Friday, 28 October 2011

Nadia G's Bitchin Kitchen Cookin' for Trouble!

Cookin' for Trouble
by Nadia G

Foreword by Guy Fieri
Paperback, 224 pages
Also available as an eBook 

I am a big fan of cooking shows in general. You know, the ones that don't have anyone voted off the island or being yelled at, or tearing up for any reason. But some are a little um.. too sweet. The antidote for the saccharin headache of hyper-happy or anxiety-producing television shows? Nadia G!

This gal who looks like a playboy bunny and talks like a trucker cracks me up every time. I've watched her go from Youtube star to having her own show on the Canadian Food Network to America's Cooking Channel and I couldn't be more proud. I love her Italian/French Canadian accent and attitude, her blistering and laugh-out-loud humour and, most importantly, her cooking. Yep, the gal can cook. She has great imagination and everything I have made of hers has been absolutely delicious.

Her new book, Cookin' for Trouble, is glossy and colourful and fun to read just on its own, but of course is also filled with delicious and inspired recipes.

Chapters include:
* (Dysfunctional) Family Pizza Night * Student Schkoff-Fest * Veg-Head Extravaganza * Bitchin' Booty Camp Xtreme * Hi-Speed Suppers * Turkey Time * Nonna Recipe Showdown * Proposal for a Proposal * Bitchin' Party Guide * Depression Desserts * Happiness=Bacon * Girls' Night Out * Makeover Meals * Back of the Fridge Bachelorfest * and the Community Chapter *

There's even an Italian Slang Dictionary for Nadia-isms!

Check out more Nadia G here:

I whipped up her Crazy Rich Linguine Alfredo for my husband. He's still talking about it. Alfredo definitely equals love. Try it yourself!

Crazy Rich Linguine Alfredo

This is one of the first dishes I ever learned to make. Alfredo sauce is ridiculously simple. Think about it — with that much cream, butter, and cheese, how can you go wrong?

Servings: 4 to 6 - Easy

Grocery List:
1 lb linguine (1 package) I had fettuccine on hand
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup good chardonnay wine
1 1/2 cups half & half
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup minced  at-leaf parsley
+ extra for garnish
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Large pot
Large saucepan

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.

Heat the unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté the garlic in the butter for 1 minute, until golden and fragrant. Deglaze the saucepan with the chardonnay, and cook off the liquid for a few minutes until it’s almost dry. Add the half-and-half, and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir often, making sure the half-and-half doesn’t boil. If it looks like it’s about to start boiling, take the pan off the heat for a few seconds and lower the temperature. Cook the half-and-half for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add the Parmigiano, and stir until the cheese has completely melted. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce is thick, creamy, and smooth. Again, be careful not to boil the sauce. Once the sauce is done, remove it from the heat, and add the minced parsley, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Mix and cover.


Toss the linguine with the alfredo sauce. Garnish with more minced parsley. Serve immediately.

Excerpted from Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookin’ for Trouble by Nadia G Copyright © 2011 by Nadia G. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Ryan Szulc. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.

And on my to-make list.....

This Habañero Cheesecake! Seriously, doesn't it look delicious? Why have I never thought of this before? Why is it not my birthday? If you bake it up, email me and let me know how it was. Better yet, email me a slice.

Habañero Cheesecake

This is one of the best desserts I ever created. What I love most about it is that it’s a fantastic basic recipe for any kind of cheesecake. Replace the key lime juice with melted chocolate, espresso, or keep it simple with just vanilla bean seeds, then top it with fresh berries…

Servings: 8 - Easy

Grocery List:
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafers
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water
1 3/4 cups raw sugar
1/2  cup key lime juice
1/3 cup candied hibiscus flowers (or dried cranberries as alternative)
5 egg yolks
1 tbsp grated key lime zest
1/2 red habañero pepper, minced, no seeds
 2 cups whipped cream cheese, softened
1 cup mascarpone cheese
5 egg whites
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp white vinegar

Resealable plastic bag
Medium mixing bowl
Springform pan
Small pot
2 large mixing bowls
Hand-held electric beater
Large roasting pan

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the chocolate wafers in a resealable bag and crush them into fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium sized bowl and add the melted unsalted butter; mix. Mold the crust onto the bottom of a springform pan, about 1/4 inch thick. Bring it up the sides a little bit, about 1/2 inch. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cool on the counter in the springform pan.

Bring the water and 3/4 cup of raw sugar to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of key lime juice and the candied hibiscus flowers; stir. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly reduced.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine the egg yolks, 1 cup of raw sugar, 1/4 cup of key lime juice, key lime zest, and habañero, and whisk together. Add the cream cheese and mascarpone; then mix with an electric beater for another 15 seconds. Set aside. In another large mixing bowl, using clean blades, whip the egg whites with the granulated sugar and the white vinegar until stiff peaks form. Delicately fold the meringue into the cheese mixture for 15 to 20 seconds. Don’t overmix. Pour evenly into the springform pan, over the chocolate crust.

Place 2 layers of aluminum foil in a large roasting pan. Place the cheesecake in the middle of the foil. Bring the foil up the sides of cheesecake to create a barrier wall around the cake; do not cover the top of the cheesecake. Pour water into the roasting pan, halfway up the sides of the cake (hence the impermeable foil barrier). Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Allow the cake to cool completely on your countertop; then refrigerate overnight. Serve each slice of this cheesecake drizzled with a tablespoon or two of key lime syrup.

Excerpted from Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookin’ for Trouble by Nadia G Copyright © 2011 by Nadia G. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Ryan Szulc. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved.