by the Editors at America's Test Kitchen
Boston Common Press, ISBN 978-1936493449
August 1, 2013, 328 pages
Oh boy, my friends at America's Test Kitchen have a new cookbook out and I got my hands on a copy! So what is this one about?
How will they achieve great recipes with just six ingredients? Well, they are a number of key points. Look Beyond the Usual Cooking Fats...like using coconut milk to fry in."How to Coax More Flavors from Fewer IngredientsThink it takes more than a handful of ingredients to get a hearty chicken soup, Sunday dinner-worthy roast beef, or robustly flavored spaghetti and meatballs on the table? Think again. The test cooks at America's Test Kitchen tackled a new challenge with this collection of 175+ fuss-free recipes that slash the shopping list but deliver the big flavor you'd expect. We put our ingredients to work and revamped cooking methods for everything from starters and soups to braises, casseroles, pastas, and desserts--without losing any of the flavor."
Use High Heat to Develop Flavor...searing and browning add great flavor.
Stock Up on Spice Blends..and add some new ones to your pantry like 5 Spice or herbes de Provence.
Unlock the flavors of Spices and Herbs...by, for examples, heating them in a little oil.
Discover New Uses for Store-Bought Sauces..store made pesto or BBQ to name just two.
Build Glazes for Meat with Jams and Jellies...fig jam on a pork roast or hot pepper jelly on chicken!
Rethink Pickles and Marinated Vegetables...jarred roasted peppers, Giadiniera and stuffed cherry peppers appear in several recipe. Easy and full of flavor.
Explore the International Aisle...think outside the box with curry paste or oyster sauce and many other suggestions.
Consider the Snack Shelf When Cooking...baked cheese sticks crushed as a coating for fish or chicken..crushed cookies to make a quick trifle, to name just a few.
This book is full of great, interesting recipes, from easy appetizers to quick desserts, and in between, casseroles, soups, grilled items, a big pasta section, lots of chicken, beef and pork and a nice section of vegetarian mains dishes which even tempted this carnivore. And every one with just 6 ingredients.
As always with ATK books, there are lots of great photos and the ever helpful "Why this recipe works" intro to each recipe, along with lots of tips and product recommendations.
So which recipe to make first?
There are so many...the Hearty Italian Chicken Soup with Kale and Gnocchi looks so good in the photo. That added pesto sounds like a great idea. Or how about Braised Beef with Red Wine and Cherries...yum. You get the idea...these are not Plain Jane dishes just because they have only 6 ingredients.
So I picked something a little spicy..
Spicy Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
- 9 ozs. fresh peeled and cored pineapple
- 1 small red onion
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 (10 oz) can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 8 Store bought taco shells (old El Paso brand recommend by ATK)
Cut 6 ozs. of the pineapple into 1/4 inch pieces and coarsely chop the remaining 3 ozs.
Finely chop the red onion and mince a 1/4 cup cilantro. Toss the finely diced pineapple, half the onion and the cilantro in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Process the tomatoes with their juice and the coarsely chopped pineapple in food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds. Cook the remaining onions and the pork together i a 12 inch pan over medium high heat until pork is no longer raw, about five minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and simmer until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Warm taco shells as directed on package. Divide pork mixture evenly among taco shells and to with pineapple salsa.
This one was a winner, quick, easy, full of flavor and very popular with the folks! Of course, the key is the spicy Rotel tomatoes that add a big punch of flavor and a nice bit of heat. Paired with the sweet salsa and the fresh kick of cilantro it was excellent.
I doubled the recipe...so I could have some left over for my lunch this weekend..lol. And I should mention that I used ground turkey instead of pork. It was on sale! I am not usually too fond of ground turkey but with this sauce it was very good. Beef, pork or turkey..I think all would work just fine.
I also added a squeeze of lime to the salsa, because I had a lime on the counter. So maybe my version was 6 and 1/2 ingredients. As you can see, I served it with some rice with black beans. And there is that lime again....
Very good, from a very good new cookbook, and a recipe I will certainly be making again soon.
And I have so many more in this book to try.
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.