Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I'm Reading Today

I know this post is always a peek at what I think are the best recipes of the week from all my favorite newspaper food sections.  Well, this is definitely not a recipe but I couldn't resist.  As spring produce starts to bloom, farmers' markets everywhere are getting busier or just opening up.  Check out this article in the Chicago Tribune so you can be sure not to be "that guy"-you know the one, who asks for change for his hundred or tells the vendor their product is cheaper at Safeway.  The Top 10 Things Not to Say at the Farmers' Market...don't say I didn't warn you. Oh, and while you're there stocking up on strawberries and favas, make sure you have your copy of my book, Cooking from the Farmers' Market, to inspire you when you get back to your kitchen. 

Today's Washington Post reviews James Tanner's new book called Take Five Ingredients.  While the concept of minimal cooking is certainly nothing new, this recipe for a no bake Gingersnap Mascarpone Cheesecake seems revolutionary.   First, there is no oven part.  This usually means gelatin to set things up but, not here. And, if you've ever made a traditional cheesecake you know how much time it takes to bake and cool, not to mention nailing both of those steps to avoid oven browning or cracking.  Then there is the short list of ingredients-it's just sweetened whipped mascarpone cheese and cream with a bit of fresh vanilla bean.  Crumbled gingersnaps get pressed on the top and bottom so for the crust lovers like me, you'll have lots to like.  There is so much beauty in such a simple dish.  I think you can play with it in infinite ways...I'm thinking berries, maple, honey, chocolate, or nuts.  If you give this one a try, let me know how it is and if I beat you to it, I'll report back.

When one meal can do double duty, busy people like me are always more motivated to get into the kitchen.  My family knows I'm not a fan of leftovers but, transforming one dish into something else is an entirely different story.  In today's Boston Globe Sheryl Julian writes about the age old idea of Chicken in a Pot.  Simply said, it's a poached chicken that comes out moist and succulent every time.   She serves it over rice then uses the leftovers to make a belly warming Chicken and Rice Soup.  The soup would freeze beautifully so you can always save it for another time but they both look so delicious I don't think anyone would complain about chicken two nights in a row. 

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking.

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