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blue_dolphin

Cooking with Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

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11 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Don’t believe for one second that I could tolerate a can of anchovies. Even a single anchovy would be stretching my  tolerance.  And yet it would not be the same dressing if you omit that much of one ingredient. I rather like @heidih‘s thought of using fish sauce instead.  I’ll have to think on it.  Is it not strange that I love fish sauce and can’t stand anchovies?

 

Kind of makes sense with your aversion to oily (non-pickled) fish but given that fish sauce is made from anchovies, it's surprising that the flavors are distinct enough to trigger the dislike. 

 

I don't think I've ever eaten an intact anchovy ... well, not intentionally...there was a pizza incident but I'm pretty sure I spit it out .... but I do love the umami hit they add when they dissolve into something!

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7 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Kind of makes sense with your aversion to oily (non-pickled) fish but given that fish sauce is made from anchovies, it's surprising that the flavors are distinct enough to trigger the dislike. 

 

I don't think I've ever eaten an intact anchovy ... well, not intentionally...there was a pizza incident but I'm pretty sure I spit it out .... but I do love the umami hit they add when they dissolve into something!

Love love Worcestershire sauce. And come to think of it I used to make a Caesar dressing with anchovies and loved it. Hmmmm. There’s nowt so queer as folk. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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On 7/24/2018 at 6:53 PM, blue_dolphin said:

Roasted String Beans and Scallions with Pine Nut Vinaigrette p 205 

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The recipe for the Pine Nut Vinaigrette is in the  go-to section on p 39 and the header notes say it's an Italian version of an Asian peanut sauce.  Whatever it is, it's very delicious. The recipe above is the only one in the book that specifically calls for it but it would be very good with any number of vegetables and very worthy of being called a go-to!

Back to the string beans. I used a mix of green beans and yellow wax beans.  Along with the scallions, they get tossed with olive oil, S&P and roasted until softened with a bit of char here and there.  They're tossed with a little red wine vinegar and allowed to cool down before being mixed with the pine nut vinaigrette, mint, basil and pine nuts.

I thought the portion size was on the large side (1.5 lbs beans/4 servings), but I gobbled them all up and look forward to making this again.

 

 

Found this recipe online. 

https://www.thebacklabel.com/recipe/roasted-string-beans-and-scallions-with-pine-nuts-and-vinaigrette/#.W2XFKBoTGhA

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Carta di Musica with Roasted Eggplant Spread, Herbs and Ricotta Salad from Six Seasons p 235.

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This uses the crisp Whole Grain Carta di Musica crackers p 46, spread with a thick layer of the Roasted Eggplant Spread p 235 and topped with a "salad" of fresh herbs and scallions and a sprinkle of ricotta salata.

The flavors and textures are great - lots of contrast between the herbs dressed with lemon and olive oil, the creamy eggplant spread and crisp cracker base. I'd find it a little awkward to eat in polite company but it was delicious. 
Served this with extra carta di musica crackers and eggplant spread, olives and roasted vegetables.
The Roasted Eggplant Spread p 235 is very simple and lets the flavor of the eggplant come through without being overwhelmed with garlic or other seasonings. 
The Whole Grain Carta di Musica crackers p 46 were a bit of work. I baked them on the baking stone in the CSO to avoid heating up the big oven.  

I needed to make them a little smaller to fit the stone (~ 40g dough/cracker vs 53g if I'd followed the recipe) but I think they came out OK. I'm sure this would be good with purchased cracker breads but I liked the whole grain flavors and am glad I tried them. They stay crisp for a while, but do eventually soften under the eggplant spread so I'd recommend leaving a good rim around the outside that will stay crispy.

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Corn Fritters with Pickled Chiles from Six Seasons p 232

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These are made with raw corn, pickled chiles, scallions and grated Parmesan cheese in a yeasted flour, cornmeal and yogurt batter. 

Perhaps should be renamed Pop-Corn Fritters as there was much LOUD popping and splashing of hot oil while they cooked. 

I must have made them too small as I got 18 fritters from a half-batch instead of the 12 the recipe predicted. 

It's suggested to serve them with one of the compound butters in the book but that seems odd to me.  Quite tasty on their own with the pickled chiles and scallions built in.   Maybe a salsa verde, sour cream or yogurt on the side? 

I had a few for breakfast with scrambled eggs and tomatoes:

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Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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@blue_dolphin  Hell i appaud you for having the fortitude to use hot oil in this weather. Frietters look really good and I like the idea of the pickled chilies; I agree - butter?!!?  I was also thinkig something more spicd yogurt/raita.

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8 minutes ago, heidih said:

@blue_dolphin  Hell i appaud you for having the fortitude to use hot oil in this weather. Frietters look really good and I like the idea of the pickled chilies; I agree - butter?!!?  I was also thinkig something more spicd yogurt/raita.

