Cooking New American
Contributed by: Jennifer Wickes
Fine Cooking Magazine has released a new cookbook. Being a fan of Fine Cooking magazine myself, I am excited by their new innovative yet simple recipes that bring forth great meals and leave behind the boring meals of the past!
This new bestseller brings forth a new rage, the self-titled, Cooking
New American. This book is not about America's past of meatloaf and dried pot roast, but new, creative meals. Lovely recipes such as Truffle-Scented Cornish Game Hens with Proscuitto and Wild Mushrooms, and Couscous with Ginger, Orange, Almonds and Herbs, are throughout this book.
This cookbook is beautifully photographed. The dishes look so
tantalizing that one feels compelled to try some of these
inspirational recipes! The recipes are easy-to-read and easy-to-
prepare. Alongside any moderately-complicated recipe, there is a
picture guide of what you are looking for whilst preparing your new
If you are used to traditional American cuisine, and not ready for
this new trend, then this book may come as a surprise with the
ingredients. For me, it was refreshing to see ingredients such as
porcini mushrooms, proscuitto, hazelnuts and more. But for others, it
may be a deterrent.
Baked Potato & Leek Soup with Cheddar & Bacon
The following recipe was printed with permission.
Yields about 6 cups; serves 4
The whole potato, skin and all, goes into this thick soup, so wash
the potatoes well.
- 2 medium russet potatoes (about 1⁄2 pound each)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts), sliced and rinsed well
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
- 4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1⁄2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (about 1⁄4 pound)
- 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens or chives
Heat the oven to 375ºF. Scrub the potatoes, pat dry, and pierce
several times with a fork. Set them directly on the oven rack and
bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and
garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until
softened, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Simmer
until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
until browned and crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to
Cut one of the cooled potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh
out in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1⁄2-inch cubes
and set aside. Coarsely chop the potato skin and the entire remaining
potato and add to the pot with the leeks. Purée the contents of the
pot in batches in a blender until very smooth. Return the soup to a
clean pot and reheat over medium low. Whisk together the milk and
sour cream and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1⁄2 cup of
the Cheddar. Stir in the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with the remaining Cheddar, the bacon bits, and the
scallions or chives.
This recipe is from Cooking New American which was written by
Jennifer Armentrout and published by Taunton Press in September 2004.
Sharp cheese works well in this soup because it melts smoothly. Extra
sharp will give you a more pronounced flavor but because of its lower
moisture content, the soup will be less smooth.
Cranberry Streusel Cake
the following recipe was printed with permission.
Add the topping 40 minutes into baking rather than at the beginning,
when it would sink too far into the cake, or at the end, when it
wouldn't sink in at all.
This brightly flavored cake tastes best the day after you bake it.
Stock up on packages of fresh cranberries while they're at the peak
of their season (late fall). Freeze them to use all year long.
For the cake:
- 9 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour; more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, well softened at room
- temperature; more for the pan
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
For the streusel:
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
Make the cake -- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat
the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch-square baking
pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda,
nutmeg, and salt until blended. With an electric mixer, beat the
butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended, about
3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the eggs one at a
time, mixing until just incorporated. Using a wide rubber spatula,
alternately fold the flour mixture and the yogurt into the butter
mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add the chopped
cranberries with the last addition of flour. Scrape the batter into
the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Tap the pan gently on the
counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 40 minutes.
Make the streusel -- While the cake is baking, combine the brown
sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix,
using a fork, until the ingredients are well blended and form small
crumbs. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries.
After the cake has baked for 40 minutes, sprinkle the streusel evenly
over the top of the cake. Continue baking until a pick inserted in
the center comes out clean, another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pan
on a wire rack until warm or room temperature. Cut into squares and
This recipe is from Cooking New American which was written by Abigail
Johnson Dodge and published by Taunton Press in September 2004.
To flour a pan: Spoon a generous amount of flour into the greased
pan. Tilt the pan so that the flour slides all over the inside
surfaces of the pan. Dump out the extra flour and give the pan a few
hard knocks over the garbage can to get rid of any excess.
For fresh, new ideas, pick up this cookbook. It would make a nice
addition to your collection, as well as a wonderful gift.
"Cooking New American"
Fine Cooking Magazine
Taunton Press; (October 10, 2004)
Hardback: 240 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 10.9 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches
Jennifer A. Wickes is the Food and Drink Dean at Suite University,
the Food and Drink Community Manager at Suite101, as well as a
freelance food writer and cookbook reviewer. She has written 5
eBooks, and has had several articles in printed publications, such as
Cooking Pleasures magazine, Light and Tasty, The Gooseberry Patch and
Ernest and Julio Gallo's Turning Leaf Wine pamphlet.