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August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Other Books and Online Recipes

Greetings all!

Please use this thread to post your reviews for recipes pulled from Diana Henry books other than those identified in the main thread (Pure Simple Cooking/A change of Appetite/Food from Plenty). You may also use this thread to post on any recipes you have found online. That said, if the online recipe does note that it is from one of the three books with their own thread, please post your review there.

Remember to review the thread in order to ensure you reply to the original post on any recipe you are reviewing to make sure all the comments are grouped together.

As per usual the Chowhound Team would like me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes is a violation of the author's copyright. Any posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Harissa from Salt Sugar Smoke. This is one of my all time favorite condiments. You can use it as a spicy ingredient ( in kebab, brushed on chicken before baking) or eat it along side cooked fish, rice, labne, etc. I've only ever had it jarred. Never fresh.

    Harissa Is pretty trendy right now so there are a lot if recipes around. Most recipes call for a roasted red pepper or charred tomato to cool it down but not this recipe.

    Dried guajillo chilis, red chilis (I used red jalapeƱos), garlic, cilantro, toasted spices, olive oil all blended up. Very oily (it's supposed to sit under a layer of oil to preserve) but very amazing. Really not that spicy at all - my peppers must have been mild. Next time will try spicier chilis? We ate the harissa on ritz crackers right after I made it it was so good.

    this weekend I'm going to make the harissa honey chicken wings from Balaboosta with it. I have a good feeling

    I stole the harissa on a spoon idea from the book...

     
    3 Replies
    1. re: Siegal

      I just made a harissa from SPICE by Ana Sortun. She suggests Urfa peppers. Fish without a Doubt calls for baklouti chiles which I have never seen locally. Clearly the peppers used determine how fiery the heat is.

      I have always loved Harissa, so may have to try every single variation presented by authors that I trust.

      The spoon is really quite lovely.

      1. re: Siegal

        There is a mistake in the US version of the book for this recipe, in the amount of oil called for. The US version calls for 1 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for storing. The UK version calls for 100 ml of olive oil, which is about 3.4 fl. oz, or under half a cup. If you use the amount of oil in the US version, the recipe will not fit in a half-pint jar, as it says it will. And I find the flavors will be muted by all that oil. If you use the lesser amount in the UK version, the flavors will be brighter, and the recipe will fit in the half-pint jar. Clearly a mistake in translating the recipe from metric to US measurements. And that is why I prefer to by the UK versions of books by UK authors.

        1. re: MelMM

          Yes it seemed very oily! But my oil rose to the top so I can scoop less oily harissa out from underneath it. Next time I will use less.

      2. I thought link to this thread might also be helpful
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8959...

        1. Pesto alla Trapanese - Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons, p. 51

          I first learned of this Sicilian spin on basil pesto, from the city of Trapani, in a thread here on CH a couple of years ago (and then wrote it up for the erstwhile CH Home Cooking Digest). It's made in the food processor in the usual way, with everything but the olive oil and grated cheese chucked in and pulsed while the oil is drizzled in. In this case, "everything" is 4 chopped plum tomatoes (but I used the sweet and flavorful Early Girls I had from the farmers' market), 4 pieces finely chopped sun-dried tomato (mine were small, so I used 6), 3 cloves garlic, 2.75 almonds (she calls for blanched; I used unblanched sliced, what I had on hand, and only around 2 oz), leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, and "a good handful" of fresh basil. After, 2 oz grated pecorino is stirred in. She calls for 2.5 oz (5 T) olive oil, but I added a bit at a time, and stopped at 3, which got me a loose paste texture (perhaps I'd have needed more for the same texture had I used the full measure of almonds). I also added pepper, but not salt, feeling the cheese made it salty enough.

