Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Cookbooks 2012

Cookbook

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
80 replies to this topic

#61 adey73

adey73
  • participating member
  • 607 posts
  • Location:Moscow, Russia

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:12 AM

Jon, what is the Pierre Gagnaire book like?

Anything with "Twist" in the title gives me the shivers.

Edited by adey73, 13 November 2012 - 07:13 AM.

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

#62 Jmahl

Jmahl
  • participating member
  • 816 posts
  • Location:On the Tex Mex Border

Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:38 PM

Has anyone got hold of a copy of Bouchon Bakery yet? Any comments to share?


Just get a copy. I have not opened it up yet. I will report back.
The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

#63 Pallee

Pallee
  • participating member
  • 188 posts

Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

My two favorite cookbooks of 2012 (so far, anyway) are

"Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson
and
"Flour Water Salt Yeast" by Ken Forkish

I've used them both extensively and been very happy with the results.

#64 Merkinz

Merkinz
  • participating member
  • 138 posts
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

For me it is Fuchsia Dunlops "Every Grain of Rice". This book has had a huge impact on our diet and weekly dinners (for the better). I cook at least a couple of recipes out of this book and have done since it came out. The guy at my small local asian supermarket even knows me :laugh:

Other than that MCAH has consumed alot of my weekends, and often to good effect.

#65 Gruzia

Gruzia
  • participating member
  • 153 posts
  • Location:Tampa

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:56 PM

I second the "Every Grain of Rice"
The other book that I've really enjoyed cooking out of has been Vietnamese Home Cooking.

#66 DiggingDogFarm

DiggingDogFarm
  • participating member
  • 1,011 posts
  • Location:Finger Lakes Region of New York State

Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:32 PM

I know there are mixed feelings around here about their first charcuterie book, but I'll be curious to see Polcyn and Ruhlman's Salumi. I haven't gotten into dry curing yet, so it'll be mostly academic, but I'm hoping it'll be an interesting read.


I'm a big fan of Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie, so I'm definitely looking forward to Salumi.


Unfortunately, I found Salumi quite disappointing.
I waited a long time for the book with big hopes and expected to like it.....maybe my expectations were too great.



~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 13 December 2012 - 09:33 PM.

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#67 FrogPrincesse

FrogPrincesse
  • society donor
  • 2,962 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:35 PM


I know there are mixed feelings around here about their first charcuterie book, but I'll be curious to see Polcyn and Ruhlman's Salumi. I haven't gotten into dry curing yet, so it'll be mostly academic, but I'm hoping it'll be an interesting read.


I'm a big fan of Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie, so I'm definitely looking forward to Salumi.


Unfortunately, I found Salumi quite disappointing.
I waited a long time for the book with big hopes and expected to like it.....maybe my expectations were too great.


~Martin

Martin - can you elaborate a little bit? What did you find disappointing about the book? I don't have it but would be interested in hearing your opinion. I own Charcuterie.

#68 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

  • manager
  • 8,140 posts
  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:44 PM

Interesting: I thought Salumi was excellent, especially compared to the utter crap that was available before it.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#69 DiggingDogFarm

DiggingDogFarm
  • participating member
  • 1,011 posts
  • Location:Finger Lakes Region of New York State

Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:48 PM

.....especially compared to the utter crap that was available before it.


I think that's part of the reason why I had such great expectations.


~Martin

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#70 DiggingDogFarm

DiggingDogFarm
  • participating member
  • 1,011 posts
  • Location:Finger Lakes Region of New York State

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:38 PM

Martin - can you elaborate a little bit? What did you find disappointing about the book? I don't have it but would be interested in hearing your opinion. I own Charcuterie.



Where to start? LOL

Okay, in a nutshell.....

First let me say that the illustrations in the book are excellent, the butchering information is pretty good and what few new Salumi recipes are in the book appear to be okay for the most part.

Unfortuantely, overall, I expected more depth to the book, more meat and less cheap filler, part of it is a rehash of Charcuterie (I understand that some rehashing is to be expected), part of it is some Salumi recipes and the rest of it amounts to a fairly general Italian cookbook. Does the world really need another general Italian cookbook?

Does someone with enough of an advanced interest to be pursuing information on salumi making really need recipes for roasted garlic, crostini, pesto, tapenade, basic pizza dough and pizza, chicken stock, aioli etc. or even the other recipes utilizing salumi? There are a gazillion and one Italian cookbooks with recipes such as those, but there are very few that contain salumi making recipes and info.
I felt cheated.

The lack of photos is a major disappointment.

There could have been much better information on establishing, maintaining and troubleshooting a fermentation and/or curing chamber, which is where most home meat curers face the greatest challenge to successful home curing.

I find it odd that they promote Trapani Sea Salt from Sicily (which is great), yet they're very lax when it comes to other ingredients..as an example..paprika from Spain in the Nduja di Calabria instead of Calabrian peppers!? GASP!!!

