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Enchiladas: Home Cooking Dish of the Month (Oct. 2012)

How odd...without knowing about Dish of the Month, I made enchiladas and meatballs this weekend...

I usually make enchiladas after a party, in order to use up leftover salsa and corn tortillas. This time, I tried Tyler Florence's recipe:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...

You basically boil tomatillos, jalapeños, & onion, then add cumin, lime, garlic, cilantro and blend to make the salsa verde, then make a veloute and add shredded chicken & roasted poblanos. Corn tortillas are dipped in the salsa verde, then filled with the chicken mix and cheese, rolled, topped with salsa verde and baked off at 350 for 20 minutes.

Flavor-wise they were delicious but, yup, the tortillas got all mushy. My tortillas were a little stale, perhaps that's why? I've seen recipes where the corn tortillas are fried rather than just dipped in salsa, maybe that's the ticket.

Oct 01, 2012
yamalam in Home Cooking

Meatballs: The September 2012 Home Cooking Dish of the Month

I made the America's Test Kitchen meatballs this weekend, and figured I should pipe up, because I didn't see that anyone else mentioned them last month.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/4631594...

They are unique in that they use gelatin, IIRC it coats the protein molecules so moisture is retained, etc, etc. The recipe also calls for a panade of panko soaked in buttermilk to keep things moist, and a mixture of ground chuck, ground pork, and prosciutto. The balls are baked off at 450 for a half hour while you make a simple tomato sauce, then simmered in the sauce for another hour.

Results: they were incredibly moist. Almost too moist...if I hadn't known that I had cooked them for 90 minutes, I would've thought they were raw inside. Oh, I subbed extra lean ground turkey for the pork, and used 90-10 ground beef so it is especially amazing that they were not dry, given those lean meats. If you like moist meatballs, I'd 100% recommend this recipe.

Oct 01, 2012
yamalam in Home Cooking

Food for a Pregnant 'hound

Fiber is your friend. I learned to love lentils and ham and bean soup.

And in hindsight, I wish I ate more Omega 3's and colorful veggies. I was focused on avoiding things that would make baby sick, rather than focusing on eating healthful, nutritious things to make baby thrive.

Enjoy your pregnancy and cook as much as your sore feet will allow, it's not the same cooking with an infant, for me at least. I miss just getting wrapped up in my kitchen and food and putting all of myself into creating something delicious. Now, with the baby, I have to keep one ear cocked and with my attention diverted, cooking just isn't as much of a passion as it used to be. Plus, I tend to burn and mess stuff up! I LOVE my baby and wouldn't trade him for a Viking kitchen and free Whole Foods for life, don't get me wrong. And I'm sure as my 7 monther gets older and more self sufficient, my kitchen passion will return.

Good luck to you!

Jan 24, 2011
yamalam in Home Cooking

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Drinks. First Courses, Soups

Harvest Corn Chowder, p. 116
Mlk Day gave me a chance to play in the kitchen today, and this tasty soup didn't disappoint.

Sauté cubed bacon, remove to a plate, then using the rendered fat, sauté onion, celery, carrots until soft. Add cream and chicken broth, then cubed sweet potatoes, red bell pepper and Yukon golds, simmer until tender, then add corn( I used frozen), simmer a little more and enjoy! I topped mine with garlic chives and served with a thick slice of homemade multigrain bread, and I'm in heaven! Super simple, great flavor, and even pretty healthy.

(Summary is from memory, hope I didn't miss anything)

Jan 17, 2011
yamalam in Home Cooking

Inka Fest in Mesa--New Peruvian Restaurant, Delicious!

Awesome, never would have known this place existed, thanks for the rec!

Jan 07, 2011
yamalam in Phoenix

Best lunch deal in town: Restaurant August

Is this deal good on weekends too? Do you think reservations are necessary for a Saturday lunch?

Oct 16, 2010
yamalam in New Orleans

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Pasta, Grains/Beans, Veg. Mains

The grilling went great! This was a real winner. I added garlic & extra lime to the pesto and it was perfect. I was going to make the Grilled Corn with Chipotle Mayo to serve with this, but my mom had a hunch that the pesto would be excellent on grilled corn, and it was, plus we did a side experiment and used some as salad dressing, and that was great too. So make extra cilantro pesto and go nuts! Grilling tofu was easy and fast, I think a new summer staple this year will be grilled tofu with a tasty sauce...peanut, tzatziki, the possibilities are endless...

May 22, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Pasta, Grains/Beans, Veg. Mains

I had my eye on this one, you've inspired me to try it tonight, except I'll be grilling instead of broiling, as it's supposed to hit 100 here in AZ today!

May 21, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

May/June 2010 Cookbook of the Month: GOURMET TODAY

This is my favorite COTM book of the past year. COTM is back baby! I never would have bought this book, thinking all the recipes are free on Epicurious, but I love it, and the Epi reviews and pictures are a nice bonus. It's big enough where I can look in the index for ingredients I have on hand and find at least a handful of ideas, but also has a lot of recipes that excite me enough to make special shopping trips.

I like the new two month format, because it's taken me until now, 2/3 of the way through May, to read the posts, figure out I wanted the book, and go buy it.

May 19, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Meat

Grilled Spicy Skirt Steak, p. 537

Skirt steak is brushed with a wet rub of chile powder, sugar, salt, allspice, cumin, worcestershire, black pepper and olive oil, let to marinate for 30 minutes and then grilled quickly for 5ish minutes. Very tasty, but it's pretty hard to go wrong with grilled beef:) I usually "wing it" when making spice rubs, but sometimes it's nice to have a more structured recipe so you know how it'll turn out. I served it with plantains, grilled corn and rice, the meat was especially delicious in contrast to the sweet plantains.

P.S. Was not spicy

May 19, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

New Trader Joe's yea/nay thread 2nd quarter 2010

Maybe my expectations were too high, but I didn't think the Gorgonzola Crackers were cheesy enough, and they were relatively expensive.

May 19, 2010
yamalam in Chains

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Salads and Vegetables

I missed this on my first few skims, looks great! Thx for pointing it out

May 17, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

If I could have just one Mexican place in Phoenix, what should it be?

I agree: Barrio Cafe or Gallo Blanco.

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Gallo Blanco Cafe
401 W Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85013

May 17, 2010
yamalam in Phoenix

Anyone "Ready for Dessert"? (David Lebovitz)

Yeah, that's what the amazon reviews said, but I don't have any of his books. Downloading the iPhone app as we speak. it's free, so why not, right?

May 14, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Our First Strawberry Crop--What to Make?

I have this salad bookmarked to try, it includes a recipe for strawberry vinegar, which sounds interesting.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

This tart recipe always comes out well, and it isn't finicky, so would be pretty easy if you're a new baker:
http://blogs.discovery.com/tlc-steamy...
I usually make it in one large pan rather than small tartlets.

Also, strawberry salsa, and if you drink, the cocktail options are endless. I always end up eating my strawberries plain before I can come up with something to bake/cook from them. A pound a day is nothing for me!

May 14, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Anyone "Ready for Dessert"? (David Lebovitz)

Saw this at the bookstore and was VERY tempted to buy. Anyone cook from it yet, or have any reviews?

May 14, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Big party, Everyone brings a big salad or any type - what would you bring?

Is it strawberry season there yet? It is here, and I love strawberries in salad. My favorite is spring mix with sliced strawberries, toasted sliced almonds, shredded poached chicken and poppy seed dressing, and I have this spinach strawberry salad bookmarked to try
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

May 14, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Breakfast and Breads, Sweets

Anadama Bread, p. 672

I love this bread, great texture, a nice hint of sweetness from the molasses, and pretty easy to make- the dough is easy to handle, not too sticky, and the addition of external flavor with the butter and milk guarantees it'll be tasty. The recipe calls for stone ground grits, but I used polenta, as thats what I have on hand and I figure they're close enough! Makes great breakfast toast and sandwich bread, I froze one of the 2 loaves, but we ended up defrosting and using it right after the first one was through. BLTs were amazing on this.

May 12, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Breakfast and Breads, Sweets

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Fruit, p. 681

This is my go-to oatmeal cookie recipe, it takes substitutions well and is a good "dumping" ground for any and all nuts and dried fruit that need to be used up. The recipe calls for apricots, prunes and sour cherries, my favorite combo is coconut, cranberry and walnut. They last at least a week stored in Tupperware.

May 12, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Breakfast and Breads, Sweets

That looks delicious, much better than the lesser babka, cinammon, LOL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dinn...

May 11, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Farm fresh Roma tomatoes

McClendon tomaotes don't rock my world. They seem to be grown in a hothouse and the flavor is just slightly better than grocery store. I haven't bought any recently, or even checked out their selection, but has anyone found better tomatoes than McClendons at either the Downtown FM or Old Town FM?

Apr 29, 2010
yamalam in Phoenix

Great Cilantro Aversion Article Detailed in Today's NYT Article

My Filipina grandmother hated cilantro. Very close to Thailand and India, still hated it.

Apr 15, 2010
yamalam in Food Media & News

Carefully weighing and then adding flour "as needed"?

I keep track of how much extra flour/water I add, so I have a guideline for the next time I make the same recipe, given that the weather is comparable, I'm using the same bag of flour, my aura is equally moist, etc.

Definitely agree you could spend years perfecting one bread recipe. And PR's focaccia is relatively easy, just wait til you try his pain a l'ancienne, or the sourdoughs!

Apr 14, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Review: Restaurant Takamatsu (Phoenix, AZ)

Thanks for the review, we go to the Takamatsu in Chandler every once in a while, not sure if its affiliated. And you made me laugh about disrobing in the laundry room- don't forget about driving home with the windows down, and go outside to burp too!

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Takamatsu Restaurant
1949 W Ray Rd # 32, Chandler, AZ

Apr 14, 2010
yamalam in Phoenix

Phoenician Resort

Not completely relevant to OP's question, but FYI, the Sunday brunch at the Phoenician has downsized!! It's nowhere near as elaborate as it was last time I was there a few years ago, which was disappointing. The maitre'd cited the economy as the reason for the change.

Apr 14, 2010
yamalam in Phoenix

What to do with sushi rice (besides sushi)

I always wash my rice, all types. Not sure what the official line is, or the science behind it, but it's just habit for me.

Apr 14, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Thoughts about future of Cookbook of the Month

You know what, the months when I was coordinating, I did post less. It didn't take long, maybe 30 minutes each for nomination, voting, and then the actual threads.

Apr 14, 2010
yamalam in Site Talk

Thoughts about future of Cookbook of the Month

I like it. The 2 books for 2 months model has worked well during the holiday "revisits", when we go back and cook from past COTM selections.

Apr 14, 2010
yamalam in Site Talk

What to do with sushi rice (besides sushi)

Apr 12, 2010
yamalam in Home Cooking

Thoughts about future of Cookbook of the Month

I love COTM and haven't participated much recently, but have been reading along. My month to month participation dropped due to personal reasons (pregnancy, busy schedule), and Uncle Bob is right, those voting threads seems to get closer and closer together, by the time I get around to picking up the current selection from the library, its the 10th, and by the time I get around to trying a few recipes, it's the last week of the month!

I find the past COTM threads a wonderful resource though, especially for the "classic" books like Hazan, Dunlop, and Greenspan. 90% of the cookbooks I've bought in the past 2 years have been reviewed by COTM, because I know I'm not just blindly trying recipes that look good to me, I can focus in on the most reviewed or most popular on the past COTM boards and see what other cooks that I "know" thought of them. In this age of internet recipes, I could google and find 5000+ results for, say, Puttanesca, and I'd rather start with a recipe by a respected cookbook author that has been tried and enjoyed by another home cook like myself.

So, I suppose my vote would be to extend the timeframe to a 2 month window rather than one, and encourage those who aren't into the current selection to cook from past books, as there are so many great ones to choose from.

Apr 12, 2010
yamalam in Site Talk