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drussell;John Ash: Cooking One on One

drussell's picture

His introduction says this book "is a series of self contained lessons." Three sentences later"You can work your way through the book from cover to cover, if you feel like it, but you don't need to." Now that seems like a cookbook made for a walker for this project. Just right for me.

So you'll be hearing from me as I select from flavor-maker lessons, technique lessons and main ingredient lessons.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67163, reply #1 of 13)

I've cooked a lot out of this book & like it very much. If you do a search, you might find a thread in which MadMom & I discuss it. I went through the book & told her what I'd made. I would do it again for you, but my kitchen is all in boxes, and as you might imagine, the books are the bottom layer.

CanadianCook's picture

(post #67163, reply #2 of 13)

This was an inspiring book for me and he's an inspiring cook.

When I broke my hip, and was off for three months, this book got me into serious cooking. I hope you enjoy it!

"Cooking is not about shouting at your food, but there's also nothing wrong with shouting at your food." - Michael Ruhlman on Emeril

Ahhh Laaaa Laaaa Ahhhhh Laaaaa -

Sage, January 2008


drussell's picture

(post #67163, reply #5 of 13)

Thanks. I think I will be happy with my choice for this challenge.

If I remember correctly from other threads, I believe you're the CTer in culinary school. So... if John Ash's book inspired you, it must be pretty goood since you must be more discerning about cookbooks than I am. Just show me a cookbook and I usually succumb.

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67163, reply #3 of 13)

Here is the thread I was thinking of. Unfortunately, I never finished my answer to MM. So sorry...

Edited 3/30/2007 8:46 pm by Marie Louise

drussell's picture

(post #67163, reply #4 of 13)

Just read your two posts and the thread from the link you posted. Thank you for the information and your comments. It's good to know that the book I chose for this challenge is one that is well liked by CTers. I'm glad that I didn't choose a dud.

I bought this John Ash book a few months ago and I haven't cooked anything from it. That happens when I buy a bunch of cookbooks at a time from Homegoods because their prices are too good to pass up on any book that looks interesting.When I get four books at a time it takes me a long time to actually try each one. Oh well, at least I know I'm in good company here since I've observed that many on this forum are also affected by the cookbook collecting syndrome. LOL 

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67163, reply #6 of 13)

Ummm.... that happens to all of us-we all have a tendency to buy too many cookbooks, LOL.

John Ash is a very well-respected chef out here in the Bay Area. He is more of a behind-the-scenes kind of guy; he does a lot of recipe development for wineries. Here's his web site:

This is really a great cookbook. I'm going to have to pull it out for a closer look when my kitchen gets finished. I'll be looking forward to reading about what you try!

MadMom's picture

(post #67163, reply #7 of 13)

John Ash gave a presentation at the Pinehurst Food & Wine Festival, and I think I have this book.  Will be anxious to hear someone's take on it, as I don't think I've cooked anything from it.  He was definitely interesting, though!  Loved the food he prepared at the presentation.

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

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

drussell's picture

(post #67163, reply #8 of 13)

Well, last night I finally got to try a recipe from the One on One book. I thought I wouldn't be able to get to this until Friday or Saturday because the beginning of the week has been very busy. A new washer and dryer were delivered on Tuesday and the location for their installation looked like a candidate for Mission Organization on HGTV. So, since last Saturday, I've been doing my best to get this area ready and not doing much cooking except for basic, usual meals. Appliances finally delivered and installation problems surfaced.  Most solved with only one left to conquer.  

Thursday not a good day because of other commitments, but lo and behold, a pretty huge spring storm. Fourteen inches of snow here.Cancellations left me with 3 hours of snowblowing a pretty large driveway,  but free in the late afternoon, early evening. Chose a basic technique/recipe to start on this book. Did the basic roast chicken. Have to say it's a take on what I've been doing for years but it's a cut or two above.

