THE DEEN BROS. TAKE IT EASY
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The Deen Bros. Take It Easy
- Quick and Affordable Meals the Whole Family Will Love
(Ballantine Books) ISBN 978-0345513267 0345513266
Jamie and Bobby Deen provide quick recipes for Southern cooking and inexpensive meals in this family cookbook. All of the easy home-cooked meals are delicious. Some of the quick meal recipes come from The Lady & Sons Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.
Ideal for busy families, the 125 recipes for quick nutritious meals are healthier, less expensive and tastier alternatives to eating out.
You feel like you are part of the Deen family after reading The Deen Bros. Take It Easy: Quick and Affordable Meals the Whole Family Will Love.
Each chapter begins with an index of quick recipes and an introduction by Jamie and Bobby, filled with culinary memories. For example, in the Fish chapter, the Deen brothers recall freshwater fishing as children and recommend cooking fish quickly, so it doesn't lose its fresh texture.
Each quick meal recipe begins with an introduction describing ingredients, cooking techniques and serving suggestions. In the peppery turkey scaloppini recipe, the authors note that turkey is leaner and less expensive than veal. They recommend easy almond rice pilaf as a side dish.
All main course recipes in this family cookbook include easy side dish recipes. You can mix and match side dishes with any of the main dish recipes.
Some recipes end with A bit more, y'all sidebars, with cooking tips. In the broiled pesto chicken with cherry tomatoes recipe, the sidebar advises you to taste the pesto before adding it to the chicken, because the salt content of pesto sauces vary. You can then increase or decrease the salt in the recipe.
Other family recipes conclude with a quote from Jamie or Bobby Deen, or one of their relatives. E.g., Bobby Deen says, "My secret to healthy food with flavor? Do not be shy about the hot sauce!"
Full-page color photos by Ben Fink and Robert Jacobs depict the Deen family and some of the mouth-watering quick dishes.
Food for kids
Jamie Deen, and his wife Brooke, have a son named Jack. A whole chapter of the 200-page cookbook features quick recipes for kids, like cheesy quesadillas with avocado. Healthy, kid-friendly recipes in the Jack's Favorites chapter include yummy orange beef fingers and pecan catfish fish sticks.
A chapter on no-fuss desserts features quick dessert recipes that don't require baking, like chocolate peanut butter malteds and chocolate-dipped frozen bananas with coconut.
The cookbook also includes quick vegetarian meals like Savannah baked bow ties and black-eyed peas, almost Aunt Peggy's roasted eggplant and mozzarella bake and Mama's Yankee white bean pies.
Sample easy, low-cost Southern recipes
Easy cheeseburger casserole. Roasted sweet potato wedges with brown sugar and cinnamon. Double orange pork chops. Honey mustard baked chicken. Avocado and carrot salad with sesame dressing. Seared red snapper with zesty basil butter. Green beans with black olives. Coconut orange cashew rice. Spicy oven-baked pepper shrimp. Grilled bacon and cheese jalapeno poppers. Grilled sausage, pepper and onion sub sandwich. Spinach salad with dried cranberries and almonds. Sweet and spicy pork. Classic chopped salad. Chicken and rice salad with guacamole.
- A note on well-stocked shelves
- Pasta and friends
- Crockpot cooking
- Main-course salads
- Jack's favorites (kid food)
- No-fuss desserts
Jamie and Bobby Deen operate the Lady & Sons Restaurant with their mother, Paula Deen.