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Cooking with "This Will Make It Taste Good", by Vivian Howard


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Vivian says she is planning to cook from This Will Make It Taste Good live on Instagram, one flavor hero per month.  This month, she made Nacho Normal with Community Organizer, answering live questions along the way. 

If interested, you should be able to watch at this link

 

Edited to add that someone asked her if the recipe yield of each flavor hero was sufficient to make all the recipes in that chapter and Vivian said yes, that it was planned that way.  Nice touch.

 

 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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This morning, I saw beans on @Kim Shook's breakfast plate and decided to do the same and made up a portion of the "Bake Beans Again" recipe (p 182) that uses Community Organizer. 

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With the Community Organizer already made and some cooked Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye beans, this was super easy to toss together and bake.   Very flavorful. 

Since I only made a 1/4 recipe, I probably should have baked them for less time or used more of the bean cooking liquid for a more saucy result.  I'll watch out for that next time. 

Between the diced country ham, the beans and CO, I'd say the serving size is very generous. 

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Started a batch of Citrus Shrine today

IMG_3520.thumb.jpeg.369d3fa71cec493bab95c3fe0466e847.jpeg

I used 2 small Oro Blanco grapefruits, 2 large Cara Cara oranges, 1 blood orange, 2 Meyer Lemons, 4 tangerines and a bunch of small Bearss limes in that 2.5 liter jar.

I cut the fruit all the way through in quarters.  Sixths or eighths for the bigger fruit.  Basically, the size of pieces that I tend to use at one time.

You can see that the top fruits aren't submerged. I think there's enough juice but the grapefruit had very thick pith and didn't compress much so I'll keep working on them over the course of the day. At some point today or tomorrow, I'll add additional fruit and/or juice to get everything submerged. 

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My wife and I both love her.  I got the book for her for Christmas and she is loving it.

 

great thread, have some catching up to do!

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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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5 minutes ago, paul o' vendange said:

My wife and I both love her.  I got the book for her for Christmas and she is loving it.

 

great thread, have some catching up to do!

Hi @paul o' vendange!  It's good to have you back :) .  Be sure and check out the Deep Run Roots cooking thread too.  

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Thanks so much Shelby, good to be back.  Been a bit dodgy medically over the years but wonderful to see you and the others again.

 

thanks on the thread info, will do!

 

😊❤️

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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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Here's another Community Organizer use - puréed, mixed with a bit of mayo (~1 part mayo:3 or 4 parts CO) and used on salmon. 

Not the best appearance here but it was quite satisfactory for an impromptu breakfast.

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I bought frozen salmon filets at TJ's yesterday and they escaped my notice in putting things away until this thin one started to thaw.  With no immediate eating plans, I seasoned it, bagged it up with a few thyme sprigs, dropped in in the water bath and stashed it in the fridge. 

For today's breakfast, I warmed it up, micro-steamed the broccoli and blitzed the sauce. The color contrast of yellow-orange sauce on pink-orange fish is not the best but the salmon certainly stands up to the sweetness of CO and it was quite nice.  

Every time I use CO, I think, "Ooo, this is too sweet," but every time, it grows on me.  I wouldn't propose CO with a delicate white fish but would certainly consider it on anything more fatty.  Good with the broccoli, too.

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2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Started a batch of Citrus Shrine today

IMG_3520.thumb.jpeg.369d3fa71cec493bab95c3fe0466e847.jpeg

I used 2 small Oro Blanco grapefruits, 2 large Cara Cara oranges, 1 blood orange, 2 Meyer Lemons, 4 tangerines and a bunch of small Bearss limes in that 2.5 liter jar.

I cut the fruit all the way through in quarters.  Sixths or eighths for the bigger fruit.  Basically, the size of pieces that I tend to use at one time.

You can see that the top fruits aren't submerged. I think there's enough juice but the grapefruit had very thick pith and didn't compress much so I'll keep working on them over the course of the day. At some point today or tomorrow, I'll add additional fruit and/or juice to get everything submerged. 

Beautiful! Love the combination of citrus and the Weck jar.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/30/2021 at 2:59 PM, curls said:

Beautiful! Love the combination of citrus and the Weck jar.

