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Books That Cook: 'Eating Well's Comfort Foods Made Healthy' and more

TITLE: 200 Best Panini Recipes by Tiffany Collins (Robert Rose, $24.95; 256 pages)

Generally speaking: If you love making paninis, this cookbook will not only give you great recipes, but possibly inspire innovations of your own.

For: Panini-maker owners. While there are other techniques to making a panini, all the recipes in this cookbook call for a panini grill. This would be a great gift cookbook with a grill.

Recipes: Turkey and artichoke panini, roasted chicken, brie and pear panini, shrimp club panini, Monte Cristo panini, Hawaiian chicken panini, mixed berry and mascarpone panini with toasted almonds, triple-chocolate panini, and spinach, goat cheese and sun-dried tomato panini.

TITLE: 101 Things To Do With Canned Biscuits by Toni Patrick (YC Media, $9.99; 128 pages)

Generally speaking: 101 Things To Do with Canned Biscuits is great for nights when time is tight. But author Patrick provides a lot more than dinner recipes, including appetizers, breads and desserts. Lots of good ideas for quick noshes for football game day.

For: Biscuit lovers. Every recipe is made with refrigerated biscuits.

Recipes: Cheddar biscuit quiche, ham and cheese casserole, apple coffee cake, broccoli and tuna on biscuits, Louisiana shrimp casserole, crunchy peanut ring, sweet and tangy apricot biscuits, lemon pull-apart coffee cake, meatball puffs, feta biscuits, poppy onion loaf and chicken club bake.

TITLE: 101 Things To Do With Canned Biscuits by Toni Patrick (YC Media, $9.99; 128 pages)

Generally speaking: 101 Things To Do with Canned Biscuits is great for nights when time is tight. But author Patrick provides a lot more than dinner recipes, including appetizers, breads and desserts. Lots of good ideas for quick noshes for football game day.

For: Biscuit lovers. Every recipe is made with refrigerated biscuits.

Recipes: Cheddar biscuit quiche, ham and cheese casserole, apple coffee cake, broccoli and tuna on biscuits, Louisiana shrimp casserole, crunchy peanut ring, sweet and tangy apricot biscuits, lemon pull-apart coffee cake, meatball puffs, feta biscuits, poppy onion loaf and chicken club bake.

TITLE: Eating Well's Comfort Foods Made Healthy: The Classic Makeover Cookbook by Jessie Price and the editors of Eating Well magazine (Countryman Press, $24.95; 255 pages)

Generally speaking: For nearly two decades, Eating Well magazine has made all sorts of recipes healthier. Comfort Foods Made Healthy continues this tradition for everything from soups to sides to entrees and desserts. Many recipes include makeover tips that can be used in other recipes in your collection. Easy ideas include using whole wheat pasta or serving sandwiches open-faced to eliminate carbohydrates.

For: Those who love the classic recipes but don't want all the fat, calories and carbs. Each recipe denotes if it is high in fiber, lower in carbs, heart healthy or healthy weight, meaning reduced calories and fats. Even desserts have been made over, including key lime pie, tiramisu and French silk pie.

Recipes: Irish lamb stew, baked mac and cheese, San Francisco crab Louis, broccoli-cheese chowder, pineapple coffee cake, Vermont Cheddar mashed potatoes, grilled eggplant Parmesan sandwich, pumpkin pie with rum, double chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cake.



TITLE: International Cuisine by the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute (Wiley Publishing, $45; 864 pages)

Generally speaking: International Cuisine is a great cookbook for exploring cultures and cuisines of the world. With more than 800 pages there is endless variety. International Cuisine is also a bit of a history and geography lesson.

For: Adventurous palates and experienced cooks. Some recipes are unusual and therefore may include ingredients that are difficult to find.

Recipes: Sizzling garlic shrimp, stuffed pork tenderloin, eggplant curry, pilaf of cracked wheat, barbecued spiced fish, cooked cucumbers, soba with duck and long onions, fried dill cured salmon with sweet and sour raisin sauce, shredded dough cakes with apple, and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

TITLE: The New England Clam Shack Cookbook by Brooke Dojny (Storey Publishing, $16.95; 244 pages)

Generally speaking: If you're planning a trip to New England, this is a great book to look to for restaurants. Included are some of the region's best recipes from the best eateries.

For: Those who crave authentic New England dishes. This version is a second edition with updated restaurants, recipes and more.

Recipes: Classic hot buttered lobster roll, Mediterranean seafood stew, littlenecks with oil and garlic, crab Louie spread and Grandma's pickled beets.

>>easy

Beef and Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

1 pound flank steak, trimmed

4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, halved and thinly sliced (see note)

1 large onion, sliced

¾ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons cognac or brandy

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

½ cup reduced fat sour cream

4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add steak and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (The meat will be rare but will continue to cook as it rests.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut lengthwise into 2 long pieces then crosswise, across the grain, into ¼-inch thick slices.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are very tender and lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables; stir to coat. Stir in broth, cognac (or brandy) and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in sour cream, chives (or parsley), the sliced steak and any accumulated juices. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: You may substituted two cups of sliced button mushrooms.

Source: Eating Well's Comfort Foods Made Healthy: The Classic Makeover Cookbook by Jessie Price and the editors of Eating Well magazine (Countryman Press, $24.95)



>>easy

Triple Chocolate Panini

½ ounce milk chocolate, chopped

½ ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 slices sourdough bread, ½-inch thick

1 tablespoon butter, melted

½ ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a small bowl, combine milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate; set aside.

Brush one side of each bread slice with butter. Place two slices on a work surface, buttered side down, and sprinkle with chocolate mixture, leaving a ¼ inch border around the edges. Cover with top halves, buttered side up, and press gently to pack.

Place sandwiches in the grill. Close the top plate and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, place semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, removing every 30 seconds to stir until almost melted. Stir until melted and smooth.

Remove sandwiches from grill and slice in half. Drizzle with melted chocolate, serve immediately.

Makes 2.

Source: 200 Best Panini Recipes by Tiffany Collins (Robert Rose, $24.95; 256 pages)

>>easy

Vegetable Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables

2 cups frozen chopped broccoli

1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce

1 (12-ounce) can refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large frying pan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add vegetables, broccoli and Alfredo sauce. Cook over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a light boil. Spoon into an ungreased 9- by 9-inch baking dish.

Separate biscuits and then place them on top of the mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: 101 Things To Do With Canned Biscuits by Toni Patrick (YC Media, $9.99)

>>moderate

Sizzling Garlic Shrimp

1 pound (26 to 30 count) large shrimp in shell

Coarse salt to taste

1 cup olive oil

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ small dry red chili pepper, crumbled

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced

Bread for serving

Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with salt.

Combine olive oil and garlic over medium-low heat until oil is hot and garlic begins to sizzle gently. Cook until garlic is very fragrant but not colored, 2 to 3 minutes; reduce heat, if necessary. Add chili and stir for 30 seconds. Add shrimp, cook stirring, until shrimp are just cooked, about 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste, stir in parsley and cook 15 seconds. Serve with bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: International Cuisine by the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute (Wiley Publishing, $45)

>>moderate

Crumb Topped Lobster Pie

4 1 ½-pound lobsters

12 tablespoons butter, plus 6 tablespoons for serving

2 ½ cups crushed Ritz crackers

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parsley springs

Lemon wedges

Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and plunge the lobsters into the water heads down. Cover, return to a boil, reduce heat to medium and steam 12 minutes. Drain, reserving about ¾ cup of the cooking water.

When cool enough to handle, pick the meat out of the lobsters, working over a bowl to catch any juices. Remove and reserve the green tomalley.

Cut meat into 1½-inch chunks. Melt the 12 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the cracker crumbs and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until heated through. Stir in the tomalley.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and add enough reserved lobster juices and cooking liquid to make a mixture that is about as moist as turkey stuffing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the lobster meat among four individual buttered ramekins or place in a shallow buttered 1 ½ quart baking dish.

Cover with the cracker mixture, patting it on evenly. (Can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator an hour before baking.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake the casserole(s) until the top begins to brown and the lobster is heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges and serve the remaining 6 tablespoons butter, melted, alongside.

You can squeeze lemon and drizzle butter over the lobster meat after it's out from under its crumb blanket.

4 servings.

Source: The New England Clam Shack Cookbook by Brooke Dojny (Storey Publishing, $16.95)

Books That Cook: 'Eating Well's Comfort Foods Made Healthy' and more 10/14/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 5:00pm]

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