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


Shelby
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4 hours ago, shain said:

 

Those rolls are very similar in appearance to ones we get around here - which are topped with a mixture of zaatar, toasted sesame, garlic, olive oil and probably some starch. I guess this should work with any similar mixture of fat ans spices.

Yes, I think you could come up with lots of variations....in fact, Google offered up a lot of choices with just this particular brand of rolls!  

 

1 hour ago, Maison Rustique said:

I want to make up a batch of those marinated pineapple slices. They sound like they would be great with ham. Quick dinner: grilled ham steak with marinated pineapple. Yum!

Great idea!  The rice vinegar was a nice combo with the pineapple. 

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Two more This Will Make It Taste Good meals.

Fast Road to Fancy Pork Scaloppine p 191 uses Community Organizer p 176 to make a quick sauce. 

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This is indeed quick to make, assuming you've got Community Organizer at the ready, and tasty, too.  I served it over orzo.  I had olives with pits so I had to butcher them to get the pits out.  I contemplated using kalamatas which are much easier to de-pit but stuck with the recipe.  I think the kalamatas would have been fine, as would any salty, tangy thing like capers.   I'd make this again. 

 

For this next one, the actual book recipe I tried is the Please Forgive Me Steamed Rice p 257 that adds finely ground Quirky Furki p 236 to the rice during the cooking time vs sprinkling furikake over already cooked rice, as one would usually do.  Turns out, this is actually quite a nice way of making a quick seasoned rice.  The flavors are much more embedded in the rice, rather than sprinkled here and there so it's a very much a different thing. 

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Atop my rice is a salmon filet that I topped with the caramelized onion/kalamata olive vinaigrette that's used in the Here's to Eggplant, grilled eggplant recipe. It's a versatile sauce. 

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Today's lunch was a sous vide cooked pork chop, seared off and sauced with the Back Pocket Pan Sauce from This Will Make It Taste Good p 311

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This recipe is in the Sweet Potential chapter that features fruit preserves and I used the kumquat version that I made the other day. This a great template (with variations) for making a pan sauce featuring fruit preserves to use with pork tenderloin, as in the recipe. Chicken, duck or salmon would also be good. I had some boneless pork loin chops so I cooked them sous vide and seared them off to get some brown stuff going for the sauce. I served this with a brown rice version of Please Forgive Me Steamed Rice p 257 and some steamed veg. I don't cook a ton of meat but will certainly be returning to this recipe when I want a fruity sauce.

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36 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Today's lunch was a sous vide cooked pork chop, seared off and sauced with the Back Pocket Pan Sauce from This Will Make It Taste Good p 311

IMG_3685.thumb.jpeg.076fa38d926f0c54e006f29777442615.jpeg

This recipe is in the Sweet Potential chapter that features fruit preserves and I used the kumquat version that I made the other day. This a great template (with variations) for making a pan sauce featuring fruit preserves to use with pork tenderloin, as in the recipe. Chicken, duck or salmon would also be good. I had some boneless pork loin chops so I cooked them sous vide and seared them off to get some brown stuff going for the sauce. I served this with a brown rice version of Please Forgive Me Steamed Rice p 257 and some steamed veg. I don't cook a ton of meat but will certainly be returning to this recipe when I want a fruity sauce.

So pretty!

 

I need to get back on cooking from this.  I have a whole jar of citrus that I've yet to touch.  

 

Vivian should give you a part of her royalties for portraying her dishes so well :) (is that quirky rice?)

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17 minutes ago, Shelby said:

So pretty!

 

I need to get back on cooking from this.  I have a whole jar of citrus that I've yet to touch.  

 

Vivian should give you a part of her royalties for portraying her dishes so well :) (is that quirky rice?)

Thanks!  Yes, that's the rice that gets Quirky Furki added during cooking. 
Don’t worry about the citrus, it will be good for ages!

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Today's cook from This Will Make It Taste Good is Sweet Heat Side of Salmon p 307, in which Sweet Potential preserved fruit gets cooked into a glaze with jalapeño peppers, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce and citrus juice. The warm glaze is slathered on a side of grilled salmon which is then served with a salad of arugula, radishes and herbs.

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I used some of the pineapple & lime Sweet Potential and cooked a salmon filet on the Philips grill rather than a whole side.   Green onions aren't mentioned but appear in the book photo and were a good addition. 

This was quite good.  The glaze is vinegar-y enough to serve as a vinaigrette for the greens.  I added a serving of rice after I took the photo although this would be fine on its own as a salad. 

