Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers Cookbook Review - An Expansive Guide to Quick, Easy, Tasty Meals (Recipes)

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Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers, the newest in the Robert Rose Best of Bridge series, introduces two new author/food experts and more than 175 easy, delicious and nutritious meals that even the busiest home cook can prepare.

 

Of course, the idea behind the Best of Bridge series is to introduce a variety of weekday meals, that while home cooked also cut down on time away from the things that are important. Time is a commodity and spending it preparing meals can become tedious and a real challenge.

With chapter heading that include Supper Soups, Supper Salads, Supper Sandwiches, Pizza and Pasta, Beef and Veal, Lamb and Pork, Chicken and Turkey, Fish and Seafood, Vegetarian Suppers, and Quick and Easy Sweet Stuff, there is a strong possibility of finding recipes that draw your attention.

The Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers at 287 pages also includes many glossy photographs which also help to guide would be home chef’s toward tried and true choices or exploration into the new lands.


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Having looked at many of the recipes throughout the book, time was the biggest concern as the idea is to free up precious time. Many of the recipes can be created in under thirty minutes. These are delicious, hot, homecooked meals with fresh ingredients. Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers also provides tips on ingredients shortcuts to help speed up both prep and cooking time.

Of course there are those recipes that take more time, and anyone who has ever prepared a meal or had a parent prepare a meal know that roasting a chicken, in a traditional oven, takes longer than 30minutes. Even in pieces the chicken will take 45minutes adding roasted potatoes all working together dinner will be one hour from preparation to table.

The Best of Bridges Weekday Suppers doesn’t provide miracle recipes. The oven is still the traditional means of preparation. Soups still take time to simmer and release the flavors and in some case best prepared a day earlier.

A sample of the soups include Chucky Chicken and Butternut Squash soup, Sausage, Red Lentil and Kale Soup, Turkey Chili and Roasted tomato and Shrimp Soup.


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Supper Salads include Shaved Brussels Sprout, Bacon and Egg Salad, Tuna Tabbouleh, Southwestern Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Turkey cobb Salad.

Supper Sandwiches, which can be halved and paired nicely with a cup of Supper Soup, range from beef and steak to a classic Cubano, Pineapple Pulled Pork Buns, Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Fresh Lobster Rolls, and Easy Samosa Wraps. Any style of sandwich from meat to vegetarian to seafood is offered.

In Pizza and Pasta, it seemed mute to even look as everyone has a pasta preference and a preferred pizza recipe or home delivery choice. Even so, the Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers offers Emily’s Basic Pizza Dough recipe and yes, it is true most pizzerias from the classic New York Style pizza joint to California Kitchen and even Whole Foods offers pizza dough for sale.

Should the fun of making homemade dough be something to engage the entire family in the dinner preparation that Best of Bridge offers a great recipe along with the most important ingredient of any pizza or pasta meal, the sauce.

Other recipes include Deep Dish Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza, Stuffed Pizza Bread, Crab Linguine Alfredo and Tortellini Casserole.

As the cook book moves into the Meats, Poultry and Game, the recipes become more detailed and preparation time increases, not across the board, as some still make the 30minute from stove to table time frame.

Beef and Veal recipes include Grilled Steak with Herb Butter Mushrooms, Chucky Steak Chili, Mini Cheeseburger Meatloaves, Stuffed Veal Meatballs on Polenta.

Lamb and Pork recipes include Crispy Lamb in Hummus, Caesar Pork Burgers (Recipes below), Potato Chorizo Taco’s, Kim’s Lemongrass Pork Lettuce Wraps, Lamb Meatballs with Lemony Garlic Potatoes (Recipe below).

Chicken and Turkey include Curried Turkey Pot Pies (Recipe below) Quick Chicken Cutlets, Crunchy Chicken Fingers with Sriracha Dipping Sauce, Apple Butter Basted Turkey Breast, Creamy Turkey Carrot Linguine, Pan-Roasted Peruvian Chicken with Cauliflower and Green Sauce.


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Fish and Seafood recipes include Thai Shrimp Stir-Fry, Roasted Red Pepper Lemon Cod, Mussels in a Coconut Curry Broth, Crispy Fish Fingers with mini potatoes, Oven-roasted Miso Salmon with Bok Choy.

Vegetarian Dishes include Courtney’s Triple-bean Slow Cooker Chili, Oven Meatless Meatballs, Potato Pancakes with Fried Eggs, Meal in a Muffin, Egg and Tofu Fried Rice.

The final chapter is dedicated to Quick and Easy Sweet Stuff. Almond Butter Crunch Cookies, Coffee and White Chocolate Blondies, Mocha Pudding Cake, Banana Blueberry Muffins and Maple Granola Apple Crisp.

Authors Emily Richards and Sylvia Kong are the newest authors to the Best of Bridge series. Ms. Richardson is a cookbook author, home economist, recipe developer, media spokesperson, television host, brand ambassador and blogger. Sylvia Kong is a food stylist, home economist and consultant at Savory Palate Consulting. She’s been featured on CTV and local media.

