16 February 2019

Weekend Cooking: The Good Food by Daniel Halpern and Julie Strand

Review of The Good Food by Daniel Halpern and Julie StrandI'm one of those cooks who remembers the pre-internet days of trying to hunt down recipes with global flavors. If you didn't start putting together a massive cookbook collection, you simply wouldn't have access to Persian stews or Asian soups or Mideastern salads.

In the mid-1980s, Daniel Halpern and Julie Strand's The Good Food: A Cookbook of Soups, Stews, and Pastas (reissued by Ecco in January 2019) was a godsend, even if you had to go to a specialty market (or grow your own) to find fresh cilantro. In the 21st century, every imaginable recipe is available with the click of mouse or a tap on a screen, and even small towns like mine carry international ingredients at the general supermarket.

Despite the wonders of Pinterest, I found The Good Food to be full of appealing recipes for the kinds of meals I love--soups, stews, pastas, salads, and spreads. This book celebrates foods from around the world that say, Come into my kitchen. Sit at my table. Stay a while. It's just the kind of cookbook I bought in the 80s, and it's likely I even owned a copy (before my big cookbook purge of several years ago).

The recipes range from basic stocks to the more complex, and I'm truly drawn to many of the comforting dishes. The cookbook includes cold soups (curried zucchini) and hot soups (corn chowder), familiar stews (jambalaya) and new ones (saag gosht), and simple pastas (olive oil, garlic, and parsley) and fancy ones (poached salmon and creamy vinaigrette). Plus there's a chapter on accompaniments (chutneys, salads).

To be honest, if you're all about up-to-the-minute trends and a zillion fashion photos, you might want to look elsewhere. But if you're interested in classic, solid, stood-the-test-of-time recipes for the types of dinners that welcome home family and friends, then The Good Food is your cookbook. Be aware that Halpern and Strand do not shy away from cream and butter and have a heavy bent for meats, fish, and fowl.

None of that bothers me, and I'm glad to have a digital copy (thanks to Ecco) in my collection. The following simple pasta dish is on deck for this coming week.

Baked Fusilli with Cheese Parsley, and Scallions
Serves 8
A variation on the classic American macaroni and cheese, this make a fine Sunday night supper when followed by a green salad. We prefer the texture of the fusilli, and it catches the bits of parsley, scallion, and cheese.

  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup minced scallions, with 1 inch of the green
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 1/2 pounds white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
In a kettle, bring 5 quarts water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt and the vegetable oil. Add the fusilli, stir, and cook until not quite al dente. Drain thoroughly.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly and then stir in the milk. Add the parsley, scallions, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the fusilli and toss. Fold in the cheddar.

With 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, coat a shallow rectangular baking dish, about 14 x 9 x 2 inches. Spoon the fusilli mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan and the bread crumbs over the top and dot with the remaining butter.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the top is browned and the fusilli is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

International Freebie!

If you'd like a PDF copy of the cookbook that accompanies Crystal King's The Chef's Secret (see my post from Monday), either comment on this post or link up your own foodie post and then fill out this form. Everyone who provides his or her email after commenting or participating will get a copy. Fun fact: I adapted one of my grandmother's recipes for the book!

I'll delete your email from the Google form after I send you your cookbook.
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


jama 2/16/19, 6:45 AM  

That fusilli recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for featuring The Good Food today. Was not familiar with it before and it's nice they have reissued it.

Mae Travels 2/16/19, 7:22 AM  

Well, you perfectly describe why I have "a massive cookbook collection" -- but somehow even now with the Internet raging all around me every day, I still buy new ones. So many recipes, so little time (and so many reasons to avoid cream, butter, meats, fish, and fowl)! Good review.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

gluten Free A_Z Blog 2/16/19, 7:53 AM  

I love pasta dishes with fresh herbs like scallions and parsley . It sounds delicious - thanks for the reveiw

bermudaonion 2/16/19, 8:19 AM  

I do love traditional recipes and the one you shared sounds terrific. I think I'll see if my library has this cookbook.

Jackie McGuinness 2/16/19, 11:10 AM  

PRE-INTERNET! GADS! How did we survive? I think back and wonder how we even found a hotel?
I've always been a library user so that is where I would get my info. Even for a hotel...For our first trip to Paris I used a travel book (underbudget section) to book a hotel. We made the longdistance phone call, John spoke in French to get the price and make the reservation. No internet to do the currency conversion. Long story short, when we got there the clerk asked how we heard about the hotel, I said book, she says, oh we've renovated since then. The room was the size of a closet (today = "boutique"} and upon checkout we almost choked. I can still see us staggering down the street gasping at the $1000 fee for three nights! IN 1991!

Deb in Hawaii 2/16/19, 1:05 PM  

Even with the meat & fowl emphasis it looks like a book my soup-loving soul would like. ;-) The pasta sounds great too. Thanks for sharing. And very cool on "The Chef's Secret"--can't wait to see your recipe. Mahalo! ;-)

Abigail Pearson 2/16/19, 5:27 PM  

This cookbook looks amazing! I'm going to see if my library has a copy.

Brona 2/16/19, 5:46 PM  

Curiously my cookbook collection has grown since the start of easy internet browsing! But it also coincides with me starting work in an Indie bookshop...an easy, staff discount access to all manner of gorgeous books :-)
With the booklets starting to leave home, we're looking forward to spicing up our food again, which I hope will re-inspire me in the kitchen!

Vasilly 2/17/19, 11:25 AM  

I'm on a cookbook kick right now, so I may pick this one up.

Laurie C 2/24/19, 8:40 PM  

I can't fit another cookbook on my shelves, but I keep getting more! The fusilli recipe sounds delicious. How I miss cooking with real pasta! I have a gluten-free kitchen now and the g-f pasta's just not the same. Have to go out for my pasta fix. Just had salmon with asparagus and sundried tomato over tortellini at a restaurant tonight, as a matter of fact!

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

I cannot turn off word verification, but if you are logged into Blogger you can ignore the captcha. I have set posts older than 14 days to be on moderation. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. I'm so sorry if this means you have to register or if you have trouble commenting.


All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2020. All rights reserved.



To The Blogger Guide, Blogger Buster, Tips Blogger, Our Blogger Templates, BlogU, and Exploding Boy for the code for customizing my blog. To Old Book Illustrations for my ID photo. To SEO for meta-tag analysis. To Blogger Widgets for the avatars in my comments and sidebar gadgets. To Review of the Web for more gadgets. To SuziQ from Whimpulsive for help with my comments section. To Cool Tricks N Tips for my Google +1 button.

Quick Linker



  © Blogger template Coozie by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP