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Sample some new cook books

TITLE: Gourmet Made Simple: A Fresh Approach to Flavor by Gena Knox (YC Media, $19.95; 192 pages)

Generally speaking: About 75 percent of the recipes call for planking or using a cedar (or maple) plank to grill the food for extra flavor. Some of the recipes offer oven instructions as an alternative to the plank.

For: Those who love to grill. Many of the dishes can also be made in the oven, but Knox is a believer that grill imparts more flavor.

Recipes: BBQ chicken pizza, planked fish tacos with corn salsa and guacamole, marinated fig and arugula salad, maple-planked snapper with artichoke pesto, grilled pork tenderloin with sweet onion sauce and cappuccino pots de creme.

TITLE: Monday Night is Chicken Night: The Eat-Well Cookbook of Meals in a Hurry by the editors of Women's Day (Filipacchi Publishing, $12.99; 96 pages)

Generally speaking: With chicken a staple in many households, it is easy to fall into a rut. Monday Night is Chicken Night will inspire you with its variety, including lots of ethnic recipes plus one-pot dishes and slow-cooker meals.

FOR: Chicken lovers looking for variety.

RECIPES: Yucatan chicken soft tacos, chicken pumpkin stew, fried chicken BLT salad, chicken cacciatore with polenta and lemon rosemary chicken with bread salad.

TITLE: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Superfood Cookbook by Shelly Vaughan James and Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo (Alpha, $16.95; 316 pages)

Generally speaking: A superfood provides health benefits above and beyond the basic proteins, carbohydrates and fats. You don't necessarily need them for your body to function, but they may help lower your risk of developing certain diseases. The Superfood Cookbook focuses on 30 superfoods in particular, although the entire list is longer. A lot of information introduces superfoods to those unfamiliar with them.

For: Anyone looking for a more healthful lifestyle. Many of the superfoods mentioned in this cookbook are probably already on your grocery list or in your home: grape juice, turkey, strawberries, chocolate, red wine and honey, among others. As a bonus, many recipes yield one serving, perfect for solos of all ages.

Recipes: Cayenne-spiced roasted garbanzo beans, sassy salsa, baked pumpkin rice pudding, summer garden flounder packets, mint chocolate smoothies and cran-orange yogurt freeze.

>>moderate

Planked Fish Tacos With Corn Salsa and GuacamoleCorn and mint salsa:

2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 small red onion, diced

1 small jalapeno, minced

½ cup chopped mint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

¾ cup chopped tomatoes

Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados, diced

½ medium red onion, diced

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Fish:

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 ½ pounds salmon, snapper, halibut or tuna fillets

1 (15-inch) cedar or maple plank, soaked

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Make the salsa by mixing all the salsa ingredients and seasoning with salt and pepper; set aside. For the guacamole, mash the avocado lightly with a fork. Add the onion, cilantro and lime juice, and mix together.

Preheat the grill to medium-low. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin and sugar. Season fillets with salt and pepper, then rub on desired amount of spice mixture. Place soaked plank on grill; close lid and heat plank 3 minutes. Turn plank over; place fillets on heated side and close lid. Cook 12 minutes for medium or until desired doneness.

Remove fish and plank from grill; allow fillets to rest 3 minutes before serving. Flake fish and serve in warm tortillas with salsa and guacamole.

Makes 4 servings

Source: Gourmet Made Simple: A Fresh Approach to Flavor by Gena Knox (YC Media, $19.95)

>>easy

Chicken & Vegetables With
Creamy Mustard-Herb Sauce
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup with herbs

2 leeks, rinsed, white and green parts thinly sliced or 1 ½ cups sliced scallions

8 skinless chicken thighs

4 medium new potatoes, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks

8 ounces baby carrots

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons snipped dill

2 tablespoons sliced scallion

Stir soup and leeks in 3 ½ quart (or larger) slow cooker until blended. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots; stir to mix and coat.

Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until chicken, potatoes and carrots are tender when pierced.

Remove chicken and vegetables to serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Add mustard to cooker; whisk until smooth. Stir in the dill and scallion; spoon over chicken and vegetables.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Monday Night is Chicken Night: The Eat-Well Cookbook of Meals in a Hurry by the editors of Women's Day (Filipacchi Publishing, $12.99)

>>easy

Peach Crisp Breakfast Bowl
1 cup fat-free soy milk or milk

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 tablespoon fat-free plain yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 medium peach, washed, pitted and cut into thin slices

Pour milk into a medium non-stick saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in oats, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine yogurt, honey and almond extract in a small bowl and stir until blended.

When oatmeal is thickened, remove from heat. Stir in yogurt mixture until blended. Pour into serving bowl and stir in peach slices. Serve hot.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Superfoods Cookbook by Shelly Vaughan James and Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo (Alpha, $16.95)

Sample some new cook books 07/15/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 3:51pm]
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