Allegra_K's Profile

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September COTM “Vietnamese”: Meat & Charcuterie

Caramelized Minced Pork

I actually really, really loved this dish! So simple, yet so deeply flavoured. I did up the caramel sauce a bit (an extra tsp) and maybe used a little less meat, but thought this was just grand. The pork became quite brown -in fact I thought I had burnt it- but it was just very, err, caramelized. The darkened, chewier bits were quite prized and we sought them out. Served with chicken and rice w/herbs, daikon/carrot pickle, and nuoc cham. A fantastic combination for a wonderful meal. I will make this again.

1 day ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry: Pure Simple Cooking

I have this one flagged due to an unfortunate shopping-while-hungry mishap that somehow left me with five pounds of plums (now patiently waiting in the freezer). Looking forward to it!

1 day ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

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.

1 day ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
2

August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

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

2 days ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

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.

2 days ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
2

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month September 2014

That's quite the revision. Perhaps a new book (with a different title instead of just putting the word "NEW!!" in front of the existing one) would have served better....

Aug 15, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

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

Aug 12, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA Fish & Seafood, Chicken, Beef & Pork

I made these sliders with all pork last night, and they were just wonderful! I much preferred the delicate, sweeter flavour of the pork with these seasonings. I will definitely be making it this way again. We had this with sweet-tart chile garlic sauce, shallot-oil new potatoes, chinese kale salad w/cracklings, and cabbage-shallot refresher. It was a memorable match.

An aside: every single time I make a Burmese dish or meal, the dining companions let out a few grumbles and sighs upon hearing the menu. That is, until it is time to eat--then I hear nothing but praise and contented chewing as dinner is inhaled. These flavours are always so exciting and comforting at the same time that they are irresistible!

Aug 08, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA Basics, salads, soups, vegetables

New Potatoes with Spiced Shallot Oil, p 114

This is a simple recipe containing the tiniest of new potatoes. They are boiled and tossed with shallot oil that was heated with some minced chile, and then some sliced sorrel (what I used) or another tart element like tomatillo or green tomato. A nice, easy side to have on hand to fill the table. Nothing extraordinary, but perfectly alright.

Aug 08, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA Basics, salads, soups, vegetables

Chinese Kale (or Broccoli Rabe) with Pork Cracklings, Pg. 54

I somehow found myself with a huge pail of rendered lard and the resulting pile of cracklings, which is simultaneously wonderful and terrible! As such, I've been searching for recipes that call for these crispy bits. It came as no surprise that there was a Burmese salad the contained a goodly amount of the ingredient.

I made this recipe as written, with the exception of substituting roasted soy nuts for the peanuts. I did a half recipe, but upon tasting the salad (and accidentally over-salting) I quickly threw together the other half. So glad I did, as this was a huge hit at the dinner table! Another amazing salad containing a wide array of textures and flavours that we couldn't keep our mitts out of. This one is definitely going into the repeat bin. We had this with lemongrass pork sliders (with tart chile-garlic sauce), shallot-oil potatoes, cabbage/shallot refresher, and plain rice. It was an excellent combo.

Aug 08, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Shepherd's Tacos-Tacos al Pastor p. 212

I've made it an unofficial quest of the summer to find the best recipe for tacos al pastor. While this recipe isn't the front runner, the method sure is!
Pork loin is sliced very thinly and marinated along with plenty of sweet onions in a paste of achiote, guajillo chiles, vinegar, tomatillos, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, anise, thyme, and s&p. The pork bathed in the mix for the better part of a day and then is grilled over high heat until cooked with nicely browned edges along with the onion slices and pineapple rounds. The meat, onions and fruit is then stacked in piles and cut crosswise into thin slices. This method ensured that the meat had plenty of crispy bits with minimal effort.
The taste itself was a bit too "pastor" for my tastes--it had a bit too much middle-eastern-flavour dominating the tacos. I found the cinnamon far too overwhelming in the dish, and the sweetness of the sweet onions mixed with the ripe pineapple was nearly cloying. The recipe calls for a whole pineapple, and I used only half and thought it was too much. While the onions were a great addition, next time I would use a stronger, less-sweet variety.

So in a nutshell-- method:excellent, would definitely do again; recipe:will continue my search.

Aug 07, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? July 2014 edition! [OLD]

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/981904 Madeliner, you are just in time to cast a nomination for August's cookbook of the month (or COTM)!

Here is the link to the COTM archives http://http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m... that you can contribute to if you're so inclined. We add to the reviews all the time, though the current month is usually the most active.

Jul 16, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
4

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

I have no right to nominate, what with my incredibly spotty participation in the last year, but.....yes!

Jul 12, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

This looks wonderful. Glad to hear it was a nice success; it's one of the ones that first caught my eye. I'm sure the right ras al hanout blend would make it sing! Now to source the good stuff.....

Jul 11, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - 10 Minute Salads, Vegetables and Side Dishes

Lovely!

Jul 11, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month August 2014

OT, but: blue room, you're back! So nice to see your name pop up on the recommends! I've missed your posts.

Jul 11, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
5

July 2014 COTM Voting Thread

I'd participate! The local library doesn't yet have NPK so it would be nice to have an option.
(not that I've been participating very much as of late, but I have been faithfully and lustily reading and taking notes!)

