Sybil Pratt

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Burgers are America's favorite food, so featuring a burger–whether it's beef, buffalo, lamb or swordfish—as the centerpiece of a party is a foolproof idea for entertaining. But burgers alone, a party does not make. You need sides and starters and something sweet. Burger Parties: Featuring Winning Recipes form Sutter Home Winery's Build a Better Burger® Contest serves up main event recipes, plus all the extra fixin's for sixteen summer gatherings—and some of the extras are worthy of their own place in the culinary sun.

Serves 6

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
2 teaspoons Tabasco pepper sauce
11/2 teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 (15-ounce) cans small red beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked long-grain white rice, at room temperature
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced (1/4 inch) celery
1/2 cup very thinly sliced green onions, including green tops
1/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, mustard, pepper sauce, garlic, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. Add the oil and whisk until emulsified. Taste and add more pepper sauce and salt, if desired.

Shortly before serving, combine the beans, rice, bell peppers, celery, green onions, carrot, and parsley in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.

To serve, transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl.

Reprinted with permission from Burger Parties: Recipes from Sutter Home Winery’s Build a Better Burger Contest by James McNair and Jeffrey Starr, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Burgers are America's favorite food, so featuring a burger–whether it's beef, buffalo, lamb or swordfish—as the centerpiece of a party is a foolproof idea for entertaining. But burgers alone, a party does not make. You need sides and starters and something sweet. Burger Parties: Featuring Winning Recipes form Sutter Home Winery's Build a Better Burger® Contest […]
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No one has to tell a good Italian cook about simplicity or seasonality; it’s in their DNA, and Mario Batali has made it his mission to spread that Italian culinary credo. With 14 restaurants, eight cookbooks and TV appearances galore, the exuberant, larger-than-life Molto Mario is the current champion of La Cucina Italiana. Now he’s added a “proplanet resolve” to his message, “greening” his restaurants and reminding us of the social cost of our food decisions. Not pushy and hardly a vegetarian, Mario suggests that meals made up of a few vegetarian antipasti, maybe a sampling of salumi, a salad, pizza or pasta, some good cheese and a delectable dolce are sumptuously simple. In other words, you don’t need a “meat and potatoes” main course. And in Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking, Mario offers the Italian classics that have made Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, his Manhattan palazzo of pizza and pasta, so resoundingly successful. Seasonally orchestrated, super-low in animal protein, these are the go-to recipes for creating your own incredibly inviting “pro-planet” meals. Try Spring Peas with Mint, Penne with Walnut Pesto, Pizza with Funghi and Taleggio, Tricolore Salad, Ricotta Gelato—nobody will ask, “where’s the beef?”

Serves 6

12 ounces ripe cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Fresh chive sticks for garnish

Put the tomatoes in a serving bowl and add the vinegar, tossing to coat. Season with salt, and let marinade for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Combine the crème fraîche and oil in a medium bowl and whisk until the cream just holds a soft shape.

Garnish the tomatoes with dollops of the crème fraîche, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Molto Gusto (Ecco 2010).

No one has to tell a good Italian cook about simplicity or seasonality; it’s in their DNA, and Mario Batali has made it his mission to spread that Italian culinary credo. With 14 restaurants, eight cookbooks and TV appearances galore, the exuberant, larger-than-life Molto Mario is the current champion of La Cucina Italiana. Now he’s […]
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A celebration of the best that the Tex-Mex tradition offers, The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook, illustrated with 75 archival and new photographs, takes you on a tour of famous Tex-Mex restaurants, taco trucks, cook-offs and tailgating extravaganzas, and has all the recipes you'll need to make these spicy treasures in your own backyard. No Tex-Mex fiesta could start without a Margarita, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more welcoming summer cocktail than this super-seasonal, rosy-pink Watermelon version. If you can't find "watermelon liquor," no problema—just add little more tequila!

Serves 4

Thanks to Gramercy Tavern manager Nick Mautone for the frozen watermelon ice cube idea.

1/2 small watermelon
8 ounces Simple Syrup
4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
12 ounces gold tequila
8 ounces watermelon liqueur
12 mint leaves

Cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes, removing the seeds as you go. Place the cubes in a colander set inside a bowl. Stir the cubes gently to extract juice without breaking up the cubes. You should have at least 8 ounces of juice. Put the watermelon cubes on a tray and freeze until solid—about an hour.

Mix the syrup, lemon juice, and lime juice with the watermelon juice. To serve, divide the frozen cubes among 4 glasses. Add the tequila, then the liqueur, and then the juice mixture and stir. Garnish with the mint leaves.

Recipe from The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook; Broadway Books.

A celebration of the best that the Tex-Mex tradition offers, The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook, illustrated with 75 archival and new photographs, takes you on a tour of famous Tex-Mex restaurants, taco trucks, cook-offs and tailgating extravaganzas, and has all the recipes you'll need to make these spicy treasures in your own backyard. […]
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'Tis the season, yet again! Start the tarts, roll out the dough, cut the cookies, ice the cakes, prep the puddings, whip the meringue and get all the inspiration and advice you need from these sweet new cookbooks.

THE CRAFT OF BAKING
International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award winner Lisa Yockelson, a joyful and serious baker, shares her personal baking storybook in Baking Style: Art*Craft*Recipes. Instead of the usual header notes, she's written 100 essays to preface her recipes. In “Coconut Queen” she channels her grandma Lily’s kitchen, then offers up recipes for a Buttery Coconut Cake with Fluffy Frosting. “Fudge Griddled” leads to warm, fudgy waffles (definitely not for breakfast) served with dense, bittersweet chocolate cream. “Zoom!” introduces puffy, high-rise potato dough that serves as the basis for Gossamer Potato Rolls and Butter-Striated Potato Rolls, wonderful grace notes to any holiday meal. Yockelson’s instructions are extensive and the full-page color photos are almost edible. For bakers with some experience.

FOOD OF THE GODS
Choclatique is Ed Engoron’s ode to the substance he considers “truly the nectar of the gods,” divine at almost any temperature and “nature’s perfect food.” A passionate chocolatier, Engoron is the cofounder of the artisan chocolate company Choclatique. He’s traveled around the globe in pursuit of all things chocolate and now distills his love and knowledge in this collection of more than 150 recipes. All the recipes are based on five ganaches (a blend of chocolate, cream and flavorings), his universal chocolate building blocks. With those easy-to-make fundamentals under your belt, you can go on to create blueberry-poached Chocolate Dumplings, gluten-free Chocolate Curl Meringue Kisses, sultry Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, comforting White Chocolate Brioche Pudding and Chocolate Granola (what a way to start the day!). A must for chocoholics and those hoping to become addicted.

DIG INTO A HEALTHY DESSERT
Cooking Light, the longtime go-to source for healthier, lighter edibles of every sort, has for the first time gathered all the essential techniques for making lighter, healthier baked goods in one cookbook, Cooking Light Way to Bake. With more than 600 full-color, step-by-step photos, nothing is left to your imagination—it’s like having a baking coach right there in your own kitchen. Whatever you’re in the mood for—from yeast breads, quick breads, biscuits and biscotti to crepes, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, cobblers, custards and more—you’ll have the recipes you need, detailed instructions and great tips on what particular ingredients and equipment add to the mix. The secrets of light baking success are all here, for both baking beginners and flour-dusted old hands.

DUDE-FRIENDLY DESSERTS
I think most of us, if asked about the gender of cupcakes, would probably agree that the cute little things lean toward the ladylike. But if you take a look at what comes out of the oven in David Arrick’s Butch Bakery, now showcased in The Butch Bakery Cookbook, you’ll agree that these babies are muy macho and muy masculine—different, dangerously delicious and definitely “Desserts for Dudes.” The “Coffee Break” cupcake has a caffeinated, espresso- and Kahlua-infused body topped with a double shot of Espresso Buttercream. “Driller,” a maple cupcake, is sprinkled with crumbled, crispy Butch’s Bacon Bits. Dark stout (like Guinness) gives “Beer Run” its rich flavor, and Jack Daniel’s Cream Cheese Frosting jazzes up the big, beautiful Red Velvet “Defense Defense” cupcakes. Arrick calls his instructions a “plan of attack” and his ingredient list a roster. He starts guys out with Butch’s Toolbox and Butch’s Supply Cabinet, quick run-throughs of all the stuff you need to become a captain of cupcakes.

