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October 2102 COTM: 660 Curries -- Legume Curries, Vegetable Curries

I don't know that I've ever seen them in a grocery store - I picked mine from the garden. He does say not to use tomatillos.

You might have some luck at a farmers market this late in the season.

Oct 06, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

October 2102 COTM: 660 Curries -- Legume Curries, Vegetable Curries

We made Sesame-Flavored Green Tomatoes (pg 623) along with the Curried Beef Stew (pg 172.) The latter is review on the appropriate thread. Both were scrumptious!

I chose this recipe because of the many green tomatoes in my garden. Poor little things are never going to make it through the frost we are expecting this weekend. Now I am glad that frost prompted me to find a way to use them!

This was really nothing like I expected. The green tomatoes are sautéed with peanuts, sesame seeds and spices, then cooked in water until the sauce thickens a bit and the tomatoes are cooked. They retain some firmness but the tartness I expected the to have was really mellowed. My husband, aka The Old Man, doesn't actually like tomatoes, but liked this dish. I'm not sure he even knew what it was at first!

I would certainly make this again, provided I could find green tomatoes. I think it could be used in a non-Indian meal as a side dish.

Oct 05, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Beef, Lamb, and Pork Curries; Fish and Seafood Curries; Paneer Curries

Having been out of town, I am a little late to the party, but we started off with two dishes tonight, Curried Beef Stew and Sesame-Flavored Green Tomatoes. The latter I will review on the appropriate thread. I chose them because I there were no unusual ingredients and I didn't have to pre-make any pastes or spice blends. Both dishes were delicious.

The beef stew (pg 172) seemed like a pretty typical curry and I was worried that we wouldn't be too excited by it. It turned out to be quite unique because of the addition of the malt vinegar. I don't even know how to describe it, but I was mopping up every bit of the 'broth' with the naan I picked up at the grocery.

This probably isn't a weeknight dish because of the hour-plus simmer time, but it was still pretty easy to put together. The Old Man doesn't like cinnamon, but its presence in this dish was very subtle, I think because it was sticks. It had a tangy spiciness that we really enjoyed.

Oct 05, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #2 - Will you join me? [old]

Not only am I buying....I think I might have to move to the Pacific Northwest!

Oct 02, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #2 - Will you join me? [old]

**Blushing a little.** Thanks all for the positive feedback on the posts. I am really having some fun with this project, even if the Chiefs are trying to ruin it for me!!

Below are a few of the menus I've flagged. I'm going to try a few of them in the coming weeks (a business trip tomorrow is the only reason I'm not at the grocery store right now!) I'm also really excited, because this book could be a life-saver when the in-laws visit in December.

Southern- Style Breakfast: We're having "Sippin' Whiskey" from this menu tonight - Whiskey with a little orange marmalade, orange slices, bitters, and mint. We are having "breakfast for dinner" but not her suggestions. Not tonight anyway. But the menu from the book sounds delish - Glazed Bacon with Walnuts, Grits with Red-Pepper Butter, and Shortening Bread, along with sliced kiwi and strawberries.

Special Occasion Dinner: Celery Hearts with St Andre Cheese, Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Madeira and Spiced Cherries, Bibb Lettuce with Golden Cream Dressing.

Light and Easy Supper: Lime Rickeys (cocktail), Lemon Roasted Breast of Chicken, Gingered Rice, and Bibb Lettuce Chiffonade. Serve with fresh peaches in heavy cream.

Southern-Style Chicken Dinner: Mississippi Chicken Strips, Green Bean Succotash, Hoppin' John with tomato salad and Hot Sourmash Whiskey Sundaes for dessert. (Yes, I flagged anything involving whiskey!!)

Old-Fashioned Sunday Dinner: Pork Chops with Apples and Bourbon, Broiled Sweet Potatoes, Sugared Onion Slices with Walnuts and a Watercress and Orange Salad.

Veal Scallops with a Special Touch: Veal Scallops with Port and Green Peppercorn Sauce, Broiled Baby Zucchini with Rosemary, Julienned Carrots with Lemon Zest. For dessert, Coffee Ice Cream with Maple-Rum Cream Sauce.

Dressing Up a Casual Classic: Veal Dumplings with Capellini and Fresh Tomato Sauce, Arugula and Romaine Salad, Italian Bread, and Fresh Strawberry and Ricotta Barquettes (a pastry.)

A Tex-Mex Meal: Margaritas, Tostados con Queso, Rice with Shrimp, Avocado Salad with Lime Dressing followed by fresh pineapple and kiwi slices

Festive Caribbean Dinner: Pork with Garlic, Green Chiles, and Lime, Black Beans with Fresh Cilantro and Tomatoes, and Saffron Rice.

Informal Japanese Menu: Shiitake Mushroom Broth, Skillet Grilled Pork with Dipping Sauce, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, Vinagered Cucumbers with Sesame Seeds.

Okay, I have to stop myself before I just type out the entire contents. As I mentioned, few unusual ingredients and designed to be quick - she specifically says that many of the menus can be completed in less than an hour. If you have a sous chef - I am lucky that The Old Man is a willing peeler and chopper - some of them probably go pretty fast.

The ones I flagged are more suitable for fall, but there are plenty for spring and summer as well.

Sep 30, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #2 - Will you join me? [old]

Time for the weekly football, beer, cookbook update!

This week's beer was SunRyes Ale from Weston Brewing Company. Weston is a really cool historic town about an hour north of Kansas City. They have both a winery and a brewery, so how could you not like it? The beer was tasty - a rye beer in early fall hits the spot.

The game - abysmal. I can't even talk about it.

The cookbook - GOOD FOOD FAST by Anne Walsh with help from the editors of Food & Wine magazine. I have no idea who Anne Walsh is - Google was no help. As far I can tell, she's only written this one cookbook, which has a 1985 edition and a 1991 update. I have the 1985 version, which I think was handed down from my grandmother's collection.

Given the publish date of the book, I figured it was likely to end up in the donate pile. Shows what I know - I guess good food is good food even 25+ years later. I couldn't find anything in this book that I wouldn't make! There are so many pages flagged I don't know where I'll start, but I am sure that this book, which heretofore was unused by yours truly, will alternate with the COTM selection for a while.

The premise is tasty food with reasonable effort. I think the format is fantastic. The entire book is menu based. Each two page spread has a complete menu, with starters, a main dish, one or two sides, and a dessert. She does not provide recipes for every item - some are things you would pick up ready made at the store, like bread, cheese or fresh fruit. Every menu also comes with a beverage suggestion, including some really fun cocktails. A number of recipes use alcohol as a component, so teetotalers beware!

Walsh does a great job balancing convenience items, liked canned beans and frozen fruits and vegetables, with seasonal produce and good proteins. There are very few ingredients that I would not be able to find between the best of the local grocery stores and the meat market we have nearby. When the menu is seasonal, that is called out in the title or description. With each menu, she provides a 'game plan' - geez, the Chiefs could probably use her! They had no game plan today, unless it was dropping the ball. The game plan gives you preparation steps to minimize your effort and get dinner on the table quickly.

I can absolutely see myself using this cookbook an a weekday and having a great dinner. Many of the recipes serve 2-4 people, which I really like - just enough for dinner and leftovers for lunch. There is also a lot of variety - everything from homestyle comfort food to upscale dishes featuring lamb and veal to a decent variety of ethnic inspired meals. Plenty to keep your tastebuds from getting bored!

This cookbook has gone from gathering dust on a shelf to having a place of honor in the kitchen. Thanks Breadcrumbs for starting this project to get us all perusing our many cookbooks!

Sep 30, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Vegetables, The Calabrian Pantry, Desserts

Made this one tonight, along with one of the swordfish recipes. Loved, loved, loved it. Of course, I'm a sucker for anything with that much cheese! My zucchini didn't do well this summer - too hot, I think. But I got some great ingredients from the market.

I don't think I'll fry the zucchini next time - they weren't oily, but I'd still like to try it baked. I did make the tomato sauce from the book as well. I put just a little bit of dried red pepper flakes that gave it a nice kick. This was fresh and delicious.

I thought this might be my last recipe from the book, but the old man is OBSESSED with her Sagne Chine - Calabrian style Lasagne - so that might make the dinner menu for tomorrow. Santa better put this book in my stocking, because there are so many recipes I still want to try...

Sep 29, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Bread, Cheese, Eggs, Seafood, Meat

Pesce Spada alla Bagnarese - Swordfish in a Garlicky Broth, Bagnara Style.

Another simple, tasty dish! I'll be sad for September to close and this book to go back on the shelf, even though I am very excited about the October selection.

I got fresh swordfish - expensive! But the old man loves it, so I guess its worth it. This was a fun dish to make. I cut the fish horizontally to get the thickness she recommends. The fish is placed in a baking dish coated with a smidge of olive oil, after being salted and peppered. You sprinkle garlic, capers, parsley, lemon juice, and a little water over the fish. Then you set the baking dish down into a large pot or roasting pan - I used my dutch oven. Put on high heat, and pour boiling water around the baking dish. It cooks for about 8 minutes - I left mine on just a bit longer, because the hubby is weird about fish possibly being undercooked.

Even with the few extra minutes, I was really pleased with this. We've tried swordfish before and it seems to overcook pretty easily. The sauce was garlicky, but light and very good. We served with the zucchini parmesan recipe, which I'll review on the appropriate thread. I would certainly make this again, and I'm likely to try this method with other fish and variations on the sauce.

Sep 29, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month for October 2012 : 660 Curries

Thanks to both of you for the tips - you've described what I have. It smells very good (assuming you like the smell of curry!) and I am glad to know that it is edible.

Sep 24, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month for October 2012 : 660 Curries

I have a curry plant but I am not sure it is culinary. Small, needle like leaves on long stems that eventually develop a yellow flower. Is that the right kind?

Sep 24, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #2 - Will you join me? [old]

Deal. Breadcrumbs will have to bring the wine.

Sep 23, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #2 - Will you join me? [old]

Glad you enjoyed the post - I am enjoying this thread. I assume you'll be bringing some homemade bread for our soup night?

Sep 23, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

“A Cookbook a Week” Challenge (CAWC) – Thread #2 - Will you join me? [old]

When I joined this group last week, I decided I'd combine it with two of my favorite Sunday activities: drinking beer and watching football. Last week's cookbook was a bust, as was the Chiefs game.

This week, the beer was Leinenkugel's new Lemon Berry Shandy. It is a bit of a warm day, so a nice light beer was perfect. I didn't get a chance to turn on the game until 4th quarter and was pleasantly surprised to find the Chiefs mounting a comeback against the New Orleans Saints.

I asked my daughter to run upstairs and grab a random cookbook for me. She returned with PRIME TIME EMERIL. Fantastic! Get it - New Orleans....Emeril....

I was prepared not to like this book, which my mom had passed on to me a few years ago. I'm not sure why she had it, because I can't imagine her ever cooking from it. I love Cajun/Creole food, but I'm not a big fan of Emeril. He's kind of overexposed and the whole 'Bam!' thing is a bit much.

The first glance reinforced the idea that this one was headed to the donation pile. Some of the recipes are pretty fussy and I can't imagine ever cooking them, even if they are delicious. 'Pan Seared Squab with a Dried Cherry Reduction' sounds wonderful, but it makes me tired just thinking about it. And I distrust recipes with long names, so 'Chilled Roast Beet and Fennel Soup with Apple-Mind Crema and Toasted Pistachios' and 'Tempura Stone Crab Claws with Lemon-Black Pepper Tartar Sauce' set off warning bells.

But the Chiefs went to overtime, so the book got a little extra attention and I am glad it did. Tucked in between the fancy recipes are the Creole and Southern staples - Mardi Gras Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, and Stewed Black Beans. And there are some interesting recipes like Tuna of Love, Kicked Up Fried Calamari with Creole Olive Salad, and Hilda's Stewed Chicken.

So Emeril stays...Bam! I may even try a recipe or two in the next few weeks. Butternut Squash, Sausage and Wild Rice Soup anyone?

Oh yeah...the Chiefs won in overtime!

Sep 23, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month for October 2012 : 660 Curries

How awesome that the author of the October COTM is on chow hound and came by our thread! I have been wanting to buy the book for years, so I am so glad it was selected. My husband and I love Indian food and we've cooked a fair bit of it over the last few years, but we are excited to try some new recipes. I'm especially looking forward to making paneer.

I do have a question...my husband isn't a big fan of garam masala, although we have admittedly only used store blends. The cinnamon bugs him. Any suggestions or feedback? Perhaps the blends in the book won't be as cinnamony, but I admit being tempted to sub in ras el hanout as I've done in the past.

Or should I just tell him to get over it??? ;-)

Thanks again for commenting - thrilled!!

Sep 22, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month for October 2012 : 660 Curries

Great! I picked the book up from the library tonight and I expect it will be in my Amazon cart before the end of October.

Sep 20, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Vegetables, The Calabrian Pantry, Desserts

Simple ingredients - big taste. Great summation. I just reported something similar on the pasta discussion for something I made tonight. We've loved everything we've made so far and I can't believe how they are all from just a few simple ingredients.

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Tonight I made "Maccheroni Larghi con Sugo di Costate di Maiale" - wide noodles with pork ribs and tomato.

This is probably the recipe I've most looked forward to. There is a local restaurant here that makes a tomato sauce with braised short ribs that is out of this world. The version from My Calabria was different - pork ribs, and they were removed and served on the side - but it was outstanding. The sauce was lick your plate good. Honestly, I had some doubts during the process. It didn't smell that great at first, and the sauce was pretty thin. The sauce was just a little olive oil, salt, fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and the ribs. It's amazing to me that such simple, basic ingredients can come together like this sauce did.

