'My Cooking Class' cookbook series goes over the basics—September 7, 2012
Would you like to try something new and exotic, to spice up your life, or just to have some darn good food? Then come browse the cookbook shelves (641’s) at the Hastings Public Library.
You won’t believe the selection! One of our newest cookbook series is called “My Cooking Class.” This series is fantastic, especially if you want to use mostly natural ingredients and would like step-by-step instructions with color photo illustrations of each step, including the ingredients needed and the finished product. Each recipe also lists the preparation and cooking times.
“My Cooking Class: Chocolate Basics” has 80 recipes. Your mouth will water as you look at the finished products; you’ll want to try everything. While some of the recipes seem complicated (mainly because they have several steps) there are also simple ones. The pecan brownies use just seven ingredients and take only four steps to prepare. Or you can make something sophisticated like the walnut cake with seventeen steps and a preparation time of 50 minutes. There are even recipes for truffles, which are possibly the ultimate in chocolate decadence. You could also make your own tiramisu or cream puffs. Yum! Or you could try the three recipes for chocolate lollipops.
If you want to create new sauces or perfect something you make now, “Sauce Basics” is for you. You’ll find recipes for: Bearnaise sauce, classic hollandaise sauce, peppercorn sauce, butterscotch and caramel sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise, and blue cheese sauce. Pasta sauces, both pesto and tomato based, are included, as well as salsas and dressings. In addition to sauces, there are recipes for the entrées you put the sauces on such as chicken with honey-mustard vinaigrette, salmon with carrot sauce, eggplant parmigiana (my favorite), and sausage with gravy.
Another of the books in this series is “Vegetable Basics.” You can find out how to make sweet potato chips (four easy steps, preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes). The cauliflower with cheese would be an easy, delicious recipe to make. The one I’m the most excited to try is the pasta primavera. Could mine possibly taste anywhere close to the scrumptious dish I had at Breneke’s on the Beach at Poipu Beach Hawaii? I’ll let you know.
As with the other books in this series, “Pasta Basics” allows you to decide how detailed you want to get with your food preparation. The spaghettoni carbonara has a prep time of just 10 minutes, with a 10 minute cooking time, so this would be an easy dish to make when you get home late from work. Don’t let the name of that dish make you think it’s complicated; it’s basically just spaghetti with cheese sauce and bacon. The stuffed pasta recipes look scrumptious. You could make the gnocchi with mushrooms (number 79) with a preparation time of 15 minutes, the sea bass ravioli with leek cream, or the zucchini daisies.
There is a “Basics” book for every palate. The other books in this series are: “Steaming Basics,” “Seafood Basics,” “Preserving Basics,” “Indian Basics,” and “Middle Eastern Basics.” So check out a book, and see how easy it can be to spice up your life with truly great food.