I have been following Mimi Thorisson’s blog for over two years now, and although it is changing and she is moving on to a website with future endeavors alongside her husband, I’m always excited to go back to it and find recipes and inspiration for travel. That said, her latest cookbook, French Country Cooking, published in 2016 and new to our shelves at Davenport Public Library this past autumn, are just as inspiring and wonderful to read. The exquisite photos taken by Oddur Thorisson, Mimi’s husband, inspire one to daydream to the shores and lands of another place……to France, the Médoc region with world class wines and local markets provisioning its patrons with fresh produce, seafood and meats of the current season.
One will enjoy the mostly easy to follow recipes…I say mostly, in that some of the ingredients might be hard to come by in the states unless you’re in a big city or on the east or west coasts or you can always order hard to find items online.
The recipe we tried, pg. 194, Pork Shoulder Grilled over Grapevine Branches turned out wonderfully. We have a small grill which worked just fine versus Mimi’s open fireplace grill. The recipe is straight forward and easy to follow. If you don’t have grapevine branches, try some type of fruit tree dried wood to add to the fire such as dried apple, apricot, or pear dried tree branches to add flavor to the smoke from the fire.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb Pork Shoulder cut into 4 slices; Fine Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper; 1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter; 2 Garlic Cloves.
- Prepare medium-hot fire in a grill. Add dried grapevine branches, if desired to increase the smoky flavor.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper. Grill the pork until browned, golden, and cooked through, about 7 minutes on each side.
- Just before serving, spread the butter over the pork and scatter the sliced garlic on top.
Try one of the main courses over the holidays or for fun for New Years! The desserts are always a fun way to start if you have never tried French cuisine. I’m looking forward to trying Mimi’s Pomegranate meringues recipe for the new year.
Bon appétit! Happy eating!
Food Network host and registered dietician Ellie Krieger makes frequent appearances on national morning shows as one of America’s leading nutrition experts. Ellie has long been loved for her no-nonsense (yet delicious) approach to healthy eating. She is the first to recognize that people won’t succeed at eating right if they feel that they’re being deprived. That’s why Ellie’s recipes often start with favorite foods and familiar recipes, and then she works her magic to remake them without all the fat and cholesterol. Weeknight Wonders is no exception, including 150 recipes like Parmesan Chicken Breasts and Goat Cheese Frittata (plus no-guilt desserts), that can be prepared any day of the week, even after a long day at work.
As always with Ellie’s recipes, there will be minimal fuss about cooking techniques or hard-to-find ingredients, so people can stay focused on eating well. (description from publisher)
Have a fridge full of staples, a family of finicky mouths to feed, and only a few minutes to get something on the table? If this sounds all too familiar, chances are you’ll find dinner and more in this can-do approach to mealtime.
The Dinnertime Survival Cookbook is designed with the modern-day family in mind – too busy, with not nearly enough time to eat together – and makes delicious meals come together in a snap. With a focus on accessible recipes with only a few simple ingredients, this guide takes the humble pantry staple and transforms it in minutes into delicious restaurant-quality dishes. The more-than 125 recipes are organized, not by course or time of day, but by the way people really cook: categories like pasta, vegetable dishes, salads, chicken, slow-cooking, fish, and more make the dinner dilemma easy. Try Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, Bronzino Veracruz, Baked Wild Mushroom Risotto, Roasted Chicken Enchiladas, and Meatloaf Burgers. This revolutionary approach will change the way you see dinnertime. (description from publisher)
Betty Goes Vegan is a comprehensive guide to creating delicious meals for today’s vegan family. This must-have cookbook features recipes inspired by The Betty Crocker Cookbook , as well as hundreds of original, never-before-seen recipes sure to please even meat-eaters. It also offers insight into why Betty Crocker has been an icon in American cooking for so long-and why she still represents a certain style of the modern super-woman nearly 100 years after we first met her.
