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Cookbook Roulette


Daniel
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Doc, the chicken sounds great.. I am surprised you reduced it down to one breast! Are you upset you dont have leftovers?

I am trying, desparately, to reduce the amount of food I make. I grew up with two little brothers in a family where food=love and have ALWAYS been the laughingstock of all for the huge amounts of food I make (but what do they take home to eat tomorrow, eh?)

I still have some with the orzo, good for a lunch or maybe a breakfast :wub:

I'll make it again when my husband and daughter are here. They'll like it and I can make a good amount (and send them home with leftovers :rolleyes: )

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OK! I just drew (closed my eyes and ran my finger over the shelf, stopping at random), and I got Mmmmm: A Feastiary, a cookbook written by Ruth Reichl back in 1972. I bought it just because I thought it would be neat to have, and I've never cooked from it. Looks like dinner will be chicken fricassee, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, and chocolate cake.

Not terribly exotic, but tasty!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Torakris, I have that Children's World Cookbook (along with 2 other really nice children's cookbooks) and I really like it. I've made quite a few meals from it, including the beef stroganoff. I want to make Jansson's Temptation which gets lots of attention here on eGullet. My kids are sort of obsessed with Africa and always want to make the peanut bread. I dunno, just looks kind of weird to me...

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Damn, I would have loved to play but all my books are in a storage box in Sydney :(. I miss them so much :(.

Hmmmmm....I'm thinking maybe someone could play for you, scan the recipes, and email them to you? OR, you could do it at the library!!!!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Damn, I would have loved to play but all my books are in a storage box in Sydney :(. I miss them so much :(.

I think we could include RecipeGullet in the mix. For kicks and giggles, click on the "three random recipes" button on the left side of the screen.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Well now I have 3 cookbooks to work from, each kid wanted to pick one....

Hide (5) picked The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, I have only made one recipe from here.

Julia (8) picked Seasoned in the South: Recipes from Crook's Corner and from Home, I bought this after reading about it in an eGullet thread but have not used it yet

Mia (10) picked the Children's World Cookbook, this actually a kid's book and I am pretty sure we have not yet used it.  Maybe I will find something that the kids can help me with or if I am lucky they can do by themselves.

I decided to choose pages at random as well. For the Zuni cookbook I picked my birthday, 327, and will now be making monkfish braised with white beans, fennel and tomato. I may have to skip the fennel if I can't find it though.

For Seasoned in the South I had Julia pick a number and she gave me 32 which took me to a Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise. I was going to try a different one instead but the monkfish recipe calls for aioli as a garnish and I think I will use it there.

I decided to let Mia pick out any recipe she wanted and I will let the kids do it, with adult supervision of course. She picked out the Turkish shish kebabs served in a pita.

Now I need to figure out where to put them into my weekly menu...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Really, I am in love with this book.. In addition to making two things out of it this evening, I am making two more tomorrow..

Using the recipe for white cornmeal fried oysters, we made po boys.. Or actually one giant Po Boy.. With 12 bucks worth of oysters, this sandwich is rather pricey.. We fried the oysters in a Bacon Fat and Leaf Lard!!! I really liked this combo. Duh, ya think! Edna Lewis is really no joke..

We made a quick remoulade sans the hard boiled egg.. Added romaine and cherry tomatoes.

Just to get a feel of the size of this bad boy..

gallery_15057_2971_167235.jpg

Plated with another one of her recipe.. I took the little ones pumpkin and cut it up.. I added it to onion I had fried in butter, with thyme and errrrrah, some of that there bacon grease.. Then added the boiled pumpkin pieces parsley, and crumbled bacon on top.. It was average.. But it could have been due to the old pumpkin.. I have the seeds though!

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Sandwich:

gallery_15057_2971_126563.jpg

Bite:

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Tonight I also made her shrimp paste that I plan to add to hot grits.. Served a long side a plank of garlic bread.. A la Scott Peacock.. Her shrimp paste was take 2 lbs of shrimp and cook in 2 sticks of butter.. Remove the shrimp and butter and deglaze the pan with equal parts Sherry and Lemon.. Combine and food process. For the main I am also making her catfish stew.. This book is a definite keeper..

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Daniel, awesome looking meal and thanks for the book review.

We have been "Cooking to Honor Edna Lewis" here and I have been looking at her books wondering which to get next....you just helped me make up my mind!

-mike

ps. why is there no drool emote? :raz:

-Mike & Andrea

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Oh my god...the po' boy looks so amazing...especially that shot of the dressing and the tomatoes, peeking under the bun. Well done.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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So, its night two of cooking with Edna Lewis.. Having made the shrimp paste the night before, most of my work was done.. Made grits with butter and cream, spread it on toasted buttered bread rubbed with a bit of garlic.. Then topped with shrimp paste and then real hot runny gritz.. Cayenne and green onions..

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Catfish stew from her book..

Very simple, very subtle flavors.. The catfish was two pounds cut into 12 pieces eached browned in butter in a dutch oven.. In the stock there were onions, carrots, a bit of thyme,a little bacon,scallions,tomatoes,black pepper and a cup of water... The catfish was added and simmered for 25 minutes.I really enjoyed this dish. The catfish was flakey and buttery..The recipe called for adding water to the vegetables instead of the usual (optional stock) suggestions.. I dont know whether its the time the book was written, or that was her actual suggestion for the recipe.. Wouldnt it be better to use seafood stock or make a catfish stock, or a stock from the shrimp shells I had leftover from the shrimp paste? Not better, but different.. Those are certainly options, but the water really allowed the flavors of the fish to shine through..This was a simple beautiful stew..

gallery_15057_2971_68194.jpg

Edited by Daniel (log)
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I want to play too!

Unfortunately since I know the exact location of all my 300+ cookbooks on my shelves I will have to wait until my kids come home from school. I will probably cook it this weekend as I will have to rearrange my menu. I have the dinner menu decided for the next 8 days....

Close your eyes, spin in place six times and grab the first book that comes to hand! :laugh:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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So, its night two of cooking with Edna Lewis..  Having made the shrimp paste the night before, most of my work was done.. Made grits with butter and cream, spread it on toasted buttered bread rubbed with a bit of garlic.. Then topped with shrimp paste and then real hot runny gritz.. Cayenne and green onions..

gallery_15057_2971_118323.jpg

Catfish stew from her book..

Very simple, very subtle flavors.. The catfish was two pounds cut into 12 pieces eached browned in butter in a dutch oven.. In the stock there were onions, carrots, a bit of thyme,a little bacon,scallions,tomatoes,black pepper and a cup of water... The catfish was added and simmered for 25 minutes.I really enjoyed this dish.  The catfish was flakey and buttery..The recipe called for adding water to the vegetables instead of the usual (optional stock) suggestions..  I dont know whether its the time the book was written, or that was her actual suggestion for the recipe..  Wouldnt it be better to use seafood stock or make a catfish stock, or a stock from the shrimp shells I had leftover from the shrimp paste?  Not better, but different.. Those are certainly options, but the water really allowed the flavors of the fish to shine through..This was a simple beautiful stew..

gallery_15057_2971_68194.jpg

Very nice, those grits look perfect! I haven't tried the catfish stew, and honestly am not too fond of catfish, but now I think I may give it a go.

I like "In Persuit of Flavor" better than her other books, but they are all good. At least post a link over on the Cooking with Edna Lews thread. You are doing a fine job of bringing those recipes to life, as usual!

Anne

I may have to jump in here, as I gaze at my bookcase, there are several candidates...

Edited by annecros (log)
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Well the fish soup I cooked for my first pick which was Moro The Cookbook (named after their restaurant I think) didn't all get eaten the first night and reheated very well a day later so that gives it extra points. The book has a lot of recipes using sweet spices and saffron; they describe it as Spanish/North African in style.

Next I was going to pick from my box of recipe cuttings but after splitting the pack several times in search of a recipe I had the ingredients for I realised I had a lot of rubbish in my boxfile. So that prompted an evening spent weeding out all the stuff I could not remember why I had torn out in the first place. I now have a much lighter box and my next completely random pick turns out to be 'Chilli Sausages with Roast Butternut Mash and Spiced Onions' by Nigel Slater. This was a lucky pick because I have some home grown butternut squash that need eating up and I love sauage and mash.

I am hoping this willl turn out good enough to photograph.

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I picked a books, blindly, from my stack of books from the library which was precariously high (tall enough to sit on easily) and let Peter make the decision, which was a baked egg in a maple toast cup.

A definite winner, and one that will become a staple. He's busy choosing another recipe from this delightful cookbook!

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Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I went to 3 stores and couldn't find monkfish!!

I saw it two weeks ago.... maybe it is a little early in the season?

I think I will page through and pick a recipe that I have the ingredients for.

The pictures are beautiful, by the way!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday with my husband!

I decided to pull out one of my "doorstop" cookbooks. This one in particular is one of those that I go to when I feel like curling up with a good book and reading, but have never actually cooked out of it. It is one of the cookbooks given to me by my mother from her vast collection.

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As far as I can tell, this is the revised edition of the first cookbook, and the third printing of the first edition of this encyclopedia compiled by the editors of Gourmet magazine in 1968. It weighs a ton.

In the spirit of the thing, I had my husband select the recipes. For the main course he selected "Beef Roulades in Red Wine" because it was a dish that his mother prepared a version of for his family on special occaisions, and one that I had never cooked. The vegetable was a tossup between brussel sprouts or asparagus. The asparagus at the market looked much better, so "Asparagus a la Polonaise" it was. My husband's contribution to the plate was "Salzkartoffeln" or quite simply potatoes boiled in salt water. Not in the cookbook, but what his mother always served with the dish, and used up some golden potatoes I had in the cupboard. Turned out to be the perfect starch.

Here's dinner:

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What I learned:

1. This is a great cookbook! All the recipes are written in a narrative format, and the techniques and instructions are clear and concise.

2. The roulades (sirloin steak pounded thin, thin layer of sausage, chopped parsley and onion) were amazing. They were braised for an hour, after browning in bacon fat, in red wine with a tablespoon of tomato paste, finished with some chopped olive at the end. The resulting gravy was an amazing sort of rich sweet and sour. I learned some braising technique beyond my usual, and the flavor profile was an entirely new one to me.

3. Polonaise is so good! I was a bit skeptical at first, and wondered if there was a typo in the recipe and looked it up in other books to be sure, because I just couldn't picture it. It is simply a stick of melted butter, quarter cup of bread crumbs, and chopped parsley and boiled egg at the finish. Wonderful! The bread crumbs really carried the butter well, and the egg and asparagus are a great combo.

4. Keep it simple. Those potatoes were perfect, and great with both sauces! Prepared by hubby, the resident Kraut.

In the future:

1. Use husband's Oma recipe. Bacon instead of sausage, a dill spear in the middle of the roulade and no olives, otherwise identical.

2. Polonaise is a good thing. Thanksgiving I think I am going to substitute pecans for the boiled egg and use it on broccoli.

This was great fun! All photo credits to my husband.

Edited by annecros (log)
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Susan, I missed the name of the cookbook you used for the maple toast eggs.

(Everything is looking wonderful.)

The 150 Best American Recipes by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens. I've checked it out of the library, but have a feeling it will go on my Christmas wish list.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Damn, I would have loved to play but all my books are in a storage box in Sydney :(. I miss them so much :(.

I think we could include RecipeGullet in the mix. For kicks and giggles, click on the "three random recipes" button on the left side of the screen.

Oh, light bulb moment here! (We need a smiley for that, too!) Shalmanese, just name a cook book and a page number and I'm sure SOMEONE here will have the book and can pm you the recipe you want! Brilliant, I say, just brilliant! :laugh:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Daniel, hold your horses! :raz:

While I chose Second Helpings from Union Square Cafe last week, I waited until I finished all of this week's shopping before starting to cook from it.

I think one reason the book may end up in a lot of used bookstores is because it seems to be something Danny Meyer and Michael Romano threw together out of the belief that it was about time to produce Book Number Two, rather than something that emerged out of a gradual change in the menu at the restaurant. The writing emerges from a whirlwind eating spree throughout Italy, so there's a pronounced an Italian imprint on the recipes.

It turns out I actually made one salad from its pages earlier in the year, right after purchase: a molded lentil, beet and chevre salad that smacks of Alice Waters and Lulu's Provencal Table.

Tonight, in light of this month's turn to Tuscany in the cooking thread down in the Italian forum, I made crostini di fegatini which is ubiquitous as an antipasto in that region: a chicken liver spread on small toasts. I ignored the recipe's call for deep-fried croutons and went traditional with baguette slices, just lightly toasted or grilled.

This may have been only my second time buying chicken livers, certainly the first with plans to make them the featured ingredient. Incredibly tasty in a recipe that is more intricate than probably an authentic Tuscan one, but extremely simple. Pancetta; onion; olive oil; sage; juniper berries; an unusual pair of anchovies and capers; and reductions of white wine first, then stock, all flavor the seasoned chicken livers before the final swirl of butter and whirl in the processor.

Warm, really really good and not too rich. Ate this virtually as a main course rather than an antipasto, deciding now that it's not just a nostalgic evocation of Florence, but that I just finally might like chicken livers.

There are a few more recipes in the book that caught my eye, so I'll pop back with a few more reports later.

This was and is a great idea, Daniel.

* * *

P.S. Regarding Miz Lewis and her shrimp and grits, does the recipe call for scooping them onto toasted bread? I know that Sicilians deep-fry rice balls coated in breadcrumbs, and that gravy on biscuits has a lot of flour, but that seems awfully bountiful when it comes to starch. :wink:

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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