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Cooking Projects for January

SallyBR1's picture

Well, I have chosen a few dishes to prepare this month.

Not necessarily in chronological order, here they are

1. Pork curry on noodles -
from a small, cute cookbook I bought in Portland
http://www.amazon.com/Noodles-Essential-Kitchen-
Vicki-Liley/dp/9625934596/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=
books&qid=1199206584&sr=1-1

reason for picking this recipe: I will use the extra filling for the potstckers that I froze yesterday as the meatballs called for in the dish. Plus, I get to use dried Chinese egg noodles waiting in the pantry

2. Mushroom Gateau (from Simple to Spectacular cookbook)
there was a discussion last month about a crepe savory cake served with smoked tomato sauce. I don t have that cookbook, but found a similar recipe in Simple to Spectacular. QUite a bit lighter, but I think it will be tasty enough. I can make the recipe one day in advance and reheat for our dinner.

3. Sauteed red snapper in potato crust (from Simple to Spectacular)
I always wanted to try a potato-encrusted fish. I imagine it might be tricky, but we shall see. He explains it reasonably well and makes it sound simple. If anyone has words of wisdom, send them on... :-)

4. Authentic lasagne - from Fine Cooking, issue 82
a lot was discussed in the forum about it, how great it is, how important to precook the fresh pasta. I haven t decided between the pork and meat ragu or the spinach/ricotta. But either one should be a great cooking project for January.

It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)


Edited 1/1/2008 12:21 pm by SallyBR1

gardencat's picture

(post #67237, reply #1 of 59)

Those sound like very good projects! I'm travelling a lot in January, so haven't planned too much yet.

For the departmental "end of the holidays" pot-luck on Friday I'm going to make the Coconut and Green Onion Curry from Vij's cookbook. This will use up a number of things out of my pantry and I think it will be a nice diversion at the event. We are assigned category of food by rotation so I'm in the "main course" group.

I also will continue to explore gluten free chocolate desserts for my friends who have been diagnosed with this in the last year. So far I have several cookie recipes that work, a couple of chocolate cakes, a brownie and the chocolate raspberry roll that people have mentioned here before. Luckily, chocolate seems to provide a lot of structure for things.

I look forward to hearing how your projects go!

gardencat's picture

(post #67237, reply #17 of 59)

One of the things I was going to do in January was try some more of Vij's recipes from the cookbook.

Last night, I made the Green Onion and Coconut Curry. As promised, it was very easy and very tasty. I went out this morning to restock the pantry so I could be sure to be able to make it again at the last minute. It is definitely a recipe to keep on the active rotation!

It took 45 minutes from when I got home to when I put it in the car, ready to eat! In between I had time to change while it was cooking at the various stages. It is a very easy and mild curry. It got a great reception at the party and I had lost of requests for the recipe. After I told them how easy it was, I had even more requests! It also smelt great while it was cooking. Unfortunately, I was in a real hurry to get it to the party on time, so did not take any photos, but it also looked great!

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67237, reply #2 of 59)

I may join you for #2 and #3. I never got around to making that crepe dish for the holidays, and I like the idea of potato crusted fish. (IIRC correctly, I've tried it before, and the timing is tricky.)

QUESTION FOR EVERYONE: Shoechick posted her cleaning-out-the-freezer project in the CT Project folder. It makes sense to me that we'd keep using that folder for our cooking projects. It is a big deal for them to create folders, we may as well keep using it. Do others agree? Should Sally ask that this thread get moved?

MadMom's picture

(post #67237, reply #3 of 59)

I like the idea of keeping all of our "projects" together.



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Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

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SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #4 of 59)

Good idea - would the powers above us do it?

or, in a Startrek-ish fashion: MODERATORS, MAKE IT SO!

edited to add - I could re=post it over there, what do you think?

It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)


Edited 1/1/2008 2:37 pm by SallyBR1

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67237, reply #5 of 59)

You can send them an email & they'll move it. (The last time I wanted something changed, I chose the "Report Violation" option in the lower left-hand corner. It gave me a giggle to report myself.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #6 of 59)

I just did that. Feels extra naughty, doesn t it?

:-)

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

soupereasy's picture

(post #67237, reply #7 of 59)

I think that is a great idea.

helena1's picture

(post #67237, reply #8 of 59)

Lovely projects Sally :o). About the lasagna in issue 82: I made that one a couple of weeks ago for a dinner party and *loved* it. Very, very good and worth the long cooking time and precooking the noodles (although I felt it was quite an undertaking to make the whole thing). I liked the classic one much better than the spinach-ricotta one, but that could be personal preference. The classic recipe was the best lasagna I've ever had, and my dinner guests couldn't get enough of it either.

