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International Flavors and Versatile Feasts
on November 5, 2007
Just when I'd begun feeling the need to refresh my culinary repertory, Healthy Hedonist Holidays shows up on the bookshelves! Having made extensive use of the recipes in Myra Kornfeld's two prior cookbooks, "The Voluptuous Vegan" and "The Healthy Hedonist", I dove with excitement into this latest publication brimming with international flavors and time-honored, festive traditions. As with her prior cookbooks, fresh, natural and seasonal ingredients take center stage. It's full of cooking tips and invaluable prep notes that allow for advance cooking. Not only has Myra Kornfeld planned your holiday meal for you, but then goes on to lay out the cooking schedule. What's even better is you can make these exotic holiday dishes for dinner on weekdays or weekends, too. I do. The Pomegranate Chicken with Walnuts is already a favorite. I used all chicken thighs and dredged them in spelt flour. The pomegranate molasses gave the chicken outrageous flavor and the thighs came out mouth-wateringly tender, reminiscent of a meal I enjoyed in Marrakech. Same goes for the Breast of Duck with Port-Cherry Sauce. It looks impressive and yet you can make both the sauce and duck in an hour. I've already made both dishes a couple of times and everyone loved them. And the Baby Bok Choy Braised with Mustard Greens and Black Mushrooms is the way to eat greens. I'm looking forward to exploring many more of the recipes in this new book, but also still recommend some super favorites of mine from Myra's 2005 "Healthy Hedonist": Orange-Glazed Flounder with Watercress: flounder doesn't get better than this. Red Snapper Provencale, fabulous. The Wild Rice with Porcini Mushrooms, Pecans, and Dried Cranberries is a great Thanksgiving Day dish. Every salsa, sauce and chutney in that book can be mixed and matched with all sorts of meals making for great variety. The soups are luscious and the recipes work without the need for adjustments: Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Shallots and Sage! Moroccan Chickpea Soup! White Bean and Spinach Soup with Rosemary! Anyhow, obviously I've cooked enough of this author's recipes to whole-heartedly encourage everyone to explore them on their own.