Wrap up an easy party dish, July 19-25, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

♦  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – grilling gone wild / off for the coffee, bound for the beer / flex your diet muscles    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – everyday ways to lose weight    FEATURED RECIPE – rock with rolls     TIP – hot & not    THE WEEK – go Med / egg bonanza / ps x 3 for all-in bread pudding

{There’s a new pic in my gallery showing how I tried to help mom, but she didn’t seem to appreciate it}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Wow! “Featured this season are new grilling techniques such as smoking with smoldering straw, and grilling with ash, flaming planks, hot iron and smoky salt slabs.” What? “Steve Raichlen’s Project Fire – Season 2.” On PBS starting July 20. In my reference, says Saturdays at 2:30 p.

  Pack your bags for a vacation highlighted by . . . coffee? . . . or beer? Maybe so for for the biggest fans of these beverages. The Apartment Guide has you covered for coffee with a rundown on the best destinations for a cuppa. And Food & Wine picks up the ball – or glass – for beer. Btw, that F&W page also, for you folks in the former category, has a story on the best coffee in every state.

  Have you caught up with the term, “flexitarian.” It is sort of self-explanatory but more of the descriptions I found said those who follow this diet platform tend to be mostly vegetarian, but eat meat sometimes. Some forego red meat though, others stay with organic or sustainable or responsibly raised. There is a proprietary site out of the U.K. and of course Amazon is all over it.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Say neener neener to “food fat traps” with my Dieter’s Survival Guide kindles

Find a veritable buffet of easy and powerful ways to help you avoid weight gain, and still enjoy the Dieter's Survival Guide: Avoiding the Fat-Traps in Everyday Situationsdining experience, in life’s everyday situations – home alone, on the road, in a fast food outlet, at the office or a party, and more – plus shopping “survival style,” long, smart lists of snacks and substitutes, and short lists of “sneaky-The Busy Person's Diet Guide - The at-a-glance version of Dieter's Survival Guidecises” and wardrobe tips.

It treats you to a fast course in savvy decisions AND satisfying selections. And you “graduate” knowing just how to balance practicality and pleasure with the goal of forever lookin’ good and feelin’ good.

It can be your sole field manual or it can dovetail with a separate diet or exercise plan. Either way, you can just pick and choose what you want to use, or go for it all. Choose either the full Guide at $4.99 or the “Busy Person’s” version at $2.99.

“Dieter’s Survival Guide” “Busy Person’s Diet Guide”

  FEATURED RECIPE  

Roll up an easy summer lunch with friends 

A Tasting Panel Selection

And this classic sandwich isn’t just easy. But tasty and pretty too. And great for get-togethers!

Start with flour tortillas spread fairly generously with mayo. Then just layer on all the components of a ham club, making sure the lettuce and tomatoes are as fresh as can be, the bacon is nice and crisp, lots of ham but sliced thin.

Have the ingredients stop just a little short of the far edge of the tortilla. Then just roll the whole thing up so that the mayo on the “naked” section of the tortilla glues it shut, and cut each roll into festive pinwheels.

As an alternative to the mayo you could also use cream cheese. Or, cream cheese mixed with a bit of ranch dressing. And of course, chicken or turkey versions or entirely different combos could be tucked in instead. Go for it, creative CS-ers.

  TIP  

Another favorite way to use tortillas

I love gyros and often indulge in a homemade version. One thing I’ve never figured out is how the restaurants manage to have the meat hot when the sandwich is served despite the chilled toppings.

So, came up with my own way. Two tortillas! Both warmed to make pliable, meat on one, another tortilla on top, tomato, onion, cuke sauce on that one, fold over and yum.

For other tips & technique in the kitchen, maybe take a look at my . . .

“50 Fun & Unexpected Prep, Presentation & Storage Tricks”

{what a hussy! again promoting her own books!}

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Not planning to convert to a total Mediterranean diet any time soon, but given the continuing focus on its health benefits I’m thinking it’s probably a good idea to fold in some of those dishes now and then. Found this book “The 30-Minute Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, has some darn good sounding stuff. Now what to try first, the Italian Breakfast Bruschetta, Spicy Shrimp Puttanesca, Honey-Almond Crusted Chicken Tenders, or Chilled Dark Chocolate Fruit Kebabs???

  Oh do I love having discovered this website. Well not so much the site itself, egglandsbest.com, but rather the beautiful array of recipes there. And not just breakfast and brunch but good stuff for appetizers, main dishes, side dishes and dessert. The one I tried relied on our old friend the sheet pan, oven-baked scrambles with turmeric and tasty toppings.

  I opted for the unstirred version. If you would want scrambled but don’t want to do the stirring step, you can bake it as a “cake” and then crumble it afterward as shown. {If you want to know my partnerships, just look in the Links section on my Let’s Chat page {btw – nuts! – not these folks}.

  So in the 07.05.19 Salon we talked in My Week about an all-in bread pudding. Should have ‘fessed up about the sauce which also pretty much resulted from a scavenger hunt. It was about equal parts store-bought whipped vanilla frosting and Cool Whip, thinned with just enough {really, just drops} of lemon lime soda to make a spoonable consistency. Since discovered it’s pretty good with syrup too. Also think any bread pudding I make from now on, whether classic or “fridge roulette,” will have some kind of chocolate as part of the mix.

So far next week: wait till you see! Mega fun in the kitchen, yes, yes, yes, play with your food – it’s the entire Salon!

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

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How to party-easy? Fill a phyllo! July 12-18, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – watermelon promoted / not just health foods, maybe healing foods / yeah, hangry is a thing    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – Shake Shack tells all {or most}    FEATURED RECIPE  – great fun with phyllo    TIP – make a Chicago dog  ♦  THE WEEK – best-est mistake? / wowsie rellenos / gems by you?       

{M – I fooled mom! She kept saying I wouldn’t like pasta & marinara and I kept giving her the “pleeeeze” look – she finally put some down for me and  – hah! – hoovered it!}

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Can’t wait till dessert to chomp into some juicy watermelon? Cooking Light to the rescue with its Shrimp & Watermelon Salad. Yowza there’s a lot of flavor going into this dish that invites in avocado, spinach, sesame oil, lime juice and more.

  In our 04.19.19 Salon we featured the “Anti-Anxiety Diet” book/cookbook that focused on calming foods, and while that also connects to physical well-being, I wondered if food could also play a role in healing the body. Googled it and found quite a few resources. You’ll want to do a bit more research before deciding which one{s} to trust to offer reliable information.

  On a sort of related note, if you’ve ever attributed a momentary lapse in the manners mama taught you to being “hangry,” turns out there’s scientific evidence that that’s a real thing. If that should happen again, cite at will from “Are You Really You When You’re Hungry?” which appeared on the American Psychological Association site.

  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Behind the scenes book gives up secret sauce

Sometimes “secret sauce” means a special hidden advantage. Here, it certainly is a special advantage, but no longer hidden – and it actually is a sauce.

If you’ve ever had a Shake Shake burger you know the sauce is almost as addictive as the burgerShake Shack: Recipes & Stories itself. Along with the crinkle cut fries, shakes, Chicago dogs {took some liberties with these but at least no ketchup – see below} and other fixins.

Now, woohoo, the “Shake Shack” cookbook takes us backstage in effect to see how this all came about and most important how to make authentic versions of their food in your own kitchen. One exception: they ‘fess up that while they include a prep for a good burger pattie, it is not exactly the same as their proprietary recipe.

So for that no-longer-secret sauce: 1/2 c Hellman’s {“Best” brand in the west}, 1 T Dijon mustard, 1 t Heinz ketchup, 1/2 t kosher dill pickle brine, pinch cayenne pepper. So good, and likely all stuff that’s in your fridge and pantry right now.

“Shake Shack, Recipes & Stories”

  FEATURED RECIPE  ♦

This makes party prep pure fun

So cute. So much versatility. So much good snacking. So little work!

Actually, how much work is involved is really up to you, because it’s all a matter of what you want to put into these adorable little phyllo cups, each about an 1 3/4″ across at the rim. Go simple or complex.

Shown here is eggs scrambled with sausage, onion, green pepper and cheese {a Tasting Panel selection}. And then a dessert version with a layer of caramel {from a store-bought tub} topped with a layer of ganache, though truth be told you could certainly just spoon on a thick hot fudge from the fridge, such as Mrs. Richardson’s.

And your choice as well, the fillings can be warm either from the oven with say a melty ham & swiss or just filled with warm goodies like baby burgers – or chilled such as tuna salad with an olive topper or smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. Food Network magazine did a nice slide show of ideas, which you can see at the link below.

I purchased my Athens Mini Phyllo Shells from Amazon, and though I was a little concerned about the delicate things surviving the trip, in fact all arrived just fine. This is really fun stuff that can supplement appetizers, entrees and dessert or serve as mini versions of all the courses for cocktail hour.