 

That's why I made them for breakfast - while it was still fairly cool!  I was going to make them yesterday but after a flat tire and annoying/expensive/tediously-delayed tire purchase, I just couldn't bring myself to do it!

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A couple more Six Seasons dishes to report.  First up is Rigatoni and Eggplant alla Norma p 239.  Cavatappi standing in for the rigatoni here.

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I also used chunks of heirloom tomatoes instead of the cherry tomatoes specified. They cooked down into more of a sauce than the intact tomatoes pictured in the book.  Aside from the fact that 2 oz of pasta is a more appropriate serving for me than the specified 4 oz, with that small adjustment, this was a success.  

 

 Green Bean, Tuna and Mushroom "Casserole" from Six Seasons p 206. Per the header notes, this is a grown-up version of the Midwestern green bean mushroom casserole of Joshua McFadden's childhood.

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It calls for wild mushrooms, which don't happen in SoCal in the summer. In alignment with the book's seasonal philosophy, I objected to paying $$$ for pricy, trucked-in wild mushrooms to reimagine a homey comfort food dish so I added a handful of porcini mushrooms to the readily available creminis. I gave the porcinis a brief soak in a little of the boiling bean water and then added the soaking liquid back to the pan when I added the cream. I added extra lemon juice but might have preferred the added complexity of a bit of sherry or vermouth and will try that next time.

 

 

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Last week, I made the Corn Fritters with Pickled Chiles from Six Seasons p 232 and froze the extras. Today, I reheated a few in the CSO and tried them with the Classic Salsa Verde and a Couple of Variations p 44.  

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From left to right in the photo are the Classic, the Pickle Salsa Verde made with Six Seasons pickled carrots and zucchini and purchased sweet-hot chiles and the Radish and Mint Salsa Verde. 
All were very good with the fritters and it was fun to play around with a basic recipe.

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If you're going to make soup with mid-summer tomatoes, this Tomato Soup with Arugula, Torn Croutons and Pecorino from Six Seasons p 270 is probably the one you should make.  

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There's a bit of onion, a little garlic, a dash of hot sauce but it's all about beautiful tomatoes, cooked for just 5 minutes and then puréed. The garnishes add texture and depth so don't skip them.
I added a teaspoon of honey to balance the acid in the tomatoes but otherwise made it as written. 
I've reserved some to try the variation with white beans and sausage but that will have to wait for a cooler day.

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3 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

If you're going to make soup with mid-summer tomatoes, this Tomato Soup with Arugula, Torn Croutons and Pecorino from Six Seasons p 270 is probably the one you should make. 

Tomato soup rarely calls out to me. I might be able to make an exception for this one. Thanks, as always, for sharing. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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3 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Tomato soup rarely calls out to me. I might be able to make an exception for this one. Thanks, as always, for sharing. 

 

I thought the same thing about tomato soup, then I remembered gazpacho. Go figure. 

 

I bought the Kindle version of Six Seasons, but so far have only done the roasted green beans with pine nut vinaigrette. I liked it; our guests liked it; my darling not so much. Oh, well. The vinaigrette is good on other things too. Tonight it'll be gracing some asparagus. I may break down and buy a dead tree version of this book, for the sheer pleasure of handling and looking through it. Every time this topic is updated I remember that I actually own the book, but without its taking up space on a desk I forget to look through it!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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34 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Tomato soup rarely calls out to me. I might be able to make an exception for this one. Thanks, as always, for sharing. 

A long-cooked soup made with roasted tomatoes would be more flavorful but this one was so quick - less than 20 minutes from slicing onions to eating lunch - that I figured I'd give it a try. 

 

30 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I thought the same thing about tomato soup, then I remembered gazpacho. Go figure. 

I was thinking that maybe I should have made gazpacho instead.  This one warmed me up more than I needed - good thing I have plenty of popsicles for the cool down xD!

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Grilled Green Tomatoes with Avocado, Feta & Watermelon from Six Seasons p 271.  

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I thoroughly enjoyed this salad. The tartness of the grilled green tomatoes is a perfect partner for the sweet watermelon and the char on the tomatoes and scallions adds depth to the flavors. I don't usually encounter green tomatoes but wouldn't hesitate to make this again when I do.
I used a stovetop grill pan and most of the char on the tomatoes stayed stuck to the pan 😢, maybe oiling the pan would have helped but there was no problem with the scallions sticking so I'm not sure. The recipe says to slice the scallions on a sharp angle before grilling. I cut them in half (longitudinally) before grilling, and then into shorter segments after. The recipe also called for purslane, which was absent at yesterday's market but I'll pick some up one of these days.

 

Fun fact - for the avocados, I used one of the Western Hole avocados that I picked up at the farmers market from Rancho Santa Cecilia in Carpinteria, CA.  They are small, with a thin, dark, purple-green skin and don't need to be peeled.  

