Posts Tagged ‘Cookbook Reviews’

Cookbook Review: Chicago Cubs Cookbook

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Who didn’t see this coming? The Cubs came out with a cookbook, and I bought it. Pre-ordered it even. And it just came in the mail today.

I read through it from cover-to-cover today, and I’ve got to say, I enjoyed it. The pictures are great, the recipes are enticing, and it’s all for a great cause: to benefit the Dempster Family Foundation.

The recipes come from all over the Cubs universe, from players past and present (and even future!), the coaching staff, the broadcast booth, and even some Cubs-friendly Chicago restaurants who happily shared some top-secret recipes in the name of charity. I haven’t had the chance to make anything from the book yet, but I’m looking forward to trying a number of these dishes.

There’s also plenty of Cubs trivia and Wrigley Field history tucked into these 124 pages, making it a fun read for just about any Cubs fan.

I only see two drawbacks, and they’re minor. One, as you’ll see below, there are multiple recipes for some of the same dishes. Two for crab cakes. Three for meatloaf. I know this isn’t a traditional cookbook, but I’d still prefer a little more variety. Two, the book is bound with a plastic spiral, which I know is common in cookbooks, but I’m not a fan. It gets bent weird and twisty. I’d prefer a regular binding. (Neither of these are deal-breakers!)

It’s for a good cause, so Cubs fans should do their part and buy this fun book. You’ll be glad you did.

Chicago Cubs Cookbook: All-Star Recipes from Your Favorite Players

The book starts with a foreword from Tom Ricketts, an Introduction to Riley Dempster and the Dempster Family Foundation, and a short history of food at Wrigley Field. The first three recipes in the book are striaght from the concession stands, provided by Levy Restaurants.

From the Friendly Confines:

  1. House-made Black Bean Veggie Burgers
  2. How to Build the PERFECT Chicago Dog
  3. Signature Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli

Leading Off: Appetizers

  1. Mike Fontenot: Bacon-Wrapped Duck Breast
  2. Rudy Jaramillo: Baked Herbed Cream Cheese en Croute
  3. Randy Wells’ Hot Wing Dip

Pinch Hitters: Side Dishes

  1. Cubs Clubhouse: Yogurt Mashed Potatoes
  2. John Grabow’s Loaded Mashed Potatoes
  3. Pat Hughes: Grilled Asparagus with Garlic
  4. Len Kasper: Mother Kasper’s Slow-Cooker Stuffing
  5. Greg Maddux: Rosebud Restaurants Jalapeno Hash Browns
  6. Dave Keller: Blue Adobe Grille Green Chile Potato
  7. Alan Trammell: Twin Anchors Restaurant & Tavern Pepper Jack Creamed Spinach
  8. Carlos Zambrano: My Arepa Caraotas Black Beans

Heart of the Order: Main Courses

  1. Jeff Baker’s Mom’s Chicken Cordon Bleu
  2. Mike Bielecki: Protein Thai Noodles
  3. Ernie Banks: Harry Caray’s Tallgrass Meatloaf
  4. Maron & Andrea Byrd’s Baked Ziti
  5. Andrew Cashner: Grandma Pat’s Meatballs
  6. Tyler Colvin: Molly’s CHicken Broccoli Casserole
  7. Connie’s Pizza: Pizza Soup
  8. Ivan DeJesus: Pastelon de Amarillos
  9. Ryan Dempster: D’Agostino’s Grilled Chicken Parmesan
  10. Ryan Dempster: Hub 51 Broiled Sea Bass in Horseradish Broth
  11. The Fifty/50 Skirt Steak Sandwich
  12. Kosuke Fukodome: Hiro Aoyama’s Ginger Pork
  13. Jeff Gray: Southwestern Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries
  14. Pat Hughes: Caramelized Plank Salmon
  15. Jim Hendry: Crawfish Etouffee
  16. Jim Hendry: Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
  17. Koyie & Meghan Hill’s Pork Stew
  18. Hub 51: Build-Your-Own Steak Tacos
  19. Brett Jackson: Buffalo Spaghetti Squash Pasta
  20. Ted Lilly: Egg in the Hole
  21. Fergie Jenkins: Bagged Pheasant
  22. Derrek Lee: Wildfire Parmesan-Crusted Filet
  23. Ted Lilly: Stanley’s King of Chilis
  24. Sean Marshall: Sarah’s Mom’s Masterpiece Meatloaf
  25. Carmelo Martinez: Locrio de Pollo
  26. Lou Piniella: Anita Piniella’s Layered Chicken Salad
  27. Corey Miller: Corey & Maria’s CHicken Pasta
  28. N9NE Steakhouse: Ahi Tuna Tartare
  29. Lou Mitchel’s: Grilled Thick French Toast
  30. Xavier & Meredith Nady’s Meatloaf
  31. Mike Quade: Pecan-Crusted Snook with Cajun Cream Sauce
  32. Aramis Ramierz: Harry Caray’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
  33. Larry Rothschild: Wildfire Spit-Roasted Herb Chicken
  34. Ryne Sandberg: Margaraet Sandberg’s Chicken Tacos
  35. Ryne Sandberg: Harry Caray’s Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce
  36. Carlos Silva: Arepas
  37. Ryan Theriot: Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya
  38. Alfonso Soriano & Carlos Marmol: Mangu
  39. Geovany Soto: Arroz Con Gandules
  40. Geovany Soto: Harry Caray’s Bone-In Chicken Vesuvio
  41. Chad Tracy: Vinegar Grilled Chicken
  42. Steve Trout: Pan-Fried Trout
  43. Billy Williams: Sweet-Swingin’ Billy’s Grilled Pork Chops
  44. Carlos Zambrano: My Arepa Carne Desmechada

