Everyday Dorie: Basta Pasta Potato Salad

July 23, 2022 at 9:49 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, pickles, salads, savory things, veggies | 2 Comments
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basta pasta potato salad

This Basta Pasta Potato Salad really threw me for a loop. I judged a recipe by its name and not its actual ingredient list and was thoroughly convinced it was a pasta and potato salad. Sounds unusual, but mash-ups are all the rage, and I’m down for some carb-on-carb action. I saved aside a small portion of a twisty little dried pasta shape that I thought would look cute in photos just for this. Imagine my surprise when I finally set out to make the salad and there was no pasta to be found in the recipe.

What this recipe (based on a potato salad Dorie had at a restaurant called Basta Pasta– mystery of the missing pasta solved!) does have are typical pot sally mix-ins like mayo, scallions, capers and pickles, as well as some not-so-typical ones like saffron, wasabi, OJ and cukes. Dorie wouldn’t lead us too far down a crazy path, though, and it all works together nicely. It’s kind of what you’re used to, but with a twist, and sometimes it feels good to keep things interesting.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what we all thought.

Everyday Dorie: Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake

July 8, 2022 at 3:29 pm | Posted in breakfast things, cakes & tortes, everyday dorie, groups, muffins & quick breads, simple cakes, sweet things | 3 Comments
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cornmeal-buttermilk skillet cake (with strawberries)

This Cornmeal-Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Strawberries is one I actually whipped up a couple of years ago. With the pandemic in full swing, summer 2020 was all around good times. I, like most you, was cooking with whatever I could get my hands on or had already. Saturdays were my shopping days, masked up at the farmers’ market and wondering what would be left after waiting in block-long socially distanced lines, and then going to the grocery store for the other stuff and finding the shelves half empty.  But if you know how to cook, you can make some pretty good stuff in all kinds of different circumstances…you can even have cake.

This was an easy, dump-and-stir type of cake that can be baked off as a loaf or a round (I went with the cast iron skillet option). It’s made similar to cornbread, but a little sweeter. I stirred in some strawberries, but you can use whatever berries you have, or none at all. Maybe I should make it again this summer, while the blackberries are around and more readily available.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our cakes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Mostly Rhubarb Tart

June 24, 2022 at 2:05 pm | Posted in everyday dorie, general pastry, groups, pies & tarts, sweet things | 7 Comments
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mostly rhubarb tart

Mostly Rhubarb Tart is just what the name says…a tart that’s mostly rhubarb, but with a little extra stuff, too. Macerated rhubarb covers the bottom of a par-baked Sweet Tart Dough crust. An easy custard, quickly whisked together but delicately rose-scented, fills in all the gaps. Then some halved strawberries are arranged here-and-there on top. I was pleased to find hot pink stalks of rhubarb at my greenmarket, and by placing the strawberries on top of everything else, they get direct heat and concentrate into deep red jammy pops. Anyway, the whole thing was very pretty and tasted like a spring day.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our tarts this week.

Everyday Dorie: Portuguese-Style Fish and Beans en Papillote

June 10, 2022 at 7:59 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks | 3 Comments
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Portuguese-style fish and beans en papillote

It’s been a minute since I’ve cooked something en papillote, but gosh, what a good technique to be reminded of with this Portuguese-Style Fish and Beans en Papillote. I don’t really cook fish that often, and usually save it for eating out, but this was an easy and excellent dinner. No stuck-to-the-pan skin or disappointingly shredded up flesh or accidental overcooking happening here. Not even any fishy splatters to clean off the stovetop. Everything– layers of sliced lemon and tomatoes sandwiching garlic-and-paprika-marinated cannellini beans and a similarly-seasoned fish fillet–steams nicely in contained bundle in the oven.

