I am clearly not the intended audience for Mollie Katzen’s new book, Get Cooking. However, I do usually enjoy her recipes and so it seemed worth picking up the book.
If you’re looking for something to ease you into the kitchen, her introductory section will likely appeal to you. As I already know how to chop things and am not afraid of shopping lists, I skipped it. Happily, the whole book is in a normal typeface, as opposed to all her Moosewood cookbooks which are in a forceably-cheering handwriting font. (The Sunshine Cafe is also in a normal typeface and is what I consider her best cookbook.)
I found a number of recipes that looked like I would make them repeatedly and wanted to capture them here because I’m not sure I will buy the book. The chapter on burgers makes it very tempting and I’m not even that much of a burger fan, honestly.
The twist in this cookbook that appealed to me most were the “get creative” sections. In this sidebars, she suggests easy ways to modify the existing recipe. And since recipes, to me, are all about a good structure and varying the ingredients, I thought this was a brilliant addition to the book.
I made the Mushroom-Zucchini Ragout over Creamy Polenta. Once through the recipe was enough to get the structure (cook awesome veggies in tomato to make stew-like stuff then serve over cheese+corn) although I substituted cheese grits for polenta. Summer squash, mushrooms, and cheese grits are pretty wonderful together.
dmm made the Tuna Burgers. Very excellent and it happily reminded me how cheap tuna is. They are 12 oz tuna, 2 eggs, 1/3 c breadcrumbs, 1/2 c onions, parsley, pepper, and fresh lemon juice.
Ah, the burger chapter. I would buy just the chapter, if I could.
I was underwhelmed by the poultry recipes, partially because the photography in the book is kinda poor, mostly poor color combinations that don’t make the food appear appetizing. The veggie/sides chapter is good if you haven’t cooked with them before but I know most of these structures.
Recipes that I haven’t tried but would like to: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup, all the salad dressing recipes (brilliant!) on p. 36-37, Farfalle with Roasted Garlic, Nuts, and Raisins, Vegetable-Tofu Stir-Fry with Orange-Ginger Glaze (which sounds rather Asian Kitchen Sink, doesn’t it?).
The orange glaze from above is 1/2 c oj, 2T cider vinegar, 1 T soy, 1 T brown honey, 1 T fresh ginger, 2 t fresh garlic, 1 t sesame oil, .5 t red pepper flakes, and 1 T cornstarch. Wet cornstarch then add it to remaining ingredients. Add to the stir-fried veggies after they are cooked.
I would really like to make the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crunchy Things and the Gingery Gingerbread but it was the dessert chapter that really made me wish that she’d included nutritional information in the book. I like desserts, and I eat desserts, but I’d like to know how much of one is an acceptable serving.
So, my recommendation is that Jmac should read this book and cook something out of it. And that I figure out how to get my hands on just the burger chapter.