Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Seventy-Three: The Silver Palate Cookbook

by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

                        Pasta Sauce Raphael

I received this book as well as The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law many many years ago. The latter has been used so much that the binding has come undone and the book is now in two pieces.

I quickly scanned the recipe earlier in the day and did not take note of the amount of time this needed to cook. I did not start dinner till late and so I cut the cook time in the first step by half, cooking the tomatoes till they broke down and melted into the onion mixture. Unless you have wonderful tasting homegrown tomatoes, you can save a lot of time by using canned. I'm sure they would work just as well.

The recipe says it makes enough sauce for 4 pounds of pasta. I cut the recipe in half and felt it was just enough for 1 pound. This coming from someone who does not like to drown their pasta in sauce. I did substitute spaghetti for tortellini; this may be the reason for the discrepancy.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Seventy-Two: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

by Ina Garten

                        Penne with Five Cheeses

Another easy, breezy, (and oh so cheesy!!) recipe from Ina Garten.

I was cold and hungry while I was looking for something to make for dinner this evening and this sounded so warm and comforting. Certainly not on the healthy spectrum, but life is short so I indulge once in a while.

I used a couple of different cheeses than the ones listed in the recipe and this turned out fabulous. I also forgot to buy fresh basil and had to use dried. I could not bring myself to dot the top with butter before baking; it does not need it. I cannot imagine it adding anymore richness, only extra fat and calories. Why not cut out what you won't miss.

Success meter (1-3): 3

My sister always makes the best salads!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Seventy-One: Barefoot in Paris

by Ina Garten

                          Salmon with Lentils

This recipe could certainly be included in Ina's book "How Easy is That?" That is what I love about her recipes; always simple, easy, and tasty. 

When I think of French food I visualize cream sauces, cheese, wine, and pastries. This is actually very healthy though you would not know it by the taste alone. The leeks bring a buttery flavor to the lentils and the addition of a splash of vinegar at the end gives it a zing that I think makes this dish.

If you can find French green lentils it would make for a prettier presentation. I used your basic brown lentil - that's all I have ever used, so I do not know if by using green lentils if it would effect the flavor any.

This is one to try and the simplicity makes it a perfect meal any day of the week.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Saturday, January 21, 2012

EXTRA: Jalapeño-Jack Scones with Chive Butter

From the book Weir Cooking in the City

                       Jalapeño-Jack Scones


I forwent the chive butter and I'm sorry I did, as I sit here and imagine how luscious it would be.

How did I get this great shot?

The gorillapod! Thanks Ash!!

I suggest that you use a high quality cheese for best flavor.

Looks like cheese... it's butter.

Book Seventy: Italian Favorites

by Williams-Sonoma

    White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Parmesan

The rains have begun and I was in the mood for something comforting. This soup sounded perfect, along with Jalapeño-Jack Scones from the same book as my last post.

It was late afternoon before I decided on this soup, so I did not have time to soak the dry beans for the 3 hours that they require, so I substituted canned white beans. I also had some leeks in the refrigerator I wanted to use up, so I switched out the onion for the leeks. I felt I had extra beans so I also added the extra one cup broth I had leftover; I think this was a mistake for my soup did not look as thick, hearty and satisfying as the photo in the book. I feel my version of this soup was a total dud.

The scones on the other hand were really good - and could have been made even better by using a higher quality cheese; I only had one choice at my local chain supermarket.

Even the picture is unappetizing.