"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Monday, July 14, 2008

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Herbs and Garlic; and Pickled Black Eyed Peas; and...Melissa Gets Organized!

We have sort of a small crowd at work--four instead of the usual one, but two of the four are: a tall hungry man, and a skinny hungry fifteen year old teenager. So really it's like cooking for six. Or eight.

Fortunately they are extremely amiable with no food persnicketyness, so it's kind of dealer's choice. I rummaged around in the freezer yesterday morning and came up with boneless leg of lamb, and I found a lot of dried beans in the cold room. I've been feeling sort of remiss that I've been totally ignoring the Grains and Beans section of the book and thought I'd try something from that section.

So I resolved to make Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Herbs and Garlic and Pickled Black Eyed Peas since Kevin recently made it and thought highly of it.

Folks, that lamb recipe is a winner. Mine ended up a little bit charred on one side because I had a fire in the grease trap (grrr) but it was cooked perfectly thanks to my remote thermometer, and the garlic/herbs/lemon combo was spot on. It's a super easy summer dinner so give it a try.

I wasn't so crazy about the Pickled Black Eyed Peas, and I was disappointed about the whole thing. It just didn't taste very vinegary--there just seemed like there were too many beans in proportion to the rest of the ingredients. But I served it, and cleaned up, and went my merry way out to dinner with my husband, and when we were driving home, I realized the error I had made. Actually, I gasped in vexation, which made Don think he was about to hit something, which made him swerve the car to avoid the invisible threat. At least I know he has good reflexes. But next time I'll be quieter.

Anyway, this is what I did. When putting the beans in to soak, I looked at the remaining half bag, and thought, when the heck am I ever going to use these stupid beans? So I put the whole bag in, essentially doubling the recipe.

But by the time the beans had soaked and cooked, I had FORGOTTEN that I had doubled the recipe (at least on the bean end) and made it as written. Der.

So today I'll rectify the situation, and I'm sure I'll find it as delicious as Kevin thought it was.

ADDENDUM: Excuse me, I mean Teena (as Kevin points out)! By the way, I did fix it and it was much, much better.


Melissa Gets Organized!!!

I am so proud of myself--I finally figured out how to use the "Edit Posts" function in an efficient manner so I could change the labels on the posts (or even just add some in many cases) and to do it so that readers can look up recipes as they are categorized in chapters in The Gourmet Cookbook. This has been a headache for me for at least a year, because I changed my mind a dozen times about whether or how to do it. The last straw, though, was when I couldn't find my own post for 40 Naked Women Corn.

This will also allow me to answer people when they ask how many recipes I've made (284), and which chapters I cook out of most (vegetables, fish and shellfish, cakes, and cookies bars and confections) and least (basics, sauces and salsas, grains and beans).

My only issue is the stupid capitalization function, which let me capitalize some things but not others because of the fill-in feature. I'll do my OCD thing on that later.

So Georgia, you're off the hook!

ADDENDUM: Curious, I just went through some of these chapters to count up the recipes I've actually cooked, because some I've cooked but not written about. Readers, as diligent as I've been, I probably have only written about 2/3 to 1/2 of the recipes I've cooked. For example, I've cooked 50 of the vegetable recipes, and 45 of the Fish and Shellfish.

Shame on me! Guess I'll just have to cook them again. Now that's a fate I can live with.


Kevin said...

That lamb was indeed delicious, but I haven't actually made the pickled black eyed peas yet. Teena's made it, and she was a big fan.

Congrats 284 is a very nice number, I'm still chasing the 200 mark.

Jessica said...

I loved the part about you gasping when you figured out the mistake--I find myself thinking about Joy more than anyone should ever be pondering a cookbook.