Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Epicurious Cookbook by Tanya Steel and The Editors of Epicurious

Since I am a-bit-of-this and a-bit-of-that kind of cook, I especially appreciate recipes that leave room for improvisation and innovation, which is also why I like websites such as epicurious.com that allow for user comments and ratings. How exciting is it then to find out one of my favorite cooking sites just came out with a book! The Epicurious Cookbook is a book I can carry around the kitchen, scribble notes in, and dog-ear pages of favorite works-every-time recipes. I loved that the recipes are even divided up into seasons making use of what's available and freshest at the grocery store and farmer's market.  My kitchen was a hive of activity recently as hub and I got busy putting together and enjoying some delectable meals.

Here's what we made:

Wild Mushroom Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Fontina, and Rosemary - pg46

This was my favorite! For being such a simple looking pizza, it was incredibly delicious. The recipe is actually for several small pizzas but I made one large one. The wine I used for sautéing the mushrooms was sake. I imagine Pinot Grigio would work well here too, but sake was what we had on hand and lent just as tasty a wine flavour.

Caramelized onions already done and set aside and a pan full of sautéing chopped mushrooms.

The ingredients are assembled and ready to put into a hot oven.

Lunch! Along with the rest of the sake and a most delicious Pear, Arugula and Pancetta Salad pg324

Next we made Grilled Citrus Chicken under a Brick - pg144 only we didn't do a whole butterflied chicken as it says to do but rather boneless chicken breasts, adjusting the cooking time down accordingly. One of the alternatives suggested is to use a cast iron skillet instead of bricks, which we tried with great success! We heated the skillet over the coals first so that when they were placed on top of the chicken they would not only flatten the meat but also help cook it from on top. We also sautéd the marinade so it could glaze the finished chicken (picture) with lovely bits of citrus, herbs and garlic still intact.

Oh man, this was so delicious. We combined this with the Roasted Cauliflower with Kalamata Olives on pg 364 to which we added a sprinkling of feta cheese, and some plain basmati rice to absorb all the juices and flavours.

Hub made himself this lovely little lunch on page 205, Open-Faced Bacon and Egg Sandwich with Arugula. He added a sprinkle of turmeric to the egg to give it a bit of colour . . . and also just because he likes turmeric.

It too was declared a delectable success.

We made a number of other very tasty recipes including Vegetarian Cassoulet on pg 329, using a combination of lima beans and chick peas; Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew on pg 330, substituting yams for the carrots; Chicken and Fall Vegetable Pot Pie on pg 249; Thai Chicken Stock on pg 362; And, finally, for dessert the Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie on pg 287, which we actually just made into an apple crumble omitting the crust altogether on account of our less-than-youthful waistlines . . . One has to make concessions somewhere (!) In spite of that it was one of the most delicious apple crumbles I've ever tasted.

The Epicurious Cookbook is full of clear and straightforward recipes, delicious pictures, and an array of   substitution possibilities. It will have a place on my kitchen bookshelf for a long time to come.


Heidi’sbooks said...

Yummylicious! I love mushrooms! The Vegetarian Cassoulet sounds wonderful too.

Trish said...

I love mushrooms too so this pizza was a no-brainer for me. As for the cassoulet, my 15 year-old son even declared it delicious, which is pretty great considering there is no meat in this dish.

laughingwolf said...

damn, that's how i attack meals!

gotsta git me this'n ;)

i began at ma n pa's elbow, around age 6... no one's died, or even gotten sick from anything i cooked... though son often complained stuff was 'too hot', ie spicy! lol

most often i just see what's available in my fridge/cupboards and shoot from the hip, combining things as they show up, in my sight!

btw, i think it's jamie oliver who sez, NEVER cook steak over high heat, to retain juices, and ALWAYS let the meat rest, at least 3-5 min, depending on thickness

Trish said...

It's the best and most fun way to cook!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I love love cookbooks! I struggle with buying cookbooks based on online sites because I question whether it is simply a compilation of recipes that I can get online. Is that the case here?

Trish said...

When I looked these recipes up online I found them slightly different which makes me think that the ones in the book have been tested and tweaked a few more times for the better, I believe. I also just like and appreciate the portability of a physical book; online cooking sites are fine for quick references, but an actual cookbook is more comfortable and homey.