Title: Bold: A Cookbook of Big Flavors
Author: Susanna Hoffman and Victoria Wise
Published: December 31, 2013 by Workman
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Bold is nourishing. Bold is inspired. Bold is food that means business. And Bold is big as in 250 recipes filled with big flavors to be served in big portions. From the culinary team of Susanna Hoffman and Victoria Wise who between them have authored or coauthored more than fifteen cookbooks including The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook and The Well-Filled Microwave Cookbook, Bold brings together the beloved American tradition of delicious, plate-filling meals with the lively global flavors that infuse our culture and cuisine. This is comfort food that’s been given an exuberant 21st-century makeover slow-cooked roasts and braises, generous steaks, brimming soups, heaping platters of salads and vegetables, hearty pastas and grains, wild game, and rich desserts. This is Bold Stuffed California Pork Rolls. Buffalo Chili with Black Bean and Corn Salsa. Meat and Potatoes Korean Style with Quick Kimchee. Leg of Lamb with Spicy Pecan Pesto. Chicken Pot Pie Under a Filo Crust. Crowded Corn Chowder with Cod, Shrimp, and Corn. Lime Curd Coconut Meringue Pie with a Macadamia Nut Crust. The book boasts a vibrant design that complements the recipes. Sidebars throughout offer cooking tips and advice, highlight people and places, and explore food history and traditions. Bold is America on a plate.
I love cookbooks – they hold so many possibilities. Bold has bunches of delicious sounding recipes. I wish it had pictures though. A cookbook without photos always falls a little flat for me.
I don’t read cookbooks from cover to cover. I pick them up, glance through and note some recipes I want to try. Then I pull them back out when it’s time to cook. Bold is a little different, though. In addition to the recipes, there are boxes full of information about different types of food, styles of cooking, even the history of condensed soup. I tend to enjoy trivia, so those tidbits almost make up for the lack of photos.
So far, we’ve tried one recipe, the Risotto with Shrimp, Scallops and Sundried Tomatoes. By the way, did you know that rice came to America in 1685, when a ship that sailed from Madagascar got damaged in a storm. At port in Charleston, South Carolina, the colonists repaired the boat. In thanks and repayment, the captain gave a local planter a small amount of “Golden Seede Rice” from Africa. The history of rice-growing in America continues through slavery, the Civil War, through 1884 when machinery entered agriculture, to now, when rice remains a major American crop, with 90 percent of it being consumed in America, not exported.
I love risotto, but we don’t make it often – all that stirring. This one was pretty good, and we all ate it. Well, Amber picked ate the shrimp and some of the rice – she doesn’t like scallops or cooked tomatoes.
Risotto with Shrimp, Scallops, and Sundried Tomatoes
4½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained, oil reserved, coarsely chopped
½ cup finely chopped yellow or white onion
½ cup coarsely chopped celery leaves with some rib (I actually ended up using more rib than leaves because of my grocery store’s selection.)
1¼ cup Arborio or other risotto rice
½ cup white wine
8 oz large sea scallops, cut into ½-inch cubes
12 large fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left on (I actually got the ones with no tails. I hate having the tails on unless I’m dipping them in something.)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro for garnish (I didn’t have any. I tossed a bit of dried on)
- Heat the broth in a small saucepan over high heat until almost boiling. Set aside and keep warm
- Melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the reserved sundried tomato oil in a wide saucepan or deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir gently and continuously with a wooden spoon until absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ½ cup at a time, stirring until each addition is completely absorbed and making sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the remaining 2 cups broth and the tomatoes and continue stirring until the rice is absorbed but the mixture is still moist and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the dimensions of the pan.
- Add the scallops and shrimp, stir gently to mix them in, and continue cooking until the scallops are barely firm and the shrimp is barely pink, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve right away.
It would have been prettier with fresh parsley on top, but here’s how mine turned out. It was yummy. I think next I’ll try the chicken noodle soup with chanterelles.
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.