Title: Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist
Author: Cat Cora
Release Date: June 2, 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating: 4 out of 5
I know Cat Cora from Iron Chef America (yes, I am a huge fan of the Food Network), so I was excited when I saw she had a new cookbook out. I also like the concept of the cookbook – new and fresh versions of old favorites.
The cookbook has a clean and simple design, with bright colored pictures accompanying almost every recipe. It’s beautifully put together and I love the overall color scheme – white pages, black text, and green headings. It reminds the reader that this book is all about freshness. It’s divided into multiple sections, “Appetizers and Drinks”, “Soups and Salads”, “Main Dishes and Sides”, “Desserts”, and “Good to Know” recipes, which are recipes for staple ingredients used throughout the cookbook.
Each dish also has some sort of tip – advice from Cat, a chef’s note, or a suggestion on how to twist the dish and make it a little more interesting. This provides increased variety and allows the cook to experiment with dishes and understand better how different ingredients and techniques affect a recipe.
The first dish I tried was “Fettuccine with Scallops and Lime.” I was attracted to this dish because I’m a huge pasta fan, and I love the fact that this dish had lime in it, something you don’t usually associate with pasta. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it also had avocados (one of my favorite things in the world), and I was completely sold. The dish was easy to make and simple – I had most of the spices and pantry items on hand. Additionally, it was delicious – I absolutely loved how different it was. It’s a great dish for spring or summer if you’re in the mood for a hot pasta but don’t want to be weighed down.
The next dish I made was “Easy Chicken Curry with Peas”. While I am picky about Indian dishes that try to be authentic, I was well aware that this recipe would try to mimic the flavors of an Indian curry but wasn’t claiming to be “real” Indian food. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of making his dish, and I used the included Chef’s Touch note, which suggested replacing the curry powder with a Garam Masala spice mix. It also tasted very good, especially with a quick vegetable curry on the side!
All in all, I am very happy with this cookbook and will definitely be using it again in the future. The dishes are simple but very tasty and there are a lot of great recipes to choose from. If you’re looking for a cookbook with simple but creative recipes, this is a great one to pick up.