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September 2014 COTM 'Avec Eric' Chapters 10-12 (Craftsmanship, Tradition, Cayman Cookout) Reporting Thread

That does it - I'm going to have to make room on the bookshelf somehow and order this book.

Sep 06, 2014
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August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry: Pure Simple Cooking

Yes, that balsamic (I had white balsamic on hand) really adds a nice touch.

Aug 07, 2014
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August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry: Pure Simple Cooking

:-) 'ludicrously easy' is a very apt description!

Aug 07, 2014
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August 2014 COTM - Diana Henry: Pure Simple Cooking

Chicken baked with red onions, potatoes and rosemary p. 15
This was a very quick and easy meal made with chicken thighs. The oven is preheated to 400. Two red onions are cut into 10 wedges each and spread on the bottom of a roasting pan along with 1 1/4 lbs of new potatoes, unpeeled, and 2 bulbs of garlic unpeeled but separated into cloves. The vegetables are seasoned with S & p, olive oil (1/2 c is called for, I used less) and 2 T balsamic vinegar. 5 sprigs of rosemary are added (some stripped and some whole, use your judgment) and everything is mixed together by hand and topped with a 4lb chicken cut into 8 pieces or 8 chicken thighs. I cut the amount of chicken in half to no ill effect.
The whole thing is baked for 45 minutes or until baked through.
This is not really a new or exotic recipe - though the use of balsamic was new for me. I think I might chop the rosemary more finely if serving to company. Overall this was fast, easy, inexpensive and satisfying.

Aug 03, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

What a visually stunning dish. This goes on my list of things to try before the month is out.

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

Puff pastry from scratch - that is truly remarkable.

Jul 26, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

So glad it came out so well! I will have to try those roasted peppers next time around.

Jul 26, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

Oops - I feel a little sheepish but I did not report on this at the time I made it - figuring the mistake was user error. I thought I would give it one more try - but then forgot about it till this COTM. One thing I've noticed over the years is that enameled cast iron will 'overcook' a recipe that was tested using a lighter pan material.
Now that I'm getting more confident in my cooking, I'm not so reticent to report a failure though... :-)

Jul 22, 2014
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February 2010 COTM: Louisiana Kitchen PORK, BEEF, VEAL & LAMB

Cajun Meatloaf and Very Hot Cajun sauce
Just got this book recently - I know I'm posting to a very old thread :-).
I made this for company for lunch today (it's been cool around here) and I thought it was very good. A few things I might tweak next time around: I'd use less than a Tablespoon of salt (maybe half that amount) and I'd pull it out of the oven sooner - mine was a bit overcooked at the edges. This was likely due to my using a pyrex baking pan and not adjusting the timing accordingly. I did not make the sauce as the meatloaf was spicy enough as is! Looking forward to a sandwich tomorrow...

Jul 22, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

You know, I made this chicken confit about a year ago and had the exact same result - kind of tough. I blamed this at the time on my gas oven (which is dryer than an electric). I have never tasted actual confit - so was not sure what the result was supposed to taste like anyway. My notes in the book are to cook at a lower temp next time - and not in enameled cast iron.

Jul 22, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

The only thing would be that by not having chicken skin, you will further decrease the moisture in the dish. The peppadews, sundried tomatoes and soy chorizo are all intensely flavored and somewhat salty so you will need to supplement with some extra liquid somewhere to dilute the intensity. Otherwise, I'm afraid your version might end up more over-salted than mine was - but this is just a guess on my part. I know I'm going to consider adding fresh tomatoes, (peppers as per Goblin upthread) and/or an additional splash of water next time around. Also, you may want to consider reducing the peppadews somewhat if your daughter is sensitive to spice - if the ones you have are spicy.

Jul 20, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

Oops sorry! I did not see your earlier post.
I did not get very much in the way of pan juices for some reason - perhaps the use of the soy chorizo?
But I'm glad to hear that you successfully subbed roasted red peppers for the peppadews - sounds even better :)

Jul 18, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

I used dried tomatoes imported from Italy - they are not completely dry - come in cellophane and have the feel of a moist prune. But I definitely would choose bottled ones for this in the future. They lend a lot of intensity - I was thinking to reduce their amount next time around and supplement with a chopped fresh Roma tomato or two - but that's just a thought. My peppadews were also fairly seedy and I didn't particularly enjoy biting into the stems so is remove those next time . Makes the recipe a bit less 'radically simple' though :)
Love to hear what you end up doing if you decide to make this.

Jul 18, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

I thought it was a great way to use TJ soy chorizo ( I think I first learned about this products from one of your posts :) )
As I said, my results were a bit over-salted and I also had minor textural issues with the sundried tomatoes not softening enough - and the skin and seeds of both the dried tomato and the peppadews were a tad tough in some mouthfuls. But the overall flavor was very tasty and I think I could remedy some of those issues next time.

