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blue_dolphin

Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

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Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Torn Croutons and Lots of Herbs from Six Seasons p 236

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The eggplant was nice but those tomato were the star of the show.  

 

I let some chickpeas sit in the vinegar/tomato juices mixture in the mixing bowl and added them to my plate so I could call this dinner. 

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The recipe says to let the dish sit for a few minutes to let those same juices soak into the croutons.  I gave half of them the soak time and added a few more crispy ones at the end. I prefer crispy.  

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

Grilled Eggplant with Tomatoes, Torn Croutons and Lots of Herbs from Six Seasons p 236.  

 

Hmm.  I've an eggplant left over that I couldn't fit into last night's ajapsandali dinner pot*.  Not sure how one could grill an eggplant in my apartment though?

 

Checking the book, I see McFadden says one can roast them.  But mine is one of the big black behemoths that are 99 cents a pound.  Last I looked the small narrow eggplants he calls for were $4.99 a pound.

 

 

*the Le Creuset that I almost overflowed.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Hmm.  I've an eggplant left over that I couldn't fit into last night's ajapsandali dinner pot*.  Not sure how one could grill an eggplant in my apartment though?

 

I used a grill pan on the stovetop so I didn't get that nice smoky flavor you'd get on a grill, but it was OK.

Mine were globe eggplants but smallish, ~ 4 oz each. 

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@blue_dolphin,

 

So now I have to batter and fry some of the button mushrooms I have. I am blaming you when I am cleaning up the mess on the stove. xD

 

I think I may use part besan and part wheat flour, and definitely nothing toward ranch dressing for dipping. I like well fried mushrooms fine on their own, but I will think about a dipping sauce, but nothing mayonaise-based.

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10 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

So now I have to batter and fry some of the button mushrooms I have. I am blaming you when I am cleaning up the mess on the stove. xD

 

I have to say the mushrooms were quite behaved and didn't make nearly the mess as those corn fritters where the kernels randomly popped like popcorn and sprayed hot oil all over the kitchen and the cook!  

I used the same deep pan and amount of oil for both but there were just a few little spatters from the very civilized mushrooms!  

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I appreciate that blue_dolphin follows the recipes and/or notes minor changes and why. I, however, am incapable of following a recipe out of sheer willfullness I think. BUT I have been intigued by the posts about the green bean w/ pine nut vinegraitte (sp).  I picked up a bag of lovely green beans at Farmers Market Sunday and they needed to be used so I riffed and am so enjoying the result. I roasted per the recipe and then dressed as follows: Dijon mustard, tons of rough cracked black pepper, very hot red chile flakes, fish sauce, fresh squeezed burstng with flavor off the tree orange, and a touch of cider vinegar. Appied while beans were warm. Thinly sliced red onion and raw garlic were in the bowl. Then added a good dose of well crushed and well  toasted almonds and peanuts. Thank you for the inspiration!

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Beans on Toast from Six Seasons p 256. This is a winner for me because I love the combination of beans with garlic and rosemary, something I came to love through Heidi Swanson's White Bean Spread in Super Natural Every Day.
I haven't found any fresh shell beans so I followed the advice in the book and substituted dried beans, Rancho Gordo Eye of the Goat beans.
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I make various versions of beans on toast and usually just scoop the beans on to the bread and mash them with a fork enough that they'll stay put. This is more complicated in asking that some of the beans be put in the food processor and spread on the toast like "frosting a cupcake" with whole beans spooned on top. A bit fussy for me and I wouldn't bother with it again but that garlic and rosemary infused olive oil makes it all delicious.
I had this with fresh tomatoes, thin slices of pecorino and a few olives.

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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The other day, I made the Peperonata from Six Seasons p 247.  This photo is what we call pre-Peperonata, my mise en place for the recipe: 

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The cherry tomatoes were late to the class photo and also took forever to burst - I had to smash them then cook further to reduce the liquid they released. In the end, I overcooked it so a lot of the peppers disintegrated but it's a super concentrated flavor bomb and I'm sure I'll find some uses for it.

 

Here's one use - smashed beans on toast topped with some of that peperonata:

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Edited to add another use - on polenta

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Edited by blue_dolphin to add polenta (log)
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Fava, Farro, Pecorino and Salami Salad from Six Seasons p 92.  The recipe is available online at this link.

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Kind of like eating an antipasto platter in a salad bowl. 

I used spelt instead of farro, Point Reyes Toma instead of pecorino fresco and frozen fava beans instead of fresh.  I'm sure fresh favas would be great but edamame or any number of other beans would work.

This is dressed very simply with red wine vinegar and olive oil and the sweet/tart flavor of the Katz brand vinegar that McFadden recommends added a lot. 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin to add link to recipe (log)
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Onions Three Ways, with 'Nduja on Grilled Bread from Six Seasons p 111. 

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I used roasted shallots and substituted blooming garlic chives for the garlic scapes suggested in the header notes.
'Nduja on grilled bread is pretty good all by itself. So are roasted onions on grilled bread. Together, they are very good, although I found the caramelized scallions and chives were a little awkward to eat - the longer pieces tend to pull off the toast and land on your chin when you take a bite. They look pretty, but I'd probably give all the onions a rough chop before piling them on the toast.

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I turned back to Spring and the artichoke chapter of Six Seasons after picking up some at the farmers market.  First up is this Artichoke and Farro Salad with Salami and Herbs from p 69.

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Like the Fava, Farro, Pecorino and Salami Salad I posted about above, this is kind of like an antipasto platter crossed with a grain bowl.  I used spelt instead of farro in both recipes. 

