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Cookbooks 2021


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10 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

Cookwise: Throw it Together, by Christopher Kimball. I know a lot of people have had "issues" with him, and I admit I've been one of them at times, but this cookbook is worth looking at. The concept is to use a minimum of ingredients (and how many of us are fed up with the "5 ingredients or less" recipes) which are high flavor and contribute intensity to an otherwise simple recipe. Capers, anchovies, fish sauce, garlic (lots), red pepper flakes, oyster sauce, chile garlic sauce--a lot of bang for the buck, the point being that if you're only using a few ingredients they have to pull their weight.

 

This is for @Anna N and my contributory, curmudgeonly thought...

 

Kimball and Chang ought to get together and write a cookbook on how to fleece people out of their money, while laughing all the way to the bank.

 

5 ingredients!! Marcella's recipes were all pretty much low on ingredients and big on flavor. 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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5 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

This is for @Anna N and my contributory, curmudgeonly thought...

 

Kimball and Chang ought to get together and write a cookbook on how to fleece people out of their money, while laughing all the way to the bank.

 

5 ingredients!! Marcella's recipes were all pretty much low on ingredients and big on flavor. 

 

Yeah. "Five ingredients" seems to be the new clickbait phrase for a recipe.

 

I'll put up with it if it displaces "viral hack"

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On 4/21/2021 at 10:39 AM, blue_dolphin said:

Blogger/YouTube creator, Molly Baz, has a cookbook out, Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat.  On Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, I noticed that several recipes have QR codes that take you to videos on her site that demonstrate the techniques she's teaching.  I don't think I'm the demographic for this book but it seems like a good way to provide visual instructional content without pages full of tiny photos.

I accidentally purchased this (Kindle) book last night! I could have contacted Amazon and they would have taken it out of my library and refunded my money. But I was bored and needed something to amuse myself with so I kept it.
 

in the Kindle book there are links to her demos however they load so slowly and hang up so often that they are pretty much useless. They are so basic that only a beginner would need them anyway. However, the book itself does not seem to be aimed at someone who has never been in the kitchen before. 

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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

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Laughing at the Chang and Kimball conversation. Chang was on Dave Arnold's podcast recently and it sounds like he doesn't do much cooking these days - he did talk a bit about how everyone should be microwaving their potatoes

 

 

My recent book acquisitions:

 

La Grotta: Ice Creams and Sorbets - the ideas are the most impressive part of the book, although I am not quite sure where to find stalks of fresh angelica and had never even heard of rose geranium as an ingredient. I am yet to make anything from it. Interestingly, she recommends the use of a microwave for cooking fruit, I am not sure if this is because it is supposed to be a good idea or whether this was supposed to be a more "approachable" way to cook your foraged angelica and rose geraniums?

 

Tacos by Stupak and Rothman - haven't read this one yet, but flipped through it at a store a month ago. I feel like it's going to be awesome

 

Acorn: Vegetables Re-Imagined - here's a new in 2021 book that most may not have heard of outside Canada (or perhaps even Vancouver). I was supposed to eat there when visiting this fall but then somehow I got my dates mixed up and the restaurant was closed so I got the book instead. Haven't read through it yet but the vegetable prep looks truly next level - shiitake xo sauce, fermented celery leaf, a cauliflower dish with 3 different preparations, this is the book I am most excited to read.

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On 11/23/2021 at 1:18 PM, blue_dolphin said:

My copy of Joshua McFadden's Grains for Every Season (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) just arrived so I’m settling in for a good read. 

I am thinking of gifting this to some dear friends who have been so supportive over the last year.  I gifted them Joshua’s first book mainly because I have it and had first hand experience with it.  Now that you have had this book for awhile, what is your take on it?  I have read the notes in Eat Your Books but there are not that many.  

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1 hour ago, Okanagancook said:

I am thinking of gifting this to some dear friends who have been so supportive over the last year.  I gifted them Joshua’s first book mainly because I have it and had first hand experience with it.  Now that you have had this book for awhile, what is your take on it?  I have read the notes in Eat Your Books but there are not that many.  

While I've had the book for a while and have read it cover to cover, I haven't cooked from it yet, so you can take this with a grain 🙃 of salt.  Bottom line: if your giftees were happy with Six Seasons, I'd say they're likely to enjoy this as well.  I plan to give it to a number of friends that I gave Six Seasons to previously.  My caveat would be towards people who are already all-in on whole grains.  With Six Seasons, even cooks very experienced with vegetables could find a lot of fresh ideas in the book.  I'm not sure this one would be quite as much of a revelation for people who already cook with a lot of whole grains.  That said there are still fun new ideas like adding the crunch of quinoa to a tempura batter and a millet streusel that he uses on a butternut squash quick bread but sounds like it would be fun to sprinkle on other things.

 

It's not an encyclopedic grains reference book but the background on most of the featured grains is adequate.  The whole wheat flour chapter is mostly baking recipes.  I think it could benefit from a discussion on different types of wheat but he tends to include some AP or white bread flour in most recipes so parsing out the types may not be that important.  Most of the featured grains are represented with a nice assortment of different recipe types, others, not so much.  For example, the oat recipes sound appealing but they are all sweet.  I would have liked to see a savory oatmeal or something to mix up that chapter.  

There's a "Go-To" chapter with dressings, sauces and the like.  They sound good but they are not as fully integrated into the rest of this book as in Six Seasons where I felt that prepping some of them ahead really streamlined the other recipes.  Some people would disagree and hated that recipe-in-a-recipe trick so they'll be happy.  There are just a few go-to's that are repeated like the brined, roasted almonds and torn croutons.  The well known kale sauce also reappears here but with lots of variations added so it's worthy of the repeat.

Speaking of variations, they pop up regularly in the book.  There are several fold-out sections (pilafs, grain bowls, stir-fries and pizza) that offer a basic how-to template and six seasonal variations.  Others, like the kale sauce and the 6 variations on focaccia could have fit into that same framework.   I like the concept but have yet to put it into practice. 

 

This book is the year-long book for the Facebook cookbook group I belong to so I expect to start cooking from it shortly. Maybe today....the Super-Crisp Flatbread That Tastes Like Cheez-Its has caught my eye!

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@blue_dolphinthank you so much for the thorough notes you have written up on this cookbook.  It sounds interesting but not sure my friends would find it as enthralling as his first book.  I am going to think on it and maybe see some of the recipes from the book on Eat Your Books.

 

thanks again

cheers

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'Tis the season for "best of" lists.  This one from The New Yorker brought a couple of books to my attention. 

I'll seek out Tables of Contents Community Cookbook: Notes and Recipes from Writers’ Home Kitchens, and Cooking as Though You Might Cook Again (eG-friendly Amazon.com link).  They both sound like good reads. Neither seem to have e-editions and both are currently out of stock at the places I've checked. 

 

Two others caught my eye (and ear)on Evan Kleiman's KCRW Good Food best books list, once again, maybe more for reading than cooking.  Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) by Mayukh Sen and The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live (eG-friendly Amazon.com link)  by Danielle Dreilinger.  

I said they caught my ear because Evan interviewed both authors on her radio show/podcast:  

Mayukh Sen interview: Reflecting on the immigrant women who shaped how America eats

Danielle Dreilinger interview: Beyond stirring and stitching: The women behind home economics

 

I really liked the way Kitchen Arts & Letters bookshop crafted their lists

  • Really Popular Books that Deserved to be Popular
  • Wonderful Books You May Not Have Heard About
  • Great Reads

 

Lastly, Eat Your Books asks independent cookbook shop owners from around the US and other countries to choose their own top picks.  These are just lists, no commentary, but I always enjoy seeing the similarities and differences. The EYB list of lists is available at this link: Best cookbooks of 2021 by the experts 

And here's EYB's overall picks: Best Cookbooks of 2021

Edited by blue_dolphin
to add more lists! (log)
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Ok, getting one 2021 cookbook in just before it's too late. The most anticipated cookbook for me this year was Gregory Gourdet's Everyone's Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health (eG-friendly Amazon.com link)

 

Not a great title, and I doubt that the short description will make this a bestseller: 

 

Quote

The beloved Top Chef star revolutionizes healthy eating in this groundbreaking cookbook—the ultimate guide to cooking globally inspired dishes free of gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, and grains that are so delicious you won’t notice the difference.

 

BUT, he is a really innovative, inspired chef and the recipes I have made from the book so far were great and ended up immediately added to the repertoire. The Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Cashew and Pineapple check all the right boxes.

 

I am very happy I bought it.

 

81tvh2zRT3S.thumb.jpeg.447848d3e86dca87f78181b517915ec2.jpeg

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27 minutes ago, The other Sven said:

Ok, getting one 2021 cookbook in just before it's too late. The most anticipated cookbook for me this year was Gregory Gourdet's Everyone's Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health (eG-friendly Amazon.com link)

 

Not a great title, and I doubt that the short description will make this a bestseller: 

 

 

BUT, he is a really innovative, inspired chef and the recipes I have made from the book so far were great and ended up immediately added to the repertoire. The Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Cashew and Pineapple check all the right boxes.

 

I am very happy I bought it.

 

81tvh2zRT3S.thumb.jpeg.447848d3e86dca87f78181b517915ec2.jpeg

 

I absolutely love Gregory.  Nice to see.