 

Back to that book photo, you will see salmon with a glaze that is a light golden color with prettily colored fruit and green slices of candied jalapeño.  

Rather like mine looked BEFORE I added the soy sauce and vinegar:

IMG_3692.thumb.jpeg.2cba6467ced62ad0eaeb4a418bc26d7f.jpeg

 

Here it is after adding those ingredients and cooking it down as directed.  Not so pretty, right? 

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It tasted fine, but the photo did a rather poor job of managing my expectations! 

 

Edited by blue_dolphin
missing word (log)
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4 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

@blue_dolphin 2nd photo with the soy sauce and vinegar still looked pretty to me. Soy sauce makes almost everything taste better, IMO. Maybe I'm biased.

 

Oh yes, I agree with you.  I would never think of omitting it.  Just wanted to note an observation I've had with a few photos in the book that don't exactly match up with the recipe instructions. 

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19 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Oh yes, I agree with you.  I would never think of omitting it.  Just wanted to note an observation I've had with a few photos in the book that don't exactly match up with the recipe instructions. 

 

OK, got it. That is kind of bogus for them to use a photo of the glaze w/o the soy sauce (which is an ingredient in the final product).

 

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Happy hour nibbles...aka dinner...from This Will Make It Taste Good. A trio of bean dips from the Party In A Can Bean Dip p 164 with fresh veggie dippers.  

I made the main recipe on this page a few months ago but I can't remember if I posted about it.  It was a curious conglomeration of beans, Castelvetrano olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Citrus Shrine preserved lemon with lemon juice, garlic, salt & olive oil, whizzed to smoothness in the blender. It was pretty good, especially the next day as Vivian says in the recipe.   Today, I had 3 of the variations:

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The green one on the left has beans, Herbdacious, Greek yogurt, anchovies, capers, lemon Citrus Shrine, lemon juice and olive oil.

Upper right has beans, Can-Do-Kraut, R-Rated Onions, sour cream, Parmigiano Reggiani, hot sauce and olive oil.

Lower right has beans, Red Weapons, Lime Citrus Shrine and olive oil.

All were made with Rancho Gordo Vallarta, Alubia Blanca or Giant Lima beans instead of canned cannellinis. All were good.  All were better the next day.  I had the most doubts about the one with the kraut and caramelized onions but it was surprisingly good. 

None of these variations indicate quantities of the ingredients so you need to play around so they suit your taste.  

I also made the one with Quirky Furki, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and olive oil but I didn't get the flavors where I wanted which was disappointing as I was looking forward to it.  I'll probably try again.  

There's another one with LGD, avocado, lime, lemon Citrus Shrine, honey and olive oil.  Not sure about that or the one with Sweet Potential but maybe I'll try them when I have some leftover beans handy. 

 

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50 minutes ago, Maison Rustique said:

I have been incredibly lazy and unmotivated lately. I need to cook up some RG beans and make some go-withs. Going to work on my to-do list and a shopping list. Thank you, @blue_dolphin for the inspiration!

 

Bean dips & veggies used to be one of my staple lunches to pack for work.  Aside from hummus, I hadn't made any in quite a while and forgot how handy it is to have some at the ready!

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Continuing on with the Sweet Potential chapter of This Will Make It Taste Good, we have I Wish I Was A Cheese Baller p 312, which is not a cheese ball but a baked cheese spread that includes some fruit preserves.  

It's very similar to the Party Magnet cheese ball from Deep Run Roots with additional cream cheese instead of butter (which would surely break and melt in the oven) and Sweet Potential fruit preserves instead of dates.   The photo in the book looks like strawberry or raspberry, which did not appeal to me.  Nor did the pineapple, blackberry, kumquat or apple Sweet Potential preserves that I made recently.  One of the things Vivian says in the beginning of the chapter is that we all have Sweet Potential in our fridges already so I reached into my pantry for a jar of the Whole Fig and Lemon Preserves that I made last year from the recipe in Deep Run Roots. They were more cooked down than the syrup that Vivian describes for Sweet Potential so I dumped the jar into a pan, added some water and simmered for a while to get them back to that consistency.  I also gave the figs a rough chop since the whole ones are way bigger than cracker size. 

I made a half batch and baked off a small 2.5 oz portion so I could test it.  I used walnuts instead of pecans because I like them with figs & blue cheese.    

