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The cookbooks of fall 2016


Anna N
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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I succumbed to Lior Lev Sercarz, The Spice Companion. I was going to post a thread asking how to use annatto, but now I have a place to start.

 

Very pretty pictures.

 

Could you please tell us more about this book? What sort of information is inside? How would you expect to use it?

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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6 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I succumbed to Lior Lev Sercarz, The Spice Companion. I was going to post a thread asking how to use annatto, but now I have a place to start.

 

Very pretty pictures.

 

A pox upon your balcony. I had an appointment this morning and a page long list of things I needed to accomplish before then. Instead I downloaded a sample of this book (never heard of it) to my Kindle and my ride has now arrived and my list is untouched. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I really, really like cookbooks and probably have too many.  I do read them all and cook from most, and I have the shelf space for many more.  I'm one of those people that writes in their books too: notes on what I would change, or if we really liked it, or if we hated it.  I bought quite a few new ones from the fall releases.  I think I might be done for a while.  People tend to give me cookbooks for Christmas and I don't want to spoil any presents.  Here's what I bought from the fall releases:

 

Land of Fish and Rice, Fuschia Dunlop

Vegan, Vegetarian Omnivore, Anna Thomas (OK this was a spring release but I bought it last month so I'm including it in my list)

Appetites, Anthony Bourdain

Le French Oven, Hillary Davis

Lucky Peach Power Vegetables

Cooking for Jeffrey, Ina Garten

Big American Cookbook, Mario Batali

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8 hours ago, MelissaH said:

Could you please tell us more about this book? What sort of information is inside? How would you expect to use it?

 

Melissa, I read about The Spice Companion in a NY Times review (though maybe "review" isn't the right term as it was a short article "Two Books Unlock the Secrets of Spice").

 

I've more spices than a sane person, including .68 kilogram of the aforementioned annatto seeds that I have no clue how to use.  I'd been thinking to start a thread asking how to employ annatto, actually.  But now I have two pages of information, including to soak the seeds in warm oil.  Another mystery spice (OK, I know it's an herb) for me is epazote.  Good suggestions for epazote too.

 

The format is encyclopedic.  Entries are in alphabetical order, interspersed with gorgeous color plates.  The latter serve no particular purpose other than upping the page count and promoting parasympathetic stimulation.

 

No substitute for McGee if one wants to learn about flavor molecules, but the advice here is more practical for cooking.

 

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4 hours ago, liamsaunt said:

I really, really like cookbooks and probably have too many.  I do read them all and cook from most, and I have the shelf space for many more.  I'm one of those people that writes in their books too: notes on what I would change, or if we really liked it, or if we hated it.  I bought quite a few new ones from the fall releases.  I think I might be done for a while.  People tend to give me cookbooks for Christmas and I don't want to spoil any presents.  Here's what I bought from the fall releases:

 

Land of Fish and Rice, Fuschia Dunlop

Vegan, Vegetarian Omnivore, Anna Thomas (OK this was a spring release but I bought it last month so I'm including it in my list)

Appetites, Anthony Bourdain

Le French Oven, Hillary Davis

Lucky Peach Power Vegetables

Cooking for Jeffrey, Ina Garten

Big American Cookbook, Mario Batali

I am with you.  I love cookbooks!  I do cook from many but I am a little behind seeing I have bought quite a few this year.

tomorrow I am giving The Indian Family Kitchen  a work out.  It is by Anjali Pathak, yes her family is responsible for the Pathak line of pickles and curry pastes.

 

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I recently added Ronni Lundy's book Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipesir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=080418674 to my wishlist after hearing an interview with the author on the Eat Your Books podcast. I haven't gotten to really look at it yet, but it seems like an excellent addition to the recent round of books on Southern food. I appreciate its emphasis on mountain foodways, which are often overlooked in the cookbook world. Most "southern" cookbooks I've seen are either generically southern or focused on the cuisine of the low country and coastal planes. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

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4 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

mountain foodways

That's one of my interests.

First I've heard of this book.

Thanks!

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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My reading/review list of fall 2016 cookbooks (some may pre-date fall). All are available at my local public library.

 

Anthony Bourdain's 'Appetite': Interesting read. Characteristic Bourdain prose. None of the recipes really stood out for me.

 

John Currence's ' Big Bad Breakfast': Heard the author interviewed on NPR's 'Louisiana Eats'. Lots of great breakfast dishes if you're

an extremely hungover university student xD and not a great deal of 'story'.

 

Carolyn Phillips's 'All under Heaven": A broad ranging and very informative book and a good read. Recipes look very interesting however I'm limited with respect to ingredient availability.

 

Naomi Pomeroy's 'Taste and Technique': I really can't put my finger on it but I didn't like this book. Leave it at that.

 

Alton Brown's 'Everyday Cook': Didn't really care for this one either.

 

Vivian Howard's 'Deep Run Roots': This was this season's keeper for me. Looking forward to cooking with it in conjunction with next season's gardening season.

 

Marcus Samuelsson's 'The Red Rooster Cookbook': Started this yesterday evening and it has my interest. Reminds me of Howard Mitcham's 'Creole Gumbo and All That Jazz' written about Harlem rather than New Orleans.

 

Dorie Greenspan's 'Dories's Cookies': Saw this on the library shelf and impulsively took it out. I'm not a desert person and rarely eat cookies but I will give it a look.

 

Future reads currently on hold:

 

Nancy Silverton's 'Mozza at Home'.

 

Fuschia Dunlop's 'Land of Fish and Rice'. Looking forward to this one.

 

Naomi Duguid's 'Taste of Persia'.

 

Signe Langford's 'Happy Hens and Fresh Eggs'.

 

Ronni Lundy's 'Victuals: an Appalachian Journey...'. Read @btbyrd mention of it yesterday and found my library had two copies.

 

Should keep me occupied for awhile :biggrin:.

 

 

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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@Wayne

 

 With respect to ingredient availability you are not too far from some great Asian grocery stores in Mississauga.   I am only saying that you do not have to head into Toronto or even further  to find almost anything you might need.  

 

 I enjoyed reading your brief take on these books. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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@Anna N I agree on the availability of ingredients in Mississauga. I do go to T&T, PAT and the Mississauga Chinese Center and while they don't quite compare to spots in Toronto, Markham and Richmond Hill they are worth the trek. It's really only something I can do on a Saturday morning as a round trip, including shopping time and excluding traffic delays, can be 3-4 hours (and I'm a fast and precise 'surgical strike' kind of shopper).

 

 

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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20 minutes ago, Wayne said:

 

@Anna N ...I'm a fast and precise 'surgical strike' kind of shopper.

 

 

 

My girlfriend and I were walking out of the supermarket one day, shortly after moving in together. She had an odd smirk on her face and was shaking her head, so I asked her what was up. 

"This is so weird," she said. "We walked in there to buy two things, and we're walking out a minute later with two things. And they're the same two things!" :P

(I hasten to add that I've also frequently walked into a store for two things, and walked out with $80 of unplanned purchases that were too good to pass up...)

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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31 minutes ago, Wayne said:

 

@Anna N I agree on the availability of ingredients in Mississauga. I do go to T&T, PAT and the Mississauga Chinese Center and while they don't quite compare to spots in Toronto, Markham and Richmond Hill they are worth the trek. It's really only something I can do on a Saturday morning as a round trip, including shopping time and excluding traffic delays, can be 3-4 hours (and I'm a fast and precise 'surgical strike' kind of shopper).

 

 

I hear you!  

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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8 minutes ago, chromedome said:

 

My girlfriend and I were walking out of the supermarket one day, shortly after moving in together. She had an odd smirk on her face and was shaking her head, so I asked her what was up. 

"This is so weird," she said. "We walked in there to buy two things, and we're walking out a minute later with two things. And they're the same two things!" :P

(I hasten to add that I've also frequently walked into a store for two things, and walked out with $80 of unplanned purchases that were too good to pass up...)

That is my problem in the Asian stores!  I only get there occasionally and feel a great need to make sure I miss nothing and my budget suffers for the next month or three. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anybody take a look at Paul Bocuse's new book? It is massive and thorough. Lot of step by step pictures apparently for basic techniques and things along with a bunch of legitimate recipes. At over 700 pages I couldn't help but grab it for $60 pages. First I heard of it was today too.

