opted for the latter topping--it went perfectly.

                                                                    1. Cherry and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken, page 20.

                                                                      Fresh cherries are still around, so I took up DH's suggestion of using fresh instead of dried cherries. The stuffing is made up of sautéed onions and garlic, bread crumbs, goat cheese, dill, and cherries. This makes a lot of stuffing! Much more than fits into a chicken, so I cooked the leftover in a pan alongside. The prep is quick and easy, and that's pretty much all there is to the recipe, then the chicken roasts. Our chicken was cooked in the big egg, as I'm averse to turning on the oven in this warm weather. Same temp in the egg as called for in the oven, 375º.

                                                                      The chicken was juicy with crispy skin, and the flavors worked well with the cheese and cherries. We had a green salad with the chicken, and a fruit dish, also from Plenty, for dessert. A nice summery dinner.

                                                                      1. Early Autumn (Late Summer) Salad of Blackberries, Raspberries, Melon, and Lemon Thyme, page 265.

                                                                        I jumped on this recipe as our bushes are heavy with berries right now. A syrup of white wine, water, sugar, lemon thyme, lemon juice, and lemon zest is made in advance and cooled. I was concerned that it didn't get very syrupy (I don't cook much using sugar), but it really thickened during the cooling process. Berries are tossed with melon (cantaloupe in this instance), and drizzled with the syrup. Very nice flavors. The lemon and lemon thyme balanced the sweetness well, making a very refreshing dessert.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          I note that the book calls this a salad, but you call it dessert :)
                                                                          Regardless, it's gorgeous.

                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                            True! It's a little misleading; I thought I was going to be making a salad, and probably plating it with a few greens. In the text she calls it a dessert salad, and with the wine-lemon-lemon thyme syrup, it really is a dessert.

                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                              I feel like there are quite a few fruit laden salads in CoA.

                                                                              1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                I do a lot of salads with fruit, mixing blue cheese and berries or chicken with apples, etc. But they have a savory dressing. This dish, being "dressed" with a syrup, is more like a fruit cocktail, or an uncooked compote.
                                                                                Wish my library had CoA, right now I'm confined to Plenty (without complaint, however).

                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                  Oops, I got confused and thought this was the Change thread. Sorry! I like pears and apples ok in a salad, but berries don't work for my tastes so I'm not as thrilled with those salads. And if I remember correctly there are a lot of them in Change.

                                                                                  LulusDad finally gets home late tonight after 10 or so days away and I'm really excited to start cooking again from DH.

                                                                        2. Crispy Pork Belly with Potatoes, Eggs, and Gribiche Dressing, page 187 (the brunch-ified version).

                                                                          I just read the ingredients for this dish on EYB and didn't immediately realize it was a salad with boiled eggs! I was already stuck on the combination of ingredients for a Sunday late breakfast, so I just modified the treatment. I boiled the potatoes and tossed them with the gribiche dressing (mustard, shallot, gherkin, capers, tarragon, parsley, white wine vinegar, and oil) as specified, lightly steamed spinach, crisped up pork belly slices in a pan, then fried eggs and toast in some of the pork belly fat. Piled it all on plates. So, not as intended, but the ingredients and inspiration resulted in a wonderful breakfast. Will definitely do this again. Also have gribiche left over, so it will go nicely on a piece of grilled fish.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                            I don't like fried eggs, but that looks great!

                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                              I don't like fried or soft boiled eggs but photo of them is tempting

                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                It's only been within the last year or so that I've been able to handle eating a fried egg, and only when it can be cut up on top of other ingredients. This was the perfect vehicle for my fried egg squeamishness!

                                                                              2. Malaysian Roast Chicken, p 19

                                                                                I roast whole chickens once or twice a year at most, and it always takes days to decide upon the most desirable recipe to use. So it was with crossed fingers and bated breath that I pulled the cooked fowl from the oven, but I needn't have fretted. This was delicious.

