April 2023 COTM - SMITTEN KITCHEN KEEPERS

At least they didn’t go to waste. If this recipe had been posted on her blog, you could have read comments to see if others had similar issues.

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Belatedly - I’ve made a riff on the farro with roasted tomatoes, in that I didn’t roast them all the way to dryness but left them pretty juicy. I did it again today but substituting buckwheat for the farro - 1 C dry, cooked in water per package directions. 1 quart cherry tomatoes, roasted for 30min at 425, then added tomatoes with their juices. I threw in a can of drained white beans and a chunk of feta (crumbled), dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, s&p, and dried oregano - nothing measured, all to taste. This will be lunches for the week.

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DELI PICKLE POTATO SALAD
Have to agree with MelMM on this one. It was okay to eat but unlikely to make it again.

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CUCUMBER SALAD WITH GARLICKY DILL YOGURT P. 48
Chances are you’ve had something similar to this dish. Mix Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, S&P in a bowl. In another bowl mix cut up Persian cucumbers, red onion, white-wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the yogurt mixture on a plate and top with the cucumber mixture. I used too large of a garlic clove in mine and will adjust in the future. Needed some good flat bread to eat with it. Will definitely be making this again.

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That’s a cute bowl & the salad looks good in it.

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SNOW PEAS WITH PECORINO AND WALNUTS (pg 45)

This was a pretty easy salad - thinly slice a half-pound of snow peas, and toss with a dressing made of olive oil, white wine vinegar, s&p, and pecorino, plus toasted walnuts. I liked the flavors but would probably decrease the olive oil next time and increase the vinegar. My peapods were a little starchy and I wonder if maybe the dish would work better with them slightly steamed or blanched.

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Sounds like it’d work well with snap peas, which tend to be sweeter and crisper than snow peas.

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Agree with the suggestion of sugar snap peas!

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I agree with the snap pea taste, and I’ll admit that’s what I was envisioning. But it might be harder to stack them and slice thinly!

True, but thanks to their texture, they’d probably work sliced thicker on the bias.

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Find the May book here:

“RUSSIAN” BLT p. 174

I like BLTs and they sounded appealing to my finicky stomach so this recipe went onto the list. You quick pickle the iceberg lettuce with white vinegar, water, a garlic clove, sugar, salt, and fresh dill. (I used dried because the fresh was a rotten mush in the fridge) The idea of pickling the lettuce comes from Deb’s Russian MIL so there’s one aspect of the title.

The second Russian part is the homemade Russian dressing. It is pretty standard–mayo, ketchup, relish, lemon juice, kosher salt, and a dash of hot sauce.

You assemble the components on toasted bread and voila–your “Russian” BLT. It was a good sandwich. The pickled iceberg had a milder flavor than I was expecting. I’m sure the fact that I used dried dill was part of it. If I made this again I’d be sure to use fresh dill and more white vinegar than is called for. I’d also let it sit for longer than the 30 minutes called for.

I’m not in a huge rush to make this again but that’s really more because BLTs are the kind of thing I get in a diner and not something I make at home regularly. Like I said I would make tweaks to the pickled iceberg to see if I could improve the flavor there. I’m sure I will make this again eventually. I don’t have any complaints but nor do I have a huge rave about it.

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PERFECT MEATBALLS AND SPAGHETTI pg 209

The “twist” here seems to be that the meatballs are big and baked. Well, the latter wasn’t particularly novel as I prefer to bake meatballs rather than pan-fry them. And bigger is not always better - I found the meatball mix to be too loose to make well-shaped balls, and they oozed a bit as they baked. (To be fair, gluten-free panko is terrible. But I don’t think the recipe needed 2 eggs and [essentially] a panade for 1 lb meat.) The tween liked the meatballs, I thought they were fine but not better than the meatballs I usually make. And the sauce was runny - no way was I going to thin it out with pasta water! Not a keeper for us.

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For years, I’ve used Ian’s GF panko, and it was pretty good. But around 6 months ago, maybe a bit longer, it disappeared from store shelves and Amazon, with no known date of return. Not sure what happened. Right now I have Kikkoman’s GF panko, and it is, indeed, awful. Others I’ve found aren’t vegan (why on earth would panko need egg in it?) so I haven’t tried them.

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This was 4C brand, which seems like Rice Chex. I won’t buy again. Have you made breadcrumbs from GF bread? (would it be okay if I message you to ask a bunch of other GF questions?)

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I haven’t tried 4C because of the egg. Yes, I’ve made breadcrumbs from regular GF bread. Just toast it until dry, or dry it in the oven. And sure, feel free to message me.

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Kikkoman also had weirdly big pieces. I used to blitz them finer before using.

EGGPLANT INVOLTINI, from the blog … I don’t think it’s been reported on. I love this recipe, made it several times, like Eggplant Parm only better. I omit the lemon zest and juice. This last time I made homemade sauce with Ital brand D.O.P. San Marzano canned tomatoes, used Moulinex food mill, no longer available?? (I used to have a different brand that was no good, returned it to Wms-Sonoma and got this one.) Wish I’d also made the ricotta from Ina Garten’s recipe … maybe, next time. Instead of slices of mozzarella on top, I put double the amount of shredded in the filling. Added plenty of fresh basil leaves. This even tastes great cold from the fridge … if you like eggplant, that is.

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Oh, I zebra striped the eggplant; added chopped parsley to the filling, don’t know if that made a difference.

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I made fresh fettuccine to go with another batch of involtini for my friend’s family. I was a little rusty, hadn’t made this in a few years.

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