Monthly Archives: August 2012

Raw Cookie Dough Makes A Comeback!

 

It’s like your cookie dough “Get out of Jail Free” card.

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

It used to be an acceptable thing to do. More than acceptable really. More like anticipated and expected. It was like you were getting away with something. But, you really weren’t. It was all a setup. Your mom saw to that. She knew you wanted it.

I’m talking raw cookie dough here. The steak tartare of baking. Like a lot of things, it was “legal” at one point in my life. And, then the food police swoop in and raid the place. No more raw cookie dough. It could kill you. That was the talk on the street. At least the raw eggs inside the dough could. It was the company line and all mothers at the time were toeing it. Bummer.

I guess the last thing a semi-responsible mom wanted hanging over her head for the rest of her life was the guilt associated with bringing an early end to her child’s life. Especially, if that end came via an innocent batch of uncooked snickerdoodles. Talk about years in therapy.

So, the cookie dough gravy train came to a grinding halt. But, now there is a bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel. And, it comes courtesy of Lindsay Landis. Her new cookbook, The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, takes raw cookie dough from the no-no side of the ledger and moves it firmly into the YES-YES column.

No longer will you get that “stare” (you know the one), when you try and sneak a wad of your favorite flavor. Gone are the days when the threat of an untimely demise hangs over your head with every sweet mouthful. Gone, gone, gone.

Lindsay’s eggless recipes are a stroke of culinary forward thinking. Hhmm, “Why don’t we take out the thing that makes everyone sick and replace it with all kinds of other yummy stuff?” Hey, why didn’t I think of that? Because, apparently, I’m not as smart as Lindsay.

We reviewed The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook a short while back. You can check that out by clicking here. But, what I really wanted to show you was the amazing end result.

My friend Kathy is a baker extraordinaire. I figured she would be chomping at the bit to take a crack at these. And she came through with flying colors. Just take a look at her version of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Mouthwatering, right? I mean these little cookie dough bars were out of this world. If, you’re interested in whipping up a batch, you can get the full recipe here.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

So, here’s the message. If you still have that cookie dough craving from time to time, but, don’t want your hand slapped (or risk the grave), there is hope. And it’s in the person of Lindsay Landis.

Kitchen on Fire | Said & Chef MikeC

 

A 442 page home course in culinary skills.

Kitchen on Fire!: Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less

TITLE: Kitchen on Fire
AUTHOR: Olivier Said & Chef MikeC
PUBLISHER: Da Capo Lifelong
CUISINE: Cooking Instruction

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Cooking School
A cooking school or culinary school is an institution devoted to education in the art and science of food preparation. It also awards degrees which indicate that a student has undergone a particular curriculum and therefore displays a certain level of competency. Cooking schools are often associated with public restaurants where a student can acquire experience in working in a real environment and perform in many roles. [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impressions
OK, first off this is not a cookbook. Not in the traditional sense at least. Sure, it contains recipes, good ones. And, it has other features that would make you think it’s a cookbook. But, it’s not. It’s much more than a cookbook. It’s a culinary school in 442 pages. It covers subjects from Barding to Yeast Breads and EVERYTHING in between. I promise. It’s a masterwork of techniques, skills, procedures and methods. I can’t think of a thing that was omitted. There is vivid, colorful photography throughout courtesy of Olivier Said. It promises “Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less)”. If you could stick with it, it would deliver as promised.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Week 1 – Knife Skills and Mise en Place
Week 2 – Sautéing, Stir-Fry and Searing
Week 3 – Stocks, Soups and Poaching
Week 4 – Frying and Confit
Week 5 – Stewing, Braising and Steaming
Week 6 – Sauces, Condiments and Dips
Week 7 – Roasting and Broiling
Week 8 – Grilling
Week 9 – Yeast Breads
Week 10 – Quick Breads and Batters
Week 11 – Starches, Grains and Pastas
Week 12 – The Incredible Egg
The Basic Science of Cooking
Cooking Ingredients
Tool Master List
Conversion Chart!

• • • • •

It’s hard to imagine we’ve gone from this to Olivier and Chef MikeC. WOW.

• • • • •

The Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Roasted Fennel and Orange Salad Herb and Olive Oil Focaccia
Pan-Fried Cornmeal Cakes Sage Brown Butter Quinoa
Double Cheese and Bacon Quiche Spice-Rubbed Barbecued or Grill-Roasted Pork Shoulder

 

This book is not about the recipes. Sure, there are some delicious dishes here. The Herb-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Vegetables and Romesco (p. 195) is a standout. Likewise, the Brie and Chervil Omelet (p.370). But, this book isn’t really about what you can make. It’s about the techniques that are required. Teaching you how to preform those skills the correct way is the essence of Kitchen on Fire.

• • • • •

Special FeaturesKitchen on Fire!: Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less)
This is usually the part of the review where I’ll reference the small things that make the cookbook special. But, honestly this book is ALL special features! I’m not sure that there is a component of the culinary process that was overlooked. OK, here’s where I have my tail between my legs. Most know my disdain for the ubiquitous conversion chart. Here’s an instance where it actually belongs! AND, is useful! Congrats on that. My only small problem with the book was the way in which the techniques were cross referenced. There are little red circles with chapter numbers directing you to more information on a certain topic (). In order to find the chapter you need to go back to the table of contents. If they would have printed the red circle chapter numbers in the upper (or bottom) right corner of the pages you could flip through with your thumb and quickly find the reference sited. It’s not a big deal by any means. More of a usage observation. Fantastic special features run from the head of this book to its tail.

• • • • •

Conclusions
If you’re looking for a traditional cookbook, look somewhere else. This is not it. On the other hand, if you’re in search of a great, comprehensive, instructional guide to your home kitchen, you have found it. Big time! Kitchen on Fire covers all the bases and more. It would make an excellent gift for someone just learning their way around the kitchen. It would be also a superb addition to the experienced home chef’s collection of culinary resources. It’s sure to be a “go-to” book again and again.

• • • • •

Culinary Expertise 1 to 10 (and everything in between)
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Kitchen on Fire!: Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less)

Resources, Links and Press
The Kitchen on Fire Website
Bay Area Bites Interview
Deseret News Book Review
Portland Press Herald Review

Corn and the Grill, Perfect Together

 

It’s something about the grill that brings out the best in the cob.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime and Pepper Sauce

Great sides are a thing of beauty. Most times when I’m planning out a meal, I unintentionally focus on the main course. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because that’s where everyone who is eating will pay the most attention. Maybe because it’s assumed that it should be the centerpiece of the meal. That’s why it’s the main course. Not just a course.

The pressure is on to perform. That is unless there is no main course. A meal where all of the dishes are treated with equal status in the course of the meal. Small plate, tapas, mezze, you can put your own label on it. For me it’s a freeing of the scrutiny that the main course comes under.

Vegan chef/author John Schlimm knows about sides. His great new cookbook, Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ is loaded with amazing ones.

What happens when you put fresh sweet corn, lime and pepper flavored mayo and a BBQ grill together? Answer, a crowd pleasing side dish. And, here’s how to do it.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime and Pepper Sauce

Ingredients
For the corn
2 tbsp. canola oil
¾ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. salt
4 ears fresh sweet corn

For the mayo
⅓ cup mayonnaise (the recipe calls for vegan. I used regular mayo)
3 Tbsp. cilantro or parsley chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice

Method
Shuck corn and remove silk. I cut my ears in two pieces. In a small bowl mix together the ingredients for the corn seasoning. Rub seasonings all over corn. I used a brush for this.

Heat your BBQ grill to medium heat. When hot, place corn on grill. Grill 2 minutes per side for a total of 8 minutes or until cooked though and light brown.

In a small bowl mix together mayo ingredients. When corn is cooked remove from grill and slather with mayo mixture. Make sure to coat the corn well. Again, I used a brush for this.

Serve!

Check out this great grilled sweet corn. As you could imagine, it was a pretty big hit. I love elote. And, although this wasn’t the classic Mexican version. It was a pretty great variation on the theme.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime and Pepper Sauce

We reviewed Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ a little while back. You can check that review out right here.

Recipe Adapted. Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ, Grilled Corn on the Cob with Lime and Pepper Sauce, John Schlimm. Da Capo Lifelong Books © 2012