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Cookbooks offer how-to on milkshakes, skinny dishes and small servings

,TITLE: Malts & Milkshakes — 60 Recipes for Frosty, Creamy, Frozen Treats by Autumn Martin (St. Martin's Press, $17.99, 160 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: This is a perfect cookbook for summer. There are so many inviting recipes you won't know which one to choose to make first. These recipes are perfect for anyone who loves ice cream, milkshake and malts. There may be some different ingredients, like rosewater or dried lavender flowers, in more unusual concoctions but for the most part, the ingredients are readily available. Important to mention there is a chapter on boozy shakes that, yes, include alcohol.

FOR: Those who love frosty treats reminiscent of a diner or soda fountain. It would make a fun pool party complete with shakes and malts.

RECIPES: Ginger ice cream, Chai tea shake, fresh mint shake, peanut butter shake, salted caramel shake, s'mores shake, strawberry cheesecake shake, espresso shake, passion fruit creamsicle shake, blackberry lavender shake, coconut shake, butterscotch shake or malt and watermelon lime shake.

, TITLE: 400 Calorie Comfort Food — Easy Mix and Match Recipes for a Skinnier You! by the editors of Good Housekeeping (Hearst Books, $14.95, 160 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Comfort food is just that, comforting. We delve into comfort food after a bad day or situation to make us feel better and we do for a time. Sometimes fried or laden with butter or gooey cheese it is not the healthiest of choices. With 400 Calorie Comfort Food, you can feel better about eating a pork chop smothered in gravy or chicken pot pie.

FOR: Those watching calories. The one thing you won't miss is comfort. This cookbook is jam packed with better-for-you comfort food. Other titles in the series: 400 Calorie Italian, 400 Calorie Chicken, 400 Calorie Vegetarian.

RECIPES: Smothered pork chops, stuffed peppers, honey-mustard chicken, turkey breast with vegetable gravy, classic cheese omelet, bacon and eggs over asparagus, pork loin with peach glaze, lasagna rolls, Spanish chicken and rice, sweet potato shepherd's pie, chorizo and pepper tortilla, cod with mushroom ragout, banana quick bread, pecan fingers, strawberry-rhubarb crisp and lime triangles.

, TITLE: One Pan, Two Plates — More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals for Two by Carla Snyder (Chronicle Books, $24.95, 208 pages)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Sometimes it's difficult to find recipes for two people. One Pan, Two Plates solves that dilemma since all recipes serve two. Many recipes are quick and perfect for a busy weeknight dinner but elegant enough for a special occasion or date night. There is a lot of variety with pasta dishes, chicken, beef, pork, fish and lamb. One thing you won't find are dessert recipes. These are all for main dishes.

FOR: Newlyweds, empty-nesters and couples.

RECIPES: Thai red curry chicken, rib-eye steaks Florentine, creamy Yukon gold potato gratin, fluffy spring frittata, wild mushroom frittata, turkey tonkatsu, one-pan roast deviled chicken, catfish tacos, pasta carbonara, vegetable biryani, herb-rubbed pork, skirt steak fajitas, croque madame, Cuban sandwiches, Hungarian beef goulash, lamb korma and beef stew.


Espresso Shake

¾ cup espresso or very strong brewed coffee, chilled

2 tablespoons milk powder

Pinch of Kosher salt

8 scoops vanilla ice cream

Blend espresso, milk powder and salt until nice and smooth. Add the ice cream and blend until it is just incorporated. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Serves 4 in 6-ounce glasses.


Pork Loin With Peach Glaze

1 lime

½ cup peach preserves

¾ teaspoon salt

teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pork tenderloin (1 ¼ pounds)

2 bunches green onions

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 medium peaches, each cut in half and pitted

Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling over medium heat. From lime, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice.

In medium bowl, combine preserves, lime peel and juice, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Reserve ¼ cup glaze in small bowl.

Cut pork tenderloin crosswise in half, then cut each piece lengthwise in half. Place pork on hot grill rack; cover and cook 5 minutes. Turn pork over, brush with glaze from medium bowl. Cover and cook 5 to 6 minutes longer or until pork is browned outside and still slightly pink inside, brushing several times with glaze. (Instant read thermometer inserted horizontally into thickest part of pork should register 145 degrees.) Transfer to cutting board.

Meanwhile toss green onions with oil and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Place onions and peaches, cut side down, on same grill rack; cook 3 minutes, turning onions over once. Transfer onions to platter. Turn peaches over and brush with glaze from small bowl; cook 3 minutes longer or until browned. Transfer to platter with onions.

Slice pork and serve with peaches and green onions.

Serves 4.


Fluffy Spring Frittata

6 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

3 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ¼ inch dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and cut into ¼ inch dice

1 bunch asparagus, tough woody ends snapped off, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

Preheat the broiler with the rack in the second position from the top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ½ teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, the nutmeg and cayenne.

In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted and sizzles, add the onion and potatoes and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the potatoes begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and asparagus and another sprinkle of salt and pepper and continue to cook and stir occasionally until the vegetables are tender and the potatoes are lightly browned, another 4 minutes or so. Taste a piece of asparagus to see if it's tender. If it's not, cook it another minute or two. Spread the vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan and sprinkle the cheese over top.

Pour the eggs evenly over the vegetables in the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes, then remove the lid and transfer the pan to the broiler. Broil the frittata until the top is lightly browned and the eggs have firmed up in the center, about 4 minutes. To test, press the center of the frittata lightly with your finger. If it feels firm, it's done.

Remove the frittata from the oven and let it rest for 3 minutes on a wire rack on the countertop to continue to firm up before cutting it into wedges. It will be puffy when it comes out of the oven but will deflate and become firmer as it cools. Serve the frittata hot or at room temperature.

Serves 2.

Cookbooks offer how-to on milkshakes, skinny dishes and small servings 05/14/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 6:56pm]
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