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Local Cookbooks


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I've made a commitment to cook my way through the rebar modern food cookbook, and it occurred to me that we should start a thread on dishes you have made from local cookbooks. Which books by local chefs do you just look at and drool, dreaming of the next day you'll be able to go to the restaurant? Which ones do you cook from regularly? Let's record our failures along with our successes and learn from each other.

This week I made the lemon pudding cake, substituting key limes for the lemon. I also subbed evaporated skim milk for the milk to give it a richer flavor. I halved the recipe for the three of us and used three of the tiny limes for one lemon. It's more of a baked custard pudding than a cake pudding. My family loved it-comfort food deluxe. A friend of mine makes the whole recipe for potlucks.

Tonight I made the lime sugar cookies, which are cakey in texture and have crunchy bits of pepitas in them. I made them smaller than the recipe suggests, with a tablespoon of dough each, resulting in 21 cookies. My son likes them, and as the recipe suggests, they would be good with a tangy sorbet. I think I would be tempted to fool around with the recipe a bit-put the seeds on top instead of in the batter and dip them in a lime glaze for added zip. It occurred to me they would be good with a sprinkling of C's Citrus Salt on top.

Zuke

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I love the rebar book! Because I loved going to the restaurant when I lived in Vic I waited until I moved away to buy it. And I've made the lime sugar cookies too - we really enjoyed them. That's a great idea with the citrus salt.

I've made a couple of the soups - loved the carrot lemongrass (partner, not so much, but then he's enamored of the spicy carrot-peanut one I make), and the thai dragon bowl soup is really versatile and was just what I wanted when I was sick (and again when I wasn't).

Hmm, I've made a few of the condiments as well. Both peanut sauces ("regular" to which I always add extra peanut butter, and the coconut kaffir lime), the Bombay hummous, and I've gotten tons of mileage out of the cilantro pesto. Great in sandwiches and wraps, and right now in post-Christmas eating it really livens up broth soups. I've gotten lots of ideas from their salads too. I really need to get into the dessert chapter more :smile:

The only other local book I have is Inspirations: The Who Dish. The indian butter prawns are excellent with LOTS of extra sauce for bread-dipping, and I made the chai spiced nuts but screwed it up. You need chai powder, not liquid concentrate, so while they weren't bad, they were lacking the chai flavour (which was kinda the point..).

Anyone else - suggestions for essential local cookbooks??

**Melanie**

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Bin 941's "Tongue Twisters" has a great recipe for pan-seared scallops with a burnt orange reduction. Very simple to make but oh...so delicious.

Stephen

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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Have Lumiere, and have used it - but mostly in the 'big' kitchen, with the helpful slave labour :biggrin: New friend Tanner has just loaned me Feenie Light, which looks very promising for more home food.

Love the Rebar book - very true to the restaurant food. We make the vegan brownies all the time, and some of the brunch items.

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I look at the Lumière cookbook for inspiration, but I confess I haven't actually cooked from it.

I made the Green Peppercorn and Mushroom Tarts from the Bishop's cookbook last October, and they came out really well!

Tart shells (really nice recipe, with some cornmeal for texture):

PA220014.jpg

My mise:

PA220026.jpg

The mushrooms sautéeing (I had to have half and half Chanterelles and Oysters as the Chanterelles were disappointing that day):

PA220027.jpg

Plated with roasted organic beets and the (incredibly good) sherry cream sauce (for some unknown reason I only took a picture of the one with a broken shell):

PA220032.jpg

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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great topic, zuke!

i love the rebar cookbook as well. i'm embarrased to admit that i've only used it for their salads. i will definitely try that cake that you just talked about. sounds delish!

i made the vij's lamb popsicles from the vancouver cooks cookbook and it was so easy and yummy. i think that the sauce is going make a lot of appearances in my kitchen to pair with various things. sooooo good.

there's also the roasted carrot and brie soup from chef bernard's in whistler that i've made from a little book called whistler weekend cookbook. so rich and delicious.

i've just picked up the la regelade and feenie's books and have plans to make the coq au vin from la regalade very soon.

geez, i'm hungry now :huh:

edited to add: deborah, that tart looks so good!

Edited by makanmakan (log)

Quentina

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Mamacat and I both really enjoy the Warm Tomato and Asiago Tart with Red Onion recipe from Simply Bishop's (the summer appetizers section). A commerical puff pastry round forms the base of a simple summer pizza that is delightful as written, or can be modified to suit whatever you have in the garden or, in my case, the "Yaleotwn garden" (aka the crisper drawer.)

We will also bulldozer our way through any baked goods from Susan Mendelson's books. I was recently at a Jewish funeral that she herself catered, and boy did I make a dent in the baked goods table. As I was cramming rugelah into my little gentile cheeks, I overheard her mention that she has a new book in the works too. Yum!

