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Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014) Nominations!

Potato, parsinp, zucchini pancakes sound savory. We've done a month of savory pancakes, and you can always go back and post on old threads:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875818

Nov 20, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 9-12

I had not heard that about Marsha Mehran, sad indeed.

I have made other versions of this dish, notably from Najmieh Batmanglij's recipe, if I recall correctly. I remember using dried limes, fenugreek, saffron, and perhaps rosewater. This recipe was quite the failure by comparison!

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

I prefer the old threads also, but I don't know how to deal with the huge threads. Some that have over 400 replies are very difficult or slow to open.

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

Well your photos made my mouth water, that's pretty good!
I like the meatball idea.

Nov 18, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

This was definitely a winner.
I've only had one real dud so far. Knock wood.

Nov 18, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

I've seen this exact thing in other recipes, ground cumin and whole coriander called for. Claudia Roden, for example. I've never understood it. Especially because freshly ground cumin seeds are so vastly superior to pre-ground cumin.

Nov 18, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

Duck Skewers, page 246.

Kind of an odd prep sequence in this recipe, but it came out so well, I have no complaints. Duck breasts are briefly seared in a sauté pan, then quartered. The quarters are skewered with red onion, red bell pepper, pear (or quince if you can find them, I couldn't) (and scallions, which I forgot). The skewers are coated in a pureéed mixture of toasted peanuts, Green Masala from page 27, lime juice, and salt. We grilled the skewers on the sheltered big egg, as it was too cold and windy to use the wood fire grill.

That's all there is to it, and we thought these were delicious! The marinade was very tasty, and thick enough to be tangible and tastable on the skewered items. A very nice, guest-worthy dish, easily prepared.

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Spice Blends; Condiments; and Desserts

Green Masala, page 27.

Well, unlike Green Curry Paste, this was unquestionably green. No surprise considering it had eight jalapeños for what ends up being about one cup. Those jalapeños are chopped and sautéed in olive oil along with chopped ginger and garlic. Once the garlic is golden, cardamom seeds, turmeric, and coriander seeds are added to heat until fragrant. These ingredients are then blended with white wine vinegar, then olive oil is slowly added while blending.

Jalapeños just aren't what they used to be. I could eat these like bell peppers, and I find that is true of all the jalapeños I buy nowadays. Other than the missing heat, this was pretty darn tasty. And even tastier when blended with the peanuts, lime juice, and salt used for the Duck Skewer marinade. Report on that coming up shortly.

Nov 17, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

It's hard to explain the different outcomes of dishes. Mine, way upthread, was somewhat green, and much, much chunkier with the onions and tomatoes. I thought the flavors were quite complex, and I just loved it!

Nov 16, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Spice Blends; Condiments; and Desserts

Green Curry Paste, page 26.

I've used this now in two recipes, the Curried Trout with Coconut-Chile Sauce, and the Vegetable Samosas. While not bright green, mine was definitely green-ish. For me, a full recipe did make a full cup, and I don't know what the difference might have been between mine and that made by TxnInMtl. I love the flavor in this paste, with the bird's eye chiles, it had just the right amount of heat for adding to other dishes.

Nov 16, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Salads; Soups; Breads; and Vegetables

Ha! You're right. Somehow my search for Soul of a New Cuisine errata brought me right to the errata, now I see the entire page, it is indeed the wrong book. So google searching doesn't seem to bring up any errata for this book.

Nov 16, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Salads; Soups; Breads; and Vegetables

There is this odd errata entry, citing only one error, and not disclosing which recipe it is!
http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTi...

Nov 16, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Salads; Soups; Breads; and Vegetables

Vegetable Samosas, page 164.

DO NOT follow this recipe. I've read posts about poor editing or poor recipe testing in this book, but this is my first personal experience with it.

Problem Number One: I read the list of ingredients and made certain I had everything on hand. But when I actually started cooking, I read in the fine print of the recipe directions that the samosas are served with Yogurt Dip on page 72 and Mango Sambal on page 64. I think it's customary to list necessary items such as sauces in the recipe ingredients.