Phyllo cups at Amazon Food Network article

  TIP 

Want to make a real Chicago dog???

This is what you do. First and foremost, the hot dog should be Vienna. And the bun should be of the soft “Wonder Bread” kind, studded with poppy seeds, and lightly steamed. The dog goes in first, whole {I mention that only because some non-authentic-Chicago versions show the dog split and the toppings shoved in}.

Then a good squirt of mustard all along the dog, onions and bright green relish {yeah mine had to go a bit un-authentic, no neon green stuff} along the sides of the bun, a pickle atop one side of the dog, tomato slices on the other side, and sport peppers in between. Then a nice sprinkling of celery salt overall.

Some places add cuke slices too and that’s OK. Ketchup is NOT. {Excuse my Chicago origins bias 😊}

  MY WEEK 

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  Is this in contention for the tastiest mistake ever??? In the John Thorne entry in “American Food Writing” {06.14.19 Salon}, I discovered that “In the year 1930, Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Wakefield MA, added chunks of semi-sweet chopped chocolate to a buttery drop-cookie batter, expecting them to melt. Mrs. Wakefield was making chocolate cookies but though she baked them well, the chocolate remained intact, creating little islands of molten goo. Ruth was surprised and embarrassed, but her customers couldn’t get enough of her mistake.” We love you Ruth!

  Chile rellenos go HOT. And wow are these good – pickled jalapeno rellenos. The extra perks: created by first class Mex chef Rick Bayless, just four ingredients, no cooking or baking. In fact as Bayless says, “”Scoop the mixture into the chiles and serve without hesitation.” As an additional bonus, when you follow the link to Rick’s recipe page, you can connect to a bunch of his primo Mex dishes.

♦  Take a chance. There’s a place for Mexican food, really a counter rather than a restaurant, that is in a convenience store that’s part of a complex that also includes a gas station, oil and lube garage, car wash, and smog hut. I’ve avoided it even though it’s right in my neighborhood, but eventually couldn’t resist, drawn in by the 5-star reviews. Oh my, every star so well deserved. You can believe I’m making up for lost time, though each visit is a tug or war between something new and the addictive chile rellenos and the loaded nachos served on french fries. What hidden gems might be in your burg?

So far next week: iconic Waters, easy pretty party sammies, tasty ps to “all-in” bread pudding, coffee ho

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – book/Amazon, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

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Getting saucy with a first class cookbook, July 5-11, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – fun pastry gallery / meatballs {etc} on the move / cookie secret    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – it saves money too    FEATURED RECIPE – put this on a lot of stuff    TIP – but no fire breathing    THE WEEK – great New Orleans cookbook / riotous bread pudding / jalwho now???

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery

  TIDBITS 

Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  If the name Dominique Ansel is at all familiar, it may well be because he is the original cronut guy. But thanks to “Food  & Wine”  we can take a look at what he’s up to now, pastries that mimic New York icons. No matter what those confections look like, they are not what they seem. Just fun to see.

  Well you can pretty well rest assured food delivery is here to stay when the practice is now being tested by IKEA. For now just in Paris, but if it succeeds could your neighborhood location be next. I must say I would welcome having their awesome lingonberry preserves show up at my door as opposed to me showing up at their bazillion sq ft building and parking lot.

  This could almost be a parlor game – guess the surprise ingredient in an otherwise fairly classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Right you are, buttermilk. Follow the link for the exact details from Food52. Btw, wonder if a similar upgrade could be achieved with buttermilk powder.

♦  CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT   

Be adventurous, save the planet

While a good many of us do our best to reduce food waste, I’m guessing most of us may not have  ventured into this book’s realm of “Cooking With Scraps” by Food52 columnist Lindsay-Jean Hard. She does, bless her heart, make it ever so easy, devoting each chapter to a single ingredient and its possible, if unexpected, roles. Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals

Although as it turns out, lots of the preps are not so far out, such as the mix of apple peels & cores, white and brown sugar, that yields a simple apple syrup. And then there’s the, ahhhh, banana peel cake {although the cooks in Food Network’s The Kitchen declared it excellent}.

No matter which recipes you may or may not want to try, by the last page you may well start viewing the whole concept as a fun, creative game. You might be daring the trash can to continue claiming peels, cores, rinds, seeds, leaves, stems, stalks, pits, pulp, grounds, cobs, leftover bits, cooking liquids and stale stuff – neener, neener, you’ll now have some fine ideas for these food bonuses.

