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blue_dolphin

Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

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Grilled carrots, steak and red onion with spicy fish–sauce sauce. 

 

This turned out slightly better than I expected but it is not one that I am likely to repeat.

 

The carrots and onions were cooked on a grill pan as I really have no access to a an outdoor grill. (I can see it there under the snow but it hasn’t been used much since my husband died back in 2011). 

 

Joshua’s argument that vegetables should be cooked without oil on a grill might have some merit but they don’t seem to cook very well without oil on a grill pan.  I did suspect this before I even started.  If I really had to repeat the recipe without access to an outdoor grill I would roast theccarrots and onions with a drizzle of oil and some seasonings in the oven. 

 

 I quite liked the sauce. I made just a half recipe and used a quarter of the hot peppers called for since I was using scotch bonnet.  This time at least I was smart enough to wear gloves!  

 

I came up a little short on herbs having access to only some rather sad basil and equally sad mint. This is the middle of winter in Ontario!  

 

I hope someone else makes it and passes on their opinion.

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That looks delicious, @Anna N!  I've got the Spicy Fish Sauce Sauce on hand so I'll make this recipe one of these days.  The book says the Spicy Fish Sauce Sauce is good for a month or two.  And yes, I do like saying Spicy Fish Sauce Sauce xD

 

If you've got any leftover, it's also used in the Fried Cauliflower p 194 that I made with roasted cauliflower instead, the Grilled Wax Beans & Tomatoes, Basil & Spicy Fish Sauce Sauce, the Squash Ribbons with Tomatoes, Peanuts, Basil, Mint & Spicy Fish Sauce Sauce and optionally in the Sautéed Greens with Olives p 105. 

Several of them are also using fresh herbs, which I understand aren't in good supply at this time of year.

 

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One of the variations for the Cream of Celery Soup from Six Seasons p 150 that I posted above is to use it as the base for "a delicate seafood stew."  I did that here, using a mix of shrimp, scallops and squid.

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I added a squeeze of lemon juice, a squirt of yuzu hot sauce and about 1/2 the specified amount of cream. I thought it was going to taste like celery soup with a few fishy bits floating in it but it actually came together as its own dish. 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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On 31/01/2018 at 4:15 PM, Katie Meadow said:

So if you love the taste of kale go for it. I like spinach for a gratin, baby collards as a vinegary side and chard for most everything else. One vendor at the Berkeley Farmers' Market used to have baby Russian Kale.. When it was tiny it was quite good in a saute of mixed greens, but I haven't seen it recently. As for dark greens right now I'm totally into Choi Sum--sort of a cousin of bok choi, but the leaves are darker and tastier. Great in any stir fry or tossed into Asian soups.

 

I like all the cooked greens. I've been eating kale for decades, much longer than it's been fashionable, and I'm happy that its current moment makes it easier to find. I'm not that keen on it raw, except for baby kale in salads, so I usually eat it cooked. I like the sturdier texture. I'm partial to chard as well, though I find its earthiness sometimes doesn't work as well in a given dish. I appreciate dandelion greens, rapini and many of the Asian greens for their bitter and/or peppery flavors, but spinach (for when I don't want texture) and kale (for when I do) are my two mainstays. 

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More kale talk....hmmmm.  

 

This is the Celery Salad with Dates, Almonds & Parmigiano from Six Seasons p 145. Nice combination of sweet-salty-tangy flavor elements in a crisp, crunchy salad.  

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I subbed hazelnuts and Deglet Noor dates for the almonds and Medjool dates specified for the salad. Otherwise, it was per the book.

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Hi!

 

I really like the book. I actually ordered after "getting a bit stuck" with side dishes. I discovered that I had developed a certain repertoire that I kept using. This book really overdeliveres for me. There's just so much inspiration coming from it. Almost every recipe in there is a combination of textures/flavors thats relatively unique. And once you tried it, my brain goes like "ah if this works, this might also work. And why not swap this for that? And why don't we also try it that way". 

 

Last week I made these schitzels out of celeriac, with mandarines and a sauce with horseradish, all loosely based on one of the recipes coming from the book. Add some salad, and BOOM! Weeknight dinner.

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Nice one, @koen!  That recipe for fried celeriac steaks with blood orange and fresh horseradish is one that I've been wanting to try.

 

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3 hours ago, koen said:

Hi!