With new classics for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, including omelets, stews, casseroles, and brownies, Betty Goes Vegan is the essential handbook every vegan family needs. (description from publisher)
Thanksgiving : How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton is a definitive, timeless guide to Thanksgiving dinner – preparing it, surviving it, and pulling it off in style. From the planning of the meal to the washing of the last plate, Thanksgiving poses more – and more vexing – problems for the home cook than any other holiday. In this smartly written, beautifully illustrated, recipe-filled book, Sam Sifton delivers a message of great comfort and solace: ‘There is no need for fear. You can cook a great meal on Thanksgiving. You can have a great time.’
With simple, fool-proof recipes for classic Thanksgiving staples, as well as new takes on old standbys, this book will show you that the fourth Thursday of November does not have to be a day of kitchen stress and family drama, of dry stuffing and sad, cratered pies. You can make a better turkey than anyone has ever served you in your life, and you can serve it with gravy that is not lumpy or bland but a salty balm, rich in flavor, that transforms all it touches. Here are recipes for exciting side dishes and robust pies and festive cocktails, instructions for setting the table and setting the mood, as well as cooking techniques and menu ideas that will serve you all year long, whenever you are throwing a big party.
Written for novice and experienced cooks alike, Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well is your guide to making Thanksgiving the best holiday of the year. It is not fantasy. If you prepare, it will happen. And this book will show you how. (description from publisher)
Katie Workman, founding editor in chief of Cookstr.com and mother of two school-age kids, offers recipes, tips, techniques, attitude, and wisdom for staying happy in the kitchen while proudly keeping it homemade—because homemade not only tastes best, but is also better (and most economical) for you.
The Mom 100 Cookbook is 20 dilemmas every mom faces, with 5 solutions for each: including terrific recipes for the vegetable-averse, the salad-rejector, for the fish-o-phobe, or the overnight vegetarian convert. “Fork-in-the-Road” variations make it easy to adjust a recipe to appeal to different eaters (i.e., the kids who want bland and the adults who don’t). “What the Kids Can Do” sidebars suggest ways for kids to help make each dish. The Mom 100 Cookbook is sure to help you keep your family fed and happy every night of the week. (description by publisher)
Having children changes your life, but it doesn’t have to change what you cook. The Naptime Chef by Kelsey Banfield is equal parts pragmatic parent and ardent foodie. The result is a tasty playbook of meals, made over to save time without compromising taste.
Some favorites are the 45-minute artichoke lasagna, assembled in the morning or afternoon and held in the fridge until dinnertime; a roast chicken that’s rubbed down with herbs in the morning stays moist and flavorful when roasted later in the evening; a French toast casserole that can be tossed together the night before and popped in the oven in the morning for a special breakfast. Soups, salads, veggies, sides, main courses, and desserts are all adapted to the time that you have—whether it’s during naptime, before bedtime, in the morning, or on the weekends—without sacrificing quality or flavor. Take back dinner, one dish at a time! (description from publisher)
Those of us of a certain age (ahem) can remember the last time fondue was all the rage. Suddenly fondue pots were the hot gift and fondue parties the way to entertain. Like most fads, this one faded away and the fondue pots disappeared into attics and the back of cupboards. Well, you might want to go looking for that nearly forgotten relic – fondue is back and this time it intends to stick around.
Of course, fondue never really went away – it’s a traditional meal in Switzerland dating back maybe as far as the 16th century (there is some disagreement on this) – but partly due to the returning emphasis on “slow food” and the importance of sitting down to a meal with family and friends, fondue is popular again. Not Your Mother’s Fondue by Hallie Harron is just the book to reintroduce you. The basics – cheese, sauce, oil, broth and dessert – are all covered, many with fresh, fun twists and a wide range of dippers are suggested. There are also some thinking-outside-the-box ideas such as Minnesota Corn Dogs on a Stick Fondue and even a Thanksgiving Day Fondue! Of course, the best part about fondue, even beyond the delicious food, is the way it brings people together. Start a new tradition with your family and friends with great fondue meals!