The book is 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover {good discount} and Kindle {huge discount}, Prime eligible. Also, an Amazon Best Seller.

“Cooking with Scraps” Lindsay-Jean Hard at Food52

♦  FEATURED RECIPE 

Dazzling coffee table book . . . with recipes

The restaurant creds: Gramercy Tavern, in biz over two decades, nine James Beard Awards including “Outstanding Restaurant” and “Outstanding Chef in America,” darling of the critics, 4 1/2 stars on Yelp with over 2700 reviews.The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

The book: “The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook,” by GT’s chef Michael Anthony and founder Danny Meyer – 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, hardcover {good discount}, Kindle {phenomenal discount}, Prime eligible.

The premise: to reproduce “the spirit of the cooking at GT, and to create your own versions of our recipes . . . {and} the book will look great on your coffee table, but I want you to take it into the kitchen and use it well.”

The recipes: much like the beloved NYC restaurant’s dishes, offer familiar takes in an upscale style, such as sugar snaps with lobster, carrot cake with carrot glaze, slow roasted pork with bacon broth. Our feature – a creamy, herby, citrusy sauce, in the book a flounder topper but ever so good on other fish, poached chicken breasts, grilled veggies, and on and on.

One of the best lessons: how easy it is to take a dish from basic to breathtaking, with either composition or topping. Shown, another fish dish, char, joined by a rainbow of veggies and flowers – you don’t even have to go this far, just some garnishes of different shapes, colors, textures drawn from what may well already be in your fridge.

Superb sauce recipe    “Gramercy Tavern cookbook”  

  TIP  

Slaying the Dragon {Fruit}

Well this is a bunch of fun. As scary as dragon fruit may be to look at, it’s ever so easy to enjoy.

The link below from Real Simple takes you through selection at the store, prep and apps at home. There’s a demo too, and one thing that’s shown in there but not mentioned in the text is cutting off the tough stem before halving the fruit lengthwise.

So just what do we have here? It’s juicy and mildly sweet which makes it quite refreshing, but you may even want to hit it with some honey or agave. The texture to me is much like a red plum. Those seeds are barely noticeable, not crunchy as in raspberries.

No matter how you serve it, probably best to run a spoon along between the white and red parts. This will likely leave some of the fruit attached to the rind, which is a good thing because that part is decidedly less sweet. So, CS friends, get out your “swords” and go for it.

Dragon fruit primer

  A PEEK AT MY WEEK  

Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  So, was looking at some leftovers in the fridge and freezer, all in the sweet realm, and hmmm, starting thinking, how much could I stretch the boundaries of bread pudding. Here’s what went into the mix: half of an apple pie, about two banana donuts, a store-bought cinnamon roll, half a dozen no-bake chocolate/coconut cookies, maybe a half cup of peanut butter pudding, the bottom of a jar of Nutella, also to give the name some legitimacy about a cup of bread, and then because I’ve become such a fan, 2T of malt powder.

♦  Btw, used a bread pudding recipe in my favorite New Orleans cookbook, “La Bouche Creole,” as a guide for the eggs, milk and vanilla. One thing, since the bread and its friends were of indeterminate measure, started with just 3 c of milk rather than the specified 4 and that was just right. So here’s the problem with improvising – if it turns out good, and oh boy did it, you really can’t recreate it. Oh well, enjoy now, try others in the future, and hope you will too.

  In the 06.21.19 Salon I noted an item on our “Eclectic” page about a book where the main characters are the grandchildren of Sherlock and Watson. At one point the grandaughter, Charlotte Holmes says, “I’d heard quite a bit of rot from him about the curative powers of chicken jalfrezi.” Eh? So, to the “Diner’s Dictionary” and once again wasn’t disappointed. In brief, jalfrezi, Indian but familiar in the UK since the late 1900s it says, is a “medium-to-very hot curry featuring meat, fish, or vegetables cooked in a sauce made with onions, tomatoes and fresh chillies {sic}.”

So far next week: tell-all Shake Shack book + sauce recipe, chile rellenos go snacky, healing foods, coffee rules {maybe}

Direct access to Amazon homepage through my personal link

Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

Note, transactions are solely between the buyer and linked supplier

Photo credits – books/Amazon, fish dish/Maura McEvoy in the cookbook, all others/mine

All pages ©2019 CooksSalon.com

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you

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