Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day Two - Testing Maxine Clark's Italian Kitchen Cook Book

Today I probably bit off a bit more than I could chew.  I mean that literally. My husband and I were stuffed after sampling these meals.

I started with the  Baked Tomatoes and Melting Mozzarella, fonduta di pomodori.   I stayed away from Mozzarella since I couldn't get my hands on fresh buffalo Mozzarella.  So I figured that I would use bocconcini.  The problem was, the book never indicated what size.  Unless you are using mini or pearl size bocconcini, 25 bocconcini is way too much cheese for this dish.  The picture in the book looked like large size bocconcini was used.  I used 17 golf ball size bocconcini and cut them in half.    Worked great.  I had to cook the tomatoes for an extra 45 minutes though.  And I have a pretty powerful gas stove.  I think the tomatoes should have been cooked at higher temp and  for a bit longer to get more of a caramelized effect.  All in all the dish was tasty and easy to put together. But a bit too watery.  Seeding the tomatoes would have prevented this.

The Warm Lentil, Mushroom, Tomato and Arugula Salad, insalata di lenticchie, porcini, pomodori e rucola was a bit of work for not much WOW factor. My husband loved it.  Which was a shock since it was salad and it had lentils.  Go figure.  The salad tasted good, but I don't think I would serve it at a dinner party.  Its a good weekend lunch dish.

Zucchini and Mint Fritters, frittelle di zucchini e menta.  Well first I had to go under cover to snatch one of my husbands beers for this recipe. But let me tell you... it was worth it.  The fritters were great.  I'm not a lover of mint.  I don't even drink mojito's because of the mint.  The combination of lemon zest and mint in these fritters was subtle and yummy.  This recipe came together with little effort. Just remember to use a cheaper Olive Oil  for frying. I get mine at Costco.  Save your best olive oil for drizzling on foods going straight to the table.  This way your guest will appreciate the great taste of a high quality olive oil.

The Devilled Grilled Chicken, pollo alla diavola.  This basic recipe is fast, easy and perfect for pulling together after work.  I do recommend marinating the chicken over night to get more taste for your bite.

So, as you can tell I added a few recipes to my testing list.  It wasn't easy with a teething baby hanging off my hip and a five year old having tantrums, but it was well worth the effort.  My husband enjoyed the meal and he didn't even realize that potatoes, pasta or rice where not on the menu.

For an after dinner treat, we had the  Lemon Sorbet I made yesterday.  I served it in a martini glass with a splash of lemon vodka.  YUMMMM.  I don't think that's what Maxine Clark had in mind.  But I sure recommend it!

Tomorrow I'll test a few more recipes and will give you the high lights and the low lights.

The Cook Book Addict


tonic said...

Impressive!! 4 new recipes in one day!!! You must be drugging the kids to get that much accomplished! :-)

sharon said...

I have to say it did cross my mind a few times. But with one kid in school I can get a few things done. And at the moment, when I put the baby down somewhere, you know he's still too small to have moved very far. He's always where I left him, chewing on his toys LOL! For now I can manage, but I don't think I'll take on that many recipes in one day again, unless it's the weekend and I'm having a great glass of wine while I cook.

Mark said...

The Lemon Martini's are quite delightful!

Love Mark.