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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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The one thing that ensures I'll pass on an otherwise promising book is if it has an uncomfortably artificial portrait of the author on the cover pantomiming some simple kitchen task with alarming glee.

 

It's embarrassing all round.

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16 minutes ago, FlashJack said:

The one thing that ensures I'll pass on an otherwise promising book is if it has an uncomfortably artificial portrait of the author on the cover pantomiming some simple kitchen task with alarming glee.

 

It's embarrassing all round.

 So no Ina Garten for you?

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17 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 So no Ina Garten for you?

Noooooo.

 

I have a bunch of Jamie Oliver's picked up at the opp/thrift shop and their dust jackets were consigned to recycle bin.

 

I am at the moment looking at Rick Stein looking at me from the cover of Long Weekends. I guess I make an exception for Rick because he's a genial fellow. But Cheshire cat grins are an anathema.

 

Donna Hay -- a phenomenally successful Aussie whose food doesn't much appeal -- is under a lifetime ban from my house.

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1 hour ago, FlashJack said:

The one thing that ensures I'll pass on an otherwise promising book is if it has an uncomfortably artificial portrait of the author on the cover pantomiming some simple kitchen task with alarming glee.

 

It's embarrassing all round.

I just want somebody to interpret “Modern Health”. 

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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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12 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Just squeezing into 2021, this is due to be published on the 28th December. It will be a late Christmas gift to myself.

Having recently read the story of how the product came to be I shall definitely be looking at a Kindle sample once the book is released. Thanks. I was not aware of its existence. 

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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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18 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

Just squeezing into 2021, this is due to be published on the 28th December. It will be a late Christmas gift to myself.

 

269852061_476948420458339_1024763651437019383_n.thumb.jpg.fdf59de023d2294ce2909383a19954d1.jpg

 

 

 

I plan to treat myself to a copy, too.  Nice interview with co-author and chef Diep Tran on Evan Kleiman's Good Food:  Fish sauce: One man’s equivalent to a midlife crisis Maserati

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

I just want somebody to interpret “Modern Health”. 

Keep us posted on that Anna.

 

My suspicion is that it is an inverse correlate of flavour and pleasure but, having judged a book by its cover, I'll not speculate on the recipies.

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4 hours ago, FlashJack said:

The one thing that ensures I'll pass on an otherwise promising book is if it has an uncomfortably artificial portrait of the author on the cover pantomiming some simple kitchen task with alarming glee.

 

It's embarrassing all round.

As I was saying, whoever helped him package this book really did him no favors, but he is a really amazing cook. Don't know what sorta food you like to cook, but here are 2 links to recipes of his that are absolutely worth trying: 

 

Chicken, Egg, and Kimchee Rice Bowl

https://www.runnersworld.com/video/a20848059/the-perfect-runners-lunch/

 

Curry-Spiced Cod with Bitter Greens and Potatoes

https://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20807567/recipe-curry-spiced-cod-bitter-greens-and-potatoes/

 

I hope you give at least one of them a try.

 

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15 minutes ago, The other Sven said:

As I was saying, whoever helped him package this book really did him no favors, but he is a really amazing cook. Don't know what sorta food you like to cook, but here are 2 links to recipes of his that are absolutely worth trying: 

 

Chicken, Egg, and Kimchee Rice Bowl

https://www.runnersworld.com/video/a20848059/the-perfect-runners-lunch/

 

Curry-Spiced Cod with Bitter Greens and Potatoes

https://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a20807567/recipe-curry-spiced-cod-bitter-greens-and-potatoes/

 

I hope you give at least one of them a try.

 

 

I can't run, and for biomechanical reasons I never should have tried to run, but in the last century I subscribed to Runner's World.  I have never made worse oatmeal cookies than from their recipe.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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5 hours ago, FlashJack said:

The one thing that ensures I'll pass on an otherwise promising book is if it has an uncomfortably artificial portrait of the author on the cover pantomiming some simple kitchen task

 

Jacques is so screwed.

 

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Edited by paul o' vendange (log)
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-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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8 hours ago, The other Sven said:

The beloved Top Chef star revolutionizes healthy eating in this groundbreaking cookbook—the ultimate guide to cooking globally inspired dishes free of gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, and grains that are so delicious you won’t notice the difference.

 

It is hard to take any chef serious who has such “health” claims associated with his own cookbook. If you don’t have celiac or a missing enzyme there is no serious clinical data even remotely supporting that eating gluten, dairy l, grains etc is detrimental to your health. I might have ignored such book comments a few years ago but with two years of pandemic life where it became clear that too many people are ignoring science, even if it might kill others, it is even more important to constantly pointing out any science quackery.

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