TracyK's picture

(post #67237, reply #9 of 59)

Just a note about the beef/pork ragu, if you decide on that version... I found it delicious but unpleasantly greasy, with the large quantities of meat and pancetta. When I make it again (and I will definitely make it again!) I will cook the pancetta first and drain off the rendered fat vefore proceeding.

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

helena1's picture

(post #67237, reply #10 of 59)

I totally agree. I used less oil to start with, and skimmed off all the excess fat.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #11 of 59)

Definitely will do that.

I have a question about it - for the pork meat, could I use ground pork instead of cutting up pork shoulder? I've got fantastic organic ground pork from the food co-op in the fr

freezer, would rather use it up.

what do you think? well, this is directed to everybody too, but particularly those who made the ragu...

thanks!

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Sondra's picture

(post #67237, reply #12 of 59)

Would you also reduce the amounts of meat in the sauce to lighten it up?  Or was it just the combo of greasy pancetta/meat that you didn't like?

TracyK's picture

(post #67237, reply #13 of 59)

I'd leave everything else the same, and just render the fat out of the pancetta before adding it to the sauce.


Since it's such a thick sauce, even when it was chilled not all the fat rose to the top, so it was impossible to get at it all. I used well-trimmed meats, but even after skimming as much of the fat off as I could, then chilling for a day and defatting, it still had pockets and pools of greasy orange fat. Yuck!!


Sally, FWIW I don't think ground pork would be as good in this recipe... I think the grind is too fine. You want it to be a little more coarse. I used boneless shoulder and boneless chuck, and pulsed them in the food processor.


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

A_Good_Cook's picture

(post #67237, reply #14 of 59)

For January, I am going to seriously start working on perfecting a few techniques:


1) Great stock. I know this sounds basic, but I just read two books that go into detail about the importance of stock. I am going to track down veal bones! (Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman and The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn)


2) I just signed up for a knife skills class at the end of the month. (Mr. Ruhlman and Ms. Flinn to thank for that, too.)


3) Risotto. A friend made lobster risotto for New Year's Eve and it was fabulous. Mine is frequently good, but sometimes sticky. I have a number of recipes to work from on this one, including at least two or three FCs. (Plus, good stock is key to good risotto!)


4) Making pasta. I have a pasta maker attachment for my Kitchenaid that I got for Christmas 2006 that I haven't used yet so I am getting cracking.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #15 of 59)

Reporting on my first "project"

made the pork curry over noodles, from the cookbook "Noodles"

Excellent and so easy! Of course, I adapted it using the leftover filling from the potstickers experiment. WOrked very well, I highly recommend to those into potsticking: save some of the filling as little balls, and freeze them as such. Early in the morning, put the bag in the fridge and have a very quick and easy dinner, ready in minutes.

Here is the full recipe, sorry no photos, forgot the camera. It did look just like the photo in the book, which made me very happy

Pork Curry on NOodles

8 oz ground pork
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lemongrass stalks or grated zest of 1 lemon
1 T peeled and grated ginger
1 T vegetable oil
2 T green curry paste or to taste
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 T fish sauce
2 T palm sugar or brown sugar
8 oz hokkien noodles (I used dried Chinese noodles)
fresh basil leaves, shredded
4 scallions, chopped
chopped fresh cilantro

Combine ground pork, garlic, lemongrass and ginger. Using moistened hands mix until combined and shape into walnut size balls (or use the filling of your favorite potsticker recipe)

In wok or frying pan over medium high heat, warm oil. Ad curry paste and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Raise heat to medium and add pork balls, fish sauce and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionall, until pork changes color, about 5 minutes.

Cook noodles as directed on package and drain.

Arrange noodles in individual soup or pasta bowls. Stir 1/2 cup basil leaves, scallions and cilantro, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately

+++++++++++++++++++

my notes: the recipe did not call for salt at all - I had soy sauce in the pork meatballs, and knew they were very well seasoned, judging from the potstickers enjoyed last week. But I added salt to the coconut/curry mix, it needed salt for my taste.

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #16 of 59)

Moderators: Thank you very much for moving this thread to the Projects folder....

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #18 of 59)

Getting ready to start a Sunday of intense cooking... today I attack project number 4, "Authentic Lasagna", from issue 82

husband is aware that the kitchen might be a hazardous environment for several hours of this day. He's been advising the dogs to behave well.