                                                                                The chicken is pricked with a fork and marinated in a blend of oyster & soy sauce, brown sugar, sambal oelek, and minced garlic and ginger, and cooked, covered, until done. During the last portion of roasting, the lid is removed to brown and crisp the skin to a beautiful burnished bronze.

                                                                                The bird marinated for a good four hours before cooking. Henry didn't mention whether or not to discard the (plenty of) marinade, so I poured it in and hoped for the best. Extremely glad I did, as those pan juices were the most wonderful part of the recipe! We picked the meat clean, and I still have some delicious, savoury sauce to ladle over some leftover rice.

                                                                                Served with Indonesian yellow rice, cucumber-carrot pickle, and eggplant curry (all from Cradle of Flavor), though I wish I had followed DH's suggestion of plain white rice and stir-fried greens to simplify things a bit.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                  That's stunning, Allegra, as usual. Did you use a large oval enamel roaster with cover or a Dutch oven?

                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                    Thanks, Gio!
                                                                                    I used a shallow pyrex-type dish lined (and covered) with foil. Did the trick well enough.

                                                                                2. Vietnamese Chicken with Nuoc Cham, p.23

                                                                                  What a great dish for leftover roast chicken! We thoroughly enjoyed this one, and it was so simple to throw together.

                                                                                  Rice cooked in chicken stock with ginger is tossed with reheated leftover chicken shreds, fried shallots, green onion, and mint, and served with a pungently garlicky and exciting version of nuoc cham. I added in some extra herbs (cilantro and Thai basil) from the garden, and only had less than half the amount of chicken called for, but other than that followed the recipe exactly.
                                                                                  I had doubts about the amount of garlic in the sauce but it turned out beautifully and, as DH notes, brings the dish from ordinary to extraordinary. It was very potent and addictive and we polished all the nuoc cham off before finishing the grains. The Mister called the dish "fresh", and I found that an apt adjective.
                                                                                  We had this with carrot and diakon pickle and caramalized minced pork (to make up for the missing chicken). The whole meal matched and complemented fantastically. I would definitely make it again.

                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                    Fresh, potent, and addictive -- I'm convinced. Your pictures are always so appetizing.
                                                                                    Now maybe you'll do more than one whole chicken a year!

                                                                                    (This thread also lists 3 people in a row that don't like fried eggs very much but now might--the power of posting.)

                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                      Yay! Got this on next week's menu. Sounded too good not to make.

                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                        I can only dream of planning our dinners a week in advance. Most of the time I struggle with the next day!

                                                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                          I'm too OCD to do that. Seriously, I'd go spare. I plan the weekend *before* for the week ahead (in other words, a week before going to the store). People think I'm crazy (and they're probably right), but it really does save me a lot of frustration and hassle.

                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                            I tend to buy what looks nice and work backwards from that. But we have a very irregular schedule and no children. I also live five minutes walk from a plethora of shops, delis, butchers, fishmongers and an outdoor market.

                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                              Having children changes an amazing amount of stuff - no way to explain, but the tiny bit of freedom/time you get seems especially precious.

                                                                                      2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                        I made this with my leftover thanksgiving turkey and loved it. I agree this is a great dish!

                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                          Thanks for writing this up, I'm always looking for things to do with leftover chicken. This is going on my list. Your food presentation is beautiful, as usual, and I'm fascinated by the plate on the right. Love the shape and the colors.

                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                            Thanks, LN! That plate is part of a great Chinese set that I stumbled upon in a thrift store.

                                                                                          2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                            My turn for this recipe. Agree that the Nuoc Cham really makes the dish. I suck at cooking rice in a pan so used my rice cooker and it worked perfectly. I used Vietnamese. Coriander from the garden instead of mint, and roasted three chicken pieces for the poultry part as didn't have leftover roast chick. Lovely dinner.

                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                              This recipe is a keeper! I added diced cucumber and served without rice for a lighter option. Definitely a hit!

