Weeknight dinners were never so easy and tasty as this.
I get giddy for asparagus in spring.
There are many things I look forward to with each season, but there is something special about asparagus because its local season is so short. Because of that, I gorge myself on the spears until they disappear all too quickly from the markets. I always hunt down the really fat ones if possible, too, because I think they taste sweeter.
Crispy on the outside, and chewy-custardy soft inside.
There is pho. And then there is pho pancake.
Yes, my friends, get ready for something all together different and delicious.
Leave it to my friend and cookbook author extraordinaire Andrea Nguyen to come up with this novel version of everyone’s favorite soup noodles.
“Pan Fried Pho Noodles” is from her newest tome, “The Pho Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), which already went into its second printing before it was even officially released in February.
You may have enjoyed steaming huge bowls of brothy noodles countless times at neighborhood Vietnamese restaurants. But with this book, you’ll learn how to make your own — from preparing the broth from scratch to choosing noodles and assembling garnishes and toppings.
Depending upon how labor-intensive you’re feeling, you can choose among quick versions of pho (which calls for doctoring purchased low-sodium broth or buying a rotisserie chicken) to pressure-cooker recipes that speed up the process to non-traditional riffs such as seafood pho.
The meatloaf of your dreams.
After making and eating plenty of meatloaf over the years, I can unequivocally declare that this is definitely one of the very best.
“Lamb Meatloaf with Mushroom Pan Gravy” is from the new cookbook, “Poole’s: Recipes and Stories From A Modern Diner” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, by Chef Ashley Christensen.
Her Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, NC is all about comfort food — done with craft and skill. This is the kind of food you never tire of because it’s delicious and just makes you feel better — inside and out.
Of course, being a James Beard Award-winning chef, Christensen’s dishes often redefine diner food, stretching the boundaries, but still in keeping with its inherent warm soulfulness. There’s everything from “Cornbread Crab Cakes” to “Grits with Roasted Pumpkin, Aged Maple Syrup and Crispy Peptias” to “Jacked Up Devil’s Food Trifle.”
What makes her meatloaf so spectacular?
Anthony Bourdain’s craveable cauliflower.
Anthony Bourdain is never one to hold back. That’s why fellow chefs and food writers love him.
So when he describes this dish as “This s–t is compulsively delicious,” you can bet that it is.
And I concur heartily after having made it.
“Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame” is from his new book, “Appetites: A Cookbook” (Ecco), of which I received a review copy.
It’s his first cookbook in more than 10 years. This isn’t a collection of necessarily cutting-edge cooking, but rather recipes for dishes that he loves to cook at home — well, on the rare days that he actually is in New York and not traveling the globe for his must-see “Parts Unknown” show on CNN. They’re also dishes that Bourdain thinks every home-cook ought to have in his or her repertoire.
Besides the recipes for fundamentals such as “Sunday Gravy with Sausage and Rigatoni” and “Chicken Satay with Fake-Ass Spicy Peanut Sauce,” you get plenty of personality and snark.
Fresh rosemary and a load of citrus make up this bright, zesty vinaigrette.
My husband jokes that I was never one of those girls — the kind that orders only a small salad on a date and barely pick at it.
Oh no, I always ordered heartily and lustily. I never made a secret of my boundless appetite.
That’s not to say I don’t eat salad or appreciate them. Because I surely do.
They are such a creative canvas for all manner of greens, grains, garnishes and dressings. And their emphasis on fresh veggies speaks to the California gal in me.
“Best Dressed” (Chronicle Books) is just the book for a salad lover like me. The new cookbook, of which I received a review copy, is by Adam Ried, the Boston Globe Magazine cooking columnist; and Dawn Yanagihara, a former test-kitchen director and senior director for Cook’s Illustrated.
Inside, you’ll find 35 recipes for dressings, 10 for toppings, and 10 for composed salads. The composed salad recipes will give you new ideas for combinations such as “Roasted Carrot, Broccolini, and Chicken Salad with Tahini, Lemon and Harissa Dressing” and “Grilled Steak and Radicchio Salad with Asian Pear and Pinot Noir Vinaigrette.”