Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Family Meals by Chef Michael Smith

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Aug. 5 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143184113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143184119

Book Description

Wondering what to make for dinner that everyone in the family will enjoy? Looking for simple and delicious recipes to make for breakfast, school lunches, and weekday dinners when you are short on time? Want to make mealtime fun and get your family involved in the kitchen? Stress no more: Michael Smith is ready to save your day! Michael is his family’s cook and has been creating delicious, healthy meals for them for years. Now he’s here to help you make—and enjoy—great-tasting dishes while you satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your family.

Try some of Michael’s favourites, such as:

· Weekend Pancakes

· Nacho Burgers

· Old World Chicken Cacciatore

-Special Shrimp Fried Rice

· Tortilla Lasagna

· Boston Cream Cupcakes

About the Author

Chef Michael Smith graduated with honors from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1991. He worked in London, South American and Caribbean restaurants before coming back to North America and Manhattan.
In 1992 he moved to Prince Edward Island, from where he has become Canada’s best-known chef, the winner of the James Beard Award for Cooking Show Excellence and host of Chef at Home, Chef at Large and The Inn Chef on Food Network Canada and in 26 other countries.

He is today an award winning cookbook author, newspaper columnist, roving Canadian cuisine ambassador, restaurant chef and home cook.

My Review

This is a gorgeous cookbook! Chef Michael Smith is not only a celebrity chef, he also cooks for his family every day. Family Meals is a fun yet practical cookbook which is exactly like Chef Michael Smith's style. I am impressed with the amount of good, practical recipes. And with his obvious love of hot sauce!

 It is laid out in straight-forward manner and is beautifully illustrated. It is divided into the following sections:

  • Breakfast and Brunch
  • Lunchbox and Snacks
  • Simple Salads
  • Cook Ahead
  • Soups, Stews and Casseroles
  • Slow Cookers and Pressure Cookers
  • Family Meals in Minutes
  • Meatless Mondays
  • Vegetables and Whole Grains
  • Sweets and Treats
Some of the recipes that I would like to try are Special Shrimp Fried Rice, Tortilla Lasagna, Chili-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Herb Roast Tomatoes and A Pan of Pork Chops with Marmalade Mustard Pan Sauce.....MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm! And for dessert: Fallen Chocolate Cake Stuffed with Whipped Cream and Flaming Banana Splits. I have already made the Ice Cream Sandwiches...divine!

Here is the recipe for the Ice Cream Sandwiches that I made:
(recipe reprinted with permission)

Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 20 treats for a birthday party
2 cups (500mL) of all-purpose flour
½ cup (125mL) of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon (5mL) of baking soda
½ teaspoon (2mL) of salt
1 cup (250mL) of butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250mL) of white sugar
1 cup (250mL) of brown sugar
1 tablespoon (15mL) of pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ½ quarts (2.5L) of your favorite ice cream
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°F). Turn on your convection fan if you have
one. Adjust your shelves so 2 trays can bake evenly at once. Line 2 or 3 cookie
sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda
and salt.
Toss the butter into the bowl of your stand mixer. Measure in the white sugar,
brown sugar and vanilla. Beat on high speed until thick and smooth, scraping
down the sides now and then. Add the eggs and beat until thick and creamy.
Add the flour mixture and beat on slow speed just until evenly mixed. Too
much mixing will toughen the cookies.
Evenly scoop out the dough and with your hands roll into balls. Arrange
12 balls on each cookie sheet, leaving them lots of room to spread as they bake
(they will double in size). Bake in batches until the cookies have slumped,
flattened and firmed, 10 minutes or so. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
While the cookies bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop
out 1/2 cup (125 mL) of ice cream and flatten between two smaller pieces of
parchment to form an even puck-shaped disk about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ice cream. Freeze
until needed.
Build sandwiches with the ice cream. Serve, share and make more to fold
in parchment and freeze for next time, or freeze the leftover cookies for
future assembly.

I highly recommend this beautiful and practical cookbook!

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