Friday, February 19, 2016

Eats: Psychotic Cookbook #2 And A Recipe From It

Hello! My previous post featured a chocolate cookbook whose author had created cookies and cakes loaded with gobs of candy or topped with gobs of frosting. The brownies I'd made from the book and gave the recipe for were so rich, I got tired of eating them after a couple of days. 

Yet as excessive as the recipes in that cookbook can be, I have another one that is even more over the top:

Margaux Sky's Beautiful Breads & Fabulous Fillings. As with the chocolate cookbook, I first encountered this volume at the library, then purchased it at a greatly discounted price.

How "fabulous" are Sky's breads and fillings? I'll start with the sandwich that made Sky famous. Apparently Oprah Winfrey was in attendance at a lunch Sky catered, and Winfrey raved on her show about one of the sandwiches Sky had supplied.

In my cookbook, the recipe is titled "Curried Chicken on Spicy White Pepper-Jack Bread (aka the "O" Special). That title's quite the mouthful, isn't it? Perhaps that's fitting, because the sandwich is quite a mouthful too: somehow 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, 1 cup Curry Sauce, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds, 1 cup mesclun and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes are supposed to  fit between two slices of bread (Spicy White Pepper-Jack, of course). To be fair, the chicken, carrots, almonds and curry sauce are combined, with the sauce doing its best to hold everything together. But I'm not sure how you'd be able to fit the resulting conglomeration between two slices of bread - and still have room for the mesclun and chopped tomatoes. 

Would you rather eat "Barbequed Shrimp On Three-Cheese Bread"? All you need for your sandwich, then, is 1/2 cup red onions, 1 pound jumbo shrimp, 1 cup Sweet Red Wine Barbecue Sauce, 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup mesclun and 1/2 cup diced tomatoes. Yes, that's one pound of shrimp - for one serving.

I had an egg salad sandwich for lunch today, but I only used two eggs in mine, not the five eggs Sky's egg salad recipe lists. 

Forget the usual peanut butter and jelly! Sky's "Peanut Butter, Honey and Caramelized Bananas on Brown Harvest Bread" gives the diner a whole half cup of peanut butter per sandwich - plus the same amount of honey. But strangely, only one banana per serving is used. I'm rather surprised Sky didn't try to cram more in with this recipe. 

But perhaps the most excessive sandwich is the "Turkey Breakfast Bun", featuring a full pound of turkey, 1 cup of Tangy Apricot Pineapple Sauce, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes and 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese - on one sliced English muffin. Again, this is one serving, folks. 

Sky's comments about this sandwich: "This is a healthy portion, and eating both halves is enough to fill you for the entire morning and and a good deal of the afternoon. Since it's very good reheated, don't feel you must eat it all at once. "

"Healthy portion"? Sounds like an unhealthy portion to me! But luckily, it reheats well, so we don't have to eat that monster all at once! 

Needless to say, Sky's English muffins must be gargantuan to hold that much food - and they are! Her recipe calls for eight cups of flour - but the yield is eight English muffins. How different is that from the usual English muffin recipe? Well, let's put it this way: I made the recipe once - and got 19 normal-size muffins. I can't imagine what English muffins made by her directions would look like - maybe the size of a pillow? 

Yep, there are many psychotic recipes in this cookbook - breads baked with a filling of peanut butter and a chocolate fudge sauce (2 cups each), breads filled with salsa and grated Pepper Jack cheese (again, 2 cups of each), or with 1 cup each of three different cheeses). Each bread is meant to be the 9x5 loaf pan size. 

Fortunately, one bread, Sweet French Loaf, isn't meant to be stuffed - instead, its large mass of dough (like the English muffin recipe, it starts with eight cups of flour) is merely shaped to fill a large baking sheet. It makes an impressive loaf of bread, great for parties.

The chapter on sauces and salad dressings is more reasonable, although offbeat at times. I haven't mustered up any interest in making the Lavender Mint Love Sauce. I do love lavender, but more in my toiletries than in my food! 

However, I currently have a jar of Sweet Horseradish Sauce in our refrigerator, as I've found it goes well on a turkey sandwich. I'd already given this recipe; it can be found here. 

And for this post, I'll give another easy recipe from that chapter:

Red Wine and Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing (adapted from Margaux Sky's Beautiful Breads & Fabulous Fillings)

1 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup deli or spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well with a wire whisk. Store dressing in airtight container in the refrigerator. Mix well before each use. 

As in my previous post, I'm using the word "psychotic" affectionately. Here, I'm just referring to the immense serving sizes and other extravagances in this cookbook. The recipes and presentations certainly are unique!

After all, who else would put two cups each of peanut butter and chocolate sauce in one loaf of bread, or concoct a sandwich with a pound of shrimp or turkey in it? Well, Margaux Sky did!



  1. Have you made any smaller versions of these sandwiches? They do sound good, but maybe with less of each ingredient?

  2. Back when I first got the cookbook, I did make a smaller-sized version of the "O" Special, but a lot of the sandwiches are a bit fussy to make, or would be rather pricey to recreate, so I haven't made any others. But I've made several of the bread recipes, adapted her pancake recipe, and have made several of the sauces. It's a fun cookbook even if it's flaky!