Extra Innings: Desserts

  1. Cubs Clubhouse: Peanut Butter Protein Truffles
  2. Sam Fuld: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Tom Gorzelanny: Grandma Ruby’s Oreo Cookie Balls
  4. Jim Hendry: Fig Cake
  5. Jim Hendry: Pecan Praline
  6. Micha Hoffpauir: Grandma Ernestine Adams’ Blonde Brownies
  7. Rudy Jaramillo: Cola Cake
  8. The Rickets Family: Cut-Out Vanilla Almond Cookies
  9. Len Kasper: Apple Crisp
  10. Jeff Stevens: Christina’s Banana Nut Bread
  11. Ryan Theriot: Joe’s Havana Dream Pie


Cookbook Review: Barefoot Contessa At Home (Plus, Blue Cheese Coleslaw)

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Sometimes I wish that I could grow up to be the Barefoot Contessa. No, really. She has a gorgeous house, as far as I can tell, she spends her life having people over for brunch, lunch, or dinner, grows all of her own herbs, buys the best possible ingredients, and everything she makes is somehow beautiful and elegant. So naturally, I love her cookbooks.

I got a new one for Christmas, Barefoot Contessa At Home. Just like Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, (see my review here) this book is full of fabulous recipes and gorgeous glossy photographs. I find myself wanting to try something new every time I turn the page.

After an extensive introduction, the book is divided into sections for Soup & Sandwiches, Salads, Dinner, Veggies, Desserts, Breakfast, and followed other other resources about visiting the Hamptons and planning out party menus. Here’s a list of the recipes in each section:

  1. Soup & Sandwich: California BLT’s, Summer Borscht, Caesar Club Sandwich, Mexican Chicken Soup, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Ribollita, Smoked Salmon & Egg Salad Tartines, Fresh Pea Soup, Garlic Croutons, Roasted Pepper & Goat Cheese Sandwiches, Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, Tomato Mozzarella & Pesto Panini, Shrimp Bisque, and Honey White Bread.
  2. Salads: Heirloom Tomatoes with Blue Cheese Dressing, Chicken Salad Veronique, Grilled Tuna Salad, Bibb Salad with Basil Green Goddess Dressing, Jon Snow’s Fish Salad, Roasted Shrimp & Orzo, Pesto Pea Salad, Warm Duck Salad, Tomato Feta Salad, Blue Cheese Coleslaw (recipe below), Guacamole Salad, and Old-Fashioned Potato Salad.
  3. Dinner: Blue Cheese Burgers, Cornish Hens with Cornbread Stuffing; Chicken Piccata; Lamb Kebabs with Couscous; Roast Capon; Loin of Pork with Fennel, Stuffed Cabbage, Rib-Eye Steaks with Cornmeal-Fried Onion Rings, Portobello Mushroom Lasagna, Chicken with Goat Cheese & Basil, Seafood Gratin, Eli’s Asian Salmon, Lmon Fusilli with Arugula, Summer Garden Pasta, Seared Tuna with Mango Chutney, Easy Lobster Paella.
  4. Vegetables: Garlic & Herb Tomatoes, Orange-Honey Glazed Carrots, Broccolini & Balsamic Vinaigrette, Zucchini Pancakes, Herbed Basmati Rice, Green Green Spring Vegetables, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Stewed Lentils & Tomatoes, Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower, Creamy Rosemary Polenta, Broccoli Rabe with Garlic, Maple Baked Beans, Mustard-Roasted Potatoes, Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, Herb Roasted Onions
  5. Desserts: Frozen Berries with Hot White Chocolate, Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, Lemon Yogurt Cake, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars, Mixed Berry Pavlova, Coconut Cake, Pumpkin Mousse Parfait, Chocolate Sorbet, Black & White Angel Food Cake, Chocolate Cupcakes & Peanut Butter Icing, Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries, Ultimate Ginger Cookie, Fruitcake Cookies, Peach  & Blueberry Crumbles, Pear Apple & Cranberry Crisp, Summer Fruit Crostata, Caramel Pecan Sundaes.
  6. Tri-Berry Muffins, Cranberry Orange Scones, Chunky Banana Bran Muffins, Easy Cheese Danish, Omelet for Two, Scrambled Eggs & Salmon, Maple-Roasted Bacon, Breakfast Fruit Crunch, Sunday Morning Oatmeal, Blueberry Crumb Cake, Anna’s Orange Marmalade, Irish Soda Bread, Fresh Peach Bellinis, Spicy Bloody Marys.

Doesn’t that sound fantastic? All of it, I mean? If I was going to have my own Julie & Julia challenge, I think I’d work my way through Ina Garten’s recipes. At the very least, there’d be more lobster in my life.

Finally, as a sneak peak, here’s my adaptation of Ina’s Blue Cheese Coleslaw.

Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home

  • 2 cups shredded cole slaw mix
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, two mustards, vinegar, celery salt, kosher salt, and pepper. Place the shredded cole slaw mix in a large bowl. Pour enough of the mayonnaise dressing over the vegetables to moisten, and toss well. Add the cheese and parsley and toss together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Very, very tasty. If you’re a fan of blue cheese dressing, you should give this one a try.