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Good Bite Weeknight Meals: Delicious Made Easy Hardcover – September 13, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Sample Recipe: Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
By Jaden Hair, steamykitchen
This chicken, sausage, and shrimp jambalaya is one of my family's favorites. When it's cooked "low and slow" in the slow cooker, the chicken is especially tender and delicious.
You'll want to prep and get this recipe going in the morning—the jambalaya needs four to six hours of cooking time on the slow cooker’s high setting, or six to eight hours if cooked on low. Serves 4 to 6.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sausage, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken and sausage to a slow cooker, reserving the oil in the pan.
Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker. Add the broth, crushed tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
Once the jambalaya is cooked, turn off the slow cooker and skim away any excess oil on the surface. Add the shrimp and stir until pink, 3 to 5 minutes. (The residual heat from the slow cooker will suffice to cook the shrimp.) If desired, add more salt, black pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Serve the jambalaya over hot cooked rice or with bread.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
2 celery stalks, diced
1 bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce, or to taste
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups hot cooked rice or 1 large baguette
Pork Medallions with Shallots, Dried Cherries, and Spinach
(Click for recipe)
Stir-Fried Beef & Shiitake Mushrooms with Thai Basil
(Click for recipe)
Top customer reviews
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Planning out meals and trying to make them exciting takes work.
So I was thrilled to review the new Good Bite Weeknight Meals Cookbook.
What's Good Bite? Well, I'll tell ya.
Good Bite is one of the fastest growing cooking websites in the country. It features the webs most influential food bloggers, on video, sharing their recipes for great tasting meals.
Good Bite Weeknight Meals combines 140 recipes for quick and delicious family meals from the site's most popular contributors.
The pictures are beautiful. The bios of all the cooks are a lot of fun to read and when it comes to Exciting New Recipes to try.. they've got that too.
The book is divided into chapters that are centered around the main ingredient & few others that focus on additional topics
Chicken and Turkey
Beef and Lamb
Soups & Stews
And of course I had to TRY OUT a recipe before I could give this a BIG THUMBS UP.
I tried Matt Armendariz's Spanish Tortilla. YUMMY!
5 basic ingredients
Potatoes, salt, EVOO, onions, and eggs...
turned into a beautiful tummy packing dish my family loved.
If your looking for a new cookbook to add to your kitchen collection. DEFINETLY check this one out!
This colorful volume has many color photos of the recipes and small black and white shots of the contributors. As the title suggests, these are quick meals, so they rely on some packages items and dressings. Example, the Mushroom Ravioli with Garlic-Sage Brown Butter & Asparagus on page 185 (contributor Kath Jones of ourbestbites.com) relies on packaged ravioli. The Southern Chicken & Dumplings on page 230 (contributor Christy Jordan of southernplate.com) starts with a can of cream of chicken soup, two cans of chicken broth and a tin of flaky biscuits and a rotisserie chicken. Granted, it's fast, but hardly qualifies as cooking, rather it's an assembled entree.
Good Bite Weeknight Meals is not a cookbook by a single author but a compilation of favorite recipes by sixteen popular food bloggers. Sites such as Weelicious, Steamy Kitchen, Picky palate, Recipe Girl, Kath Eats, Matt Bites and Gluten-Free Girl are just a few of the contributors who made this book possible. It's divided into chapters that include Chicken & Turkey, Beef & Lamb, Pork, Seafood, Pasta, Vegetarian, Soups & Stews and Side Dishes. Some of the recipes seemed too utilitarian for my taste, however, others hit a bright spot. The Chicken Salad with major grey Chutney on page 45 is similar to one I make except without the snow peas and shredded carrot. Matt Armendariz's Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce (page 87) looks delicious. Other than that, the recipes didn't offer the sensory appeal I look for when checking new recipes. (I need to state that I am not a slap it together type of cook; these might be perfect for a busy mom on the go).
What I liked about the book was the page of questions for each contributor: What do you always have in your shopping cart? Elicited many responses-olive oil, Maggi seasoning, garlic, ginger, Plugra butter, fish sauce, yogurt. Mine would be lemons.
What's your go-to weeknight dinner? Answers ranged from panini to quesadillas and fajitas to main dish salads. (Mine's a Costo rotisserie chicken which becomes chicken salad, tacos, Asian soup or a host of other items plus food for my cat).
Favorite tool? Stand mixer and chef's knife top the list. Mine's also my chef's knife.
I give the book four stars for organization and beauty, three stars for content. The recipes just didn't hit my hot button.
The size of the work is quite nice, not too big, wide textbook-size -- it fits securely in my cookbook stand and the binding allows it to lay open as I need it to. The paper is slick, first-quality heavy stock. There are 272 pages and eight chapters which cover 140 recipes. The chapters include Chicken & Turkey, Beef & Lamb, Pork, Seafood, Pasta, Vegetarian, Soups & Stews, and Side Dishes. The book is published by John Wiley & Sons and it's edited by Sepideh Saremi, with nice photography by Matt Armendariz.
The thrust of the cookbook's premise is essentially *quick, easy, and delicious*, although one doesn't garner this theme directly from the work's rather cumbersome title.
As I alluded to earlier, some of these recipes have been around for awhile but unique methodology, (nothing too difficult), and a new ingredient or two justifies their inclusion here: Chop Suey, Shrimp & Vegetable Stir-fry, Stove-top Macaroni & Cheese, Pasta Primavera, Chalupas, Chicken & Dumplings, Teriyaki Chicken, Skirt Steak Fajitas, Beef Tacos, and Dirty Rice are all good examples. Some more innovative notions include Chicken Parmesan & Rigatoni, Tuscan White Beans & Chicken Soup, Spicy Bean-stuffed Bell Peppers, Peruvian Grilled Chicken, Korean Short Ribs, Kielbasa with Sweet Onions & Fava Beans, and Blueberry Pulled Pork.
As for the book's interior design, I'm not wild about it. There are full-page biographies of the recipe blogger-authors scattered throughout the work, (which is okay but I thought all this could have been reduced to an introductory two-page spread), and their black-and-white photos are repeated ad nauseum, associated with their respective recipes. To me the latter photos in particular represented a waste of space and I tired of looking at these people since they appear more than once. There's quite a chunk of blank space on the various recipe pages, about one-third of the page on average. While this is pleasing to the eye, I found the text fonts too small for my liking and would have infinitely preferred that the publisher would have utilized at least some of this space to make the book more readable with slightly larger fonts.
Some recipes feature color photos while others have no photo at all. I'm not much put-off by the lack of a photo for each and every recipe but this is an issue for some folks and so I mention it with that in mind.
Another design problem for me centers on the idea of using colored ink in the text. The book features a four-color palette of (approximately) olive, red, gold, and cerulean. About one-third of the recipe text is yielded up in these colors and, as I am over 50, I had difficulty in reading it, especially regarding the red. Red on white is a huge no-no when it comes to reader comprehension and I was a little irritated that a professional publisher would do this. For me, (especially in regard to the actual recipes), rendering a black-on-white page would have yielded a superior document.
Are these great recipes? I think some of them are and others will think the same of those which I don't plan to try at all. As long as one bears in mind that much of the emphasis here is on *fast* and not on *gourmet*, I think this cookbook will generally meet and perhaps even exceed one's expectations. I especially appreciated the supplementary pages devoted to *secret ingredients*, (most of which I am using already but it was nice to see my own ideas validated.)
While this is a supplementary cookbook rather than a foundational one, my thought is that it will expand your ideas for supper and I can thus recommend it.