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Friday, July 22, 2011

Cool Cookbook for a Hot Day

'wichcraft is a fantastic cookbook of 'just' sandwiches. Tom Colicchio, head judge on Top Chef as well as owner of numerous restaurants, is the author of this cookbook which takes sandwiches to a whole new level. Try the Cheddar with Smoked Ham, Poached Pear and Mustard for example. Ham and cheddar - yawn! - but add the poached pear, dijon mustard and put it on cranberry pecan bread, and it's a wow! Each sandwich recipe is composed of several elements, which can all be done from scratch, BUT don't have to be. You can cheat and substitute or buy prepared ingredients and you will have the blueprint to make some easy and truly gourmet combinations.

There are some good basic ideas here too, such as how to poach a chicken breast so it stays moist and delicious. Each recipe faces its photo making this a fun browsing book too.

Colicchio takes such care in fashioning his food and his recipes that even the humble BLT merits a description of just how to build the sandwich (toast the country bread on one side, put the toasted side IN) to make it the best of its kind. Of course you are using heirloom tomatoes, and thick cut bacon, but hey, do you want to make a great sandwich or not?

I made about 15 of the recipes from 'wichcraft, and each one has been special in some way. OK, so the guys didn't absolutely love the Raw Yellow Beets with Avocado and Grapefruit Sandwich, but the women in my group did. And the Roasted Turkey with Onion Marmalade was universally enjoyed, as were the Tuna and Roasted Tomato Melt as well as the Red Wine Braised Steak with Gruyere.

There are even dessert sandwiches. For my son who loves banana bread, I made the Banana Bread Sandwich with Caramel Ice Cream (I purchased Dulce de Leche ice cream) and Pecan Brittle. A-maze-ing!

The library has some great new cookbooks, and I highly recommend this one. Let me know if you've seen Tom Colicchio, have tried any of his recipes or restaurants, and what you think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, speaking of food I had a smoked egg the other day. I never had anything like it before. It had a subtle smokey flavor, not too intense. It was awesome.