This week, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing “Rustic Joyful Food, My Heart’s Table” by Danielle Kartes. I can’t lie. I was really interested in the book for 1) the cover photo and 2) the title. The cover photo is of a ham and brie sandwich with green apple and mustard. And it just so happens that one of my favorite sandwiches to pick up when I’m on the go is a turkey sandwich of similar construction. As for the title, it neatly compacts my feelings about good food and cooking.
Diving right in, the book is divided into these chapters:
- Pantry Staples
- Salads and Side Dishes
- Soup’s On
- The Main Dish
- To Drink
- Simple and From Scratch
Many of the recipes from the Main Dish chapter that I originally thought about testing for this review didn’t happen this week because they felt more like cooler weather recipes. There were also several recipes from the dessert chapter that I nixed for this review only because I’ve consumed a lot more sugar in the last few weeks than I normally do. (I made a layered birthday cake for a friend a couple of weeks ago. I ate a lot during an overnight trip to NYC last week. Gotta live life a little after all.)
But just because I didn’t test them out, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to mention them. Here’s a list of recipes that I really want to make when autumn arrives:
- Beef Barcelona Stew
- Roasted Tomatillo Chile Verde
- Sister’s Turkey Minestrone
- Perfect Braised Chuck Roast
- Spanish Style Braised Chicken
- Almond Butter Brownies
- Banana Bread Made with Greek Yogurt and Pepitas
- Perfect Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
- Buttermill Vanilla Pound Cake
- Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Custard Macaroons
- Frangipane Jam Tart
- Plum Preserves
As for the recipe I did test… Surprise! There were three:
- Spicy Baked Hominy
- Turkey and Chickpea Greek-Style Pitas with Dill Yogurt Sauce
- Quick Balsamic and Tomato Jam
I had originally picked the baked hominy as the only recipe I was going to make but it was so simple that I thought it wasn’t fair of me. Overall, I liked this, but I think I’ll cut back the salt next time. I’m not sure if it was the salt I used, the brand of canned hominy I used, or both, but it was just really salty to me. (I don’t cook with a lot of salt day-to-day, to be honest.) I couldn’t get it to bake up crispy so I might play around with the oven temperature and baking time next time. Having said that, I found that it made for a pretty tasty sandwich filling. I ate most it on bread with cheese, and I liked it that way.
So for a second recipe, I went with the Turkey and Chickpea Greek-Style Pitas with Dill Yogurt Sauce. As you can tell by my photos, I was using bread that was too small. (Ok, I can’t lie. I used toaster sized naan instead of pita. I’m slowly making my way through breads that I’ve stored in my freezer. I refuse to make or buy more bread until the current stock is used up.) My patties didn’t look as nice as the photo and I realized later that I technically used too much chickpeas (my fault for reading the ingredient list too fast), and so my patties crumbled too easily. Having said that, I’ll probably make it the exact same way next time as I hate having unused chickpeas around. It didn’t affect the flavor at all. With my leftover patties, I tried a plating of cabbage instead of bread. Delicious either way! And it’s easy. You’re making patties with ground turkey, mashed chickpeas, egg, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder. The dill sauce is easy too, just Greek yogurt, dill, milk, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder.
Not in the mood for a dill yogurt sauce? Not a problem. When I was sitting down to write this review, I noticed a recipe for balsamic and tomato jam toward the back of the book. I had all the ingredients (there’s only 3 main ingredients, not including salt and pepper), and the sudden motivation to cook at 9:00p on a work night. It smelled a~mazing when it was done. Since it was an impulse cooking session, I wasn’t sure what to serve it with. In the end, I tried some on a turkey chickpea patty. I have no regrets, and I think you should try it too.
My overall impression is that this book is a great collection of well crafted and functional recipes. I highly recommend giving them a go.
One last item to address is that the introduction chapter has faith-based commentary in it. If that’s not your thing, simply skip the intro.
Disclaimer – I kindly received this book from Sourcebooks for this review. I’m not getting paid for this post. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.