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Posts Tagged ‘Cook The Book’

Excelsior! As promised, I’ve finally got around to finishing up the first piece in a new series of cook-the-book style posts! First at-bat is Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook. 

The book begins with a brief introduction and some basic tips on safety and kitchen cleanliness. Then, as any good morning would, delves into some breakfast.

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A wise man once said “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” and a trip to your local diner will prove that every time. While studies have more or less debunked the conventional wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, starting your morning with good food is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day.

With Captain America’s Day Starters, we get a few different options for easy, healthy and delicious kick start.

‘Fresh fruit or fruit juice. Lots of vitamins C and A’

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I’ve wrote on here a few times about how great smoothies can be for breakfast. Blend up your favorite mix of fruits and veggies with some juice or milk (I also like to throw some type of sea vegetable in the mix) and you’re ready to go. Once you blend your mix, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray to make things even easier while you’re still groggy. This particular blend I threw together features banana, pineapple, orange, mango and sweet potato.

‘Milk is the best source of calcium. It’s need for strong bones and teeth. It also supplies protein – essential building blocks for our bodies’img_4825

Milk is certainly nutritious, if not a little bit weird as a concept, but yogurt has even more calcium and is loaded with beneficial bacteria. Mixed with granola and some fresh fruit, it makes for a hearty, protein-packed breakfast.

‘Bread or cereal, lots of variations in this department’

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For simplicity, flavor and customization, look no further than Avocado Toast, loaded with Omega 3 fats and complex carbohydrates. The only two things you need are in the name itself. Apart from avocado and toasted bread, the possibilities are near endless. The folks over that The Kitchn have a great piece to get your creative juices going; Here, I’ve got 12 grain bread with butter and sesame seeds, mashed avocado, and thinly sliced cucumber tossed with salt, pepper, chili flake and lime juice.

Now, for those looking for a more traditional American-style breakfast, look no further than Hulk’s Fried Potatoes with Bacon and Eggs

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This dish needs little explanation, if any at all. Bacon, eggs, toast, breakfast potatoes; Maybe some coffee, if you’re so inclined. I will give one little trick I recently picked  up while working mainly breakfast shifts: par-boil your potatoes with onions and garlic. This cooks them through, so when you fry ’em up they’ll be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s the same principle to making great French Fries.

In Our Next Exciting Issue…

The Thing’s Clobbered Omelet

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Happy New Year everyone! As I’m sure you may have noticed, I’ve been taking a bit of a break from writing. Not that I haven’t wanted to, but I’ve been trying to get back into some other hobbies I’ve dropped off from in the past couple years. I’ve got a couple good books under my belt this month, finished my first run through Borderlands 2, and caught up on Game of Thrones and Doctor Who (definitely going to be missing Capaldi after this next season).

By and large, what I’ve written here for a few years have been submissions for Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Cooking Challenge. It’s certainly a fun challenge, and helps keep the creative juices flowing. Now that I’m gearing back up to write again, I want to do something a bit different. I’ve always really liked the idea of picking up a cookbook and just going straight through it, one recipe after another. Maggie Mariolis does a great series on Serious Eats titled Cook the Book , which follows that basic idea. You’re probably also familiar with Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia.

With stacks of cookbooks taller than I am, it was hard to narrow down one book kick off the new project(s). I have a few good books on meat preparation (including a wonderful read on organs and spare parts in general), a few antiquated books with interesting preparations people don’t see anymore, and a handful of Novelties like the Epic Meal Time cookbook (where portion sizes are often categorized ‘Feeds 6 puny humans or 1 Muscles Glasses). To ease myself into this kind of writing and cooking, I ended up picking a simple book, with a smattering of interesting recipes, and one that I’m sure will get plenty of fanservice (myself included)

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Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Marvel Superheroes’ Cookbook

I got this book as a gift from my brother one year for Christmas, an original copy from 1977. It’s certainly an interesting book, to say the least. When I describe it to people, I normally say it has very little to do with food and even less to do with Marvel.

The artwork speaks for itself, as you can see from the cover. Joe Giella, known for his inking (depth and shading over an original sketch) work during the Golden Age on Human Torch and Submariner for Marvel and Flash, Green Lantern and Black Canary  for DC.

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A bit campy, sure, but lots of Golden Age comics were like that.

Recipes were created Jody Cameron Malis, a cookbook editor who largely worked on tie-in cookbooks such as The Newlywed Game Cookbook and The Dark Shadows Cookbook. As with the art, the recipes speak for themselves.

Not exactly what you might call high cuisine. Unfortunately, a large portion of the recipes in the book are like this. Even the recipes named for Marvel characters suffer from a lack of creativity, to put it lightly. The first instruction in the recipe for ‘Spidey’s Chocolate Web Pancakes’ is literally just to make pancakes. No joke.

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This may seem like a strange choice to start out a whole cookbook worth of posts and recipes, but I’ve figured out how to make it fun and interesting while still keeping in the spirit of the original.

First: I’ll only be cooking the named recipes through the book. That is to say, the recipes that are named after a specific character. There are countless pages of garbage-y recipes that I don’t want to waste the time and money on. Second: Rather than following those recipes exactly as they’re written, I’m going to be making an upgraded version of the same thing.

When it’s all said and done, here’s the recipes we’ll be looking at over the course of the next few months (or the rest of the year, I don’t really know how long this is going to take me)

Captain America’s Day Starters

Hulk’s Fried Potatoes with Bacon and Eggs

The Thing’s Clobbered Omelet

Spidey’s Chocolate Web Pancakes

Wasp’s Fruit Bowl

Hawkeye’s Corned Beef Hash

Galactus’ ‘He-Man’ Pancakes

Sumariner’s Submarine

Torch’s Fireball

Hulk’s Sloppy Joe

Spidey’s Parmigiani

Captain America’s Americana Hero

Shang-Chi’s Kung Fu Burger

Torch’s Char Burger

Thor’s Thunderburg

The Hulkburger

Mr. Fantastic’s Big Jaw Breaker

Panther’s Snack with Chips

Thor’s Asgardian Vegetable Soup

Iron Man’s Splendid Split Pea Soup

Silver Surfer’s Surfboard Sensation

Ka-Zar Steak Kabobs

Super Meat Loaf ‘Goliath Style’

Thor’s Cabbage Rolls

Dr. Strange’s Mysterious Stew

‘Be-Deviled’ Swiss Steak

Submariner’s Magnificent Tuna Bake

Hulk’s Jumbo Shrimp in a Basket

Spider-Man’s Catch Seafood Platter

Powerman’s Fillet of Sole

Daredevil’s Deviled Dip

Iron Man’s Special Salad

Ms. Fantastic Short Cakes

Dare Devil’s Food Cake

Hulk’s Applesauce Cake

The Angel’s Heavenly Angel Cake

Captain America’s Double Cracker Jack Cake

Shang-Chi’s Peaches and Cream Cake

Spidey’s Vanilla Cheesecake

Dr. Strange’s Cinnamon Raisin Bars

Shang-Chi’s Fortune Cookies

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Side note: The ‘Jolly Sandwich Maker!’ is my favorite picture from the book. So much so that I actually got it as a tattoo a few years back.

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