Peanut Cilantro Dip, Aug 16-22, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

  TIDBITS – neener neener stove / impromptu grilling basket / reincarnating spices    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT – funny food guy    FEATURED RECIPE – cilantro overload?    TIP – two stick trick    THE WEEK – farmers market tips / dinner on a stick / funny Trillin

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

  Fall is just around the corner but most of us will still be spending time in the swelter zone. So how welcome to have Food & Wine bring us a slide show of “12 No-Cook Dinners” to make right now. In the lineup, colorful roast beef summer rolls, tuna banh mi, spicy Asian chicken lettuce cups.

  Love this guy. F&W’s Justin Chapple comes up with the darnedest Mad Genius Tips, in this case crafting a grilling basket out of baking racks and paper clips. He describes it in steps, but it’s easier I think to understand if you watch the on-page video.

  Haven’t needed yet to try this, but love the idea. When you find spices in your pantry that have exceeded their expiration or best buy date, there’s an alternative according to My Recipes that can help bring whole or dried spices back to life. Pretty easy too, just involves some skillet toasting. There are also some interesting videos on the page.


Trillin makes food funny

Peter Meehan, who was the late super food writer Jonathan Gold’s editor at the Lucky Peach, said in the Gold dvd {well nuts, thought I had mentioned this in a previous Salon, but guess not – will remedy that next week – great, great video} – “modern food writing began with Calvin Trillin.” Who, in fact, appears in that dvd.

Trillin has a unique approach to his subject. In the intro to his entry in “American Food Writers” Alice, Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eaterauthor Molly O’Neil calls him “a hungry amateur in a world of overwrought connoisseurs, an anti-gourmet . . . {s}elf-deprecating and never at a loss for irony, the reluctant foodie serves slices of real life, hold the pretense.”

What he tells you about here is not so much a critique of food or chefs or restaurants as it is his pursuit of something wonderful he had before, something enticing he’s heard about, or something he wants out of sheer curiosity, And he’s willing to travel the world to track down that lusted-for bite.

In, “Alice, Let’s Eat,” we learn right at the start the identity of his two true passions: love of food and love of wife. It’s despite the former and because of the latter that he’s willing to forgive Alice for her “seemingly uncontrollable attacks of moderation.” That playful tension marks much of this little book full of big smiles. A joyful read. Four stars on Amazon, Kindle, paper and hardcover.

“Alice, Let’s Eat”    A trilogy that includes “Alice”    Other Trillin books on Amazon


Too much cilantro?

Well I’m hoping some day I can say that about the yield from my mini indoor garden, but for now took advantage of a good sale at my market. Then, ahhhhh, what to do with all of it?

Good ol’ AllRecipes told me exactly what I could do with it – in of course the nicest possible way. The one that I chose turned out to be a lovely, versatile dip –  a tasty take on classic peanut sauce.

A couple of notes. Because of the cilantro, though I may have overly-indulged my love of this herb, it takes on a color that belies its flavor. Also, I did add just a touch of salt. One more thing, this is quite the delightful tongue tingler, but if you’re not a spice fan you’ll want to cut back on the pepper flakes. Note as well that it thickens {and gets even better} in the fridge.

The recipe suggests such dippers as French bread and veggies, showing what looks like bell peppers, baby bok choy and maybe jicama. But found this to be also great on pita crackers, crisped flour tortillas, even in entree mode on roasted chicken or pork, or as I did, on scrambled eggs  {shown}.

Easy too! Some minimal chopping, a couple of rounds in the processor, and done!

Peanut Cilantro Dip recipe    Other cilantro preps on AllRecipes


Taming the kebab

So, we’ve had some fun here with courses on skewers. And yet one more appears in “Week” below.

Whenever I’m kebab-ing, I like to use two sticks. This makes the ingredients behave, keeps them from doing roly polys as they would on just one stick.

This trick is especially helpful if you are making say an all meat kebab that you’ll be cooking in a skillet or the oven or on the grill. When you turn them over, everyone goes along for the ride.

You can see this two-stick-er in the photo below.


Welcome to my kitchen and living room

  I love farmers markets and one of my very favorite mags, Sunset, just made that experience even better. A reader in a recent issue asked how to get the most out of these bounty of the earth fests. Some of the suggestions I liked best – bring three bags, one each for sturdy produce, tender items, and dairy/meats/eggs, do a couple of laps before you buy anything, and bring small bills.

  Both here in the Salon and in my “50 Kitchen Tricks” book we’ve seen courses on a skewer – breakfast, appetizer, salad, and dessert. Now a recent issue of Food Network Magazine takes it a step further and spears dinner on a stick too. Their creative takes were actually kebab-ing classic sandwiches – banh mi, Philly cheesesteak, turkey club, and meatball & eggplant parmesan {all on this page}. The one I played with – roasted pork tacos wrapped with green salsa & cheese and heated and browned in a skillet, alternated with avocado, tomato and seeded jalapenos, served with red salsa rice and simple nachos.

  I love this glimpse into Calvin Trillin’s love affair with food, delivered to us in the “Alice” book featured above. He’s fondly recalling a  thick potato pancake he enjoyed some years back and the fact that it is eaten while standing up – and that, Trillin says, is “a method that gives the eater the additional pleasure of being able to jump up and down occasionally in delight.”

So far next week: all-in pie, Venetian breakfast, chocolate peanut butter cookies, no-bake key lime pie, food show code, gluttony good???, Taco Bell pop-up hotel, recipe & gear, wait till you see these cookies!

Last week, just below: Martha’s spicy pulled pork in the slow cooker, s’mores ice cream cake, Uber add-on, un-frying, great kitchen organization trick, choc/cheese sammie 2.0, a sideways thinking way to solve red wine stains, put what now in the egg salad? 

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