I love the Weck jar, too, but it's really not the best sort of jar for this purpose and I ended up repacking the fruit into 3 ~ quart-sized jars:

IMG_3539.thumb.jpeg.8d1fc6e6a5be93e165edb3d41a8bb7ba.jpeg

Vivian suggests turning the jars upside down for a while every now and then.  My usually routine is to flip them over every few hours the first day or so, then once a day for the first week and occasionally after that. 

Since there is usually a bit of fermentation going on in the beginning and this is more pronounced with sweeter fruits like oranges in the mix, I generally loosen the lids to "burp" them before flipping them over.   That Weck jar just didn't hold a seal when it was upside down, sitting on the clips with slightly increased pressure inside. 

I do believe everyone is doing fine now.  I'm hoping to find some kumquats to add to the jars before too long. They're little so they should catch up with the other fruits easily. 

 

On 1/1/2021 at 4:28 PM, curls said:

The butternut squash from my Misfits Market box became but-a-nut soup. Great recipe, I'll definitely make this one again. My husband preferred the soup without Vivian Howard's suggested garnish (which included spiced pecans, leeks, and apples). I loved the soup and loved it even more with the suggested garnish. The soup reheats well and we were able to make a few meals from it.

 

I agree with @curls that the garnish is what makes the But-A-Nut soup special.  It's in the V's Nuts chapter so those chopped, spiced pecans play a role, but only a supporting one, I think.  The garnish starts out by cooking sliced leeks in butter until it browns, then adding apple cider vinegar and maple syrup which turns them into a sweet, buttery, lightly pickled thing.  That gets mixed with sliced fresh apple, chopped sage leaves and the nuts to become the garnish so you've got tons of different flavors and textures in the mix.  Really good. 

IMG_3541.thumb.jpeg.599e5a97dc351ec5ea993801730f835a.jpeg

I used a red kuri squash because it's what I had on hand.  I'm sure any winter squash would work. 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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@blue_dolphin I’m so glad you tried the But-a-Nut soup and liked it!
 

Your citrus shrine looks good in quart jars too. Don’t know if you saw it but Vivian Howard demoed making citrus shrine on her Instagram feed. I think she is demoing items from her new book once a week.

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20 hours ago, curls said:

Don’t know if you saw it but Vivian Howard demoed making citrus shrine on her Instagram feed. I think she is demoing items from her new book once a week.

Yes!  I've been watching her IGs.  She said she'd plan to cook from 1 of the flavor heroes per month.  First up, in January was Community Organizer.  She made the Citrus Shrine last week so it will be ready to cook from in March.  Yesterday, she started cooking with the R-rated onions and made the Party Pleaser dip for Super Bowl snacking.  

 

Today, I made the Collards Break Character on p 158, one of the recipes that use lemons from the Citrus Shrine.  The citrus I posted above won't be ready for a while but I always keep preserved lemons on hand so I used some I made a while back.  

In my hands, this came out as more of a collard/coconut soup than a bowl o'greens.  The flavors are excellent but has the potential to be a huge salt bomb, so watch out for that.

IMG_3544.thumb.jpeg.d90a872408887a095637748346d79791.jpeg

I used Mae Ploy green curry paste, which has 610 mg sodium/2 t serving. I should have read the label before I got going.  This recipe calls for 1/4 cup for 4 servings, which ends up to be 930 mg sodium/serving and that's before we even get to the salt-preserved lemons!   There, Vivian calls for using both the rind and the pulp from 4 lemon quarters. I rinsed them thoroughly and only used the pulp from 2 quarters, holding the rest of the pulp back to add if needed.  NOT needed!  

Vivian also calls for 1/4 t salt to be added to the onions and another 3/4 added with collards.  I skipped that.  

Funnily enough, my initial concern was not the sodium level but the fact that the collards only get a quick sauté/wilt with the seasonings and 2 five-minute simmer periods, first with just water added and then with the coconut milk. That's way less time than I usually cook them.  They do have a bit of a chew to them but I really liked them.

My recommendations are to check the salt level of your green curry paste, consider backing off on the amount of preserved lemon, definitely reserve the pulp and only add it at the end if you want more salt.  The flavors are really wonderful so I hate to suggest big changes in the amount of curry paste or preserved lemon but use caution if salt is something you are sensitive to. 

 

I should also allow that the preserved lemon quarters I used were from a pretty big lemon from the bottom of the jar, likely saltiest pieces.  Knowing that, I did rinse them very thoroughly but with that green curry paste, it was already a very salty dish. 

