Lust for Leaf: Veggie Crowd-Pleasers to Fuel Your Picnics, Potlucks and Ragers by Alex Brown and Evan George (Da Capo, $19.99)
Alex Brown, manager for Gourmet Imports, and Evan George, an award-winning journalist and food writer, both based in Los Angeles, have combined their love for vegetables, craft beer, and experimental music to serve up a new cookbook that offers recipes and meditations on vegan and vegetarian cooking.
This is more than just a collection of recipes. It is nothing less than a celebration of food geared to be shared with family and friends. The Brown and George cover all of the bases, from macho outdoor grilling to pizza parties that are staged poolside.
One of the most helpful sections is one that explains how to prepare and shape pies, pop-tarts and tartlets. The simple directions make this so much fun you will find yourself re-thinking the shape and structure of these delightful dishes.
Filled with photos of the authors’ friends and family eating food in real time, the emphasis is on fun. Some of the standout recipes are Butter Beer Flapjacks, Cool Ranch Biscuits, Eggplant Crasserole, Hobo Franks & Beans, and my personal favorite, Whiskey Cherry Ice Cream.
Whiskey Cherry Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
Ice cream base:
1 c heavy cream
3 cups half and half
1 cup white sugar
4 large egg yolks
Combine the various bovine juices in a medium saucepan and heat on high flame until just before it boils; when the sides sizzle, and the surface is undulating, turn off heat.
Whip the yolks into the sugar until thoroughly combined, color will turn pale yellow.
In single cup increments, very slowly incorporate the hot milk into the egg, sugar mix, whisking gently. Dump the mixture back into the pot and reheat on medium heat (if you are making a flavored ice cream, add the flavor element at this time). Stir the custard with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back of the spoon and holds a line when your swipe your finger across. Do not boil unless you want a very creamy and sweet scrambled eggs.
Once the base is properly warmed, place it in a heat-safe container and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Add to the ice cream maker of your choice and process accordingly.
1 lb fresh cherries
½ cup rye whiseky
¼ cup sugar
1 quart of ice cream base (see recipe above)
Pit the cherries, make a vertical slit ib each and pop the pit out.
Combine pitted cherries, whiskey, and sugar in a small saucepot and heat on high. Stir to incorporate. When it hits a boil, lower the flame and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add mixture to ice cream base custard, chill and process.