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Thread: Cookbook recipe challenge thread

  1. #1
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Cookbook recipe challenge thread

    I am one of these people who read cookbooks like novels and then put them on the shelf, but I hardly ever take them out and follow a recipe. I kind of absorb ideas and then improvise. But sometimes I think it would expand my horizon to take a good-looking recipe and follow it as good as it can. After all, I am an amateur, and I may be in for surprises or just learn a few things on the way. Right now I have a shelf filled with a few hundred cook books, most of which I haven't looked at in years.

    So, here is the challenge: about once a week I want to pick one of my cookbooks, follow one of the recipes as closely as possible, and then report the original recipe here and my impressions of how well it turned out. I will try taking pictures but may not always be consistent with that. Anybody want to join me? I am sure that many of you have a lot of cookbooks that you never really use... I hope that this will be a fun experience, not only to learn things from doing them myself but also from seeing what others pick and what cookbooks they like or don't like. Maybe we can add a short 'review' on the cookbooks we chose. But I don't want to add too many rules, this should be fun. I am sure, some of the contributors here are experienced enough to write their own cookbooks, but I would love to see a mix of pros and enthusiatic amateurs doing this. Let me know what you think, and let's just start posting whenever we get to it.

    Stefan

  2. #2
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    I'm game I lost cound after the mid 300's and that was a couple years ago.

    My cookbook shelf when I lived in the bay area, I have 3 of these now and boxes of older books that people have started giving me lol

  3. #3
    Hey, I certainly could use a prod to use my cookbooks more. One new recipe a week? I think I can do that, though I might miss a week here and there. Sure, I'll join Cookbook Collectors' Anonymous ... rrr... I mean the Cookbook Challenge
    Len

  4. #4
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    I'm game I've got atleast 60 cookbooks and more on the way.

  5. #5
    Cool idea

  6. #6
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    I'll try it too, but there will be some weeks I just won't be around to cook, so I need several bye weeks. I also don't have enough cookbooks, so I might not have the variety that some of you have.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  7. #7
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    I'm game! I'll work one up this weekend, even. But no pics mid process. Maybe of the end results.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Anyhow, I'm game and going to the store in about an hour. My first cookbook is The Geometry of Pasta. I'll probably choose a few recipes form this one before moving on to another.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  9. #9
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    Ok, I am starting this off it seems. Today I cooked from the Geometry of Pasta Cookbook, Farfalle Con Ceci e Vongole (Chickpeas and Clams).

    I must admit that I have never cooked clams at home and don't really care for clam past that much, but my wife is of the opposite opinion. I didn't have the ditali pasta the recipe called for, so I substituted it with farfalle as suggested.

    I will say that out of all the clam pastas I have had, this was one of my favorites, but I did feel the sauce was a bit light on flavor. In the end I added a splash of really good olive oil and a light dusting of pecorino. I know cheese and seafood don't always go together well, but I think it worked with this light sauce and it added some saltiness.

    For my knives, I used my new Del Ealy blade and my Carter.

    As for adjustments, I used canned chick peas, doubled the amount of clams (littleneck), and used farfalle instead.

    Would I make it again? Yes, but I would consider adjusting the sauce a bit. I might add some white wine, a little mustard, maybe lemon zest, and then when combining everything at the end, I would put in a couple slabs of butter to finish. I think that would give it some zing and richness that the sauce lacked.

    Here are some pictures.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  10. #10
    Sounds much better than the hotel buffet fare I had earlier tonight
    Len

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