I feel like I have been neglecting the The A-Z of Cooking recently and like a typical errant parent, I’m back and about to smother my booky child with a level of attention bordering on overkill. Otherwise known as posting a few quick items to get us back up to speed.
We’re starting off with a look at F. Which is not neither fish nor fowl or frying or fricasseeing but Frozen Food Shortcuts. Of course. Because that’s the first thing that we need to know about when it comes to the letter F in cooking. All those things I mentioned are just piffle.
And, we’re starting with an item immediately springs to mind when we think of frozen food – salad. Yep. About as obvious as the frozen food short cuts really. You have already seen a glimpse of the frozen food, aka American salad in the post on the Devilled Chicken Skewers. And you know what? It was not nearly as bad as the idea suggests.
The recipe uses frozen corn and green beans. I used fresh green beans because I had them in the house, but the corn was frozen. I am also not overly fond of red pepper so I subbed in some radishes.
I tend to think of potato salad as being the “typical” American salad. Followed by Caesar and Waldorf. I have no idea why this is called American Salad. Maybe the corn?
Overall, this salad was colourful, had lots of crunch and a good mix of tastes and textures. Big tick from me on the American salad! Way to go America! And the A-Z of Cooking for turning something that sounded as if it should be revolting into something I will probably make lots more of. This would be a great salad to take to bbq’s in summer as there is not much to go soggy. No wilting lettuce here. The salad went very nicely with the chicken but, would be awesome with a steak. And for those of you of a non-meat persuasion, this would be super as a filling for a baked potato, with maybe a little cheese sprinkled over the top if you are not vegan.
Last week I mentioned that there was surprisingly little to mock in Roberta Ashley’s Singers and Swingers. Never fear though, little doesn’t mean nothing and today, I’m turning my unflinching gaze to a few of the less palatable gems contained therein.
I have a strange relationship with cold soup. Until 5 years ago, I can honestly say, had never eaten it, and had no intention of doing so. I started to come round after a trip to Barcelona in 2008 and a bowl of the most amazing gazpacho I have ever eaten. I have become a fan of this delicious Spanish concoction, to the point of whipping up a batch or two of my own...
So, whilst reconciled to gazpacho, cold creamy soups and I aren’t even friends on Facebook. You know how sometimes, if you eat something creamy you get a film in your mouth from the fat in the cream? That’s the thought that puts me off. Well, it’s that thought that puts me off a cold soup made from the freshest cream and vegetables. I have seen what cold canned soup looks like and believe me, it’s not going anywhere near my mouth! Gross! So, this recipe from Leonard Nimoy is designed to push all the wrong buttons for me. As far as I’m concerned this one can go back to Vulcan, Spock!
The next recipe designed to have me gritting my teeth and muttering swear words under my breath is called Homemade Canned Beans. As mentioned in the last post, I am not averse to a can of beans. Beans on toast is one of my go to meals when I want something quick and healthy after a trip to the gym or a lazy breakfast. My issue with most of the popular brands of beans on the market is that the sauce can be overly sweet. So I was very excited to read the name of this recipe. Imagine if I could make my own beans that tasted like canned beans but with less sugar? Happy days….
Unfortunately, as I read on, it turned out that the universe had another fate in store for me
Remember in the wacky races when Muttley used to mutter under his breath? I did a lot of that whilst reading this recipe.
If you want a better recipe for beans, check out Erica over at Retro Recipe Attempts. If, like me, you have an aversion to an overly sweet sauce for your beans, I think the mustard and tabasco in Erica’s recipe would cut through that sweetness.
“I like it because I like Southern Cooking, but another reason is that fried foods are fattening and I am always trying to put on some weight”.
Mr Bobby Goldsboro needs a good hard slap if you ask me. The man must have had the metabolism of a hummingbird!* Just looking at a plate of something that contains bacon fat, oil and cream and is served with mashed potatoes or biscuits, butter and honey would be enough to derail my weight loss efforts for a year!
As a child, one of my favourite tv shows was Get Smart. I would race home from school every day to see which episode was on, I swear I have seen every episode a dozen or more times and, if push came to shove, I could probably recite some of them almost verbatim.
The hero of the show was the bumbling, wise-cracking secret agent called Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams. Given my love for the show, I was delighted to see that Singers and Swingers contained recipes by both Don Adams and Barbara Feldon who played Max’s colleague (and eventually his wife), Agent 99. More about Barbara Feldon next time but I desperately wanted their recipes to be good. Hers is great. However, in the words of Maxwell Smart, I believe this recipe “missed by that much”. If by “that much” you mean the distance from here to the moon. I can’t even think what this mix would begin to taste like…if anyone is brave enough to make it, please let me know!
I’ll leave you to ponder the utter weirdness of the Don Adams recipe. I’m off to search for episodes of Get Smart….
Enjoy your week!
*Hummingbirds have an incredibly fast metabolism. At any given moment they are only hours away from starving to death.