Books Cover

Title: Teen Cuisine
Author: Matthew Locricchio
207 pages; Hardcover $22.95 US / $28.95 CAN
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish, Tarrytown NY 2010
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, April, 2011

The review--- Do you have teen age children? Do you struggle in your kitchen trying to figure out what to feed them? Look no further, buy this book, Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio. First I must say that I am impressed with the quality of the book's printing, it's done on nice weight paper, it's colorful and the pictures of the recipes' finished products are quite nice indeed! But is this book for a grown-up to use or is it for your teen to cook from? There aren't many teens with the skills, especially with knives, who can handle all the cutting that may be required in some of the recipes. Under some supervision from a parent and proper instruction and training they might.

Most teens like grab and go food these days and even when sitting down for dinner or a holiday family meal it's hard to keep them at the table for long perioods of time. Before you start using this book you might want to explain to your kids that the recipes make really nice looking finished dishes, this isn't a cookbook for plain mac and cheese or sloppy Joes! The book is sophisticated and its recipes are very nice--what would you expect from a chef? Some recipes like New Gazpacho with Chipotle Almond Cream and Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Fresh Lime Dressing might not appeal to the finicky teenager. Most of the recipes though are standard fare in families that have a history of having good cooks for generations.

Recipes I tried include the Not-An-Ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich; it was made with whole wheat bread and sharp cheddar. The Burger recipe was basic with a little kick added from a spice mix of cayenne, paprika and black pepper. All the fixings of lettuces, sliced onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo and tomatoes really dressed up the burger as It'sat upon a toasted kaiser roll. We are talking adult food too in the Max Mac and Cheeseso rich and gooey with Vermont sharp cheddar, cottage cheese, light cream, dry mustard and cayenne! I know there are losts of calories in this dish to keep the kids fueled for hours! Who doesn't like dessert? There are plenty of recipes but the one to catch my eye was the Carrot Layer Cake, so moist, so rich, so good! The cream cheese frosting was very nice with a touch of coconut in it.
Perhaps the best section of the book was the pizza section. Most cook books don't do a good job when it comes to the recipe for the pizza dough. In this book, not only was the recipe clear to follow but as an added bonus the were 3 separate recipes; one for New York, one for California and a Chicago style dough. Then there were recipes for each type of dough using diffrent ingredients, and then from the New York dough a calzone!

The botton line on Teen Cuisine is that it isn't just a cookbook with recipes for teens, it's a cookbook for the whole family! The bonus to all is the possibility that your teen will want to cook from this book, reviving the lost art of learnig how to cook at an early age. Then who knows, they might be inspired to become a chef!

Recipes tested---!
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Not-an-Ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Makes 4 Sandwiches

8 slices whole wheat, white, or sourdough sandwich bread
4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted

On your mark ...

Preheat the oven to 400 F with a rack in the upper slot of the oven.

Get set ...

Cut away the crusts of the bread with a sharp knife. Discard the crusts. Lay four slices on a small baking sheet.

Using the largest holes of a four-sided grater, grate the cheddar cheese into a small bowl. Add the milk and combine.

Butter the top of each slice of bread with a pastry brush. Turn the bread over so the buttered side is clown.

Spoon one-quarter of the cheese mixture on top of each slice of bread and cover with the remaining slices of bread.

With a pastry brush, butter the top slices.


Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the sandwiches for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese melts and the bread just begins to brown.

Turn the oven to broil. Brown the sandwiches under the broiler for 1 minute on each side. (If necessary, reshape the sandwiches with a spatula after you turn them, tapping in the sides like a deck of cards.) Be careful not to let them burn.

With a spatula, lift the finished sandwiches from the baking sheet to a serving disk.

Let them cool for a moment, cut into halves, and serve hot.
Carrot Cake
Carrot Layer Cake

Just looking at this moist and elegant carrot cake explains why it has so many
fans. If you have never made a frosted layer cake, start with the recipe below.
Vou can make your job even easier by baking the cake in a 9 by 13-inch pan,
then all you have to do is frost the top. This cake will impress everyone who tries
it, but most of all you!

Makes 1 (9-inch) Two-layer Cake, or 1 (9 by 13-inch) Cake
Serves 8

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
7 to 8 carrots (about 1 pound)
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups raw (turbinaclo) sugar
1 cup whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

On your mark .. .

Preheat the oven to 350 F with a rack in the middle slot of the oven.

lay two 1-foot sheets of parchment paper on top of one another on a clean countertop. Using the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan, trace a circle on the top piece of paper. Using the pencil line as a guide, cut out two layered circles. Set the circles aside.

With a piece of wax paper, butter two round 9-inch cake pans with 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon flour, tip the pans back and forth, and roll the pans on their sides to evenly coat the surfaces. Tap out any excess flour. line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle and set aside.

Cream Cheese Frosting (May double for more frosting)
11 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Get set .. .

To make the cake, wash and peel the carrots. Using the largest holes of a four-sided grater, grate the carrots into a large bowl (or grate the carrots using a food processor. Follow the manufacturer's directions for grating.) Measure 3 cups grated carrots. Set aside.

With a whisk, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor with the all-purpose metal blade in place, combine the carrots, oil, arid raw sugar. Snap the lid into place and process for 20 to 30 seconds, until the ingredients are blended and smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the yogurt, cream, eggs, vanilla, and nuts. Beat the mixture with an electric hand-mixer set on high until the ingredients are blended into a smooth batter.

Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the flour mixture and fold to combine until the ingredients come together. Don't over mix.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape half of the batter into each prepared cake pan.


Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. The cake is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

In th the meantime, make the frosting. Combine the cream cheese, coconut, confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients with an electric hand-mixer until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to frost the cake.

Set the cake pans on a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake.

Lay a cooling rack on top of a cake pan and invert it. Carefully lift off the pan and the parchment paper. Now lay a second cooling rack on the cake and turn it upside down so the top of the cake is facing up. Repeat with the other cake pan. Cool the cake layers completely before frosting.

To frost the cake, lay one layer on a serving dish, round side up. Using a long, thin metal or rubber spatula or a knife, put about 1/2 cup of the frosting in the center of the bottom layer. Spread the frosting to the edges of the layer until even. Take your time to avoid tearing the cake.

Lay the second layer on top of the first, round side up, making sure the layers evenly line up. Frost the top layer of the cake with another 1/2 cup of the frosting. Frost the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, filling in withfrosting where the two layers meet.

Cut into slices and serve.