The Best Cookbook Ever, as the name implies, is a damn good cookbook. I first checked the book out from the library about three months ago. Five or six “mind-blowing” and “deliciously awesome” recipes later, the book has become a kitchen fixture and a faithful auto-renewal. Its recipes may not really make you “cry as you cook from it [and] change your life forever” but it may just leave you constantly cooing over your culinary creations.
From their Soba Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms to Rigatoni Paprikash, each recipe has proved easy to make and delicious. Weekday meals have lost their repetitive dull. The Sussman brothers – living proof that the Hipster movement is alive and well – are also vegetarian friendly, with many of their entrées meat free. Tongue-in-cheek, many recipes suggest possible “Meatifications” for those who may be going “on a meat-eating walkabout” to discovery why they are, after all, vegetarian.
Speaking of meatification, this recipe began meatified. It was my adaptation – the result of finding Continue reading
I was a little skeptical about this recipe when I first saw it. Flaked coconut is often a miss for me. The same is true of canned pineapple. But the convenience of each is undeniable, particularly in the dead of winter, when the idea of finding a beautiful, ripe Pineapple at the local Giant seems utterly fantastic. But on the strength of the Cooking Light name, I decided to give this recipe a fair chance.
In the course of cooking and posting recipes on my blog, Continue reading
Veggie burgers have a come a long way.
I can remember going to a BBQ and watching the hamburgers and hot dogs come off the grill. That moment where the football game ends and the conversations stop, and people line up to grab their meal, before shuffling over to the condiment bar. And then, like some back-alley, black-market transaction, someone casts their eyes over the party, slips a furtive hand into their purse, and hands the chef a frozen pattie from plastic baggie. The veggie burger.
But no more. Continue reading
These sweet potato home fries make a perfect side dish as part of a warm breakfast. They also go well with a Continue reading
After work and a trip to the gym, it may be 8:00 by the time I get home. And despite a liberal, daytime-snacking policy, I’m hungry for dinner by that time.
Even though I enjoy cooking, a Wednesday evening — with only a few hours left before bedtime beckons — is not the best time to launch into an hour-long culinary experience. Quick, easy, and delicious are the weekday watchwords.
Sloppy Joe fits the bill. This meal Continue reading
Every so often, I like to treat myself to a steak. During the week, I often settle for a cold sandwich of almond-butter and jelly, chicken salad, or sliced turkey. Lunch is unabashedly dull. If I have the energy, I try to make something more exciting for dinner: fish, perhaps, or even arepas, the Venezuelan corn cakes that I recently discovered.
Fish and arepas are appealing because they are quick and easy to cook. But so is steak and so is couscous (provided I don’t make it more complicated than necessary). And unlike a broiling fish, there’s a certain pleasure in hearing the sizzle of the steak, as the hot iron meets the cool, raw side of the meat. After a quick flip and a few minutes in the oven, the steak is cooked, leaving you five minutes of eager anticipation, as the steak cools and cooks under its foil tent.
If you remember to marinate the Continue reading
Arepas may be the best dish I’d never heard of.
Arepas (ah-RAY-pahs) are half-inch thick corn cakes that are an absolute staple of Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine, their origins dating back to the original Indian inhabitants of the region.
Arepas are made from masarepa flour, sometimes called arepa harina. Unlike cornmeal, which is made from uncooked, ground corn, masarepa flour is made from precooked (preconcida) ground corn. As a result, you cannot use simple cornmeal to make arepas; you must use masarepa flour. I used Goya-brand yellow masarepa flour that I found at a Hispanic grocery store. Since then, though, I found that even the local Kroger carries PAN-brand white masarepa flour in its international section.
The beauty of arepas lies in their simplicity and adaptability. Arepas are Continue reading