by Sybil PrattJanuary, 2008
Marvelous Mollie of Moosewood
It comes as no surprise that Mollie Katzen, author of the mega-million-selling, landmark Moosewood Cookbook and many other classics, loves vegetables, not just some of them sometimes, but most of them most of the time. She's not anti-anything, she's just pro-vegetable and hopes that this new addition to her cornucopia of cookbooks, The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without, will inspire you to cook, serve and eat more of them. She worries that many of us think vegetables are dull and dreary good for you, yet never exciting. But after just a quick flip through these pages, you'll feel those veggie vibes and Katzen chords as one bright-flavored recipe after another beckons you to the market and the kitchen. Many of Mollie's favorites are multitaskers, easily prepared ahead of time and served hot, cold or at room temperature, like Gingered Asparagus, both salad and side dish; Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic &andamp; Lime, appetizer or relish; and Potato, Turnip &andamp; Carrot Gratin with Garlic-Herb Bechamel Sauce, a marvelous main or a stalwart side for a roast non-veg. This enticing array is served up in Mollie's signature style, hand-lettered and charmingly ornamented with her original drawings and doodles. With Mollie's happy ideas, you'll never hedge that veg again.
RACHEL RIDES AGAIN
Ready or not, here she comes. Rachael Ray is back with a few variations on her best-selling 30-minute meal deal. Just in Time, her latest, offers all-new dinner dishes you can cook in 30 minutes, 15 minutes or a slow-it-down 60 minutes for those precious times when time is not of the essence. Rachael's trademark enthusiasm bubbles through each of the 230-plus recipes divided into seven chapters. Every recipe is tagged with the time it requires, whether it's in Sammie Night, Rachael's innovative collection of dinner-on-bread, a.k.a. the big sandwich that has protein, carbs and veggies all in one; Hot Pots hearty soups, chilis and stews; Using Your Noodle, a parade of pleasing prandial pastas with a pass at paella and polenta; or the chapters on salad, fish, chicken and beef. If you only have 15 of these all-important minutes, rustle up a rich, comforting bowl of Gnocchi with Spinach and Gorgonzola. Add 15 more and you'll be able to put a sensational dish of creamy Chicken Ë† la Queen in front of your famished family. And when you have a leisurely hour, roast a Pork Loin that you can serve three ways. Rachael truly understands that timing is everything!
MORE THAN CURRY
The title of Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking, an invitation to fast, flavor-filled food from the subcontinent, is not an oxymoron. True, you'll need a well-stocked spice shelf (I keep my many packets of Indian spices together in one plastic bag stored in the fridge), but as Madhur says, If you can put one spice into a pan, you can just as easily put in ten. She stays away from the complicated and ambitious, the kind of dishes that require an extended family or a slew of sous-chefs, and she encourages us to combine Indian main courses with American sides and vice-versa: Spicy Grilled Chicken, rubbed with a make-ahead spice paste, is great with plain boiled potatoes; green chile infused Hamburger Kebabs can be rolled in naan with chutney or put in an ordinary hamburger bun; Turnips with Cumin or Spinach with Ginger and Green Chiles give everyday roast chicken or meat loaf the zing of an exotic accent. Most of the more than 70 recipes, from soups to sweets, can be made in 30 minutes or less and the luscious, full-page, full-color photos add to the appeal.