New Cookbook Takes Favorite Comfort Foods To Delightful Gastromonical Heights
By Mel Fabrikant Saturday, January 11, 2014, 03:01 PM EST
Taking Your Favorite Foods and Stuffing Them to Make New, Different and Delicious Meals by Dan Whalen, January 2014
Our favorite comfort foods are often considered tried and true recipes. But how can you take favorite comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, a hamburger, or even ravioli and make them even more comforting, more filling, even more delicious? Blogger and author Dan Whalen knows how and by following his recipes home cooks will learn how to turn their favorite comfort foods into new and exciting dishes.
Whalen, the master behind the wildly popular food blog, The Food in my Beard, and the mad scientist of comfort food, is the author of the new book, STUFFED: THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD COOKBOOK [Page Street Publishing, January 2014, $19.99 US]. The book is packed with recipes designed to take our favorite comfort foods to the next level. Readers will discover how to take a full-sized cheeseburger, stuff it into ravioli and call it dinner. Another recipe puts pineapple and bacon into jalapeño peppers to create a spicy appetizer.
Each chapter covers a delicious category of recipes: Stuffed Breads; Stuffed Meats; Stuffed Pasta and Rice; Stuffed Veggies and Fruits; and Stuffed Sweets. Some of the recipes readers will find include:
• French Toast Three Ways
• Pepperoni Stuffed Brazilian Cheese Balls
• Meatball Wellington
• Cuban Sandwich Empanadas
• Mac and Cheese Stuffed Burger
• Fish Ravioli in Thai Red Curry
• Korean and Vietnamese Burritos
• Ginger Peanut Chicken Samosas
• Couscous Salad Stuffed Shells
• Ginger-Cinnamon Baked Apples
• Tiramisu Stuffed Portuguese Cookies
Start the New Year off creatively with STUFFED, and take every day, ordinary favorite foods to the next level by creating surprising meals of outrageously enjoyable food!
Dan Whalen and STUFFED will be featured on QVC January 22, 2014.
“Dan Whalen is a true knight in the Sandwich Realm, and an American comfort food master.”
—Jeff Mauro, host of the Food Network series Sandwich King
“I share a bearded kinship with Dan Whalen as well as a passion for fun and delicious food. Stuffed is sure to inspire a lot of good times in the kitchen and have cooks jumping for joy.”
—Kevin Gillespie, Top Chef Season 6 Fan Favorite and Chef/Owner of “Gunshow,” Atlanta, GA
About the Author
Dan Whalen is the founder and creator of the popular food site The Food in my Beard, chef for Café Burrito in Boston, and freelance food writer for General Mills. His site gets over 10,000 visitors a day and his recipes have been viewed over 6 million times. Dan has been featured in Saveur, Fine Cooking and Bon Appetit magazine, as well as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, and on MSNBC and The Today Show blog. Dan resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Visit him online at www.thefoodinmybeard.com. To view his most recent television appearance, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJGJB3Idasw .
Here is a sample recipe from STUFFED:
Mac and Cheese Chile Rellenos
Makes: 8 stuffed peppers
Pig-Out Scale: 7.9
A chile relleno is normally stuffed with cheese, so why not add some mac in there, too? More traditional chile rellenos have an eggy batter that is almost reminiscent of eating a chile omelet. For this bastardized mac and cheese version, I did the standard American bar food breadcrumb crust and it matched perfectly. These chile rellenos have an amazing balance of crunch, spice, ooze and comfort!
Mac and Cheese:
2 slices bacon
1 clove garlic
¼ cup (35 g) pickled nacho jalapenos
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cherry peppers, diced
½ pound (225 g) elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons (28 g) butter
1 ½ tablespoons (21 g) flour
1 ½ cups (355 ml) milk
½ teaspoon mustard powder
5 ounces (140 g) Cheddar cheese
5 ounces (140 g) Monterey Jack cheese
8 poblano peppers
2 cups (240 g) flour
2 cups (230 g) breadcrumbs
3 eggs, beaten
Make the Mac and Cheese: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Chop the bacon into ½-inch (1.3-cm) squares. Mince the garlic. Roughly chop the jalapeños and tomatoes.
In a Dutch oven with just a splash of olive oil, cook the bacon until crispy, about 7 minutes, and remove it from the pot. Let drain on paper towels. In the remaining bacon fat, cook the onion and peppers for about 5 minutes, until they start to brown. While the veggies cook, be sure to continually scrape the bottom of the pot to keep the browned bits incorporated with the food and not stuck to the pot. This would be a good time to get your pasta cooking. Add the minced garlic and butter to the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes, until the butter is melted. Mix in the flour and cook, stirring often, until the roux is slightly darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Pour in the milk, whisking until smooth, and bring to a light simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard powder. Strain the pasta and put it directly into the milk mixture. Slowly add the cheeses and stir well until melted. Add the tomatoes and jalapeños and stir. Cool the pasta down to at least room temperature before stuffing the peppers.
Prepare the Peppers: Turn your broiler to high heat and position the oven rack right below it. Lightly oil and salt the poblano peppers and place them on a sheet pan. Broil on all sides until the skin is lightly charred and blistered. Put the peppers into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, set up your breading station by putting the flour, breadcrumbs and beaten eggs into 3 separate shallow bowls. Take the poblanos out of the bowl and gently peel them. Remove the tops and scrape the insides out with a fork.
Stuff It!: Stuff the peppers with the cooled pasta mixture. We want extra breading on the peppers to help hold them together, so we are going to do a triple layer. Start by coating the pepper in the flour and shaking the excess off. Then dip it into the egg and again let the excess drip off. Repeat these steps in the flour and the egg 2 more times. Finally, coat very well in the breadcrumbs.
Cook It: Shallow-fry the peppers in 1 inch (2.5 cm) of vegetable oil to brown on all sides.
Recipe may be reprinted with the following credit:
Recipe from STUFFED: THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD COOKBOOK
By Dan Whalen
Page Street Publishing/January 2014
• • •
STUFFED: THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD COOKBOOK
Taking Your Favorite Foods and Stuffing Them to Make New, Different and Delicious Meals
by Dan Whalen
Page Street Publishing
Also available as an ebook.