With chilling winter temperatures keeping everyone inside, we choose four cookbooks and recipes to inspire a fun, DIY cooking session.
Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion
Two former editors of Saveur unite forces to deliver a cookbook filled with creatively unique, yet easy-to-follow recipes that will increase your desire to cook. One from Belgium and the other from Japan, the two cooks infuse their foods with just about the right amount of flavor to keep you wanting more.
Chilled Pea Soup with Mint
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups frozen peas (about 28 ounces), preferable the “baby sweet” variety
Salt and pepper
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
½ cup heavy cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)
In a large pot, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas, season with salt and pepper, and stir. Cover the pot, bring the broth back to a boil, and cook only until the peas are thawed (overcooking will dull the color), 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the mint.
Working in batches, process the soup in a blender until smooth and pass through a strainer set over a large bowl, pushing on the solids with a ladle until all of the liquid is extracted. Discard the solids. (It’s not necessary to strain the soup, but doing so gives it a silkier texture.)
Refrigerate until cold, stirring occasionally so that it chills evenly and doesn’t discolor in places. If the soup is too thick after it chills, thin it with a little broth or water. Check the seasonings, then serve drizzled with the heavy cream or dolloped with the yogurt, if you like. The soup will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for about 2 days.
The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Although buying cupcakes never goes out of style, cooking your own dessert allows for a bit more elasticity, variety, and creativity. Who better to advise you than the team behind lifestyle brand Beekman 1802? The cookbook is divided into seasons, and, given the weather right now, we pick a heart- and soul-warming dessert.
Chocolate-Espresso Soup with Marshmallows
2 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons espresso powder
¼ teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cups mini marshmallows, or more to taste
In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, bring the milk, cream, sugar, espresso powder, and salt to a gentle simmer over low heat.
Which in the chocolate and cook, whisking constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Ladle into warmed shallow bowls. Divide the marshmallows among the bowls and serve hot.
Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen and Ryan Dunlavey with Grady Hendrix
If an award was to be given to the most creative cookbook around, both in terms of recipes and presentation, Dirt Candy would win. Presented in the form of a comic strip (a long one), the cookbook owns up to the restaurant’s status as one of the most coveted vegan spots in town. With highly addictive recipes loved by omnivores and vegans alike, highlighting a single one seems a near impossible feat. After much deliberation, we opted for the fennel salad with candied grapefruit pops and grilled cheese croutons.
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
4 cups mixed greens
1 cup sliced fennel
¼ cup diced ripe avocado
Preheat the over to 350°F
Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once. Let cool.
In a large bowl, mix the greens and fennel with the salad dressing. Salt to taste.
Fennel Seed Dressing
MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP (1/4 CUP REQUIRED IN RECIPE)
1 teaspoon fennels seeds
2 tablespoons grated grapefruit zest
¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds until fragrant, 5 minutes. Let cool.
Blend all of the ingredients except the oil, salt, and pepper in a blender on high until smooth turn the blender to low and slowly stream in the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Candied Grapefruit Pops
MAKES 10 POPS (8 REQUIRED IN RECIPE)
1 large grapefruit
3 cups sugar
Peel the grapefruit and separate into individual segments.
Push the skewers through the bottom of the grapefruit segments until they’re about halfway in.
Put the sugar and ½ cup water into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cover and cook until the syrup is 275° to 300°F (covered because you want steam). It takes about 20 minutes to dissolve and form a syrup. Do not stir during this process.
Dip the skewered grapefruit pieces into the hot syrup on eat a time, coating each piece thoroughly. Make sure the grapefruit isn’t too wet or the sugar won’t stick.
Stick the skewers into a piece of foam and let the grapefruit stand and dry until a hard shall forms. Use immediately. These do not keep for more than a couple of hours.
Grilled Cheese Croutons
MAKES 8 CROUTONS
Heart, rustic breads work best. Brush both sides of a slice of bread with olive oil (or melted butter). Put cheese in the middle.
Grill it on a grill, in a pan, or in a panini press.
When it’s done, cut off the crusts, cut it into quarters, then slice each quarter diagonally to make 8 little triangles total.
Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger
Food Network star Ellie Krieger rounds up 150 weeknight recipes, each requiring 30 minutes or less. Don’t compromise taste for health–even if on a time crunch. We select a poultry dish for a cold winter night.
Peach Chicken with Crispy Bread Crumbs
4 large ripe fresh peaches of one 1-pound bag unsweetened frozen sliced peaches
4 pieces whole-wheat sandwich bread (1/4 pound)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
¾ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon onion powder
4 skinless boneless chicken breast (about 6 ounces each)
Preheat the over to 375°F.
If using fresh peaches, pit them and slice each one into 8 slices. Otherwise, thaw frozen peaches in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove.
Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Place them in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and toasted. 3 to 4 minutes. Combine the bread crumbs, sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon of the paprika, and ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Mince the garlic and place it in a small bowl along with the oil, vinegar, oregano, sugar, onion powder, and remaining ¼ teaspoon each paprika, salt, and pepper. Whisk well to combine.
Reprinted from KEEPERS by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion. Copyright (c) 2013 by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion . By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold. Reprinted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook by Brent Ridge, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Sandy Gluck. Copyright (c) 2013 by Beekman 1802, LLC. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold. Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger. Photography by Quentin Bacon. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.