Any books you're looking forward to in 2007? Here are a few of mine:
Fuschia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province. From the book description:
The Glory of Southern Cooking by James Villas. An article in Saveur noted that the cold-oven pound cake recipe is particularly good; I still haven't found a recipe that matches my mom's, so I'll be trying this one. From Publisher's Weekly:
Fuchsia Dunlop is the author of the much-loved and critically acclaimed Sichuanese cookbook Land of Plenty, which won the British Guild of Food Writers' Jeremy Round Award for best first book and which critic John Thorne called "a seminal exploration of one of China's great regional cuisines." Now, with Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, she introduces us to the delicious tastes of Hunan, Chairman Mao's home province.
Hunan is renowned for the fiery spirit of its people, its beautiful scenery, and its hearty peasant cooking. In a selection of classic recipes interwoven with a wealth of history, legend, and anecdote, Dunlop brings to life this vibrant culinary region. Look for late imperial recipes like Numbing-and-Hot Chicken, Chairman Mao's favorite Red-Braised Pork, soothing stews, and a myriad of colorful vegetable stir-fries. 65 color illustrations.
Nancy Silverton's A Twist of the Wrist: Quick Flavorful Meals with Ingredients from Jars, Cans, Bags and Boxes. Note that this isn't your run-of-the-mill quick-fix cookbook. From Publisher's Weekly:
Villas, the former food and wine editor of Town & Country and the author of 12 cookbooks, explores the distinctive cuisine of Southern cooking. Villas sees Southern cookery as the only legitimate cuisine in this county, being on the same level with French and Italian home cooking. His collection spans the entirety of the Southern states, including recipes for such classics as fried chicken, pork barbecue, and grits and greens, and lesser known dishes such as Baked Oysters with Mustard Greens and Bacon, Nashville Turnip Greens with Ham Hock, and Memphis Casserole Cheese Bread. Recipes highlight the abundance of natural food ingredients found in the South as well as the multitude of ethnic influences that contributed to the cuisine's evolution. Chapters include Cocktail and Tea Foods; Soups, Chowders, and Gumbos; Rice and Grits; and Cornbread, Biscuits, Hush Puppies, and Other Breads. Villas also provides helpful sections on equipment, ingredients, special cooking techniques, and a glossary of terms for those unfamiliar with the cuisine. This is a solid primer for those who like comfort food or have an interest in Southern cooking.
Starred Review. In this beautifully illustrated book, renowned Los Angeles baker and chef Silverton (Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book) uses premium prepared ingredients as shortcuts to ease the home cooking time crunch. Most recipes are timed at 30 minutes or less, but the elegance and seeming difficulty of the dishes set them apart from the usual quick-fix crowd pleasers: Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Chops with Stuffed Grape Leaves and Tahini Sauce, or Buttermilk-Fried Oysters with Pickled Vegetables and Chipotle Mayonnaise sound like they should take much longer than half an hour, but with the ready-made ingredients, few cooks will have a problem. They might, however, have trouble actually finding those ingredients; even big-city dwellers may have to turn to the Internet for specialty items like green masala paste or fennel pollen, though a helpful glossary provides insight into locating them and some substitutions. Famous chef friends like Charlie Trotter and Mario Batali provide recipes revealing their own secret shortcuts. Fans of Silverton's last book will love the chapter on crostini with innovative toppings like ventresca, piquillo peppers and caper mayonnaise, using leftovers from jars bought for other recipes. Cooks looking for upscale yet quick meal ideas, and who will pay extra for pricey exotic items, are sure to appreciate this stylish cheat sheet.