Dorie uses cod in her recipe, but I went with some striped bass from Long Island, because that’s what my fish guy had today and recommended. She also uses thyme and scallions in her bundles, but I swapped those for parsley and garlic scapes. A drizzle of olive oil and white wine helps kickstart the formation of a flavorful broth, which turned out brick red for me, as I used a heavy hand with the paprika in my seasoning….I regret nothing. Tied up in a parchment pouch, it all comes out of the oven perfectly cooked in just 15 minutes, including the jammy and delicious lemon slices, which I’m glad I didn’t just push aside. Technically, this is a complete meal in pouch, but I roasted some broccolini while the oven was on and warmed up a piece of bread, too, to mop up all that yummy broth.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what we all thought.

Everyday Dorie: Soy-Sauce Eggs and Sticky Rice

May 27, 2022 at 6:20 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks | 3 Comments
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soy-sauce eggs and sticky rice

I think the Soy-Sauce Eggs and Sticky Rice recipe has been nominated for CTBF a few times, but it didn’t survive the final group vote until now. I can understand that a cured egg yolk may not be everyone’s bag, but I thought it sounded like a pretty intriguing technique. I made a special egg-gathering trip to the big greenmarket in Union Square, just to get the freshest I could. The yolks then pickle (I went overnight) in a bath of soy and mirin. Each yolk turns out perfectly seasoned and jammy inside (that color!!), and when stirred through hot sushi rice, coats the grains in a most luxurious way.

Before even reading Dorie’s headnote description of the dish, I looked at the photo and thought, “That’s drinking food,” and cooked up some maitake mushrooms and greens to go with. Turns out, while it’s great with a cold beer for lunch or late-night, I can see it being a good breakfast, too, and apparently even kids love it!

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what we all thought.

Everyday Dorie: Black Bean-Chipotle Dip

May 12, 2022 at 7:36 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks | 2 Comments
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black bean-chipotle dip

Guac is my usual tortilla chip dip, but I’m game to switch up taco night botanas with something as tasty as this Black Bean-Chipotle Dip. This couldn’t be easier…just whiz up a can of black beans with some seasonings and there you have it. I wouldn’t skip the lime and cilantro, but I used taco seasoning in place of cumin, scallion instead of red onion and red Fresno pepper in lieu of green jalapeño.  I did use the ground chipotle, but why not sub in a canned chipotle in adobo or another type of ground chile powder instead? You can play around with what you have and what you like. You can also use leftovers as a spread for burritos or breakfast tacos, or even leave this chunkier and more salsa-like than I did…lots of possibilities, so you bet I’ll make this more often.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what we all thought.

Everyday Dorie: Eton Mess

April 22, 2022 at 8:18 pm | Posted in everyday dorie, general pastry, groups, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things | 3 Comments
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Eaton mess

Eton Mess is a traditional British dessert with whipped cream, strawberries and broken up meringue…it reminds me of a pavlova someone took a mallet to, but it’s beautiful it’s own messy way. Light and summery, Dorie’s version uses a strawberry-rhubarb compote and meringue with Biscoff spice cookie bits swirled through. And my version of Dorie’s version uses puréed mango, sweetened raspberries and meringue with crispy Lazzaroni amaretti cookie bits. The meringue is baked off in a sheet, which is then broken up into crumbles. I bake at home with golden sugar rather than white, so I am assuming that’s what gave my meringue it’s golden hue, as I didn’t neglect it in the oven. It was delicious with the almondy flavor from the cookies, and I was glad to have extra to nibble on. I assembled my Eton Mess parfait-style, which looked quite tidy for photos, but rest assured that as soon as the camera clicked off, I stirred it up and made a mess of it.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see all of our messes this week.

Everyday Dorie: Double-Stuffed Deviled Eggs with Crab

April 8, 2022 at 5:04 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, snacks | 4 Comments
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double-stuffed deviled eggs with crab

Double-Stuffed Deviled Eggs with Crab…oh, how fancy! I’m a fan of deviled eggs and sometimes get them as bar-type snacks out, but rarely do I make them myself. This is a luxe version, with a crab salad filling hiding under a more traditional seasoned mayo-whipped yolk mix.

