Dennis Prescott’s Eat Delicious is Exactly What Its Title Suggests

Warning: This review may contain delicious recipes for Salted Caramel Apple Parfaits and Meatball Pizza ("The Friend Maker")

Eat Delicious, 125 Recipes for Your Daily Dose of Awesome by Dennis Prescott, is the kind of cookbook you turn to when looking for inspiration, hoping to find an idea of what to cook for supper, or the motivation to visit your local market. It’s such a book for two reasons: the recipes and the photographs of ingredients and finished dishes.

Apart from a couple of sushi recipes–raw fish makes some people squeamish–the clear majority of the 125 recipes would appeal to most palates. Prescott’s dishes are the type you’d find in many first-rate bistros: French toast with grilled peaches, slow-roasted pulled-pork burgers, lobster mac and cheese, pizza and blueberry-rhubarb galette. A few are quite dujour, like the maple-bacon scones–yes, bacon with everything is still in.

Prescott has a popular Instagram account, so it’s no surprise he knows how to snap a smart looking photo. Instagram thrives on pictures of mouth-watering food. In the introductory portion of the book he says he likes to shoot “darker, moodier images that have a raw and rustic aesthetic.” That doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful. They are. While many dishes are photographed in black, cast iron skillets and earthenware, and on stained, bare wood, I’d call them unpretentious and joyful. One, of roasted carrots with pesto, thanks to composition and lighting, is gallery worthy.

Some readers will be eager to make Prescott’s recipes–I’m sure with success–others may be uncomfortable with the large number and extra cost of ingredients required for many dishes. For example, 25 ingredients for roasted tomato soup with rosemary croutons is, in my view, excessive. Of course, experienced cooks will be confident enough to eliminate some of Prescott’s ingredients and still end up with very good-tasting food. His methods, after all, are sound.

 

[Ed. Note: Courtesy of HarperCollins, below are two recipes, a savoury and a sweet, from Prescott’s book. Here at Atlantic Books Today, our philosophy is that sweets should come first.]

 

(c) Dennis Prescott

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE PARFAITS

MAKES 8 TO 12 SERVINGS

If you love salted caramel and apples (so, basically everyone), this is your dessert. Jacked fall flavors with an extra heaping helping of sticky, salted heaven.

Salted caramel is far easier to prepare than the Interwebs will lead you to believe. Just be extra careful when stirring, as it is hotter than the sun. And best to keep any young ones away from the stove, just in case.

The number of parfaits that this recipe will make will depend on the glass size you use. I prefer smaller glasses or jam jars but have also prepared this recipe using large wineglasses. This is the essence of dinner-party friendly. Mix it up, put your spin on it, have fun, eat dessert. Win/win/win.

SALTED CARAMEL

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt

MAPLE SAUTEED APPLES

2 tablespoons butter
11/2 pounds Cortland (Honeycrisp or Sweet Tango are also delicious here) apples (4 large), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

QUICK PAN GRANOLA

11/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecan halves, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

WHIPPED CREAM

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Make the salted caramel: In a high-sided nonstick pan, heat the sugar over medium heat, stirring continuously. It will turn into strange rock-ish pieces—it’s all good, fear not! Slowly but surely, the sugar will melt and turn into a gorgeous amber color. When the sugar has melted entirely and is now golden brown in color, carefully stir in the butter and let it melt. It will bubble like crazy. Stirring continuously, slowly pour the cream into the pan in a slow and steady stream until it has been incorporated into the caramel. Let the mixture bubble away for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and sea salt and very carefully pour it into a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make the apples: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the apple chunks and cinnamon and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, or until the apples are very soft. Add the maple syrup and give the pan a toss to coat the apples. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Make the quick pan granola: Heat a large, dry skillet over medium heat and add the oats and pecans. Cook, turning every minute or so, until the oats are fragrant and have started to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Place the pan back on the burner and melt the butter and maple syrup. When the syrup is simmering, remove from the heat and stir in the oats and pecans. Mix thoroughly to evenly coat the oats, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. Make the whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or armed with a whisk and ambition, whip the cream until thick and glorious and fold in the vanilla.
  6. Time to go to parfait town. Build each parfait with 2 tablespoons of the salted caramel, 2 tablespoons of the apples, and 2 tablespoons of the granola. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, then repeat. Finish with a final drizzle of caramel and serve.

 

(c) Dennis Prescott

MEATBALL PIZZA, THE FRIEND MAKER

MAKES TWO 12-INCH PIES • Of course two of the world’s greatest comfort foods—meatballs and pizza—were predestined to be together. It was fate! I’ve named this recipe the Friend Maker because, like it or not, if you start making food like this at home, your popularity is bound to skyrocket.

MEATBALLS

1 pound best-quality ground beef (80% lean)
1 large free-range egg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

PIES

1 recipe Pizza Dough (page 112)
1 cup The Pizza Sauce of Your Dreams (page 113)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the meatballs: Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with your hands. Roll the mixture into golf ball–size balls in the palms of your hands (you’ll end up with 14 to 16 meatballs). If the meatballs look a little big, fear not! They will shrink as they cook. Set the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch of space between each, and bake for 15 minutes, or until nicely browned and cooked through. Set aside.
  3. Make the pizza: Increase the oven temperature to 550°F and let the pizza stone preheat for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough into two 12-inch rounds on parchment paper according to the directions on page 112. Spread 1/2 cup of the pizza sauce on each dough round, leaving 1 inch around the edges bare. Divide the meatballs between the pizzas and break the mozzarella over the top. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over each pizza.
  5. Working one at a time, transfer the pizzas to the preheated oven as directed on page 110 and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the crust is perfectly crisp, the cheese is melted, and your taste buds are going bananas.
  6. Top with the basil and Parm, serve, and become a neighborhood legend.

From Eat Delicious by Dennis Prescott. Copyright © 2017 by Dennis Prescott. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Eat Delicious: 125 Recipes for Your Daily Dose of Awesome
Dennis Prescott
HarperCollins

Written By

Karl Wells is an award-winning food writer and restaurant critic for The Telegram in St. John’s, host/producer of One Chef One Critic and a restaurant panellist with enRoute magazine.

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