Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Seven Days of Christmas - Day Three - Cookbook Recommendation

What better gift for someone who loves food than a cookbook!

Josee di Stasio is a cookbook author and show host from Quebec. She hosts a popular (500,000 viewers per week) cooking show called a la di stasio and published her cookbook also called A la di Stasio in Quebec (en Francais) in 2004. This year the book was published in English for us lucky Westerners.

I will admit that I was not familiar with Josee di Stasio until I came across this book, but I was instantly charmed by her. The book is colorful and bright, with colors like lime green, yellow and red leaping out at you from the pages. There are 11 chapters including the usual main courses, side dishes and desserts, and extras such as The Basics: Tips and Recipes with simple recipes for anything from Asparagus to Tomatos, and A la di Stasio Menus, with 27 different menu suggestions for dinners from holiday meals to Saturday nights. The recipes are simple and straightforward and none are overly complicated. Most recipes have serving suggestions and variations provided, which is fun.

There is definitely a Mediterranean influence in this cookbook, and I love it.

I started my exploration of this book by picking 4 recipes: Butternut Squash Soup, Pancetta Chicken Casserole, Roasted Cherry Tomatos and Mandarin Sorbet.

The soup (computer ate my picture) was just lovely; squash and garlic are roasted in the oven until soft, then added to stock flavored with onions sauteed with ginger and curry powder. The ginger and curry really added a zing to the soup.

Roasted Cherry Tomatos

These were gorgeous and so fast and easy. A simple side dish that would complement almost any meal.

Pancetta Chicken Casserole.

Chicken thighs baked with onions, garlic, lemon and pancetta is so elegant and tasty. And it looks cute, if I do say so myself.

Mandarin Sorbet
The easiest and most delicious frozen dessert I've ever made. There are a couple of different riffs of this recipe in the book and I plan on trying all of them.

This is the sort of cookbook that never feels old. Every time I open it I'm drawn to another recipe that I can't wait to try. A fabulous gift to find under the tree on the 25th.


La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love Josée. I already own her two cookbooks in French. Great recipes.

Sara said...

Helene I am looking forward to learning more about her. I am enjoying this cookbook very much.

Peabody said...

The pancetta chicken casserole sounds yummy.