Off the Eaten Path : Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks

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9780345421500: Off the Eaten Path : Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks
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Have you ever made watermelon margaritas, baked fish in a brown paper lunch bag, or created a meal inspired by the film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? If not, let Bob Blumer, The Surreal Gourmet, jump-start your culinary repertoire.

Bob Blumer is today's most imaginative food personality. Whether he is poaching salmon in the dishwasher on the Food Network or designing a "surreal meal" for the Salvador Dali Museum, his wholly unique approach to cooking transforms everyday ingredients into a dining adventure.

With his contagious enthusiasm, Blumer ignites the culinary creativity hidden in everyone, then demystifies the process and demonstrates how cooking can become the springboard to a higher quality of life--whether you are making an intimate dinner for two, entertaining friends, or ironing a midnight snack. Off the Eaten Path's brightly flavored recipes, casual tone, and confidence-inspiring instructions are guaranteed to transform any cook into a culinary hero. Inside learn how to create

EXTREME CUISINE: Recipes and detailed instructions for cooking in your dishwasher, on your car engine, with your iron, and in a brown paper lunch bag
SURREAL MEALS: Cocktails, appetizers, and meals concocted from one set of ingredients--but presented in unexpected and visually arresting ways
"NOT LUCK" DINNER PARTIES: Just like a pot luck dinner--but tastier! Seven friends bring a designated ingredient (and a bottle of wine), and you assemble the meal
CINEMATIC SUPPERS: Cocktails, spiced popcorn, and main courses inspired by the author's five favorite food-related movies--to be enjoyed while watching the video
WINNER DINNERS: Five deceptively simple menus--all killer, no filler

Plus--music to cook and dine by - shopping tips - foolproof wine recommendations - whimsical illustrations by the author - and more fun than a food fight

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Review:

For Bob Blumer, otherwise known as the Surreal Gourmet, cooking is less a craft and more performance art. In Off the Eaten Path, Blumer forgoes traditional tools and cooking methods for the extremely unconventional, like using a dishwasher to poach fish, a car engine to sizzle shrimp, and an iron to literally press a toasted cheese sandwich to crispness. Blumer wants to shock you, and if such recipes as Blackened Home-Fried Potatoes from Hell, Pyrotechnic Pineapple, and Love Me Tenderloin don't get his point across, the chapter on "Surreal Meals" certainly will. Here, appearances are meant to deceive: salmon has been cut to look like carrots, melon and prosciutto arranged to resemble ham and eggs, and pound cake cut into "fries" and served with a squeeze bottle of raspberry "ketchup." In light of all this, Off the Eaten Path seems less a cookbook than a novelty item you'll keep on your coffee table or give as a gag gift. And so it is, but you'll definitely be amused. --Sumi Hahn Almquist

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"Bed" of Polenta
serves 2 as an entree

A couple of years ago I appeared on a midafternoon talk show alongside Playboy's Miss April '96. I created this polenta bed with ravioli pillows in her honor. You can make the Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce from scratch (see page 138) or save time by using any store-bought red sauce or pesto.

Ploenta "Bed"

1 cup polenta
1  Prepare polenta according to package directions (for additional flavor, replace water with chicken stock, and add salt and pepper, chopped fresh herbs, and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese).

2  Spread a 3/4-inch layer of cooked polenta in a greased 8x10-inch baking pan and let set until solid (this may take an hour or so).

3  Cut two 4x5-inch slabs of polenta.

4  Just before serving, finish polenta by sauteing in a pan with one or two teaspoons of olive oil for approximately 5 minutes per side, or until it is browned and crispy on the outside.

Pasta "Sheet"

2 sheets fresh uncut pasta, cut into 5-inch squares. (You can find uncut sheets of pasta at fresh pasta stores. Alternatively, use extra wide sheets of dried lasagna pasta and make single "beds.")
1 Boil pasta in a large pot according to package directions.
2 Strain pasta into a colander that has been coated with olive oil on the inside (to avoid stickage).

Ravioli "Pillows"

4 pieces fresh ravioli
1 Boil ravioli according to directions.
2 Strain ravioli into a colander
That has been coated with olive oil on the inside.

Assemble beds on warmed plates, then spoon sauce around perimeter.

Specialty Ingredient

Whole pasta sheets

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