Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What I'm Reading Today

Sorry for the delayed post.  I spent my morning speaking at my son's school on the importance of family dinners and cooking at home.   It was a good reality check for me as I often forget that many, many people depend on restaurants, deli counters, and take out for dinner, eating their food on the run and rarely sitting down for a home cooked meal.  Make it a goal in 2011 to sit down and eat with your family or friends more often.  It's amazing what happens when you enjoy a home cooked meal together!

I talked a lot this morning about incorporating whole grains into meals and the idea that soups are the perfect vehicle for them, especially grains like quinoa, bulgar, farro, or rice.  In today's NY Times Martha Rose Shulman, who's ears must have been burning, writes about Healthy Soups with Grains.  These are what I call "whole meal" soups, dishes you can call dinner without making sides and salads to go along with them them.  They're deeply satisfying and good for you, what's better than that in the middle of winter?  I'm loving the Chicken Soup with Lemon and Bulgar as well as the Farro and Vegetable Soup with dried porcinis for deep, rich umami flavor.   Keep whole grains on hand and soups like these are incredibly simple to put together any night of the week.

Green enchiladas work well for family dinner because you can adjust the heat to please those pickier taste buds, you can prepare them (in large part) ahead of time, and with some warmed black beans and a jicama salad, dinner is served!  From the LA Times, this recipe is anchored by a homemade salsa verde, loaded with tomatillos.  It calls for 8-10 serranos, which would pack an insane amount of heat so I'd suggest starting with a few less and passing the rest on the side for those brave eaters at your table.  And remember, always make your enchiladas with corn tortillas.  Trying this with the flour-based version will bake up into a mushy mess that wont be nearly as beautiful as it should be. 

If you're trying to cut down on the red meat (a good new year's resolution for all of us), this Turkey Scaloppine with Steakhouse Mushrooms and Onions will absolutely satisfy your cravings.   Turkey cutlets, pieces of the breast, are pounded out very thin and quickly browned in a saute pan.  The mushrooms and onions roast in the oven for lots of caramelization and it's another quick weeknight dinner, thanks to The Washington Post.  I'd serve mine with some broccoli or Swiss chard and a big salad.  Who needs a steak, let alone a steak house, when you can cook like this at home?

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!

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