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Hero Food offers recipes that are ‘super’ tasty and nutritious

Created date

June 19th, 2012

This summer is all about superheroes with Batman, Spiderman, and the Avengers appearing on a silver screen near you. While these comic book luminaries came by their super powers the hard way, Seamus Mullen s new cookbook Hero Food: How Cooking With Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better offers mere mortals an easy way to gain strength and vitality through eating fresh and delicious food. Mullen is the young chef and owner of one of New York City s favorite Spanish restaurants, Tertulia, a Manhattan amazement. . . according to the New York Times, where Mullen is cooking now at the very top of his game. Raised on an organic farm in Vermont and later schooled in Spain, Mullen became a cooking sensation, working in top-notch kitchens before striking out on his own with the tapas bar Boqueria and competing on Iron Chef. By the time he was 35, Mullen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that prompted his desire to focus on foods that are both healthy and delicious. Mullen approaches his recipes as a chef, not as a health expert, so taste is paramount. I am not a nutritionist I m a chef, he says in the introduction. And I m unwilling to let so-called health food take the place of great food. Brimming with beautiful color photographs by Colin Clark, readers quickly learn that heroes don t skimp on taste or visual appeal. Each of the 18 chapters focuses on a specific type of food. There s olive oil and grains, mushrooms and anchovies, good meat and good fish. Other chapters are devoted to summer s star attractions like berries, corn, stone fruit, and squash. What better way to cap off a summer matinee than with Mullen s corn and crab salad followed by his amazing recipe for Mutti s blueberry boy bait!

Mutti s Blueberry Boy Bait Serves 8 Chef Seamus Mullen writes: This cake is a family classic that my grandmother has been making for me since I was a little guy, and I still love it. It s a very simple cake, and for me the very best way to end a meal. My grandmother remembers this recipe from a Fannie Farmer cookbook, but Blueberry Boy Bait actually turns out to be the creation of a 15-year-old girl competing in the junior division of a Pillsbury baking contest in the 1950s. Ingredients ' cup butter 1 cup sugar, plus a bit more for sprinkling 2 eggs, separated 1 tsp vanilla ' tsp salt 1 ' cups plus 1 Tbsp ' all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder ' cup milk 1 ' cups blueberries Directions Preheat the oven to 350 ' . Butter a round 9-inch spring form pan, line with a round of parchment paper, and butter the paper. In a standing mixer, cream together the butter and ' cup of the sugar. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt and mix until creamy. Sift the 1 ' cups flour and the baking powder together. Add the sifted flour and the milk to the butter mixture and gently combine. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining ' cup sugar until they make stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the batter. Coat the berries with the remaining 1 Tbsp flour and add to the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with sugar. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Serve with a whole lot of love, and maybe a dollop of whipped cream.