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One more for today:  V's roasted-banana nut bread featuring the sweet/spicy V's Nuts.

IMG_3545.thumb.jpeg.6624d034bb827c14dee67d66143a246a.jpeg

I made half a recipe and baked it in two small loaf pans instead of the bundt pan used for the full recipe.   This has an interesting first step of roasting the bananas, in their skins, before adding them to the batter.  Not sure how much the roasting affected the flavor but it made the house smell very good. I liked the flavor added by the spices and orange zest and the sweet/spicy coating on the pecans adds interest. The texture is moist but not heavy, more like a banana cake to me.

 

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On 2/8/2021 at 5:48 PM, blue_dolphin said:

Today, I made the Collards Break Character on p 158, one of the recipes that use lemons from the Citrus Shrine.  The citrus I posted above won't be ready for a while but I always keep preserved lemons on hand so I used some I made a while back.  

In my hands, this came out as more of a collard/coconut soup than a bowl o'greens.  The flavors are excellent but has the potential to be a huge salt bomb, so watch out for that.

IMG_3544.thumb.jpeg.d90a872408887a095637748346d79791.jpeg

I used Mae Ploy green curry paste, which has 610 mg sodium/2 t serving. I should have read the label before I got going.  This recipe calls for 1/4 cup for 4 servings, which ends up to be 930 mg sodium/serving and that's before we even get to the salt-preserved lemons!   There, Vivian calls for using both the rind and the pulp from 4 lemon quarters. I rinsed them thoroughly and only used the pulp from 2 quarters, holding the rest of the pulp back to add if needed.  NOT needed!  

Vivian also calls for 1/4 t salt to be added to the onions and another 3/4 added with collards.  I skipped that.  

Funnily enough, my initial concern was not the sodium level but the fact that the collards only get a quick sauté/wilt with the seasonings and 2 five-minute simmer periods, first with just water added and then with the coconut milk. That's way less time than I usually cook them.  They do have a bit of a chew to them but I really liked them.

My recommendations are to check the salt level of your green curry paste, consider backing off on the amount of preserved lemon, definitely reserve the pulp and only add it at the end if you want more salt.  The flavors are really wonderful so I hate to suggest big changes in the amount of curry paste or preserved lemon but use caution if salt is something you are sensitive to. 

 

I should also allow that the preserved lemon quarters I used were from a pretty big lemon from the bottom of the jar, likely saltiest pieces.  Knowing that, I did rinse them very thoroughly but with that green curry paste, it was already a very salty dish. 

 

 

I have also made Collards Break Character and served it over brown rice. Very tasty. I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste and did not find this to be overly salty. Sorry for the quality of the photo.

1422195704_IMG_6533-collardsbreakcharacter.jpg.82d937a46209c37c5830075f4766022b.jpg

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After watching Vivian Howard make Chicken Toast on Instagram and be so enthusiastic about the dish, I decided to make it. You roast chicken quarters on slabs of bread, remove the chicken skin, remove the chicken meat from the bones, dress the chicken meat with little green dress, and then assemble a salad. The dish is schmaltz soaked toast, arugula, chicken salad, and chicken skin. Quite tasty but I was not as impressed with it as Vivian seems to be... I think that I am looking for different flavors in the chicken salad. I will probably make this again and tweak to my preferences.

 

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Edited by curls (log)
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I opened a new jar of Community Organizer and used it in the Nacho Normal from This Will Make It Taste Good p 189. 

IMG_3580.thumb.jpeg.444e2e4bced9ea972a0c849718c4e5cf.jpeg

This is a healthy-ish take on nachos that includes cauliflower that gets browned in a skillet before being tossed with Community Organizer to make sort of a cauliflower salsa.  To make the refried beans, Vivian blends a bunch of fresh spinach in with the beans and garlic, then fries that mixture.  On Instagram, she said she does this to "hide" the greens from her kids.  I used Rancho Gordo vallarta beans, already light in color so my bean mixture was totally green - no sneaking around there.  

I would not intentionally make a meal out of nachos but there's enough vegetables her to get away with it.  In her Instagram, Vivian added ground turkey.  I'll try adding some soy chorizo next time. 

As with everything I put Community Organizer into, I'm first struck by the sweetness but always won over in the end. 

