Suzi’s Blog

Parsnip Fries from Eat Drink Shine


I recently posted a review of Eat Drink Shine, from authors who are triplets and who share the Shine restaurant in Boulder. They strike a great balance in this book, offering healthy ideas, without sacrificing culinary happiness. And the book has bright ideas to expand your recipe repertoire. Try these parsnip fries as alternative to regular or sweet potatoes. Parsnips have a friendly, earthy flavor that you just may find to be your favorite.

The Emich sisters suggest you serve these with ranch dressing, arugula sunflower pesto, or homemade mayonnaise.

Parsnip Fries

Yield: serves 4-6


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into fries
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Truffle oil for drizzling [optional]


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Whisk together the olive oil and parsley in a mixing bowl. Add the parsnip fries, toss to coat, and season with salt.

Spread the fries out on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fries are lightly browned on one side.

Remove from the oven flip the fries over with a large spatula. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Bake for an additional 5 minutes until crispy and lightly browned on both sides.

Serve hot drizzled with truffle oil, if using, or with your favorite dipping sauce.

Source: Eat Drink Shine by Jennifer, Jessica, and Jill Emich [Kyle, 2016]


Caramel Ice Cream from Carol Bloom


When I was growing up, if you said “caramel” then everyone knew just what you meant. In aisle 3 or 4 of every supermarket, you found the candies and there would be that big bag of Kraft caramels, individually wrapped in the cellophane that seemed quite unwilling to yield to your fingers. Sometimes, someone would try to slip you something they called a caramel, maybe something home-made or something from Paris, but those were never caramels. It had to be Kraft.

In the past few years, we find caramel everywhere. And often combined with salt which we know is a match made by the culinary gods. Caramel is here to stay: in our stores, our restaurants, and our bookshelves.

Caramel by Carol Bloom was published three years ago and remains the superior caramel reference. This is book you want close at hand. You can read review here. Or you can ignore me — I won’t mind because this is about caramel — and get to work on this ice cream.

I’m posting this early on Sunday morning. You need to chill the ice cream mixture for several hours, so it’s time to move. Now!

Caramel Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart


  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or fine-grained sea salt
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Combine 1 ¼ cups sugar and the water in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over high heat, without stirring until the mixture begins to boil. Brush around the inside of the pan with a damp pastry brush at the point where the sugar syrup meets the sides of the pan. Do this twice during the cooking process to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. Continue to cook the mixture, without stirring, until it turns a medium amber color, about 10 minutes

While the caramel is cooking, heat ¾ cup of the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir the hot cream into the caramel, using a long-handle heat-resistant spatula. Be careful because the mixture will bubble and foam. Turn the heat off under the pan. Stir in the salt and blend well.

Whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the wire whip attachment, or in bowl using a hand-held mixer, until thick and pale and the mixture holds a slowly dissolving ribbon as the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes.

At the same time, heat the milk in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gradually pour ½ cup of the hot milk into he beaten egg mixture and blend. Then pour this mixture into the saucepan of the hot milk. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistance spatula, until the mixture thickens and reaches 185 degrees F on the candy thermometer, 10-15 minutes. At this point a line drawn through the custard on the back of the spatula should leave a clearly defined path.

Strain the mixture into a large bowl, stir in the remaining cream and vanilla, then add the caramel mixture, and blend together thoroughly. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to preen a skin from forming on top and cool to room temperature. Then chill the ice cream mixture in the refrigerator for several hours. Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to process the ice cream long enough so that it sets up.

To make Banana Caramel Ice Cream, stir in 1 cup ripe mashed bananas to the ice cream mixture before chilling. To make Salted Caramel Ice Cream, increase the sea salt to 1 teaspoon. And, you can always add 1 cup of toasted nuts to any of these versions.

Source: Caramel by Carol Bloom [Gibbs Smith, 2013]




Sautéed Spinach


This is one of the meals Suzi is offering this season at Cooking by the Book: Pan-Crisped Chicken in Dijon Mustard Sauce with Cauliflower Gratin and Sautéed Spinach.

I’m going to post the meal in stages, beginning with the “bright” spot on the plate. The sautéed spinach is actually key to the success of this meal. You begin eating with your eyes and your nose. The plate here is brown + brown + GREEN. Intense green. Necessary green. The spinach provides a visual contrast that makes the plate richer and seemingly more abundant. And the spinach flavor, shaded with a hint of garlic, is lovely contrast to the richness of that mustard sauce and the gratin.

This dish is easily prepared, but not instantly. You are seeking to caramelize garlic and that just takes about 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven. But once the garlic is ready, you can cook in the spinach in a flash. Serve it steaming hot and enjoy that unique, if not a bit peculiar I know, flavor.

Sautéed Spinach

Yield: serves 12


  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup garlic cloves
  • 3 pounds baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 F for 20 minutes.

In a piece of aluminum foil, add the garlic and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Wrap it up so the garlic is enclosed and secure and roast in the oven until the cloves are soft and caramelized, about 30 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the garlic is done cooking, heat a large skillet over high medium heat. Add the remaining oil and sautee the spinach until just wilted. Toss in the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper taste.


Source: Corinne Trang for Cooking by the Book