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Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month October 2014

I kept checking in more times than I'd like to admit last night to see if any surprise voters came in under the wire to eke out a winner ('cause this one seems like a bidding war to me!), and I waited, and waited for an announcement, only to realize that there was still a full day to go. Oops--more excitement for this anxious bystander!

1 day ago
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Grilled Foods pg. 122-145, Curries and Soups pg. 146-171

Muu Kham Waan, Grilled Pork Neck with Spicy Dipping Sauce and Iced Greens, pg. 125

This was fantastic! More cotm-ers need to be aware of this unassuming recipe, so I am wholeheartedly agreeing with qianning and adding another positive review to the repertoire.
I made this with pork chops that I cut lengthwise in half. I used almost two pounds of meat (with double the marinade) and a half recipe of dipping sauce, and it disappeared from the plate instantly. The maggi sauce (that funnily enough I've also had lurking in the cupboards for years due to a purchase based solely on spousal insistence) truly is the magical ingredient here and makes the pork positively addictive even without the dipping sauce. The sauce itself is powerfully spicy, tangy and a little sweet and really a great complement to the pork. I would highly recommend a side of cool crispy greens of some kind, as that sauce is mighty potent and we all welcomed the refreshing side between bites.
I am already looking forward to making this again. A must-try!

Sep 19, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

September 2014 COTM 'Avec Eric' Chapters 4-6 (Birth of a Dish, Teamwork, Catch and Cook) Reporting Thread

Green Papaya Salad p.135

This was a lovely, quickly-thrown-together salad that paired nicely with the jerk pork chops on p.279.
Julienned (shredded on my end due to acute laziness) papaya and carrot get tossed with scallions, jalapeno, mint, cilantro and a tangy-sweet dressing of rice wine vinegar, mirin, ginger, lime and sugar. ER calls for a whole large papaya, but I used a half of what I considered a large one and found that the salad could have used more dressing. I wish he would have specified more with weight or measurements as an approximation.
This was really nice though, both on the eyes and the tongue; a great new way to use up a green papaya. I wouldn't mind doubling up on the liquid ingredients next time and using the excess over rice.

Sep 14, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
2

September 2014 COTM 'Avec Eric' Chapters 10-12 (Craftsmanship, Tradition, Cayman Cookout) Reporting Thread

Grilled Pork Chops with Jerk Spices p.279

We found this to be a pleasant chop recipe. The rub is very nice, albeit a little sweet; The Spouse exclaimed happily over these ones. I used two habaneros and they were rather mild (!) and so we wished to a bit more heat. I also made the silly error of using a grassy extra-virgin olive oil, which really clashed with the rest of it. Note to self: neutral is better (derp). Still and all, I would do this again.

Sep 14, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Fish, Poultry, and Meat Thread

Potatoes with Chorizo, p.432, Food of Spain

This is a great pantry recipe to have in the repertoire! I agree with Gio that this dish does get old fast, but all the boys in my household gobbed it up without qualm. I used all of Roden's suggested additions (pimenton, green and red pepper, tomato, dried chile)for a one-dish meal. While I did really enjoy it I feel it could be brightened up a bit and added a splash of sherry vinegar. I would make this again but would make sure to have other, less-heavy dishes to contrast the heft of this one.

Aug 24, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

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!

Aug 24, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
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August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry Month: Food from Plenty

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

Aug 24, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
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May 2012 COTM: Food of Spain and Moro The Soups, Vegetables, Starches, and Legumes Thread

Paella de Cerdo Con Chorizo y Espinaca (acelgas), Moro pg. 164

Made this last night and thought it was just wonderful! I made a few changes: used b/s chx thighs after reading the reviews about the pork being a big lackluster, but I added a spoonful of lard to the olive oil for a touch of porky lusciousness. I had a yellow tomato entering the for-cooking-only phase so tossed that into the sofrito. Finally, I used swiss chard for spinach, which added a pleasing tangy contrast to the smoky rich tones of the rice. No noras, so added extra pimenton (though after thoroughly perusing the moro cotm reviews ,I wonder if kashmiri chiles would have been the better substitute).
Anyway, we really, really enjoyed this and polished it off nearly-instantly. A definite make-again. Moro has become an absolute treasure.

Aug 23, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking
1

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.

Aug 19, 2014
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!

Aug 19, 2014
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.

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.

Aug 18, 2014
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.

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
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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.

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
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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.

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