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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I don't own a lot of local cookbooks, but I have Lumiere. Lumiere Light, and Feenie's. I've only cooked out of Lumiere, I believe. I've made the "Cote de boeuf and braised short rib with celeriac puree" on pg. 150, and it is wonderful. (I think I remember adding carrots, onions, and celery when braising, though.) I like the "duo des pommes de terre" recipe on page 10. The "Alsace tarte flambee" on pg. 55 is also good and very easy to do. I've also made the "Seared Alaskan scallops with a saffron-vanilla cream" on pg. 140. (I believe this was the starter the night I made the short rib recipe. This was also my first time using saffron.) I also had chantrelles for the first time five years ago when I made the "Seared scallops with baby leeks and blue cluster chantrelles in herb vinaigrette" on pg. 98, though I confess I remember using the dried chantrelles I found at Save-on-Foods. (Sorry to disappoint--I was 18 and cooking blindly without the guiding light of Egullet. :raz: )

The recipes I've tried were chosen because of their simplicity. Lumiere was my first "real" cookbook, and I remember spending many hours pouring over the pages and reading the recipes!

I do have an issue with one of the dessert recipes--the only one I've tried so far. I made the walnut maple cake a few years ago and followed the recipe, even though I was puzzled by the equal measurements (1.5 cups each) of flour and butter. The cake was inedible. I think there must've been a mistake in the measurements.

I posted the "Chocolate tango cake with bittersweet chocolate sorbet" recipe that won the 1999 Quandy Dessert competition HERE, also noting further down in the thread:

"Before you make this, don't you think the proportion of butter in both the tangerine cake and the chocolate cake (which is almost like a flourless chocolate cake) seem unnaturally high? It seems like 1/4 cup of butter is more than sufficient for the tangerine cake and the chocolate cake. [...]

I think the cake would turn out if you cut the butter down to 1/4 cup in the tangerine cake (and even then it would be very dense with the almond meal) and 1/4 cup of butter in the chocolate cake, so it's more in line with other flourless chocolate cake recipes."

I would love to try this recipe soon...and just wanted to include it here for anyone who may not have a copy of the Lumiere cookbook! :smile:

Edited by Ling (log)
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I really like Karen Barnaby's cookbooks - the one I have is the Passionate Cook. The cracked cold dungeness crab recipe is a jumping off point for me.

She is a really passionate cook, and has a great intuitive food voice. The recipes are grounded in reality and the food combinations really speak to me. Her enthusiasm for local ingredients, preparing foods and eating with family and friends reminds me of early Nigella (before she started going baroque).

Even if you don't cook out of it - her book makes for fun reading.

The other local cookbook that I have been enjoying reading is the Vancouver CBC Listener cookbook. Most of the contributors are just regular folks - and I am anxious to try things like a real homestyle recipe for grilled kalbi ribs (with kiwi fruit to tenderize the meat). The book itself reminds that Vancouver has an incredibly diverse population and food choices to match.

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I've just packed all my cookbooks in preparation for my forthcoming move to a new condo in Port Moody so I'm working from memory. There is a recipe in the Bishops book that Snacky referred to earlier that I just love. It is a salad made of sliced fresh beets with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. So good....

Great pictures "Deborah"....your mushroom tart dish looks sinfully good!

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Thanks, mama!

I have to say, I kept thinking, "Oh, I've bought more local cookbooks than that!" and then I realized I've given my mother some Umberto books in the past, as well as the one from La Régalade this Christmas, which she was very keen to try.

I should get a copy for myself. I'm also surprised I haven't got Lumière Light or Feenie's. My parents really are not fulfilling their gift-giving obligations! :wink:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Wow! You all are so inspiring! I'm glad others like the rebar cookbook, and I wanted to mention that their recipe for chocolate zucchini cupcakes is pretty much perfect.

So I glazed the lime sugar cookies I mentioned at the top of the thread and both my partner and my son liked them way better without the icing. I just ate two and like them better with the glaze. I also put some extra whole toasted pumpkin seeds on top. Good with a glass of cold kukicha tea.

I got a copy of the Vancouver CBC Listener's Cookbook for Christmas from a friend who has a recipe published in it. I'm excited to try her recipe when figs are in season again.

Keep on Cookin'!

Zuke

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I first learned to cook back in the day with one of the Urban Peasant cookbooks. What is Mr. Barber up to these days? I used to watch his t.v. show with my late grandma, who was going blind and could not see the t.v. screen but used to love to listen to his voice and the sounds of the sizzling foods.

Then I bought the Lumiere cookbook (the first one) and learned how to REALLY cook. Based on my skills at the time, however, it was like giving the Tantric Sex book to a cheese-eating high school kid going on his first date. I didn't know what the hell I was doing with ingredients that I had never eaten let alone cooked with but it opened up new worlds.

One of my favourite local books is Simply Bishops. Great recipes emphasizing fresh local ingredients and most of them are not too complex. I have cooked most of the recipes in that book over the last couple of years. I love the goat cheese salad (pictured on the cover), the dungeoness crab soup with lemongrass and coconut milk, and the duck breast with apple puree.