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Not a lot of guacamole to them with that fairly large seed but @ 3/$1, they're fine to put in salads like this.

 


Edited by blue_dolphin to remove stray sentence fragment (log)
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You mean the peel is edible? I'll have to ask my avocado guy.

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This is the Quick Cioppino variation of the Six Seasons Tomato Soup p 270.

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Made very quickly by simmering some of Trader Joe's seafood blend (shrimp, scallops & squid) in the soup, just until cooked.

Best cioppino ever?  No, but a rather pleasant way of turning leftover soup into a meal. 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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20 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Made very quickly by simmering some of Trader Joe's seafood blend (shrimp, scallops & squid) in the soup, just until cooked.

I have often wondered what purpose these seafood blends might serve.  I see them occasionally in the freezer cases in the supermarket. They are definitely not TJ‘s but I will file this away for future reference. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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4 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I have often wondered what purpose these seafood blends might serve.  I see them occasionally in the freezer cases in the supermarket. They are definitely not TJ‘s but I will file this away for future reference. 

 

I bought it to toss into pasta but it's also handy for something like this where you want a couple of kinds of seafood.  I also added to the celery soup from this book for the "seafood stew" variation.

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Israeli-Spiced Tomatoes, Yogurt Sauce and Chickpeas from Six Seasons p 266.   Excellent flavor combination.

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There are 3 components to this dish:

Sliced tomatoes, marinated with a mix of ground cumin, coriander, sumac, garlic and salt

Yogurt sauce with cucumber, basil, mint, parsley and a few dashes of hot sauce

A chickpea, red onion and parsley salad dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil. 

 

The Slightly Tangy Flatbreads from the book are the recommended accompaniment and they would have been fine.  They're an un-yeasted flatbread so you can put them together in the time it takes the tomatoes to marinate - but I decided to modify the recipe for the yeasted Bäco flatbreads by making them with half whole wheat flour (Sonora Red Fife) and they were just the ticket.

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Squash Ribbons with Tomatoes, Peanuts, Basil, Mint, and Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce, 47% through the Kindle version.

 

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This was an adventure. The photos uptopic have been inspiringly lovely, and I bought 2 yellow summer squash and a zucchini simply to make this recipe. Then I started to make the Spicy Fish-Sauce Sauce, and began to worry. First, there was the necessary substitution of ground chiles and sriracha sauce for the fresh chiles to be found in the recipe but not in my pantry. Next, there was the Fish Sauce.

 

I don't recall how long ago, or why, I first bought fish sauce, but I've kept it around without really cottoning to it. It has sulked in the refrigerator, only occasionally being trotted out for some experiment before being relegated again to the Hazardous Materials Storage section, for years. I began to mix, and the aroma permeated the kitchen. Whew! I adjusted seasonings in the dressing to my taste, which meant adding a LOT more water, sugar and vinegar - including some wine vinegar - to balance out the fish sauce. I could still smell the fish sauce. I let it rest and mingle. The marauding aroma marched to the rest of the house.

 

The salad itself looked pretty. The ribbons of squash became supple after some hours of salting, draining, and then rinsing. The tomatoes, basil, mint and peanuts added to the color contrast. O-kay, it looked pretty. How would it taste? In a moment of skepticism I hauled out some leftovers as a dinner backup. 

 

Surprise! I needn't have worried. Somehow, that spicy fish-sauce sauce is an excellent compliment to the vegetables. I probably overplayed the sriracha; the salad dressing has a sneak-up-and-don't-let-go bulldog quality of heat, but the flavors are quite good. We'll be playing with this more. Maybe I'll move the fish sauce to more accessible place in the fridge.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This is the "Build a Heartier Soup" variation of the Tomato Soup recipe from Six Seasons p 270.

 

I used hot Italian sausage from Trader Joes and Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans. 

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I tasted this with just the beans and basil and it's a great vegetarian option but the sausage takes it over the top. Yum!


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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These are the Crispy Mushrooms with Green Herb Mayonnaise from Six Seasons p 324.  

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I was going to skip most of the deep-fried recipes but this one took me right back to my college days when deep-fried mushrooms with ranch dressing was a thing. Yes, I am that old!  
I don't have much experience frying things so I first made the batter too thin and by the time I mixed in additional flour and cornstarch to thicken it, any fizz from the sparkling water was long gone so I didn't get quite the light puffy batter that's pictured in the book but they were still enjoyable to eat.
The Green Herb Mayonnaise p42 was a nice accompaniment, especially with extra lemon added to balance the richness. Seems sort of odd to add egg yolk and olive oil to purchased mayo but it certainly takes away any anxiety about having it emulsify properly - it's foolproof this way!

 

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