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

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.

about 10 hours ago
MelMM in Home Cooking
1

August 2014 COTM Announcement Thread

OK, the UK version of that recipe calls for 2 cm of ginger for the pork chops, and 120 g (4.5 oz) for the mango relish. That's quite a lot of ginger, but I have a hand in my fridge that is just over 120 g, and I can't really see it it being 1.25 cups if it were grated. Maybe half that. This is why I always try to buy the UK version of any book from a UK author. I don't trust the editors to make those conversions as well as I can. Or, in my case, I don't really make the conversion at all, as I have a scale.

1 day ago
MelMM in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM Announcement Thread

Which recipe did you make? I have the UK version of most of her books, so I might have the recipe in question.

1 day ago
MelMM in Home Cooking

An Open Letter to Chowhound re: the new format

Love the hound idea. So much so, that I'm going to "heart" it!

1 day ago
MelMM in Site Talk

August 2014 COTM Announcement Thread

We probably all need to go over to the Site Talk board and discuss this, because I fear the new design will have a negative impact on our COTM participation. Especially for new participants. It would be a horrible thing to see COTM drop off just because people can't find the threads.

Jul 30, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM Announcement Thread

Another Chowhound redesign fail. Apparently, you mouse over the little "i" in a circle next to the "Home Cooking" board title, and it will give you the list of sticky posts, including the COTM nomination, voting, and announcement threads. You have to be visiting the "Site Talk" board to know what happened. Oh, yeah, user friendly. We'll be getting lots of new COTM'ers with this scheme.

Jul 28, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

August 2014 COTM Announcement Thread

I've been traveling and managed to miss the whole nomination and voting. Oh, well. I certainly can't complain about the outcome! Looking forward to doing some cooking from my Diana Henry books next month.

Jul 28, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

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

I have Japanese Soul Cooking, and it looks nice (plus, I've liked the other books by the authors), but I haven't gotten around to cooking from it yet. I'd like to hear what you make and what you think.

I have also pre-ordered Heritage. I'm very excited about that book!

Jul 25, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
1

Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, and environs - restaurant recs

Thanks for the recs. I have been and am back now. I did go to Rusty Bellies, and enjoyed it. I saw Captain Jack's from the river, but did not stop there. Next time. I was very happy with my meals in Tarpon Springs, both Greek and not-entirely-Greek.

Jul 17, 2014
MelMM in Florida

Whole rabbit

There is a link I gave above, for a rabbit that is poached in oil with spices then finished on the grill. I'll repeat the link here:
http://leitesculinaria.com/73052/reci...

This is by far the best rabbit recipe I've ever had, and I've had it a lot of ways.

Jul 11, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Brunch, Soups

Funny, because that recipe for grits almost put me off the whole book. I just can't imagine using instant grits. I don't even use "quick" grits, which I think is what you are calling "regular". Stone ground only here, which do take a good hour to cook, but then, I can be extremely traditional about some things. My great-grandfather had a gristmill in Mississippi and died there in an explosion.

Jul 10, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
1

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

I agree with LlM here. Suspend disbelief and give it a shot. I can't speak for the new book, but I have the ice cream book and the recipes come out just great.

Jul 10, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

I would think most of the wild-caught salmon here in the East has been frozen.

BTW, Atlantic farmed salmon in the US is not necessarily safe either. It depends upon the farming method and what the fish are fed. If the fish spend any time in fresh water, they are prone to parasites, which is why the wild ones are not safe. Also, if they are feed a food that contains other fish, they can get parasites from the food.

In the EU, there are salmon being farmed off Scotland and Norway that are safe to eat raw. But all salmon in the US should be frozen.

And yes, you are right, the farmed salmon are fattier.

Jul 09, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
3

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

I'm definitely interested in eating Burmese food. I know about Burma Superstar... are there any that are better than that?

Jul 08, 2014
MelMM in San Francisco Bay Area

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

I hope if you eat wild salmon rare, it has been frozen first. I did a lot of research on this recently, and wild caught (Pacific) salmon can be assumed to be infected with anisakis simplex (a roundworm) and also can transmit tapeworms to humans. It is not even legal for a restaurant to serve raw salmon in the US that has not been frozen. Some people are under the mistaken belief that wild-caught is "safer" than farmed, but where parasites are concerned, the opposite is true.

Jul 08, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
1

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

I'm interested in this post because I will be heading to SF in August. Can you recommend some places in SF proper that are "uniquely San Francisco"? Like the OP, price not a factor (can go cheap or fine dining), but looking for something within the city.

Jul 01, 2014
MelMM in San Francisco Bay Area

Why Are We Importing Our Own Fish?

Glad you posted this. I caught part of it on air today, and it was a good interview.

Jul 01, 2014
MelMM in Food Media & News

cooking forums moving to facebook??

I don't know which you are talking about, but I do participate in some Facebook cooking groups. There's a Moroccan cooking group based on Paula Wolfert's books, the Wok Wednesday group cooking through Grace Young's Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, and Leite's Culinaria What's for Dinner, just to name a few. All excellent groups. There are more, about cookbooks and other things. I really enjoy the Facebook groups I am in. They are similar to participating in the COTM here on the CH Home Cooking board. But the CH boards have been around quite a bit longer (in internet years) than the Facebook groups, so only time will tell about the longevity of such groups.

Jul 01, 2014
MelMM in Food Media & News

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #3 - Will you join me?

All I can say is it tasted better than it looked! The flavors were well developed.

Jul 01, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
1

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #3 - Will you join me?

Well, they might not appeal to everyone. First there's the vegan part. I'm always happy with a vegan meal. Then there's the ingredients. Being a Southerner, I have a taste for okra and mustard greens. And I like a lot of spice, which this food has. Still, I have to think that if anyone could make mustard greens palatable to a larger audience, it would be this guy.

Stay tuned, I intend to cook some more out of this book.

Jul 01, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
2

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #3 - Will you join me?

AFRO-VEGAN, by Bryant Terry

I got this a few months ago, but haven't had a chance to cook anything. Looking through it, it's one of those books where I want to make everything. I finally took the time to make a meal from it tonight.

Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens - I had a ton of mustard greens from a local farm, and was looking for something new and interesting to do with them. I found this recipe, and then decided to cook my whole meal from the book. Tofu is tossed with oil and salt and baked. It gets crisp, as if it were fried, and stands up well to being put in a stew. For the stew itself, mustard seeds get popped in hot oil in a large sauté pan, then cooked with onion, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Cumin and cardamom, that have been toasted and ground in a mortar, get mixed in, along with some garlic powder, ground ginger (grated from dried whole roots in my case), and black pepper. Peanut butter and tomatoes go in, with some jalapeño, and then some vegetable broth and a bunch of mustard greens. That simmers, then the baked tofu goes in, and it simmers some more. This dish made the kitchen smell fantastic, and the stew itself was just delicious. Since I get a lot of mustard greens around here (hey, I live in the South), this will be a definite repeat.

Blackened Okra - the recipe is for blackened okra with red rice, but I just made the okra. It starts with a blackening seasoning, which involves toasting and grinding spices (a theme of this book). He calls for blanching the okra, a step I skipped. The okra is then tossed with oil and the blackening seasoning, put on skewers, and then grilled. I roast or grill okra quite a bit, so this wasn't anything new for me - it's one of my favorite ways to have okra. The blackening seasoning was a new twist, and it went well. Next time I might go to the trouble of blanching it to see if it makes a difference.

Spicy Mustard Greens - he calls this a "green harissa", and that is not a bad description. Blanched mustard greens are blended with green chiles, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and other spices that have been - you guessed it - toasted and ground. There's also some garlic and herbs in there, as well as lemon and vinegar. This is some good stuff! Reminds me a bit of the Zhoug from Jerusalem, but even more complex. It's definitely spicy. I mixed some of this with yogurt to make a dip for the blackened okra (thus making my meal non-vegan, oh well). I can see putting this on my morning eggs, on rice, and so on. Love it!

Three recipes, three winners from this book. It's a keeper.

Jun 30, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
2

Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, and environs - restaurant recs

Thanks for all the recommendations!

