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Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Event: Winterlicious media preview, City of Toronto.

The Date and Time: Thursday January 12, 2017  10:30 AM to noon.
The Event: Winterlicious media preview, City of Toronto.
The Venue: Lee, King Street West
The Target Audience: media
The Availability/Catalogue: There were posters and booklets detailing the restaurants and programs involved in Winterlicious 2017 for January 27 – February 9. The Culinary Event Series and the Prix Fixe Promotion were discussed. More information is available at www.toronto.ca/winterlicious for the celebration of 150 years of Canadian cuisine, Caribbean influence, bartending, and Italian seafood (among others).
 
The Quote/Background: Councillor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre) as Chair of Toronto's Economic Development Committee gave the major presentation on the annual Winterlicious prix fixe restaurant event, and introduced YP (Yellow Pages) Dine as the presenting sponsor for the next three years, and Chef Susur Lee for today's host restaurant. More than 220 restaurants are included in this year's Winterlicious, with menus from $18-23-28 at lunch to $28-38-48 at dinner. More than 6.2 million meals have been served during this promotion, which began in 2003 to assist in slow periods of business in January and July.
The Food: a major force on the Toronto restaurant scene is Susur Lee, so it was fitting that the media launch presser was at his premier restaurant Lee. Since Lee is only open for dinner, there was just the dinner menu ($48), and we had a generous selection of samples such as the excellent appetizer spring roll duo (cheeseburger spring roll + cod & stone crab spring roll with cream cheese, highlighted by smoked chili mayo + kaffir lime – all on a bed of lettuce leaf for a wrap) and the appetizer Thai fried chicken with tamarind chutney and green apple kimchi. From the mains we had samples of a stunning seared yellowfin tuna with a mustard ponzu butter sauce. Great food, lovingly prepared and served. Coffee and ESKA Natural Spring Water were also available.
The Downside: the event was slightly late in getting started.
The Upside: social media were out in force, with #LiciousTO, @LiciousTO, instagram.com/liciousto, facebook.com/LiciousTO, plus @leerestaurant and @susrlee.
The Contact Person: Anastasia Saradoc <asarado@toronto.ca>
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
22.BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK. 12th Edition (Betty Crocker, 2016, 688 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-64892-0, $29.99 USD loose leaf binder) is an updated old classic and standby, last seen here as the 11th edition in 2011. Over 75 million copies have been sold. This is a five-ring loose-leaf binder with regular magazine stock paper. There are 1500 or so easy to follow recipes, plus more than 500 variations illustrated with 1000 photos. There are new chapters on casseroles and one-dish dinners, beverages, whole grains and vegetarian cooking. Other new features incorporate international flavours, make-ahead ideas and essential kitchen techniques. Prep and cooking times are clearly indicated; it has been updated to reflect today's lifestyles. The covers have a few emergency substitutions listed, as wells as yields and equivalents. The pages are easy to rip apart: they'll need reinforcing at some point. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
23.POWER VEGETABLES! (Clarkson Potter, 2016, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-5534479-8 $35 USD hardbound) is by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach. These are vegetarian recipes with highly charged flavours, such as the root veggie tagine with red chermoula and couscous. The emphasis here is the "meatiness" of the meat-less dishes – as the subtitle states, "turbocharged recipes for vegetables with guts". What ever it takes...It is arranged by course, from apps to salads to soups to mains, and ending with bread and cake (zucchini bread, parsnip cake, potato rosemary cake). There is butternut squash with piquillo crema, memelitas, spanakorizo, malfatti, falafel (of course), eggplant marinara. Lots of choices for "guys". Not so much a vegetarian book as a "meatless" book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
24.FIRESIDE FEASTS & SNOW DAY TREATS; indulgent comfort food for winter eating and entertaining. Rev. ed. (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2012, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-777-5, $24.95 USD hard covers) is a project from the publisher. More than 150 recipes and ideas for eating during the colder months have been assembled from a dozen or so cookbook authors who regular write books for Ryland. The largest collection of recipes comes from Laura Washburn with 41. It is all arranged by snacks, comfort homey food, feasts, some indulgences, and cheery drinks for a cold night. It's a good book to take to your ski chalet. Typical preps include chicken liver parfait, cheese and basil soufflés, spicy pork satay, salt cod, meat balls, Vietnamese beef pho, seafood and yellow split pea curry. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85
 
