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DanM

Cookbooks 2012

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Suzanne Goin's A.O.C. cookbook.

I was wondering when she was going to come out with a new book! Looking forward to a Sofra Bakery cookbook someday, as well...

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Hmmm. I already have modernist cuisine, I wonder if the @ home version will have enough new material to be worth it.

Put in a preorder just in case :P

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Hmmm. I already have modernist cuisine, I wonder if the @ home version will have enough new material to be worth it.

Put in a preorder just in case :P

Same here. Will also keep an eye on US Amazon prices. Notice that US site says no free shipping.

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Modernist Cuisine at Home. Wowwww, all those recipes in MC but doable, and more. The equipment I bought more recipes for them Oh Yes. This is going to be a long wait. Pre-Order is done.

It looks great and an accompinament to MC.

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Mugaritz has shipped, cant wait to get my mitts on it monday!

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Books I've actually picked up so far, aside from Girl & Her Pig:

Eat With Your Hands - Zak Pelaccio. I've only flipped through this one. Yet to cook anything from it. Still, it's got me in. Fun presentation that reminds me of the Momofuku and Les Halles books, which maybe isn't so surprising after all--pop culture references, slang, an obvious deep-seated love for the parent cuisines. This weekend I'll cook one or two dishes from it and report back in more detail.

Cooking with Vegetables - Passard. I'm cooking the ceps with lemon, thyme and olive oil tonight, subbing the porcini (which are difficult to find--and very expensive--in their fresh form) for a mix of portobellas and oysters. I'm surprised at how simple the recipes are. It's more accessible for weeknight meals than, say, the new Nobu vegetarian book. Most of the recipes focus on 2-3 different vegetables or fruits prepared in simple ways. Some interesting flavour combinations, altho' nothing that'd scare vegetarian guests with particularly boring palates.

Encyclopaedia of Japanese Cooking - Hideo Dekura. To be honest, I'm not really sold on this. If bricks-and-motar bookshops existed any more remotely close to where I live, and they'd stocked this, which they probably wouldn't have, I wouldn't have purchased it. The definitions are really lacking in depth and detail. The couple recipes I've tried so far were just okay and very simple. And ... one thing that bugged me is things that should be prepared with some cut of meat with lots of fat or connective tissue, like pork shoulder or belly, was prepared with loin. Lots of things like that in this book. Some interesting tidbits and some information I can't get from my other Japanese books.

Frenchie at Home -- Greg Marchand. Ordered through Amazon.fr as there's no English version avaliable at the moment. It's short--very--but I already like this one. Need to get around to ordering some ox cheeks from the local butcher so I can try out his recipe. Again with the simple food prepared in fairly simple ways (i.e. Girl and Her Pig, Passard's Vegetables), which isn't a bad thing at all.

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Have cooked a couple of dishes from Zak's book so far. Good. Currently have some short ribs marinating in the fridge for his beef rendang.

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Adapted the beef rendang recipe so I could leave it in the slow cooker while I was at work (i.e. put in a little bit more liquid). I was very happy with it.

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1) Salumi Craft of Italian Dry Curing (looks stunning and since I only have one book on meats and their preservation (Kutas) I don't think it would hurt to have this one). 2) The Art of the Confectioner Sugarwork and Pastillage by Ewald Notter (I know - it came out a few months ago, but I do not have it in my hands - it's on its way). And lastly 3) Chocolates and Confections 2012 by Peter Greweling (not technically a cookbook - but confections are something that I can make and put in my mouth :raz: . I have a few more but, we all get the point. So many books, so little time.

My first post on Egullet and I think I likey.

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I've already sold back my first edition of Greweling's book to (partially) pay for my pre-order of the next one, I'm definitely looking forward to that one. Looks like they aren't offering much on the buy-back anymore, but a month or two ago it was over twenty bucks.

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I received my copy of Mugaritz a few days ago. Here are some first impressions.

First up it must be said that the pictures of dishes are stunning. Each dish was photographed on a white plate and/or surface creating the impression of a small degustation portion that sits as comfortably on the page as it would in front of you in the restaurant.

Secondly, the influence of Ferran Adria is apparent throughout the text. Anduriz appears to have taken to heart both the extreme creativity and evolutionary approach of his mentor. It is apparent, however, that he has infused this with his own personality and abundant talent. Like Adria's El Bulli books, the first section of the book deals with his philosophy and approach to both cuisine and his diners. It also documents the evolution of new approaches over the time period 1998 to 2001. This includes which processes and techniques were added each year. For example, in 2006 they added impregnation sous vide, and rheology studies (the science behind edible bubbles). Dishes in the book that demonstrate each of these techniques are listed. Like Heston Blumenthal, Aduriz works with scientists to understand and evolve processes or sensory experiences and puts this to use in his recipes. To give an idea of the scale of the introduction, the first recipe only appears on page 94.

