With 135 recipes from places as far-flung as Baja California, Mexico; Brussels, Belgium; Richmond, Virginia; and Rome, Italy, Burt Wolf's latest cookbook captures all the international excitement of his new public television series, "Travels and Traditions."
Illustrated with sixteen pages of full-color photographs, Good to Eat offers dishes that are often perfect choices for the health-conscious cook. Take, for example, the classic Minestrone Milanese, a filling, vegetable-packed soup that has become an international favorite; or, from Trondheim, Norway, Salmon with a Basil Crust and Ratatouille Salsa. But good eating is about pure pleasure, too, and Good to Eat also includes recipes that will satisfy the pleasure-seeker in all of usfrom the Cayman Islands' Nut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin to Richmond, Virginia's Pecan Apricot Cake.
And, of course, Burt adds his own words of wisdom on a variety of topics, entertaining while he educates on subjects such as the naming of Jarlsburg cheese, the origins of big game fishing, and the food of Hong Kong, as well as the role of dietary fat, the need to find balance in the foods you eat, the truth about cholesterol, and the importance of consuming enough essential vitamins and minerals.
With this book, home cooks will discover that "good to eat" means following a generally healthy diet that is also tasty and satisfying, and that sensible eating can certainly be soul-satisfying as well.
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The Seafood of Norway
The Vikings who settled here were great fish eaters, and Trondheim is still a good town for a fish lover. As a matter of fact, all of Norway is into fish. The nation has a very large fishing industry and exports some of the finest fish in the world.
Norway does its traditional fishing in the rich grounds of the Arctic Ocean. The waters are cold and clean. But Norway also pioneered Atlantic salmon farming. They offer salmon fresh, frozen, smoked, and cut up into convenient shapes. Norwegian fishermen are always trying to make life easier for the cooks. They also have a big catch of cod which feeds primarily on krill that gives the cod a sweet, mild avor and a firm, white esh. And Norwegians are very serious about their haddock.
Gravlax with Mustard Sauce
Makes 10 servings of salmon and 1 cup mustard sauce
For the Gravlax:
3 1/2 pounds fresh salmon, center cut
2 large bunches fresh dill, washed and patted dry
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
For the Mustard Sauce:
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch ground cardamom (optional)
1 To make the gravlax: Ask the fish dealer to cut the salmon in half, remove the backbone and small bones, and leave the skin on.
2 In a glass or enamel rectangular dish, set half of the salmon, skin side down. Place the dill over the fish. In a small mixingbowl, combine the salt, sugar, and pepper, then sprinkle this mixture evenly over the dill. Set the other salmon half, skin side up, over the dill.
3 Cover the fish with plastic wrap and place a baking sheet on it that is larger than the dish which contains the fish. Set weights, such as heavy cans, on the baking sheet and refrigerate the salmon for up to 3 days, turning the fish over every 12 hours and basting it with the liquid which accumulates in the bottom of the dish. After basting, replace the weights each time.
4 To finish and serve: Remove the salmon from the marinade and discard the dill and seasonings. Pat the fish dry and set it skin side down on a cutting board. Cut wafer thin slices on the diagonal and away from the skin. Serve with the mustard sauce.
5 To make the mustard sauce: In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and blend thoroughly. Cover the sauce and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Before serving, beat with a whisk or fork.
Bryggen Restaurant, Trondheim, Norway
Red Snapper with Tomatoes and Olives
Makes 6 servings
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Six 7-ounce red snapper fillets
1 shallot, chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sliced pitted Kalamata or other large Italian, French, or Greek black olives
15 large leaves fresh basil, finely shredded
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
Vegetable oil spray
About Florida Tomatoes. Florida tomatoes are shipped just before they are fully ripe. That helps keep them in good condition during the trip, but when you see a Florida tomato in your market it may still have a pink color.
When you get them home, do not put them in the refrigerator; the cold stops the ripening process and kills the avor. Let the tomatoes ripen at room temperature for two or three days until their red color deepens, and they will be ready to eat.
If you let other fruits like pears or bananas sit next to a ripening tomato, the tomato will ripen even faster. And always keep your tomatoes stem side up. The area around the stem is very delicate and easily damaged. You don't want the weight of the tomato to rest on that surface.
1 In a mixing bowl, combine half the minced garlic with half the oil, the lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Marinate the fish in the mixture at room temperature for an hour, turning once.
2 In the bowl of a food processor, chop the shallot, tomatoes, olives, basil and parsley. Transfer to a bowl, add the remaining olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
3 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a large skillet with vegetable spray. Heat the skillet over medium heat and sauté the fish for 2 minutes a side or until opaque throughout. Remove the skillet from the heat and with a wide spatula, transfer the fish to a baking dish.
4 Top the fish with the tomato mixture and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the interior of the fish is opaque and cooked through. Remove and serve with the pan juices over rice, pasta, or potatoes.
Edgewater Beach Hotel, Naples, Florida
Makes 8 to 10 servings
For the Cake:
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup grated carrots
1 1/4 cups whole wheat our
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the Glaze:
1 cup apricot jam
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon water
About buttermilk. Buttermilk should really be called "better milk." Contrary to what the name implies, it is actually lower in fat and calories than whole milk. Buttermilk is made with skim or low-fat milk and has less than 1 percent milk fat and only 90 to 100 calories per cup.
Originally, buttermilk was the whey left over from making butter. Before refrigeration, the buttermilk was left to clabber or thicken naturally. The modern technique blends skim milk with a buttermilk culture that causes the milk to thicken. Buttermilk is often made with salt added. If you are on a salt-restricted diet, look for buttermilk that is labeled "no salt added." In some soup recipes, buttermilk is an ideal low-calorie substitute for cream.
1 To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and our a 9-inch round baking pan.
2 In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, vegetable oil, and buttermilk together.
3 Stir in the grated carrots, whole wheat our, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the raisins and fold in the chopped pecans.
4 Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out dry. Remove the cake from the pan and place on a rack to cool.
5 To make the glaze: In a saucepan over low heat, mix together the apricot jam, honey, and water. Stir until smooth. Brush the top of the cake with the apricot-honey glaze.