Emeril Lagasse's book, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders - three recipes each week for three weeks. We were given three recipes we could publish during the three weeks.
The rest of the recipes we could write about, but not publish the actual recipes. It makes sense - if all 20 bloggers somehow chose mostly different recipes, we'd have the whole cookbook published online.
It's been an interesting process. I've "met" some new blogger friends, and I've found some new blogs that I'm going to be keeping up with. And I made some recipes that I might have made if I hadn't been working on this project. You see, I don't use cookbooks all that much to make recipes as-is. I use them for inspiration, and I make occasional recipes - but I usually don't make nine recipes in a row from one book.
Would I do this again? Well, maybe. It was kind of tough to make three recipes a week from this book. Problem was that there are only two of us, and these are all recipes for full meals. With the other cooking commitments I have, it was a lot more food than we could eat. I did cut back on some of the recipes and chose others based on the fact that they would freeze well.
About halfway through the process, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I had a refrigerator full of leftovers, and I was facing a lot more recipes I was going to make soon. But then, after the recipes worked out so well, I started getting excited about trying more of them. After seeing what other bloggers made, I wanted to try some of those recipes, and I had even more bookmarked.
Instead of being overwhelmed at the idea of having to cook nine recipes from one book in three weeks, I was a little overwhelmed at the idea of narrowing down the list. But even though I wanted to make the recipes, it was a lot of food going through the kitchen in a short period of time.
A different sort of book might be easier to cook from like this. If there were main dishes and appetizers and side dishes and desserts, it would have been much, much easier to cook three recipes each week. Heck, in that case, I could cook three recipes in just a day or two.
But once I got started, I couldn't stop. I ended up making more that the required recipes, just because I wanted to. But so far, I only made two of the three recipes we were allowed to publish. There's one left, so I figured I'd share it with you as sort of an end-of-event bonus.
I haven't actually made this recipe yet, but it's on my radar. Other bloggers have made it, and it looked pretty good. One blogger made it with pork. I might make it with chicken. You can make it with whatever you like.
But before we get to the recipe, how about a quiz? How much do you know about Emeril? Check it out here.
And I have a question: If you're a regular - or irregular - reader of this blog, what did you think of all the posts that described the dishes, but didn't have recipes? Were they worth reading? Did I give you enough information to make them worthwhile?
From my perspective, it was a fun project, but a lot of work. I'm still weighing whether I'd do this again if I found another opportunity like this. And part of what I want to know is whether it was worth it to you.
While I'm officially done with the Emeril party, there may be a little more to come. As part of my blogger package, I'll be receiving some of Emeril's books. I'm not sure which ones those will be, If I get any books I already have, I'll be giving them away. So stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, here's a recipe.
Wok-Seared Duck Salad
This recipe was inspired by a Thai dish called laap, which is made with minced or ground chicken, fish, pork, or duck and seasoned with the wonderful flavors of chiles, ginger, fish sauce, and citrus. I decided to use the same flavors with a seared duck breast and make it into more of a main-course salad. This is a refreshing take on northern Thai street food.
1 tablespoon minced fresh red Thai bird chile
2 magret duck breasts (about 12 ounces each) or 1 ½ pounds other domestic duck breasts
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 ½ tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼ cup fish sauce (see page 213)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh basil leaves
1 medium head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup julienned red bell pepper
Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the rice. Toast the rice, shaking the wok constantly, until all the grains have turned golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the rice to a mortar and set aside to cool.
Once the rice has cooled, grind it using a pestle until it reaches a sandy consistency. Alternatively, grind the toasted rice in a clean spice grinder. Place the rice in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the chile in the wok over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the wok, until lightly colored and fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove the chile from the pan and add to the bowl with the rice.
Using a paring knife, score the fatty side of the duck breasts by making shallow cuts in a diamond pattern; this allows the fat to render more easily.
Place the duck breasts in the wok, fatty side down, and cook over medium heat until the skin is golden brown and slightly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, slice them into thin strips, and return the strips to the wok. Add the shallot and ginger and stir-fry over medium-high heat until the duck is just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the duck from the wok to the bowl with the rice and chile and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, orange juice, and palm sugar and mix well. Pour the mixture over the duck and toss until well coated. Add the cilantro, mint, basil, lettuce, bean sprouts, and julienned red pepper and toss to combine.
Serve the salad immediately.
So there we go. My final post in this series. I hope you enjoyed going along for the ride.
For my part in this party, I've been given a copy of the cookbook, a jar of Emeril's Essence and some serving bowls made by Zak! and they also provided a book and set of serving dishes to give away. Bloggers who complete the 3-week party will receive some additional books by Emeril as well as a small cash reimbursement. One blogger will be chosen to receive a 6-quart Emeril-branded crockpot made by T-Fal.
For more information on Morrow's cooking blog, see The Secret Ingredient. Want to pre-order the book? Clicky-clicky right here.
Are you on Facebook? The Secret Ingredient and Emeril have pages there. Or if you prefer Twitter, you can find Morrow Books and Emeril there as well.