I did make my own pasta - meh. It wasn't as hard as I thought, but the noodles were a little slippery, then got gummy after draining. They tasted okay, but they didn't add much to the meal. I'll have to do a little research before I try again to see if I can improve my technique.

Finally....dessert. Not from the book, but I thought I'd share anyway. I made brownies from Small Batch Baking and served them with Talente pistachio gelato. I love desserts from this book, because you make just enough for a few people.

Uploading pics...no appearance from kitty tonight. Sorry, they are a bit blurry.

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Your ravioli look perfect. I'm impressed!

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

Ah, the little box of recipes. I have my grandmother's. I don't know that I'd make too many of those recipes, but I sure love having this to remind me of her.

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

I decided that this "challenge" would make for a nice Sunday afternoon. Pull a cookbook from the shelf, turn on the Chiefs game, and pour myself a beer. Spoiler alert: only one of the three did not disappoint.

The Beer: Let's start with the highlight. I'm a born and raised Kansas City girl. There are a lot of great things about this city. One is the beer. We have a local brewery called Boulevard. It's named for the street on which it is located and there is almost always some in our fridge. Today, I enjoyed a Tank 7. Lovely. If you can get this beer wherever you live...do it!

The Game: Chiefs vs Bills. Shortly before half-time, we're down 21 to zip. Ugh. Not looking good, folks.

The Book: "Gourmet By the Bay" - I picked this up at a garage sale a few years ago. In retrospect - I have no idea why. Apparently, I have little discretion in these matters. This is one of those books put together to raise money for a good cause, which I applaud. It was published in 1989 and the recipes feel more dated than that. I assume they were contributed from various members of the group selling the book. I don't think I've ever cooked from this book.

The recipes rely too heavily on convenience items. I'm not completely opposed to using a boxed cake mix as the base for a dessert, but I don't need a book full of this. And - canned asparagus? Really? I just can't. There is very little use of fresh herbs or vegetables and too much use of mayonnaise. Now, I've been cooking from My Calabria lately, so Gourmet By the Bay had a lot to live up to. I found myself trying too hard to flag recipes that I might try and realized I wasn't excited or intrigued by any of them.

Week 1, done. Neither the book nor the game are making it past half-time. The book is going on the donate pile, the TV is going on mute (have to keep it on....just in case.) Time to pour another beer and start thinking about my COTM selection for today. Mmmmmmmm...

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

The “A Cookbook a Week” Challenge….Will you join me? [old]

I'm in. And I am so glad to know that I am not the only one with this terrible affliction! I can't seem to help myself when it comes to cookbooks - really, to any books! I'm sure I will find some 'duds' to donate, but I have a feeling the reviews from the rest of you will actually compel me to buy those books. This could be a little counterproductive, but oh well! Guess my Christmas wish list will be easy...

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Thank you so much! It was a lovely dish and a lovely evening...

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Looks wonderful - great photos!

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Yep, Kitty graced us with her presence. I think she hoping for a little pancetta to find its way to her.

Sep 16, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

chard recipes

I've made soup with chorizo, chard and white beans before. Wonderful! Here is a similar recipe. This would be loverly for fall.

http://oneishungry.com/2011/12/27/sou...

Sep 15, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

oatmeal in smoothies

I like to add a little quick cooking oats to a fruit smoothie. I don't think you can really taste them, but they give the smoothie some body and it helps to keep me full until lunch (we like to have our smoothies for breakfast.)

Sep 15, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

Voting Thread October 2012 for Cookbook of the Month

I vote for 660 CURRIES.

Sep 15, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Sounds wonderful! I wish we were neighbors - I'd bring the wine!

Sep 15, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

September 2012 COTM My Calabria: Antipasti, Pasta, Soup, Rice, Polenta

Tonight's dinner was Pasta e Patate "Santo Janni" - Spaghetti with a Creamy Potato and Pancetta Sauce.

This is my second recipe from the book and it was as easy and tasty as the first. The potato made a really interesting sauce. My husband called it mild; I prefer subtle. I guess we liked it, because two people devoured the four serving meal. We couldn't find the suggested wine, but got a very nice syrah and ate outside with some nice Rat Pack tunes to set the mood.

A little salt really enhanced the meal. I also could not find ricotta salata - apparently there is a recall? But the "cheese guy" at Whole Foods recommended a Greek farmer's cheese that was a nice substitute. I think any semi-soft, mild cheese would be fine.

The pictures show the ingredients, a little "fuel" for the chef, and the finished product.

Sep 15, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking

October 2012 Nomination Thread for Cookbook of the Month

That would be perfect for October!

Sep 10, 2012
bkieras in Home Cooking