Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

Wonderfully Confounding Roasted Mushrooms with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

Intense tasting roasted mushrooms -- thanks to a technique that goes against all common wisdom.
Intense tasting roasted mushrooms — thanks to a technique that goes against all common wisdom.

When is a no-no a triumphant yes-yes?

When it is this recipe and technique for “Roasted Mushrooms with Parmesan and Pine Nuts.”

You know that old adage that one should never wash or rinse mushrooms with water but simply brush them clean? (Not that I ever actually followed that, mind you.)

Well, leave it to America’s Test Kitchen to turn that line of thinking completely topsy-turvy on its head.

In this super simple side dish recipe, you not only introduce water to uncooked, fresh mushrooms big-time, but you actually soak and submerge them in salted water for a whole 10 minutes.

How crazy is that?

Crazy brilliant, actually. Much like brining your holiday turkey, this same technique imparts moisture and flavors the mushrooms from the outside in.

This recipe is from the new “The Side Dish Bible: 1001 Perfect Recipes for Every Vegetable, Rice, Grain, and Bean Dish You Will Ever Need” by America’s Test Kitchen, of which I received a review copy.

This huge tome is a collection of 1,001 side dish recipes that is sure to complete any weeknight meal or festive holiday repast. At this time of year, it’s a must-have for dishes such as “Caesar Brussels Sprouts,” “Freekeh Salad with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Raisins,” “Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle and Lime,” and “Slow-Cooker Creamy Braised Leeks.”

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Radicchio Dumplings For A Taste of the Italian Alps

Easy bread dumplings that taste like Thanksgiving stuffing.
Easy bread dumplings that taste like Thanksgiving stuffing.

With winter just around the corner, you crave comfort food that will fill you up with true warmth.

The recipes in the new “Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe’s Grand Mountaintops” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, do exactly that because, after all, they highlight the hearty foods of Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France.

It’s by Meredith Erickson, a veteran cookbook author, who splits her time between Montreal and Milan.

The book is a a travelogue of the picture-perfect, snow-capped Italian and Swiss alps. You just want to step inside the photos to go for a hike or schuss down the slopes.

The 80 recipes hit the spot, too, after a day of invigorating mountaineering. Think schnitzels and strudels, with plenty of cheese thrown in for good measure. Enjoy everything from “Veal Carbonnade with Polenta” and “Venison Ragout” to “Hangover Soup with Cheese Dumplings” and “Chartreuse Souffle.”

“Radicchio Dumplings” is like Thanksgiving stuffing meets matzo balls, which makes them especially appropriate to enjoy at this time of year with the holiday nearly upon us.

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Autumn Was Made For Gingered Apple Pork Chops

Easy cooking, easy clean-up in one pan.
Easy cooking, easy clean-up in one pan.

Pork, apples and grapes are an unbeatable trio especially at this time of year.

Best yet, “Gingered Apple Pork Chops” can be prepared in just one skillet. It’s practically fast enough for a weeknight meal and impressive enough looking for company, too.

It’s from the new cookbook, “Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by Colorado recipe developer Tieghan Gerard, creator of the blog, Half Baked Harvest.

Included are more than 125 recipes, most of which take 30 minutes or less to make. As the title implies, these are dishes that make use of organized prepping, streamlined techniques, a well-stocked pantry, and helpful gadgets at times.

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Tear Into Lemon, Broccoli and Garlic Deep-Pan Pizza

A thick, focaccia-like crust forms the foundation for this veggie pan pizza.
A thick, focaccia-like crust forms the foundation for this veggie pan pizza.

Pan pizza is definitely having a raging moment in the Bay Area.

A decidedly thick one.

With more Detroit-style pizza being offered at places around the Bay, you don’t need to get on a plane to the Midwest to dig into a slab.

You can even try your hand at making your own at home, thanks to the new cookbook, “Perfect Pan Pizza: Square Pies to Make at Home, from Roman, Sicilian, and Detroit, to Grandma Pies and Focaccia” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by bread-making authority Peter Reinhart.

This is the ultimate tome with everything you need to know about making thick-crust-style pizza, with detailed directions and photos about making, folding, dimpling, and baking the dough. Reinhart also provides a variety of dough recipes so you can choose according to your preference: “White Flour Dough,” “Whole Grain Country-Style Dough,” and “Naturally Leavened Dough.”

He breaks down the differences between Roman, Sicilian, Detroit, Grandma-style and focaccia-style pan pizzas, and provides recipes for all those styles with inventive toppings, including “Beef Brisket with Burnt Ends,” “Banh Mi,” and “Avocado Scampi.”

The “Lemon, Broccoli, and Garlic” caught my attention because I figured when consuming that many carbs, I ought to at least try to squeeze some veggies in at the same time.

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Smashed Cucumbers with Sizzled Turmeric and Garlic

Get smashing -- with cucumbers, that is.
Get smashing — with cucumbers, that is.

Every couple of years, Instagram blows up with the latest-greatest food blogger whose recipes and photos are so captivating that they are irresistible to anyone who happens to stumble upon them.

Meet the new “It” girl — if you haven’t already: Alison Roman.

The native of Los Angeles who now calls Brooklyn home is a regular columnist for the New York Times food section and Bon Appetit magazine.

Blonde and bubbly, she’s like the girl next door — who can not only cook, but will always invite you over to sit down at her table.

Because when it comes to entertaining, she believes in nothing fancy.

Indeed, that’s the title of her new cookbook, which encourages you to take a deep breath, and stop stressing about cooking for others.

“Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, is all about making entertaining easy with fuss-free, crowd-pleasing dishes that make people feel at home from the get go.

Take a go at dishes such as “Mustardy Green Beans with Anchovyed Walnuts,” “One-Pot Chicken with Dates and Caramelized Lemons,” “Kimchi-Braised Pork with Sesame and Egg Yolk” and “Salted Honey Panna Cotta with Crushed Raspberries.”

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