Jun 30, 2014
MelMM in Florida

Tarpon Springs, Dunedin, and environs - restaurant recs

I'm going to be spending a long weekend in this area over the 4th of July. We will be staying in Tarpon Springs, but are willing and able to go to nearby areas for a good meal. There are lots of threads here about the Greek places in Tarpon Springs, and we will certainly be having a couple meals at those places. But I'm checking this general area out as a possible retirement locale, so I'd like a broader view of what's available in the area. I'd love to hear recommendations for for restaurants (including breakfast!) in the area, and shops to check out as well. Two adults, adventurous eaters, all cuisines welcome, all prices welcome, great seafood a huge plus.

Jun 29, 2014
MelMM in Florida

Do you "finish" salmon with olive oil?

Salt is found all over the earth, not just in the sea.

Jun 28, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

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

I have a very sensitive nose, and yes, I can smell it in most Rieslings, even very young. To me, they all have it to some degree, but in some it is almost undectectable, and in others, quite pronounced.

Jun 27, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking

21 Things chefs wish they could tell you.....

Well, I personally think that tomatoes do not belong in guacamole, but that's another issue.

I used to be a breakfast regular at a place that had "sliced tomatoes" on the breakfast menu as a side. But there was another regular who grew tomatoes (professionally) and would bring in great tomatoes and share them with the other regulars.

The restaurant didn't mind at all, but if they were bothered, it would not have been unreasonable for them to frown on the practice, or ban it outright. They just happened to be cool.

Jun 25, 2014
MelMM in Food Media & News

January 2011 Cookbook of the Month: STIR-FRYING TO THE SKY'S EDGE

Stir-Fried Hoisin Pork with Peppers, p. 94

Hard to believe I hadn't made this one yet! This was this week's Wok Wednesday dish. The prep has already been well-described.

This dish is a little different from other stir-fries because the sauce ingredients are all in the marinade. This made everything very simple when it came time to wok, and I didn't have the long line of prep bowls sitting next to me. I did feel that keeping the meat spread out in the wok was really important here, or it could have been too saucy (for my taste).

The vinegar finish is a really nice touch, that adds some acid to balance out the sweetness of the hoisin sauce. The dish has a really robust flavor, without actually being spicy. A real crowd-pleaser.

Jun 25, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking
1

21 Things chefs wish they could tell you.....

I should add that there are advocacy groups out there with educational and certification programs for the food service industry, including this one:
https://www.gluten.net/programs/indus...

Celiacs would definitely want to know about the waffle-maker being used for both regular and gluten-free waffles, unless you have a way of thoroughly cleaning it between batches.

Jun 24, 2014
MelMM in Food Media & News

21 Things chefs wish they could tell you.....

You are obligated to say the creamed spinach has wheat flour in it if the customer has told the server that they must eat gluten-free. If they haven't, well then it's your choice, but it's not much different that telling someone who has ordered a seemingly meatless dish, but hasn't said that they are vegetarian, that there is some fish sauce or chicken broth in it. They might be an omnivore who just wants a relatively meatless meal, or maybe they really are a vegetarian... I guess it's best to ask.

I always tell the server I must eat gluten-free, and then ask for his or her suggestions as to what to order. Or, if they aren't able to point me to the safe dishes, I will list a few that I think are likely to be gluten-free and which appeal to me, and have them check with the kitchen. Anyone with celiac disease is going to do this. What we shouldn't have to do, is say "I have celiac disease" - that's a bit too personal for some situations. But if the diner says he or she "needs to" or "must" or "has to" eat gluten-free, that should be a clue to the staff to take it seriously.

Jun 24, 2014
MelMM in Food Media & News

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month July 2014

The pesto is 80g sun-dried tomatoes, softened in hot water for 20 minutes, then blended in a food processor (I think I used a mini processor or a stick blender) along with a clove of garlic, 200 ml olive oil, and a teaspoon of capers (I think I went pretty heavy on these). When I made it, I used sundried tomatoes packed in oil, and less olive oil.

Jun 22, 2014
MelMM in Home Cooking