Problem Number Two: In reading the recipe I noticed that the directions state to roll out circles and make them in half-moon shapes, but the photo shows the samosas in the traditional triangular shape. There is also a bowl of dipping sauce in the photo that should have tipped me off to Problem Number One.

And Problem Number Three, the biggest one: The dough calls for ONE CUP of water, which I, somewhat idiotically, as I should know better, threw in. This was not a dough, but a batter. The instructions call for dividing the dough into 12 pieces and rolling it out in balls. Ha! It was a liquid! So I added flour. In fact, all of the flour we had left in the house. Later, looking at similar recipes, the amount of water called for with this amount of flour is commonly 1/4 cup. So I would have had to multiply the dry ingredients by four to get the right proportion. So I had a wet sticky dough, that didn't roll out so much as get pressed out into circles. It was so fragile I had a hard time getting it to hold the filling, so I gently placed the stuffed samosas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, brushed them with peanut oil, and baked them in the oven. (The recipe called for deep-frying, but they would never have stood up to that.)

Anyway, the filling was quite good, with onion, Yukon potatoes, carrot, garlic, cauliflower, coconut milk, lime juice, and green curry paste (from page 26, and IS mentioned appropriately in the list of ingredients).

For a dipping sauce, I puréed a pear with some ginger, garlic, lime juice, bird's eye chile, and toasted sesame oil. Good enough, and they do need a dipping sauce.

So, ultimately, they tasted pretty good, but the dough texture was definitely off, and they certainly weren't the prettiest of things because the dough was so hard to manipulate. Sigh.

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Salads; Soups; Breads; and Vegetables

So glad you liked those shrimp and portobello balls! I'll definitely be making them again.

Nov 15, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Salads; Soups; Breads; and Vegetables

Sautéed Chard (not Morning Glory), page 192.

This recipe calls for morning glory, which, unfortunately, is not the stuff trying to take over my yard, but water spinach. Samuelsson suggests bok choy as a substitute, but my market had no bok choy at the time, and they certainly didn't have water spinach. Not even broccolini, which I thought would be good. I used chard.

This is an easy, flavorful treatment for greens. Peanuts are sautéed in peanut oil until golden, then ginger and garlic are added. When the garlic starts to color, greens, jalapenos, soy sauce, and sesame seeds are added. When the greens have wilted, the dish is drizzled with lime juice and sesame oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. That's all. Simple, tasty green things; a very nice side.

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

Indeed! It's like a parchment paper packet, and you could certainly do that. I love the subtle banana leaf aroma though, and the color. Thanks blue room!

Nov 15, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Voting Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

I agree with other posters, there's going to be no losing for December. Some comments on the nomination thread have inspired me to take another look at 150. But my vote is going with NYT this time. It was my first COTM. I got it from the library and shortly into the month, I was compelled to buy it. I'm ready to peruse the over 1,000 recipes once again. But I'll be happy either way!

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

Oh, and here are the fish packets cooking over the rice and plantains, in a small pan.

Nov 15, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Fish; Poultry; and Meat

Snapper Wrapped in Banana Leaves, page 231.

What fun! I loved making this dish; it's like wrapping little presents. Snapper fillets (I cut the recipe down and used two, and our fillets were skinless, the recipe specifies with skin) are topped with a mix of olive oil, cayenne pepper, and chopped ginger, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeños, a slice of tomato, and a slice of lemon, then wrapped in banana leaves. Along with sliced plantains, they are cooked atop a mix of onions, rice, chicken stock, and coconut milk. At the end of the cooking, the packets are removed and spinach is stirred into the rice.