          I stirred around half of the batch into a half pound of whole-wheat penne, along with a few generous dollops of ricotta loosened with a bit of hot water. The remainder went into the freezer. I like this pesto quite a lot. I realized that a recipe in last month's COTM, Radically Simple, which I've made a couple of times in the past, is probably inspired by the Trapanese variety, but the sun-dried tomatoes and fresh oregano give Henry's recipe a more complex flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Just an update: The remainder of the pesto was defrosted, gently heated with a splash of white wine to loosen it, and tossed with fresh vegetable and ricotta ravioli (summer squash with corn, and fresh pea with mint) from a local pasta shop. Worked wonderfully with the summery vegetable fillings, made a delicious dinner (and lunch today) with green salad.

          2. Lemon and basil ice cream, p52, Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons

            I love an excuse to make ice cream in my fancy Cuisinart ice cream maker. This one's a winner. Totally delicious. You do have to make a custard though, with milk infused with basil and lemon rind, egg yolks and sugar. Once it's cooled, add lemon juice and lightly whipped cream and churn.

            As sinfully good as you might expect, with a beautifully fragrant note from the basil. A perfect end to a summer meal. Sigh.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greedygirl

              So happy to read your report. I've had my eye on this recipe since the first time I flipped through the book, and was thinking of making it this month, especially since our CSA box is including lots of basil lately.

            2. Greek Herb Pilaf with Shrimp and Feta - Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons, p. 44

              This is a a fairly simple rice dish made truly vibrant with bunches (literally) of parsley, dill, and mint. Add in a bit of lemon juice, salty/creamy feta, and sweet sauteed shrimp, and the result is an absolutely delicious dish.

              I made a two-thirds recipe, more or less. Start by rinsing basmati rice and leaving it to soak for an hour if you have time. I just let it soak while I prepped the pilaf ingredients. Saute chopped onion in butter and olive oil till softened, then add chopped fresh tomato and garlic and cook till the onion's translucent. In goes the rice, half the fresh herbs, salt, and fish or light chicken stock (I used shrimp stock). Let boil until you can't see the liquid, then wrap the pan lid in a tea towel, cover, and cook on lowest heat for 20-25 minutes (20 was enough since I'd soaked the rice). Right when the rice is finishing, saute shrimp in olive oil, then season and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Add more lemon juice to the rice, along with the remaining fresh herbs and a glug of olive oil (you're also meant to add chopped kalamata olives, but I forgot to buy them when I was at the market). Serve portions of the rice, and top with the shrimp and crumbled feta.

              As I said, this was just delicious, even missing the olives. I mixed it up on my plate before eating, so I could have a bit of feta in each bite. To me, my two-thirds recipe, which was about a cup of rice, made plenty of rice for four servings, though the half pound shrimp only enough for two, but I guess it would depend on appetites and how much rice you want to eat in any given meal.

               
              6 Replies
              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                That looks yummy! Might be a good dish for me to make on Saturday for some picky eaters plus a pescatarian.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Oh yay! I have this on my must-make list. I realized a few days ago that I won't have as much opportunity to cook in August as usual what with LulusDad being away for 10 days, and L and me taking a weekend trip away. But I know I'll be using these books for a long time. And this looks soooo good.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    I think/hope this will be a hit chez LLM, but you might want to make a note to increase the shrimp a bit from 3/4 lb, as I know you like to have 3+ portions, and as noted in my report I think it's slightly long on rice but short on shrimp for 4.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      I did notice that. I think it is part of her healthy attitude in the book, although I have to say, I think of shrimp as a fairly low-fat, healthy protein myself. You know my tastes really well, and I agree, this sounds like it will be a hit here.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I hadn't really thought she was focusing on healthy in this book vs the regional inspiration, but who knows, you could be right. Personally, if I was looking for most healthful, not to mention lower calorie, I'd tend to think less than 2 oz (raw) white rice in a serving, while opting for a larger portion of shrimp than 3 oz.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          You're absolutely right - I was confusing it with A Change of Appetite. All these books sitting around must be making my head spin a bit.