Friday, August 29, 2014

CCC August

This was another great month of recipes.  I've ranked them from most to least favorite, but even the last one I enjoyed and wouldn't mind making again.

#1: Tahini-dressed courgette and green bean salad

I loved the flavors of this, it was quicker and easier than I thought it would be, and I loved how interesting it was.  It would never have occurred to me to make a salad dressing out of tahini and orange juice, but with the more substantial vegetables used here it really worked.  I used arugula as the base and thought the bitterness was a nice contrast to the sweet dressing.

#2: Tomato bruschetta 

With homemade, freshly baked sourdough bread and fresh summer tomatoes, I think it'd be impossible to go wrong.  This was easy and delicious.  I'll definitely make it again soon.

#3: Caponata 

I  know many people don't like her (for some good reasons), but I'm not embarrassed to say that my usual caponata recipe is Rachael Ray's.  I started making it when I was in graduate school.  I liked that it was relatively quick (I can't actually make it in anywhere close to 30 minutes, but it does take me less than an hour) and makes a huge batch.  Per Rachael's suggestion, I'd serve it with polenta the first night, and then later in the week as part of a quick pasta bake.  I really enjoy it, and still make it occasionally.  This recipe was slightly more time consuming, but definitely better.  I think frying the eggplant separately really improves the texture--there's more of a contrast.  The flavors are also excellent.

#4: Pasta with fennel, rocket and lemon 

Fennel is the vegetable that I'm still learning to enjoy.  I still don't love it raw, but caramelized and tossed with pasta, arugula, lemon, and cheese, I thought it added a lot of flavor to this simple pasta dish.  I served this with sliced tomatoes and cheese.  Another perfect, easy summer dinner.

#5: Caramelised carrots with gremolata 

My only complaint with this recipe is that it didn't make enough.  I was amazed by how much the carrots shrunk.  Paul and I were almost fighting over these!  I love roasted carrots, I definitely don't make them enough, and the lemony gremolata sauce was a very nice touch.  We enjoyed these for dinner with powder biscuits (hopefully I'll get around to writing those up for TWD eventually), cheeses, cucumbers, and a salad with beans, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes.

#6: Gazpacho

Paul loved this.  I agree that it is excellent gazpacho.  The flavors are very clean and bright, and the crouton on top added a very nice texture and temperature.  The only problem is that, no matter how hard I try, I'm just not a big fan of cold soups.  I was happy to eat this, but didn't love it.

#7: Quick couscous salad with peppers and feta 

We recently made a couscous salad for FFWD.  I wanted to make it healthier, so I used freekeh instead of couscous.  I considered making the same substitution here, but I was kind of tired of eating freekeh (the FFWD recipe made a huge batch), so I went with Israeli couscous this time.  I also didn't have any jarred roasted peppers and was too lazy to make my own, so I substituted some sun-dried tomatoes and some peppadew peppers that I had in the fridge.  I really liked the combination of flavors here, and how easy this was to put together. 

#8: Roasted tomato ketchup

What a great way to use up tomatoes!  Paul's garden is really starting to produce, and this was a great way to make a big dent in our bowl of tomatoes.  It was a perfect use for some of the dented ones, too.  I'm not sure what we're going to do with all of this ketchup (we don't eat it very often), but I do know we'll enjoy it on our grilled turkey burgers this weekend.  (Before Charlotte we used to go camping Labor Day weekend.  This year we're renting a cabin that's in the campground of a state park at the beach.  I'm VERY excited!) 

#9: Chard and new potato curry

I made this at the beginning of the month and don't remember much about it.  (I need to start writing these posts as I actually make the recipes.)  It was good, we enjoyed it for dinner with the tomato bruschetta, but I didn't think it was particularly exciting.  It definitely isn't the first recipe I'll look for the next time I want to make curry.

#10: Asian-inspired coleslaw

I don't know why I'm not more excited about this recipe.  I like coleslaw, I like Asian-flavored coleslaw, and this was a good recipe for it.  I just can't get excited about eating the leftovers from this one that are still sitting in my fridge.  Maybe the recipe's only problem is that it made too much?  I'll be curious to see what everyone else thought.


  1. Wow, you were very busy! It was a great month with a lot of good recipes and you've showcased them all so well. The salad with tahini dressing was a hit for me as well and had I ranked the dishes, would have put the Asian slaw at the bottom as well.

  2. Hi Jora, Your are amazing! you prepared all 10! Had a lot of fun preparing the dishes this month and so far I am really enjoying this book. We loved the gazpacho as well. Have fun at the cabin!

  3. Jora, I love your post. I made a number of these same recipes too. I did NOT make the tahini dressed salad, so that's one that I need to try. I made a half batch of the ketchup, and will maybe make meatloaf to use mine, since I'm not a ketchup eater (why did I pick it??), but I did love the roasted tomato sauce, so that was a win. All of your dishes look great, I'm glad you had fun with them!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! And enjoy that cabin!!

  4. Wow. How do you do it? Not only make all the recipes for CCC, but you are in two other cooking groups as well, that I know of - and have a family to tend to. You must be Wonder Woman..

    I agree, wish there were more of those carrots! So good. The caponata and salad were my favorites. I too need to write, at least a rough draft right then and there. Especially if there is more than one recipe to write-up.

    Enjoy your holiday weekend at the beach!

  5. I'm impressed, Jora! You made all 10 recipes. I barely got 2 made. I love hearing your take on these recipes, and that you ordered them by preference. I want to try the pasta and the zucchini salad next, and the bruschetta. I hope you have a great weekend at the cabin. After all that cooking, even if you spread it throughout the month, you need a few days of R&R.

  6. Dear Jora, hope you are enjoying a bit of time off this weekend - so well deserved! A big fat thank you for making all ten of the August recipes - they all look absolutely wonderful! The ranking of the dishes is very smart and yes, it is not always easy to remember the dishes we made at the beginning of the month but you did a fabulous job in describing them all. The Caramelised Carrots are an absolute family favorite and as far as I can tell all of CCC who made them as well. The Tahini-dressed salad is fantastic, we love that one too and the Ketchup went over extremely well at our house - I agree, so nice to be using all those tomatoes. The Caponata is on my list for the weekend, and I think the Pasta with the Fennel was my personal favorite this month - fennel turns so sweet when caramelised. Love that anisseed flavor.
    Thank you so much for being such a faithful participant - it makes me extremely happy to see that you and Paul are enjoying the recipes from this book so much!
    A big fat hug for Charlotte and "see" you soon,

  7. Great post, Jora. I love that you manage all the recipes, so I can see what I missed. I agree with you about the coleslaw - its flaw is that it makes a huge batch. Next time, I'll minify it à la Mardi. I enjoyed all the recipes I tried this month, though Kevin was not a fan of the tahini dressing. Have a wonderful time cabin-camping!