The Best of Bridge series has sold over 4million copies to date with the recent Sunday Suppers spending several weeks on the Globe and Mail Bestseller list.

Curried Turkey Pot Pies

Pot pies are always a welcome comfort food meal, and store-bought puff pastry is a convenient and delicious way to get supper on the table fuss-free. Below are a sample of recipes from Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers. The measurements are in both imperial and metric.

Canola oil

1 cup     diced onion        250 mL

1 cup     diced celery        250 mL

1 cup     diced sweet potato         250 mL

1⁄2  package (1 lb/454 g) frozen puff  pastry, thawed

1⁄4 cupall-purpose flour  60 mL

21⁄2 tsp  curry powder    12 mL

1 tsp  garlic powder    5 mL

11⁄2 cups  ready-to-use chicken broth   375 mL

2 cups   chopped cooked turkey      500 mL

1 cup     frozen green peas, thawed   250 mL

1⁄2 cupchopped fresh cilantro   125 mL

1 cup     half-and-half (10%) cream  250 mL

1⁄2 tsp  salt   2 mL

1⁄2 tsp  black pepper      2 mL

1 large egg, lightly beaten1

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) and lightly oil six 1-cup (250 mL) ramekins. In a large pot, heat 3 tbsp (45 mL) oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and sweet potato; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, on a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry into a 12- by 8-inch (30 by 20 cm) rectangle. Cut into six 4 inch (10cm) squares; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sprinkle flour, curry powder and garlic powder over vegetables, stir and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and bring to a boil. Stir in turkey, peas, cilantro and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, top each with puff pastry and gently cut 4 vents in each crust. Brush crusts with beaten egg. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Tip: You can thaw puff pastry overnight in the fridge or on the counter for 45 to 60 minutes.

 

Lamb Meatballs with Lemony Garlic Potatoes (Pictured Above)

Here, the potatoes roast underneath the tender lamb meatballs, where they have a chance to absorb the flavorful juices.

Potatoes

5              garlic cloves, chopped    5

4 potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm)  4 cubes

2 tsp dried oregano   10 mL

1⁄2 tsp  salt  2 mL

1⁄2 tsp  black pepper  2 mL

1⁄4 cupwater    60 mL

1⁄4 cuplemon juice (see tip)       60 mL

2 tbsp   canola oil             30 mL

Lamb Meatballs

2  garlic cloves, minced       2

1⁄2 cupdry bread crumbs   125 mL

4 tbsp   chopped fresh parsley, divided  60 mL

1 tsp      grated lemon zest            5 mL

1 tsp      onion powder   5 mL

1⁄2 tsp  dried rosemary, crumbled   2 mL

1⁄2 tsp  salt  2 mL

1⁄2 tsp  black pepper  2 mL

1⁄2 tsp  ground fennel   2 mL

1  large egg, lightly beaten 1

2 tbsp   milk        30 mL

1 lb   ground lamb    500 g

1⁄4 cupcrumbled feta cheese    60 mL

                Plain yogurt (optional)

Potatoes: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a large bowl, combine garlic, potatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, water, lemon juice and oil. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined large rimmed baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Meatballs: Meanwhile, in the same large bowl, combine garlic, bread crumbs, 2 tbsp (30 mL) parsley, lemon zest, onion powder, rosemary, salt, pepper, fennel, egg and milk. Add lamb and feta, mixing until well combined. Form into 11⁄2-inch (4 cm) meatballs.

Remove potatoes from oven, carefully remove foil and place meatballs on top of potatoes. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink inside and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle remaining parsley on top. Serve with yogurt on the side, if desired. Serves 4.

Tip: Be sure to zest the lemon for the meatballs before you juice it for the potatoes.


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Caesar Pork Burgers (Pictured Above)

Put your favorite salad in a burger!

1 cup     garlic-and-Parmesan-flavored    250 mL croutons

1 lb         ground pork       500 g

4   slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped  4

1   small shallot, minced      1

3 tbsp   grated Parmesan cheese              45 mL

6 tbsp   Caesar dressing, divided                90 mL

1⁄2 tsp  Worcestershire sauce    2 mL

4              hamburger buns, split    4

                Chopped romaine lettuce

                Cooked bacon slices

                Shaved Parmesan cheese

Preheat barbecue grill to medium. Place croutons in a small sealable plastic bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin, leaving some larger pieces. Pour into a large bowl. Add pork, bacon, shallot, cheese, 2 tbsp (30 mL) dressing and Worcestershire sauce; mix with your hands until combined.

Shape into four 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) thick patties. Place patties on greased grill and grill for about 5 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside and a meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the center of a patty registers 160°F (71°C). Spread remaining dressing over cut sides of buns. Place lettuce on bottom halves of buns and top each with a patty. Top with bacon slices and cheese. Cover with top halves of buns. Serves 4.

Recipe credit: Courtesy of Best of Bridge Weekday Suppers by Sylvia Kong & Emily Richards © 2018 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.

Image credit: Matt Johnannsson, Reflector Inc.

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