16 June 2012

Weekend Cooking: Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn

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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
I also liked her healthful homemade version of filled pastry pockets (chicken, spinach, and beef). These could be a godsend for busy families with hungry teens. The pockets can be made ahead and popped into the freezer so kids can reheat them when they have a hunger attack. If you get your children to help, you could spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon together stocking up.

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
Serves 6
  • 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
Whisk the soy, honey, and lemon juice together in a large enough dish to fit the salmon. Stir in the ginger and garlic. Place the salmon in the dish, skin side up for 10 to 30 minutes.

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.

Buy Mad Hungry at an Indie, at Powell's, at Book Depository, or at bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs
Published by Workman Publishing / Artisan, 2009
ISBN-13: 9781579653569
Rating: B
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Care 6/16/12, 6:23 AM  

The pasttry pockets sound good. I need to make more savory pies.

caite 6/16/12, 6:41 AM  

a very traditional choice, savory pies. I always picture a Welsh miner carrying one off to lunch when I see them.

Sandy Nawrot 6/16/12, 7:04 AM  

I had to laugh when I saw this post, because just three days ago I had a "situation" arise...when I picked my son up from football camp, he was TOTALLY FOUL because he was hungry. He was surly, angry, and was about ready to rip his hair and shirt if I didn't serve something acceptable to him IMMEDIATELY. You can imagine how well that went over. He was beyond making himself something he was so famished. So Mad Hungry? Yeah. Every day during football season.

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/16/12, 7:21 AM  

This book review came at the right time for me; my two sons just came home from college, so now there are three men in the home for whom to cook. I missed this at the Workman booth at BEA, thanks for posting this.

Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook 6/16/12, 8:34 AM  

I have this one and I love it. I enjoyed the TV show, too! A lot lot of nice family friendly recipes in there that work well.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 6/16/12, 8:51 AM  

I really like the recipes in this cookbook, too. But why do I take offense at the generalization that all men/boys have voracious appetites?

Beth S. 6/16/12, 8:55 AM  

This book sounds amazing. My husband is one of those massive eaters and it's always been frustrating for me to try to satisfy his appetite - especially when some nights I'm just happy with a salad for dinner.

bermudaonion 6/16/12, 8:57 AM  

Boy, do I ever know about trying to fill up young men! We used to have tons of them around our house when Vance was in high school. This cookbook sounds great!

rhapsodyinbooks 6/16/12, 9:02 AM  

I definitely want this one! I have to say I love what Workman Publishing puts out. They are one of my 3 favorite publishers! (DK and Algonquin being the other 2)

Libby 6/16/12, 9:15 AM  

I raised four sons, three step sons, plus 'bonus' boys that lived with us - Rick and Kabir. Oh, and my one little girl. Where was this book then - LOL!

I now have an emptyish nest with just two teens in it, but I am still going to get a copy of this...they like the frozen pastry pockets, and it would be better to make them home-made.


Unknown 6/16/12, 11:48 AM  

My 14 year old son has just started this insatiable eating,and I'd love some recipes to make and keep at home.
Sounds like a grat book.

Heather 6/16/12, 12:13 PM  

this sounds very much like the methods my son uses. He'll cook up a pound or two of ground beef to keep in the frige. over the next few meals he'll add various ingredients to suit or whatever he finds in the fridge. Thanks for the recommendation. Have added it to my shopping list.

Christine 6/16/12, 3:55 PM  

Was this book really published in 2009? I've been a long time subscriber to Everyday Food Magazine, for which I believe Lucinda Scala Quinn worked for some time now.. and I seem to only recall seeing her cookbook highlighted in the magazine for a short time. Oh well. Whenever it came out, it's always sounded good to me except I need the "Feeding Women & Girls" version in my house. Which I imagine translates to less meat, more fruit and veggies, more chocolate, more quiche, more fancy drinks. LOL! Okay I'm stereotyping.. but really? Not so much. ; )

Carole 6/16/12, 4:15 PM  

Hi Beth, I hope you had a nice week. I have linked up prawn cocktail and Food on Friday: Cheese. I do enjoy Weekend Cooking - your readers are so nice - most of them stop by to comment and their posts are always interesting.

Anonymous,  6/16/12, 9:07 PM  

We don't have that lunch problem...HB will eat ANYTHING cold, and he loves leftovers. The thought of cold leftovers practically makes me gag, though. At least I have access to a microwave.

Kim 6/16/12, 9:32 PM  

I have a 16 year old who is mad hungry quite often! This sounds like an interesting book.

Uniflame 6/17/12, 6:12 AM  

I just love teriyaki sauce :) I never made my own before. But I really like to eat it :)

Julie P. 6/17/12, 9:56 AM  

I took a quick peek at this at the Workman party and agree that it looked like a good one!

Gnoe (@graasland) 6/17/12, 12:35 PM  

I don't think it's a book for me (thanks for the warning ;) but I love your review.

Tam Linsey 6/17/12, 1:50 PM  

This sounds like just the book for my family. Thanks for reviewing it! I think I'll add it to my shelf.

Peggy Ann 6/17/12, 4:15 PM  

This book sounds wonderful I am going to look for it!

Peggy Ann 6/17/12, 4:15 PM  

This book sounds wonderful I am going to look for it!

Cecelia 6/17/12, 4:16 PM  

Cooking for guys isn't so different from cooking for athletes, which is what I grew up doing (well, half of them were boys, but still) - anyone with a hearty appetite will probably appreciate this cookbook. I'm particularly curious about the empanadas - I'll have to check it out at my local library.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 6/17/12, 5:19 PM  

I like that there are healthy options in this book. The picture on the right of your post... in the bowl, did I miss what that was? It looks delicious!

Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate 6/17/12, 8:49 PM  

What a terrific review! I have an obsession with cookbooks and am always interested in finding new ones to check out. I love that your blog also incorporates these into your reviews. Thanks for sharing!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 6/18/12, 8:49 AM  

I think this one might be worth it for the lunch ideas alone! We always struggle with what to have for lunch (well, Scott anyway...I could eat the same thing every single day).

I'm going to have to start looking into these Workman cookbooks. I'm so impressed with Mom 100--not necessarily for the recipes which are pretty standard fare but for the tips and tricks and little side notes and just the general gorgeous layouts. I've been reading it like a book in bed. Ha! Sounds like this one has some similar little tips and tidbits that go beyond the recipes.

Amelia 6/18/12, 3:07 PM  

Where was this when my brother was in High school and we had to feed a herd of boys every week?

booklineandsinker 6/18/12, 9:31 PM  

Sounds like a great cookbook! I cook in cycles--tending to do more of it in the winter. :) with just two of us, like you guys, it can be a bit of a hassle to make a meal so I'll double recipes and have a million leftovers for lunches and dinners. As for meat pies, I make them with pie crust or empanada wrappers and fill them with rice, corn, meat, and cheese. After cooking and freezing them, Ant can heat them in the toaster oven and they are great!

Jenn's Bookshelves 6/19/12, 8:57 AM  

Ok, I definitely need this book. While my boys are still young, they practically eat like grown men!

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