This is going to be a biased review. It has to be. I am in love with Kim Severson’s work. I always have been. When I read her first book, Spoon Fed, I think I sent her the longest email I have ever written. The book touched me in so many ways. When I heard there was another book coming, I can tell you I was so eager to get a copy. And this new book – Cook Fight – does not disappoint.  (I am no one to judge but I don’t care for the title much but I loved the book itself!).

The book is based on a really fun and inviting concept: two food writers and cooks duel each other in the kitchen.They take each other on at the Farmer’s Market, show off their skills at cooking dinners and of course, see who does best with a tight budget.

It is a book that will get much use in the kitchen with all the easy recipes, cooking tips and wonderful sidebars

Here is a fun little recipe that I really loved:

Fiery Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from the recipe by Kim Severson and Julia Moskin

Recipe reprinted from Cook Fight (Harper Collins)

Serves 12

5 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 cup coconut milk
1 heaping tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 375°.

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake potatoes on a baking sheet until very soft, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, peel and mash.

2. In a small saucepan, heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat. Mix coconut milk mixture, half the sugar, half the butter, and salt into potatoes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cover and refrigerate up to two days.
3. At least 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 degrees. Put potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover potatoes, dot with remaining butter and sugar and broil until brown and crusty on top, checking often to prevent scorching.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

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  1. Thanks for recommending this book (and for mentioning Spoonfed, which is now on my list). I don’t like the title, either—reminds me of Cock Fight or Chick Fight, neither of which is appealing! However, the recipe looks wonderful and I love the premise of the book, so I’ll read it, thanks!

    As an aside, I started wondering how many great books don’t sell b/c of their titles. I’m guessing, a lot.

    1. Elizabeth (and Monica),
      I bet you’re right, I suspect there are books that haven’t sold because of their titles but I bet there are even more that have sold BECAUSE of their title. There are a number of reasons a book sells, but an intriguing title will often get me to at least pick the book off the shelf to take a closer look. An attractive cover helps as well. Such little things – so important.

  2. I saw these two on the Today Show the other morning and found it to be a unique concept for a cookbook. This is a great recipe. I have a bag of potatoes on the counter right now, and all the rest of the ingredients here. I must try this soon. Forwarding this recipe to my grown sons who I’m sure will enjoy cooking this recipe, too. Thanks for the review, Monica!

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