New cookbooks offer Mediterranean, buttermilk, grilling recipes
.TITLE: Vegetables Please: The more vegetables, less meat cookbook by Carolyn Humphries (DK Publishing, $25, 352 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: If you are growing weary of your Meatless Monday recipes or just want some new veggie recipes, this cookbook will add new life to your repertoire. Meat lovers, don't despair. There are options for you, too. Some dishes are perfect as sides, while others are hearty enough for an entree.
FOR: Vegetable lovers, vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Every recipe has an optional meat ingredient such as lamb, beef, chicken or fish plus instructions on how to prepare and when to add it to the recipe.
RECIPES: Warm pea pancakes with grilled asparagus, rainbow pepper Mexican tacos, French bean, garlic and tomato omelet, butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese frittata, watercress and beet roulade with smooth cheese sauce, mushroom and black-eyed pea stroganoff, Vietnamese vegetable and tofu curry, okra and eggplant spicy masala, vegetable spring rolls, mushroom risotto, spicy spaghetti with broccoli, creamy spinach and rosemary soup, potato soup with broccoli, shallot and mascarpone cheese, caramelized shallot tart, roasted squash and gorgonzola tart and Mediterranean vegetable and feta filo pie.
.TITLE: The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook, Recipes and Reflections from a Small Vermont Dairy by Diane St. Clair (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $27.99, 209 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: There is a great variety of recipes in this cookbook and each of them contains buttermilk. You'll find smoothies, sides, main dishes and desserts. Animal Farm is a working dairy farm owned by the cookbook's author. There are delightful photos of her farm as well as interesting information.
FOR: Just about anyone. Buttermilk has a unique taste; it helps if you are a fan.
RECIPES: Buttermilk meatloaf, buttermilk tempura seafood, green chili stew with masa dumplings, buttermilk scalloped potatoes, corn and scallion fritters, strawberry-lemon buttermilk sorbet, buttermilk creamed mushrooms on toast, cheddar spoon bread, blueberry buttermilk smoothie, orange-scented cinnamon rolls, brown soda bread, shrimp and buttermilk grits, buttermilk dulce de leche cheesecake and buttermilk coconut blondies.
.TITLE: The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Grilling Cookbook, 225 Sizzling Recipes for Every Season (Hearst Books, $29.95, 413 pages)
GENERALLY SPEAKING: This is a very comprehensive cookbook about grilling. Its three-ring binder style with divider tabs (a la the Betty Crocker classic) allows the book to lay flat on the counter for ease. Tabs separate categories such as pork and lamb, vegetables and meatless mains, desserts and drinks and more. Great tips — not only for grilling but also on topics like preparing fish, eggplant and avocados — are scattered throughout the book.
FOR: A great cookbook for a beginner or master griller.
RECIPES: Red pepper and provolone panini, grilled chicken chopped salad, meatloaf burgers with sauteed carrots, catfish with chipotle salsa over plolenta, grilled tomato and mozzarella chicken breasts, Polynesian drumsticks, sugar and spice rub steaks, backyard BLTs, tomato soup with quesadilla dippers, grilled onion thyme mayo, fruit focaccia, fire-roasted nectarines with berry salsa and grilled ratatouille pasta.
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Mediterranean Vegetable and Feta Filo Pie
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into small chunks
1 eggplant, halved lengthways and sliced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Small handful of pitted black olives, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
6 sheets filo dough
7 ounces feta cheese, diced
Green salad, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic along with rest of vegetables and fry, stirring, for about 3 minutes until slightly softened. Cover, reduce heat and cook gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in oregano, olives and a little salt and pepper (the cheese and olives will add salt). Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 1-quart shallow rectangular dish with a little butter. Line with a sheet of filo and brush again. Lay a second sheet at right angles to the first and brush again with butter. Repeat with a third sheet at right angles again.
Fill the dish with the vegetable mixture and scatter the cheese over, pressing into the surface. Fold the edges of the filo over the top of the dish, folding the edges underneath so it fits the top of the dish. Brush with butter and lay another sheet on top folded the same way, then the final sheet. Brush the top with any remaining butter. Place the pie on a baking sheet
Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving with a green salad.
If you want to add meat: Omit eggplant and add 8 ounces diced, cooked lamb to the mixture with onion, garlic and other vegetables.
Makes 4 servings.
Source: Vegetables Please
Cheddar Spoon Bread
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, separated
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Bring 2 ½ cups water to a boil in large saucepan. Whisk in the butter, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking soda. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
Beat the buttermilk and egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture in the saucepan and then stir in the cheese. Gently fold in the egg whites. Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden and puffed high. Serve at once.
Makes 6 servings.
Source: The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed with garlic press
12 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
In blender, puree pineapple with its juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic until smooth. Spoon ½ cup pineapple puree into zip-tight bag; reserve remaining puree for grilling. Add drumsticks to bag, turning to coat. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Remove drumsticks from bag; discard marinade. Place drumsticks on hot grill rack and grill, turning once, 15 minutes. Grill, brushing twice with reserved pineapple puree, turning occasionally, until drumsticks are golden and internal temperature in thickest part reaches 165 degrees, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Source: The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Grilling Cookbook