Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sudden Death Cooking: ...An Instruction Manual?

The reason this cookbook looks like a product manual is because it *is* one.  When I recently upgraded my hand blender, I noticed that the new manual included a number of recipes.  In turn, I was left with a dilemma -- do I store this booklet with all my other product manuals, or alongside the cookbooks?  Let us decide with a test of the recipes!

Hence, the book was amid the Sudden Death Cookbook cadre.  It was chosen randomly via random-number ranking.  As before, the individual recipes are chosen according to systematic random sampling.

The six recipes that were randomly selected are as follows:
  • butternut squash soup
  • guacamole
  • mayonnaise
  • pesto sauce
  • "get up and go" breakfast shake
  • pancakes
I'll admit that at this point, things don't look too promising for the Breville cookbook, insofar as most of these items I have already made using recipes I like just fine.  My suspicion is that the recipes themselves won't be especially different from what I'd done before, but that the methods and tools will be new.

Is this book peddling redundancy, or will it teach this old dog new tricks?  Stay tuned to find out!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sudden Death VI: Grilled Seasoned "Ocean Perch"

Fish and salad?  Sounds great!

I approached this recipe with some trepidation, though, on the grounds that this Prairie girl often overcooks fish.  As in, BRUTALLY overcooks it.  And having married a West Coast fish connoisseur, the pressure is definitely on.

The next issue to contend with is the lack of ocean perch nearby.  I asked the guy at the fish counter for his input on a good substitute, and he suggested I use snapper.

So, below are our ingredients, with snapper.

This recipe has two parts: the fish and the salad dressing.  On the upside, the instructions were precise, and helped me avoid overcooking the fish.  

On the downside, the salad dressing was totally overlooked in the recipe.  Following the directions exactly, I was left with a newly-cooked, rapidly-cooling fish and yet-unmade dressing.  Even then, the result was somewhat underseasoned.

The end result was good, if somewhat unspectacular.  Everyone ate and enjoyed the dish, and adding salt and pepper at the table corrected the underseasoning adequately.  And thanks to the recipe, I even managed to cook the fish perfectly!

The Verdict:  This recipe needs more spices, and I made a note that the dressing needs to be made first.  Otherwise, however, the result was yummy and easy, and I would make this again.  Pass!
The FINAL Score for Healthy Winter Warmers:  With four successes out of six recipes, Healthy Winter Warmers PASSES the test!  In all of its pen-marked, oil-stained glory, this book shall rightfully claim its place upon the cookbook shelf.  Good show, HWW!

So which cookbook will be tested next?  And which recipes will be put to the test?  Stay tuned to find out!