 

It seems to have a bunch of basic stuff I along with most of you probably already know how to do, but so far it seems to be so extensive that if I ever have a question about something, I'll be able to find the answer with detailed instructions and pictures there.

 

Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellenceir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=060063417 

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Adjusted link to be Amazon-friendly (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/16/2016 at 9:24 AM, Robenco15 said:

Anybody take a look at Paul Bocuse's new book? It is massive and thorough. Lot of step by step pictures apparently for basic techniques and things along with a bunch of legitimate recipes. At over 700 pages I couldn't help but grab it for $60 pages. First I heard of it was today too.

 

It seems to have a bunch of basic stuff I along with most of you probably already know how to do, but so far it seems to be so extensive that if I ever have a question about something, I'll be able to find the answer with detailed instructions and pictures there.

 

Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellenceir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=060063417 

 

It is very nice.  A fancy Jacques Pepin's Latechnique.  It is a little short on description of the actual recipes. For example in the sauce section there are few references as to where/when to use the sauce.  Very complete otherwise.  In the Frenching a rack of lamb section I now know that I have been taking too much fat off the smaller chops.  Makes sense...especially if one is going to cut the chops off individually or in two's.

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The NYT food section has a piece titled The Year’s Best Baking Cookbooks: Radical Ideas, Classic Treats with reviews of 6 recent baking books and a recipe from each.

 

The Pistachio, Rose and Strawberry Buns from Goldenir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=031628432 get the video treatment with Melissa Clark's annoying (to me, sorry) voice but I must say the Tahini Shortbread cookies from Soframizir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=160774918 are calling my name! 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

ir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=038535432First, an observation on my recent cookbook perusals - the four most recent cookbooks I've looked at, Deep Run Roots, Taste & Technique, Lucky Peach Power Vegetables and Mozza at Home ALL include at least one recipe incorporating pickled mustard seeds - I'd say it's a trend xD!  

 

Secondly, I will comment on Nancy Silverton's Mozza at Homeir?t=egulletcom-20&l=am2&o=1&a=038535432. The subtitle is "More than 150 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for Relaxed, Family-Style Entertaining."  After hearing an interview with Silverton where she described the recipes as make-ahead, good served at room temp and holding up well on a buffet table, I was prepared to love the book and figured I'd just skim through the library copy before putting it on my wish list.   This turned out not to be the case at all.  

The book is organized by menu so all the dishes for a particular party menu appear in one chapter.  It's probably personal preference, but none of the menus grabbed me and made me what to try that particular combination of dishes together. I was most disappointed in the lack of photographs of the finished dishes.  In some cases, they appear in a 2-page spread somewhere in that menu chapter but without any picture legends to identify the dishes.  There are recipes where a considerable number of words is used to describe a detail like the  way a vegetable is cut while a photo or drawing would have been much more informative.  In one of the early menus, Silverton spends a very long paragraph describing some sort of magical spring onion cutting that made a vegetable platter so wonderful (see it here on Google books) but the actual recipe does not include spring onions and there is no photo of the onion "eyelashes" that she marveled at so.

 

She makes a very elaborate chili recipe from Dean Fearing (see it on Google books here) and serves it as a Frito Pie.  I guess the juxtaposition of a complex recipe served in a down-home manner has its appeal but if I went through all that trouble for the chili, I think I'd have to make a bigger deal out of it!

 

The book is called Mozza at Home but many of the dishes seem to struggle with the limitations of home kitchens, for example, the recommendation that one bake or roast items directly on the oven floor to compensate for the lack of heat in home ovens.  

 

I'm glad that I had the chance to get a good look at it before buying.  In fact, the knowledge that I wasn't going to buy it made me look carefully at the book before returning it and I picked up a few ideas to try.  As mentioned above, I will make some pickled mustard seeds, although I will probably use the recipe from Taste & Technique.  I copied recipes for twice-roasted smashed potatoes with rosemary, date-anchovy dressing (a version of which appears in a Silverton book I already own) and black olive tapenade.   I will seek out the Atomic brand extra-hot horseradish that she touts.  She uses garlic mayo in both deviled eggs and egg salad and that makes me want to try the Kitchen Sink Mayo from Deep Run Roots in those applications.  

 

Bottom line - not a total bust, but not a must for me.

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