They promote the use of northern European starter cultures ratheer than the much more appropriate southern European cultures. GASP!

Salt levels in some of the recipes are unpalatable.

The recommended dry curing humidity levels are, IMHO, way too low and will, in many cases, lead to case hardening and it's associated problems.

The book contains some down right scary information.

"0.25% sodium nitrate relative to the weight of the meat to be ideal for dry curing."

Yikes!!!!! That's potentially very dangerous information!!!!!

Do they not know that may be taken literally by some folks? Especially in parts of the world other than the US.

Of course, what they really mean is Cure#2, not sodium nitrate. That's not made clear in every instance.

Another thing that bothered me is the bad-mouthing of manual grinders.

They demonize manual grinders for no good reason at all claiming that they "heat-up" the meat too much...that's absolute hogwash!!! Well, maybe if you're the Bionic Man and you run your manual grinder at some crazy RPMs it's a problem, but as far as the rest of us are concerned it's a total myth that manual grinders heat the meat too much.
I've checked the temperature of the meat before and after grinding several times while using a manual grinder, sometimes there's not much of a change in temperature at all and no more than 2-3 degrees difference any time that I have checked.
Maybe it's that they feel manual grinders are beneath them, I don't know, I can't think of any other reason to condemn them. A heck of a lot of meat has been put through manual grinders over the years!!!

It seems especially ironic considering the fact that some of my first generation Italian immigrant friends use manual grinders to make some of the finest Salumi that I know of!!!!!

They're also critical of the way that some packers label their "naturally cured" products, insisting that they are trying to deceive they're customers. That's incorrect...they are simply following labeling laws.

He attempts to make the same point on his blog.....

http://ruhlman.com/2...-safety-issues/
http://ruhlman.com/2...tes-added-hoax/

re: No Nitrates Added Hoax.....

From the blog post above........
"It’s my belief that companies advertising their products as “nitrite-free,” are either uninformed themselves or are pandering to America’s ignorance about what is healthy and what is harmful in our foods. In other words, the term “no nitrites added” is a marketing device, not an actual health benefit."

They're not uninformed, pandering or using the terms as a sneaky marketing device, they're doing what the 'rulers' at the almighty USDA tell them to do as far as labeling goes.

From USDA materials.....

"The USDA currently does not recognize naturally occurring nitrates as effective curing agents in meats, so if using Celery Juice Powder for products being sold to the public, the end-products must be labeled "Uncured"

"Bacon can be manufactured without the use of nitrite, but must be labeled "Uncured Bacon, No Nitrates or Nitrites added" and bear the statement "Not Preserved, Keep Refrigerated Below 40 °F At All Times" — unless the final product has been dried according to USDA regulations, or if the product contains an amount of salt sufficient to achieve an internal brine concentration of 10% or more, the label does not have to carry the handle statement of "Not Preserved, Keep Refrigerated below ___" etc. Recent research studies have shown for products labeled as uncured, certain ingredients added during formulation can naturally produce small amounts of nitrates in bacon and, therefore, have to be labeled with the explanatory statement "no nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occurring in ingredients such as celery juice powder, parsley, cherry powder, beet powder, spinach, sea salt etc."

And there you have it....part of it! LOL

Full review to come sometime in the not too distant future.

I wish the book could have been as good as Ruhlman's Twenty, I think that's a pretty good book that will benefit many a home cook.

~Martin

Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 13 December 2012 - 11:16 PM.

~Martin
 
Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist and contrarian who questions everything!
 


#71 DanM

DanM
  • participating member
  • 870 posts

Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:30 AM

For me it is Fuchsia Dunlops "Every Grain of Rice". This book has had a huge impact on our diet and weekly dinners (for the better). I cook at least a couple of recipes out of this book and have done since it came out. The guy at my small local asian supermarket even knows me :laugh:

Other than that MCAH has consumed alot of my weekends, and often to good effect.


Amazon shows the book coming out next Feb. Do you have an advanced copy? How practical is it for daily cooking? Is it vegetarian friendly?
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#72 Gruzia

Gruzia
  • participating member
  • 153 posts
  • Location:Tampa

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:24 AM


For me it is Fuchsia Dunlops "Every Grain of Rice". This book has had a huge impact on our diet and weekly dinners (for the better). I cook at least a couple of recipes out of this book and have done since it came out. The guy at my small local asian supermarket even knows me :laugh:

Other than that MCAH has consumed alot of my weekends, and often to good effect.


Amazon shows the book coming out next Feb. Do you have an advanced copy? How practical is it for daily cooking? Is it vegetarian friendly?


For me it is Fuchsia Dunlops "Every Grain of Rice". This book has had a huge impact on our diet and weekly dinners (for the better). I cook at least a couple of recipes out of this book and have done since it came out. The guy at my small local asian supermarket even knows me :laugh:

Other than that MCAH has consumed alot of my weekends, and often to good effect.


Amazon shows the book coming out next Feb. Do you have an advanced copy? How practical is it for daily cooking? Is it vegetarian friendly?


I'll jump in and answer some of this
1. The book is already out in UK so I just ordered it through Amazon.co.uk site
2. What I love about it is the fact that it is so practical for everyday cooking - the recipes are fairly easy and there's not much in terms of exotica in the ingredient lists.
3. Lots of vegetarian recipes or mentions of modifying for vegetarians.

Edited by Gruzia, 14 December 2012 - 09:25 AM.


#73 Merkinz

Merkinz
  • participating member
  • 138 posts
  • Location:New Zealand

Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:17 PM


For me it is Fuchsia Dunlops "Every Grain of Rice". This book has had a huge impact on our diet and weekly dinners (for the better). I cook at least a couple of recipes out of this book and have done since it came out. The guy at my small local asian supermarket even knows me :laugh:

Other than that MCAH has consumed alot of my weekends, and often to good effect.


Amazon shows the book coming out next Feb. Do you have an advanced copy? How practical is it for daily cooking? Is it vegetarian friendly?


I'm really just echoing Gruzia's comments here:

- It is hugely practical for everyday cooking. Thats one of the reasons I love it: it is one of the few cookbooks I cook from 1, 2 even 3 times a week! Even when I'm pressed for time. Fuchsia also gives alot of variation suggestions which give insight into how you might substitute ingredients (i.e. mostly veg).

- It is also VERY vegetarian friendly. Without counting I'd say it is at least 50% vegetarian (add the variations into that and it might go higher). This is also another reason why I love the book because although I enjoy meat my partner is a vegetarian so we eat a vegetarian diet 90% of the time.

... As you can tell I really love this book :wub:

#74 Twyst

Twyst
  • participating member
  • 294 posts

Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:17 PM

Does anyone know anything about "astrance: a cooks book" ? I preordered months ago, then somehow it went out of stock on amazon, and now I got a letter from amazon saying a pre release item I ordered will not be available by christmas. Has this book been scrapped and its not coming out?


http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/2812306629

#75 jameswilliam

jameswilliam
  • participating member
  • 21 posts

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:35 PM

Something I thought was great with Every Grain of Rice compared to Fuchsia Dunlop's previous books was the sections with pictures of all the various ingredients, both in terms of fresh vegetables and packets of things like 'red-in-snow', tofu bamboo, etc. With previous books I had a lot of trouble going around Chinatown asking people about Cao Guo, etc. having the pictures makes things a lot easier, and certainly in London at least I've easily found most of the branded things she's using like the black bean sauce, fermented tofu etc. It definitely feels more accessible in general as well.

#76 nickrey

nickrey
  • society donor
  • 2,241 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

Does anyone know anything about "astrance: a cooks book" ? I preordered months ago, then somehow it went out of stock on amazon, and now I got a letter from amazon saying a pre release item I ordered will not be available by christmas. Has this book been scrapped and its not coming out?


http://www.amazon.co...t/dp/2812306629

I ordered mine through Amazon US and received it here in Australia a few days ago. I'm still working my way through it but -- wow! It comes in a thick cardboard slip case with a precision cutout of the title. There are two books in the slipcase, one the cook's book and the second containing step-by-step pictorials of several of the preparations from the book. Will post a better review once I get my head around it.

Edited by nickrey, 15 December 2012 - 06:18 PM.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog


#77 mukki

mukki
  • participating member
  • 479 posts
  • Location:Miami Beach

Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:19 PM

Every Grain of Rice is my favorite of 2012, as well. There will probably be more talk in the US about it in 2013, since that's when the US publication occurs. I'm already looking forward to Fuchsia's next cookbook, which she's working on and will be regional.

#78 Hendrik

Hendrik
  • participating member
  • 21 posts

Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:09 AM

I'm very interested in the l'Ambroisie book which I believe is only available in french. Does anybody have it yet or have plans to get it?

http://www.amazon.fr.../dp/2723486877/

#79 patrickamory

patrickamory
  • participating member
  • 1,551 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

Just got the English version of Every Grain Of Rice - couldn't hold out for the US edition. Looks amazing, can't wait to start cooking from it.

#80 Jon Tseng

Jon Tseng
  • participating member
  • 2,077 posts

Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:35 PM

Jon, what is the Pierre Gagnaire book like?

Anything with "Twist" in the title gives me the shivers.

PS finally ran into the PG book the other day. Actually pretty dire alas - lots of very dull domesticated recipes. Not much Pierre. Oh well!
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

#81 teonzo

teonzo
  • participating member
  • 139 posts
  • Location:Venice, Italy

Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

If you are considering to buy the Astrance cookbook and live in Europe, then the French version is now on sale on Amazon IT for 37.37 euro, much cheaper than anywhere else:

http://www.amazon.it...i/dp/2812303263



Teo
My new blog: http://www.teonzo.com/





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cookbook