For years I've been using a method/recipe from a Time-Life series called Great Meals in Minutes. The recipe I used from Shirely Sarvis is in the chicken and game hen book from 1983. Hey, if something works, I stick with it.!I have to say though that John Ash's roast chicken is more flavorful and juicy. The sauce is also more flavorful.

While perusing this book, I noted that Ash gives a lot of alternative ingredients in most recipes if the first named ones aren't easily available. A boon to Maine cooks who are much more limited in choices than to his California locale.


MadMom's picture

(post #67163, reply #9 of 13)

I have that cookbook; bought it after a demonstration he gave at the Pinehurst Food and Wine Festival.  Haven't made anything from it yet, so am looking forward to your reviews.  Hope you got all your appliances installed!

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

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

drussell's picture

(post #67163, reply #10 of 13)

Thank you. The washer and dryer are up and running. I'm quite happy about that. Now if the cats can get adjusted to the new sounds and the front loading washer where they can see things spinning around, we'll be all set.

There are many interesting recipes in the John Ash book that I'm looking forward to trying out. Will look for a more adventurous choice next week than what I decided on this week. The roasted chicken was very good though. DD finished the last of it tonight.

drussell's picture

(post #67163, reply #11 of 13)

I've been skipping around in this book which is ok according to John Ash but it's probably not how he intended it to be., but he seems to be very flexible. so I skipped to page 199, Seared Scallops and Noodles with Salted Black Bean Sauce.

I shopped around and found very nice fresh, sweet smelling scallops for $12.00/lb rather than the $14.00 that I first encountered. Bought them and the other ingredients I needed and headed home to cook.

I love Asian and Asian inspired food but I guess if I'm accustomed to some main ingredients  cooked in a particular way. I may not be convinced that I really like it another way.  I've usually had scallops prepared with a minimum of ingredients that are pretty mild so that the flavor of the scallops comes through. This scallop dish was good, but I really like simpler ingredients, simpler method that lets the scallops shine. I'm not from Downeast but that's how I like most of my seafood. The ingredients in this dish were too much flavor over the scallops for me.

Stay tuned because I really enjoyed the next few dishes I made and feel bad that this one didn't measure up for me.

drussell's picture

(post #67163, reply #12 of 13)

I intended to try a few recipes this past week so that I could get ahead since I will be away for about 10 days but mother nature said no. Mother nature kept us busy here for a few days. When you live in a 154 year old house and mighty storms come through you are often in for surprises as some new problem crops up. The wind driven rain invaded one of our bathrooms and the sun room. Spent a lot of time moving things out of the sunroom and mopping up in both places and getting in touch with repair people who were very busy all over the place.

I did finally manage to make a very nice curry from the project book on Thursday. Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce was so good. I am very fond of Thai food and this was very close to a shrimp curry that we usually have at one of the Thai restaurants here in town.

It was pretty easy to make. The first part was making the sauce which I thought was an unusual first step, but hey, it worked out fine. the sauce consisted of coconut milk, green curry paste, lime zest, fish sauce, brown sugar, and spinach. That was cooked, thickened and pureed. The instructions then said to adjust the hot/salt/ sweet/ tart elements to your taste with aditional curry, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Now I know that most of us taste and adjust but I don't come across the specific instructions to do so very often especially mentioning all those elements of taste. I did quite a bit of adjusting to reduce the sweetness, adding the juice of half a lime.

Next came a quick saute of onions, yellow pepper, ginger and garlic in olive oil which was then added to the sauce. The olive oil seemed unusual for a shrimp curry but the taste of the olive oil was not dectectable in the final dish. The last step was to saute the shrimp in olive oil, add them to the sauce, heat through and add chopped tomato and basil, mint or cilantro.

I served this with jasmine rice. Ummm!

This is a keeper. 

soupereasy's picture

(post #67163, reply #13 of 13)

This sounds really good!
We were hit by a lesser degree by the storm, had a lovely leak in the dining room window. Nothing like dinner with plastic sheeting catching drips into the basin to create an ambiance.;) Better than let it drip on the hardwood floors?!