Now onto the recipes themselves. While many can be created in a more conventional kitchen, others are unashamedly modernist requiring (at times) access to a sous vide setup or combi-oven, a thermomix, a roto-vap, etc as well as a range of kitchen chemicals (xanthan gum, calcium oxide, pectin, and so on). Rather than making these appear exotic, Anduriz follows the tradition of many contemporary chefs and incorporates the techniques and equipment into his cooking as a matter of fact. I think this indicates an answer to the question of where modernist cuisine is heading. Not to obscurity as many suggest but more towards the mainstream as an element central to many chefs' everyday restaurant cooking.

Having been travelling recently, I haven't tried cooking any of the dishes as yet. However, reading through the recipes it is apparent that this is a book that can be used by someone with advanced cooking skills and a willingness to undertake a number of different processes to create a dish. It is very much a restaurant rather than a home cookbook. The flavour combinations look exciting and delicate but be warned: this is a book of degustation-style and sized dishes. While these dishes could be placed at various stages within a conventional type meal schedule, making a complete dinner with them would require the creation of a number of complex dishes, which would be difficult to achieve in a home situation cooking by yourself. I think I'll use individual dishes as either an appetiser, entree, or dessert in combination with other, more substantial, dishes.

In all, this is a marvellous addition to the cooking library of advanced chefs who are comfortable using a wide range of cooking processes, including some that fit under the modernist category.

It's also a marvellous book to read and drool over the food pictures.

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Having spent a bit more time with these books, some revised reviews

Eat With Your Hands - great presentation, lots of fun but ... maybe it's the recipes I've chosen, maybe it's bad luck, maybe it's the quality ingredients I'm purchasing and a million other factors, but so far nothing has wowed me. The beef curry was good and I'd maybe revisit it some time, and I want to make the Fatty Duck at some point, but most of it has been just passable.

A Girl and Her Pig - this is quickly becoming a book I turn to as often as Momofuku. If I was purchasing a book as a gift, or even just one book out of the ones I've already got access to, it'd be this one.

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I mentioned in the "Cookbooks, How Many" topic about this book:

"A couple of weeks ago I got and am now reading Cheese and Culture - A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilization, by Paul S. Kindstedt.

I've read almost halfway through it and while some of it is heavy going, it is fascinating. Cheese was not merely food. It had religious significance in many cultures and had a distinct effect on the spread of civilization, allowing people who were lactose intolerant (yes, even back then) to derive nutrition from milk in its secondary form, cheese.

This is not a book for someone who wants a quick read but if you are interested in how and why cheese (generic) and the various regional cheeses were developed and contributed to trade and the enrichment of societies, this is an excellent book.

"Cheese and Culture tells the story of how cheese history intersects with some of the pivotal periods in human history and in many cases shaped the lives of cheesemakers and the diverse cheeses they developed."

The more I read, I have so far reached the middle of the 18th century, the more fascinating I found it. The amount of research that went into this must have been staggering. I've read a lot of books about the history of cheese but this delves into monastic records that details how cheese became so diverse and how trading between countries contributed to treaties and alliances that might otherwise not have happened.

As I said above, this is not light reading but it is extremely interesting for anyone who is interested in learning more details of how cheese got from the "Cradle of Civilization" to the present.

I got giddy when I saw this. I have been reading "An Edible History of Humanity" by Tom Standage and I am loving it. I also reading his "A History of the world in 6 glasses" with equal interest. Definitely on the to read list!

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nickrey,

I bought a copy of Barb Stuckey's book - Taste What You're Missing. The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good, and I am enjoying the book very much.

Did you go try out the experiments? Like the one on your taster type? It's like taking the Mensa test - I'm afraid what I may find out.....

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I read the book from cover to cover (or, more accurately from location 1 to the end as it was an e-book) but didn't do the experiments as I was typically travelling while reading. They look great for a training course on taste though; I may adapt them and combine them with some of the sensory experiments from psychology to demonstrate flavour and taste to others.

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I have pre-ordered both Chocolate to Savour (I am a big fan of Kirsten's) and Zumbarons (which seems just ridiculously cheap for what it offers)

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Woo-Hoo!

"Baked Elements: The Importance Of Being Baked In 10 Favorite Ingredients" by Matt Lewis has been released. I have been looking forward to this book since Mr. Lewis announced a new book was to be released.

I own two other books written by Matt Lewis, "Baked" and "Baked Explorations". Both are winners!

What impresses me most is that Mr. Lewis responded to an email I sent asking him the weight of this cup of flour. I love that he is accessible and stands behind his book to make sure his customers have a positive experience.

Rose Levy Beranbaum is the same way. She is accessible on many different venues and is always there to answer questions or help in some way.

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Burma: Recipes and Tales of Travel by Naomi Duguid

Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

These are wayyyy at the top of my list.

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