Friday, June 15, 2012

"Hazan Family Favorites": Recipe and Review

Hazan Family Favorites
by Giuliano Hazan
Stewart, Tabori and Chang

By the time I got home from work one day, my husband had opened the mail and found a copy of Giuliano Hazan's Hazan Family Favorites. He was already eyeing the cover with its platter of Tagliata with Garlic and Parsley. Of course, he would naturally be drawn to the thinly sliced rib-eye steaks, cooked rare and piled high. It's the man in him.

Thumbing through the cookbook, I was immediately drawn to the pastas, seafood dishes, and desserts. This cookbook is filled with classic Italian dishes that please both the carnivores and carb-lovers alike.

I must admit that I am a traditionalist when it comes to cookbooks. While I can appreciate the menu layout, I prefer a classic no-fuss layout and this cookbook has that. It is divided into four chapters:
  • Appetizers, Salads, and Side Dishes
  • Primi: Soups, Pasta, and Rice
  • Secondi: Meats and Seafood
  • Dolci: Desserts
In every chapter, I found recipes that really appealed to me because of the flavor combinations and simplicity. Chapter One features a recipe for Tuna, Bean, and Red Onion Salad which uses canned tuna packed in olive oil and canned cannellini beans. Combined with a few other pantry ingredients, you have a quick and flavorful side dish. I'm looking forward to trying the Bolognese Meat Sauce from Chapter 2. I know my husband will appreciate the meat-based sauce that is combined with some of his favorite vegetables, celery and carrots.

Chapter 3 covered all meat and seafood bases with chicken, lamb, beef, veal, pork, and a variety of seafood. I'm always attracted to simple recipes and will be making Shrimp with Olive Oil and Lemon very soon.

And, what meal would be complete without dessert? I love to find dessert recipes that look delicious and use familiar ingredients that I know I can pull together. I was attracted to Nonna Mary's Ciambella, a sweet breakfast bread. It is a rustic bread, my favorite kind because that means it doesn't have to look perfect.

If you're a fan of Italian food and want to cook more authentic Italian dishes at home, then this is a cookbook that you may want to add to your collection. It is a solid, comprehensive cookbook filled with full-color photos and easily executed recipes.

I chose to feature a seafood dish, Grilled Sea Scallops with a Parsley-Thyme Sauce. This recipe came together very quickly. The sauce was absolutely wonderful and would work well with other seafood such as shrimp and fish.

Grilled Sea Scallops with a
Parsley-Thyme Sauce

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
7 to 8 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds sea scallops
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
Skewers for grilling

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill.

Put the lemon juice with 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. With a small whisk or a fork, mix thoroughly until the salt has dissolved. Chop enough parsley leaves to measure about 2 tablespoons and enough thyme leaves to measure about 2 teaspoons. Add the parsley and thyme to the bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and whisk until emulsified.

Put the remaining olive oil in a separate bowl. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper, and toss until coated with the oil. Add the bread crumbs and toss again. Thread the scallops onto two parallel skewers (this prevents them from spinning around).

Place the skewers on the grill and cook until form and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on how large the scallops are. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the parsley-thyme sauce on the side.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a copy of this cookbook, but the opinion expressed here is my own.

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