I plated the packets unwrapped, MS also gives the option of unwrapping them before plating, but I opted for the "gift unwrapping" at table. I greatly enjoyed the flavors in the fish, and the coconutty rice. Mr. NS was a bit less than forthcoming in his praise. He wasn't a big fan of the plantains, and thought the fish was a tad overcooked near the ends. I think that was my error, in that the cooking time for six packets is probably different than the time for two packets (maybe? I'm not certain about that, as I did cook in a smaller pan). I'd cut the time down if I made it again (for two, and for rare fish fans). Our homemade chicken stock has no salt, and I added salt sparingly. Mr. NS salted a bit at table, but I just savored the flavors of coconut, ginger, cilantro, and peppers.

I'm happy to now have a stack of frozen banana leaves on hand, and I will probably try another type of fish with this recipe. Mr. NS suggested we try it with a firmer fish like halibut.

Nov 15, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

No, no, and no! I will bookmark, thank you!
Love the sound of that cornbread salad with sausages.

Nov 14, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Salads; Soups; Breads; and Vegetables

Wow, you've lured me to this dish, and I'm not really a rice fan!

And once again, you've got such a lovely serving piece! Perfect for this dish.

Nov 14, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

Interesting. I wasn't really wowed by this book the first time around. In fact my biggest success was the Zuni chicken, which I cooked cross-referencing the Zuni book. I'll sure give it another look if it comes up for December, as I deeply trust the opinions posted here!

ETA: Wait. I do remember an absolutely wonderful mussel dish from this book. And it takes a lot to wow us with mussels, as we do them all the time.

Nov 14, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Spice Blends; Condiments; and Desserts

Tomato Sauce, page 71.

This may well be the best tomato sauce I've ever had. The roasted cherry tomatoes remind me of Batali's tomato raisins, and I can eat them like candy. The peanuts and the ginger take this tomato sauce to a higher level; just delicious! I used habaneros, as I've never even seen a scotch bonnet around here, and they're supposed to have a similar heat index. Nice punch, not overwhelming. blue room's sauce looks smoother than mine, mine was quite chunky. I served the sauce with Chicken Mofongo, and it was almost more like a side dish than a sauce, but it added moisture and flavor to the chicken dish. I'm seeking an opportunity to use it again!

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month, "The Soul of a New Cuisine", reporting thread for: Spice Blends; Condiments; and Desserts

That's my favorite way to use it, dip bread in olive oil, dip in dukkah (so many different spellings!). I've been making Claudia Roden's recipe for at least a decade (or maybe two!). I'm eager to try Samuelsson's, unfortunately (well, not totally) I made a big jar of it before this book became COTM. Have to use that up first!

Nov 13, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month: "The Soul of a New Cuisine" by Marcus Samuelsson

Thanks dkennedy, so glad it's helpful to you!

Nov 12, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

Just looking at EYB for the nyt cookbook, there are 61 recipes identified as Christmas or Hanukkah recipes, plus a lot of recipes for baking, pickles, and preserves, nice for gifting.

Toasting Nuts? The Microwave is Your Best Friend

blue room mentioned toasting nuts in the microwave, in a COTM thread here on CH, about three years ago. I've been doing it ever since, and I've never looked back. Easy as can be. I'm cautious though; I do it in 15 second increments, especially for small ones like pine nuts.

November 2014 Cookbook of the Month: "The Soul of a New Cuisine" by Marcus Samuelsson

I say certainly! We all make changes now and then. As long as it's pretty much the same dish, just say what you did differently. Welcome to COTM!

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

I'd love to do this, maybe even a Wolfert month, in a future month. I love her food, and her courage in going public with her Alzheimer's.

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month December 2014

I've found there are some times it's easier to type in the word, some times it's easier (or more fruitful) to use the filters. One of my favorite things about the filters is that you can use them to eliminate ingredients also. Say you want to make an Asian main dish with chicken that doesn't include rice, you can type chicken, select Asian in ethnicities, select main dish in courses, then select rice in ingredients, then click on the plus sign next to rice (or pork, or whatever you want to exclude) and turn it to a minus sign. Voila! Asian main course chicken dishes without rice.

Nov 11, 2014
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking