Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock make a mean Chicken Pot Pie, elevating the classic recipe with white wine and fresh tarragon. Read more...
Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock make a mean Chicken Pot Pie, elevating the classic recipe with white wine and fresh tarragon. Their recipe won them such a following in Texas that Bobby Flay took notice and challenged them to a Throwdown. It turns out that the Casserole Queens, as the duo is known, are much more than one-hit wonders of the one-dish dinner. They have built an entire business around revamping the ultimate quick-fix dinner for modern tastes.
In "The Casserole Queens Cookbook," they share their fresh, updated, from-scratch recipes for traditional dishes. Tuna Noodle is brought up a notch with a homemade cream sauce and a kick of cayenne pepper; Halibut Enchiladas with Salsa Verde are surprisingly light and vibrant; Mandarin Meatloaf has a sweet orange flavor that recharges a beloved weeknight staple. There are home-style desserts, like Gooey Apple Butter Cake, and great brunch dishes, such as Frenchy Toast Casserole. The Queens have thought of everything, providing advice on scaling and freezing casseroles so that anyone can stock the freezer with go-to dinners.
With 16 pages of color photographs, plenty of expert tips, and lots of style, "The Casserole Queens Cookbook" is the home cook s handbook for making tasty meals any night of the week."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
In this kitschy cookbook, the owners of the Austin, Tex.–based casserole delivery company Casserole Queens share their one-dish recipes, which they describe as classic but updated with a "retro-chic, gourmet flair." "Fun for the Whole Family. Neat-O!" includes staples like baked spaghetti, tuna noodle casserole, and "Keep Austin Weird" Spam casserole. "The Savory Gourmet" incorporates more specialty ingredients like lobster (a lobster boy casserole), lamb (in a Greek pastitsio), and squid, clams, and mussels (paella). "Meet the Lighter Side" is all about lower-calorie dishes, and "Sides That Take Front and Center" includes broccoli cornbread and onion surprise. Crescent roll casserole is for breakfast; sweet indulgences like Mom's glazed oatmeal cake and peanut butter freezer pie are dessert. A final section gives the option of making casserole staples like pie and pizza dough, salsas, broths, and cream of chicken and mushroom soups from scratch. There are detailed instructions on freezing as well as tips for lightening up most dishes. In the end, this is a fun book for casserole fans. (Aug.)
Casseroles fit for a queen
It’s back to reality time: back to school, back to work, back to putting a wholesome, inviting dinner on the table almost every night. No problema! The Casserole Queens, Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock, two ebullient Austin cooks, have managed to put their special magic for making one-dish wonders between the covers of a cookbook. The Casserole Queens Cookbook sets the classic American casserole back on center stage, refreshed and revitalized with a healthy helping of retro-chic and gourmet flair. With their bubbly header notes, advice on a well-stocked kitchen and a casserole-stocked freezer, the Queens show you how to make weeknight delights like Royal Cottage Pie, Shrimp and Grits with smoked gouda or Corn Dog Casserole (adults love it too) that are guaranteed dinner winners. When friends are coming over, the same goes for phyllo-topped Greek Pastitsio or saffron-infused Pimpin’ Paella. Whether a casserole starts the day, dresses up for dessert or stars as the main event, it gets the royal treatment—in fact, the Queens have turned them all into casseroyals!
RANCH CUISINE GOES HAUTE
What happens when a staunch Texan from the rural ranching world goes to culinary school and trains in high-end restaurants? If that Texan is Louis Lambert, you get haute ranch cooking that blends the bold, simple flavors of his cattle-ranching heritage with sophisticated cooking techniques, a rustic repertoire touched with elegance. Now Lambert shares his West Texas food heritage in Big Ranch, Big City. This is a serious cookbook by a serious chef with five successful restaurants. The 125 recipes included are the kind you want to read through carefully, savoring the details and the often intriguing juxtaposition of ingredients. I’d save most of these dishes for weekend cooking when time is not an issue. You don’t want to rush through the prep or the enjoyment of dark roux-based Port Arthur Seafood Gumbo (his grandmother’s pièce de résistance), Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Quail Stuffed with Chorizo Corn Bread, Bock-Braised Beef Short Ribs or any of the proudly Texan treasures served up here.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
The timeworn neon sign on Highway 100 southwest of Nashville simply says “Cafe Loveless Hot Biscuits Country Ham.” It should say “the iconic place for country food,” the place you can come home to, even if you’ve never been there before. Started 60 years ago by Annie and Lon Loveless (“loveless” isn’t, as I was sure, a country music comment on romance gone bad), the name has stuck through good and not-so-good times. But since it was bought in 2004 and spiffed up in every way, the Loveless has attracted crowds of country connoisseurs, native and otherwise. Adding a fabulous array of traditional Southern desserts to the time-honored menu was a major part of the spiff-up, and adding Alisa Huntsman as queen of confections was a culinary coup. With true Southern hospitality, Alisa offers us her trove of recipes in Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe. Although your mama may never have baked a Double Coconut Cream Pie, Blueberry Skillet Cobbler or Lady Lemon Squares, the Loveless legacy is now yours.