MICHAEL SYMON’S FIVE IN FIVE FOR EVERY SEASON by Michaeal Symon
Why I Like Michael Symon: Recipes are fast and easy. He cooks like I like to eat, often with a protein and a vegetable, easy sauce. He’s the nicest guy on the planet, love him on The Chew, and I met him and interviewed him for the blog at the opening of his Rochester Michigan restaurant, B Spot!
What Caught My Eye: Orecchiette with Sicilian Tuna. These items are in my panty. Comfort food at its best!
Time to Explore: How to warm up my winter cooking. Scallops, Beef Tri-Tip, Squash with Couscous, Mint and Almonds. Sounds good! I’d like to try it with Quinoa.
Extras: Pantry List. Mine needs an update!
THE PIONEER WOMAN COOKS DINNERTIME by Ree Drummond.
Why I like Ree Drummond: Her food is always a hit with the people I feed, and I love her photographs!
What Caught My Eye: How could I pass up that red cover? Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce. The sauce is whisk and slurp and makes the chicken something to love. (Yes, I steal food words from her. Thanks Ree)
Time to Explore: Veggie Sides and Quick Desserts. Honestly she doesn’t fix anything that doesn’t taste good. I can’t wait to fix her Roasted Carrots with Vinaigrette. My dessert offerings are so paltry. I must find one I can produce.
Extras: First of all her cookbook offers so many recipes she doesn’t need extras, but pictures of food and ranch life in Oklahoma are indeed an added bonus!
Link: thepioneerwoman.com I’m still getting use to her updated website and blog.
EVERYONE IS ITALIAN ON SUNDAY by Rachael Ray
Why I Like Rachael Ray: She is so upbeat, and she cooks fast!
What Caught My Eye: Butternut Squash Galette. So beautiful and yummy looking with a good blue cheese.
Time to Explore: Polenta Recipes such as Polenta With Tipsy Mushrooms, Poached Eggs and Green Salad. Maybe I’ll try the Caponata. Will I ever like eggplant?
Extras: She gives substitutions if items are less readily available. There are probably more, but I haven’t purchased this one, yet?!
THE SANDWICH BIBLE: 90 BEST SANDWICH RECIPES IN THE UNIVERSE by Julie Hatfield
Why I Like This One: No need to look for a perfect sandwich, I like so many! I’ve always wanted a sandwich cookbook.
What Caught My Eye: A large selection of vegetarian sandwiches. Spinach with caramelized onions. How does that sound?
Time to Explore: The relationship between the elements of a sandwich.
Extras: Many recipes for spreads to compliment sandwich ingredients.
Problem: Only the Kindle edition is available on Amazon. What’s up with that?
Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom From My Life in the Kitchen by Emeril Lagasse
Why I Like Emeril: On TV he makes cooking look fun, interesting and not too complicated.
What Caught My Eye: Short Ribs with Mascarpone Polenta. Creamy polenta and deeply flavored beef. What a combination! Cheddar, Bacon, Apple, and Pecan Spoonbread.. Oh, my I believe him when he says “it is insanely good served with any kind of poultry.” I don’t think the poultry is necessary to the goodness of this spoonbread!
Time to Explore: There is tremendous variety. The soup section will be the first I will study.
Extras: Some recipes have an inset with additional info. For example. chorizo and chourico on p. 75 with a recipe for caldo verde, a traditional Portuguese soup. A side bar often tells the reader what Emeril has learned and where he learned it. He warns of problems, too, such as when he says “don’t use a blender or food processor to mix dough for gnocchi or you’ll end up with a gummy mess.” He also has sections for the pantry and other kitchen essentials.
Problem: The recipes are more complicated than I expected. Example: citrus salt-crusted snapper with chimichurri sauce. Looks so good, but probably too complicated for me. And gnocchi. I don’t think I’m up to that! But, I must say there are wonderful pictures and plenty of advice.
I do believe that part of the appeal of cookbooks, at least for me, is the endless learning they offer. Always something new on the next page, or the next. And so much of it is so beautiful!
Last night I made Ree Drummond’s carrots, roasted with vinaigrette. I learned I need to keep uniform size, not too skinny since they are roasted, and go easy on the mustard in the vinaigrette. It doesn’t take much to deliver the desired tang. Yes, they looked beautiful, a bit browned and glossy with the dressing. The result of efforts with food usually yields one kind of surprise or another. I will make this recipe again, delicious and beautiful. I think my grandkids will like it! Better than raw which is a favorite of theirs.