Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Nine: A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price

Recipe: Game Hens with Wild Rice and Orange Sauce
Bonus Recipe: Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Who remembers the wonderful Vincent Price? Actor, writer, and unbeknownst to me a gourmet!

I received this cookbook from a dear friend, whom I cannot believe would give up this wonderful treasure of a book. The look, feel and smell of this book took me into pure reading bliss. No Kindle or Nookbook will ever be able to take you there.

This is such a joy to leaf through. I love that each chapter begins with a copy of an original menu from some of the finest restaurants around the world. The recipes range from very simple to complex. This book was written back in the mid sixties, hence the use of monosodium glutamate in a few of his recipes, and butter, and cream.... Hey, life is too short to worry about all  that! All in moderation I say!! (I'll pass on the msg however.)

This recipe was was way too easy. I was not sure what to do with myself with the extra time! The only real drawback I had is I did not have a small roasting pan. I only have a large one that I use once a year - on Thanksgiving. I improvised and used the bottom portion of my broiler pan. The directions say to turn the hens and baste with the juices....I did not really have any juices....nor did I turn the hens, and they turned out perfectly.

I also did not cut off the orange rind and boil it. I chose to zest the orange and add it to the sauce. Not sure if they had "zesters" back then. I think they were invented only 20 or so years ago for culinary use (before that it was known as a rasp for woodworking.) Personally I would have liked for a more prominent orange flavor in the sauce. Maybe more zest or a dash of salt to bring out the flavor. All in all this was a great dish! I'm going to rate this a 3 on the success meter just for the simplicity and presentation; though my photography skills need work to showcase this.

As for the bonus recipe - I ran out of time and will make them tomorrow and post pictures then. The reason for making the cookies is that I had all the ingredients, which rarely happens!

Success meter (1-3): 3 

flambé the Grand Marnier!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Woo Hoo!!

I soon will be posting the recipes!! After long searches and putting a question out in cyberspace, and receiving answers that were over my head, I stumbled upon the instructions here on blogger on how to include them, but have them hidden so as to keep the home page cleaner looking. Now you too can cook up these yummy (and some not so yummy) recipes yourself!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Eight: Fruit Cookbook by Nicole Routhier

Recipe: Spiced-Rubbed Red Snapper

What an easy, tasty and elegant meal! This is company worthy for sure, and you will not have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

When I decided to make this recipe, I just gave the ingredient list a quick glance and jotted down what I needed from the grocery store. Had I read it more thoroughly and noticed it took a whole stick of butter, I would not have eaten that chocolate cake after my workout this morning!

How could this dish not be wonderful when the sauce consists of only butter and reduced tangerine juice!! I'm seriously considering serving this sauce over roasted asparagus at the next Oscar party. It is that good!

Success meter (1-3): 3


Book Seven: Gifts from the Kitchen by Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library

Recipe: Espresso, White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Bark

You could not ask for an easier recipe. Only four ingredients: white chocolate, dark chocolate, macadamia nuts and ground coffee; and it's so elegant looking!

I wanted to make something different for our shuttle driver Sid as a thank you for washing my car for me last week. We often get brownies, breads, cookies and donuts at the shop from customers and vendors. So when I came across this recipe I thought it would be perfect.

This is good, but I was a bit disappointed that I could not detect the coffee flavor. The recipe called for fresh, finely ground coffee, not instant. I have always (as other recipes call for) used instant espresso powder and had this on hand. I wonder if regular coffee would have been stronger? As to the macadamia nuts, my grocer did not carry unsalted nuts as the recipe asked for. I did not stress over this due to the fact that not so long ago the whole sweet and salty taste was the way to go. No worries, I'm sure Sid will be happy with any kind of sweets.

Success meter (1-3): 2

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Six: Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon (Yes, that is her real name!)

Recipe: Kasha Harvest Pilaf Platter with Winter Vegetables

I am going to start off by saying, I do not care for buckwheat; or celery seed. Too bad too, for this recipe sounded so good and is healthy to boot. I was even hoping this would be one to make again when Ash returned from India, for she has gone back to her vegetarian ways.

The pilaf was rather bland, even with all the fresh herbs of rosemary, cilantro, and parsley. I even incorporated the beet greens along with the cabbage. I would have liked the roasted vegetables more if I had used regular paprika or even saffron instead of smoked paprika which I had on hand. Maybe it would be good with brown or wild rice in place of the buckwheat, or even couscous. Yes, couscous would be good.

Success meter (1-3): 1

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Five: 30 Minute Suppers

Recipe: Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash

Well I'm already diverting...30 Minute Suppers is not a "book" but a magazine from America's Test Kitchen. I've had this magazine sitting atop the table for some time now. My magazines usually get banished to the back room after awhile, but I have kept this one out, thinking I really should make these.

The cover shows these beautiful scallops nestled in a bed of pureed butternut squash. Andy absolutely loves scallops and I always shy away from ordering them, let alone making them. I was going to make them over the weekend, but laziness won out and we ordered pizza. I promised him I would make them on Monday.

The recipe calls for you to cube the butternut squash and microwave them for 12 minutes. I chose to roast the squash even though this takes much longer. However I thought the flavor that roasting brings out would be incomparable. Unfortunately I think that roasting took out too much moisture and once pureed in the food processor they were not as creamy looking as the photo in the magazine, and I thought a bit gummy. Though it did have good flavor.

Once again when it comes to any seafood, I seem to overcook it. I really need to trust my instincts and pull it off the heat source, but I always go just a "little" longer for fear of undercooking. It also doesn't help that the food sits and continues to cook while I am taking pictures. Andy said they were good and only a "tad" overcooked. He was once again happy with his meal. Bless his heart!

OK, back to the books! Hmmmm.... maybe something along the lines of sweets. Most of my books are on the baking end of the spectrum so I will need LOTS of "Consumption Specialists" for the baked goods!! Any takers? 

Success meter (1-3):  Andy: 2+     Me: 1