- Okra with Potatoes, served with whole urad beans and white rice. I am the only person in my household who likes okra, and we have three weeks' worth of okra recipes from Jaffrey ahead. More for me! But it turned out my husband consented to try this dish, a heavily-spiced Indian stewed version of okra which was highly flavorful, except that I forgot to add the salt until the last minute and so it did not have a chance to infiltrate the potatoes. I also used frozen okra, but, surprisingly, this seemed to work out fine. Recommended-- if you like okra.
- Okra Cooked in an Australian Manner (how's that for a recipe title?), served atop quinoa in a bowl which also included cooked sweet potato, with a dish of Sweet-and-Spicy Mixed Nuts (see below) on the side. This okra is basically stir-fried with chile, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil; my handwritten cookbook note reads "Okra cooked in a boring manner." I mean, who needs a recipe for that, right? All the same, as I single-handedly consumed the rest of this okra over the next few days, it grew on me each time. The slices of gently-cooked garlic that still retained lots of garlic flavor were the best part. Once again, I used frozen okra, and once again it was fine. Easy, albeit intuitive, preparation.
- Sweet-and-Spicy Mixed Nuts, served with the meal described above. I kept having to stop myself from referring to the flavor combinations in this recipe as "nuts." Maple syrup, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika? Really? And you know what? The first nut or two struck me as "weird." After that I was totally hooked. These are so, so addictive, sweet and savory and spicy and beautifully glazed so that sometimes they even form delicious crunchy clusters (!). You should make these for your family, or maybe for holiday gifts. Wait, I should make these for holiday gifts.
- Deb Perelman's Coconut Brown Butter Cookies. Apart from the extra time required for the first step (browning the butter, then chilling it until solid again), these cookies were simple and very tasty, if a bit sugary. Even though there is a large amount of coconut (the big crispy flakes) in the recipe, and this coconut is unsweetened, the relatively small proportion of flour still made these cookies taste extremely sweet. Not in a bad way, but in a way that might deter you from eating too many in a sitting. I'd make them again; and, if I had a lot of people to serve, I might double the recipe, which is relatively modest in quantity.
- Chicken Tikka (this recipe is almost but not quite identical), served with lettuce, raw rings of onion, lime, cilantro, and white rice. Next time I would serve it with naan instead, as the chunks of chicken are flavorful enough to make an excellent sort of sandwich, but not very saucy. This recipe is obviously a cousin to last week's Chicken Tikka Masala, but did not call for a "boughten" (as my Midwest relatives say) spice packet. It still came out good. That's two winners in a row for this cookbook, after several initial failures. I am heartened, though in a way also disappointed that I can't just write it off and move on-- I have so many cookbooks and my life is, optimistically-speaking, about half over! I won't get to them all!