Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sunday Brunch | Betty Rosbottom

 

Everyone loves a great brunch.

Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings

TITLE: Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings
AUTHOR: Betty Rosbottom
PHOTOGRAPHS: Susie Cushner
PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books
CUISINE: Breakfast and Lunch

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Featured Ingredient: Hollandaise Sauce
Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of egg yolk and butter, usually seasoned with lemonEggs Benedicy By matthewf01 juice, salt, and a little white pepper or cayenne pepper. In appearance it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy. The flavor is rich and buttery, with a mild tang added by an acidic component such as lemon juice, yet not so strong as to overpower mildly-flavored foods. Hollandaise is one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. It is so named because it was believed to have mimicked a Dutch sauce for the state visit to France of the King of the Netherlands. Hollandaise sauce is well known as a key ingredient of eggs Benedict, and is often paired with vegetables such as steamed asparagus. [Wikipedia]

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First Impressions
I should probably start by saying that I loved Betty Rosbottom’s previous efforts. Her last cookbook, Sunday Roasts was one of the better books released in 2011. Keeping the two separate will be difficult, subject matter excluded. Sunday Brunch has the exact same look and feel as Roasts. I like that! Why mess with success? Bright bold images by Susie Cushner accompany mouthwatering breakfast/lunch/brunch recipes. Most dishes are one page in length. Overall, it has a casual and unpretentious feel to it that is very approachable for the average home cook. Bright white gloss stock is a nice choice, making the images pop off the page.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Introduction
Eggs, Eggs, Eggs
All-In-One
Hot Off The Griddle
The Bread Basket
Fruits For All Seasons
Breakfast Complements
Drinks

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A good Bloody Mary could be the difference between a so-so brunch and a memorable one. Eben Freeman, New York City Mixologist, seems to have some idea of how to put one together. Class is in session…

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The Best of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)
Best-Ever Scrambled Eggs
Eggs Baked with Crème Fraiche, Crab and Tarragon
Grape Tomato and Blue Cheese Tart
Spiced Pancakes with Warm Maple-Butter Syrup
Sausage Studded Cornbread
Plum Parfaits with Yogurt and Granola
Southern Cheese Grits
Smoked Salmon, Fennel and Potato hash
Heavenly Little Crab Cakes
Classic Mimosas

Who doesn’t love a triple cream cheese? I can think of no one. Except maybe the lactose intolerant (they still love it, it’s just they can’t have it). That’s why the Gratin of Eggs, Leeks, Bacon and St. Andre Cheese (p35) is a big winner for anyone who even remotely likes cheese. My friend Nita makes the best popovers I’ve ever had. But, the Mile-High Popovers (p73) would be a great substitute if she weren’t available to whip up a batch. I’m a sucker for all NOLA food. That makes the Eggs Benedict with New Orleans Accents (p20) an easy standout for me. I love eggs benny. If I go to a buffet style brunch and they’re not there in some way, shape or form, I usually go home sad. It doesn’t matter how many peel and eat shrimp I’ve consumed.

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Special Features
Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings There are some nice additions to the recipes. An egg cooking guide is included in the intro. Short tips on different egg preps. An equipment list is up front as well. The Brunch Planner (p117) is a super useful guide to putting the whole meal together. Here you’ll find creative suggestions for combining the recipes on the previous pages into a meal that makes some kind of sense. One of my favorite combos was the brunch For Lazy Summer Days. Betty can come by and whip up that menu any time she would like. I’m also a big fan of printing the recipe names in the table of contents. It gives you a quick and easy way to navigate. Thumbs up for that small, but, meaningful inclusion.

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Conclusions
Sunday Brunch met my every expectation of what a Betty Rosbottom cookbook should be. Simple, yet elegant dishes arranged in a way that will make sense to most home cooks. There are no over the top, complicated techniques that have to be learned. It’s also nice that the recipes seem to be constructed with the cook/host in mind. There is a realistic chance these dishes can be completed in a way that lets the chef still enjoy their guests. That’s important (To me at least. I like to enjoy the party). Brunch may not be the most important meal of the day. But, it certainly has the potential to be the most delicious.

Culinary Expertise Required: 5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Sunday Brunch: Simple, Delicious Recipes for Leisurely Mornings

Resources, Links and Press
Betty Rosbottom’s Website
Sunday Brunch Recipes via The Boston Globe
Chronicle Books – Sunday Brunch

The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook | Lindsay Landis

 

Finally, someone has taken cookie dough off the forbidden list.

The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and More

TITLE: The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook
AUTHOR: Lindsay Landis
PUBLISHER: Quirk Books
CUISINE: Dessert

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Featured Ingredient: Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is a solution containing the flavor compound vanillin as the primary Vanilla bean from Mexico by nlianingredient. Pure vanilla extract is made by macerating and percolating vanilla beans in a solution of ethyl alcohol and water. In the United States, in order for a vanilla extract to be called pure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that the solution contain a minimum of 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla bean per gallon.[1] Double and triple strength (up to 20-fold) vanilla extracts are available [Wikipedia]

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First Impressions
The first thing to keep in mind here is this cookbook is designed to be fun. There is absolutely nothing stuffy or pretentious about it. Fun, fun, fun from beginning to end. Even though I don’t consider dessert to be at the top of my list, it is almost impossible to resist raw cookie dough. I was surprised at the number of variations, a total of over 50 recipes. A lot of imagination and creativity went into the recipe creation process. Super vibrant colorful images are liberally sprinkled throughout. In this case, the author is also the photographer. It happens to be one of the better photographed books I’ve seen lately. It’s not easy to be the writer and shooter.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Introduction
Candy
Cookies and Brownies
Cakes, Custards and Pies
Frozen Treats
Indulgent Breakfasts
Fun Snacks and Party Fare

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While we’re on the topic of summer fun…

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Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Inside-Out Cookie Dough Truffles Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge
Crispy Peanut Butter Dough Cups Cookie Dough Billionaire Bars
Cookie Dough Crème Brûlée Cookie Dough Sundae Sauce
Malted Cookie Dough Milkshakes Baked Cookie Dough Doughnuts
Cookie Dough Rice Crispy Treats Cookie Dough S’mores

 

As I’m reading through this I can hear that little voice in my head saying, “You are not a dessert person. You are not a dessert person…” That doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should. Let’s see a few standouts are in order. The Chocolate Cookie Dough Truffles (p19) are the first real recipe in the book for a reason. These little beauties will light up anyone’s eyes. Pretty easy to make too. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies (p39) are a drop dead knockout. The beautiful image that accompanies the recipe helps sell it. And, the Old-Fashioned Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches (p97) is a frozen treat hit in the making. It says the active cooking time for this recipe is 35 minutes. That can be a little deceiving. That applies if you intend to use store bought ice cream to fill your sandwiches. The Cookie Dough Ice Cream recipe in the book (p89), would be well worth the effort here. You can always store some for later. Yeah, I’m sure that wouldn’t be eaten if it were just sitting there in the freezer…

Special Features
The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and More A small conversion chart graces the inside front cover. A good place to put it. At least you can find the thing easily. There is a master cookie dough recipe right up front. It suggests variations including gluten-free and vegan. A list of necessary equipment and key ingredients alerts you to what may be coming in the pages that follow. “Quick Tips” are scattered throughout and give the reader a little extra advice when needed. The book has a hard cardboard cover and is spiral bound. A nice production combo. The book lies flat when opened. I like that.

Conclusions
If you’re looking for a lively romp through the once forbidden world of raw cookie dough, you have come to the right place. The basic recipes can be tackled by just about anyone in the family. Some of the more advanced ones will be a bit challenging for beginner cooks. This cookbook will make you smile. It’s just as if your mom has just whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and left the room with the spoon still in the bowl. Only this time, you don’t have to look over your shoulder.

Culinary Expertise Required: 5.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, Candies, and More

Links, Resources and Press
Lindsay’s Website – Love & Olive Oil
Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook Website
Quirk Books
Cookie Dough Facts

Field’s Special Sandwich. Special Indeed

 

Can the memory of a sandwich live up to the reality?

Fields Clock with Snow by Mike Warot

Summertime meals are different than winter ones. More outdoor cooking. More foods for hot days, including lots of salads. Who really wants a pot roast after a day on the beach? And, of course the occasional dinner sandwich.

In my house that summertime dinner sandwich was one that was made famous not by some one hundred year old deli or secret family recipe. It was made famous by a department store. Marshall Fields and Company to be more accurate.

The sandwich that I’m speaking of is of course the one and only Field’s Special Sandwich. A mountain of a meal that is equally perfect for the middle of July as it is for the day after Thanksgiving. Mine was usually served mid-summer.

I don’t really have early childhood memories of the Field’s flagship store on State Street in Chicago (I do have adult memories). A trip to see the windows at holiday time or lunch in the Walnut Room wasn’t something we did on any kind of regular basis.

chitown 004 by favouritethings

My memories of Marshall Fields are rooted in the south suburban Chicago locations. They start when I was around ten years old. Every few weeks, no matter what time of year, a few of us from the neighborhood would jump on a bus in Homewood Illinois, transfer in Chicago Heights and end up forty five minutes later in Park Forest.

Field’s had a big store there. Big to a ten year old anyway. After pooling our money and buying a small box of Frango Mints, we would ride the escalators from floor to floor carefully avoiding clerks who would rather see us taking in a movie at the nearby Holiday Theater rather than terrorizing the Men’s department.

On many of those trips we would end up in the Field’s cafeteria. Diners would be sitting at neat square tables enjoying a variety dishes including the Field’s Special Sandwich which when served at the store, took up an entire plate. With no money for a real lunch, we would grab a cold drink, make a few more trips on the escalator and then head home.

My Mom was a devoted lover of the Field’s Special. And as such, had perfected it’s construction down to the smallest detail. This included replicating the homemade Thousand Island Dressing which held everything together. Now remember, this was back at a time when a restaurant recipe was generally unavailable in a cookbook. And, of course, no Google. Getting it right was a major achievement.

Every now and then on a warm summer evening my taste buds are calling for one. Now, it’s easy. A quick trip to the laptop or iPad and most any recipe ever created (maybe minus the 11 herbs and spices) can be conjured up. My search took all of about ten seconds.

Rather than reprint the recipe here. I’ll save some space and give you a link to the version posted by Deborah Loeser Small for Lake Magazine. You can get that here.

What I WILL do for you is give you a look at the finished product. Amazing, right?

Field's Special Sandwich

Just look at that monster! Absolutely delicious. I think I was almost caught licking the plate. The recipe was right on, down to the dressing.

Here’s a bonus. With the leftover rye, dressing and turkey you can make a great Turkey Reuben (minus kraut) the next day for lunch!


You can now get a Marshall Field’s Cookbook. It has all of the recipes you loved from the department store.

The Marshall Field's Cookbook: Classic Recipes and Fresh Takes from the Field's Culinary Council
Links and other information
Marshall Field’s information via Wikipedia
Field’s Fan of Chicago
Walnut Room – Chicken Pot Pie Recipe