Jul 18, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Poultry, Meat

Chicken with [vegan, Trader Joe's] chorizo, peppadews & [cheap, regular] Fino Sherry. P. 195
I made this with a few changes according to what I had on hand. I dislike chorizo but really enjoy the vegan Trader Joe's version - which is very different from the original. Since I don't eat regular Chorizo, I'm not sure how much that would affect the final results - just a head's up.
2 large garlic cloves are pressed and and rubbed into the chicken thighs. Grated zest from one lemon, 5 oz chorizo (half a casing's worth of TJ - in my case) sliced a 1/4 inch thick, 2 oz. sun-dried tomato halves, 12 small peppadew peppers,2 T drained capers, 2 T brown sugar, and 2 t. salt are placed on and around chicken in a paella pan in one layer and tosses. It is topped with the remains of the lemon - segmented and pith removed.
Bake @ 350 for 50 minutes and then brown chicken under broiler for 5 min. to brown. The Paella pan is put on the stove top in order to bring the juices to a boil; 1/4 c. Fino Sherry, 1/2 t. ground cumin and 1 crushed garlic clove are added. The mixture is boiled for five min. and the sauce is poured over the chicken which is then garnished with 1/2 cup torn basil.
I checked my chicken half-way thru cooking time and the pan was a bit dry so I ended up adding a tablespoon of water. The recipe has you add the sun-dried tomatoes and the peppers whole but I cut them up and would do so again. I also chopped the lemon flesh into fairly small pieces, and would do so again. The end result was a bit too salty (probably the capers and peppadews) so next time, I will omit the added salt.
The lack of moisture resulted in the sun dried tomatoes not being 'hydrated' enough by the end of the cooking time; next time I will soak them first.
The chicken was juicy and flavorful and I loved the intensely flavored , spicy sauce, which was great over white rice.
I would definitely make this again.

Jul 18, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

CAPELLINI WITH CHILI PASTE AND CRISPY EGG, P114.
I really liked this and can see myself making this when I'm too tired to do more than boil up a pot of noodles.
I used sriracha and cut down on the butter and cheese just a bit. This would be good anytime but was a great excuse to have pasta for breakfast.

July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

BAKED ZITI WITH FONTINA & SALAMI P. 120

This was a bit rich for me. I love salami - but don't tend to like it cooked for some reason. I would prefer black forest ham.

Jul 14, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

I had never had nor seen fish prepared in this manner until I happened to see it on her show one day so have never seen any other technique - though I have heard of the heart shape method since then. That shape makes a lot of sense both in terms of fitting around the piece of fish and the folding technique. One of these days I will have to learn to fold like the pros, because I think it would make the presentation even nicer.
I have never had these smoke or catch fire - but they are only in the oven ten minutes or less.
For me, "en papillote" is great for cooking quickly and healthily - and I just adore Nixon's recipe. Will have to expand my repertoire and try the Flounder with Miso Mayo, which sounds delicious. But the last time I bought white miso I thought the taste was strange and gave up trying to cook with it. Is there a particular brand you recommend?

Jul 13, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

Ha! I know what you mean. I once had a terrifying incident with flaming cognac that diminished my confidence for quite a while. Good luck with the fish :).

Jul 13, 2014
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July 2014 COTM: Radically Simple - Pasta, Fish

Hi LLM,
Just saw your post today as I'm getting ready to dip into this book again. I learned how to do fish this way from a Kelsey Nixon recipe ( I believe there is a video posted as well) - on the Cooking Channel (a sister of Food Network). It is a Salmon/ginger papillote recipe and one of my favorites. The technique is really easy and removes the 'intimidation' factor.

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

This one goes on my list of all-time-favorites! It was just delicious.

Jul 13, 2014
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April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

KAI KAPKRAO KHAI DAO (STIR FRIED (PORK) WITH HOT BASIL, PG. 189

Finally made this with all the ingredients called for - and I thought this was just sublime. Others have gone into detail about the prep so I only have a few things to add. My Thai chilies were very hot - so went with just one (fresh) and that was more than enough for me. I used the full amount of fried dry Thai chilies. The holy basil adds a special taste that is delicious but difficult to describe - with notes that seemed a bit minty and also a bit tangy ( at least to me).
I almost made this without the egg, but am glad I didn't as the runny yolk took this over the top.
As a side note, I tasted the Dragonfly black soy sauce and it had a distinctly molasses-like taste. I read somewhere that you can sub equal parts of blackstrap molasses (or palm sugar) and black soy sauce to mimic the flavor of the Thai black soy - and IMHO think that would work very well - having now tasted it.
This was actually very fast to put together.

