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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!