This one includes the crunch of dried breadcrumbs but could benefit from some crisp vegetables, too. 

The recipe calls for 4 poached artichoke quarters for 4 servings.  I'm thinking it should probably be 4 poached artichokes, quartered and that's about what I used, though I seem to have buried all of them in the photo.  They are in there! 

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It's not spring, but we get locally grown artichokes at the farmers market in both spring and fall. These were the first of the fall crop, at least that I've seen, and I used them to make the Grilled Artichokes with Artichoke-Parmigiano Dip from Six Seasons p 70.
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Basically artichoke hearts, two ways.  Some are poached and turned into a dip and the rest are grilled.
I took note of a review in another forum and used less than a cup of crème fraîche vs the 1.5 cups called for but the dip still looks very saucy compared to the photo in the book, even after I added a bunch of extra marinated artichoke hearts to bulk it up. Nonetheless, it's a tasty dip. I think I'll use some as a dressing to make a shrimp or crab salad.
I've never had grilled artichokes so I was curious to try them. That box is now checked but the view was not worth the climb, a statement that sums up my take on fresh artichokes in general. I actually grew some in my garden a while back and just let them bloom into big purple flowers because I was too lazy to deal with them!
 
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34 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

That box is now checked but the view was not worth the climb, a statement that sums up my take on fresh artichokes in general. I actually grew some in my garden a while back and just let them bloom into big purple flowers because I was too lazy to deal with them!

Just when I thought you could do no wrong I learn you’re just like me!   Artichokes are low on the ROI scale!  

 

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Just now, Anna N said:

Just when I thought you could do no wrong I learn you’re just like me!   Artichokes are low on the ROI scale!  

 

 

I almost took a photo of the huge mass of artichoke-waste next to the tiny, trimmed hearts.  Sheesh. 

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Oh yes the trimming and waste are horrifying. I do enjoy the frozen ones from Trader Joes. They are plain so that sweet/nutty flavor is present. Cheap too!  I only do gilled from restaurants. I first had them along with grilled lemon at a birthday treat outing on Catalina. Reallly nice but I'll leave it to the prep cooks. We are in artichoke land here in California but they are not exactly giving them away. For the same bloom effect in th garden I like cardoons and it is kinda fun to play with the stalks. 

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Celery root, cracked wheat, and every-fall-vegetable-you-can-find chowder (page 343)

 

I had some leftover celery root puree so I made this soup for dinner tonight -- the puree is used to thicken the soup a bit at the end of cooking. I particularly appreciated all of the various textural elements. A delicious soup for a winter day (even if it wasn't particularly cold here!).

 

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Parsnip soup with pine nut, currant, and celery leaf relish (page 360)

 

I had lots of bread leftover from yesterday, so clearly more soup was in order. This is one of my favorite styles of soup, I love the contrast between the hot, rich base and the bright, piquant gremolata on top.

 

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The hardcover edition is on sale for under $15 on Amazon Prime. I have no idea how long this sale has been going on, but it seems like a good deal. And they are guaranteeing delivery in 2 days, which is not the case with many other Amazon things you might wish to gift at this late date. 

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Kohlrabi with citrus, arugula, poppy seeds, and crème fraîche (page 348)

 

I don't think I've ever had kohlrabi before -- it's not the most exciting vegetable ever, but it was pleasant enough. This is one of those salads that looks and sounds quite impressive, and is totally inoffensive on the palate. Damned by faint praise, I know, but it's really a dinner party salad. People will ooh and ah, and everyone will be able to eat it.

 

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@Chris Hennes I think of kohlrabi like chayote. More textural crunch than a taste of its own. An easy grower I think. See both often in South Asian cuisines  - more as a flavor transport vehicle and filler. Bit of sweetness but ya kinda have to reach for that part.

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I grew up eating raw kohlrabi. When it is tender and fresh it's delicious sliced thin with good flaky salt; good with a bloody mary! Also useful cut into sticks and used on a raw veg platter with a dip. I like it shredded and mixed into a slaw. But old tough kohlrabi, that's not really fun. Unfortunately there's a lot of it sold and it isn't easy to tell how woody it is just from looking. There's always kohlrabi sold in the markets in Chinatown here in Oakland, and getting it fresh and young is also a crapshoot. I assume the Chinese cook it, but I have never asked.

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Mashed rutabaga with watercress and watercress butter (page 366)

 

Rutabaga is another one of those sort of anonymous root vegetables that is great roasted or boiled. In this case it's boiled, mixed with a bit of fresh watercress and some olive oil, and topped with McFadden's Watercress Butter. The butter is delicious. I may have added more than the recipe calls for, strictly speaking :smile: .

 

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Half-steamed turnips with alla diavola butter (page 370)

 

The recipe title basically says it all: the turnips are left a bit firm, and hit with a pretty large dose of the alla diavola butter (which is delicious). Hard to go wrong.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 5:22 PM, Chris Hennes said:

Mashed rutabaga with watercress and watercress butter (page 366)

 

Rutabaga is another one of those sort of anonymous root vegetables that is great roasted or boiled. In this case it's boiled, mixed with a bit of fresh watercress and some olive oil, and topped with McFadden's Watercress Butter. The butter is delicious. I may have added more than the recipe calls for, strictly speaking :smile: .

 

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I love rutabagas and glad to see some creativity in this oft-forgotten vegetable.  But I'm especially intrigued by watercress butter, which I think would be very good with seafood and chicken.  

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