Fast and Furiously Delicious Recipes
I’m a Cornell grad, and one thing I remember with particular pleasure about my time in Ithaca, NY are those occasional forays down the Hill for lunch or (more likely) dinner at Moosewood, for years one of the local standout restaurants. Although not a vegetarian, I try not to eat meat every day of the week; and for a tasty, healthy alternative, there just isn’t anything better than Moosewood’s recipes. No question that I had to get their cookbook – several of them, actually – before I finally left town.
“Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home” begins with two short introductory sections about the use of time and nutritional analysis. The recipes are then grouped into individually introduced sections covering soups, dips, spreads and quick breads, salads and sides, dressings, salsas and sauces, main dish salads, gains, beans, pastas, stews, stir-fries and sautes, fish, sandwiches, filled tortillas, and pizzas, eggs and pancakes, and desserts. The book closes with a pantry list, a guide to ingredients, chapters on preparation and techniques, fresh herbs, menu planning and quantities (including liquid and dry measure and temperature conversion tables – particularly helpful for those of us who live in a “metric system” country); as well as a number of special lists, grouping the featured recipes according to their qualification as nondairy and vegan, kid-pleasers, recipes preparable in 30 minutes or less, and recipes suitable for entertaining, buffets and pot-lucks. What I like most about this book – besides the overall outstanding quality of the recipes and the fact that most of them are very quick and easy to prepare – are the countless little insider tips regarding the shopping for as well as preparation and storage of idividual dishes and their combination with other dishes or ingredients, in addition to the background information on the names, provenance and cultural context of the many Non-Western recipes (not to mention that so many of those recipes are included in the first place).
It’s hard for me to pick a personal favorite; there are so many … for soups, I guess I’d pick the Mexican tomato lime soup, for dips the spicy peanut dip, for sides the mushrooms in lemon marinade, for dressings either the creamy pine nut vinaigrette or the lemon sesame dressing, for sauces the hazelnut and red peppers sauce, for main dish salads the sweet potato salad, for grains the herbed lemon pilaf with almonds … and for salsas, pastas, stews, tortillas, pizzas, eggs, pancakes and desserts, every single one! (Sorry, really can’t make up my mind there; it’s more a question of mood and, of course, what ingredients I happen to have handy.) But whether you’re just cooking for yourself or for family and friends, there should be something for everyone in this book; regardless whether you are vegetarian/vegan or not. Highly recommended!