 

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14 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I opened a new jar of Community Organizer and used it in the Nacho Normal from This Will Make It Taste Good p 189. 

IMG_3580.thumb.jpeg.444e2e4bced9ea972a0c849718c4e5cf.jpeg

This is a healthy-ish take on nachos that includes cauliflower that gets browned in a skillet before being tossed with Community Organizer to make sort of a cauliflower salsa.  To make the refried beans, Vivian blends a bunch of fresh spinach in with the beans and garlic, then fries that mixture.  On Instagram, she said she does this to "hide" the greens from her kids.  I used Rancho Gordo vallarta beans, already light in color so my bean mixture was totally green - no sneaking around there.  

I would not intentionally make a meal out of nachos but there's enough vegetables her to get away with it.  In her Instagram, Vivian added ground turkey.  I'll try adding some soy chorizo next time. 

As with everything I put Community Organizer into, I'm first struck by the sweetness but always won over in the end. 

 

I gotta make Community Organizer.  Do you see any problem with me using my canned tomatoes from the garden over using fresh?

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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

I gotta make Community Organizer.  Do you see any problem with me using my canned tomatoes from the garden over using fresh?

@Shelby, C.O. is very, very similar to my "ripe tomato pickle" recipe handed down from my mother. I've found it's easier for me to just can plain tomatoes and juice, and I can make up the CO/tomato pickle a couple of quarts of tomatoes at a time. As @blue_dolphin notes, you're going to cook them anyway.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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One more comment for @Shelby, just in case you haven't made your CO yet. If your home canned tomatoes were put up when they were dead ripe and are very soft, you may consider tossing in a few fresh but taste-deprived grocery store romas, just to add a bit of texture. Certainly not needed for flavor!

This morning, I replenished my supply of Little Green Dress with a new batch. Phew, that feels better!

Aside from the Gas Station Biscuits, which I've approximated without totally exposing my lack of biscuit skills, the only recipe in this section that I haven't tried is the Mussels Will Work For You p 30.

BLUF:  excellent!

Last week, I spied some frozen mussels at Aldi and picked up a box.  

IMG_3586.thumb.jpeg.04c055ae4ae7b72534b23166c184079f.jpeg

I believe they were $2.99 for that 14 oz box.  I think "In their natural juices" translates into, "frozen with a lot of ice," and "Enlarged to show texture" means, "use a magnifying glass on these mussels."  Two servings per container is a lie.  I only used half of them but wish I'd tossed them all in. 

Aside from the fact that the mussels are quite tiny and frozen with plenty of icy juices, they were fine and made for a nice lunchtime treat in Vivian's recipe with plenty of bread to sop up the juices. 

IMG_3588.thumb.jpeg.06236815f7064d5a9eda20195d500263.jpeg

I'll be on the lookout for proper mussels to try this again because it was quite good. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, heidih said:

@blue_dolphin does your Farmers Market have mussels? I get nice ones harvested offshore at mine. Then you will get the "natural juices".

No, sadly, there is only one regular fish/seafood seller and they have lovely fresh fish, they don’t bring mussels every week. I have other good sources but have been limiting shopping trips lately. 
The frozen juices here tasty but perhaps pumped up the weight a bit. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 11:42 AM, blue_dolphin said:

 

A Little Green Dress/Parmesan toastie topped with a boiled egg and more LGD

 

Oh my Lord. That looks so good. I think you might have outdone yourself!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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On 2/23/2021 at 2:47 PM, blue_dolphin said:

I replenished my supply of Little Green Dress with a new batch. 

I need to do this, too.  Later today I'll look at my sad little herbs in the fridge and see if I have enough.  I was totally out of Herbdacious, so I made some of that last night.  I'm learning that these recipes are pretty forgiving.  I didn't even really measure...just eyed it and it still turned out well.

 

thumbnail_IMG_0588.jpg.6fd178a4affc0440b0bb20259d6ba4f1.jpg

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2 hours ago, Shelby said:

 I was totally out of Herbdacious, so I made some of that last night

I need to buy some basil so I can do the same.  I should do that before the other herbs go south!  

 

I put up another small batch of Citrus Shrine.  This one has kumquats, limequats and mandarinquats. 

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I juiced a couple of the lemons to top off the jar. 

IMG_3599.thumb.jpeg.b870abcd35a3afbf20e67eb334cc894a.jpeg

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