The discussions at the end about equipment and pantry could be expanded, although they fit the recipes given.
I feel like it could use more discussion of technique although writing about technique (rather than teaching through demonstration) is always tricky.
Perhaps I'm just reacting to current fads but I wish it included some discussion of sourcing of ingredients and had less emphasis on canned beans, canned tuna, etc. Canned lentils - seriously? Sheesh.
A quote that bugs me: "The tricky thing with this salad is that a whole tin of chickpeas can be quite a big eat. If you’re not super hungry feel free to ditch some of the chickpeas."
Every kitchen has waste and nearly every kitchen compromises on ingredients but that quote makes me shudder. I suppose if you're moving from heating up frozen french bread pizzas to a cuisine as in this book that's a large positive step so I shouldn't find too much fault here. Still, a little discussion of buying dried legumes and cooking up batches ahead for use in several dishes would be nice.
Perhaps it needs a sequel :-)
 Something done to them with hot steam or so.
Just fix up the ingredients the night before, and put everything in the refrigerator. Morning comes, just pour the "stuff" into the crock pot and turn it on the "slow" setting and head out. Come home approx 8 hours later and bob's your uncle.
There are plenty of good books available with piles of slow-cooker recipes as well, and I'm sure you can find plenty on the 'net. Seriously, give it a try.
1. Warm up to room temp, salt & pepper (maybe garlic powder)
2. Heat pan with olive oil to hot enough that a water drop spits around on it
3. Place chicken skin down in oil
4. Salt, pepper, etc. the bottom (now facing up)
5. Cook ~3-4 minutes on that side, flip it, and insert into oven waiting at 375°
6. Cook for 35-45 more minutes, or a temp of about 175-180F internal.
Chicken that is cooked this way is awesome and the time it takes in the oven is just right to prepare side dishes.
The bone regulates temperature and moisture levels.
Trust me, it won't overcook. If you're worried, turn the oven down to 350 F.
How do your floormates feel about that? I hope you at least share the chili with them. :)
Super simple, talks you through every process (including how to chop food, how to slice, etc) and very nice typography for the graphics nerds out there.
Yes, you have to spend $15 but it's well worth it. Everything is fresh, healthy, and fast.
I can actually see some recipes I've thrown together in here; I could definitely seeing people using this to live off and slowly evolving them into their own recipes with additions, expansions etc.
The only gripe I have is "fresh egg mayonaise" - which is an art form and recipe in itself if you make it :P and I am not sure I have ever seen it on sale anywhere cheap... (this is in the UK so it may be de rigueur over there)
(hackers tend to make either the best or worst cooks; one of my hacker friends is quite useless in the kitchen because he can't understand the concept of "roll with it" and reads the recipe like a program :))
I used to be like this when I was in high school. I was preparing something almost fool-proof (Pasta Roni), and was devastated when I discovered I'd added the milk before directed. I was sure that it was going to crash and burn. When the food turned out just fine (as fine as boxed pasta can be, that is), I learned the valuable lesson that not everything requires engineering precision.
I haven't in the US.
one of my hacker friends is quite useless in the kitchen because he can't understand the concept of "roll with it" and reads the recipe like a program
Maybe try getting him to work without a recipe? Plenty of dishes allow a lot of wiggle room (or "___ to taste"). Most of my cooking at this point is based on trying to guess which basic ingredients have tastes that fit well together (with a fair bit of experimentation, e.g. this is the first time I've used strawberries in a marinade). It's also fun to try to reverse-engineer someone else's cooking (though I'm having trouble duplicating the texture of some curry sauces I've had).
It's only 2 ingredients, so you still have leeway to add some more, and so you have to add tomatoes (and a bit of olive oil and salt) to make the typical catalan "pa amb tomaquet" (pan with tomatoes).
1/2 1/3 Baguette
2-4 slices jamón
1-2 ripe tomatoes (red and juicy)
1-2 teaspoon olive oil
1 pinch of salt
Open baguette. Cut the tomatoes in half and spread their innards on the bread. Oil and salt it. Layer with jamón, close up and enjoy even more than the original recipe.
"Pa amb tomaquet" looks like this:
You can do it with any kind of bread, but with toasted bread it's even better.
The "bocadillo with jamón" recipe says "sometimes the bread is moistened by rubbing the cut side of a tomato onto the bread, or drizzling some olive oil – or both.". I'm only familiar with the Barcelona area, but I've never seen it made without the tomato and the Spanish put olive oil on everything. As he says, it will be pretty dry without at least tomato or oil.
* adds yet another blog to Reader * Damn you, Google Reader! You're devouring my life, and I love it!