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  1. Dinner 2017 (Part 4)

    My take on the recipe for crab & peas with casarecce from Diana Henry's Simple with farfalle standing in for a pasta shape missing from my pantry. Very quick and easy. I liked using fresh sugar snap peas, English peas and pea shoots all together in one dish. Nice contrast of textures with crisp sugar snaps, toothsome pasta and tender crab but even with extra lemon juice, I found it lacking in flavor contrast. Maybe I under seasoned but I prefer to bursts of salty ingredients over using more salt alone so I added slivers of preserved lemon peel and a bit of feta cheese. Both are nice although the preserved lemon suits the dish a bit better and is what I will add next time.
  2. Food52 put up a group of London articles this week, Food52 Travel Guide, including one on the Borough Market that @Chris Hennes mentioned above. No specific "cheap eats" section but there are also 2 interactive maps of the city that may be useful if you're looking for something in a specific area. One map includes all the places mentioned in the group of London articles and the other one has recommendations from the Food52 community.
  3. I have Stachys byzantina (aka lamb's ear) growing in my garden and I've never thought to eat it either. Now the Micromeria fruticose and Mentha longifolia mentioned earlier in the thread sound like they could be pleasant herbs to cook with.
  4. Dinner 2017 (Part 4)

    Kind of a repeat of the Cod with a crab & herb crust I made recently from Diana Henry's Simple. I had some cod that I'd targeted for another dish but wasn't in the mood for that so I mixed up a bit more of the crab-bread crumb topping and cooked up the orzo with lemon & parsley, also from Simple. I roasted some broccolini in the same pan as the fish and dinner was served.
  5. Nice excerpt from the book in the New York Times. It's on salt: The Single Most Important Ingredient
  6. Nice to read more good things about Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, as mentioned by @Anna N over here in this thread. I have or have read most of the other mentioned books and I agree none are perfectly suited to be the single key resource to truly teach a novice cook. My copy of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat should arrive today and I'm looking forward to diving in.
  7. Best crispy batter for shallow-fried fish

    I am no expert, especially concerning fried things but not long ago, I tried a recipe for Rice-Crusted Catfish from Vivian Howard's Deep Run Roots. It uses long-grain rice ground in a spice mill or blender plus cornmeal, salt, cayenne and paprika as the breading. The fish gets soaked in buttermilk before dredging in the breading and then refrigerated for an hour before frying. In the header notes she describes it as a "shatteringly crisp exterior without the clunky cake-y feeling of a traditional breading," and that's the result I got. If you don't have the book, you can find the recipe on Google books by googling Rice-Crusted Catfish Vivian Howard
  8. I prefer a fork: 1. Place pie in the middle of the table 2. Give everyone a fork (or spoon for @liuzhou) 3. Eat pie!
  9. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    A HOT coffee's the hot temperature of the coffee and visions of scrambling that I'm not loving.
  10. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    I've done my own breakfast smoothie time and I doubt my concoctions would sound remotely appealing to anyone else! I'm very relieved that there are no post-hatch chicken parts involved in the chicken latte I applaud you for finding a quick and nutritious breakfast that you enjoy but there is nothing in the remainder of the description that appeals to me. Aside from the fresh hot coffee, which I will take on the side. Black, please.
  11. Dinner 2017 (Part 4)

    A dinner from Diana Henry's Simple. Cod with a crab & herb crust, roast potatoes with chili, mint & preserved lemon, and broccoli with harissa & cilantro gremolata. Loved the fish and the crème fraîche watercress sauce with shallot and capers. Love the potatoes. The broccoli with harissa isn't a good pairing with this - plain broccoli, asparagus or sugar snap peas would be better. However, I made the harissa dish this AM with roasted broccolini and wanted to compare with steamed while I still had the harissa butter and gremolata. I much prefer the roasted broccolini over steamed in this dish.
  12. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    I was curious to try the broccoli with harissa & cilantro gremolata from Diana Henry's Simple and also on a mission to clean out the fridge, leading me to assemble a rather massive breakfast. I used roasted broccolini and the spears cooked up more quickly than I expected but I liked the crispy bits with this dish. I thought some eggs would be good, then from the fridge, I reheated leftover potatoes from the huevos rotos (also from Simple) and some leftover black beans. No need for lunch today!
  13. Farmers Markets 2017

    My haul from today's downtown Ventura Farmers Market. Not my closest market, but I was lured by the promise of cherries from Murray Farms up in Bakersfield. They were expensive but are packed with flavor. From top left: eggs, carrots, radishes, basil, strawberries (Seascapes from Harry's Berries), tomatoes, 1 Japanese and 3 Persian cucumbers, pea shoots and dill. Edited to add a link to this nice article about Harry's Berries from last week's NY Times: Red, Ripe and Renegade: Berries That Break All the Rules
  14. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    Carrot hummus, roast tomatoes & harissa yogurt from Diana Henry's Simple, on toasted ciabatta I added garlic and salt to the hummus and only a couple of tablespoons of the recipe's specified 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. The tomatoes roasted with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and harissa are really good.
  15. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    I hope you will like it and will look forward to your thoughts. When I first skimmed through, it didn't engage me at all. Seemed like recipes for a lot of stuff I throw together without using a recipe at all. What's the point in that? I must have been in some sort of mood. But as I've been cooking from the book, I've found it quite nice to have recipes that come together very easily and still have interesting flavors. There are only a couple of things that I really wouldn't make again and even there, they were OK dishes, just not my thing.