Tuesday, September 20

Cookbook Review: Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio

Chef Matthew Locricchio wants your teens to get cooking in the kitchen. And with his new cookbook, Teen Cuisine, they just might.

The 50 recipes, many of which are photographed by fellow cookbook author James Peterson, are divided into traditional categories including Brilliant Breakfasts, Celebrity Soups, and Shooting Star Entrees. Teens will no doubt goggle up the chapter devoted exclusively to pizza from coast to coast. There they’ll learn how to make their own pizza dough and how to transform it into New York, California, and Chicago-Style pizzas. After all, no one should be limited when it comes to pizza.

The recipes are great; however, I’m not sure exactly what makes them “teen” recipes. To me, most of them are just classic, American comfort food dishes that kids and adults of all ages enjoy such as pancakes, tomato soup, pulled pork sandwiches, crisp oven fries, chicken pot pie, spaghetti and meatballs, and chocolate chip cookies.

There are several recipes that would appeal to the more serious teen cook including a hearty Sante Fe Tofu Scrambler, a refreshing Greek tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce), a tangy glazed pork tenderloin, and a deliciously cheesy fondue.

Though it's not a cookbook geared toward dieting, Locricchio does encourage teens to use the best local, organic food they can afford and to avoid “mystery ingredients” with unpronounceable chemicals typically found in highly processed, packaged foods. That's sound advice.

I also like that Locricchio doesn’t talk down to teens or attempt to “be cool.” The recipes are written in the same format of “On your mark, “Get set,” “Cook!” though that’s about as cutesy as it gets. There are a few call-out boxes with “chef’s tips,” and at the end of the book, there are helpful sections on essential kitchen ingredients, tools, and equipment.

This quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) and black salad with fresh lime dressing has it all: it's colorful, sassy, tasty, and healthy. Serve it as a side dish or a vegetarian main meal. Either way, teens and parents alike will love it.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh Lime Dressing

Guess what? There's a GIVE-AWAY! 
3 lucky Food Blogga readers will receive a copy of Teen Cuisine.

Here's how to win: In the comment section below, simply share a story, a comment, a tip, a question, etc. about cooking with your kids. Don't have kids? Then just tell us why you'd like to receive the book.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh Lime Dressing
Serves 4 to 6
Printable recipe.

1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 cups water

1 lime
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

2 medium Valencia or navel oranges
1 medium ripe tomato
5 to 6 sprigs cilantro
5 to 6 sprigs parsley
1 cup cooked black beans, or canned
1 small cucumber
1 bunch fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted cashews

On your mark...
Place quinoa and water in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature. Set the cooked quinoa aside.

To make the dressing, squeeze the juice from the lime into a clean glass jar with a lid. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and sour cream. Close the lid, shake well, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Get set... 
Wash and peel the oranges. Remove as much of the white outer skin as you can. Cut into 1/4-inch slices. Set the slices aside.

Wash the tomato; cut out the stem circle at the top and discard. Dice into small chunks and place in a large bowl.

Wash the cilantro and parsley, shake to remove excess water, and dry by rolling in paper towels coarsely chop.

Add the quinoa, black beans, cilantro, and chopped parsley to the bowl with the tomatoes.

Shake the dressing again and pour it over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss well to combine and set aside.

Wash, peel, and slice the cucumber into thin slices.

Mound the tomato-quinoa combination in the center of the serving platter.

Arrange the orange slices and cucumbers around the edge of the platter.

Wash the fresh mint, shake to remove excess water, and dry by rolling in paper towels coarsely chop; remove leaves from steams and discard stems. Garnish with mint leaves and cashews. Serve immediately.


kellypea said...

Definitely a great idea to have teens in the kitchen helping with the cooking -- mine did. Don't count me in on the give away, though. Empty nester. I can attest that it works because saw my middle son teach my youngest how to make "One-eyed Sailors" for breakfast :) Arg!

marcia said...

I have a nephew who just started high school and has recently becoming interested in cooking. I'd love to give him this book for some inspiration.

KK said...

My granddaughters love to cook and it would be great if they a guide - like a OOKBOOK just for them! thanks for the chance to win one for them.

Raffi, aka Running Betty said...

First, my teen girls do NOT like quinoa. Which is odd because they like whole wheat pasta, white rice and brown rice. Oh well, I’ve tried, and I just eat it without them.
Secondly – about kids in the kitchen, here is a recipe with video I made with my daughter many moons ago: http://www.onemessykitchen.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-buttons.
She’s 13 now. Check out 2:10 on the 2nd video to see her bubbliness. At 3:17 you can see DD1 but she had a cold that day and sounds all stuffy. She’s in high school now.

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Daughter just moved into her first apartment at UC Santa Cruz. She likes cooking and would really love this cookbook :)

Joanne said...

I think this might be EXACTLY what I need to get my little sister for Christmas! She's always complaining that she hates what my parents cook for her but she's 15 - she could totally cook for herself if she wanted to!

Anonymous said...

for my little sister!


Nicole said...

We are an Italian family- my kids were raised in the kitchen. Now that they are pre-teens, I like to find recipes that they can make on their own...gives them a sense of independence. My kids both love to read and peruse through kid friendly cookbooks...it gets their imaginations and creative juices flowing because they now want to cook what they see in the books.

Betty Ann of AsianinAmericamag said...

