Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh Martha!

I picked up the cookbook Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook today at Costco and highly recommend it. I perused it cover to cover the minute I got home and think it's a great cookbook for beginners and more seasoned cooks alike. It is especially great for beginners because of it's vast supply of basic information:
  • complete run-down on equipment, tools, knives, pots & pans, baking necessities and more
  • cuts of meat and basic preparations (stocks, braising, grilling, roasting, frying, poaching, stir-frying and more)
  • complete guide to vegetables (various preparations, what to look for, how to store each variety and more)
  • guide to making pasta
  • section on dried beans and grains
  • chapter devoted to desserts
  • step-by-step photography to accompany instructions and recipes throughout entire book

If you know someone who is just learning how to cook, I highly recommend this book as a great gift. I bought one as a gift but might run back and get a few more. Available on Amazon for $29.70 or from Costco for $25.99. Cover-price is $45.

I dog-eared a few dozen recipes that I can't wait to try. This week's list:

  • Braised Fish with Fennel & Tomato
  • Brown Rice Pilaf with Currants (and toasted sliced almonds)
  • Indian Spiced Split Pea Soup (for my meatless day this week!)

Tonight I made some roasted vegetables, inspired by her Roasted Autumn Harvest Salad. They were so easy and so good. Here's how easy:

Roasted Vegetables

4 small golden beets, peeled and cut into quarters or sixths depending on size
4 carrots, peeled & halved lengthwise
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3” chunks (halve the thicker end pieces lengthwise)
3 shallots
2 T olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 450. Toss vegetables with olive oil on large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, stirring two or three times, until fork tender. Remove any smaller pieces that are cooked through if larger ones need more
time. Serve hot.

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