When I found my favorite cookbook in a used bookstore years ago, it had already seen some love. It had notes scribbled inside, a pen in the spine, food stains (of course!) and various bookmarks throughout . Today it looks about the same except for more stains and it gets used on a daily basis.
When you hear the name Dom DeLuise
Blazing Saddles, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, Spaceballs come to mind but as the son of Italian Immigrants, Dom DeLuise was no stranger to the kitchen and was the author of two cookbooks. My favorite is his first, published in 1988, titled Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better. He says he picked the title because "...no matter what the situation, my mother's solution was always, "Eat this, it'll make you feel better." The book is also dedicated to her as Dom says that his Mom, "if you wake up at three o'clock in the morning, would cook for you."
Funny Book, Serious Cook
You can hear his voice and feel his passion for good food...and the wit is just icing on the cake. The book is full of pictures, family and laughter. But the recipes WORK! Have you ever put your best into a following a recipe and have the food not turn out like you had hoped? I've never had this happen with Dom's recipes and I'm a professional Chef....and picky when it comes to my dishes. I mean, I do like to add in different things to experiment here and there, but it's nice to follow what he does word for word and be so pleased with the outcome. Keep reading and I'll tell you about my catering company's giveaway...a pre-loved copy of this cookbook...on Facebook. But you can't have mine. After all these years I'm just getting it broken in and I'm keeping it!
This Cookbook is Based in Reality
What I mean by this is that it's a practical cookbook. The recipes are simple...doable...won't break your bank with a varied bunch of ingredients that you won't use ever again. I mean, if you want to go buy expensive combo pans, that's fine, but you don't have to in order to make these dishes come out great...and feel like a pro when you do. You can get all of the ingredients at your everyday local market.
Favorite Recipes from Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better
This is hard for me because there are so many that I could easily call a favorite from Dom DeLuise's cookbook. It covers everything, including what are his most special relationships: "Me and Salt," "Me and Grated Cheese", "Me and Oil," and "Me and Garlic." I mean isn't it an universal understanding that "you can't have too much garlic?"
Mamma's Lentil Soup
I'm a soup guy and one of my mantras is "Soup should never be just for Winter". Mamma's Lentil Soup is easy and DANG GOOD. I have a few extra touches I add to make it a hearty meal are potatoes and a good crusty french bread with lots of butter...WOW! Below are the ingredients for the soup and you can find the rest of Mamma's Lentil Soup recipe here.
1 lb lentils
4 C chicken or vegetable broth
3 C water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, diced
1 16-oz can of crushed tomatoes
Dom's Mom's Stuffed Eggplant Rolls
I pride myself on meat and potatoes, but this recipe is a must. I won't say too much but try it exactly as written and you'll be FULL. Below are the ingredients and you can find the rest of Dom's Mom's Stuffed Eggplant Rolls recipe here.
2 medium eggplants
flour for dredging
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 pound sliced mozzarella
1 pound ricotta cheese mixed with 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
2 cups marinara sauce
more chopped parsley, if desired
grated cheese, if desired
You can find more recipes from my favorite cookbook by Dom DeLuise on our Pinterest page...I will be posting them as we find them online. But if you'd rather have all the recipes in a book of your own, please go the Royal Empire Catering Albuquerque Facebook page and share or comment any of our posts, including this one! Each person who shares or comments will be automagically entered into our drawing for your own slightly pre-loved copy of Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better. You can share as many of our posts as you want, each one counts as a chance in the drawing.
We found the cookbook used on Amazon and are so excited to share Dom DeLuise's talent for making people laugh and eat. The cookbook winner will be randomly drawn on Friday, September 6 and will be trying Dom Mom's recipes in no time.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite cookbook, and below are three more that have shaped my passion and whipped my cooking skills into shape:
I believe Julia Child is to cooking what a dictionary is to language. So it goes without saying that ANY Julia cookbook is a good one, but this one has stood the test of time. There is even a 50th Anniversary Edition available now but any used copy will do.
This is my BBQ Bible and the reason our catered backyard barbecues and corporate picnics are always a hit. Another one of my unofficial mantras: Don't fool around with BBQ! Get it Real and Get it RIGHT.
First published in 1941, Escoffier is considered the Father of French Cooking. This cookbook has shaped my early life in cooking, and the cookbook by Dom DeLuise has made it fun.
P.S. If you'd like to learn more about the life of Dom DeLuise outside of his cookbook, here are some links I found. I really miss this guy! He also wrote children's books and is what I would call a bona fide author in is own right. He has three sons and cherished family and food. My kind of guy.