READY FOR THE PÂTISSERIE
Ginette Mathiot’s Je Sais Faire La Pâtisserie was first published in 1938, a few years after her fabulously successful Je Sais Cuisiner, which was published in English as I Know How to Cook in 2009. With The Art of French Baking, we now have her classic on classic French sweets and desserts, fleshed out with some necessary updates—and it’s just as straightforward and practical, helpful and comprehensive as its predecessor. Mathiot’s aim is to teach home cooks the elemental components of French baking—from traditional madeleines to rum-soaked babas; simple, light gâteaux to a show-stopping Paris-Brest; crumbly, buttery Sablés to Hazelnut Tuiles; Classic Brioche to caramel-swathed Floating Island. Allons enfants de la Pâtisserie! . . . It’s time to bake!

SWEET TREATS FOR VEGANS
Yes! You can make pies without dairy, eggs or animal products. In their third foray into vegan baking, Vegan Pie in the Sky, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero demonstrate that pies of all stripes, pie crusts (check out the new flaky Vodka Crust), tarts, cobblers, crisps and galettes—75 recipes in all—can indeed vie for a high place in vegan dessert-dom. For the upcoming holidays try the Voluptuous Pumpkin Pie, the Sweet Potato Cobbler, the Figgy Apple Handpies and the Pear & Cranberry Galette.

TOP PICK: AN INVITATION TO INDULGE
Judy Rosenberg, owner of one of Boston’s most popular bakery chains, won the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award for her first cookbook, Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed No-Holds-Barred Baking Book.Shethen followed it up with Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich, No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book. Now, she’s combined the two in a super-duper, updated and revised, no-holds-barred invitation to throw moderation to the wind: The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed, Baking Book. Indulge to your heart’s content with the beautiful building blocks of baking: butter, sugar, chocolate and cream. In addition to Chocolate Orgasms—deservedly her most famous dessert—and her almost-as-famous Chocolate-Sour Cream Cake Layers that morph into many divinely decadent variations (Caramel-Topped Pecan Cheesecake, White Chocolate Macadamia Brownies and Coconut Fluff Babycakes), you’ll find Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for an offbeat Thanksgiving treat; thin, spicy Jan Hagels; Classic Spritz; Molasses Ginger Cookies to offer Santa; and Ultra-Rich Rugalah for Hanukkah.

'Tis the season, yet again! Start the tarts, roll out the dough, cut the cookies, ice the cakes, prep the puddings, whip the meringue and get all the inspiration and advice you need from these sweet new cookbooks. THE CRAFT OF BAKINGInternational Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award winner Lisa Yockelson, a joyful and serious […]
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Lots of cookbooks tell you which wine to pair with your pork ragout or pot-au-feu de poisson, but with Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking, sommelier Dana Frank and cookbook author Andrea Slonecker have turned that standard upside down. Here, the wine inspires the recipe: Each of these 75 recipes was chosen to go with a specific wine or wine style, and each wine is introduced with information on where it comes from, its recommended producers and why it works so well with the flavors of the food. Some of the wines are old friends: Zinfandel goes with Roots Tagine and Cauliflower “Couscous,” while barbera wine is paired with ruby-red Borscht Risotto. Some are welcome oeno-revelations: rosé of pinot noir with creamy Burrata and Strawberry Salad, a carignan red wine with an herb-perfumed, Parmesan-topped Ratatouille. Frank and Slonecker are a perfect pairing themselves, providing a savvy wine seminar partnered with inventive dishes that invite you to pop a cork and cook something wonderful every day.

