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Official: My new favorite cookbook

This one is a real winner! I’m ashamed of myself that I’ve never done more than look through some of the pretty photographs in this book before now. Maybe if I’d read this glowing review in The Atlantic Monthly …which it turns out I completely agree with, seven years late.

Yesterday I made a simple fennel stock from scratch from the recipe in this book. Glorious! It was hard not to just sit down and eat the broth as it was. I had something else in mind for the stock, though, and for dinner we moved on to the recipe for Beans and Wild Mushrooms in Fennel Broth. I used the pressure cooker to cook up some dried Great Northern beans from scratch instead of using canned, so I followed the recipe for Basic Cooked Beans from the book, and then combined my beans and broth with the remaining ingredients for the soup. I used oyster mushrooms because they were plentiful at the store but this soup would be incredible with something more like a morel instead. Chris, upon trying the soup, proclaimed that had he been served this soup in a fancy restaurant he would not have been disappointed.

Fennel and fish go well together so I used last night to hit my goal of having fish once a week and whipped up a recipe of Sesame Crusted Swordfish with Cilantro and Coconut Chutney, once again from A New Way to Cook. Simple, easy, and very yummy.

Another excellent bonus of this book is the author includes nutritional information for each recipe in an index, so I could quickly calculate the calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber of these dishes. I’ve been spoiled by having Cooking Light as my go-to source for recipes all these years and have been finding that I really want to have the nutritional breakdowns for the things I’m cooking at home. That information is not included in most cookbooks, so extra bonus points to Sally Schneider for figuring out and including the information in hers.

I expect I’ll properly update my recipe pages over the weekend for my own reference. I am kicking myself because I made some excellent baked beans with kale at some point this winter (prepped the dish ahead and put it in the freezer for later use) and I’ve now forgotten where among my vast collection of cookbooks, magazines, and online resources I got the original recipe! Updating my recipe pages is one way for me to keep track and I’ve been terribly lax about it these last several months. No more!

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