The dude here and I could probably take down a whole dozen of these, but that doesn’t sound so health-conscious, so I just made one whole egg for each of us. To tell the truth, I measured nothing in either filling mixture. I mean, for two eggs’ worth, it seemed easy enough to eyeball it. Dorie says to adjust for taste anyway, so I just did it to taste to begin with. (I added a squirt of lemon juice to the yolk mix, btw.)

The crab salad has a surprise addition of apple bits. I was going to skip that, but I did have a green goldrush apple in the fridge, so I went all-in and even added some slices to garnish my egg-shaped plate. Tail feathers, if you will. These are delightful. Crab, to me, is the superior crustacean– tastier than lobster– and I did pay dearly for a small pot of picked lump meat. It’s fine, and I used just a bit of it here, so I can probably make two other crabby recipes out of what’s left, but if I were having people over for champagne, oysters, potato chips and deviled eggs (my dream party), I’d probably try to show off the crab salad as the top layer.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what we all thought.

Everyday Dorie: Chicken and Beer Stew

March 25, 2022 at 5:27 pm | Posted in cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, savory things, soups | 4 Comments
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chicken and beer stew

This Chicken and Beer Stew is really supposed to be Beef and Beer Stew, but as I don’t eat read meat, I made some mods so I could try it, too. I actually nominated it for this month, thinking it would be good for St. Paddy’s day, when really it’s based on a Flemish carbonnade. I’m all over the place.

I swapped boneless, skinless chicken thighs, turkey bacon and chicken stock for the other meaty stuff, but followed all the flavorings (spices, mustard, a bit of brown sugar, dark Belgian ale, etc) and flavor-building steps (browning the meat, caramelizing the onions forever, etc) Dorie had listed. I did not, however do the multi-hour oven braise for my dish, because I knew the chicken thighs didn’t need that. I just kept everything on the stove-top for cooking. Following Dorie’s “chockful of vegetables” suggestion, I added in some carrot and baby potato chunks, and let everything low-bubble braise on the stove for 30-45 mins. When the saucy stuff was reduced a bit and everything else was tender and stewed, I called it done. Well, almost. My stew was kind of pale in comparison to the dark color of a beef one. I stirred in a dash of super-dark mushroom soy sauce, my secret ingredient for boosting color and umami when I am doing red to white meat replacements.

The weather is always up and down here in March, but the past several days have been chilly, so it was a nice cozy dinner for last night. I didn’t bother to cook noodles as Dorie suggests, since I had those potatoes in my stew. I like the little bit of sweetness the dish has, but I did save adding the splash of cider vinegar to the pot until after it was off the heat, so it would cut that and brighten the flavors up a bit. I’m looking forward to round two tonight, as stuff like this usually gets better the next day.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see how the group liked this one.

Everyday Dorie: Carrot-and-Mustard Rillettes

March 25, 2022 at 2:46 am | Posted in condiments, cook the book fridays, everyday dorie, groups, other savory, salads, savory things, veggies | 6 Comments
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carrot-and-mustard rillettes

Carrot-and-Mustard Rillettes…hmmm…one of the stranger “things on toast” I’ve made. Rillettes are shredded meat confit, but there’s no meat to be found here. Instead we have toasted bread, spread with a Dijonnaise-type mix and topped with steamed carrots and Comté cheese cubes that have been tossed in more even mustard and some spices.

Strange, but good, and with just enough pungent mustardy heat to make you pay attention when you take a bite. I used some homemade sourdough and drizzled the assembled toasts with the good olive oil and then put on a floof of micro greens. A little, messy, but it was a nice change-up from the kale salads I make for lunch several times a week. Carrot toast may become a repeat thing around here.

For the recipe, see Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, and head over to Cook the Book Fridays to see what we all thought.

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