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Cookbook Challenge


Heather
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I saw this on another board and thought it sounded fun. Pick any cookbook from your collection and make one appetizer, one main dish, one side dish, and one dessert during a week. It does not have to be for the same meal. The original challenge suggested any cookbook, but choosing one that hasn't been used often, or at all, might make things more interesting.

Would anyone like to try this next week?

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I saw this on another board and thought it sounded fun. Pick any cookbook from your collection and make one appetizer, one main dish, one side dish, and one dessert during a week. It does not have to be for the same meal. The original challenge suggested any cookbook, but choosing one that hasn't been used often, or at all, might make things more interesting.

Would anyone like to try this next week?

Sounds like fun as I want to do more cooking and I have a bunch of cookbooks that I have never used.

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It's embarrassing how many cookbooks I have that have not even been looked at, never mind cooked from.

Anyone who wants to join please post. We can ponder our choice of cookbook this week. I'd like to compile a list of the books and recipes, and how they turned out. :o

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I’m in! Pondering Pepin’s Fast Food My Way or Cooking Light’s Annual Recipes (1999).

Do you have the same dilemma with magazines? I’m just getting around to "reading" the April 2005 issue of Cuisine at Home. :o

It's embarrassing how many cookbooks I have that have not even been looked at, never mind cooked from.

Anyone who wants to join please post. We can ponder our choice of cookbook this week. I'd like to compile a list of the books and recipes, and how they turned out. :lol:

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I saw this on another board and thought it sounded fun. Pick any cookbook from your collection and make one appetizer, one main dish, one side dish, and one dessert during a week. It does not have to be for the same meal. The original challenge suggested any cookbook, but choosing one that hasn't been used often, or at all, might make things more interesting.

Would anyone like to try this next week?

I started a project like this last year that I've pretty much flaked out on, but I could probably manage to sustain it for one week :lol:

I had decided to make three previously untried recipes from each of my cookbooks, starting with the shelves in my kitchen (about 75 cookbooks, I'd estimate, a fraction of the total). The idea was that if I couldn't find three decent recipes from any book, I'd jettison it. It would also take me deeper into cookbooks I use often, but frequently making the same recipes over and over.

I managed to stick with the project pretty well for the first few weeks, making multiple recipes each week, then it dropped off. I've made recipes from only about 15 of the cookbooks and completed 3 for only a couple of them. In the meantime, I've acquired more cookbooks :o .

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:o I had to cancel most of our magazine subscriptions, lest our house turn into one of those places featured on the news with stacks of paper piled to the ceiling.

I am thinking of Happy In The Kitchen, David Thompson's Thai, or Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries.

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It's embarrassing how many cookbooks I have that have not even been looked at, never mind cooked from.

Anyone who wants to join please post. We can ponder our choice of cookbook this week. I'd like to compile a list of the books and recipes, and how they turned out. :o

What we should start is a Cookbook Addicts meeting!

This sounds like fun, or at least variations of it. I may not be able to cook all four every week. Maybe three as I don't do the appetizers much. Maybe every other week. (At least me.)

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I may not be able to cook all four every week. Maybe three as I don't do the appetizers much. Maybe every other week. (At least me.)
If you can't make all four that's cool. Or we just all pick a different cookbook every week to make something from, and post about the results.

At that rate, I should go through my collection in about two years. :o

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i'm definitely interested in this, but this week isn't that great for me - i've just made two recipes from molly steven's art of braising book (cochinita pibil & vietnamese pork riblets) which politburo and i will probably be eating for the rest of the week as leftovers.

though, i might be able to swing making sides or desserts... :o

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"The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa" by Marcus Samuelsson.
Oh, I would love to hear about that book. It's making me rethink my choices and try a cuisine I am not familiar with...maybe The Glorious Foods of Greece, a gift from my mother-in-law five years ago that's never been touched.
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I'm looking at Molly O'Neill, A Well-Seasoned Appetite (but I'm not sure if I should go with winter or spring :o ); Staffmeals from Chanterelle; and Faye Levy, Feast from the Mideast.

Actually, this has gotten me enthused about my project again, so I'll tackle all three in March.

FWIW, the most noteworthy recipe I found through my past effort was a Coq au Riesling from James Beard's Beard on Pasta. (If you check that book at Amazon, you can locate the recipe through the search inside the book feature.)

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Oh, I would love to hear about that book. It's making me rethink my choices and try a cuisine I am not familiar with...maybe The Glorious Foods of Greece, a gift from my mother-in-law five years ago that's never been touched.

All I can say about it at this point is that it is a good looking cookbook. As much as I want to make stuff out of Happy I think this is the one I need to do.

Next on the list is a Peruvian cookbook my mother gave me after she went there on vacation. A beautiful book called "The Art of Peruvian Cooking".

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Oh, I would love to hear about that book. It's making me rethink my choices and try a cuisine I am not familiar with...maybe The Glorious Foods of Greece, a gift from my mother-in-law five years ago that's never been touched.
You definitely should. I have Diane Kochilas' Mezze book and have had wonderful success. Last night for the Oscars, I made ground lamb kebobs and spicy whipped feta from it.

(I also made tabbouleh from no particular recipe)

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I hit a little snag...The Glorious Foods of Greece is organized by regions, not courses. :o It will take a little reading in order to identify some recipes.

Last night it occurred to me that cooking my way through my Time-Life Foods of the World Collection might be a worthy project.

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Similar to the idea in this thread, among our cooking/restaurant going group of three couples, while we were still in DC, I had been planning to someday select as a theme that everybody should take a recipe he/she had clipped and saved out of a newspaper or some such source but never made, and do one of our dinner parties based on that. I never got to it before we left town. Sigh.

However, FWIW it so happens that tonite I was planning to make Kylie Kwong's recipe for chicken with cashews that appeared in the Post last Wednesday. If I do so I'll report the results in this thread.

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I hit a little snag...The Glorious Foods of Greece is organized by regions, not courses. :o It will take a little reading in order to identify some recipes.
That's what I hit with A Well-Seasoned Appetite, which is organized by seasons. I like the concept in the abstract, but I don't find the organization of the book conducive to the way I think. I enjoy her writing and I enjoy her recipes, but I think I'm realizing why I've had the book for years and haven't made anything from it.
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However, FWIW it so happens that tonite I was planning to make Kylie Kwong's recipe for chicken with cashews that appeared in the Post last Wednesday. If I do so I'll report the results in this thread.

I tried it. The results were, well, so-so. I followed the recipe pretty faithfully except for using salted cashews (which I had at hand) rather than unsalted. It was OK, just didn't have much character. According to the recipe it was supposed to have a sauce left in the wok when finished, in spite of very little wet ingredients, but mine was quite "sauceless." Maybe the problem was that the recipe was calibrated for typical home ranges, whereas mine is more commercial-like in power (Bluestar with 22k btu burners) so maybe I cooked it "too hot," tho I thought that is the secret of real Chinese stir-frying. Further evidence to support that theory comes from the garlic, of which there was a lot but which wasn't really very noticeable either, which might also result from extra heat.

My first real attempt at Chinese in my new kitchen. But only the first of many I hope, having picked up many Chinese staples last weekend in Atlanta, and hoping to fill out my list this weekend. Then it's off to the races.

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I'm considering Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast. I know you're all eagerly awaiting more pig head stories. :o

Thinking about:

Onion soup with bone-marrow toast, page 13

Warm pig's head, page 30 (I absolutely love the directions for this recipe)

Beans and bacon, page 79

Treacle tart, 177

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Bill, are you trying to use all the recipes for one meal, or spreading them out over the week? If the former then sticking to one region makes sense.

I'm noticing that I'm having a hard time finding appealing recipes in my unused cookbooks. Gosh, maybe that's a clue to get rid of them? :o

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I'm considering Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast. I know you're all eagerly awaiting more pig head stories. :o

Thinking about:

Onion soup with bone-marrow toast, page 13

Warm pig's head, page 30 (I absolutely love the directions for this recipe)

Beans and bacon, page 79

Treacle tart, 177

I cannot believe that I don't own this book. I think it would make a great source for a dinner party.

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Bill, are you trying to use all the recipes for one meal, or spreading them out over the week? If the former then sticking to one region makes sense.

I'm noticing that I'm having a hard time finding appealing recipes in my unused cookbooks. Gosh, maybe that's a clue to get rid of them? :o

One meal. Appetizer, salad or soup, entree or stew, a bread if appropriate and dessert.

This would translate to either lentil soup, beef stew stir fry, injera and chocolate/cinnamon/coffee cake for Ethiopia / East Africa or cauliflower fritters, chicken and peanut stew, cornbread and some other dessert for West Africa.

I'm leaning West Africa since I am scheduled to go to Etete on Tuesday and two meals with injera in three days might test my limit on cold, spongy, sour breads.

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This is my planned menu for Sunday:

from Faye Levy, Feast from the Mideast

Cilantro-Garlic Eggplant on Pita Crisps with Roasted Peppers (pp. 43-4)

Turkey Thighs with Cumin and Tomatoes (p. 171)

Spicy Yemenite Peas (p. 247)

Wheat Berry Pudding with Walnuts, Dried Fruit, Milk and Honey (pp. 359-60)

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I cannot believe that I don't own this book. I think it would make a great source for a dinner party.

If you really want a cookbook that will provide alot of conversation, try Au Pied de Cochon - L'Album (Martin Picard). I accidently bought the Fr Canadien version after seeing a review of the book in Bon Appetit.. I sold it to some Canadian on eBay. It is a really wild book. Recipes for every part of the hog and more. Heather's post about the warm pig's head reminded me of it. The pictures (and some of the recipes) are very ....unusual at times. It's kind of hard to explain. Has anyone else seen it?

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=94737

I had to make an excel spreadsheet for my cookbooks. I couldn't keep track of what I was buying . I have bought duplicate cookbooks so now I have a list to keep me straight (about 327 right now spread all over my house). I think I will try to cook out of Sunday Suppers at Lucques (Suzanne Goin).

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If you really want a cookbook that will provide alot of conversation, try Au Pied de Cochon - L'Album (Martin Picard). ... It's kind of hard to explain. Has anyone else seen it?

Not previously, but now I know what souvenir I will want from our dinner reservation in June. Thanks!

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I tried it. The results were, well, so-so. I followed the recipe pretty faithfully except for using salted cashews (which I had at hand) rather than unsalted. It was OK, just didn't have much character. According to the recipe it was supposed to have a sauce left in the wok when finished, in spite of very little wet ingredients, but mine was quite "sauceless."

I tried it, too, with mixed results. First, I'm generally a breast guy, so cooking with dark thigh meat was an experiment in itself (my wife would only nibble on the finished product b/c of the psychological difficulty). I actually included some breast meat to compare taste and texture. The sherry certainly enhanced the flavor of the thigh meat much better than the breast meat, but the sliminess of the thigh meat was hard to get over texture-wise. Unlike johnb, I used unsalted and unroasted cashews in my recipe and they actually added a sweatness that I appreciated and the cucumber was an interesting (in a decent way) addition mainly for texture and freshness. But like JohnB, I had no sauce, and my range is a crappy electric glass top that I can't wait to leave behind, so I'm not sure temperature was the culprit. I just don't think there were enough wet ingredients to have a residual sauce, but everything certainly was wet (or was that greasy?).

I'm inclined not to try it again, not because of flavor but mainly for health reasons. The recipe says each serving has 569 calories (I assume without rice) and 35 grams of fat! Most of that I think is from the cashews b/c only 7 grams is saturated fat. Not sure those numbers are worth the ok-ness of my results. It was fun and easy to try though.

Pax,

Brian

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I couldn't keep track of what I was buying . I have bought duplicate cookbooks so now I have a list to keep me straight (about 327 right now spread all over my house).
So, I'm not the only one who does this :o . I do it with music too.
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from Faye Levy, Feast from the Mideast

Cilantro-Garlic Eggplant on Pita Crisps with Roasted Peppers (pp. 43-4)

Wow, that sounds good. If it tastes half as good as it sounds, I would love it if you were willing to post the recipe.
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I will be using Paula Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Foods. I have 2 of her books and haven't used either. Pork with Prunes is a definate. I am still browsing the rest, her recipes can be slow...haha I guess that's why it is called "slow". I need some more coffee, because obviously her cooking is not the only thing that is slow this morning. :o

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If you really want a cookbook that will provide alot of conversation, try Au Pied de Cochon - L'Album (Martin Picard). I accidently bought the Fr Canadien version after seeing a review of the book in Bon Appetit.. I sold it to some Canadian on eBay. It is a really wild book. Recipes for every part of the hog and more. Heather's post about the warm pig's head reminded me of it. The pictures (and some of the recipes) are very ....unusual at times. It's kind of hard to explain. Has anyone else seen it?

My Montreal cousins gave it to me for Christmas. I haven't looked at the DVD yet, or cooked anything from it. It is out there, all right.

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Tonight's Cookbook Challenge comes from The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan

Primi: Fettucine with gorgonzola souce

Secondi: Pan roast of veal

Le Verdure: Sauteed peas with proscuitto

Dolce: Vanilla gelato wth powdered coffee and scotch

I inhereted this book from my mother's collection; one of the few that I decided to keep. I always meant to cook from it, but with my own favorites in the library, never got around to it.

The strong gorgonzola sauce was a good start to the mellow rosemary and garlic scented veal. The peas were sweet and I liked the hint of richness given by the proscuitto. I found the gelatto too strong, but perhaps I was too liberal with the scotch pour.

All of the main dishes were quite good. I'm encouraged to explore this book further.

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So overambition combined with time constraints ended up altering my plan a bit. I decided to make three meals from the Marcus Samuelsson Soul of a New Cuisine cookbook. I was going to make an Ethiopian Beef stew with Injera tonight but ended up having the Chicken and Peanut Stew that I was making to have later in the week.

For my first try out of this book - very good. Rich flavor from the roasted peanuts and good body in the broth from a puree of the vegatbles used to make the boroth along with a puree of half of the peanuts. Of all things, the spinach added at the end provided an interesting flavor.

I've got pictures below but they are HUGE. I've GOT to find my Photoshop disk.

post-33-1173062656_thumb.jpg

post-33-1173062683_thumb.jpg

post-33-1173062704_thumb.jpg

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