“Food for Thought” Cookbook book club – Fabio’s American Home Kitchen Cookbook
For the cookbook club’s November 2015 meeting, we cooked from Fabio’s American Home Kitchen cookbook by Fabio Viviani. You may recognize Fabio as he appeared on the Bravo television show “Top Chef” and was voted as the “fan favorite” by viewers. He returned to the show for an edition of “Top Chef All Stars” and recently appeared on the FoodNetwork television show “Cutthroat Kitchen – All Stars.”
This cookbook features more than 125 recipes for his favorite American dishes, infused with his own special Italian flair, which he cooks for family and friends. Chef Fabio Viviani was born and raised in Florence, Italy. That’s where he perfected the classic Italian cooking that has made him famous. In addition to being a chef and cookbook author, he also is the proprietor for several restaurants in the California, Chicago and Miami areas.
Pat hosted this cookbook club gathering. This was our last meeting for 2015 – and what better way to start the holiday season early than with a delicious meal and in the company of good friends!
Sharon and I were charged with the evening’s appetizers. I made the Leek and Brie Pie.
It was delicious with the combination of the leeks, which were sautéed in butter and white wine, the Brie cheese that was piled on top of pastry dough. The recipe was very easy. I will be making this again, and possibly adding some bacon into it.
Sharon made Roasted Apricot Tapenade and served it with toasted French bread.
It was a tasty combination of flavors from the mashed apricots coupled with the fresh herbs of rosemary and basil. In the cookbook, it also mentions that this works well as a sauce for roasted meat. I could definitely see using this with chicken or pork.
Moving on to the core entrée of our dinner, Pat made Rolled Flank Steak with Mint Pesto.
This dish takes your classic grilled flank steak and elevates it to a level of elegance and makes an impressive presentation to the meat. I enjoyed the blend of the steak and the mint pesto.
Accompanying the steak were three sides. Terri made the Pasta with Bacon, Tomato and Pecorino.
I’ve made a few of Fabio’s pasta recipes from this cookbook since obtaining it, but hadn’t made this one. I’m glad it was selected. The pasta had a rich smoky taste. Everyone loved the dish and I’m betting several will make it again.
Susan made the other two side dishes. For our vegetable, she made the Yellow Squash Casserole.
It’s a wonderful dish that brought out the richness of the mascarpone cheese and the sweetness of the yellow squash. This would be a perfect dish for fall holidays or in the summer when the yellow squash is abundant.
Finally, Susan also made the Savory Mini Muffins.
Even though they were listed in the brunch section of the cookbook, they worked as a side to our meal. The muffins were very light and airy.
While the overall dinner featured six appetizing dishes from the cookbook, I know there will be many more I will be cooking for dinners.
Concluding our cookbook club dinner was a chocoholic’s paradise. I had seen the recipe for Really Easy Mississippi Mud Pie in the cookbook and asked our dessert expert, Sharon, if she would make it for us. She did and it was the perfect ending to our meal.
Sharon said the recipe was very easy, which is great because I think all of us will want to make it again. The pie was rich and decadent. You only need a small piece to satisfy your chocolate tooth, which makes the pie feed a large number – or perfect for seconds and thirds!
For our “take home treats,” I made the Chocolate Currant Cookies.
The recipe indicates it yields one dozen cookies, but I found it to make almost double that amount. I doubled the recipe so that I would have enough for other events I was heading to after cookbook club.
The cookies packaged well for an impressively looking treat. They were so amazingly rich and you don’t even notice the currants other than their added sweetness. I would make them again and highly recommend using your stand mixer to make it easy.
In total, eight dishes were made from the Fabio American Home Kitchen cookbook. I will definitely be trying out several more!
Our next gathering will be in February 2016. We will be cooking from Bobby Flay’s “Brunch at Bobby’s” cookbook.
I can’t wait to try a brunch meal with the cookbook club group!
Are you familiar with Fabio Viviani from the Top Chef cooking show?
What’s your favorite Italian-inspired recipe/ dish?
Disclaimer: While the cookbook book club was provided with copies of Fabio’s American Home Kitchen cookbook, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event.