Jun 14, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

June 2014 COTM - My Paris Kitchen: Main Courses (Plats)

I often substitute pimenton in place of chipotle when I want smokiness but less heat, and it seems to work well.

Jun 08, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

To the letter.

Jun 07, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes

Grilled Bananas, p. 529

An interesting way to eat finger bananas, grilled until brown and bubbling. I cooked with propane so had none of the smokiness that charcoal would have created. As it was--as a savoury side--it wasn't for me. With a bit of rum and ice cream, perhaps. Next time I'll try for charcoal and see if it pleases better, and I'll make sure to have a stash of booze and frozen dairy goodness on hand just in case it doesn't!

Jun 07, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Staters, Salads, Grilled Breads, Desserts

Grilled Corn Cakes with Salsa (Arepas con Salsa), p. 109

A very simple recipe using frozen arepas cooked on the grill and served with an addictive fresh salsa of green & red bell pepper, sweet onion, garlic, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice. I used masarepa and made the arepas (can't find arepas of any kind around here) and pre-cooked them a bit on a skillet and transferred to the bbq to finish. They took on the wonderful flavour of the grill and I would cook that way again. The salsa was highly seasoned, tangy and a bit sweet and paired very well with the corn cakes. It was eaten in no time; I will be adding this salsa recipe to the arepa repertoire.
Served with Cartagena Beef Kebabs on page 172. A great match.

Jun 07, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2012 Cookbook of the Month, Planet Barbecue: Beef, Veal, and Game, Pork, Lamb and Goat, Ground Meat

Cartagena Beef Kebabs, p.172

Another huge hit from Planet Barbecue! These highly-flavoured kebabs really hit the spot for a meal of Colombian grilled foods.
Cubed sirloin is marinated in a paste of dijon mustard, tomato paste, lime juice, oil, paprika, cumin, sugar, and pepper, then threaded onto skewers with alternating squares of onion and green pepper, and finished with a single small new potato and cooked to desired doneness.
This was a wonderful blend of tangy and earthy flavours that was very well received by all diners. A Definite repeat, and soon!
Served with grilled arepas with salsa and grilled finger bananas-a lovely combo.

Jun 07, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Dark soy sauce--wheat free brands?

I have a selection of wheat-free tamari and soy sauces that I did I side-by-side comparison with, in the hopes that I could do some blending to create a dark soy.
Amani tamari is my favourite brand for now--it has a really deep, rich flavour without being overly salty (as soy sauces go). Next, up I prefer the Kikkoman gf soy sauce--it seems to have more of a soy sauce taste to it, where the rest are more of the miso run-offs of a traditional tamari. San-J was a close third, and my least favourite is Wan-Ja-Shan: very thin, sharp, and tart--it almost tastes like a dipping sauce with added vinegar. The fourth place is not all lost, though--for I find mixing it with the Amani I am coming up with a more complex flavouring.
I've also been using Dragonfly Thai sweet soy sauce (they have a dark available as well but I can't locate it around my parts) and reducing sugar in a recipe to add to the blend as a dark soy. I find that with these methods I am at least, if not replicating a dark soy, creating a more multi-faceted sauce.

May 16, 2014
Allegra_K in Special Diets

June Cookbook of the Month Voting Thread

Here on the Canadian prairies the big thing is a Bloody Caesar, and I must say that I am partial to the gin variation more than the vodka one. The perfect summertime beverage! Tonight I shall herald the arrival of autumn with this very thing (since it seems unlikely that spring or summer will actually make an appearance this year); thanks for the reminder.
I hope Hakka makes it so that you can post once again, Gio! It's so unusual to have these cotm's without your voice in the party.

May 16, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

June Cookbook of the Month Voting Thread

I'm in the same boat--my library only has four copies of My Paris Kitchen but nothing of The Persian Kitchen (so many Kitchens these days!) and the waiting list is so long that it would likely be autumn by the time the book was ready for me.

May 16, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month Nominations for June 2014

Has anyone here cooked out of "The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook-Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens" by Patricia Tanumihardja? I bought it a few years back and promptly lent it to a friend. Having just gotten it back, I've been paging through the recipes and it looks pretty intriguing- Filipino dishes, Japanese, Indonesian, and others make up the book. Its breadth would likely make for a good cotm contender, but I have yet to actually eat anything cooked out of the book. Curious to see if it tastes as good as it looks.

May 12, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month Nominations for June 2014

What? How is it this time already--I have hardly cracked open My Bombay Kitchen!

Oh, what the HAKKA....

May 09, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

May 2014 COTM - My Bombay Kitchen: Fish and Seafood/Meat and Poultry

About using tears as a heat level: in a paragraph preceding one of the recipes, NIK regales the reader with a humourous tale of her youth when her mother and her friends had a "hottest curry" contest; she still remembers the winning entry that had a table of adults weeping in bliss. Hah!

May 03, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

May 2014 COTM - My Bombay Kitchen: Fish and Seafood/Meat and Poultry

Looks lovely and sounds wonderful!

May 03, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Fish pg. 72-87, Stir Fries pg. 88-103, Thai Minced Meat Salads pg. 104-121

Popping in here to say that I finally made the recipe with the intended brussels sprouts, and it was delicious! The veg eagerly sopped up the flavourful liquid and got a really great sear on the cut edges. I'd recommend trying them,
I skipped the blanching step again and just added extra liquid near the end to cook to the desired crispness. Very good!

Apr 27, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking