Monday, November 28, 2011

Ruby Tuesday's 'Simply Fresh' cookbook lets readers bring it home

If you’re a lover of Ruby Tuesday, you can bring home those dishes in a new cookbook by Jeff Morgan titled “Simply Fresh: Casual Dining at Home.” The cookbook features recipes from the popular restaurant founded by Sandy Beall, who credits its success with its “full-of-flavor dishes, prepared with the very best ingredients, never fancy for fancy’s sake, always generously served with gracious hospitality.”
            Readers will find cocktail recipes and appetizers and side dishes such as chicken wings three ways, sautéed carrots with cumin seeds and cilantro and corn and edamame succotash. There’s chapters on brunch, salads and soups, pasta, seafood, beef and desserts. The Ruby Tuesdays burgers are here (with tips on how to barbecue) along with some of their fun entrée dishes, from gourmet crab cakes with corn and pineapple chutney to meatloaf and everything in between. There’s even the restaurant’s elegant and popular take on mac and cheese.
             For lagniappe (what we call in Louisiana a little something extra), there’s a $5 coupon in every book to use with a $15 food purchase at any Ruby Tuesday restaurant in the mainland United States.
            Here is an easy recipe from “Simply Fresh” that’s as appealing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds:

Oven-roasted Potato “Fries” with Rosemary
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds large red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Arrange the potato slices in long rows, each slice slightly overlapping the next one, in the prepared pan. Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil evenly over the potatoes, then dust the potatoes with the rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp around the edges but still soft in the middle. Serve hot.

If you love restauranteurs and Food Network celebrities Pat and Gina Neely, you’ll be pleased to know they have a new cookbook out in time for the holidays. “The Neely’s Celebration Cookbook: Down-Home Meals for Every Occasion” includes 120 recipes for entertaining year-round, including Hoppin’ John Soup and Deep-fried Cornish Game Hens for New Year’s Day, Smothered Pork Chops and Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes for “Welcome Home, Baby,” One-handed Turkey Burgers and Mint Tea for “Spring Cleaning.”

Cheré Coen is the author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at