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- Publié sur Amazon.com
I bought this book based on an Amazon recommendation, and the ability to see the preview. The table of contents, and what the preview revealed piqued my interest, since I had never heard of the author's blog until I read her book. I pre-ordered the book and have been working through it at a steady pace ever since it arrived. So far, I've been pretty happy with it. I really like her writing style, and the photography has a nice touch/depth to it. I'm also a fan of the matte paper the book uses as well, since I hate when I'm trying to read a book and it produces a glare from glossy paper.
As for the recipes, I have 56 of them bookmarked, and so far I've done 10 of them. Hands down, my favorite item thus far has been the mushroom bolognese. I am lucky to have access to a butter infused olive oil (but it's not actually butter, the makers use different herbs and spices, e.g., celery seed, to achieve the buttery taste). I used it to saute the onions and mushrooms and it really added a lovely flavor. For those of you that are game, I would highly recommend using a combo of olive oil and ghee, as it will give it an extra oomph.
I also made the lentil ricotta meatballs. These have major potential, but will require me to play around with them to get it just right (which I like to do with recipes anyway); however, even without tweaking they are pretty tasty. The drawback to this particular recipe is that the author does not state what type of lentils one should/could use. I emailed her and she responded within a few hours to let me know that there had been some typos in that recipe. Anyway, she said one could use the French lentils, or regular brown ones--I used the French ones. I think it would also been beneficial for her to include how to prepare lentils for any beginner that would like to approach that recipe (FYI: 1 cup lentils, to 3 cups H2O, 45 minutes cooking/simmer time, yield of about 2.5/3 cups cooked lentils). In addition, I'm going to need to play around with adding something (maybe ground flax seeds, or oats, or chickpea flour, or mozzarella...??) so that the meatballs actually bind well and stay in a ball shape. They pretty much ended up like ground "meat". It was fine since I stuck them in a sub, and they were nonetheless delicious, but it would be great to figure out how to make them keep their shape in case one wanted to serve them atop pasta, or as an appetizer, etc. Finally, I'm not really a fan of frying these guys up. I'm going to play around with pan frying them to quickly brown the outside, and baking them since I hate wasting that much oil for one dish, and it leaves a "fry" smell in the house (think falafel, and that's kind of the gist of these meatballs).
The drop biscuit chicken pot pie is excellent, and the intro story that came with it brought me to tears. My only tweak for the next round of making this will be to increase the amount of filling, since it really wasn't enough for the biscuits. They are also flexible in that you could add other veggies to the mix. I happened to have some broccoli I need to use up, but no frozen peas. Came out great.
Speaking of the biscuits, the "fluffy drop biscuit" recipe that is used for the chicken pot pie is AMAZING. Quick and delicious!
I've also made her roasted chicken which uses a pretty cool temperature technique that made the skin nice and crisp, but kept the chicken juicy. I also did her pot of beans recipe, but transferred it to the slow cooker instead of stove top. The beans were so very creamy and flavorful.
I recently made her brown butter pear and apple pie. HELLO! So good. Again, however, I would increase the filling on this one by adding another apple or so. I'm usually a fan of more crust to fruit, but in this case it was a little too much crust to fruit, but so very good nonetheless. The pears add a nice twist, and her purposeful omission of cinnamon is spot on, since you can really appreciate the flavor of the apples and pears and browned butter without the cinnamon to drown them out.
Speaking of her pie, her "foolproof pie crust" recipe is just that. Quick to pull together, roll it out, and sha-bang you have an excellent, yet easy, pie crust. The cornmeal adds a nice little bite.
Finally, my attempt at her pumpkin apple cake was an absolute disaster. But, I didn't have whole wheat pastry flour and decided to use all purpose instead. This substitution usually does not pose a problem, but in this case it did... or, it's not that good of a recipe. I won't be trying it again, so someone else may have to speak on it/vouch for it.
Overall, a great book that I am really enjoying working with. I don't want to give away the five stars just yet, because there are still so many recipes to try. I'll update again once I've covered more. But, so far, so good!