Wow, what a year and didn’t it just seem to whiz by? Thanks to Chowhound and, all the wonderful, passionate cooks here who inspire me, 2011 was a great year in the kitchen. With a kitchen reno soon to be underway, I’m looking forward to another fun year of cooking and sharing in 2012 but first, I thought it would be fun to reflect on some memorable Home Cooking moments from 2011.
Here are some of mine:
Favourite New Ingredients:
How is it I managed to get through my life without Fennel Pollen and Fregola? Thanks to the Mario Batali COTM in July, we’ll never go without these two culinary delights again!! Even though a little fennel pollen goes a long way, I’m now on my third can since July as we just can’t seem to get enough of this fabulous ingredient and we’re having fun experimenting by adding it in unexpected ways. Our latest favourite is to sprinkle a little over top vanilla bean ice cream . . . ooooh, so truly scrumptious!!!
So many months of fun in the kitchen and one of my absolute favourite aspects of Chowhound. I have to admit, it’s hard to pick just one COTM so I’m going to pick 2!! In first place because it produced so many of our most memorable meals of 2011 is the MARIO BATALI COTM in July. We love Italian food so it came as no surprise that there were endless dishes to entice us that month but the real surprise was how many fabulous grilled dishes there were that we had never tried. Mario brought Italy to summertime and for that his books took the top spot on our list. Coming in at a close second though would be GRACE YOUNG COTM in January. During that month I learned to love wokking, tried so many new and exciting dishes and ingredients and, felt more virtuous for preparing so many healthy, flavourful meals.
Favourite Recipes -Dishes Prepared at Home:
Wow, this is hard but here are some real standouts:
Fresh Robiola Wrapped in Mortadella (Grilled) from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill
Fennel Salad with Grapefruit (Grilled) from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill
Asparagus Wrapped in Pancetta Citronette from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill
(Grilled) Waxy Potatoes in Chianti Vinegar from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill
Pesto Fregola (served w Monkfish in Prosciutto) from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill
Herby Lentils, Spinach and Yogurt served with Salmon from Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef Takes Off
Chicken in a Pot from Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table
Crash Hot Potatoes from Jill Duplix …simply outstanding and a fast favourite!
Ok well we all know I have a big cookbook monkey on my back so to ask me to pick only a few is tough!! That said, these “new to me” books were standouts over the past year:
150 Best American Recipes by Molly Stevens
1000 Italian Recipes by Michele Scicolone
Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone
Antipasto Table by Michele Scicolone
Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka
Stir by Barbara Lynch
Breath of a Wok and Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young
Thanks once again to all the wonderful folks here on the Home Cooking board for providing me with such inspiration, I can’t wait to read about your favourites!!