Friday, April 23, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Cookbook Review of The Deen Bros. Take It Easy, by Jamie and Bobby Deen

Her down-home Southern cooking has made Paula Deen a household name, and with good reason.  Between her immensely popular Savannah restaurant, The Lady and Sons, to her television appearances, to her cookbooks, she is the go-to woman for all things Southern goodness.

She's also the mother of two boys, Jamie and Bobby Deen, who are food celebrities in their own right.  Following in their mother's footsteps, they hosted a Food Network show called Road Tasted and often appear on Good Morning America. And like their mama (as they affectionately call her), they have a new cookbook.

I spotted Jamie and Bobby's book, The Deen Bros. Take It Easy: Quick and Affordable Meals the Whole Family Will Love at the library and paging through it, the recipes looked simple, tasty, and ... dare I say it? even a little bit healthy.  (I will confess that I've never made a Paula Deen recipe, nor read one of her cookbooks. Her meals look scrumptious, but way too fat-laden for my cholesterol levels.) 

The premise of the book is that, while their mother's food is delicious and the centerpiece of their family life and livelihoods, their schedules don't often allow for the slow Southern way of cooking.  Jamie and Bobby Deen strive to give their readers - and their mama's fans - the same down home goodness in less than 45 minutes of preparation.

Jamie and Bobby live up to expectations in Take It Easy (and it certainly helps that they are rather easy on the eyes, are they not?)  There's something for everyone in this book - yes, even the vegetarian! - although many of the recipes draw (or should that be drawl? :) on their Southern heritage.  Recipes abound for meat, poultry, fish, pasta dishes, crockpot meals, main-course salads, kid-friendly foods (Jamie has a 3 year old, so he knows toddlers' picky tastebuds) and of course, desserts. The Deen Bros. Take It Easy is photographed so beautifully and written in such a style that you just want to sit down at the table with the Deen family for dinner and listen to them talk.

Here's one of the recipes from the book that we enjoyed:

Quick Braised Chicken with Rosemary and New Potatoes

3 pounds chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks (or just use one or the other)
2 Teaspoons salt, plus additional for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1 pound small new red potatoes, cut into eighths
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and rosemary.

3. Place the chicken in a large broiler-proof baking pan and season with additional salt and pepper. Add the potatoes to the pan. Pour the rosemary mixture over the chicken and potatoes and toss to coat.

4. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and transfer to the broiler. Broil, 4 inches from the heat, for about 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pricked with a fork. Serve Hot, with pan juices spooned on top.  (my note: this needed a little more cooking time in my oven ... at the 45 minute mark, it seemed more done).

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Some other recipes from the book that I can't wait to try:

Aunt Peggy's Pickled Cucumber, Tomato and Onion Salad
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon
Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Basil
Honey Mustard Baked Chicken
Garlicky Chicken and Peanut Stir Fry
Moist and Easy Corn Bread
Saucy Tilapia with Tomatoes and Capers
(I don't eat pork but if I did, their Grilled Caesar Pork Tenderloin would be on my must-try list)
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Brown Sugar Pineapple Rings
Mama's Yankee White Bean Pies
Baby Buttermilk Biscuit Pizzas (this is from the kid-friendly section ... pizzas with buttermilk biscuits as the crust!)
Baked Hush Puppies
Cheesy Cinnamon Toast (this looks real similar to a breakfast we get every single day whenever we're on vacation)
Ten Minute Blackberry Cream Pie

Happy eatin', y'all!

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copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


caite said...

Baked Hush Puppies caught my attention...

bermudaonion said...

This looks wonderful and I have to say the pickled cucumber, tomato and onion salad.

JoAnn said...

This sounds easy and delicious. Chicken is always a hit at our house... The other recipes listed sound good, too. May have to see if the library has this one so I can take a closer look!

Margot at Joyfully Retired said...

I really only needed to look at the cover but I read all of your words. I'm going to find this one. I'm a big fan of the whole family. I like the sound of garlicky chicken.

Connie said...

The chicken sounds DELICIOUS! I might have to buy the book just for that.

Great review!

-Connie @

Beth F said...

Pretty much all of the recipes look good to me! And that chicken sounds good and easy -- Like JoAnn, I'll be looking for this at the library.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

We really liked the chicken! Hope you enjoy it too, if you try it. It is very easy and simple. I made it on a weeknight when I was parenting solo, so you KNOW it had to be easy!

Heather said...

Ooo this sounds like my kind of cookbook! And that recipe sounds delicious; I love chicken and rosemary. Heck, I love rosemary in all kinds of stuff! And I bet my kids would love those biscuit pizzas!

curtissannmatlock said...

Oh, yummy! I think I can do this, and I have fresh rosemary from my garden! Thanks!

Vicki said...

I love Paula, Jamie and Bobby. I've never bought one of their cookbooks but have wanted to.