If you love meat and potatoes, let me introduce you to your next favorite cookbook: Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear by Rahm Fama with Beth Dooley is filled with recipes you’ll use (and love) year-round..
Recipes that are actually doable – with ingredients that are simple and easy to find. Heck, you’ll probably have a lot of the ingredients on hand before you even go to the store.
My grocery budget loves it when that happens.
An example is the recipe for”Parsley New Potatoes.” The ingredients called for are small red new potatoes, salt, parsley, olive oil, and pepper. The gorgeous “5-B Burger” is another great example of a recipe with easy to find ingredients: Lean ground chuck, ground black pepper, bacon, bacon fat 0r olive oil, blue cheese, unsalted butter, fresh basil, and soft burger buns.
One more: Asparagus with Mint Hollandaise: Asparagus, eggs, lime juice, unsalted butter, Tobasco Sauce, chopped fresh mint.
Why the extra focus on recipes with easy to find ingredients?
- I see A LOT of cookbooks and cooking magazines. I get them regularly to review on the food blog PLUS I buy my fair share of them (more than my fair share, but who’s counting?). A cookbook that’s packed with recipes with easy to get your hands on ingredients is pretty rare. I’m not knocking the other cookbooks – not at all. Sometimes I enjoy a little extra challenge and a little extra uniqueness in my recipes and cooking. But sometimes (let’s be honest, here – most of the time), I want to find everything I need in my neighborhood Kroger.
- Hard to find recipe ingredients can translate to impossible to find ingredients when you live in a mid-size town in Kentucky like I do. And that’s a MID size town, I can only imagine how difficult it is in a small town.
- Like most people, I’m not working with a big fat, generously robust grocery budget. If only!!! I want to be able to come away from a grocery trip for ONE meal with enough money to afford additional meals that week. We’re funny like that, we want to eat each day of the week.
So… that’s why I’m shining such a bright spotlight on these particular recipes in this particular cookbook. They’re outstanding recipes that can be created within a grocery budget – with recipes you can actually find without driving to a nearby city or turning to Amazon.
From the Back Cover:
Armed with a cast-iron skillet and the best ingredients he can find, meat-loving chef Rahm Fama serves up a fresh take on chuck wagon cuisine for flavorful meals you can enjoy no matter where you are.
Inspired by his early years on a Southwest cattle ranch, he followed his carnivorous curiosity across the country, seeking the choicest cuts and best ways to cook them. There’s nothing like the thrill of throwing a pat of butter in a hot pan and searing a perfect steak, or grilling a pork chop, or braising chicken. Meat and Potatoes presents 52 irresistible and simple meals—one for every week:
• Pepper-Crusted New York Strip Steak, Hand-Cut Fries & Wilted Mustard Greens
• Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloins, Granny Smith Apple Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Fennel Ragu
• Turkey Kabobs, Tzatziki Couscous Salad & Eggplant Caviar
• Lamb Medallions, Sweet Potato Galette & Crusty Fried Green Tomatoes
Here, too, are one-pot recipes, including Shepherd’s Pie Cupcakes and Paella with Pepper Bacon, plus ideas for sandwiches to make with leftover meat. Meals that take less than an hour are highlighted throughout for fast, delicious weeknight options. Rahm’s knowledge about meat and rustic recipes from the range will help you upgrade your dishes, no matter who rides into town. – From the back cover of Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear.
In addition to 52 extraordinary recipes, Meat and Potatoes has A LOT of advice for cooking the best meat possible. There are different sections for Beef, Pork, Chicken & Turkey, Lamb, and Game. Not only will you find PERFECT recipes for each of these meats, you’ll find information on selecting different cuts of meat, what to look for, and general “rules.”
The information, along with the recipes and tips will have you making “restaurant quality” meat at home. Actually, if we’re being honest here, you can make better than “restaurant quality” because this book gives you all the tools you need to cook like a pro.
While this is the IDEAL cookbook for meat lovers, don’t think for a minute that it’s ALL meat. There are a ton of great sides as well. In fact, you just may find yourself as excited about the sides as you are the meat dishes. Smoked Paprika Parsnip Fries, Wilted Mustard Greens, Creamy Corn-Blue Cheese Polenta, Caramelized Cipollini Onions (uses pearl onions, butter, rosemary, chicken stock… See? Simple ingredients… Sensational results!), and Roasted Artichoke Hearts are just a few.
Something I’m going to begin adding to my cookbook reviews is a section called SINK (Specific Individual Needs in the Kitchen). Whether it’s food allergies or intolerances (gluten, wheat, dairy), food preferences (vegetarian), cooking on a budget, beginner’s recipes, or fast and easy recipes – we all have individual needs when it comes to cooking. As someone who recently had to begin eating gluten free (health reasons… I didn’t suddenly fall in hate with doughnuts, pizza, and onion rings), I now realize that buying cookbooks (and even magazines) is something you approach with extra caution… “Will there be enough recipes I can even make and enjoy?!”
Vegans, Vegetarians – I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that a book titled “Meat & Potatoes” might not be for your! But, here’s the thing: Vegetarians need variety as much as the rest of us. One of my three daughters (Brittany) is a vegetarian and she gets WAY excited when I cook up something snazzy for her. Same-O, Same-O can get old. There are some amazing vegetable recipes in Meat and Potatoes – so many, in fact, that I have a unique approach for you. Buy Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear for someone in your family (you know, one of those “meat lovers”), then borrow the book for the recipes you can enjoy!
My Fellow Gluten Intolerant Buddies – This was all but made for us! While (like most cookbooks), “Meat and Potatoes” doesn’t include “gluten free” alongside any of the recipes, common sense can be your guide. If you have to eat gluten free, you already know that you have to check your individual ingredients (chicken broth, BBQ sauce, cream soups, mayonnaise, beef broth, seasoning packets, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc,).
When I had to start eating gluten free, I found that I had a whole new relationship with recipes. Suddenly I had to start reading a recipe, addressing the “question marks” along the way. Some “question marks” would pop up when I’d have to ask whether an ingredient was gluten free or not. Other “question marks” would pop up when I’d have to figure out if I could find a “gluten free” version of an ingredient. “The recipes in Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear produced the fewest “question marks” I’ve encountered in a long time.
Obviously, when it comes to Worcestershire Sauce, stock, soy sauce, and similar ingredients – you have to find one that says it’s gluten free. But, if you’re like me, you automatically think of your go to brand when you read these ingredients. For example, when I read “soy sauce,” I automatically think “Tamari.” When I see Worcestershire Sauce, my brain says, “Lea & Perrins.”
Beginning Cooks and Cooks Who Want Things as Easy as Possible – This is your cookbook! Seriously, I wish (years and years and years ago) when I’d started cooking, I’d had such a simple and precise guide to cooking steaks, chicken, pork chops, burgers, etc. And as far as quick and easy goes, how does this particular recipe sound – “Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup.” Simply begin with a Deli Rotisserie Chicken and you’re over halfway there.
Meat and Potatoes: Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear is a cookbook you will absolutely love. It would also make a wonderful gift idea for the foodies in your life. Packaged with a wonderful new iron skillet (like the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Chef’s Skillet)… perfection!