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Last week when I was at the fabulous Workman Publishing party at BookExpo America, I spotted a gem of a cookbook on the display table. Although there's only one man in my house, I often feel as if I were cooking for a small crowd. Lucina Scala Quinn's Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys may just prove to be my salvation.
I'm not sure how I missed Quinn's book when it was published in 2009, but I plan to make up for lost time now. Quinn starts out with the obvious: "Men eat differently from women--they eat more, they eat constantly, and they eat passionately." Anyone who has lived in a house with teenage boys or a physically active man, knows the truth in those words.
Whether you're an old pro at cooking for guys or just starting out, you'll appreciate Quinn's 10 tenets for survival, her tips on stocking the kitchen and pantry, and her belief in teaching boys (and girls) to cook for themselves. [Aside: I'm always so surprised that today's teens have almost no kitchen skills.] After the introductory chapters, the book is divided by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert).
Throughout you'll find real-life hints. Some you've heard before, like making extras of food that can be used to create healthful snacks and meals throughout the week. But you'll also find advice on prepping ingredients, making substitutions, using your freezer, saving money, and shopping.
You might think that a cookbook geared to hearty eaters, especially men and boys, might be all about meat and potatoes. But Mad Hungry is well rounded, with plenty of salads and vegetable dishes. Grilled portabella mushrooms, shrimp scampi, Asian-style pork roast, and tomato-eggplant casserole all live happily next to baby back ribs and chicken wings.
The flavors are varied but familiar and will appeal to most families. The recipes use widely available ingredients, and most home cooks will have no trouble following the directions. Quinn offers further explanation when it's needed and provides ideas for variations and using leftovers when appropriate.
Lunch is our most difficult meal because Mr. BFR usually has to pack his, and he rarely has a means of heating up leftovers. Because we don't eat sandwich meat, his choices are limited. Thus I turned to the lunch chapter first. I was happy with all of Quinn's ideas and was pleased to see the following dishes, which could easily live in a cooler until noon:
- Tabbouleh, either as is or in a pita
- Empanadas, which can be eaten cold
- Salmon and rice salad
- Cold sesame noodles
Vegetarian/vegan alert: There are quite a number of dishes for vegetarians, mostly in the usual categories of side dishes and salads. Vegans will find fewer choices. My advice to both types of eaters is to look before you buy.
Photo credits: The scans are of Basic Salsa (p. 111) and Italian Fries (oven baked; p. 195) and come from the book Mad Hungry.
Here's a recipe I plan to make this weekend. Smaller families can certainly cut the ingredients in half, but I'll make it all because cold leftover salmon makes a great salad or sandwich.
Broiled or Grilled Salmon Teriyaki
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or mild vinegar
- 1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 pounds salmon fillet, pin bones removed
Preheat the broiler or prepare the coals to very hot in a grill. Remove the salmon from the marinade, pat it dry with paper towels, and place it skin side down on an oiled pan or grill grate. Cook until it is slightly firm to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness. While the salmon is cooking, brush it a couple of times with the marinade to use it all up. Immediately remove the skin while the fish is still hot. Serve.
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Published by Workman Publishing / Artisan, 2009
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)