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Books That Cook: Quick, we need a home-cooked meal

TITLE: Robin to the Rescue: Quick & Simple Recipes for Delicious Home Cooking by Robin Miller (Taunton Press, $18.95; 314 pages)

Generally speaking: Miller, host of Quick Fix Meals on the Food Network, knows how to draw cooks to a cookbook: lots of gorgeous photos. We wish there were more. Many of the recipes are for one-dish meals and those that aren't have side suggestions, recipes included.

For: Those who want home-cooked meals more often and are willing to commit extra cooking time sometime during the week, most likely on weekends.

Recipes: Southwestern pork soup, veggie pot stickers, pasta casino, chili-lime marinated skirt steak, beef and mushroom tart, roasted butternut squash with cumin and coriander, banana cream pie parfaits, pizza cookie.

TITLE: Betty Crocker Whole Grains: Easy Everyday Recipes (Wiley Publishing, $19.95; 506 pages)

Generally speaking: A great introduction to whole grains and their benefits.

For: Those looking to include more whole grains into their diets. A number of recipes can be prepared in a slow cooker, making them convenient weeknight meals. The cookbook features recipes from breakfast to dessert, including breads and snacks.

Recipes: Black-eyed pea and sausage soup, tarragon-couscous salad, oatmeal brownies, maple corn pudding, beef and millet stew in bread bowls, apricot almond energy bars, whole grain strawberry pancakes.

TITLE: You've Got It Made: Deliciously Easy Meals to Make Now and Bake Later by Diane Phillips (Harvard Common Press, $14.95; 324 pages)

Generally Speaking: This cookbook offers a variety of recipes, but the best feature is the "make it now, bake it later" part of many recipes. These recipes can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen for later.

For: People who have time to cook on weekends so they'll have home-cooked meals for busy nights.

Recipes: Braised sirloin with zinfandel and cremini mushroom sauce, pesto scallops, do-ahead scampi, bacon and white cheddar grits casserole, sausage-stuffed shells.


Pasta Casino

1 pound linguine

4 slices bacon, diced

1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (11-ounce) can baby clams, undrained

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

2 bay leaves

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 (4-ounce) chunk aged Asiago cheese

• Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

• While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the clams, with their liquid from the can, the broth, and the bay leaves, bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, stir in the linguine and toss to combine.

• Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley and season with the salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and with a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the top of the pasta right before serving.

Serves 4.

Source: Robin to the Rescue: Quick & Simple Recipes for Delicious Home Cooking by Robin Miller (Taunton Press, $18.95)


Panko-Parmesan Oven Fried Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

½ cup olive oil

2 cups panko crumbs

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Make it now: Season the chicken with the salt and Tabasco sauce. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.

• In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the butter and oil, stirring to blend. In another shallow bowl, combine the panko and Parmesan cheese.

• Dip the chicken pieces into the butter mixture, then dredge in the crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken. Lay the breasts on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the chicken evenly with the remaining butter mixture.

• Cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. (When the chicken is frozen, transfer to zip-top plastic bags, separating each piece with plastic wrap.)

Bake it later: Defrost the chicken overnight in the refrigerator, if necessary. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If necessary, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet as directed previously. Let the chicken come to room temperature for 20 minutes.

• Bake the chicken 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6.

Source: You've Got It Made: Deliciously Easy Meals to Make Now and Bake Later by Diane Phillips (Harvard Common Press, $14.95)


Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 pound turkey breast tenderloins, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium stalk celery, sliced

1 cup uncooked wild rice

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

2 ½ cups water

2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce

¼ to ½ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1/8 teaspoon pepper

• In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost crisp. Stir in turkey, carrots, onion and celery. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until turkey is brown.

• Spoon turkey mixture into 3- to 4-quart slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover; cook on low heat setting 5 to 6 hours.

Serves 5.

Source: Betty Crocker Whole Grains: Easy Everyday Recipes (Wiley Publishing, $19.95)

Books That Cook: Quick, we need a home-cooked meal 04/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:33am]
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