 

I really like the book. I actually ordered after "getting a bit stuck" with side dishes. I discovered that I had developed a certain repertoire that I kept using. This book really overdeliveres for me. There's just so much inspiration coming from it. Almost every recipe in there is a combination of textures/flavors thats relatively unique. And once you tried it, my brain goes like "ah if this works, this might also work. And why not swap this for that? And why don't we also try it that way". 

 

Last week I made these schitzels out of celeriac, with mandarines and a sauce with horseradish, all loosely based on one of the recipes coming from the book. Add some salad, and BOOM! Weeknight dinner.

2018-01-30 19.37.45-2.jpg

This would be an interesting addition to the schnitzel cookoff! 

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Spaghetti with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts, Raisins and Chiles from Six Seasons p 301. 

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A solid pasta dish that I enjoyed very much.  No big revelations, although the idea of plumping raisins in wine vinegar, as done throughout this book, is one I will certainly use where dried fruits are used in savory dishes. 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Parsnip Soup with Pine Nut, Currant and Celery Leaf Relish from Six Seasons p 360.

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No cream here, just parsnips, celery and onion, cooked until almost tender with just a little olive oil and butter before adding water, simmering further and blending until smooth.

The "relish" topping makes this soup special.  It's currants (I used raisins, given a rough chop) soaked in red wine vinegar, toasted pine nuts, chopped celery and parsley leaves, red chile flakes, lemon zest and juice.

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Rainbow Chard with Garlic & Jalapeños (I subbed orange manzano peppers for the jalapeños) from Six Seasons p 298.

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After the chard is sautéed with garlic and the peppers, red wine vinegar is added and everything marinates for a few hours or overnight so the topping has a slightly pickled quality.

 

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Kohlrabi Brandade from Six Seasons p 350. I baked some of the brandade in ramekins, topped with breadcrumbs and Parmesan and served it on toasts rubbed with garlic.  

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I liked the sound of the recipe, where the kohlrabi, potato garlic and salt cod are simmered together gently in milk as I thought it would meld the flavors and provide a lighter alternative to other brandades that contain a lot of oil. I didn't love the result. I think there was too much vegetable (kohlrabi & potato) for the amount of salt cod and the milk didn't really provide the richness you get from olive oil. Baking with it with the crispy topping helped but it still seemed sort of watered down or diluted. Not a winner for me.
The bread, however, was stupendous. I picked up a loaf of Glenn country rosemary bread from Roan Mills - they grow heritage wheat locally, grind the flour daily and bake it up into delicious breads.  If only I could bake bread like that!

 

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Posted (edited)

Cabbage & Mushroom Hand Pies from Six Seasons p 338, served with some of the Apple Mustard from Deep Run Roots and lightly dressed baby greens.

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I used the cheddar cheese dough from Art of The Pie and used an egg wash. I inadvertently let the mushrooms, leeks and cabbage get a bit brown and having read that some people found these lacking in flavor, I may have been generous in measuring out the seasoning ingredients - balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and hot sauce. In any case, I thought the results were tasty and I'd make them again.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Parsnips with Citrus and Orange from Six Seasons p 358.

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I thought raw parsnips might have a very strong flavor, but they were just pleasantly pars-nippy in this fresh-tasting winter salad.

I used sweet and very juicy Cara Cara oranges and my favorite oil-cured olives, both from the local farmers market. The recipe has an instruction to use half the vinegar but never tells you what to do with the rest. I added it when mixing everything to macerate for 15 min, before adding the olive oil. During that time, my parsnips started picking up color from the olives so they don't look as snow-y white as in the book. Next time I would add the olives last.

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Kale Sauce with Pappardelle from Six Seasons p 312.  

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I used a different pasta shape, although it's impossible to discern that through the overwhelming green-ness of the sauce.  If anyone's looking for a good St. Paddy's Day pasta, this could be for you xD.

I like the economy of this sort of dish.  Salted water goes on to boil, garlic gets gently warmed in olive oil, vegetables are cooked in the water then scooped out to make way for the pasta, then everything comes back together in the same pan with a splash of pasta water. 

 

Elsewhere, I read comments from others who thought the the sauce was excessive for the amount of pasta so I only added ~ 2/3 of the sauce. I'd say that's still a bit overly sauced for my taste. I also took note of those who thought the sauce was lacking in flavor so I was generous with the garlic, added a squeeze of lemon juice and used a mix of parm and pecorino Romano for a little extra tang. Feta could also have been good, I think. Flavor-wise, I was happy, though I tend to like pasta with some more textural contrast from lightly cooked vegetables. 


 

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Parsnip, Date & Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze from Six Seasons p 361.