Here's my tester portion:

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It's very luxurious.  I was worried about it being too sweet but it was delicious and I'm sold on adding the fruit preserves.  I also liked the small size so I packed the rest into similar 2.5 and 4 oz ramekins lined with plastic wrap.  Once they'd firmed up, I pulled them out and stashed them in the freezer.  

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I took one of the small ones out of the freezer last night, unwrapped it, put it into the ramekin and baked it in the CSO @ 400°F for 12 min, sprinkled on the nuts and it was perfect.    

 

Thanks to my above efforts to thin down the fig preserves, I now have fig syrup to work with so I turned back to the cocktail page and made a Fig (instead of Cherry) Boulevardier p 315.  

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I dialed back on the syrup and adjust proportions to my taste and it was delicious.  I think a Fig Old Fashioned or Fig Manhattan will be happening, too. Just the thing to have with the cheese!

 

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One of the "no brainer" ideas in the R-Rated onion section of This Will Make It Taste Good is to tuck them inside a grilled cheese sandwich.  Did I need Vivian to tell me about caramelized onions and grilled cheese?  No, but I thought of it today because I took caramelized onions out of the freezer to make the compound butter for the Steaks Dripping in Blue Cheese-Onion Butter which I plan to make with portobello mushrooms instead of steak.  I was getting hangry waiting for all of that so I made a quick grilled cheese to tide me over:

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Mix of Jarlsberg and sharp cheddar plus a layer of spinach sautéed with garlic in there, too.  I feel much better now.  Stay tuned for the mushrooms!

 

 

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

I feel much better now.

Lucky you. I just feel damned hungry after seeing this. 😂

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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

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As promised, I eventually got around to the Steaks Dripping in Blue Cheese-Onion Butter p 55 from This Will Make It Taste Good. 

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Since I'm not much of a steak eater, I used a big portobello mushroom instead.  It was very good and I'm looking forward to finding other uses for the blue cheese/caramelized onion butter.

Crispy smashed potatoes and basic broccoli & red bell peppers in the background.

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14 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Since I'm not much of a steak eater, I used a big portobello mushroom instead.

I used to scoff at the very idea of substituting a Portabella mushroom for a steak but I have come around. They are not the same but the mushroom, especially if combined with  cheese, makes a very satisfying and tasty dish. Yours looks quite delicious.

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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 used to scoff at the very idea of substituting a Portabella mushroom for a steak but I have come around. They are not the same but the mushroom, especially if combined with  cheese, makes a very satisfying and tasty dish. Yours looks quite delicious.

Thanks!  I've been especially annoyed by portobello "burgers" where their slippery selves squirt out the opposite side of the bun with the first attempted bite.

I marinated these with sherry vinegar, olive oil, shallot, smoked paprika and a little Worcestershire which I think helped.  I ate 2 🙃

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  • 3 weeks later...

A while back, I mentioned that I was curious what Herbdacious would be like with more dill.  I made a batch and it's good but it's not quite as flexible a condiment as the original recipe.  I was going to make a smoked salmon and cream cheese quiche with dill so I decided to just add some of that Herbdacious to the custard.  

😮 oh my, it's green...it's absolutely Herbdacious!  

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There's a bunch of skinny asparagus in there, too. I was worried it might be stringy, but it was fine. 

This tasted quite good but I'm not sure I'd make a green quiche to serve to others!

The crust was a frozen one from Trader Joe's which required as much patchwork as an Amish quilt.   I'd sworn them off because of similar problems in the past but in the interest of limiting shopping trips, I picked up a package of them the other day.  No more!

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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I noticed that Costco Canada has a 1 litre bottle of Castelvetrano olives on sale for $7.49 (reg $9.49) now and until May 2, for Canadians who might be making Little Green Dress. 😃

 

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16 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@FauxPas 

 

w/o pits ?

 

go for it.

 

pits ?

 

not so sure.

 

Good point, @rotuts! Looking closer at the photo, it just says whole olives, so there's a good chance they are not pitted. 

 

Here's the olives at the website, they cost more if you buy them online. 

https://www.costco.ca/asaro-farms-organic-castelvetrano-green-whole-olives%2c-1-l.product.100728816.html

 

For some things, I have been willing to work with unpitted olives, but it's a real pain if you are just blending them into something. 

 

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18 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

Good point, @rotuts! Looking closer at the photo, it just says whole olives, so there's a good chance they are not pitted.

On the ingredient page of the link it does say “contains pits”. 

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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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