Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Earthbound Cook ~ Book Review

The Earthbound Cook

As a busy working mom and creative cook, Myra Goodman knows how to make food taste good. And as the co-founder of Earthbound Farm, she knows how producing food sustainably can do good. Put those two things together, and you have her new cookbook, The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet.
In this, her second cookbook, Myra weaves all new recipes into an Earth-friendly theme from starters to seafood, meat to side dishes, breakfast to dessert. For example, there’s a chapter devoted to Vegetarian EntrĂ©es; the Vegetable and Grains Salads chapter shows imaginative ways to create tasty salads with substance; and there’s a Baking chapter full of wonderful breads, pita, and pizza.
Together with the delectable food, Myra includes easy guidance for conscientious shoppers about making eco-friendly choices at the market, plus primers on cooking methods and tools, sidebars with insightful ingredient information — and tons of Green Living tips, too.
Available at your local bookstore — or order online from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, BooksaMillion.com or Indiebound.org.
Prefer an eBook version? Get The Earthbound Cook for your device from iTunes/iBooks (for iOS devices); Barnes & Noble (for Nook); and Alibris, Bookshop Santa Cruz or Powell's (for Google eBooks).
This book has everything in it. There are tons of tips mixed in with the recipes. This is one of the best cookbook by far. Here is one of the recipes that I like on page 191:
Eggplant Parmesan
I had almost forgotten bout this classic, timeless dish until  summer trip to Italy a few years ago. It was served frequently there, as was a version using zucchini instead of eggplant. It does take a bit of time to cook the eggplant, but this step creates the special melt-in-your-mouth texture and is worth the effort. Whatever sauce you chose to pair with the eggplant, it should be light and fresh-tasting so hat it doesn't overwhelm the delicate flavor of the vegetable. ~~ Serves 6
1 large eggplant (About 1.25 pounds) pelled o unpelled
Kosher Salt
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup fine dry unseasoned bread crumbs 
About 6 tablespoons olive oil
2.5 cups Mrya's Heirloom Tomato Sauce
      (Page 416), Quick Tomato Sauce
      (Page 417), or store-bought marinara sauce
20 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 cup freshly grated Parmesn cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
8 slices (about 7 ounces) provolone cheese, or 3/4 cup grated provolone
 1) Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with about 2 tablespoons kosher salt, and set them aside to drain on a rack or in a colander for 30 minutes. 
2) Using a clean kitchen towel, thoroughly blot the liquid and salt from the eggplant slices.
3) Spread the flour on a piece of parchment paper or on a flat plate, season it with kosher salt and black pepper to taste, and stir to combine. Combine the eggs and the cold water in a small shallow bowl, and whisk o blend. Spread the bread crumbs on a piece f parchment paper or on a flat plate. 
4) Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F
5) Dip the eggplant slices int he seasoned flour, coating both sides lightly. Then dip the eggplant in the egg coating both sides completely. Finally, dip the eggplant in the bread crumbs, pressing them lightly with dry fingers to ensure that the coasting sticks. Set the breaded eggplant aside on a baking sheet.   
6) Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron over medium-high heat. If you have two skillets, heat another 3 tablespoon oil in the second one and you can cook all of the eggplant simultaneously Other wise when the oil is hot, add half of the breaded eggplant slices in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the skillet. Cook until the coating is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Flip the slices over, and cook on the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. It is important to cook the eggplant online until it is bare crisp-tender; do not overcook it. Transfer the slices to a baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels.
7) Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining eggplant slices. 
8) Arrange half f the eggplant in a 9-inch square or a 7 x 10- inch baking dish. If necessary, cut some of the slices to fill in the gaps so your create a sing layer of eggplant without any large holes. Cover the eggplant with about 1 cup of the tomato sauce sprinkle half of the basil over the sauce, and over with 1/2 cup of the grated Parmesan.   
9) Arrange the remaining eggplant slices in over the Parmesan, cover with the remaining 1.5 ups tomato cause, and sprinkle with the remaining basil and the parsley. Cover with the reaming 1/2 Parmesan cheese. Top with the slices of provolone cheese, cutting the cheese as required to cover the entire dish (or scatter the grated provolone over the top). 
10) Bake until the cheese melts and the sauce bubbles round the edges of the dish, 15 to 20 minutes. Let sit f or 10 minutes before cutting and serving. In the unlikely event that you have some left over, it can be refrigerated, cover for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a 350F oven until hot, 15 to 20 minutes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Earthbound Farm for the purpose of this review.

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