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Rachael Ray's Look + Cook Paperback – November 2, 2010
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Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe: Midwinter Minestrone from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1/4 pound sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4 -inch dice (optional)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice
3 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch dice
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 large or 2 medium red onions, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 ounce dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 small bunch of purple or green kale, washed and dried
1 cup semolina or whole-wheat ditalini or other short cut pasta
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated or shredded, to pass at the table
Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the pancetta to the pot (if using) and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, and onions to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 7 to 8 minutes more.
Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, stock, and 2 cups water to the pot, and bring up to a boil.
Hold the kale by the stems and curl up your opposite hand around the greens at the base of the stem. With a quick jerking motion strip the greens off and away from the stems and chop the greens.
Add the kale, pasta, and chickpeas to the soup pot, and cook until the pasta is al dente. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves.
Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, top with the Pecorino Romano, and serve.
From Publishers Weekly
Just when you thought Rachael Ray couldn't make preparing dinner any easier, she offers a book of 100 simple main courses, all illustrated with step-by-step photos. Cooks who aren't quite sure what dishes are supposed to look like along the way will gain confidence from the six images that accompany each entry, highlighting ingredients, techniques, and in-progress recipes. As You Like It citrus soy stir-fry calls for shelled edamame and a seeded and thinly sliced bell pepper; photos show just how these should appear when they're ready to go into the skillet. One photo supporting the individual Florentine frying-pan pizza depicts dough pressed into a skillet and being filled before baking--so there's no question about whether the reader is doing it correctly. All recipes include a photo of the finished product, too. Chapters are quintessential Ray: "Cozy Food" (cherry tomato and ravioli soup with store-bought ravioli; shepherd's pie stuffed potatoes), "Make Your Own Takeout" (Real-Deal rellenos), "Fancy Fake-Outs" (Moroccan Lemon-Olive Chicken), " ÿYes, The Kids Will Eat It' " (chicken & broccolini with orange sauce), and, of course, "30-Minute Meals." Ray fans should find more of what they love in this book: easy meals that will please most crowds. (Nov.) (c)
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Top customer reviews
The look and cook portion of the book includes 100 recipes and is divided into 3 chapters:
1. Cozy Food - Includes recipes for some great comfort food, such as: Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potatoes; Pimiento Mac n' Cheese; and fresh Onion and Wild Mushroom Soup
2. Make Your Own Takeout - Restaurant-style dishes that can be prepared faster than you can pick up something to-go, recipes include: Chinese Orange-Barbeque Cashew Chicken and Crunchy Tuna Tacos
3. Fancy Fake-Outs - These are simplified versions of dishes that are usually reserved for the advanced home chef, including: Almost Tandoori Chicken; Individual Beef Wellingtons; and Veal and Olive Ragu with Pappardelle
The back section of the book includes 5 more chapters (125 additional recipes), but they are in her 30 Minute Meals format and do not include photographs. There is also a link to her interactive website where you can see select dishes being made in real-time.
So far my favorite recipe is for the Chicken Cutlets Brasciole. The chicken breast filets are butterflied and pounded; the breasts are then stuffed with a mixture of raisins, toasted pine nuts, parsley, lemon zest, cheese, garlic and bread crumbs and is served atop a tomato, wine and tarragon sauce. Delicious!
This book is full of great recipes, some of which will become regular fare at my house. Although the Look and Cook feature is not really necessary if you are an advanced cook, this book is still worth having for its creativity and ease of preparation alone. It should be a big hit with the beginning and intermediate home chef as nothing is assumed and each technique and process is both shown and explained in detail. Advanced cooks will still be inspired by Rachael's ability to simplify classic recipes and to substitute easy to find ingredients for those that have been used historically in the well-known versions.
Ms. Ray has both her fans and her detractors. Some find her a little too "cutesy" with her made-up words and expressions (like EVOO for extra-virgin olive oil), but I find her somewhat unorthodox style to be refreshing (and she's not too hard on the eyes!). All in all I find this to be a very fine cookbook and one that I will be recommending to quite a few of my friends who would appreciate both the recipes and the step-by-step style of the photography and instructions. This will not become a go-to cookbook for me, but I am very glad that I own it and I will be cooking recipes from it from time to time.
So with 100 receipes we found 10 that I would try and I liked 9 of the 10 and am willing to add these to my future meals. My wife loves the cook book and has found many other recipes that she has made. The instructions are easy to follow and the pictures are very helpful to show what the final product should look like. I have always said if we can find one great meal from a cookbook it was worth the price and since we have found more than a few this book really paid for itself.
WHAT A GOOD BUY!!!I would recommend this to anyone who has trouble cooking or is just starting to learn or it would make an awesome house warming gift!! Good Price and great seller A++++++++