Back for another taste

Eat at your own risk
An excerpt from What We Eat When We Eat Alone
by Deborah Madison with illustrations by
Patrick McFarlin
(Gibbs Smith, $24.99, HC, ISBN: 1-4236-0496-9, May 2009)

* Mustard Sandwich with Reworked Coffee: “Use Yellow Heinz Mustard. Slather the mustard on a flour tortilla and eat accompanied with reworked coffee, which means, add a few new grounds to the top of a paper filter of morning coffee and pour in boiling water.”
*Potato-Sesame Bread with Tequila Mix: “Toss an old loaf of potato-sesame bread on a wood-burning stove. Tear into hunks and eat with tequila mix right out of the plastic bottle.”
*Organic Goo Goo: “Get Green Giant small whole peas and one package of any Green Giant rice mixture – Asian, Mexican, and so forth. Make a small cut in the top to prevent an explosion, and microwave them in their own microwavable pouches. During the 6 or so minutes they’re cooking, look in the spice closet and find some less-than-a-year-old spice, a young spice. Any spice will do. Cut open the hot pouches with a knife and pour on a plate with the rice on the bottom, the peas on top. Sprinkle with spice. This fits right into the Asian diet pyramid. It’s a good dish if you don’t have a maid or a dishwasher, since it uses only a fork, a knife, and a plate.”
*Leftover Spaghetti Sandwich: “I rewarm the garlic bread in the toaster and the tomato sauce and the pasta in a pan, then make a sandwich adding whatever soggy salad kind of thing I have left over, usually tomato, onion, and translucent lettuce.”


Tasty Thursday

This recipe, from Small Plates: Appetizers as Meals by Marguerite Henderson is truly reminiscent of spring. The perfect combination of crisp asparagus, crunchy peas, and creamy rice is so refreshing, you'll definitely wants seconds!

Asparagus, Peas, and Chive Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups warmed chicken broth
2 cups petite green peas, thawed if frozen
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (for garnish)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and add asparagus and salt. Toss; cook over medium heat for 3 t0 4 minutes, stirring often, until bright green. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons butter and sauté shallots until soft, about 4 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with butter and shallots. Add salt, pepper, and 1 cup broth. Stir; cook over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Add another cup of broth (continuing the process so that the liquid is being absorbed by the rice); repeat until all the broth is used, adding just a cup at a time, stirring rice often. After 25 minutes or so, rice should be tender. Add peas, cooked asparagus, cheese, and remaining butter. Cook 1 minute more over low heat. Remove from heat. Serve risotto with chopped fresh chives and grated cheese as garnish.

Makes 4 to 6 servings



Tasty Thursday

This week's Tasty Thursday is from Ice Cream Mix-Ins by Jeff Keys. The book is full of the most luscious and rich ice creams around. Try this mouthwatering recipe out!

Perfect Strawberry
1 1/2 pounds fresh ripe strawberries, washed, dried, stemmed, and quartered
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and let macerate for 1 hour. This brings on a chemistry change in the strawberries, develops the flavors, brings out the juices, and makes it bright and out front. Put the strawberries and their juices into a food processor and puree.

In a medium bowl, add the cream, milk, remaining sugar, and strawberry puree and blend thoroughly. Pour the mix into an ice cream maker, add the lemon juice, and process according to the manufacturer's instructions. Scoop the ice cream into a container and then place in the freezer to cure and harden. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


What We Eat When We Eat Alone

Eating in Bed
An excerpt from

What We Eat When We Eat Alone
by Deborah Madison with illustrations by Patrick McFarlin

(Gibbs Smith, $24.99, HC, ISBN: 1-4236-0496-9, May 2009)

When it comes to where we eat, the bed is a zone that’s highly frowned upon but also indulged. On the bed is permissible, but never in bed, insist more than a few women.

“The thought of eating in bed is sort of creepy,” muses Maureen Callahan, “but that might have something to do with growing up in Florida. The thought of those big bugs marching up for a crumb or two … ooh! It gives me the willies!”

Then again, there are exceptions. Another woman says, “I make a tray of cold, sliced chicken breast, fruit and cheese, take it to bed and get right under the covers. I read, the cat purrs and we’re both happy. I love this time to myself.”

"What We Eat When We Eat Alone" launches May 1. Stay tuned for more fun excerpts!


Tasty Thursday, Microgreens Style!

Tasty Thursday's have been on hiatus for the last little while, but now they're back! This week we'd like to highlight Microgreens: A Guide to Growing Nutrient-Packed Greens because it is such a great teaching tool. And, as a bonus, it has several recipes from restaurant chefs that love to include the tiny greens as part of their edible masterpieces. So with that, try this delicious recipe:

Microgreen Spring Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup peas, blanched
1/2 cup fava beans, blanched
4 carrots, small diced, blanched
1 handful pea shoot microgreens
1 handful Tokyo Bekana microgreens
1 handful red pac choi microgreens
1 pinch amaranth microgreens
4 radishes, sliced into thin coins
Salt and pepper to taste

Carrot Ginger Dressing
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with water and put about 2 dozen ice cubes in it; set aside.
2. Bring a gallon of water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt, , and then blanch the peas until they're bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place in ice water bath to cool for 2 minutes. Remove from water bath and set aside. Repeat the blanching process with the fava beans and carrots. 
4. Place the microgreens, radishes, peas, fava beans, and all but 1/2 cup carrots in a bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper; reserve 1/2 cup carrots for dressing.

To make the dressing:
1. Fill a small pot with cold water. Add the ginger and bring to a rapid boil. Strain out the water and repeat two more times. 
2. Place the ginger, 1/2 cup reserved carrots, rice wine vinegar, and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Remove from the blender and place in a bowl. Whisk in the the soy sauce and mayonnaise. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.

To plate, gently toss the salad with just enough dressing to lightly coat the greens and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle some dressing on a platter and place the salad on top. 

Serves 4


Celebrating 40 Years!

Self-portrait of Gibbs Smith sitting in his office.

Gibbs Smith is celebrating it's 40th year in the publishing industry and to honor the founder and the Utah-based company, Publishers Weekly wrote this feature in their March 3 issue. For a complete history of Gibbs Smith, check out this link.