Nancy Leson recently got to interview one of our favorite cookbook authors, Molly Stevens at Seattle's The Book Larder. Our copies of her previous books, "All About Braising" and "All About Roasting" are splattered with grease and gravy stains. Can there be higher praise for any cookbook?
In this week's Food for Thought, Nance and I talk about the recipes we've made from Molly's new book and some of the great tips she offers – including the best way to crack an egg. Hint: Not on the edge of a bowl.
By giving the egg a firm rap against a flat surface the shell breaks apart more cleanly so you're less likely to get shell fragments in the egg. Stevens also suggests using your finger to wipe out the inside of the shell to get the last of the egg white, which would otherwise go to waste.
We've each made some recipes from "All About Dinner." My favorite so far is her oven-roasted Spicy Sweet Baby Back Riblets. They're marinated with soy sauce, vinegar, ginger garlic and coriander, among other ingredients, and finished with a honey and lime juice-based glaze. I've never tasted anything quite like them and they're my new favorite rib recipe. I served it with her light and refreshing Cabbage/Fennel Slaw.
One of Nancy's favorites is the White Bean and Sausage Gratin. "It's this gorgeous one-pot meal with stuff I had on hand. Afterwards we ate the leftovers wrapped in some really great locally made Patty Pan Cooperative tortillas."
More tips from "All About Dinner"
Nance loves the Mustard Jar Vinaigrette."When you're done with a jar of mustard, leave the last little bit that's clinging to the jar, add a few tablespoons of vinegar, screw on the top and shake the heck out of it. Then add olive oil, shake it some more and use it as your salad dressing right there or save it in the fridge."
And to de-stink your kitchen after cooking something smelly, Molly recommends putting a few tablespoons of bleach in a small bowl and setting it out overnight. It will absorb or neutralize the odors. I haven't tried that one yet, but given the amount of smelly food I prepare I'll have an opportunity soon.
"Good Golly Miss Molly!" – Little Richard