Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Chopped Cookbook

My sister and I both love cooking, a passion we inherited from our mother. Before I moved to New York, we would stay up late "playing" the new adult game we called "Chopped." Of course this was fully based on the Food Network's show- Chopped. Needless to say I was beyond excited when the Chopped Cookbook was released! Not only does this book contain great recipes, there's also useful tips and information. For example on page 114 you'll find a useful guide to knowing what to look for in vegtables when purchasing, how to properly store them, and what nutrient they provide. The recipes are flavorful and quite easy to produce. One of the first recipes I whipped up was the Chilled Peanut Chiken Noodle Salad (page 32). The outcome was a fresh, melodious combination of vegtables and spices. The rice noodles added "comfort" and was overall surprisingly filling. I included my own touch by adding  a clove of garlic, a handful of snow peas, and topped off with crushed peanuts for additional texture. Overall, this is a must-have for the begging "chef" as well as the seasoned.

Mighty Spice Express Cook Book

This book hold a beautiful collection of flavorful, colorful, and delicious recipes from all over the world.  The syntax of ingredients creates a symphony of flavors that will delight your taste buds. I prepared Korean Braised Chicken with Rice Noodles (found on page 98) as well as the Saffron Chicken Mansaf with Tahini Yogurt & Green Salad (page -146-147). The author begins with a few words either from the origins of the recipe or/and an explanation of his variation of the original recipe and further suggestions. The ingredients are clearly laid out and each food item is carefully guided so that the reader may prepare with ease and perfection. The Korean Brasied chicken with rice noodles was excellent. The only variation I did was use freshly grated ginger instead of ground ginger which provided a fresh, crisp tang. The meal was satisfying without feeling “heavy.”  With regards to the Chicken Mansaf, my absolute favorite piece to this recipe was the preparation of the rice itself. It was exceptionally savory and the aromas from the rice and spices added filled my home with a delightful, comforting aroma.