This will be my first time making lasagna noodles from scratch....

will report back. By the way, I am making the beef and pork ragu, not the spinach lasagna

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Jean's picture

(post #67237, reply #19 of 59)

You go girl.  The noodles are on my list of coveted carbs.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #20 of 59)

Last weekend I was trying to gather a few bits about South Beach diet to send to a friend back home

there were some online reviews - I wish I had kept the source, but I didn t. Anyway, it seems that the 2 week induction phase (both in Atkins and South Beach) is not necessary. Both diets include that PROBABLY because people lose a lot of weight in that phase, and that would serve as a psychological help to stick to the diet in the long run.

basically, if one would follow the SOuth Beach as it is planned for the weeks after the 2nd, weight would still come off, only at a slower pace.

I was curious to find out your opinion, since you and your husband like this diet very much. My friend goes through a cycle of doing 2 weeks of almost no carbs, then there is some kind of a party, she goes, gets out of control, gains all the weight back and more. She has been trying to lose weight for more than 15 years now, trying all kinds of diets.

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Jean's picture

(post #67237, reply #21 of 59)

I'll get back to you on this. Time to watch some bowling on TV. :)



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
soupereasy's picture

(post #67237, reply #22 of 59)

Worked for a bariatric physician years ago. The protien load acts as a diuretic.


edit to say that this was back in the late '80s. I may have been mis-informed and stand to be corrected


Edited 1/20/2008 3:18 pm ET by soupereasy

Plover's picture

(post #67237, reply #23 of 59)

I think you are right on this - I remember reading some stuff on this back in the olden days when Atkins first came out.

Jean's picture

(post #67237, reply #25 of 59)

The reason for the restriction on certain carbs for the first 2 weeks is to level out the blood sugars from the wide swings from high to over insulin production that produces cravings for more carbs. More complicated, but that's it in a nutshell. The idea is to start with breakfast, eat a midmorning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, supper and an evening snack. And don't skip any feeding. If you eat from all the good things that ARE allowed for those couple of weeks, you will not go hungry, you will lose your cravings for sweet stuff and you will lose weight. Then comes the hard part...adding back the carbs you love, one item at a time, but never to the point where you gobbled them all up without a thought.  This is where people go wrong. They consider this a temporary diet rather than a change of lifestyle.


It has to be a committment.  We no longer keep cookies in the house, for example. When I bake, it's for a special occasion and Rod and I get a small taste and the rest gets frozen  for the next time company is over, or it goes home with the company.


So your friend over-indulges? No big deal, but the very next day she/he should get back with the program and again lose the cravings that are our downfall.


I don't think we could have stuck with it without reading the book together. Knowing the reasons why it works and why you are so much healthier eating the complex rather than the simple carbs does help you to stick with it--and so does feeling better.


 




Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
soupereasy's picture

(post #67237, reply #26 of 59)

Question? It puts you into a mild form of ketosis?

Jean's picture

(post #67237, reply #27 of 59)

Well, that happens any time that body fat is broken down for fuel. The accompanying dehydration can be a problem for those with kidney disease, but this diet is no where as strict as the Adkins and it is not high in fat as Adkins was. Dr. Agatston says that "the specter of ketosis has been overstated".



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
soupereasy's picture

(post #67237, reply #30 of 59)

Thank you.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #67237, reply #29 of 59)

Thanks, Jean. IN my friend's case, I think part of the problem is that her husband is quite thin and does not help her at all. If anything, sometimes I have the feeling he makes it harder for her to lose weight, by bringing a ton of chocolates, cheese, bread, making desserts. And he loves wine too - so every night they drink wine with dinner.

NOt that there is anything wrong with it - we do the same... :-) But neither of us has been trying to lose weight for 15 years with no success!

 


 


It is not gremolita, it is GREMOLATA!!!!

(October 2007)

Jean's picture

(post #67237, reply #31 of 59)

Oh, yeah, the loving sabotage. There seems to be one in every crowd.  It does help when both partners have the same goals.


Who knows why people do that?




Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
courgette's picture

(post #67237, reply #32 of 59)

The wine is a big problem for me. If we are drinking wine a few times a week I will gain weight. No ifs and or buts. And if I want to lose I have no more than 2 glasses/week. It makes a big difference.


As you know, it's all an equation. What goes in = what goes out. Simple as that, and most of us eat/drink  more than we think we do.


Having said that, I have to get back on track.


Mo