Bonus Episode: Recipe Roudup #8
Explore the most diverse and exciting collection of cookbooks and recipes we’ve ever put up. From varied cultural cuisines, to mastering contemporary cooking techniques, to cooking with specific dietary platforms in mind, and finally, understanding how to layer flavor through the use of spice. Our community had a lot to say about having to learn to work with new ingredients – and that there was definitely the need for more information to bridge the gap between the recipes as they are written and how to be successful cooking them!
Learn what worked and what didn’t in the books and recipes we’re talking about in Season 3. Everything is on the table and our testers hold nothing back!
We talk about …
- Sous Vide Made Simple, which only Chef Donna cooked from. Sous Vide can be a tool for fast week night meals. The recipes are worth a look since they provided components and ideas for putting together weeknight meals, like the Grilled Pork Chops with Apple Chutney, the Cauliflower Gratin, and the Miso-Glazed Salmon with Wilted Greens, which is similar to Season 1’s recipe Salmon with Miso-Fennel Salad from Sous Vide at Home, also by this author.
- Vietnamese Cooking Any Day, is a favorite of Cherie’s. Our 2 top-rated recipes (5.0) come from this book: the Curry Scented Grilled Beef Lettuce Wraps and Gingery Greens and Shrimp Soup. The soup was one of our most cooked recipes and most talked about recipes this round, especially when it came to the soup base. Most home cooks didn’t use water; instead they substituted stock or broth.
- Chef Donna recommends trying the Lemongrass Tempeh Crumbles, for the experience of cooking with lemongrass and learning to use tempeh. Chef Donna recommends using the lemongrass you can buy in the tubes in your grocer’s produce section, and store them in your freezer so you’ll always have that ingredient on hand.
- Red Hot Kitchen, by Diane Kuan and the Vegan XO Sauce and Stir Fried Rice Cakes with Vegan XO Sauce recipes were among the most talked about recipes, because the rice cakes are not the typical snack rice cakes you buy in the cereal aisle. The book is filled with 8 Asian sauces to make at home. Chef Donna says the ingredients can be challenging to find, including the glutinous rice cakes for stir fried recipe, but worth seeking out. Our home cooks did and said the dish was “restaurant quality.”
- Betty Crocker Bite Size Recipes and the Coconut Cream Pie Bites were another top-rated recipe (5.0), although there were some modifications our home cooks made. The Cheesy Crusted Cauliflower Rosemary Pizza gave us some trouble mostly because the moisture in the cauliflower didn’t allow the crust dough to set properly. Chef Donna suggests always drawing moisture out of vegetables before you use them. The Sriracha Stir Fried Shrimp is a great, easy and fast dish that tastes delicious.
- Eat What You Love, by favorite author Danielle Walker gave us Buffalo-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Lemon Chile Asparagus, and Nut-Free Granola Bars. The asparagus and granola bars both rated 5.0 with our home cooks. These recipes offer you a platform to work with to add to her flavor profiles or create your own.
- Keto Fat Bombs, Sweets & Treat by Urvashi Pitre is a favorite of Chef Donna’s but not of Cherie’s. Two of the recipes rated 3.0 and our home cooks changed up the recipes to create the taste and flavors they liked. This book requires you to use a lot of new and different ingredients, which can account for the learning curve: the Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins and Peanut Butter Cakes. Both of these recipes were originally written for the insta-pot, which accounts for the odd-sized pans. The Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake, however did rate 5.0.
- We refer to EPISODE 58 – Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives.
- Love & Lemons Every Day, by Jeanine Donofrio, offered us two plant-based recipes. The Asparagus, Snap Pea and Chive Blossom Pasta was a 5.0 rated recipe, and a favorite of Cherie’s. Most testers commented on the clear, precise instructions, that also allowed you the confidence to change out ingredients. Also, the Broccoli Rabe and Burrata with Lemon was a favorite among our home cooks. Cherie talks about some of her other favorite recipes from the book including Socca Flatbread, Sunny Spinach Herb Spread, and the quick Pickled Onions.
- One of Chef Donna’s favorite books this round is Spice, by Dr. Stuart Farrimond. The book is more of a study on spices and how they traveled from their country of origin to become parts of blends and cultural cuisines. The recipes had some issues, but the spice blends and seasonings were applauded by our community of home cooks. Chef Donna instructs to read her notes with the recipes in the Review before beginning to cook.
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