How to Eat Dangerously–A Look Back on a 2007 Goal

For once I can say that I accomplished a goal that I swore I would do in 2007: cook one new recipe a week.

Well, that’s not true. I should have reworded it to be: cook 50 plus new recipes in 2007.

Check!

Most of the recipes came from CHOW.com, Cooking Light, Cooks Illustrated, Epicurious, and misc. magazines and cookbooks that I’ve owned, but cracked pages open that were fresh of stains and new to me.

So, without further ado. Here is my list:

How to Eat Dangerously

 

     

  1. Scallops in a mushroom champagne sauce (Cooking Light) beyond divine and so darn good! A new favorite
  2. Pumpkin risotto with wild mushrooms: (Mary Englebrecht’s Home Companion) The best way to start off the new year. Amazing!
  3. Red Thai Curry (Real Simple, April 2007)
  4. Thai Chicken Barley Risotto (Cooking Light)—awesome but time intensive
  5. Chicken Picadillo (Cooking Light)
  6. Fig and blue cheese stuffed pork tenderloin (Cooking Light) so easy and good!
  7. Mexican chocolate pots de crème (Sunset Magazine) Spectacular
  8. Rosemary polenta (Barefoot Contessa/FoodNetwork) I saw her make this and the Chickens in morel sauce on one of her TV show
  9. Chickens in morel cream sauce (Barefoot Contessa)—would make again, but using wild mushrooms at half the cost. Inspired by watching her show and Posy’s glowing review.
  10. Pan fried pork chops (Cooks Illustrated) excellent method for cooking pork chops quickly and served with pineapple mango salsa.
  11. Fromage Forte (Alton Dean from Food Network) Easy and good way to get rid of cheeses
  12. Seared scallops with sautéed cabbage (Martha Stewart) Nice and light
  13. Corned beef and cabbage Not necessarily from a cookbook, but I always wanted to try it and it was obscenely easy and so tasty too!
  14. Turkey and bean chili (Good Food)
  15. Creamed Spinach (Everyday Food) I’ve always wanted to try creamed spinach and boy is it addictive.
  16. Chicken Stock OK, this was the single most influential dish I made all year because I became obsessed with making and freezing stock and what a difference it made to my soups. Unbelievable stuff!
  17. Calzones—Trader Joe’s whole wheat crusts. Made up the recipe myself, but not good!
  18. Sausage Tuscan Bean Soup (Food for Friends book) Very very good—made with homemade stock
  19. Stuffed Pork with sage wrapped in proscuitto with lentils(Food for Friends book) Very good, but sage was way overpowering
  20. Thai Beef Salad (from WW cookbook—amazing tasting stuff!)
  21. Creamy pesto tortelloni (from Fitness magazine—good, but used real cream because the nonfat stuff has high fructose corn syrup—gross!)
  22. Strawberry torte—from (Fast Food with Friends) (very good, but oh so decadent!)
  23. Minted double pea soup: (from WW cook book)—good for lunches
  24. Mini quiches (South Beach Diet cookbook) great for breakfasts on the go at work. Made many different versions—French with asparagus, lite goat cheese and herbs de province to Mediterranean ones, etc.
  25. Butternut squash and black bean enchiladas (inspired from blog Angry Chicken and amazing! Rather time intensive, but worth it, since it fed us for two nights!)
  26. Butternut squash and sweet potato soup with coconut and lime (from Jen C.—weirdly too rich)
  27. Mushroom herb potage (Soup Bible—very light but good soup)
  28. Beef Bourguignon (Slow Cooker cookbook by Lori Brody) Very good!
  29. Black Eyed pea soup (Cooking Light) Good
  30. Dal (Gourmet Slow Cooker cookbook) must soak lentils beforehand
  31. Maple-glazed pork roast (cooks illustrated) Excellent—Eric loved the pairing of maple syrup and rosemary. Really easy too!
  32. Indian black eyed peas with mushrooms (Mader Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking) very good, but added garam masala to the mix
  33. Slow cooker chili (Cooks Country) John actually made this, but it was a new one for him and I watched. Mildly time intensive, but very very good as far as chili goes
  34. Quick cinnamon buns (Fine Cooking Nov. 2007) OK, I know I really shouldn’t have done this since I’m trying to lose weight, but they were insanely good and relatively quick. Would make again in a heart beat
  35. Roasted green beans (Cooks Illustrated) I’d roasted so many vegetables, but never green beans and it was the easiest thing possibly. Made me actually like green beans, but still—not my favorite recipe
  36. Black bean soup with sweet potatoes (Weight Watchers Slow Cooking) Very good. Eric liked it immensely
  37. Crunchy caramel popcorn (Real Food) Incredible! Just absolutely amazing. Too good and addictive to be made again!
  38. Shrimp Green Curry (Epicurious) made with those shinkuri noodles and they were great! Only add one tsp of green curry. I added butternut squash, a red pepper and spinach for more greens. Amazing! But rather time intensive
  39. Chicken pot pie (Everyday Food) Very very good! And I liked using phyllo dough for the crust. Divine!
  40. Pumpkin ravioli with gorgonzola and hazelnuts (Cooking Light) Good, but for the work, I wouldn’t do it again.
  41. Risotto with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese (Cooking Light) 10 of the most rocking points and the best part was the balsamic vinegar syrup on top. Simply divine!
  42. Chicken Soup with matzo balls (my recipe and always with my own chicken broth) I adore it! Often just make chicken soup with gnocchi and its terrific. Makes me feel great!
  43. Crispy waffles (Cook’s Country) AWFUL. With rice krispies in them. Would never make again
  44. Lentil Soup with roasted root vegetables and kale (Cooking Light, Nov. 2006) Unbelievably good! Perfect winter soup and so much fiber too
  45. Coconut Carrot Soup (WW Slow Good) Made for Karen when she had Molly
  46. Fish Tacos with cilantro lime crema (Cooking Light) I fell in love with this easy easy fish taco recipe. I need to find more easy fish recipes that are this tasty! Yummy!
  47. Flank Steak with red wine shallot sauce (Fitness Magazine) Very good weeknight meal with a side of broccoli
  48. Chorizo empanadas—Thanksgiving (Saveur) Very rich and must make sure to get the ends really tight
  49. Ranch style mashed potatoes—Thanksgiving (Cooking Light) A bit bland but good
  50. Chocolate ganache tart—Thanksgiving (Everyday Foods) Very easy and every good!
  51. Goat cheese butternut squash and leek gratin—Thanksgiving (Bon Appetite) I think this was my favorite new dish for Thanksgiving. Surprisingly light and delicious
  52. Turkey with mushroom butter and gravy—Thanksgiving (Bon Appetite) I should have probably cooked it a half hour longer to get a crisp skin, but it was really good nonetheless and surprisingly easy. But I’m quite proud of my first bird.
  53. Brie hazelnut honey appetizer (from Pearl Oyster Bar) My recreation of one of their dishes and it was great! Everyone loved it!
  54. Jojo ice cream (from William Sonoma Ice cream cookbook) but kinda made it up. It was great!
  55. Potato bread (from Daring Young Baker’s coalition) also sorta made it up, using the leftover mash potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner) but Eric and John loved the results
  56. Stuffing Stuffed mushrooms (CHOW.com) one of the top 10 things to do with Thanksgiving leftovers and I’m so very proud of myself for this one!
  57. Fig, blue cheese and pecans on endive (CHOW.com) so easy to make and so good too! I would do again in a heartbeat.
  58. String Bean with Bacon, Sage, and Pine Nuts (Boston Globe) for Christmas from my sister in law Diana’s collection of recipes. Also, it had some lovely lemon rind in it which really sparked it up!
  59. Greens a la Catalon (CHOW.com) I am always looking for new ways to cook greens, since they are so healthy for you and who knew that the simple addition of golden raisins and pine nuts do so much for them? Brilliant.
  60. Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts (CHOW.com) really really wonderful! A Charlie Trotter recipe. I’ve heard so much about him and always wanted to cook one of his recipes

I must say that it was very very fulfilling and enpowering to take on this goal. I didn’t cook a new recipe every week, but sometimes I would cook two or even three new recipes a week, so it was more of an evening out of the numbers that strictly following the one a week, because, well, life has ways of throwing you curve balls.

The new recipes vary from main courses to vegetable sides (I’m always in a quest to find new and intriguing ways to cook vegetables) to desserts and everything in between. I’m so glad I did this. And I must say there were very few bombs. I’d say the worst was this recipe for extra crisp waffles that I made from Cook’s Country, an offshoot magazine of Cooks Illustrated. Ugh! I had no idea that one could make such a disturbingly untasty waffle!

The best recipe? Hmm…I’d have to say the Lentil Soup with Roasted Vegetables and Kale. Every bowl was heaven plus lentils and kale are so good for you. And the Shrimp and Green Curry. Oh that was divine! I also really enjoyed the fish tacos. So easy and so darn good! The pumpkin risotto was very special and much easier to make than I thought it would be!

Would I say that it was a healthier year. Uh… Perhaps not when one includes homemade ice cream and cinnamin buns on the list. But I did get into the amazing habit of cooking on Sundays a big healthy vegetable-based soup that would be eaten for lunch that week as well as prep a meal for Monday and cook Sunday’s meals. And yes, I did spend 4 plus hours in the kitchen on most Sundays, but it was so much fun and healthy for the soul. So perhaps for 2008, I’ll try to do more cooking of fish and vegetables.

Yes, 2008’s goals will be discussed in 2008. Until then, happy New Year!

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3 thoughts on “How to Eat Dangerously–A Look Back on a 2007 Goal”

  1. Yummy! Gosh, I feel so lazy, I cooked quite a bit this year but probably only 8 or so new recipes. Ya know…that is a really worthy pursuit…I want to do that for 2008. I new recipe a week.
    I’m so honored that you visit and read my posts! Wow! I’m still partly in shock that people actually read what I have to say. I guess I think of myself as pretty dorky. But, I guess that is one of the coolest parts of blogging, you can just really be who you are, dorky or not. It is somehow really validating.
    Very Happy New Year to you Miss Dottie!
    I really enjoy your blog! I’m glad your my blog-buddy! 🙂

  2. I don’t know what’s more stunning: the fact that you catalogued and posted all these recipes, or the fact that there’s all this cooking (with meat!) going on and this is the first I’ve heard of it. 😉

    As you may already know, I have a quite the reputation as a kitchen trainwreck- yet I made an awesome turkey at Thanksgiving.

    I cannot explain it at all.

  3. BTW, his name is Alton Brown, not Dean. Melinda has a major nerd-crush on him, so I know these things.

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