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July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 1-4

GEORGIAN DUMPLINGS WITH CRACKED BLACK PEPPER (KHINKALLI), pages 97-100.

I started this dish ridiculously late in the day, and we barely managed to finish dinner before midnight!

The dumpling filling is a mix of ground beef and pork, grated onion, garlic, caraway, crushed black peppercorns, salt, and hot Hungarian paprika. Once those ingredients are mixed together, cold water is added, in what seems an enormous amount. For eight ounces of ground meat, 1/2 to 2/3 cups of water is called for. Ours seemed quite fully saturated and loose with a bit less than 1/2 cup, and even that water kept trying to escape the meat, so that’s where it was left.

The dough is a simple mix of flour and water, with a tiny bit of salt. After the dough rests for 30 minutes it is rolled into rounds. Each round gets a scant tablespoon of the filling, and the edges are brought up in pleats. The dumpling is held at the top and gently shaken, so it appears purse-like. Then the topknot is cut off.

The cooking process is a bit of a dance. All the dumplings are dumped into boiling water at once. The water is brought to boil for 30 seconds, then two cups of cold water are poured in. The pot is covered and left to cook for 5 1/2 minutes. Then another two cups of cold water are poured in. The pot is again covered and returned to a boil, for what I assume is supposed to be two minutes, as she states the total cooking time should be eight minutes. Then they are spooned out of the pot, placed on a warmed platter, and doused with cracked black pepper. She states they need neither sour cream nor butter.

These were fun, and good, I do love most any kind of dumpling, but I disagree that the don’t need anything else. A little butter even would have gone a long way. Our side dish was the green beans in cinnamon-flavored yogurt, and I kept trying to steal a bit of that yogurt for the dumplings. She does give the option of frying them later in butter, which I would have considered if it hadn’t been after 11pm already!

about 4 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

September 2015 COTM Adjunct Thread: ALL SOUTHERN COOKBOOKS

I have a question about the parameters here...
Would it be appropriate to post a clearly Southern recipe, that is not from a Southern cookbook? Perhaps a cookbook that is about all types of grilling, or all types of pies, but you select a recipe for Southern-style barbecue brisket, or a Southern chess pie? Can it be posted here? What about a recipe that's Southern but not from a cookbook at all?
I can see how that might be opening the floodgates, so just checking in.

about 6 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

The reporting thread for Terrines, the September DOTM, is now up here:
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/vegeta...

about 7 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

The reporting thread for Terrines, the September DOTM, is now up here:
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/vegeta...

about 7 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Vegetable Terrines - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015)

Here we are in September already! This month we’ll be preparing VEGETABLE TERRINES. I think this will be a very interesting and exciting month, one in which your creativity can shine. Keep in mind that your vegetable terrine may or may not be vegetarian; there is no restriction on what other ingredients can be included.

You can make one terrine this month, or you can make a new terrine every day; any level of participation is welcome. Please include a brief summary of your ingredients and technique. If you used an online recipe, it’s fine to post a link, but due to copyright concerns please do not quote published recipes verbatim, unless it is your own recipe, of course. As always, photos are welcome and encouraged.

If you’d like to read the discussion that preceded this selection, the nomination and voting threads can be found here:
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/home-c...
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/home-c...

The DOTM has just passed its three year anniversary. You can read about all of the prior dishes using the link below, and you may contribute to those threads at any time.
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/home-c...

Everyone is welcome to join in. If you haven't participated before, or if you've been lurking, please jump right in. And always feel free to ask questions too.

about 7 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

Cooking from Sean Brock’s HERITAGE

Exactly. So I am hoping that the pickled scallions will be an adequate substitute. The final dish only calls for three of the pickled ramps, so I'm thinking it will work out OK.

about 20 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

I couldn't get here at 9pm, sorry! But I don't think anything has changed since last I looked. Voting is now closed, and as far as I can tell, vegetable terrines is the dish for September, with nine votes, vs. the other dishes with three to four votes.

The reporting thread will go up as planned on September 1st. I can't guarantee a time as I have a few commitments tomorrow, but feel free to start making those terrines! I will post a link to the reporting thread here when it goes up.

Thanks to everyone for your participation.
Let's talk about a coordinator for next month, as Sandwich sister will be away.

about 21 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

I won't be around this evening for the 24 hour warning, so I'm giving it now.
Get those votes in before tomorrow, August 31st, 9pm Pacific time (midnight eastern time, 4am September 1st GMT).

Aug 30, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Cooking from Sean Brock’s HERITAGE

PICKLED (not ramps) SCALLIONS, page 233.

I can’t believe I started prepping a week in advance for a cauliflower. The roasted cauliflower on page 59 calls for 3 pickled ramps and homemade vegetable stock. I have never seen ramps around here, and I imagine it’s past their season anyway, so I pickled scallions. I treated them as directed for the ramps, cutting off the rooty bits and the greens. The pickling mixture includes jalapeno slices, cider vinegar, water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, coriander, fennel, black peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cardamom, and bay. It’s all brought to a boil then placed in jars. (I made about a fourth of a recipe, enough for a couple jars. Full disclosure, one jar has sugar and one has stevia.) They’re to refrigerate for a week before use, so I’ll report back then, when I open them up to make the cauliflower.

August 2015 COTM: The New Spanish Table & My Kitchen in Spain - EGGS, MILK, CHEESE, BEANS, POTATOES, RICE, PASTA, VEGETABLES

BAKED CHERRY TOMATOES WITH GARLIC AND SAFFRON OIL, page 390, New Spanish Table.

I agree with the above posters that the saffron is not the highlighted flavor in this dish. I wouldn’t exactly say it was wasted, but I’d omit it next time. I think the acidity in tomatoes makes them somewhat unsuited for saffron. I think starches like rice, and the fat in meats, and even dairy, are far better vehicles.

In spite of that, we definitely enjoyed this dish. We had a ton of local cherry tomatoes, so this lasted through dinner and will continue on into a few more days. Last night I served them with a phyllo pie made with leftover chicken, spinach, feta, and walnuts, and the combination worked very well.

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

The voting thread is now up here:
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/home-c...

Aug 28, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

VEGETABLE TERRINES
Click the heart here to vote for Vegetable Terrines

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

TOMATO SAUCES
Click the heart here to vote for Tomato Sauces

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

RATATOUILLE
Click the heart here to vote for Ratatouille

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

FRIED CHICKEN
Click the heart here to vote for Fried Chicken

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Voting

Time to vote for what you’d like to prepare and discuss in September!

You can read the nomination thread here:
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/home-c...

I’ve taken all the dishes that have three or more votes into the voting round. To vote for the dish you’d like to make in September just click the heart in the post below. Only one vote per person in this round. If someone votes for more than one dish, neither vote will be counted. You can, however, change your vote if you change your mind. Just click the heart where you voted and your vote will go away, click on another heart to vote for another dish.

Voting will be open until 9pm Pacific time on August 31st, and the reporting thread will go up on September 1st.

Aug 28, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

Nominations are now closed!
The voting thread will go up some time tomorrow, and I’ll post the link here.

Aug 27, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Cooking from Sean Brock’s HERITAGE

CORNMEAL-FRIED PORK CHOPS WITH GOAT CHEESE-SMASHED POTATOES AND PICKLED GREEN TOMATO RELISH, page 137.

I made this a little while ago, but thought I’d go ahead and report on it now.

Advance prep: One week before making this recipe, you make the CUCUMBER AND GREEN TOMATO RELISH on page 236. Before making the relish, you make the DILLED GREEN TOMATOES on page 230. Substitution alert (there will be many of these in my reports!): I used tomatillos as no green tomatoes were available, and I’m sure that makes a difference in the flavor. In addition to using tomatillos, when making the relish I added corn kernels as I had an ear of corn that wanted using. One day before cooking, the pork chops are pounded thin (I did not pound my thick chops to anything close to the 1/8” specified), and covered in buttermilk to marinate.

On the day of serving the chops are pulled from the buttermilk, seasoned with salt and pepper, and dredged in cornmeal (I did not use the specified Anson Mills Antebellum Fine Yellow Cornmeal, just regular fine cornmeal) with black pepper and cayenne. Then they are fried in a skillet. Unpeeled potatoes are concurrently boiling. When the potatoes are cooked they are smooshed with goat cheese, butter, heated half and half, and chives.

The chops are served with a plop of relish on top, and potatoes on the side. All delicious! I’m not even that big a fan of fried anything, but I loved the chops, and the (adapted) relish was the perfect accompaniment. And what can you say about potatoes with goat cheese and butter? Can hardly go wrong there.

Aug 27, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

Another reminder and bump...
Nominations will close tomorrow night, the 27th, at 11pm.
Looks like it's going to be a delicious September, no matter what!

Aug 26, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Cooking from Sean Brock’s HERITAGE

I'm doing something similar: finding a dish I want to make then working backwards with notes on my calendar for the prep. It's not the kind of book where you can say "This looks nice, let's have this tonight"!

Aug 26, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Cooking from Sean Brock’s HERITAGE

Article from The Post and Courier addressing the question many people have:
"Can Sean Brock's recipes be replicated at home? Home cooks put his 'Heritage' book to the test."

Article here:
http://www.postandcourier.com/article...

And the slideshow of the home cooks and their dishes begins here:
http://www.postandcourier.com/apps/pb...

Cooking from Sean Brock’s HERITAGE

Brava for attempting anything from this book on a weeknight! I think the only way to really follow the recipe is to start making components a couple days ahead (or longer in some cases). I'm still waiting for chanterelles to come in here!

Aug 26, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2015 [OLD]

I bet the EYB staff is hoping members will index many titles! I can't believe how much indexing EYB and members have done. It seems like such a daunting task, and I've only done a few online recipes. Such an amazing service.

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

Just a reminder (and a little bump)...
A little over two days left for nominations, they'll close on the 27th at 11pm Pacific time, then we'll move on to voting.

Aug 25, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2015 [OLD]

That's so lovely that you two, bundtlust and nikkihwood have personal connections to this book!

Aug 25, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Dish of the Month on Homecooking Board

Don't blame beta for everything! It's the end of summer, people are away, people are busy.
I know you're aware, but for anyone else who lands on this post, September DOTM nominations are up and running here:
http://beta.chowhound.com/post/home-c...

Cookbook Challenge

I love this group!

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2015 [OLD]

You might know it as "Reine De Saba"?

Aug 24, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2015 [OLD]

Good plan! That settles it; must get back to Europe!

Aug 24, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? August 2015 [OLD]

No, I'd just like to own or try using one. I've made the pies using springform pans, so they just have straight sides and I decorate the top. But once I saw a pie made in one of these (in a movie, I think), I just began to covet one!
Never, ever risk agitating your back, especially before a vacation!

Aug 24, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking