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

I'm still waiting to see if the result is worth all that patience, fairyinthewoods. I'll have to try this in another recipe that calls for it. In the meantime, color me skeptical.

about 24 hours ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Recipe for Marc Vetri's Potted Trout Terrine from Rustic Italian Food Cookbook

I have the book. I'll look for the recipe and get back to you.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Nominations for May 2014 Cookbook of the Month (COTM)

The first time I heard of cardamom, 30+ years ago, was when my cousin made a "Swedish cake," recipe courtesy of a neighbor of hers. It was another few years before I discovered it as an Indian ingredient. Now I have several kinds (white, green, black, plus seeds in the freezer). Such a beautiful flavor.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking
1

Nominations for May 2014 Cookbook of the Month (COTM)

Sounds so lovely, dk.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

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

Khao Khua--Toasted-Sticky Rice Powder, p. 271

Oy. Nothing difficult about this process, but a lot of time, and I'm not sure this was worth it. Maybe it will miraculously transform some other recipes, but I honestly couldn't taste what it added to the Jaew.

One cup of uncooked Thai glutinous rice is soaked in water (overnight in my case), then drained and laid out to dry. I let mine get quite dry before proceeding. Into a large cast iron skillet (over med. low heat) goes the rice. Then you stir . . . and stir . . . and stir . . . . for me, almost twice as long as Ricker indicates.

Since I had to be somewhere about two hours after I started and it became clear I wasn't going to be finished, I ended up doing this in two shifts (which seemed not to matter at all--just be sure to stir constantly off the heat until the pan cools before stopping the first time so the rice won't continue to cook).

I've included photos (not sure they're all that helpful) at 25 minutes, at 60 minutes, and again at the near-peanut butter shade (1 hour, 45 minutes).

These were cooled slightly before going into the Preethi grinder, which made very short work of transforming the rice into the texture of "coarse sand."

I just didn't think this tasted like much.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

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

Phrik Phon Kua--Toasted-Chile Powder, p. 270

Simple enough: you toast 1 oz stemmed puya chiles (procured from nearby Latino market) over low heat until they are "brittle and very dark brown" for, Ricker says, about 15-20 minutes, stirring and flipping constantly. Make that 40-45 minutes in my big cast iron skillet.

I hope I never have reason to do this again. Even with door open and vents going, I ended up putting on one of those painters' masks.

Once cooled, the chiles (minus any stray seeds) went into my nifty new Preethi multi-grind gadget (yes, I am nuts, but I'd have to be institutionalized if I had to grind these in my mortar and pestle), which works fabulously.

Presumably I'll have other uses for the Phrik Phon Khua besides the Jaew.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

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

Jaew--Spicy, Tart Dipping Sauce for Meat, p. 278

This was a royal PITB. I made it--and its three sub-recipes--to go with the Thai-style ribs, and in the end just didn't think this worth the effort. It certainly didn't make me love the ribs.

Once you've made the Naam Cheuam Naam Taan Piip (the easy one: palm sugar dissolved in water; lots of other uses come to mind), the Phrik Phon Khua, and the Khao Khua--no mean feat--you mix 2 T fish sauce (Tiparos), 1½ T thin soy sauce (Healthy Boy), 3/4 tsp. Maggi seasoning, 3½ T key lime juice, 1½ T of the palm sugar simple syrup, 10 grams of thinly sliced tender lemon grass innards, and 1½ T of the Phrik Phon Khua. That sits for a while and, right before using it, you mix in 1 T ea. of the Khao Khua and chopped cilantro.

It was spicy and tart, but just OK and a lot of work if you don't have those sub-recipe ingredients on hand.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Grilled Foods pg. 122-145, Curries and Soups pg. 146-171

Sii Khrong Muu Yaang--Thai-Style Pork RIbs, p. 129

These were tasty enough, but not fantastic--without the Jaew, too sweet for my taste, but I also didn't find the Jaew improved them much though it did balance the sweetness.

Had I used spare ribs, would they have been better? (I used a half-rack of baby backs already in the freezer, and they weren't cut across the bone.) Possibly.

For the 10-hour marinade: 2 T ea. honey, Thai thin soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine, 1 T grated ginger, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, and just shy of 1/2 tsp. of ground long pepper (which I subbed for the white pepper and cinnamon because it has a smoky, cinnamon-y quality, and I have a slew of it) as well as a pinch of nutmeg.

I cooked these in a 250F oven for two hours, turning and rotating them, and then turned up the oven to 300, basted them with the remaining 4 T honey thinned w/2 of hot water, and let them go another 45 minutes or so. The honey did start to burn although I would describe the finished ribs as having the "lacquered, mahogany surface" Ricker describes.

I used the dipping sauce (reviewed separately) because it had been such a PITB to make, but I didn't think it was worth the effort. DH turned his nose up at the Jaew.

I was expecting these to have a much more complex flavor, but I didn't taste much of the marinade in the meat. Not terrible, but I have other rib recipes w/similar flavor profiles I prefer.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Grilled Foods pg. 122-145, Curries and Soups pg. 146-171

I just stuck it back in the same dish with the cream in it before serving.

1 day ago
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Grilled Foods pg. 122-145, Curries and Soups pg. 146-171

Khao Phot Ping--Grilled Corn w/Salty Coconut Cream, p. 144

When I saw the fresh ears being loaded into the bins at the local supermarket, I immediately thought about this recipe.

It's not terribly difficult: husked ears are boiled (Ricker says for 8 min., but I knew that was too long so I took them out after 3 and drained them). Coconut cream (1 c. Savoy canned in my case, the only one I could find) is heated w/1 T sugar, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and a knotted pandan leaf until it thickens slightly, around 10 minutes.

The cream then goes into a dish and the ears are rolled in it, grilled over a medium fire (gas grill here), dunked and rolled again, and grilled a couple more minutes.

Served w/wedges of key lime, which add brightness, this was absolutely delicious--mildly coconut-ty and sweet, tender, and not dried out as grilled corn often can be: a real treat, which would be a great alternative to the usual cook-out version.

Apr 14, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

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

Gorgeous!

Apr 14, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

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

Kai Kaphrao Khai Dao--Stir-fried [Pork] Chicken with [Thai] Basil, p. 189

My turn on this, ground pork version. Like others, I had to sub Thai basil. While I felt like I struck oil on my visit to the Asian market Saturday--my second trek in a week--the one thing on my list I still couldn't find was hot/holy basil. The long beans were also long in the tooth so I skipped those and subbed regular green beans. The other tweak was that I cut both the fresh and fried chiles by half.

We thought this was delicious, but it was still too fiery for my husband. Nevertheless, he said he'd absolutely like to have it again, just with less heat. So leftovers were all mine, each re-do w/an egg. Love that component. (Almost forgot it--when I spotted the cracked eggs in their bowl, I to enlist DH to emergency-fry them in a separate skillet while I stir-fried the pork.)

I'll definitely make this again, likely w/pork, but I'll cut back on the chiles even more. Even I would probably enjoy it more w/less heat.

Apr 14, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: Meat and Seafood [CoTM Sept 2006 and Nov 2013]

Good to know--thanks for your review.

Apr 08, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Fish pg. 72-87, Stir Fries pg. 88-103, Thai Minced Meat Salads pg. 104-121

Phat Khanaeng: Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts, p. 91

Yes, that garish looking pile in the photo are my stir-fried brussels sprouts, purple ones in my case--hence the very colorful dish.

Allegra has described the process quite well so I'll just say that I followed the recipe except that I skipped the blanching as these sprouts were very loose and didn't need it. I used the Healthy Boy oyster sauce as well (the only Thai brand I could find--and then, only online) and my brand spanking new Thai fish and soy sauces as well.

We really liked these and I agree with all that this prep would adapt well to any number of vegetables. DH (a very delicate flower when it comes to chile heat) said, "please make these again, but less hot." I would dial the heat down, maybe even by half, next time, and I think we'd both still be very happy with the result.

I'm taking a baby-steps approach to this book. This was the first one--very easy.

Apr 08, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

April 2014 COTM - Pok Pok: Fish pg. 72-87, Stir Fries pg. 88-103, Thai Minced Meat Salads pg. 104-121

Looks fantastic!

I'll have to try it with fillets since DH has a serious fish bone phobia, but it sounds like they would be delicious if not as fabulous to look at.

Apr 05, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: From the Sea (175-204), Chicken, Duck, Goose (205-232), Beef, Pork and Lamb (233-260)

Taleggio-Stuffed Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken, p. 210

These made for a lovely dinner last night--as well as a trip down food memory lane. When I first started cooking, I often prepared chicken "Cordon Bleu" or "Kiev" or chicken stuffed with goat cheese and basil or with a mushroom mixture, but like ChrisOfStumptown, I had not done so in a very long time. This revisit was quite successful.

Following ChrisOS's tip, I made a short incision and then a deep pocket into each breast and then inserted batons of taleggio into and laid a couple sage leaves (no tarragon on hand) across each before wrapping each one in a couple of slices of prosciutto. I seared the packages, which held together very nicely, in a slick of grapeseed oil and then veered off the recipe a bit by deglazing the sauté pan with a little white vermouth and then adding a little chicken stock. (This resulted in a very nice light pan sauce for the stuffed chicken.) Then I put the pan into the oven (375F) until they reached about 145F.

Slightly crisp prosciutto, tender chicken, + oozing cheese=delicious! Amazingly easy and quick too.

Mar 31, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: From the Sea (175-204), Chicken, Duck, Goose (205-232), Beef, Pork and Lamb (233-260)

What a lovely looking plate. I think you've inspired tonight's dinner.
I've had this recipe tagged and not gotten around to it, but since I have prosciutto and chicken breasts, maybe I'll go out for taleggio and give this a go!

Mar 30, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: Salads with Substance (57-80) and Satisfying Soups (81-110)

Crispy Grilled Cheese, p. 91

Yes, this is a fussy approach to grilled cheese sandwiches--unless you want to make a lot of them at one time, in which case this is an excellent method. The three I made were pretty spectacular.

I started with fabulous bread, sliced thinly, buttered on the outsides and filled with thin slices of, in my case, gruyere, laid onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered w/another layer of parchment and another baking sheet. (I topped this with a CI lid for extra weight.) Baked at 400F for about 20 minutes, these came out brown, crisped, and delicious, the cheese, as BL promised, almost fused into the bread.

I was going to make these with the "Stir" tomato soup, but the recipe did not seem like anything special. Since I had a couple of fennel bulbs to use up, I made roasted fennel soup instead (and thus skipped the caraway seed)--a felicitous pairing indeed, if I do say so myself.

Mar 27, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking
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March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: From the Sea (175-204), Chicken, Duck, Goose (205-232), Beef, Pork and Lamb (233-260)

Don't think you could improve that visual much. Gorgeous.

Mar 27, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: On the Side Pg. 261-288

Steam-Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette,
p. 268

I halved the recipe, followed the oven-roasting/steaming method and agree with most everything said. This method produces nicely steamed asparagus, preferable to high temp oven roasting, and a similar result could likely be accomplished in a skillet. The vinaigrette is wonderfully vibrant (only herbs I used were fresh parsley and chives) and I'd make it again in a heartbeat. Very nice.

Mar 26, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking
2

STUFFED PASTA - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for March 2014

Crespelles (w/mushroom-fontina filling and brown butter-sage sauce)

Mine, unfortunately, were not nearly as successful as MAH's or escondido's. Actually, they were a failure. As the recipe was from the current COTM, "Stir," I've already reported on the COTM thread.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9672...

Mar 26, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: A Passion for Pasta (111-175)

I think they dried out in the oven. But I had to leave them in the oven a while to melt the cheese and get the spinach wilted. They seemed perfectly fine when they were first made. I froze the leftover crespelles for another use.

I'd love to know how the batter recipe compares to yours, though, herby. It's pretty similar to a crepe recipe I use except that that recipe calls for 2% milk and this uses whole.

Mar 26, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: A Passion for Pasta (111-175)

MUSHROOM- AND FONTINA-STUFFED CRESPELLES with BROWN BUTTER-SAGE SAUCE, p.170

I had high hopes for these--love savory crepes, love mushrooms, fontina, sage, butter--but, alas, they were a big disappointment.

Making the crespelles was somewhat time-consuming but easy enough (¾ c [white in my case] WW flour, ½ c AP flour, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp sugar, 1½ c milk, ¼ c cream, 1 egg, 1 T melted butter, whisked and rested for an hour). Bonus: I got to use my crepe pan.

For the filling I sauteed a mix of thickly sliced buttons, shitakes, and chanterelles w/salt and pepper in grapeseed oil, added butter and finely chopped shallot and garlic, then some white wine, which got reduced by half, and then added chopped fresh thyme. This was divided among the crespelles and then each was topped with thin slices of fontina and chopped fresh spinach (subbed for arugula). (One photo below shows two before baking.)The crespelles are rolled, laid in a dish, and baked at 325F "until cheese is melted" and crespelle are "warmed through."

The problem was that by the time that happened and the spinach was wilted, the crespelles were crisp--almost crunchy. The brown butter-sage-lemon "sauce" I ladled over them was quickly absorbed into the crespelles, and those flavors were lost. We ended opening up the crespelles and eating the filling, but considering the effort, this was quite a let-down.

Maybe I should have precooked the spinach (I'm not sure we'd have fared better with arugula); maybe a hotter oven, say 375 or so, would have melted the cheese more quickly , with the crespelles remaining tender. And I don't think this is the right sauce for these. If the crespelles had been tender, I think these might have been good topped with a squirt of lemon, some grated parmigiano, and some chopped parsley--or possibly even a bright marinara sauce.

At any rate, not a do-over for me.

Mar 26, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Cooking from Pok Pok

Thank you!

Mar 26, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Cooking from Pok Pok

Hi MelMM,

May I ask where you got your Sumeet Multi-Grind?

Once I decided I'd appreciate Pok Pok month a lot more if I got myself one of these, I ordered one from the only online source I could find, but I got an e-mail saying these were out-of-stock (and production) indefinitely. Do you (or anyone else reading) know if these are likely to be sold in Asian markets?

Thanks for any guidance.

Mar 25, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking
1

STUFFED PASTA - Home Cooking Dish of the Month for March 2014

Cannelloni (stuffed w/veal, pork, mushrooms, spinach)

Much as I'd like to report I'd made a delicate ravioli w/ethereal homemade pasta, I'll stick with the more pedestrian truth--albeit one that yielded two delicious dinners last week.

This began with two desires: (1) to make something quick and (2) to use up some bits and bobs and partial packages from the freezer, fridge, and pantry.

From the freezer: about 3 c. marinara sauce from last fall, a zip-lock bag containing about 1 1/2 c. of veal-pork-diced carrots (probably from a cannelloni stuffing circa December), another w/roughly the same amount of sauteed diced mushrooms and pancetta (leftover component of an hors d'oeuvre made earlier this month).

From the fridge: some must-use-now "fresh" spinach, a half-wedge of a pecorino something-or-other (softer than romano), the end of a container of crème fraîche, some grated parmigiano.

From the pantry: the better part of a box of nifty no-boil tubes (sold as "manicotti shells") that cook once stuffed and purt into the oven.

I steamed, drained, and chopped the spinach, chopped the pecorino, and mixed those with the defrosted meat mixture and mushrooms, then stuffed the tubes, poured the marinara over them, dolloped with crème fraîche, and sprinkled with grated parmigiano. The dish went into a 375F oven for 30-35 minutes.

We thought this mash-up was delicious, two nights in a row--once w/a side of tossed salad, the other with roasted brussels sprouts.

Mar 25, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking
6

March 2014 Cookbook of the Month - Stir: Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition: From the Sea (175-204), Chicken, Duck, Goose (205-232), Beef, Pork and Lamb (233-260)

What a beautiful dish!

Mar 24, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA Condiments & Sauces, Rice, Noodles, Sweet Treats

That looks absolutely delicious!

Mar 24, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

Cooking from Pok Pok

@BigSal and ellabee: Hats off to both of you for making EYB even better!

Mar 23, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking

COTM April 2014 Announcement Thread: Congratulations Pok Pok!

Thanks. I needed that extra little boost. I'll have to check out qianning's thread--but I'm do so with trepidation as I'm afraid I'll end up buying yet another cookbook!

Mar 23, 2014
nomadchowwoman in Home Cooking
1