Dismc's Dinner Review
  Re: (...)
I've been waiting but no one has shown up to review yet, so here goes.

Overall, we really enjoyed this dinner -

[Image: Cioppino.jpg]
[Image: CappuccinoMousse.jpg]

just a couple of things I made note of -
Either my red pepper flakes are too new and potent or a tsp. was just too much (and we like things spicy...)

I prefer tomatoes in puree for cioppino rather than watery canned tomatoes, but...as with most soups, the next day the consistency was just perfect for leftovers.

I don't like broiling so I just toasted my Mac. Grill bread slices, then rubbed with garlic clove and brushed with the wonderful olive oil we get from the restaurant. This is how we usually do it, so knew this would be a hit with the soup.

The mousse was outstanding we thought - made way too much for the two of us, but even when I told Roy I thought I ought to throw the rest of it out, he said he would continue to work on it for a while longer....

Overall, we gave the dinner an 8+ (still looking for the ultimate cioppino....)

Now, on to Bill's dinner for us.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by cjs (I've been waiting bu...)
Oh my, another nice photo, Jean!

We really enjoyed this dish, but I had to make a few changes. First of all, Ron doesn't/won't eat mussels. So, I just used a little more cod and shrimp, and fewer mussels. (I love them) Also, I whirled the tomatoes up in the food processor before adding them in. I just made garlic toast with french bread to go with. Perfect. Did not make the mousse, but sure wanted to. We gave this a solid 8.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by cjs (I've been waiting bu...)
Seafood is so sacred (and scarce) around here, that I must say I wondered if I would regret making a soup of it. But we loved this! We did use a teensy bit less red pepper flakes, and they are old, but the spice level was right on for us.
I did not have fennel but I remembered it tastes like licorice and used some Pernod, yum.
For our crusty bread I used some leftover piadini which we buttered,topped with garlic and oven toasted. It was chewy and went perfectly. We give this dish 8.5
Empress for Life
  Re: Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by farnfam (Seafood is so sacred...)
We really enjoyed this dinner also. We thought the soup was delicious and had a special dinner feeling to it. Love mussels and don't have them very often so that's probably why.

We didn't care much for the garlic toast and thought the 18 hour bread would have been great to dunk into the cioppino.

As for the mousse, I gave it a 10. Had 2 servings of it so enough said.

All in all, I'd give this meal and 8 or 8 1/2. We will definitely make again.
  Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by cjs (I've been waiting bu...)
Great pics, Jean, as usual! I didn't do this one. I threw my soon to be niece a bridal shower yesterday, so between work and prepping for that, I had no extra time. Looks good, though, one of these days...

  Re: Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by pjcooks (Great pics, Jean, as...)
Let me preface my review with a disclaimer. As Spring begins to arrive, things begin to bloom and my allergies sometimes go CRAZY! That being said, I believe the pressure that has built up in my head is affecting my brain. Okay, on with the review, which is long, for which I apologize.

West Coast Cioppino

[Image: Cioppino1.jpg]

I have never eaten this dish, so I have no basis for comparison. I have no explaination for never having it other than it has never been on the menu at restarants around here. Plus, I usually prefer cream base seafood dishes. This will change. I really like it. I’d give it a 9+ for flavor and ease of preperation.

-Instead of buying a bottle of wine that I may or may not use, I used Vermouth that I had in the cabinet.
-Mussels and Cod are not available around here very often, so I substituted clams and Triggerfish.
-I doubled the fish and shrimp and used two dozen clams (which would not weigh out the same as mussels).
-I cooked up the “broth” to the point of adding the seafood and stopped the cooking process. When ready to eat, I reheated it to a simmer and continued cooking.

-I found there was plenty of liquid to support the extra seafood, so I will probably keep that change. Actually, I’ll probably use four dozen clams next time.
-I don’t think the sub of Vermouth affected the flavor at all.
-I like the fact that I could cook it ahead to the point of adding the seafood. This makes this dish doable for me during the week.
-It’s a very nice base sauce and would be nice for any seafood you have available, even if just using shrimp.

Garlic Bread
There was NO WAY I was going to attempt bread with my head in this condition. Thank goodness I didn’t. You’ll see why in a minute. I used frozen store bought.

Cappuccino Mousse

[Image: CappuccionoMousse.jpg]

I love coffee, and I love creamy desserts, so this was a given. I also got encouragement from other forum members. Thanks you Jean and Denise! I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this lovely dessert if not for your help.

This is where I decided my brain is being affected by my sinus condition. That, or I was having Friday the Thirteenth a day late. Murphy’s Law plagued me all afternoon! First, I could not figure out the directions of what to do with the gelatin after it bloomed. (I have never made a mousse from scratch, so I was clueless.) I finally set the dish in the boiling water after making the base. Smart move…that was correct.

Speaking of the base, that is where Murphy’s Law came in. The bowl I used SHOULD have been fine to beat the base, but it cracked and split just as the base was beginning to come together. ARG! Egg goo went EVERYWHERE! Started over…then my old hand held mixer started messing up and quit, so I had to do it by hand. That was interesting. Not being familiar with this process, I was not terribly clear on what was considered ribbons, but was pretty sure I had it. My base had tripled in volume and when I lifted the whisk from the mixture, the mix streamed slowly back to the bowl. I set it aside as directed. As I was ready to fold my whipped cream mix, which did not whip as high as it usually does, into the base, the base had separated. After encouragement from Denise, I went with it anyway. I whipped it again for a couple minutes to bring it back together and then folded my cream in. It was terribly runny, but I pressed on.

By dinnertime, the mousse had set and tasted delicious. There was a small custard like puddle in the base of my dish, but other than that it was perfect. I topped it with homemade Chantilly Cream and dusted it with cocoa powder. After purchasing a new hand held, I will probably do this again for a special occasion.

I’d give this an 8, only because of the problems I had and the number of dishes required to prepare it. OS and coffee LOVER gives it a 10, even though he was the one to actually clean up the mess. Thanks son!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by Gourmet_Mom (Let me preface my re...)
Oh, I forgot. I felt the pepper flake measure was a bit much for us, so cut in half. Glad I did! The spice factor was perfect! Although, William said it was a bit spicy the next day for breakfast....LOL!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by Gourmet_Mom (Oh, I forgot. I fel...)
I forgot to mention that I didn't have fennel on hand (it's not something I would normally use) so left that out of my dish. Also, knowing that my red pepper flakes are super hot, I cut that way back, at least by half. I figured you can always add more, but sure can't take it out. I'm glad for that decision, because it was just right, and we like heat.

Nice pics, Daphne!

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: Dismc's Dinner Review by Mare749 (I forgot to mention ...)
Nice review and pix, Jean & Daphne! I love cioppino but didn't play this time. I remember reading about the history of cioppino and learned that it was what the Italian fishermen made with the scraps and small pieces of fish. From my Italian American Cookbook... Cioppino (choh-PEE-noh) is a corruption of the Ligurian word ciuppin, referring to a fish stew similar to this (referring to their recipe), one of the classics of San Francisco cooking brought by Ligurian immigrants to that great American city. Sadly, cioppino is not easy to find anymore in San Francisco or anywhere else; it fell out of favor because so many weak examples made it seem outdated. While the seafood used in cioppino may vary, crabs, are essential; Dungeness crabs from the Pacific are best of all, but eastern blue crabs work almost as well.

Since I wasn't sure where Liguria was, I wiki'd it and found this... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liguria

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