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@Anna N posted about this earlier in this thread and I've been wanting to try it every since.  The flavor is very interesting, in a good way. I don't think it screams "parsnips" but there's a pleasant spicy flavor that I enjoyed.
My dates were kind of dry so I plumped them up in a bit of orange juice and drained them well. I baked this in 3 small loaf pans - 1 to enjoy now, 2 to freeze. They still took 45 min to bake even in the small pans. I usually skip the glaze for loaves like this but I was intrigued by the addition of black pepper and had plenty of Meyer lemons so I gave it a go and I found it a nice touch. It's looks pretty with the flecks of yellow zest and black pepper so if I was give this as a gift, I'd certainly use the glaze.

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Following in @Anna N's footsteps again. Braised Beef with Lots and Lots of Onions from Six Seasons p 356.  

Not sure what got into me here. I rarely cook beef but I spied some chuck roast on sale at Sprouts and we have rainy weather predicted for a few days so I decided to try it.

 

Here we are, ready to go into the oven.  Beef has been browned; onions, garlic & thyme cooked down with a little added butter and a cup of wine added. Had to switch to a bigger pan mid-stream so it took me a little longer than I expected to brown the meat and get the onions cooked down and ready for the oven. 

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This is after ~ 2 hrs in the oven.  Flavor is good but the meat needs a bit more time so I gave it a turn and put it back in for another hour

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And we're done:

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My those onions cooked down! I used a mandoline to cut them at 1.5mm (recipe says, "as thin as possible") but I would go with 3mm next time so they don't completely dissolve into a paste.

 

Served on polenta - comfort food.

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Looking forward to leftovers.

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41 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Braised Beef with Lots and Lots of Onions from Six Seasons p 356.

Loved this. Loved the leftovers. 

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29 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Loved this. Loved the leftovers. 

When I was putting this in the oven, I was looking at these big hunks o'meat and thinking, "What am I ever going to do with all this meat??"

But after tasting it, I was packing up the leftovers and thinking, "How am I going to ration this and make it last???" xD

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2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

When I was putting this in the oven, I was looking at these big hunks o'meat and thinking, "What am I ever going to do with all this meat??"

But after tasting it, I was packing up the leftovers and thinking, "How am I going to ration this and make it last???" xD

Chuck roast would be the most difficult cut of beef for me to give up. I'd rather have it, cooked right, than a steak.

 

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DSC03973-RanchoGordo.jpg.91184508f84a1090edd8bd73d02705ad.jpg

 

I've been making the raw asparagus salad with mint, over and over, and I decided to add some cooked scarlet runner beans. 
It's a meal! 

I love this book and can't stop cooking from it. You feel like you're learning something, not just following a recipe. 
Easily my best book from last year. And it's sad it was slightly tainted by winning Cookbook of the Year from the IACP when the co-author of the book is also the CEO of IACP.  There was a small outrage and the prize was taken away. 
It's more telling about the IACP than anything else, but it's a shame it happened to this particular book. But then again, these book awards seem silly and arbitrary. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, rancho_gordo said:

I love this book and can't stop cooking from it. You feel like you're learning something, not just following a recipe. 

 

I agree.  Almost everything I make leaves me with tons of ideas. 

 

18 minutes ago, rancho_gordo said:

Easily my best book from last year. And it's sad it was slightly tainted by winning Cookbook of the Year from the IACP when the co-author of the book is also the CEO of IACP.  There was a small outrage and the prize was taken away. 
It's more telling about the IACP than anything else, but it's a shame it happened to this particular book. But then again, these book awards seem silly and arbitrary. 

 

Agreed again.  Shame on IACP for not standing behind their decisions. When Six Seasons was advanced as a finalist, the board voted to allow it to continue and then caved and failed to stand behind their decision AFTER it won the top prize.

I have no issue with a professional organization giving an award to a member. Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back when it's deserving.  It happens all the time. I'd prefer a transparent process over the direction they seem to be going in proposing to ban the board/officers from winning awards. 

 

Edited to add:  Thanks for the recommendation on asparagus mint salad.  It's on my list to try soon!


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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I don't know. Somewhere along the way, they should have said, this won't look good if our CEO wins. 
They have a reputation of being clubby and not so serious, fair or not, This didn't help. But it was in reality, Cookbook of the Year for so many of us. 
 Not an easy situation. 

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And re the salad, now is the time to do it with the new asparagus, apparently. He says not to do it unless it's early spring. I still may try. 

 

 

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