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Don’t Nook this cook

Many at-home chefs have downsized their cookbook collections into tablets. Whether using a tome or digital version, these recipes are bound to come out tasty.

By Phyllis Stein-Novack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Dec. 8, 2011

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In some ways, I’m an old-fashioned girl. I like to cook from books, not from NOOKs. My mise-en-place is ready, the music is on, I’m sipping a cup of coffee or tea and a cookbook is nestled in my ancient acrylic holder on my Italian granite countertop.

There are dozens of new tomes for the giving this year. I’ve already written about “Lidia’s Italy in America” by Lidia Bastianich; “Dolci: Italy’s Sweets” by Francine Segan; and two easy-to-cook-from books based on ingredients you find at Trader Joe’s.

I also recommend "The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed No-Holds-Barred Baking Book” by Judy Rosenberg and “The Mozza Cookbook” by Nancy Silverton.

Until I leafed through "Rosie’s," I never had heard of Judy. She owns a number of successful bakeries in the Boston area. Rosenberg has a wicked sense of humor and her recipes work. It is a fine book for beginners.

In her introduction Rosenberg wrote: “Can’t say for sure that I came out of the womb on a diet, but it certainly wasn’t long afterward that I was put on one. As far back as I can remember, it was a family ritual to climb on the scale each morning; first my father, who was blessed with a metabolism that burned up everything that he ate; then my mother, who had the will power to stay thin; and finally, me, their chubby child. No one would have guessed then that I’d end up a baker, least of all me.”

I met Silverton more than 20 years ago during a Book and the Cook event at the Barclay Hotel. We immediately clicked. Although her first love is baking, Silverton is also an accomplished chef who has spent much time throughout Italy. Mozza is her Italian restaurant and pizzeria in Los Angeles. She has also been a judge on several episodes of “Top Chef.” “The Mozza Cookbook” is a detailed book for experienced cooks who love Italian food and want to discover more about the cuisines of Italy’s diverse regions.

 

Chocolate Bread Pudding

from "The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed No-Holds-Barred Baking Book" by Judy Rosenberg

Ingredients:

1-3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1-1/2 cups of milk
6 tablespoons of sugar
1-1/2 cups (9 ounces) of semisweet chocolate chips
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
3 cups of cubed (1-inch) challah
Vegetable oil or butter for greasing the dish

Directions:

Place the cream, milk, sugar, chocolate chips and salt in a medium-size saucepan and heat over low, whisking occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and all of the specks are gone, for about three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Vigorously whisk in the eggs.

Place the cut-up bread in a large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over it. Toss with a large wooden spoon to evenly soak. Refrigerate the mixture for about two hours, tossing the mixture occasionally with the spoon to make sure all of the cubes are fully soaked.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Generously grease a 6- or 8-cup soufflé dish with the oil or butter.

Scoop the pudding into the prepared dish. Bake on the center rack until the top is crisp, for about 40 minutes.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the surface of the pudding and bake until the pudding is set and a tester inserted close to but not in the center comes out clean, for about 30 minutes more.

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