Edited by the g-man (log)
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I know I'm not local :blink: but I picked up the rebar cookbook myself. I was staying down the street from the restaurant and family took me their for brunch. I'm afraid I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but all of your comments tell me I have to find it and take another look-see. I remember I enjoyed reading it!

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I picked up Karen Barnaby's The Passionate Cook tonight!

As with all cookbooks, I flip to the dessert section first, and this cookbook contains a number of comforting desserts with an interesting twist. I looked at all the proportions and they all look good--not too much sugar, and plenty of good things that I generally look for (the inclusion of buttermilk or sour cream in cakes, a high ratio of stuff like cream cheese, heavy cream, dark chocolate, nuts, liqueur... :wink: )

What I'm MOST excited about is the "Fresh Ginger and Buttermilk cake" recipe on page 233. It's very similar to David Lebovitz's "Fresh Ginger cake" recipe posted in this thread I'm participating in--"The Best Gingercake". I love David's recipe, but I was going to start making some changes, trying to incorporate all my favourite components that I've recently discovered I like in a ginger cake.

What draws me to Karen's recipe is that it already contains some of the things I was going to include in my version--both fresh and ground dried ginger, buttermilk, and crystallized ginger. Also, the proportion of molasses+sugar and flour is very similar to David's recipe, which I already know I like. The bonus is that Karen's recipe also contains whole-wheat pastry flour, which I confess I've never baked with before, but I imagine the slightly nutty flavour would be very good in this sort of cake!!

I will take a few liberties with Karen's recipe tomorrow (adding cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ground black pepper) and see what happens...but I'm already sure that I will love her recipe the best out of all the ones I've tried in the past. :wub:

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I first learned to cook back in the day with one of the Urban Peasant cookbooks.  What is Mr. Barber up to these days?  I used to watch his t.v. show with my late grandma, who was going blind and could not see the t.v. screen but used to love to listen to his voice and the sounds of the sizzling foods.

Then I bought the Lumiere cookbook (the first one) and learned how to REALLY cook.  Based on my skills at the time, however, it was like giving the Tantric Sex book to a cheese-eating high school kid going on his first date.  I didn't know what the hell I was doing with ingredients that I had never eaten let alone cooked with but it opened up new worlds. 

One of my favourite local books is Simply Bishops.  Great recipes emphasizing fresh local ingredients and most of them are not too complex.  I have cooked most of the recipes in that book over the last couple of years.  I love the goat cheese salad (pictured on the cover), the dungeoness crab soup with lemongrass and coconut milk, and the duck breast with apple puree.

Did you know Barber has a column in Vancouver mag?

I love your comparision of Lumiere's cookbook and the Tantric Sex book. :biggrin: I often see people in books stores thinking, "Hmmm should I buy the Kama Sutra or the Lumiere cookbook?" Around Valentine's they should have a two for one sale at Book Warehouse.

My mother in law also loves Simply Bishops.

I know I'm not local  :blink: but I picked up the rebar cookbook myself.  I was staying down the street from the restaurant and family took me their for brunch.  I'm afraid I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but all of your comments tell me I have to find it and take another look-see.  I remember I enjoyed reading it!

Pam, you're local. Big country, small forum! :wink:

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I made Karen Barnaby's "Ginger Buttermilk cake" today. It is WONDERFUL! I ate most of the entire cake in no time, then remembered this thread and thought I'd plate a slice and post a picture. I defrosted a slice of David Lebovitz's "Fresh Ginger cake" so I could taste the two cakes side-by-side, and I prefer Karen's recipe.

(Those are some cocoa nibs in front of the pomegranate seeds, in case you're wondering. My chocolate swirls look really crappy b/c I spent half an hour looking for my digital camera and the the creme anglaise started bleeding... :wacko: )

gcake.jpg

I made a few changes to Karen's recipe. I increased the amount of fresh grated fresh ginger to 4 tbsp., and added the following:

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1/2 tsp. black pepper

-1/4 tsp. nutmeg

-1/4 tsp. ground five spice

The resulting cake was quite complex in flavour, and really delicious! Next time, I think I might throw in some extra crystallized ginger, and increase the cinnamon to 2 tsp. The buttermilk in the recipe gives the cake a very moist and tender crumb. The cakes rose evenly in the oven without doming. They would make an awesome gingerbread torte! :wub:

Edited by Ling (log)
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^Well Ling, that photo gets my mojo going! I love warm ginger cake with creme anglaise. I often up the amount of fresh ginger in recipes too. I'll have to look into getting a copy of that cookbook!

Zuke

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I recently purchased Karen Barnaby's book and am really enjoying it. She has a lot of traditional, comfort foods that use great ingredients and techniques. I've really liked her braised lamb shanks, meatloaf, shepherd's pie. Her coconut cream pie, is like the classic homespun dessert, rich, creamy and, so comforting. I made the orange and semolina cake last week along with the lamb shanks. It was a perfect, rainy day dinner. Still lots of recipes to try.

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