Jul 12, 2014
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April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

I ended up calling the distributor for dragonfly products because they are located close to where I live. I had previously purchased the dragonfly thin soy sauce, which is NOT the one needed for this recipe. They were nice enough to tell me who carries the extremely elusive, Thai black soy sauce (with the orange cap) in my area. While I had the very nice sales rep on the phone, I asked him how to open the bottle. He said you are just supposed to take a knife, cut of the 'nipple' and that is it. Thanks, Stockholm, I think the cork idea is a good alternative if I cannot find my empty olive oil dispenser. After all this, I sure hope I like the dish!
I tasted the dragonfly thin soy sauce and it is significantly different in flavor than other soy sauces I have in my cupboard; so now I can see why it might make a difference in an authentic dish. Am going to get the black sauce tomorrow and will be very curious to taste it as well.

Jul 10, 2014
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April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: The One Plate Meal pg. 182-239, Foreign Foods pg. 240-251

Yes, this was a bit of a pain! I put a hole in the top, but I do not really like the idea of it remaining uncovered like this. I have an olive oil dispenser somewhere...will probably transfer the contents to that.

Jul 10, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

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

Thank you so much!

Jul 10, 2014
Blythe spirit in Home Cooking

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

I am finally going to make the Pok Pok version of stir fried chicken with hot basil. I had wanted to wait until I had most of the authentic ingredients, including the dragonfly soy sauce - which I now have NO idea how to open! Am I supposed to just poke a hole in the top? I feel like I just failed an IQ test and apologize in advance for bothering people with this. I thought I saw someone else post about this at some point but cannot remember who or where to find it. Any help would be appreciated :-)

Jul 09, 2014
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Cookbook of the Month March 2013 EVERY GRAIN OF RICE: Cold dishes, Tofu, Meat, Chicken and Eggs, Fish and Seafood

SALT AND PEPPER SQUID, P 144.
This was my first time deep frying squid. Had been given a gift of frozen, pre- cleaned squid tubes and tentacles. The procedure is covered very well above - the only changes I made were to reduce the salt in the salt and Sichuan pepper mixture so that the ration was half and half, and also to use corn starch. The flavors were delicious. The squid was a touch rubbery but I am sure this is due either to user error or the fact that it was frozen... I will definitely try this again. I think I will try potato flour next time. Perhaps I did not dry the squid thoroughly enough before coating in the corn starch - but it did not seem to adhere well.

Jun 28, 2014
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Cookbook of the Month March 2013 EVERY GRAIN OF RICE: Cold dishes, Tofu, Meat, Chicken and Eggs, Fish and Seafood

COLD CHICKEN WITH GINGER AND SPRING ONION PAGE 50.
This is a delightful warm weather dish, and also happens to be a favorite of one of my friends. You poach the chicken ahead of time in simmering water to which you have added a few slices of bruised ginger and the white part of a scallion. I used baby leeks because I bought them on impulse at the FM and needed to use them up. After 30 minutes of simmering in this flavored water, I removed the chicken to allow it to cool. The chicken was perfectly cooked. For a more formal occasion, I would have followed the suggestion to use a boneless thigh and simply cook if for a shorter period of time. However, my guest loves Chinese food and even eats this dish on the bone at the restaurant where it is cut (still on the bone) into serving pieces with a cleaver. So I left it whole and even left the skin on, which I would not normally do.
The accompanying sauce is very simple and tasty. 2 T of chopped ginger and 2 spring onions minced finely are combined in small heat proof dish. Heat 3.5 T cooking oil ( I used peanut) over a high flame until one test drop of the oil poured onto the ginger and scallion creates an audible 'sizzle'. When you are certain the oil is hot enough, the whole amount is poured onto the ginger and scallions. Then add 3 t light or tamari soy sauce diluted with 1 T water to the mix. The sauce is my favorite part of this dish. This is a great do-ahead dish and also good for warm weather. It can be simply a starter, or the main dish, depending on the amount of chicken used. I will definitely use this method to poach chicken again.

Jun 25, 2014
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April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Chile Dips pg. 172-181, Sweets pg. 252-266, Sundry Items pg. 267-287

Ajaat (cucumber relish) P. 283
This is a very simple relish made with sliced cucumber, shallots, Thai chilies, cilantro and equal parts (6 T each of white vinegar and sugar plus 1/2 c. H2O). I left out the chilies since I was serving this with a spicy chicken/basil dish and wanted the relish as a respite from the spice.
I also cut back on the sugar and did 6 T vinegar to 3 T sugar and that was sweet enough for me.
I added some carrot curls for color.
I made the spicy chicken basil recipe (pork variation) from It Rains Fishes and the relish was a delicious addition to the meal. I am going to make the Pok Pok version of the same recipe tomorrow (while the holy basil still holds out - it's an enormous bunch) so I can do a comparison of the two recipes.

Jun 23, 2014
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Nominations Thread: Cookbook of the Month July 2014

Yes I think that's the one! remember lots of raves about it. Thank you :-)

Jun 22, 2014
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