L.Nightshade's Profile

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March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

dkennedy, Allegra, milgwimper, and hannaone, thank you one and all! And, of course, your suggestions are not off-putting at all. In fact I'm inspired to make something Korean this month! I hope everyone will have patience with my substitutions, I will try to keep them minimal.
I am not really on Paleo, but my guidelines have similarities. I can in fact eat a sweet potato, but buckwheat is a no-go.
The mention of asian pear made me remember a dish I made when I was doing something similar a while ago, basically no grains, no sugar. I made my friend's recipe for bibim bahp using grated cauliflower for rice, and, per her instructions, sweetening the bulgogi with grated apple in the marinade.

about 14 hours ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
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March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

I know we're wildly off-topic here, but I really like your suggestion of using those sources for breakfast ideas. I'm getting so darn tired of eggs, in all their forms! I so want to be the girl in a cafe with a café au lait and a croissant!

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

Szechuan Chicken and Cucumber Salad, page 37.

Yikes! Hot, hot, hot! This is the first recipe from the book that I didn't feel needed the spicing amped up a bit. The dressing calls for 2 tablespoons of chile flakes, thankfully, Mr. NS stopped me from adding the second tablespoon. The recipe does call for mild chile flakes, which I don't have, and this batch was pretty darn hot. It's fun to pour the chile flakes and Szechuan pepper into the hot oil; they sizzle and release a wonderful, sneezy aroma. As usual, I substituted coconut aminos for the soy sauce, and omitted the sugar. The aminos are a bit sweet on their own. I also didn't halve and deseed the cucumber, as I used an essentially seedless English variety. I put a few stray baby greens under the salad to fill it out, as this served as our dinner.

What a lovely dish! A great combination of flavors, with the cilantro, lemon, chiles, and Szechuan pepper all maintaining their distinct characteristics, and enhancing each other at the same time. While it was hot, it was not painfully so, but I'll probably cut back the chile flakes a bit more when I make it again. And I will make it again. Such an easy dish, and a perfect use for leftover roasted chicken.

March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

Three days! I'm actually surprised I haven't gone off yet, or only once, slightly, on a special occasion dinner. I have seen that it's similar or compatible with paleo eating. I've tried a couple of those recipes, and I probably chose wrong, but I'm happier doing my own thing or modifying cookbook recipes. I don't like the stuff that tries to imitate other foods, like spaghetti squash with bolognese sauce, yuk! So many dishes are already perfectly suitable, or only require slight modifications. I'm sure that as time passes, I'll learn which things I can add back in.

March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

When I was doing it I had to email someone at CBS, and she set up the new entry with the write-up and photo. I don't know if she is still the contact, but I'm emailing you her info, just in case.

Feb 28, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

Thank you for your kind words milgwimper; you are very observant!
I'm doing an anti-inflammatory elimination diet. It's been just over 50 days now. The diet excludes dairy, legumes (so no soy or peanuts), all grains (so no rice), sugar, and chemical additives. Thankfully, I haven't yet had to exclude nightshades, but some people do. There is a lot you can do within the confines, but recipes that are heavily rice- or soy-dependent just can't work.

Feb 28, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
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December 2014 & February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 9-12

Malaysian-Inspired Pork Stew with Traditional Garnishes, page 552.

I won't go into details, as this recipe is available online on quite a few sites such as this one:
http://foodnurd.com/2012/02/13/nyt-pr...

What I did differently was due to dietary restrictions: substituted coconut aminos for soy sauce, omitted the brown sugar, and substituted cashews for peanuts. I just dropped the herbs, nuts, and tabasco on each serving instead of mixing with the sugar as directed. I served the stew on mashed sweet potato.

Suffice it to say, this is a winner. "Wow" was heard repeatedly at the table, interspersed with miscellaneous gustatory murmurs. This dish hits all the notes, and has the kind of complexity that urges you to keep tasting more and more. Just lovely. And I do recommend the sweet potato as a base for serving; it was a great foil for the spices.

Whidbey Island Recommendations

Prima Bistro in Langley is quite nice. Just a short stroll from your lodging.
The Braeburn is pretty good for breakfast, even if the service can be slow when they are busy. Also just a stroll.

March 2015 COTM Announcement: Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen

I just received my copy (very cheap and used, in great condition, from Better World Books). Sad to say, there is hardly a thing I can eat, save a couple garnishes! This is not so much to woe and whine, just to explain why you probably won't see much of me next month. Good time for me to play with past COTMs and other neglected cookbooks!

Feb 26, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

Vietnamese Chicken with Chili and Lemongrass page 56.

With all the raves, I had to try this dish. I realized reading lilham's notes, that I didn't interpret the instructions in the same way. I finely chopped the lemongrass, then popped it in the wok along with the chopped garlic and chile pepper. Not a paste, just everything finely chopped. I upped the pepper a bit, using one red chile, a partial yellow chile, and a partial jalapeno. I had a ton of lemongrass. I kept chopping as long as it was soft and tender, and the six stalks made about a cup! I worried it would overwhelm, if not by taste, by texture. But it all worked out just fine.

While my dish was not very photogenic, it was certainly tasty. We could have stood to have a bit more peppers added, but that's a matter of taste, of course; I do enjoy a little heat. I served it with a wedge of lime, per prior comments. It was very good with or without the lime. An easy do-again dish.

Feb 23, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
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February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

Thanks for trying, but no legumes. Hopefully, it's temporary!

Feb 21, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

Gung Bao Chicken, page 60.

After pan toasting nuts, chicken breasts are cut into cubes and tossed with soy sauce and cornstarch. (As usual, with my current eating restrictions, a few substitutions were made. Cashews instead of peanuts, and coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, arrowroot instead of cornstarch.) Szechuan peppercorns and dried chiles (I used dried japones chiles) are tossed in hot oil (off the burner) until the oil changes color. Then the wok is reheated and the chicken is added. After frying the chicken for a few minutes, garlic, sliced ginger, scallions, and peanuts are added, and stir fried for a few more minutes.

Because this dish called for 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, substituting the coconut aminos hurt the flavor. It's fine in small amounts, but, well, it's not soy sauce. Obviously, that is no fault of the recipe! But makes it a bit hard for me to do a fair judgement. It was good. The aminos doesn't taste like soy sauce, and cashews don't have nearly as much flavor as peanuts would have. But the chicken was amazingly moist and tender, which isn't always the case with breast meat. The little bites of chile and ginger perked me right up. A bit leftover was even good the next day.

I liked the description of the author's memory of this dish. I've also been in a home in the hutong in Beijing, and I could just picture a steaming bowl of this dish being consumed with snow falling in the courtyard.

ASIAN DUMPLINGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (February 2015)

I've also read about the liquid being gelatin-ized, so it liquifies again when heated.

ASIAN DUMPLINGS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (February 2015)

I love all the different dumpling folding instructions in your book, Andrea. I've used a lot of them; they're such fun to play with.

Feb 18, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Thank you Goblin! So happy it was a success for you also. It's just so easy for a dish that is pretty special.

Feb 18, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

That does indeed sound perfect, especially the "by the fire" part.

Feb 16, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

Thanks blue room. Glad you got a grin out of the granita!

Feb 16, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

Thanks, girloftheworld! This was a fun meal to make, with only a few minor glitches!
(Not wedding china, just something I've been collecting for a long time.)

Feb 16, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

These all sound so interesting! I'm now on the waiting list for Polpo, the only one available from my library.

Feb 15, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

This was our first Valentine's day as a married couple, so I played in the kitchen. Here is the menu:
Aperitif cocktail: Pineau des Charentes, limoncello, meyer lemon juice, orange bitters, and sage leaf.
Coeur a la creme with herbs and capers.
Salmon rillettes in the goofy shape of a fish, just for fun. Granita of gherkins and gin.
Shrimps and remoulade.
Shigoku oysters with mignonette foam and salmon roe.
Alaska cocktail to accompany the oysters.
Tournedos Rossini: filet mignon on a bed of potatoes roasted with truffle butter, foie gras, fresh truffles, and a sauce of veal demi-glace and madeira.
Bittersweet chocolate and absinthe ice cream.
We had fun!

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

Wow! You did a beautiful job!

Feb 14, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

I clearly shouldn't type at night with an unlit keyboard. Should read:
...credit to Mighty Spice's author:

Feb 14, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
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February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 1 & 2

559
Vietnamese Star Anise and Lemongrass Chicken Claypot, page 61.

beetlebug gives the lowdown on prep above. I used a combination of red and green chiles, and used a few drops of coconut aminos instead of sugar. It's not a sugar substitute, but it has a slightly sweet taste. I did use the lime juice, and some homemade chicken stock.

We felt this was comforting, but a little bit boring. It would have been more appealing to us with a little more spicing, and the addition of something fresh at the finish, chopped scallions or cilantro would have worked. Still not eating grains, so served it over cauliflower "rice."

Interesting to note that the recipes with lime or lemon juice have completely removed the black patina inside my wok; it looks like shiny aluminum now (it's not, it's carbon steel.) I hope it comes back without the elbow grease the patina originally took.

February 2015 COTM "MIGHTY SPICE COOKBOOK" Reporting thread for Chapters 3 & 4

Black Pepper and Chile-Seared Tuna with a Carrot and Apple Salad, page 128.

Mr. NS made dinner tonight, while I was elbow deep in prep for tomorrow evening. He made a couple changes, subbed cashews for the peanuts, as I'm not eating peanuts, and didn't grind them, just tossed them in the salad. He also forgot to add the mint.

And it turned out just fine anyway! It was pretty quick going, even grating by hand; it would be a breeze if a food processor was used. The salad was bright and fresh, with a little bite (I suspect Mr. NS used a liberal hand with the chiles). The dressing, with fish sauce and lime juice, sparked up the tuna, even nicer with a bit of the dressing spooned over the fish.

The recipe is given here, with oddly minimal credit to Mighty Spice's auther"
http://www.redonline.co.uk/food/recip...

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

Such a harmonious union; good plan!

Feb 13, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
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What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

I'm going to be experimenting and playing around tomorrow. I know the main course will be Tournedos Rossini, and the first course will include oysters. Still thinking and plotting on the rest...

Feb 13, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

That has more appeal to me, thanks for the clarification!

Feb 13, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
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Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month, March 2015

This part of the thread started with a post about Italian-American comfort food. This Chianti book looks like it's Italian, Tuscan. Or do you think it's Italian-American?

Feb 13, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

What are you Cooking for Valentine's Day?

I'm refining my menu now, and thought it would be fun to share our menus, dishes, drinks, etc. Toss out ideas now, and report back with results (and photos if possible) after the event.

Feb 12, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

BELLINGHAM: Whole Foods Market plans to open Bellingham store in 2016 | Local News | The Bellingham Herald

Whole Foods is slated to open in Bellingham, summer of 2016.
The new Safeway is open now. Wonder how the Co-op (and the sliding-downhill, corporate Haggens) will fare with these new additions.