                                                                                            2. Squid, Chorizo, and Bean Stew with Chile and Cilantro, page 159.

                                                                                              I was dead set on making this dish, and was delighted to find squid at the market. Alas, no chorizo, no linguica. Mr. NS came home with Calabrese salami, so that is what I used.

                                                                                              The squid is cleaned up, the body sliced into rings, the tentacles trimmed. Onions and potatoes are sautéed, with garlic and chiles added at the last (no red chiles available here, so I used a mix of jalapeno, serrano, and a pinch of dried red chile flakes). Fresh tomato wedges, cannellini beans, and chicken stock are added for a five minute simmer. The squid is quickly sautéed at the last minute and stirred into the stew with some lemon juice, and some chopped cilantro.

                                                                                              A pretty, quick, and flexible dinner, once you've garnered the squid. Nice and spicy, and a lovely broth for bread dipping. Clearly a do-again for me. I played with the addition of pinch of smoked paprika, might add a bit more next time.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                Another beautiful dish of food! This has been on my radar for ages. Need to take the plunge and buy that squid!

                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                  Thank you greedygirl; I highly recommend it. I'm thinking leftover squid won't hold up very well, but I'll know for certain later tonight.

                                                                                              2. Gurnard (Tilapia) on crushed potatoes with olives, parsley and lemon (p. 135)

                                                                                                We loved this, and it was fairly easy to make. I tried to get haddock at the store yesterday but there wasn't any, and in fact no fresh flaky white fish. I was in a rush, so I got a package of frozen tilapia. This actually works really well with this fish as the strong flavors in the potatoes drown out any of the dirt thing that tilapia can sometimes have. You boil new potatoes (I had to go with redskins and just cut them up a bit) until tender, drain, crush them up a bit, then add coarsely chopped black olives and parsley, juice and zest of a lemon, olive oil and S&P. Saute the fish in a bit of olive oil and butter and serve together. I also served roasted green beans. It was our first family meal in almost 2 weeks, and it was a great way to get back into it. Lulu interrupted her dad at one point just to say "I LOVE this!"

                                                                                                1. Canederli p. 296

                                                                                                  These are little bread balls, from coarse(fresh) breadcrumbs moistened by milk and egg. The flavor comes from pancetta (I used cooked bacon) and onion, with thyme, nutmeg, S&P, parsley. Rolled in flour before cooking.
                                                                                                  They have to be poached in barely barely simmering water/broth. I lost a few before I got the knack. D. Henry says serve them in melted butter (!) or as dumplings in soup.
                                                                                                  Not pretty as you can see, but they're awfully nice to eat.
                                                                                                  Since they get a flour coating they made the stock (my chicken)cloudy. Next time maybe I'll cook them in salted water, then place in the soup. Shaved Parmesan can be added to serve. Humble goodness!

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                    I think they are pretty darn pretty blue room! I don't know if I should make these, I might eat them all. They sound pretty irresistible!

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                      You can see that any almost add-in would work in these, custom canederli for any meal.

                                                                                                  2. Fillet of Salmon with Sweet-Sour Beets and Dill Creme Fraiche, p. 154

                                                                                                    A winning combination--not an unusual combo (salmon, cooked beets, dill in a creamy dressing)--but I thought this rendition was particularly delicious.

                                                                                                    First of all, the simple 3-ingredient sauce of chopped fresh dill plus bumpy-mustard plus creme fraiche sauce is wonderful with the salmon and beets. The nutty flavor of creme fraiche produces a sweeter and more delicate flavor than the my usual dilly sour cream sauce, and I loved how it was set off by the whole-grain mustard. This is a keeper-sauce that could be served with other fish-dishes.

                                                                                                    Regarding the beets: I like to oven-roast my cooked beets in foil packets, but Henry doesn't specify the cooking method--you could probably use canned ones because they are agreeably amplified by being sautéed with cooked onions and simmered with sugar and red wine vinegar. Taste till you like the balance of sweet and sour, add more sugar, vinegar, s & p if you like, and set aside the beets to serve with the salmon. I made mine a bit ahead and kept the beets warm till serving time.

                                                                                                    Finally the salmon fillets are seasoned with s & p and then lightly seared in butter and oil a wide frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes per side, and then cooked at a slower heat with the cover on till just done. This produces a nicely moist filet. A quick squeeze of lemon juice completes the seasoning before the fillets are served with the beets and dill-sauce on the side.

                                                                                                    As I said, each element of this combination is delicious on its own, and together they are even better. I'm sorry I don't have a photo, but you can imagine the colorful pink salmon plus the deep red of the beets set off by the white creme fraiche sauce.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                      Thank you, Goblin. I like the idea of dill with crème fraiche too.

                                                                                                    2. Persian Herb Chilau, p. 112.

                                                                                                      I didn't feel that this dish was really a success, at least the way I cooked it, yet I liked some things about it. This is a rice dish which is intended to result in a nice crunchy crust on the bottom which you then stir into the finished dish, and indeed my rendition did. But the finished rice itself was also all too crunchy and I think that the instructions for cooking didn't give enough time to the initial boiling. And/or the recommended use of a cloth over the cover to absorb extra moisture worked all too well and resulted in dry rice.

                                                                                                      Here's what you are instructed to do: first wash your basmati rice until the water runs clear, and then soak it for 2 hours (check). Then drain and rinse in lukewarm water (check). Add some butter and oil to the pan and then layer rice with a lavish amount of chopped herbs (mint and dill) and cook for 20 minutes (with no extra liquid added to the rice) with a towel wrapped around the cover to absorb extra moisture (check). Squeeze some lemon juice over all, and perhaps some extra melted butter, and serve. The mixed herbs add an agreeable fresh flavor and color.

                                                                                                      However, my resulting rice was not thoroughly cooked by the time the layer at the bottom was sautéed and crunchy, despite all the soaking and following the instructions. Maybe I should have boiled the rice initially longer than the recommended 6 minutes? I would definitely leave off the cloth towel over the lid of the pot next time. Or just add some extra water to the pot.

                                                                                                      1. Caramelized onion, goat cheese, and [chard] tart with pine nuts and raisins, p. 68.

                                                                                                        (This is a variation on the original recipe which features pears and blue cheese.) It's quite quick to make if you use Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, which I did. Basically, one bakes one portion of puff pastry till browned, and then spreads on a mixture of wilted sliced chard and gently sautéed sliced onions (seasoned with grated nutmeg, s & p), dabs of goat cheese, pine nuts, and plumped raisins on top, and bakes again till browned. The original recipe suggests spinach but I subbed sliced and wilted chard and it was fine. The goat cheese-pine nut-raisin combo is very flavorful. I served it as a side with my dinner menu but Henry suggests this as a starter--it would also be great cut into squares for a buffet or a picnic.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. Spanish Rice with Pork and Spinach [Beet greens], Pg. 122

                                                                                                          Quite a tasty plate of food this recipe makes. Not quite what I expected, though. As I read through the ingredients and direction it sounded more like a paella than simply pork, rice and spinach and I'm historically miserably inept at cooking paella. Undaunted I forged ahead.

                                                                                                          The pork is tenderloin, other meats include Spanish chorizo out of it's casing, and unsalted bacon which we omitted. Aborio rice was in the cabinet so that's what we used, no spinach but fresh beet greens from the farm market. Lots of vegetables: 2 bell peppers [yellow and orange] and 2 large onions, and garlic, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, chicken stock, some lemon.

                                                                                                          The instructions are a cinch. The direction is to use a "big frying pan" so we used the paella pan. The tenderloin is sliced lengthwise then cut into chunks, browned and set aside. Vegetables are sauted, seasonings added, rice then broth. (Ms. Henry gives a nice tip about not stirring paella rice while its cooking). This simmers till rice is "almost tender". Meanwhile the greens are wilted separately, layered on the rice with the meat tucked in. This is covered and the paella is steamed for about 5 minutes.

                                                                                                          We served the paella with corn on the cob, and a tossed salad with Romaine, tomato, cucumber scallion and a simple vinaigrette. I'm considering this paella to be a success except I thought there would be that sign of a good paella - socarrat present and it wasn't. But the rice was very well cooked unlike past attempts. In fact everything was delicious, not terribly spicy, which DH hoped for but we both liked it very much. There are two variations that we will try next. One with chicken with chorizo, and one with squid and beans.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            I was eyeballing this recipe yesterday and had to do a double-take since it looked so similar to the recipe in Moro that I had made the day before. This sounds just as swell a recipe!

                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                              You know, I made a garlic-ginger chicken dish last night that while perfectly fine was almost exactly like other garlic-ginger chicken dishes I already know. Looking through "Avec Eric" I see variations on familiar combinations. *I'm realizing I'm very much looking for novelty with all this cookbook buying.* I saw an article this morning listing the most anticipated soon-to-be-published cookbooks, there are over 40 of them! Sorry to gripe, and I don't intend to give up cooking for pleasure. It does make me sad that in those 40+ cookbooks there probably won't be many surprises. But haha one can always hope.

                                                                                                          2. Oven Roasted Ratatouille [with Baked Eggs], Pg. 310

                                                                                                            This was probably the very best ratatouille we've ever baked, and between all the Italian ciabotta and French ratatouille I cooked through the years that's saying something. Honestly, the only reason I chose this recipe is because Farmers' Market day is tomorrow and there were vegetables that had to go to make room in the fridge.

                                                                                                            I omitted the eggs and concentrated on the vegetables: green bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, gorgeous new red onions, ripe tomatoes, new garlic. All this, sliced in chunks, is placed in a large roasting pan, seasoned with plenty of EVOO, S & P. It cooks in a 400F pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes. Fifteen minutes before the ratatouille is finished passata is added to the pan and seasoned before mixing into the vegetables. I used turmeric, cumin, garlic powder.

                                                                                                            What made this special and added a different dimension is the pan roasted pollock we served using the ratatouille as a bed. A delectable dryish pan sauce of shallots, white wine, lemon juice, minced parsley, capers, lemon zest is spooned onto the fish before serving. Using the fish like this is similar to the way ciambotta is made in Puglia, the region of my mother's birth. This will definitely go into our regular rotation.

                                                                                                            1. Salmon on Lentils with Herb Relish, p. 152

                                                                                                              This is a good version of a standard bistro treatment for salmon. Lentils (I used the small french green ones) are cooked with onion, carrot, celery (i had to omit this) & thyme, seasoned with s&p, olive oil and lemon juice. Salmon is pan-seared on both sides (she says to start on the flesh side, but I always get better results starting skin side down, so that's what I did). The salmon and lentils are topped with the herb relish, basically a thick salsa verde. Mixed herbs (I used parsley, mint, basil & chives, all from my garden) and garlic are finely chopped and combined with capers, olive oil and lemon juice.

                                                                                                              I had a beautiful piece of wild alaskan sockeye and it was lovely in this dish. In addition, I loved the lentils. Though standard, they turned out perfectly, and I enjoyed the addition of lemon juice. The herb relish elevated the whole dish, and is a worthy addition, though having to prepare it did take the dish out of the "quick weeknight" category for me.

                                                                                                              I made a half recipe of the herb relish for 1 pound of salmon, and the full amount of lentils, we had a little of everything leftover which I plan to mix together and serve over greens for an awesome lunch salad!

                                                                                                              Recipe is here: http://dianahenry.co.uk/recipes/salmo...

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                I have this on my list, but sort of near the bottom. You've just moved it up.

                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                  This *was* near my top, but got passed. Probably something to do with the price of salmon vs the price of chicken.
                                                                                                                  I'm sure I'll be crazy for it when I finally do it, though.

                                                                                                                  Shamed every time someone mentions their garden,
                                                                                                                  "I used parsley, mint, basil & chives, all from my garden."
                                                                                                                  Westminstress notes. Can't you just picture this ideal scented plot?

                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                    I agree, salmon is expensive! I ran into a good sale recently and bought some to cook fresh and some for the freezer :)

                                                                                                                    This is actually the first year I've been able to have a garden! I've been loving it! "Mixed herbs" recipes always used to drive me crazy because I was not about to buy four different expensive containers of herbs only to watch most of them go bad. In this case, I don't think the mixing is necessary, the salsa would be good with whatever you have around, I think just plain parsley would be fine.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                                                                                      I can make basil disappear if I have lots of tomatoes, that happy circumstance happens once a year. The rest of the time -- well, you just said it. Every time I read about someone's garden I'll be closer to having one, I hope.

                                                                                                              2. Chiang Mai chicken noodles (p. 25)

                                                                                                                This is another dish that is supposed to be made with leftover cooked chicken, but since I didn't have any and this looked good to me, I went with cut up raw chicken and just cooked it in with the other stuff. I've never had anything called Chiang Mai chicken noodles, so I don't really know whether this turned out the way that would or not. She says it makes a great chance from Thai chicken curry, and since I love a good Thai chicken curry I went for it. We liked it - in fact some of us loved it. I thought it was fine but not zingy enough. Basically this is browned onions and garlic with coconut milk, a bit of turmeric, thai curry paste and chicken, finished off with brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and served over Chinese wheat noodles, garnished with scallions, chopped chile (cilantro - I was out of this). I think probably I could easily be in the loved camp if I'd added more of the thai curry sauce, lime and fish sauce (and maybe brown sugar).

                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                  Chaingmai noodles is a spicy Thai dish, originating in Burma, that we have from our local Thai restaurant and I Love it! The restaurant's version includes yellow curry sauce, stir-fried chicken (and shrimp), egg noodles, crushed peanuts, fried shallot. It has a 2 red pepper spice designation. Here's another version, more authentic I suspect, of the recipe:
                                                                                                                  Click on the Thai Street Vendor Video to watch it being made.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    See, I'm guessing I would LOVE the original. Hers does not have shrimp, and uses wheat noodles, no peanuts. She says you can use either shallot or onion. I'd love a hotter, spicier version. I was also unsure about what the tumeric actually added (as I often am - seems like it just tastes like chalk most of the time to me). Thanks for the info - I'll start looking for it at local Thai spots.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                      The recipes for Chiang Mai Curried Noodles w/ Chicken (Kao Soi Gai) in "Thai Street Food" ranks up there on my personal list of best dishes ever.

                                                                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                        Wow, high praise. Could you paraphrase it for me?

                                                                                                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                          It isn't an easy one to paraphrase, and a quick web search didn't turn up an accurate version of DT's recipe. All 3 of his books have takes on Khao Soi, and they all use fresh turmeric root, and use grilled ingredients for the basic paste, but the one in "Street Food" also adds some additional spicing to the paste--particularly an option of either Thai brown or Chinese black cardamom --and pandanus leaves to the broth. Lots of depth of flavors.

                                                                                                                          Anyway, if making the full on version is too onerous (it is a project; but the results are very good, and they freeze well) it is worth checking to see if any of your Asian groceries carry a range of made in Thailand pre-fab curry pastes. Mae Ploy, Lop, Maesri brands have pastes that are specific to Khao Soi (and many other dishes). And the best part is Thai law requires labels to list the spices and the proportion on the label--so you know what you are getting.

                                                                                                                          1. re: qianning

                                                                                                                            Fantastic info - Lulu's music lesson is right next to a small Asian grocery. I'll see if I can find one there. Thank you.

                                                                                                                        2. re: qianning

                                                                                                                          DT also has a version in his "Classic Thai Cuisine" which I'll have to haul off the shelf and take a look at. This version uses chicken drumsticks.

