Title: Cooking Green
Author: Kate Heyhoe, 2009
257 pages; Softcover Photography None
Publisher: Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA 02142
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, May, 2009
I'm surprised about how "green" has taken off as the term for
saving the planet. Well, at least people have finally awakened to conservation
and the horrors written about in Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring". Gosh that was
nearly 40 years ago!
This book isn't all about recipes, which only take up about 1/3 of the pages. It is about sensible cooking and getting the most value for your money and helping the planet in some way. There is a lot of information here that most cooks don't know about. There are some questions asked to test your knowledge and I bet there are many celebrity chefs who couldn't answer them correctly! What's nice about the questions is that on the pages after them, the answers are explained so you actually learn something. This would be a good book for any high school student to have to read too!
The recipes all sound good and are creative. Most if not all are cooked for a short period of time with no high heat searing or long time braising and stewing. Boiling water can take a long time and wastes lots of energy, so you don't see many recipes calling for it. Even the Blue Oven Rare Roast Beef didn't require a lot of fuel. Twenty minutes at 475 degrees F., turn the oven off and let It'sit with the door closed for 1 ½ hours, a wait of 10 minutes before carving after taking it from the ovenandVoilaRoast Beef! Cooking a cake in a crock-pot, this I have to see! Yes, the Greek Citrus-Honey Cake worked and was delicious cooked in this method. You could have fooled me! It cooked in a 5-quart crock-pot for 2 hours and 15 minutes and then rested for 15 minutes more and was delicious.
This book would make a great gift for a graduation or wedding. It's easy to read, has lots of information and isn't boring. The recipes are well written and easy to prepare.
Go Cooking Green!
GREEK CITRUS-HONEY CAKE
Green Goodness: Bakes in slow cooker using almost-no fuel; kitchen stays cool
Prep/Cooking Times: 15 minutes prep + 2-1/4 hours unattended cooking
Prime Season: Year-round
Conveniences: Quick'n' easy dessert; small slices serve many
New Green Basic: Use as no-oven, slow cooker template for other quickbreads and cakes.
This rustic and distinctive cake can be addictive with tea at breakfast, with cheese at lunch, and after dinner with grapes and fresh fruit. It's inspired by a cake in Lynn Alley's book The Gourmet Slow Cooker, and it's like the sweets served at Mediterranean cafes and coffee houses-moist with lemon honey syrup, fruity with olive oil and oranges, spiked with cinnamon and yogurt. Cornmeal and almonds give it texture you can taste. And unless you mention it, no one will guess it's made in a Crock-Pot.
For easy mixing and one less bowl to wash, measure the wet ingredients
starting with the yogurt
into a 4-cup measuring cup, then add the eggs and whisk.
1/2 cup olive oil (mild, or mix of mild and fruity), plus extra for greasing
1-3/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (double-acting)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (1 cup) plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)
2 teaspoons orange oil or 1 tablespoon orange extract
6 large eggs
1/2 cup slivered almonds, or pine nuts
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 5-quart slow-cooker insert (crock) with a small amount of olive oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Set in the paper and grease it.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Separately combine the yogurt, olive oil, orange oil or extract, and eggs, beating with a wire whisk. Pour the yogurt mixture into the bowl holding the dry mixture and combine until uniformly mixed. Stir in the nuts. Pour the batter into the crockery insert.
3. Lay a folded dishtowel across the top of the crock (covering the batter without touching it), cover with the lid, and cook on high 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until the edges turn brown and pull away slightly from the insert, and a wooden skewer poked in the center comes out clean. Lift the insert (using potholders) out of the cooker and let it rest, uncovered, 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife or spatula. Place a plate over the top and, holding It'securely (it's hot: use potholders), flip the crock over, so the cake falls onto the plate. Remove the parchment. Let the cake cool slightly.
4. Stir the honey and lemon juice together until completely combined. While the cake is warm, poke holes in the top with a fork, about 20 times. Spoon the glaze over the top and sides, letting the glaze seep in slowly before adding more. Serve in thin slices.