Special to the Journal
(StatePoint) Bored with your everyday cooking? This New Year, resolve to give your meals an exuberant makeover. You won’t even need to look across an ocean for bold flavor inspiration from other cuisines. You can start at home, say experts.
“American cuisine has been crafted from the stupendous ingredients, flavors and dishes derived from all people who have stepped upon its shore — east to west, northern tip to southern gulf. All of it has merged into a single fabulous, kaleidoscopic menu,” says Susanna Hoffman, anthropologist and food writer and co-author of the new book, “Bold: A Cookbook of Big Flavors.”
Hoffman, along with long-time cooking collaborator with whom she helped found the famed Chez Panisse restaurant, and co-author Victoria Wise, are encouraging home chefs to highlight the range of bold flavors of the American melting pot in their cooking — whether they are making a traditional classic or incorporating new styles, tastes and trends.
In “Bold” they venture away from the small plates phenomenon of the last several years by offering an array of recipes of plate-filling proportions comprised of lively global and domestic influences.
Try this recipe for “Lamb Chops with Scallions in Cola Glaze,” which celebrates a ubiquitous, truly all-American product and repurposes it for the main meal:
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 8 lamb shoulder or sirloin chops
• Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 6 bunches scallions, white and light green parts only, cut lengthwise into thin strips
• 1 1/2 cups regular Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola
• 3 teaspoons anise seeds
• Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan large enough to hold the chops without crowding. Sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and sauté until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.
• Add the scallions, cola and anise seeds to the pan and continue cooking, turning three times until almost all the liquid disappears and the chops are glazed on both sides and still pink in the centers, about 8 minutes altogether.
• To serve, arrange the chops on a platter; heap the scallions on top and pour the remaining pan juices over all. Serve right away.
More information about the new book can be found at www.Workman.com.
A new year is a perfect opportunity to try new things in the kitchen. From slow-cooked roasts and braises to brimming soups and hearty pastas and grains, you can make meal time more exciting by thinking bigger and bolder.