A New Cookbook
|A few weeks ago, Cooking Light magazine sent me an offer for their "Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2006" cookbook. Their promotion for the book was quite enticing, with lots of gorgeous pictures and some really yummy sample recipes.. so enticing, that I sent the little postage-paid card back the same day requesting the book.|
I received it this past Friday and couldn't wait to sit down and go through it. Much to my chagrin their finished product wasn't anything like the promotion. There are tons of recipes, yes.. but they are all presented in a mish-mash way on the pages, with "clumps" of picture pages throughout the book. The recipes are organized by monthly issue instead of the normal categories you'd find in just about any cookbook published.. EVER. So to find a recipe, say, something in the appetizer or side dish category, I have to go to the back of the book and look in the index that's listed by INGREDIENT. In other words, unless I know exactly what main ingredient I want to use for a certain appetizer or side dish, I have to peruse the whole freakin index to find something that fits the bill. Gah. Okay, so I've found a couple recipes that look good - and am hoping they are appetizers and/or side dishes - I go to their corresponding pages to find that I then have to search the page to find the recipe, because they've slammed about 5 recipes on each page. If I want to see what the finished recipe looks like? Yeah good luck.. I can go through the several clumps of picture pages and MAYBE get lucky if they've taken a picture of the recipe I've chosen, but I found I didn't luck out very often.
This isn't my first cookbook made up of a magazine's year's worth of recipes. I have several of "Home Cooking"'s annual collection of recipes and those books are categorized by appetizer, main dish, side dish, desert etc.. with pictures on every single page that actually correspond with the recipes. So shame on Cooking Light - it looks as if they had 2 people in charge of creating this book and those 2 people waited until the last minute - so they just slapped typed recipes all over the place and as an afterthought, threw in those picture page clumps. No organization whatsoever. Okay, I lied.. organized by monthly issue. I don't receive the magazine, so I don't know what was published each month. Had I received the magazine, I can GUARANTEE that I would not remember what was published each month anyway! Sheesh.
Okay before sending this book back, I've decided to try a few recipes to see if they are worth keeping the book, regardless of the ass-pain it would be to search for a recipe when I wanted one. The first one I chose was a type of potato salad that was mayo-less and used roasted potatoes. I served this potato salad with my London Broil, some steamed asparagus and a salad that my girlfriend, Mindy, and her family brought yesterday for our lil 4th of July get together. The salad was decent, very different from any potato salad we've ever had. The roasting of the potatoes was fabulous and I'd really like to try the other potato salads I've made in the past with roasted potatoes to see if they'd work. The vinaigrette was a bit vinegar-y for my taste, but also quite delicious.. in other words, I'd make it again but cut the vinegar back quite a bit. So with that, and the opinions of my guests... this recipe is a keeper but with a little tweaking needed. I have hope for the book.. this recipe isn't the deal breaker, but it does make me want to try others.
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 lbs. small red potatoes, quartered (I did a large dice)
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 1/2 TBS. balsamic vinegar (I will cut this down to 1 TBS. next time)
1 TBS. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 450º F.
To prepare potatoes, toss potatoes with 2 tsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. (I found that even diced, the potatoes weren't exactly fork tender after 30 minutes, so I flipped them around and continued roasting for another 20 minutes, which made them nice and tender and also a tad bit crispy around the edges - which was perfect). Cool potatoes. Combine potatoes, onions and bacon.
To prepare the viniagrette, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt & pepper while drizzling the olive oil in until you've created a thick emulsion. Pour viniagrette over potato mixture and coat well. Serve immediately.
This recipe serves 8 with 1 c. servings.