Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cookbook Project: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

It turns out that this whole "working wife" thing is no joke.  For APW book club, we read a book that said that most women, when they return to work, they continue keeping up the same load at home.  I have done that partly, because I work fewer hours than Mr. Barefoot.  I've also started a variety of obnoxious habits, like leaving work shoes and suit jackets everywhere and piling my pajamas in a heap on the stairwell (no, it doesn't make sense.)
Nonetheless, the Cookbook Project (suggested names welcome) has continued, and I've made two recipes, one last week, one this week.

A note about the Cookbook Project before I continue.  Firstly, a lot of you commented to say that you don't own cookbooks.  This isn't something I understand.  I love cookbooks.  I think they are wonderful, it is one of my favorite sections to browse at the store, and I would say that I do actually use 25% of our cookbooks on a regular basis (hence the project).  I use the internet a lot as well, but part of the impetus for this blog in the first place was that many of my favorite recipes were in cookbooks, and I didn't always have them with me.  So how many cookbooks do I have?  You tell me.
There are more in the living room, but that whole top shelf is cookbooks.  It is at least 30, but I think it is closer to 40.  
So I felt like I needed some ground rules.  The first is that I must follow the recipe as closely as possible and not add things.  Substitutions are acceptable as long as they are minor (regular garlic for elephant garlic, margarine for butter), or suggested in the book ("use broth or white wine").  But the point of this project is to try new recipes, and if I add things to recipes, they wind up tasting like something I already cook.  I can omit things that I do not have in the house, can't get, as long as they are for garnish.  I can remove things I don't eat, like meat, but otherwise, if I want to try the recipe, I have to keep the things I don't like.  

This week's recipe from The Stinking Rose cookbook was supposed to be last week, but life happened and I didn't have time to make an involved recipe.  So I had bought some radishes and I turned to Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  I love this book, and I'm really sad I had to "waste" it on a recipe as simple as braised radishes.

  • 2 Tbsp butter/olive oil
  • 1 lb radishes, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or you can use stock)
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (we didn't have any)  

  1. Combine butter, radishes, and wine in a pot, add salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  
  2. Cover and lower heat so the mixture simmers, and cook until the radishes are tender, 15-20 minutes.  Add additional liquid if necessary.  
  3. Uncover and raise the heat to boil off almost all the liquid, so that the vegetable becomes glazed in the butter/pan jices (5-10 minutes).  Taste and adjust seasoning, add lemon juice if you would like, garnish and serve.  

Easy and pretty good, although it would have been better with the lemon and chopped fresh parsley or another spice.  I've made something similar to this before, so like I said, I'm sad I "wasted" this book on something so easy.

1 comment:

  1. I have a bookshelf full of cookbooks just like that!