                                                                                                                  2. Greek Chicken, (Butternut Squash), and Feta Pie, page 28.

                                                                                                                    I do love how this book has recipes for leftovers. I'm a buy-one-chicken-breast-and-eat-half-of-it person. Mr. NS is an always-spatchcock-and-grill-an-entire-chicken person. I don't really like leftover chicken, as is. Oddly, neither does Mr. NS. But we're both fine with a dish that transforms the original chickie.

                                                                                                                    For this dish, the chicken meat is chopped up or shredded. Pumpkin, or in this case, butternut squash, is brushed with oil, sprinkled with cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and roasted. The spinach is steamed, cooled, and wrung out. Onions and garlic are sautéed, then the spinach, a few grates of nutmeg, and some grated parmesan are added. Off to the side, more parmesan is blended with ricotta, eggs, feta, parsley, salt, and pepper.

                                                                                                                    A springform pan is lined with layers of filo brushed with butter. The spinach, half the squash, and all the chicken comprise the first layer. Over this is piled a blend of ricotta, eggs, feta, and parsley. The entire package is covered with more filo sheets and baked at 400 until golden and cooked through.

                                                                                                                    I essentially made half of this recipe, with some ingredients a bit scant for half. Nevertheless, this has been feeding us for two dinners (for two) and two lunches (for one). It's kind of like a cross between spanakopita, with the spinach and feta, and b'stilla, with the chicken, egg, and cinnamon. Plus squash. But very nice, and very different from the original grilled chicken.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                      Especially appetizing, filo browns so nicely!

                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                        Really nice looking!

                                                                                                                        The one thing I find odd about Plenty is how most of the chicken recipes (aside from ideas for roasting a chicken) are for leftover roast chicken. But you've made one that I hadn't even really looked at, and it looks very tasty.

                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                          That's just beautiful, LN. You make everything look so appealing. Artistic.

                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            Thank you all! I really liked this.
                                                                                                                            It is odd, LulusMom, how so many of the recipes are for leftovers. It took me a while to realize that. It's very useful in this house so I appreciate it. Next time we have leftover chicken I'd like to try the pie with ham and mustard, topped with puff pastry. Even though I try to minimize my starch consumption, I certainly get tempted by these self-contained pie-type dishes.

                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                              I've been so tempted by these pies, but haven't felt up to the work involved. Your pie looks lovely!

                                                                                                                          2. Warm Salad of Bacon, Egg and Kale with Fried Potatoes and Mustard Dressing, p. 88

                                                                                                                            OK. With a title like that you just know it is going to be good. This is a very easy recipe if you happen to have leftover cooked potatoes on hand, which I did. You start by blanching a pound of chopped kale (I had a large bunch so it was more like 1.25 pounds). You then fry a tremendous amount of bacon (12 oz!) and the sliced leftover potatoes. While that's going on you make a quick dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and s&p. When the bacon and taters are golden and crispy, stir in the kale. Turn it out into a bowl, dress to taste, and portion it out, topping each serving with a fried egg. It's delicious of course, quite a luxurious treatment for a bunch of kale. If making again though, I would cut the bacon back a bit. Not by much, because my kids won't eat kale without it, but I think 8 oz would be enough. I might increase the quantity of kale a bit too as it really does cook down a lot in the blanching process.

                                                                                                                            1. [Skirt Steak with] Chimichurri

                                                                                                                              Recipe here: http://www.foodreference.com/html/mar...

                                                                                                                              This is just a review of the sauce, which we loved. This version of the sauce has a few extra bells and whistled. The herbs are fresh oregano and parsley, the acid is red wine vinegar and lime juice, smoked paprika and cumin are also involved. These are whizzed in the blender with olive oil, garlic and salt. This version of chimichurri had better balance than others I've made. I loved the fresh oregano, and the smoked paprika added a little something special too. It was delicious with our London broil ( a tough cut that really needs a sauce, IMO). The leftovers have been great to dress up roasted potatoes, and as a marinade for fresh porgy from my CSF, which I popped in a hot oven for a few minutes and served drizzled with extra sauce. I'm going to try it with scrambled eggs next. I'm just really happy with this sauce!