From the Ground Upby James Villas
A world tour of beloved ground meat recipes from award-winning author James Villas
Ground meats are easily affordable and amazingly versatile—and common in almost every cuisine. Ground beef, pork, poultry, and seafood are staple ingredients across continents and cultures, but they've rarely been given the respect they deserve.
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From the Ground Up by James Villas features recipes using all kinds of ground or minced meats. If you are thinking this is a cookbook full of burgers and meatloaf think again! There are literally recipes from around the world including dumplings, turnovers, quiches and croquettes with a few comfortable favorites like chilis and meatballs through in. I was surprised by the number of fish and seafood recipes included. There are no pictures and the soft cover cookbook is pretty plain, but the recipes are easy to follow and he mentions substitutions making finding ingredients simpler. Below are the recipes I tried and what I thought of them. Spanish Chorizo- Stuffed Mushrooms - This is the best stuffed mushroom recipe I've tried! The salty, meaty sausage combined with the mushrooms make for an unami delight. This will become a regular appetizer at my parties. Greek Lamb, Raisin, and Pine Nut Spanakopitas - I liked the idea of this dish better than I liked the reality. The flavors didn't seem to go together very well and the phyllo was messy to work with. This is the one recipe I tried that I likely won't repeat. Maryland Deviled Crab - Very rich and not too spicy. This was a decadent way to start a fancy meal. I won't make this often, but when a need something rich and fancy to start, maybe New Years Eve, I'll make this again. Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes - Easy, healthier and tastier than average sloppy joes. I made these for kids and they were gobbled up. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight supper. Italian Proscuitto and Spinach Frittata - This was my favorite recipe from this cookbook. Delicious flavor combination, quick and easy to make, and I would be happy to eat it breakfast, lunch or dinner! This is a good cookbook for spicing up your regular routine!
Ground meats are about the most flexible foods around. There's just one problem: What do I do with it for dinner tonight? Actually, that's no longer a problem, with From the Ground Up. Author, James Villas -- a Food & Wine editor, renowned cookbook author and James Beard Award winner -- takes us around the world with ever-versatile ground meats, including beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal, lamb, and even seafood (ceviche, anyone?). And when I say, "around the world", I mean it; the book really is a culinary voyage across the globe, in its 400 pages of mouth-watering recipes. For instance, in the first of eleven chapters, on Appetizers, Canapes, and Dips, the thirty two recipes range from Boston Clam Dip, to Greek Lamb, Raisin and Pine Nut Spanakopitas, back to Key West for Conch Fritters (yum!) to a Japanese Shrimp Spread with Sake, a French Country Pate, or Singapore Crabmeat and Peanut Toasts. Other chapters in From the Ground Up include Soups and Salads, Sandwiches and Turnovers, Patties, Balls and Dumplings, Pies, Quiches, and Souffles, Casseroles and Pastas, Hashes and Chilies, Sausage, Sauces and many more. I think you probably get the idea: without exaggeration, From the Ground Up is THE authoritative work on ground meat dishes of all kinds. Any recipe you've ever had -- or wanted to have -- with any type of ground meat is likely to be found here. And what's more, the recipes are the kind you will actually make, over and over again, with many sure to become family favorites. Now to get busy making Meatballs Stroganoff with that ground round in the fridge... My family is going to love it!