Packed with delicious recipes and infused with the spirit of Food Network stars, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, Talk with your Mouth Full, THe Hearty Boys Cookbook is one of the happiest and most infectious cookbooks to come across our desk. If you like to cook, this book will make you love to cook. If you love to cook, you will be singing and dancing around your sizzling pots.
Dan and Steve call themselves "accidental experts" because their career road was circuitous, but following a winding road honed an irreverent spirit which cuts through pretension and gets down to the business of good food. In the introduction they say, "There are two kinds of cookbooks: the ones that are displayed on the coffee table and the ones that become kitchen tools." With this book as a tool, the cook will play, will find the new, will take a classic recipe and update with extra zing,
Starting as party caterers, Dan and Steve understand parties, from hors d'oeuvres and starters, main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and those beverages we call libations. Grab a wooden spoon, pick up a knife and start your kitchen song with one of the menus organized by Dan and Steve. Complete with timelines, they offer many menus, among them a comfort food dinner with friends, a garden party, a cocktail party, a brunch buffet, a seated dinner party, and of course - sports sunday.
Try the menu for an Italian-inspired buffet dinner. Start early and spread the work, say the hearty twosome, by making a salad dressing three days ahead. The next day make biscotti and shortbread. The day after make an onion pie, prep some veggies, make a balsamic mushroom sauce for a special chicken dish yet to come. When the party day arrives, your kitchen chores are lightened, you can enjoy your own party. And what a party it will be with this impressive menu:
Balsamic Mushroom Chicken Breasts, Pan-sauteed Vegetable Confetti, Oven-roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Hearts of Romaine Caesar Salad, Rustic Onion Pie, Biscotti Regina, Steve's Espresso Shortbreads.
Parties call for appetizers and there are many recipes here, such as Glazed Apricots Wrapped in Bacon, Smoked Salmon Canapés with Orange Butter and Capers, Ricotta Salata with Freshly Sliced Pears and Pear Balsamic Vinegar. Not every day is party day and any of these dishes stand on their own as a new dinner dish for the family or for friends. And they range from the super-elegant Salmon Wellington to what the hearty boys describe as "sinfully easy" Baked Rotini with Tomato Cream. For sides, there are Fingerling Potato hash or Old Bay and Lemon Roasted Potatoes. Among the desserts are Amaretto Profiteroles or Lemon Brown Sugar Bread Pudding with Blueberry Cream.
A book rich in ideas, the authors offer expert advice from chilling wine to decorating a buffet table. There are 125 recipes in all and exceptionally beautiful color photos by Laurie Proffitt. Get singing, get dancing, get cooking.