FOOD IN A FLASH
As made clear by the title of his latest cookbook, Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, Christopher Kimball and his test-cook minions have been thinking about weeknight dinners that are quick, easy and vibrantly flavored. Kimball, one of the most trusted names in home cooking, shares that the secret to culinary success is combining familiar ingredients with spices, herbs, chiles, sauces, salsas and pungent pastes from around the world. Pork tenderloin combines with kimchi, fresh shiitake mushrooms and scallions for an umami- rich stir-fry; avocado puree and fresh tomato-cilantro salsa create a speedy, no-cook topping for seared salmon. Super sides include bright salads, pizzas and roasts, and there are also recipes for sweets to top off your dinner delights. Detailed instructions, with Kimball’s all-important “Don’ts,” and full-page color photos for each recipe make the making foolproof.

TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
“Simple” is not an adjective you’d ever think of when describing award-winning cookbook author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking. But the latest addition to his growing list of gastro bestsellers is titled Ottolenghi Simple, and it’s definitely not an oxymoron. Here, the brilliant chef who has lured us into new realms of flavor and spicing is determined to give us dishes from brunch through dessert that are streamlined yet “still distinctly Ottolenghi.” Home cooks have very different ideas about what constitutes simple, so each of the 130 recipes is plainly marked with a degree of simplicity. I’m a make-ahead maven, big on long-simmering stews and one-dish wonders; you might be short on time and looking for recipes with fewer than 10 ingredients or a dinner that can be put together with pantry items. Now you can pick and choose according to your needs and the occasion, knowing that for Ottolenghi, simple equals sensational. His latest is guaranteed to excite and delight.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Lots of cookbooks tell you which wine to pair with your pork ragout or pot-au-feu de poisson, but with Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking, sommelier Dana Frank and cookbook author Andrea Slonecker have turned that standard upside down.

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Ina Garten is back and better than ever. Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks is Garten’s 11th cookbook and a super seminar on how to incorporate the time-tested kitchen tricks she’s come to rely on into your own cooking. Though she’s a true self-taught cook, Garten’s years as a caterer and specialty food-store owner and her close association with professional chefs and bakers have taught her how to make “flavors sing and presentations pop.” Now she shares her pro tips with us, along with a carefully curated collection of recipes, from cocktails, appetizers (Sausage & Mushroom Strudels) and breakfast delights to soups, salads and dinner (flaky Flounder Milanese topped with Arugula Salad), finished off with veggies, sides and desserts (Fresh Fig & Ricotta Cake). Sprinkled throughout this comestible cache, like informative amuse-bouches, are short essays on measuring, prepping, baking and testing for doneness like a pro. This is bound to be one of the season’s go-to gourmet gifts.

TESTED AND TRUSTED
Cook’s Illustrated magazine, champion of a thoughtful and no-nonsense approach to home cooking, is celebrating its 25th anniversary by giving us a present—Cook’s Illustrated Revolutionary Recipes. The “revolution” here is not exotic ingredients or wild flavor combos; it’s an insistent pursuit of perfect recipes and the foolproof way to make everything from poached eggs and the crispiest of Crispy Fried Chicken to rich Ragù alla Bolognese or a No-Knead Brioche. Each of these 180 recipes is a master class, starting with an essay that breaks the dish apart and explores how and why it works. Included along with the carefully detailed cooking directions, black-and-white photos and line drawings are tips on techniques and prep, what to look for when buying ingredients and intriguing variations to extend your repertoire.

TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
I read a lot of cookbooks, and it’s rare when I want to make—and eat—almost every recipe. But that’s what happened when I went through Dorie Greenspan’s latest, Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook. She’s out-“Doried” herself this time: The 150 recipes included here are fabulous and introduced with wonderfully written and informative header notes. Greenspan’s impeccable instructions, make-ahead advice and ideas for swapping out major ingredients are all seasoned with her casual, practical ease, culinary savvy and style. There are dishes for every occasion, with innovative riffs like Gougères with a zippy addition of Dijon mustard; classic Flounder Meunière with an added pizazz of Onion-Walnut Relish; a hot, spicy, slightly sweet Beef Stew with a handful of cranberries; Clam Chowder made with lemongrass, coconut milk and ginger; and of course, Greenspan’s ever-splendid desserts (check out her Apple Custard Crisp). Dining with Dorie never disappoints.

 

This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Learn from the very best in this month's Cooking column.
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Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook’s first cookbook, Zahav, was named the Best International Cookbook in 2016 by the James Beard Foundation. Now the pair is back with Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious, an appreciative deep dive into iconic Israeli food, and its release is perfectly timed for Israel’s 70th anniversary. With fabulous photos of food and people, plus instructive, step-by-step photos, Israeli Soul is a home cook-friendly culinary tour of the dishes brought to Israel by immigrants and shaped by cultures “both ancient and modern.” Solomonov and Cook’s exuberant narrative details their “soul odyssey,” searching market stalls, restaurants, street carts and bakeries in big cities and remote villages for the best versions of gastronomic go-to’s like hummus, pita, shawarma and falafel, plus sabich, salads, soups, stuffed veggies, kebabs and sweets. It’s an irresistible invitation to enjoy the legendary soul food of Israel.

MANGIA BENE!
National Geographic and America’s Test Kitchen have combined their prodigious talents to produce the lusciously extravagant Tasting Italy: A Culinary Journey. With over 100 recipes, 300 photographs and 45 maps, it’s the perfect gift for Italophiles. It’s a wonderful coffee table book and top-notch cookbook, but it’s also a travel guide to Italy’s 20 regions, filled with vibrant, full-color photos and explorations of the edible treasures that make each area unique—cheese, wine, cured meats, produce and so much more. Brimming with tradition and tested to the nth degree, these recipes showcase the robust regional food that makes Italy a mosaic of magical flavors. Whether it’s Venetian Seafood Risotto, aromatic Tuscan White Bean Soup, Umbrian Sausage and Grapes, golden Roman Gnocchi or a light and bright Sicilian Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad, each dish takes you into the authentic heart of la cucina Italiana.

TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
’Tis the season for baked sweets, and Christina Tosi, the two-time James Beard Award-winning baker, mastermind maven and chef/owner of Milk Bar, will amp up your cake-making capabilities. The wildly innovative Tosi, who found most cakes to be boringly blah, decided to find ways to give them the verve and variety her sugary sensations are renowned for. The remarkable results are all in All About Cake. These winners—from bundts and a Strawberry Layer Cake to cupcakes, sheet cakes, fancy layer cakes, cake truffles (yes, you can turn out a Cake Truffle Croquembouche for Christmas), microwave mug cakes and a Banana-Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crock-Pot Cake—tell flavor stories with creative fillings, craveable crunches, hidden gems of texture and Tosi’s signature unfrosted sides. Having at your side a wonderfully opinionated pro like Tosi who can’t—and shouldn’t—curb her enthusiasm and instructional fervor for all things baking is an unbeatable, delectable treat.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Take a culinary trip through Italy, embrace the soul food of Israel and more in this month's Cooking column!
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Let’s Eat France! by François-Régis Gaudry and friends is a big—as in, six pounds big—boisterously beautiful, ingeniously designed and illustrated book that answers every question you have about French cuisine and all the questions you didn’t know you needed answers to. There’s no table of contents, no chapters, no categories. Every turn of the page invites you to delight in an eclectic, serendipitous survey of France’s edible heritage. You’ll wander from an exploration of the crunchy cornichon pickle and a consideration of the great gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, to a recipe for an amazing Sardine Pâté, a family-friendly Pot-au-Feu (that’s beef stew, to you), a classic cherry-studded Clafoutis and 372 more remarkable French dishes, plus maps, charts and anecdotes. As a flâneur in the fertile fields of French gastronomy, you’ll learn about wines, hand-crafted liqueurs, cheeses, foie gras, oysters, breads, cakes, galettes, famous chefs and hors d’oeuvres. C’est merveilleux!

If “real” cooking is on your agenda for the new year, there’s a fresh cookbook about an old technique that’s a must. Searing Inspiration: Fast, Adaptable Entrées and Fresh Pan Sauces  by Susan Volland is your ticket to getting fabulous, four-star meals on the table in a flash. Using a skillet and the skills you’ll develop under Volland’s savvy tutelage, making Rib Steaks with Whiskey Béarnaise, a classic Sole Meunière or Tamarind-Glazed Chicken will be a breeze. The ingredients may vary, but the technique—sear, deglaze, embellish—is the same. You sear ingredients in a hot, oiled skillet and remove; deglaze with wine or another liquid; add the flavor-boosting aromatics you’ve chosen and prepped; re-add the seared ingredients and you’re a dinner diva.

Doug Crowell and chef Ryan Angulo, co-owners of two revered neighborhood restaurants in the restaurant-rich borough of Brooklyn, believe that the most important ingredients in any dish are kindness and salt. Their debut cookbook, appropriately titled Kindness & Salt: Recipes for the Care and Feeding of Your Friends and Neighbors, shows you how to salt early and generously to bring out the best in over 100 recipes, from Mushroom & Goat Cheese Scramble, Pommes Frites and Seared Scallops  to desserts and cocktails. Though you can’t sprinkle kindness on pasta or popovers, you can serve this superbly satisfying bistro food (Duck Meatloaf, Narragansett Mussels, Banana Foster Profiteroles) with warm, cordial confidence.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

If “real” cooking is on your agenda for the new year, there’s a fresh cookbook about an old technique that’s a must.

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Jamie Oliver, still proclaiming his “Naked Chef” credo, has been a fabulous fixture of our food scene for over 18 years, and he’s never lost his touch. His signature pizazz and irrepressible can-do confidence shine in his 20th cookbook, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food. Not one for modesty, Oliver promises that by using his “genius combinations of just five ingredients,” you can get these “utterly delicious” dishes on the table in under 30 minutes—or get the prep done in 10 minutes and let your cooker do the rest. The clever layout—visuals of the five ingredients on the left and a totally tempting photo of the finished product on the right, with super-simple instructions in between—is a big plus, as is Oliver’s joy in making from-scratch cooking truly doable, whether it’s Smoky Pancetta Cod with a side of lentils for a Wednesday night, or flambéed Peachy Pork Chops followed by marmalade-infused Speedy Steamed Pudding Pots for a Saturday night soirée.

The cultural identity of the Palestinian people persists, as does the pleasures of the Palestinian kitchen. Yasmin Khan, a human rights activist and award-winning cookbook author, celebrates its vibrant flavors in Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen, seasoned with many moving stories and fabulous photos from her culinary journey. Khan has gathered over 80 recipes with an emphasis on simple, seasonal, plant-based food. She collected classics from Palestinian grandmothers (Hummus with Spiced Lamb), contemporary dishes from friends (Freekah with Butternut Squash) and dishes inspired by local ingredients (Olive, Fig and Honey Tapenade) or techniques (Chocolate and Tahini Cookies). Khan’s instructions are detailed, her header notes informative and her enthusiasm infectious.

