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

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

Dark soy sauce--wheat free brands?

I should have clarified that I am searching for a Chinese dark soy. Tamari replaces light just fine, but are you saying I could add a sweetener to light soy sauce and call it dark? I think it might be more complex than that, but that may be my only option....

Apr 26, 2014
Allegra_K in Special Diets

Dark soy sauce--wheat free brands?

Does such a thing exist? I've been searching for ages and have come up empty. What does one do to replace dark soy sauce in a recipe?

Apr 26, 2014
Allegra_K in Special Diets

substitute for soy sauce

Are you avoiding all legumes? If not, South River Miso has an adzuki bean miso, as well as a chickpea version that would be a nice substitute.
I've used the coconut aminos for a spell and while it most definitely is NOT soy sauce, it does the trick--sort of, if you're desperate enough. I did find it rather sweet and would often cut down on sugar in recipes. I also would sometimes reduce the amount and use the concentrate (or double up) when it was in place of soy sauce.

Apr 26, 2014
Allegra_K in Special Diets

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

That recipe sounds and looks delicious!

Apr 19, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

Ike's Vietnamese Fish-Sauce Wings, p.249

It seems that after two solid weeks of Thai food for dinner, the fellow eaters in my household were becoming bored. To maintain interest, I allowed The Offspring to select the menu for one night, so of course they picked the least-Thai item in the book. Luckily, it was delicious so I didn't mind.

Split wings are marinated overnight in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, salt, and garlic water (the garlic mince used to flavour the water is strained and reserved for later). Half of the marinade liquid is set aside, pre-meat soak, for later use. The leftover garlic is fried to golden brown in a small amount of oil. When ready to cook, drain wings well and toss in a breading of rice flour and tempura batter (I just used a blend of rice flour and corn starch) and deep fry in batches. For the glaze, the leftover marinate is reduced in a pan with extra water and some roasted chile paste, and the wings are tossed in it and cooked along with the fried garlic until the glaze adheres and darkens several shades.
The wings were really tasty--the sweetness of the glaze with the fried garlic was similar to a honey-garlic style, only much better. The fish sauce adds a really great briny depth to the wings, and the optional roasted chile paste gives the only form of heat . I would add even more next time. We served this with the recommended carrot/daikon pickle, cucumber, mint, and lettuce leaves, which was a welcome counter to the highly-flavoured, salty wings. They really were quite saline, so I would always have that neutral addition at the table. To make this a meal, I also cooked up a batch of sticky rice and some sweet chile sauce. To increase the heat in the wings we found ourselves dipping into the sweet chile rather frequently. This recipe would be a great introduction for the fish-sauce fearing folk. If I decide to undertake wings again, this will be repeated.

Apr 19, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Rice 29-33, Papaya Salad and Family pg. 34-37, Thai "Salads" pg. 48-71

Gulp, high expectations. I hope it lives up to the hype! Looking forward to hearing about it.

Apr 18, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Rice 29-33, Papaya Salad and Family pg. 34-37, Thai "Salads" pg. 48-71

As an official taste-tester I can now say that yes, the cucumber salad would work very well here. I would, however, up the tang a bit (maybe adding tamarind as per the papaya salad?), or lower the sugar content touch--it wasn't quite as fabulous a pairing but did a great job.

Apr 17, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Rice 29-33, Papaya Salad and Family pg. 34-37, Thai "Salads" pg. 48-71

Tam Taeng Kwa, Thai Cucumber Salad, pg. 45

I still had some shredded sweet pork leftovers and cooked up a small batch of coconut rice for lunch, but was out of green papaya. This recipe came to the rescue! It delivered.

This was my christening moment with nam pla raa. I have to admit that I was more than slightly nervous when I was opening the bottle and noticed it had *four* separate lid-sealing methods employed to contain the contents of the little glass receptacle. Four! Anticipating the most foul odour known to man (fish sauce is ripe, but fermented fish sauce?) , imagine my surprise when the sniff-test yielded a sweet, pleasantly funky aroma. Not terrible at all!

The salad itself was very nice and it was great to use the same method with another vegetable, one that I always have on hand, too. Again those lime wedges in the salad were a great counter-flavour. I'd make this again.

Apr 17, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

I'm glad you liked it so well! After reading your review I'm now fondly reminiscing about that meal. I'd say it's a good candidate for a twice-in-a-month dish.

Apr 17, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

It hadn't occurred to me until after the fact that I should have warmed the pot up first. Luckily nothing went awry but that could easily happen next time! I did, however, come thisclose to placing the just-removed-from-tao donabe into the snow. My brain kicked in just in time for that one.

Apr 17, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

Great improvisation skills you've got there!

@ncw--I bet your tagine would work swimmingly! My second cooking deviceI used in this recipe was cazuela-ish in appearance, but was in actuality a terracotta plant pot base....

Apr 17, 2014
Allegra_K in Home Cooking