Tag Savory Bread Pudding

Parties That Cook’s Classic Cookbook Club: The Essential New York Times Cookbook

I’m of the opinion that (good) things are better late, than never. In sticking to my beliefs, and ignoring the option of being on time, I bring you a PTC Cookbook Club of the past! Let’s just say I was saving it for a rainy day…

This last cookbook club featured The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century. Featured in Amazon’s Best of 2010 Book Section, this cookbook boasts recipes from many a noted chef, as well as renowned kitchens and New York Times writers. Once again, because of the sheer mass of this book and the great variety of recipes found within (over 1,000!), we came together for an assortment of dishes.

Creamy Farro and Chickpea Soup. A great start to the lunch, Carolyn’s soup was delicious! This Paula Wolfert recipe is super simple – a well-deserved break for Carolyn after her last Cookbook Club endeavor. There was definitely enough left over for the entire office to have lunch the next day (and we took advantage). For an online version of this recipe, go here!

Potato Salad with Shaved Ricotta Salata and Green Sauce. Rosie solved the mystery: the green sauce is basically a pesto. And just so we’re clear, Fetta makes a wonderful substitute for Ricotta. I was not the only one eager to revisit this dish in the fridge the next day – everyone loved it!

Sformata di Ricotta: Cassandra was a bit disappointed with the resulting tomato and ricotta pie/tart. When she selected this recipe, she was expecting bolder flavors and hoping for tastes of tomato in every bite. This lead to the conclusion that it would be good to note the seasonality of ingredients included in each recipe. Still, everyone enjoyed the dish, and I found myself heading back to the fridge for more tastes of the sformata! For an online version of this recipe, click here!

Leek and Shiitake Bread Pudding: Due to either lack of ingredients or cooking equipment, Traci did some major off-roading on this recipe. She must be the MacGyver of cooking, because, BOY did it pay off! I would be glad to find this dish on my table any day, though we all wondered how the original dish would compare. Another delicious bread pudding recipe can be found in our Side Dishes section!

Chicken Roasted with Sour Cream, Lemon Juice and Mango Chutney. Bibby tried her best to stick to the recipe, and despite some minor adaptations, she succeeded! The chicken had the perfect texture, and the flavor was great – not too bold to share the table with the variety of dishes we had. We couldn’t tell there was mayo in the recipe, though that’s probably for the best. This dish (which yields A LOT) makes excellent leftovers!

Orange-Braised Short Ribs with Fennel and Oregano. Crissy did an outstanding job on these short ribs! I was in love, and I doubt I was alone. The meat was perfectly tender, and the flavor was spot on! What more can I say?

Clove granite: An incredibly light frozen dessert with a unique flavor. If you’re expecting Ice Cream, leave now (at least you made it to dessert!), clove granite is more like a slushie. We got to try TWO versions because after Erin completed one (off-roading), she decided to stick to the recipe, and redo it! To me, the result of using light brown sugar is not all that different from dark brown sugar, though many preferred the off-roaded version!

I must say, Cassandra did a nice job in selecting this cookbook! It’s definitely one for the wish list. With so many recipes available, it’s not only hard to decide where to start, but it would be hard to finish! It’s amazing that Amanda Hesser tried them all in about two and a half years! The next cookbook on the menu: The River Cafe Cookbook by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. Stay tuned!

Parties That Cook’s January Cookbook Club: Harvest to Heat

Last Tuesday we met for our January cookbook club. Rosie, one of our amazing event planners, selected Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer’s Harvest to Heat. This cookbook puts much needed emphasis on where ingredients come from. Every few pages, you can find a short story featuring a different artisan, farmer or fisherman, and the story of how they became successful. Relationships between chefs and farmers are highlighted with the help of beautiful photos. Featuring simple recipes from numerous renowned chefs, Harvest to Heat is a confidence builder for cooks of any level.

Two of our event all-stars, Dana and Pat, joined us. Pat even made delicious Herb Gougeres! With a great semisoft cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, she could do no wrong. Still, the gougeres were baked to perfection: light and puffy, yet crispy.

Rosie signed up for Crostini with Burrata, Marinated Escarole, and Carmelized Shallots. Unfortunately, she could not find Burrata anywhere – even after checking multiple stores! She made a substitution of mozzarella, which might have gone unnoticed had she not mentioned the switch. Rosie thought the final result was a little too salty, but everybody loved them!

Michelene chose to make the Beet Salad with Chevre and Black Olive Croutons. She, too, unnecessarily confessed to a shortcut of buying olive bread (Such honest ladies!). The outcome was a beautiful and delicious salad.

Beth took on the all-day task of making Savory Bread Pudding with Bacon and Farmstead Cheese with Tomato Jam. Though the recipe requires a lot of time, you definitely do not need to be in the kitchen during much of the cooking. Beth made the executive decision to double the bacon in the bread pudding, and boy were we glad she did! Even with the extra bacon, the flavor was faint and not at all overwhelming. This dish was quite popular!

Carolyn selected Duck Meatballs with Pomegranate-Orange Glaze and Pureed Parsnips for her recipe. Carolyn could not find ground duck at the stores, and opted to substitute chicken for duck. The pomegranate-orange glaze was delicious, and the parsnip puree was a great complement to the meatballs!

Crissy wanted to try the Pork Osso Buco with Wild Mushrooms and Almond Piccata. She was very pleased with the outcome (along with everyone else!), though she did note a slight change in the texture when she reheated the meat the next day.

Bibby opted for the Cheese Grits . Bibby could not find stone-ground grits, and instant grits made a fine substitution. After following the recipe, Bibby found the grits a little bland. To correct this, she added a lot of cheese. In the end, there was no denying this was a cheese grits dish, but there’s nothing wrong with that! Everyone found these cheese grits delicious!
Bibby also decided to make Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter, Bacon and Sage. She found the recipe, which had her cook the Brussels sprouts on the stovetop in some remaining bacon fat, a bit odd. The resulting sprouts were delicious!

Traci was going to bring in Butter Bean and Corn Succotash with Candied Bacon, but was not feeling up to it after getting sick over the weekend. Erin was going to bring her mother in law, her adorable son AND a Milk Chocolate Semifreddo with Star Anise Carrot Cake, but he too fell ill over the weekend.

Overall, this was one of our most successful cookbook clubs ever! All the food was delicious, and there were few issues with the recipes! After much reminiscing about old family recipes, there was talk of a future cookbook club featuring childhood favorites. Keep an eye out for updates!