What a great review! I love it when young kids start cooking early.I taught my sons early how to enjoy being in the kitchen, and the rest fell in place And I love this delicious, healthy salad! Must try this soon. Thanks for sharing, Susan!

Donna said...

The best part about cooking with my kids is now hearing from my first in college. She is not afraid of the kitchen and has cooked up a number of interesting meals.

DRTVrMoi said...

I have a niece and nephew that have been 'traumatized' by my good intentions in the kitchen. They believe cooking recipes are only found on the back of the package. A book targeted to their tastes will be a great gift and let us all join in on 'real' cooking.

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious.com said...

My son, 9, loves to cook, and although my daughter, 14, is slightly more reluctant, she actually has a knack. She enjoys the results! I have recently started having her make dinner for the family once in awhile. It teaches planning AND cooking skills. Would love to win this book!

Jana said...

My granddaughter would love this!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This is the perfect cookbook for my daughter. Thanks!

debbie said...

My 12 year old daughter makes us dinner every Thurs. It's the day I work late and I can't tell you how much it means to come home to a cooked meal. They're simple, comfort foods that my family loves and that she enjoys cooking, but most of all it's giving my daughter confidence in the kitchen. I'd love to win this book to give her some new ideas. Thanks for the opportunity.

UNCgal said...

I went to Italy for a culinary vacation last month & left my 13 yo daughter & husband at home to fend for themselves in the kitchen. My daughter was so thrilled upon my return because she had quickly grown tired of takeout for several nights in a row! Since I have been home, she has not left my side in the kitchen. She has decided it best she learn how to cook in case I decide to leave her for Italy again! This book would be a great gift for all of her efforts over the past couple of weeks. If we don't win, I will most likely purchase a copy for our own. Thanks for the giveaway!

Newport777 said...

I already have my young sons in the kitchen (3 and 1), they already seem to love cooking. A favorite dinner they can help with is to make pizzas on fresh tortillas. They love putting on the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. I hope they will always be interested in spending some time in the kitchen with me and trying new things.

DrZin said...

Ms. Russo,

One dish that the mastery of will give any budding chef confidence is risotto and, as it happens, I just read an article you wrote on NPR, "Taking the Risk Out of Risotto."

I've been doing risottos for about a year now (it's great fun to try new vegetables and new cheeses and new flavors), and I consider myself fairly handy with the dish.

I had read quite a number of articles about risotto when I first started trying to crack it and came away with a reasonably good understanding. But even after a year of experience with the dish, reading your article was the most enlightening I'd ever enjoyed and it gave me great insight into the actual culinary science of what I was doing as I went through all of the steps and stirring (I LOVE the stirring, by the way). I had to commend you on your absolutely fantastic food writing.

Two tips I might offer to neophyte risotto chefs, as I apologize for an apparent of hijack this thread, depending on the cheese (and perhaps stock) used, it can become incredibly salty. There are occasions on which I add NO extra salt and it still ends up well seasoned. Also, I more or less drink only dry wines so I that taste suits my palate, but white wine in risotto that is too dry produces a very tangy flavor that may not be appropriate for the vegetable or protein that you include.

Anyway, thanks for your patience; I just wanted to let you know how much this risottophile appreciated your efforts.


Cara said...

I have enough cookbooks to go around so I don't really *need* to win though I'm sure I could think of someone deserving to give it you :) Wanted to let you know that I shared this on FB and twitter, hoping others might enjoy it too!

bridget w said...

my 16 year old niece is moving in with me this week, and cooking with her might be a great way to make her know how welcome she is. =-)

Patty said...

Woohoo! This can save me from tuna noodle casserole and pizza. We could sure you this book for some inspiration at my house!

Unknown said...

I don't have a kids but I love to have this cuz I really love to cook.


Kathi said...

My oldest is on the edge of becoming a teen. He might like this. I let the kids pick out the recipes and we work on them together.

charmian said...

I NEED this book. Well actually my daughter needs this book. She's totally into cooking and cooking shows and I've been looking for some cookbooks to buy for her. This book sounds perfect!

Stella said...

This cookbook looks great! The reason why I would like this cookbook is because I am a pre-teen myself and I love to cook and bake! I have my own cooking blog and you were one of the first bloggers to inspire me to create my own blog! I would like this cookbook so that I could learn more techniques and I could blog about some of the recipes! My blog is www.stellalovestocook.com
Check it out!


Anonymous said...

When my grandkids come to visit at Christmas time we always do a lot of cooking together. This would make a perfect stocking stuffer and we cook together from it. I have to say that I have never eaten quinoa but it looks really delicious. Thanks for the chance to win one. Carrie

Grace said...

This book would be a great source of inspiration for my nephews and nieces, as they love to cook!

The Teacher Cooks said...

i could really used this cookbook in my class. It looks fantastic!

Grace said...

This book will definitely be a source of inspiration for my nephews and nieces who love to cook!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Congratulations to Dorothy, UNCGirl, and Stella! You are the winners of the give-away.

Many thanks to all of you who commented. I promise there will be more give-aways to come!

Ora Emmerich said...

My two youngest daughters are in their teens, and getting them to eat real food has been a challenge. Just when they need to learn to make and eat healthy meals, I'm getting sick of being in the kitchen! This book would be great for all of us...they can cook good food and I can enjoy eating it with them!

Unknown said...

Wonderful recipe. I only recently decided to give quinoa second chance as the first time I made it my family hated it and to my surprise they enjoyed it, even the teenage step son ;)