It’s the newest cookbook by the ever-popular Julia Turshen, the New York-based veteran cookbook author, and host of the podcast “Keep Calm and Cook On.”
The book includes 110 recipes that are accessible and far from fussy, such as “Fancy Weeknight Salmon Salad,” “Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Sweet & Sour Eggplant,” “Breakfast Nachos,” and “Coconut Marble Loaf.”
Turshen also includes her trademark lists, such as “Five Things That Are Always in My Refrigerator” (such as kimchi), “Seven Kitchen Organizational Tips” (including the use of turntables in cupboards and refrigerators), and “Seven Ways to Use Left Over Egg Whites or Egg Yolks” (like using extra whites to make spiced nuts).
This is one of those dishes that looks like you slaved over yet is really as simple as it gets.
“Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” may have only seven ingredients, but it delivers on flavor and presence so much that it’s definitely worthy of being served to company.
This recipe is from the new “Tuscan Women Cook: Nonnas. Memories. Recipes.” (self-published), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Coleen Kirnan with Rhonda Vilardo, who run the aforementioned Tuscan Women Cook, a culinary immersion program in Italy, in which students learn authentic, time-honored dishes during hands-on, week-long classes.
The recipes in the book are inspired by the family recipes and culture of the Val d’Orsia region of Tuscany, just south of Siena.
Recipes such as “Zuppa di Stracci” (“Stracciatella Soup”), “Ravioli di Ricotta ed Erbe Aromatiche” (“Ravioli with Ricotta and Herbs”), and “Melanzane alla Parmigiana” (a lighter version of “Eggplant Parmesan” that forgoes breading and frying) are sure to appeal to any Italian food lover.
“Filetto di Maiale con Prugne e Pistachio” or “Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce” makes use of a mix of pistachios and prunes (yes, dried plums) in two ways.
If you’re on a mission to incorporate more healthful beans into your diet, but dread taking the time to cook them from scratch, BeanVIVO comes to the rescue.
These organic, entirely plant-based cooked beans come ready to eat in shelf-stable, microwavable pouches.
That means you can keep them handy in your pantry, then pull them out at the spur of the moment for a quick side dish or entree at home. Or throw them into your backpack to enjoy when camping.
I had a chance to try samples of the four different flavors: Baja Black Beans, Coconut Curry Chickpeas, Three Bean Vegan Chili, and Refried Pinto Beans. They are all gluten-free, and contain 13 to 16 grams of protein and 120 to 150 calories per serving, depending upon the variety.
Allow me to explain: If you were to look up this fabulous Bon Appetit recipe that published in its April 2021 issue, you’d find the original one titled, “Strawberry Snacking Cake.” The accompanying photos would show a golden cake baked in a rectangular pan, with its top adorned so prettily with slices of strawberries arranged just so.
I decided to riff on that by swapping out strawberries for first-of-the-season cherries from G.L. Alfeiri Farm that arrived in my Farm Box delivery. Only, cherry halves are obviously heavier, as they sunk to the bottom of the cake. So, instead of cute little cherry halves dotting the top like polka dots, there are ripples of cherry curd brightening it here and there instead. It’s not quite the same effect, but it makes for a striking appearance, nevertheless.
The taste definitely remains on point, too. “Cherry Snacking Cake” is wonderfully moist, fluffy, and lush from olive oil and sour cream (I actually used yogurt instead) in the batter. There’s a toasty, sweet corn-like grainy crunch from cornmeal. Jam or fruit curd gets dolloped on top, then swirled into the batter before the cut fresh fruit goes overtop.
With an abundance of fruit flavor, it’s like cherry pie in cake form.
It would be understandable if you thought you’d gotten lost while trying to get to Athena Grill in Santa Clara. Surrounded by low-slung industrial buildings, it doesn’t look at all like a neighborhood where you’d find a restaurant of any sort.
But this casual, family-owned Greek restaurant has been drawing a loyal following to this spot for the past 19 years.
It’s the type of simple, oregano-fragrant food in ample portions that you picture yourself enjoying at an outdoor cafe overlooking the Aegean Sea. When you get the food to-go, just be prepared to work up an appetite, inhaling the heady garlic the whole way home.
It’s one of the few places you’ll find smelt ($11.95). These tiny fish, lightly breaded and fried, are about the size of the french fries they come with. In fact, you may have trouble distinguishing the two at first glance. Squeeze on some lemon juice and dunk into the container of skordalia, a creamy potato garlic dip. They’re mild tasting, and edible in their entirety.
If larger fishes are more your speed, go for the grilled sardines mezes ($12.95). They are marinated in olive oil, garlic and lemon before getting crisped on the grill. You have to debone them yourself. But that’s easy enough to do. They are tender, slightly stronger in taste with their rich oil, and just a joy to dig into.