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Cooking from Mighty Spice (and Mighty Spice Express) Cookbook by John Gregory-Smith

Mexican Chicken with Yogurt and Almonds

I got Mighty Spice for Christmas and this was the second recipe I tried. Ohhhh so good. Really delicious and with a really different flavor. I'm so used to certain flavors in Mexican dishes (probably because most are more Tex-Mex) and this had a really different flavor profile. It took much less time than I expected as well, and I had dinner done way too early! I will definitely make it again, and maybe get some soup plates because it's just begging to be served like that. My jalapenos had virtually no heat, so it could have been spicier, but who would have guessed jalapenos could be that mild? I served this with the Mexican rice in Bayless' Salsas That Cook (another Christmas gift based on recommendations from Chowhounds!) and that was equally delicious and paired beautifully.

Dec 31, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

Pasta Peperonata - Jamie's Dinners

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pa...

Wanted something easy and reasonably healthy, and my husband loves peppers so I thought I'd try this. It was just okay really. I didn't add the optional creme fraiche or mascarpone and maybe that would have added something. I'm afraid mascarpone would make it even sweeter though. The peppers are obviously very sweet, and balsamic is sweet (though I only used a little balsamic along with red wine vinegar - my balsamic is 25 years and I was afraid it would be way too sweet). I had the leftovers for lunch today and liked it better as the sauce had soaked in more and the flavors were better incorporated. I guess it just seemed a bit one note to me.

Dec 21, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

Rib-Eye Stir Fry with Dan Dan Noodles - Jamie's Meals in Minutes (30 Minute Meals)

I had some rib eye in the freezer and all the Chinese ingredients so I thought I'd try this one out. I made the whole meal except for the hibiscus tea. It's 4 servings and I think it may be one of the easier recipes in the book. It took maybe 40 minutes but that was in part because my steaks were a lot thicker than he says to use and took a lot longer to cook. Could have easily made it in 30 if the steaks had been thinner. The recipe title is very misleading because at no point do you stir fry. You boil the vegetables and grill the steaks. You make up bowls for each person, so you're gradually adding ingredients right into the bowls. It allowed me to easily keep things separate for my kids. I am by no means an expert in Chinese cuisine, but this dish really had a flavor I associate with sichuan cuisine, unlike so many things labeled szechuan. It was also very very spicy for us. A little hotter and we wouldn't have been able to eat it. As it was it made my nose run and I had to run for more water a few times :) I think that was partly my fault using chili black bean paste instead of black bean paste. But it's what I had. In preparation it reminded us a lot of pho, but the flavor was obviously very different.

Dec 21, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

It is definitely for the weekend, if only for the large portions it all makes. When it comes to the times, I think something to keep in mind is how Jamie cooks and how he wants other people to cook - he's not measuring anything. He is just eyeballing things and chucking them in. I can't tell you how much time it saves me when I do things that way. On the show he'll often do things like look at a carrot, say "You don't need to peel that, there ain't nothing wrong with that" and shove it into the food processor. I can be overly perfectionist (and have a horrible habit of triple checking amounts listed in recipes) and I find his carefree approach refreshing.

Nov 04, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

One-pot potatoes in a red lentil sauce with lime juice

This is an interesting recipe. You cook some red lentils in a saucepan while simultaneously caramelizing some onions, ginger and cumin. I spent a lot longer than the 10 minutes the recipe suggests for the onions. Then you add powdered spices, cilantro and cubed potatoes to your onions, then a bit of water and cook the potatoes until tender. I used my immersion to blend the lentils into a smooth sauce. I was surprised how smooth they got. You add the lentil sauce to the potatoes, and before serving add the lime juice. I had a very juicy lime and didn't use all of it, but I think I could have, I didn't notice the lime very much. My husband really enjoyed this dish, and mentioned that several times. I thought it was just okay. You definitely want to serve it over rice as it's pretty saucy - we didn't because we're watching calories closely right now. That probably played a part in my feelings about the dish. I did add some peas to it - I thought it was a good addition.

Nov 04, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

Harried 'hounds: what's your get-dinner-on-the-table-FAST meal plan for this week?

Wow, an electric pressure cooker? That sounds ideal for me! I've never had any success with mine and now I'm too afraid to use it. But I love my electric rice cooker.

Oct 29, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

I like to serve dal, or masoor dal anyway, as a first course soup. I know it's not the Indian way, but it works for us! Then you don't have to worry so much about whether it goes together. I struggle with that too.

Oct 24, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

I think it would depend on the menu. I think there are some that are a little more intertwined than others. I think most you wouldn't have a problem though. Not all the menus have a dessert.

Oct 19, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

It wouldn't be a problem to skip the pudding. It takes seconds. Seconds that you could really use elsewhere if trying to do it in 30 minutes!

Oct 19, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

I did it once and agree about needing a hazard suit. Super dangerous and messy, and definitely not worth it.

Oct 18, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

My husband got home pretty late tonight and is only just eating this and he really loves it. And he usually really dislikes dal and tries to think of ways to stop me making it (suggested we go out to eat tonight). He could hardly believe it was so good and wanted to know what I had done to it.

Oct 17, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

That sounds so delicious!

Oct 17, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

Squash with Mango Powder p 603

I had half a butternut squash to use up, so I tried to find something that uses it in 660s Curries. I think I've looked before too, but aside from a few pumpkin recipes there doesn't seem to be any winter squash recipes. A real shame, because I really like winter squashes with indian spices. Anyway, this recipe actually calls for bottle gourd, and while that doesn't sound anything like butternut squash, I really thought it would taste good in this recipe. You cut the squash into pieces, then heat the oil and fry the cumin. You add the squash, turmeric and sliced chilies and cook it until it starts to brown a little. Then you add chopped tomato, amchur (mango powder), salt, and a cup of water and cook it until the squash is nice and soft. Super easy, and very good. It was pretty sweet and sour which isn't really my favorite flavor profile, but still tasty and I bet a lot of people would really like it. I was going to put a dollop of yogurt with it, but thought it was tart enough from the mango powder and I cut way back on the chili so I didn't need to tame the heat.

Oct 17, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

Gingered Red Lentils with Garlic

I think I finally found the dal I've been looking for! I've been searching for one like I've had at Indian and Nepali restaurants. I have been assuming the flavor I'm looking for was lemon or lime, but I think maybe all along it was ginger! This also turned out the right consistency, something I sometimes struggle with. Anyway, highly recommend this one!

I also want to add that I just love RI's instructions in this book. You can tell he's been a teacher. He tells you not only how long each step should take, but also describes how it should look in such great detail. That's so helpful when cooking an unfamiliar cuisine.

Oct 17, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Contemporary Curries, Biryani Curries, Curry Cohorts

I'm sure - I put more water than called for in mine and I think it still wasn't enough. It needs that moisture to turn into steam and puff it up.

Oct 16, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

Voting Thread November 2012 for Cookbook of the Month

BEST SOUPS IN THE WORLD

Oct 16, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Spice Blends & Pastes; Appetizer Curries; Poultry, Game, and Egg Curries

Cashew Chicken with a Cilantro Sauce p 155

I've made this once before and gave it 4/5 stars (noted in my cookbook). I'd give it the same this time. t's sweet and delicious. I noted to cut back on the cayenne, though the tiny amount I put in this time was completely undetectable, my 2 year old was able to eat it easily. I cooked the onions quite a bit longer and slower than he suggests, and still finished it too soon (the chicken was *perfect* when I finished, but was a bit tough by the time DH got home from work). Definitely a recipe to make at the last minute rather than while your kids are napping, no matter how much you want to get a jump start on dinner :) Very quick and easy. You could easily substitute whatever meat you want. Served it with roti and a vegetable soup from 1000 Indian Recipes.

Oct 15, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Contemporary Curries, Biryani Curries, Curry Cohorts

Ha, well I am a fool, because I made some today and they wouldn't puff and they were tough. I wasn't meticulous about following directions this time and rolled them out in advance. You can't do that, roll them out as you cook them or they won't puff. I found that it took a little more water than he calls for, but my flour was a bit old and probably extra dry. Just follow his directions to the letter and you shouldn't have any trouble. The first time I made them they worked like magic, I was so impressed. Also, don't freeze them like I suggested above if you care about toughness. You should probably do what he says in the book instead :)

Oct 15, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Contemporary Curries, Biryani Curries, Curry Cohorts

I suggest roti too, his directions are foolproof and it's healthier than it tastes! Just make sure you eat them right away (though I do put rolled out, uncooked rotis between wax paper and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer for quick cooking at a future date).

Oct 15, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

November 2012 Nomination Thread for Cookbook of the Month

My husband is doing a very low calorie diet now to try and lose some weight, so I've been planning on doing lots of soup this winter too. So I'd definitely like to do
THE BEST SOUPS IN THE WORLD

I've had that on my wish list for a while now. I'd be happy to do soup month too.

Oct 14, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

Have you considered subbing beef for some of the lamb recipes?

Oct 13, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

I reduce the salt with this book too. I think it might be partly a chef thing - I think chefs get used to a higher amount of salt.

Oct 13, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

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

It sounds like the technique is an Indian one, and that the poem was written based on Thackeray's observation of an Indian woman cooking, so I'm sure it's tasty. In an episode of Supersizers Go they prepare a curry based on the "Indian" food English people were preparing in that era. Basically a stew with curry powder dumped in. Fascinating and hilarious show for anyone interested in food history. I'm not sure which part the curry is in, but here's a link to the episode:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aKwYE...

Oct 13, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

October 2012 COTM: 660 Curries -- Spice Blends & Pastes; Appetizer Curries; Poultry, Game, and Egg Curries

You should try the Moghlai-Style Chicken with Spinach Almonds and Raisins (p150) for another easy weeknight dish with greens! There's no reason you couldn't use thighs if that's what you prefer.

Oct 13, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

October 2012 Cookbook of the Month: 660 Curries

I've been away for a while (too busy keeping up with my garden) and I come back to find you're doing 660 Curries! I've been wanting to do this book as COTM for ages and it's already Oct 11! I know what I'll be reading tonight, lots of catching up to do!

Oct 11, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

Cooking strategies for working parents of young children

I have pretty much done the same things in feeding my children (and ate diverse foods myself while pregnant and breastfeeding) and my daughter is super picky and my son will eat absolutely anything. If my son had been born first I would have been so smug, assuming I had done everything right. As it is, I'm very humble and admit that kids are just born the way they are and you do your best to encourage healthy and diverse eating, but in the end it's out of our hands.

Aug 26, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

I need help ! extremely picky eater & basically wont eat anything !

I'll have to remember that phrase, it's a good one!

Aug 08, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

March 2011 Cookbook of the Month COTM Adjunct thread: ALL OTHER JAMIE OLIVER RECIPES

Summer Tomato Pasta (Jamie At Home)

http://www.suntimes.com/recipes/pasta...

I am still on a JO kick and I made this the other day and had to post about it here. It's so quick and easy and you really can only make it in the summer! Definitely helps if you have a garden too. You put a pot of boiling water on and put a metal or ceramic bowl on top. When the water boils, add your pasta. You take a handful of mixed herbs (I used basil, parsley, lemon basil, lemon thyme, thyme, rosemary, oregano - but even just basil would be great!), chop them up, and put them in the bowl with butter and balsamic. When the butter melts you squeeze mixed cherry tomatoes or whatever tomatoes you have into the bowl and take it off the heat. When the pasta is done you mix it all together with some extra olive oil and parmesan. This was so delicious, I am going to try and make it as often as I can before it's too late and I have to wait until next summer!

Aug 08, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

I need help ! extremely picky eater & basically wont eat anything !

My daughter is 5 and has always been very picky and I know how frustrating it is. I don't usually force her to try new things until I am at the very end of my rope, then we have an evening of crying at the dinner table that ends in her trying something new and hating it or finding out that she actually likes it. I have stopped catering so much to her tastes and she usually just ends up eating whatever carb I'm serving. If she really doesn't like anything on the table she can have peanut butter on toast. It's not something she likes very much, but I don't want to give her lots of options. If she is willing to try something that stretches her tastes a little I'm usually willing to let her have something she likes that I can grab quickly like a yogurt or cheese. I used to prepare a special plate for her with raw veggies, fruit, cheese or nuts, and a carb, thinking it was better for her to eat a balanced meal than to have her just eating plain rice for dinner all the time, but now I try to give her those things at lunch and hope that she'll get sick of the boring dinners eventually.

Aug 08, 2012
sarahcooks in Home Cooking

Filfilah in Columbia Heights

I have a friend with a Turkish husband and they really liked this place and recommended it. We're going to go with them and check it out, but I guess the chef is going to be going on vacation soon so we are going to make sure we go there when he is there.

Jul 14, 2012
sarahcooks in Minneapolis-St. Paul