I've owned the Michael Bauer cookbook for a couple years now and the only recipe I've tried is the Citizen Cake Mexican Wedding Cookies which I love. Tonight I tried not one, but two recipes from his book.
Everything here was pretty straight forward. Sidenote: I was shocked that I could get all the ingredients for all three courses at the veggie stand on Church St. for less than $10 (most of it organic). I think I would have paid 3x that at Safeway. They have a new customer.
The mushrooms were delicious and very straight forward. I couldn't find button mushrooms so I just went with smallish white ones. Not perfect, but close. This recipe and the spinach call for the addition of _alot_ of butter during the saute'. I used about half the amount called for w/ the mushrooms (that still seemed like a lot to me) and they still tasted wonderfully rich, delicious, and flavorful.
The spinach was an amazing surprise and treat. I have had plenty of sauteed spinach in the past, but the combination of the chopped dried apricots, toasted pine nuts, and wilted spinach was one of the more unique flavor combinations I've had in a while, and one of the best. I went out on a limb and eliminated the first step in this recipe which said to blanch the spinach for a minute or two in a pot of boiling water before the saute. I just browned the butter, added the spinach and waited for it to reduce in size, and then added the other ingredients, generous shake of salt. Skipped most of the butter on the tail end- I swear to god if there was any more butter the recipe would have been Butter with Spinach, Apricots and Raisins.
Recipe #3-Red-Chile Potatoes: Im going to preface this next one with the statement that I am no fan of home fries, or breakfast fries-or whatever you call those greasy morning potato cubes. I am a shamelss fan of just about every other concievable culinary treament of the potato but please, hold the breakfast fries. I wanted to try out one of the recipes I brought back from my trip through the Southwest but was torn between one for Parmesan Cilantro Potatoes, and one for Red Chile Roasted Potatoes. I went for the Red Chile version so I could try out some of the new Chimayo HOT red chile powder. The guy who sold it to us kept insisting we needed to think of it "as an ingredient, not a seasoning." He was also eating big pinched of the red pepper flakes straight out of the bag. I didn't know people did that. This recipe has you saute some chopped onions, toss them with small raw potato cubes, add chile powder + salt, then bake for about an hour. They were what they were: Southwestern Home Fries.
Spinach with Apricots and Raisins, from: The Secrets of Success Cookbook Page: 276, Red Chile Roasted Potatoes from: The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook Page: 141