Title: Teen Cuisine
Author: Matthew Locricchio
207 pages; Hardcover $22.95 US / $28.95 CAN
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish, Tarrytown NY 2010
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, April, 2011
Do you have teen age children? Do you struggle
in your kitchen trying to figure out what to feed them? Look no
further, buy this book, Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio.
First I must say that I am impressed with the quality of the
book's printing, it's done on nice weight paper, it's colorful
and the pictures of the recipes' finished products are quite nice
indeed! But is this book for a grown-up to use or is it for your
teen to cook from? There aren't many teens with the skills,
especially with knives, who can handle all the cutting that may
be required in some of the recipes. Under some supervision from
a parent and proper instruction and training they might.
Most teens like grab and go food these days and even when
sitting down for dinner or a holiday family meal it's hard to
keep them at the table for long perioods of time. Before you
start using this book you might want to explain to your kids
that the recipes make really nice looking finished dishes, this
isn't a cookbook for plain mac and cheese or sloppy Joes! The
book is sophisticated and its recipes are very nice--what would
you expect from a chef? Some recipes like New Gazpacho with
Chipotle Almond Cream and Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh
Lime Dressing might not appeal to the finicky teenager.
Most of the recipes though are standard fare in families that
have a history of having good cooks for generations.
Recipes I tried include the Not-An-Ordinary Grilled Cheese
Sandwich; it was made with whole wheat bread and sharp cheddar.
The Burger recipe was basic with a little kick added from a
spice mix of cayenne, paprika and black pepper. All the fixings
of lettuces, sliced onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo and
tomatoes really dressed up the burger as it sat upon a toasted
kaiser roll. We are talking adult food too in the Max Mac and
Cheese---so rich and gooey with Vermont sharp cheddar, cottage
cheese, light cream, dry mustard and cayenne! I know there are
losts of calories in this dish to keep the kids fueled for
hours! Who doesn't like dessert? There are plenty of recipes but
the one to catch my eye was the Carrot Layer Cake, so moist, so
rich, so good! The cream cheese frosting was very nice with a
touch of coconut in it.
Perhaps the best section of the book was
the pizza section. Most cook books don't do a good job when it
comes to the recipe for the pizza dough. In this book, not only
was the recipe clear to follow but as an added bonus the were 3
separate recipes; one for New York, one for California and a
Chicago style dough. Then there were recipes for each type of
dough using diffrent ingredients, and then from the New York
dough a calzone!
The botton line on Teen Cuisine is that
it isn't just a cookbook with recipes for teens, it's a cookbook
for the whole family! The bonus to all is the possibility that
your teen will want to cook from this book, reviving the lost
art of learnig how to cook at an early age. Then who knows, they
might be inspired to become a chef!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Makes 4 Sandwiches
8 slices whole wheat, white, or sourdough
4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
On your mark ...
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in
the upper slot of the oven.
Get set ...
Cut away the
crusts of the bread with a sharp knife. Discard the crusts. Lay
four slices on a small baking sheet.
Using the largest
holes of a four-sided grater, grate the cheddar cheese into a
small bowl. Add the milk and combine.
Butter the top of
each slice of bread with a pastry brush. Turn the bread over so
the buttered side is clown.
Spoon one-quarter of the cheese
mixture on top of each slice of bread and cover with the
remaining slices of bread.
With a pastry brush, butter the
Place the baking sheet in the oven
and bake the sandwiches for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese
melts and the bread just begins to brown.
Turn the oven to
broil. Brown the sandwiches under the broiler for 1 minute on
each side. (If necessary, reshape the sandwiches with a spatula
after you turn them, tapping in the sides like a deck of cards.)
Be careful not to let them burn.
With a spatula, lift the
finished sandwiches from the baking sheet to a serving disk.
Let them cool for a moment, cut into halves, and serve hot.
Just looking at this moist and elegant carrot
cake explains why it has so many
fans. If you have never
made a frosted layer cake, start with the recipe below.
can make your job even easier by baking the cake in a 9 by
then all you have to do is frost the top. This
cake will impress everyone who tries
it, but most of all
Makes 1 (9-inch) Two-layer Cake, or 1 (9 by 13-inch)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
7 to 8
carrots (about 1 pound)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups raw
1 cup whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup heavy
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
On your mark .. .
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle slot of the
lay two 1-foot sheets of parchment paper on top of
one another on a clean countertop. Using the bottom of a 9-inch
cake pan, trace a circle on the top piece of paper. Using the
pencil line as a guide, cut out two layered circles. Set the
With a piece of wax paper, butter two round
9-inch cake pans with 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon
flour, tip the pans back and forth, and roll the pans on their
sides to evenly coat the surfaces. Tap out any excess flour.
line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle and set
Cream Cheese Frosting (May double for more
11 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Get set .. .
To make the cake, wash and peel the carrots. Using the largest
holes of a four-sided grater, grate the carrots into a large
bowl (or grate the carrots using a food processor. Follow the
manufacturer's directions for grating.) Measure 3 cups grated
carrots. Set aside.
With a whisk, combine the flour, baking
powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Set
In the bowl of a food processor with the all-purpose
metal blade in place, combine the carrots, oil, arid raw sugar.
Snap the lid into place and process for 20 to 30 seconds, until
the ingredients are blended and smooth.
Pour the mixture
into a large bowl. Add the yogurt, cream, eggs, vanilla, and
nuts. Beat the mixture with an electric hand-mixer set on high
until the ingredients are blended into a smooth batter.
Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the flour mixture and
fold to combine until the ingredients come together. Don't over
Using a rubber spatula, scrape half of the batter into
each prepared cake pan.
Bake on the middle
rack of the oven for 30 minutes. The cake is done when a knife
inserted in the middle comes out clean.
In th the meantime,
make the frosting. Combine the cream cheese, coconut,
confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix the
ingredients with an electric hand-mixer until smooth. Cover and
refrigerate until you are ready to frost the cake.
cake pans on a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a
knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
Lay a cooling rack on top of a cake pan and invert it. Carefully
lift off the pan and the parchment paper. Now lay a second
cooling rack on the cake and turn it upside down so the top of
the cake is facing up. Repeat with the other cake pan. Cool the
cake layers completely before frosting.
To frost the cake,
lay one layer on a serving dish, round side up. Using a long,
thin metal or rubber spatula or a knife, put about 1/2 cup of
the frosting in the center of the bottom layer. Spread the
frosting to the edges of the layer until even. Take your time to
avoid tearing the cake.
Lay the second layer on top of the
first, round side up, making sure the layers evenly line up.
Frost the top layer of the cake with another 1/2 cup of the
frosting. Frost the sides of the cake with the remaining
frosting, filling in withfrosting where the two layers meet.
Cut into slices and serve.