Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Lazy Gourmet" Cookbook Review, Recipe and Giveaway

I love cookbooks. I can spend hours reading through the books I currently own and plan out a week's worth of meals in that time. You can also find me sitting on the floor at Barnes and Noble or other stores reading through the books on the shelf. Or, when hubby wants to go to Lowes or Home Depot to check out supplies, I head to the book stand and see what's new in the cookbook world.
When I had the opportunity to review "The Lazy Gourmet" I was stoked. I love to make tasty meals for hubby and some days I just don't have the time or energy after a long day at work to spend in the kitchen. This looked like a great solution to tha age old problem; good food withoiut all the extra work required.

From their website:
The Lazy Gourmet (Viva Editions, 2011) is a cookbook for anyone who dreams of dazzling friends and family with elegant fare, but fears that such a feat would require Thomas Keller’s talent, Martha Stewart’s ingenuity, Gandhi’s patience, and Charles Manson’s free time. This fun, practical, and sympathetic guide for the novice cook conquers the misguided belief that preparing an elegant meal requires spending hours—or days—in the kitchen, sweating over elaborate and cumbersome recipes. The words “gourmet cooking” need no longer evoke visions of serious professionals in starched white hats, tedious techniques with foreign names, impossibly architectural towers of edibles, and lists of ingredients so exotic you need a private detective to track them down. The Lazy Gourmet introduces the apprehensive would-be cook to strikingly sophisticated, yet surprisingly simple recipes that can be made without cooking experience, fancy equipment, or arcane ingredients.

Popular television cooking show host and bestselling cookbook author Joanne Weir says, “This book is filled with food that’s simple, seasonal, fresh, and doable. Here you’ll find recipes that are perfect for family dinner on Tuesday night but fun, hip, and cool enough to serve your friends when you’re entertaining on Saturday evening. And it’s easy enough for even the novice to do.”

My thoughts
When I received "The Lazy Gourmet", I was excited and I flipped through the pages like a kid in a candy store! The recipes and the instructions are simple but the end result is "gourmet." Don’t let that scare you off though. Part of the introduction says “Cooking a great meal can be just as easy as cooking a crappy meal!" Amen to that!

The beginning of the book also has a list of pantry staples the authors suggest keeping on hand , such as capers, various cheeses, balsamic vinegar and mustards just to name a few. I was pleasantly surprised to have most of those items in my pantry now.

Chapter 2 is for “Rookie Cooks.”  This chapter covers the basics (how to cook meat, how to cook pasta etc) plus additional tips to get the most bang for your kitchen buck.

The third chapter covered "The Lazy Gourmet Tool Kit" or as I affectionatly called it "Toys for the Kitchen." Again, I was happy to know I had most of them already but for the new cook, new spouse or someone just getting their own apartment, it's a great list of some good kitchen essentials.
I'm not going to go into every chapter, you'll have to pick up a copy for yourself. However, I will share one recipe I tried from the book; "Salmon with Roasted Garlic Confit." This recipe contained one of my favorite ingredients; GARLIC!  Salmon, plus the corn and rice I had already made for a delicious dinner. Here is the recipe:

1 head of roasted garlic
6 ozs salmon fillet
1 tsp salt, divided 
1/2-1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary or oregano
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used extra-virgin)
3 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 fresh lemon)
4-6 oz salmon fillets
1/8-1/4 cup Parmesan (my addition to the recipe)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

When roasted garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves out of their skins into a small bow. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, and rosemary/oregano, and mash into a paste with a fork. Add olive oil and lemon and stir to continue.

Place salmon on a baking sheet, season with remaining salt and pepper and spread the garlic confit over the fillets evenly. I sprinkled the top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake salmon, uncovered, in preheated oven until cooked through (15-20 minutes). Serve immediately.

 I served it with corn, pumpkin bread and rice. The Lazy Gourmet offers suggestions for food pairing at the end of each recipe, which is nice when you can't decide. Their suggestions can also be found in the book. The recipe for the roasted garlic is also included.

Some other main dish recipes are: Creamy Baked Scallops with Capers, Top Sirloin with Charmoula on a Bed of Arugula and Spicy Crab Cakes. Desserts include Chocolate Dipped Ginger Shortbread cookies and Cherry Clafoutis. And so much more! The only thing I miss with this book are photos of the final product. However, I plan to photograph my final products and clip them to the pages.

Purchase your own copy at Amazon or other online retailers.
Like The Lazy Gourmet on Facebook
Check out their Blog
Follow The Lazy Gourmet on Twitter
Visit Viva Editions and check out their other books

Win it
Now that you're hungry, I have a wonderful surprise for you. The sponsor has been kind enough to provide me with a copy of the book for a giveaway! One lucky reader has the opportunity to win their very own Lazy Gourmet Cookbook!!! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway runs from November 8, 2012 and ends at midnight on November 22, 2012 and is open to US residents 18 or older. Terms are noted on the Rafflecopter form. Please be sure to complete the mandatory entry for any of the optional entries to count. I do check.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received a copy of "The Lazy Gourmet" for free. However, all views and opinions expressed here are my own. I received no other compensation for this post.

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