Monday, May 4, 2009

Nadia G's The Bitchen Kitchen

Nadia’s G’s Bitchin Kitchen Cookbook
Nadia Giosia

I don’t remember when I purchased this cookbook, where I bought it, or why I bought it, except that I know that when I flipped through it I started to laugh so hard that the tears were rolling down my face. For those of you who don’t know, Nadia has an internet cooking show called The Bitchin Kitchen.

Nadia, like myself is of Italian descent, and there was so much in the cookbook I could relate to, that maybe that’s what compelled me to buy it. I think the real reason was the cover itself was funny enough to make me start to flip through it. Now, if you are truly a prude, or have no sense of humor, or a four letter word or two offend you, you probably won’t buy the book. My advice to you is lighten up, life is too short and this book is really funny aside from having some great recipes in it. I think Nadia’s quote, “The hand that rocks the ladle, rules the world,” says it all.

She begins her story telling about growing up in her mother’s kitchen where her mother measured nothing (as all Italian mother’s do.) Whenever she would ask her mother how much was in something, she would say “Ma, What do I know, you look, you feel, you taste.” Nadia rebelled and decided she would follow every recipe down to the teaspoon, so if anybody every asked her she could give the exact amount. The problem was no one ever asked her, because “all those meals sucked.” She rose to the occasion, revamped her thinking and now, she looks, she feels and she tastes.” Mirror, mirror, on the wall, we all become our mothers after all.

Nadia gives her kitchen philosophy, Bitchin Basics, kitchen code, and even a glossary to translate her Italianisms, as well as some wonder resources such as essentials for newbies, stocking a pantry and more. Each page is filled not only with a recipe but life advice according to Nadia. You may want to buy some Depends, as you may laugh so hard, you know what will happen. For example, one of her chapters is called Make-Up Soups which features some great recipes and the following quote, “Because nothing say, ‘Sorry for the syphilis’, like a hot, rich bowl, of homemade soup!"

Another favorite was her Valentine’s Day Chapter. Her comment was, “But you know the worst thing about Valentine’s Day? It’s become a Communist holiday! That’s right, a Communist holiday! Did you know that these days if kids want to give out valentines, they have to give out one to everyone in their class? What kind of values are we teaching our children? Back when I was a kid, you had to fight hard to get to the top of a stack of valentines! You had to be smart, funny…throw a good spin-the-bottle party! Today, ‘Everybody’s special!’ Why don’t we axe competitive capitalism altogether and pay hippies and brain surgeons the same wages: two loaves of bread and a gold freakin star?”

And finally, from her Rehab chapter where she states, “Don’t buy medallione or ravioli from chain grocery stores. Always get your stuffed specialty pasta at a bona fide Italian pasta shop. Pasta is best when made by angry old ladies, not machines.”

But seriously, this is a food website, and I don’t want to lose the fact that there are some great recipes in the cookbook such as Pannetone Bread Pudding, Blue-Cheese Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Truffle Aioli, Chickpea Stew, Crispy Salmon with Leek Sauce, Beer-Battered Cauliflower Crispies, Filet Mignon with Chocolate Balsamic Reduction, Nonna’s Potato Croquettes, Pappardelle with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Proscuitto, Penne with Broccoli Rabe & Spicy Italian Sausage, and on and on. This book has something for everyone, the Italian food lover, the vegetarian, the carnivore, the dessert lover; the only thing it doesn’t have something for is the person with no sense of humor.

On that note, I will leave you with her introduction to the PMSCapades chapter…”When I’m PMS-ing I crave the combination of sweet and salty. Now, I’m not talking about a measly peanut butter cup or two, I’m talking hardcore: chips smothered in Swedish chocolate fondue, hot banana curries, fleur de sel caramels drizzled onto fine French cheeses…you get the idea. This chapter is for the very adventurous, or the very bloated.” On to the contents of the book…


Righteous Introduction
The Hand that Rocks the Ladle is the Hand that Rules the World
The Bitchin Basics
The Kitchen Code

Chapter 1: The Single Life
Chapter 2: One-Night Stand Breakfasts
Chapter 3: Anxiety Blasters
Chapter 4: Furious Foods
Chapter 5: Bag ‘Em Tag ‘Em Meals
Chapter 6: Impress the In-Laws
Chapter 7: Break-Up Bonanza
Chapter 8: Make-Up Soups
Chapter 9: Halloween Hootenanny
Chapter 10: PMScapades
Chapter 11: Sex Life Savers: A Chapter for the Boys
Chapter 12: Italian Christmas Eve
Chapter 13: Deflate Your Mate
Chapter 14: Valentine’s Day
Chapter 15: Greek Grillade
Chapter 16: Broke-Ass Dishes
Chapter 17: Get Famous Foods
Chapter 18: Gold Diggers Inc.
Chapter 19: Rehab Recipes
Chapter 20: Underdog Vegetables

Even if you hate to cook, but like to laugh, buy this book. If you like to cook, buy the book too, you won’t be disappointed as it’s filled with great recipes. The pictures are not only great, but hysterical as well, with a little beefcake thrown in for the girls. I now have to log on to her website and watch her live!

Buy the book!

I always include a recipe from the book I am reviewing and this is no exception. I am not a fish lover, I will eat some seafood, so I thought to be fair, I would choose a recipe with some shellfish for a change, so I selected the Panko Shrimp & Fresh Strawberries, a great appetizer for a romantic dinner for 2.

Panko Shrimp & Fresh Strawberries
Serves 2

Grocery List:

¼ cup condensed milk
¼ cup Japanese mayonnaise
2 Jumbo Tiger Shrimp
2 Eggs
Panko crumbs
Canola oil;
1 cup Fresh strawberries

Sweet Sauce:

In a small bowl, add condensed milk and Japanese mayo. Mix well and refrigerate.


Wash, peel, and devein the shrimp.

In a small bowl beat the eggs. Pour Panko crumbs on a plate. Dip the shrimp first into the beaten eggs and then in the Panko crumbs to coat.

Heat ½-inch canola oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Throw a pinch of Panko tester crumbs into the oil, when they start to sizzle wildly, add the shrimp. Fry the shrimp for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Actual frying time depends on the size of the shrimp, but when you see the shrimp curving in on itself, it’s almost done, so that’s when you want to flip it over and fry the other side for 1 to 2 more minutes. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Shkiaffing It Together:

Rinse the strawberries and pat dry. Place 1 shrimp in the center of the plate, and a handful of strawberries and then drizzle some sweet sauce on the side. Tell your lover to combine all elements in each forkful…or else.

Book Title: Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen Cookbook
Author: Nadia Giosia
Category: Celebrity Cookbooks
ISBN 978-1-59921-441-2
Publisher: Skirt is an imprint of The Globe Pequot Press
Guilford, Connecticut
Edition: First
Description: Soft Cover
Illustrations: No
Photographs: Beautiful Color Photos
Price: $19.95
Reviewed by: Elise Feiner – April 27, 2009

Nadia G’s Bitchin Kitchen can be ordered by scrolling down to the bottom of the blog to our Foodfanataholics Cookbook Nook, or, go to the sidebar on the right and click on Cookbook of the Month or, by hitting the button on the sidebar.

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