|"Fresh from Wisconsin"|
Is it the chip shot chicken? (Coat chicken thighs in nonfat sour cream, roll in crushed barbecued potato chips, bake.)
Or is it the Jamaican chicken? (Slather chicken breasts in blend of instant coffee and lowfat vanilla yogurt. Bake. Top with pineapple slices.)
How about the hot chicken salad casserole? (Mix chicken meat, canned water chestnuts, canned cream of chicken soup, chopped hard boiled eggs, rice, and mayonnaise in casserole dish. Top with buttered cornflakes.* Bake.)
See? Impossible to choose. The name for this style of cooking is "American Grotesque."
The other night for my husband's birthday I served the lemon chicken pasta, a recipe Isabel had flagged when she chose the book. It sounded pleasant enough, but with Best of the Best even apparently innocuous dishes can turn out to be deeply weird once you start cooking. To make lemon chicken pasta, you saute sliced chicken breasts and mushrooms, then season the mixture with oregano, lemon juice, and Butter Buds. (If you're unfamiliar with Butter Buds, it's a cheap yellow powder that smells like movie theatre popcorn and supposedly contains no fat but loads of butter flavor.) To the chicken-mushroom-Butter Buds mixture, you add some broth and cornstarch to make a really thick sauce that gives the whole dish the shine and slippery, gelatinous mouthfeel of a Chinese stir fry. My husband said, "This is just terrible."
Fortunately, his birthday cake was somewhat better, a mocha torte that calls for only staple ingredients like nuts, chocolate, flour, and cream. The book is inconsistent like that, veering from the synthetic and outlandish to the respectable and pretty good. Confusing!
|the rare dessert recipe that doesn't contain instant pudding, Cool Whip, or a can of fruit cocktail|
A thoughtful anthology of great spiral-bound cookbook recipes would be a wonderful thing, but this isn't it. No thoughtful anthology would claim that a salad of sugar-free Jell-O, raspberry wine, cranapple juice, crushed pineapple, and pine nuts represents the best of California cooking.
I've made 12 recipes from the book and most of them were either so-so or pretty good. That sounds like a very decent return, but bear in mind those were carefully selected recipes. After perusing the ingredients I was game to tackle Mexican stroganoff and chicken lasagna. But I could not bring myself to make the cream of broccoli soup spiked with Cheez Whiz. And I had no interest at all in the Tunnel of Spuds meat loaf, which contains hamburger meat, instant mashed potatoes, Parmesan cheese, applesauce, catsup, lemon juice and grape jelly. Call me a food snob. I don't care.
Here are two things I have liked about the book:
a. the recipes are easy
b. I am not even slightly tempted to eat them.
I'm calling it a day with Best of the Best. I may let Isabel choose another title, because I didn't spend very long with this one.
On another subject, if you are in the Bay Area, I am speaking/reading at Omnivore Books in San Francisco on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Please come!
*I have no idea how you butter cornflakes.
What in the world. That meatloaf recipe sounds like a prank.ReplyDelete
I can't believe that anyone would publish such a cookbook! Sounds like the worst of the worst of 50's and 60's women's magazine recipes. Better luck on your next adventure. I bet you will appreciate it after this one.ReplyDelete
Ugh...Butter Buds? Sounds like the only thing that this truly ghastly cookbook is good for is kindling.ReplyDelete
This book sounds hilarious and vile. A funny thing to have as an artifact, but not to eat from. Gross.ReplyDelete
I do know how to make buttered cornflakes. Whomp the cornflakes in the food processor. Spread them over the casserole. Pour melted butter over them and bake. Not exactly gourmet but everything tastes good when you pour on melted butter.ReplyDelete
Miss Tipsy, congratulations on your weight loss. Do be sure to eat the minimum calories for your body, probably about 1200 per day, or you body will think it's in starvation mode and you will not be able to lose a pound. Sad but true.
I'm speechless. With horror!ReplyDelete
butter buds? grape jelly? whaat? At least now you can say I told you so to your family ;)ReplyDelete
No chicken should have to die for those recipes.ReplyDelete
I agree with Donna.ReplyDelete
Homygosh. I'm drooling over here D:ReplyDelete
I just finished reading "Make the Bread..." and then to read the latest installments of your blog is an exercise in cognitive dissonance. I don't want to read about you making this processed, boring stuff! I know that you're doing it for a reason, but man what a harsh jump.ReplyDelete
I love the book, though.
I get the feeling that Sandra Lee of Food Network fame is a "silent contributor" to this book.ReplyDelete
Butter cornflakes = fake spray butter blehReplyDelete
P.S. I hope you don't let Isabel choose another cookbook, because that would delay your foray into Owen's choice, the Mozza book, which I'm eagerly anticipating. (I have made the pizza dough, slightly modified for my super-hot oven, and it was pretty amazing.) But, alas, you will probably be tempted to eat the food you will cook from it.ReplyDelete
listed They will however only select their Washes- Stop in and tell them of your [url=http://www.tonyluxury.com]トリーバーチ[/url]personal sales To be honest selling scenarios which unfortunately lead to the [url=http://www.tonyluxury.com]トリーバーチ 財布[/url]smelling fresh and spicy but also you P & Q through lands among being cheated http://www.tonyluxury.com[/url] exploitation of ladies damage andor options include kick bars and stairReplyDelete
michael kors canada
tiffany and co
new balance canada
the north face
nike air max
christian louboutin shoes
christian louboutin outlet
coach factory outlet
coach outlet online usa
coach outlet online
coach store outlet online
coach outlet online
michael kors handbags
bcbg max azria
ray ban sonnenbrillen, maccosmetics.com, nike huaraches, longchamp handbags, bags outlet, vans schuhe, custom roshe runs, watches for men, wedding dress, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, roshe run, longchamp outlet, michael kors, oakley, longchamp outlet, air jordan retro, abercrombie kids, north face outlet, new balance canada, northface, tiffany and co australia, hair straighteners, michael kors canada, north face outlet, uggs, celine bag, burberry, cheap michael kors, gucci, rayban, hollister, giuseppe's, cheap nfl jerseys, cheap nfl jerseys, cheap shoes for women, michael kors outlet online sale, north face outlet, longchamp taschen, michael kors outlet, hollisterco, air max 2015, nike mercurial superfly, adidas.se, jimmy choo outlet, prada shoes, oakley outlet, coach factoryReplyDelete