Instead of an Instant Pot, an air fryer or a slew of newfangled kitchen appliances, the accomplished cooks and testers from America’s Test Kitchen suggest you take out that tried-and-true multitasker resting quietly in the back of a cabinet. They’re convinced that a big, enameled Dutch oven is “very nearly the only pot you’ll ever need in your kitchen,” and they offer a revelatory roster of over 150 recipes that take advantage of its best features in Cook It in Your Dutch Oven. These dishes go way beyond stews—just try some of the one-pot wonders like Weeknight Pasta Bolognese or Green Shakshuka. Go for Braised Cod Peperonata, deep fry to your heart’s content, then bake a crisp-crusted Spicy Olive Loaf, and for a grand finale, serve up a fudgy Chocolate Lava Cake.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Jamie Oliver, still proclaiming his “Naked Chef” credo, has been a fabulous fixture of our food scene for over 18 years, and he’s never lost his touch. His signature pizazz and irrepressible can-do confidence shine in his 20th cookbook, 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food. Not one for modesty, Oliver promises that by using his […]
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Here’s a real find for front-line foodies, adventurous epicures, restaurant revelers and the many who are, by choice and/or necessity, armchair cooks and travelers, reaping the fun and wonder of the new and super-trendy from the cozy comfort of their homes. Coco: 100 Emerging Culinary Stars Chosen by 10 of the World's Greatest Chefs is part cookbook, part who’s-who of the international food scene and part guidebook to some of the world’s most intriguing restaurants (addresses, but not prices, are supplied).

Phaidon, a renowned art book publisher that has turned its talents to producing a fabulous line of international cookbooks, uses the 10 times 10 formula so successful for introducing emerging artists in different fields. Ten culinary icons—including Mario Batali, Alain Ducasse, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters and the legendary founder of elBulli, Ferran Adrià—select the 10 restaurant chefs he or she considers the most innovative and exciting, both in the food they create and in their cooking philosophies. Each selectee is introduced in a short essay by the selector, and presented with a brief bio, a sample menu, a few representative recipes and color photos of the chefs at work and dishes they're working on. What you get is a fascinating window into the wild world of today's cutting-edge gastronomy. And, as an added extra, each of the Masters offers a recipe for one of their own classic dishes. Few of the recipes are easy, simple or quick. But they are inspiring, even awe-inspiring, and become a kaleidoscope of contemporary kitchen craft taken to new heights by the new lights.

You’ll find fantastic dishes served in Copenhagen and Kyoto, Sydney and Seattle, Bali and Bilbao, Moscow and Marseille and, of course, London, Paris, Rome and New York. They range from relatively approachable (Gazpacho Aspic with Crabmeat; Raw Scallop with Green Apple and Dashi; Squab Stuffed with Squash and Chestnuts; Grilled Eel and Zucchini) to somewhat more elaborate (Black Radish Vacherin and Foie Gras Mamia; Cod Liver Snow with Bread Cigars; Bitter-Chocolate Cylinder with Coffee Mousse, Milk Ice Cream, Honeycomb and Irish Whiskey). Beware, should you have the culinary courage to undertake any of these recipes, that the measurements are metric, still strange and cumbersome for American cooks.

Here’s a real find for front-line foodies, adventurous epicures, restaurant revelers and the many who are, by choice and/or necessity, armchair cooks and travelers, reaping the fun and wonder of the new and super-trendy from the cozy comfort of their homes. Coco: 100 Emerging Culinary Stars Chosen by 10 of the World's Greatest Chefs is […]
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Top Pick in Cookbooks, December 2018

’Tis the season for baked sweets, and Christina Tosi, the two-time James Beard Award-winning baker, mastermind maven and chef/owner of Milk Bar, will amp up your cake-making capabilities. The wildly innovative Tosi, who found most cakes to be boringly blah, decided to find ways to give them the verve and variety her sugary sensations are renowned for. The remarkable results are all in All About Cake. These winners—from bundts and a Strawberry Layer Cake to cupcakes, sheet cakes, fancy layer cakes, cake truffles (yes, you can turn out a Cake Truffle Croquembouche for Christmas), microwave mug cakes and a Banana-Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crock-Pot Cake—tell flavor stories with creative fillings, craveable crunches, hidden gems of texture and Tosi’s signature unfrosted sides. Having at your side a wonderfully opinionated pro like Tosi who can’t—and shouldn’t—curb her enthusiasm and instructional fervor for all things baking is an unbeatable, delectable treat.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

’Tis the season for baked sweets, and Christina Tosi, the two-time James Beard Award-winning baker, mastermind maven and chef/owner of Milk Bar, will amp up your cake-making capabilities.

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