 
 
25.LUNCH ON THE GO (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-771-3, $19.95 USD hardbound) is by the publisher's team, with recipe credits going to 16 writers who do books for RPS. There are 75 preps here, the largest number coming from Amanda Grant, Laura Washburn, and Louise Pickford. The intent is to create a lunch box, for both adults and children. This can both save a lot of money on purchased lunches and give us more nutrition and fewer preservatives. It is win-win, which adults recognize, but it might be hard to convince the offspring. This could have been developed a bit more in the text. It is arranged by form of lunch: sandwiches, wraps, salad jars, bowls, bentos, soups, savouries, snacks, and sweets. Something for everyone – sweet potato, spinach and goat cheese quesadilla; couscous salad; Mexican bento box; chicken and red pepper stew; Indian tiffin box. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois with some metric measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
26.WEEKEND COOKING (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014, 2016, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-0967-8, $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Tina Nordstrom, once at the Culinary Olympics but now a solid food columnist and cookbook author. It was originally published in 2014 in Swedish; this is the 2016 translation. As she says, these are "old and new recipes for your Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays". Indeed, the book is divided into three chapters of about 25 preps each, and titled after those days. Friday's recipes are fast and simple, Saturday's are more challenging with entertaining ideas (appetizers, wine pairing, decadent desserts), while Sunday appears to be a sleep=in followed by brunch. Large print and sharp photography. Saturday has a large number of small plates, so it may be an all day thing (edamame fired in sumac and chili oil, beet tartlets, warm tomatoes and grapes with parmesan breadsticks, deep fried avocados, etc.). Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
27.MORE THAN MEATBALLS (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014, 2016, 187 pages, ISBN 978-1-51071147-1 $16.99 USD paperbound) is by Michele Anna Jordan, who has written two dozen books. It's a reprint of 2014 edition with new recipes. You could also call them "round morsels of bite-sized savoury food". Here are about 70 recipes, from arancini to zucchini fritters. The range is from "classic" Italian polpetti, French boule de viande, Spanish/Mexican albindigas, Moroccan merguez, and Sicilian arancini. There's a meat section and a meatless section, plus a pairing section with sandwiches and salads. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. And it has the world's smallest typeface for the index. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
 
28.OCEAN GREENS (The Experiment, 2015, 2016, 180 pages, ISBN 978=1=61519-352-3, $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Lisette Kreischer and Marcel Schuttelaar. It was originally published in the Netherlands in 2015; this is the English translation. And it is a great idea for a book: the world of edible seaweed and sea vegetables. These are superfoods with Omega-3s, iron, calcium, essential vitamins and nutrients. There are 50 vegan recipes here, including creamy spirulina sauce, piccalilli, warm dulse and fava bean salad, "fishless soup" (a natural) and pumpkin salad with sea spaghetti. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Just don't eat seaweed found loose on a beach. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
29.THE COMPLETE GLUTEN-FREE BAKER (Ryland Peters & Small, 2011, 2013, 2016,192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-762-1, $21.95 USD hardbound) is by Hannah Miles, a MasterChefUK finalist and prolific cookbook author for RPS. The recipes had been previously published in two separate volumes, "The Gluten-free Baker and "The Savoury Gluten-free Baker". So that explains the use of the word "complete" in the title, in that it collates these two books. The range is cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, tarts, party bites, breads and doughs. In general, gluten-free baking is different from wheat-barley-rye in that there is no gluten (obviously) – but gluten is not really required for non-breads and buns. The "chew factor" is what determines a good gluten-free bread. However, if doesn't work, you can always use it for breadcrumbs in cooking. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, January 12, 2017

THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
11.MOZZA AT HOME (Knopf, 2016, 415 pages, ISBN 978-0-385-35432-5, $35 USD hardbound) is by Nancy Silverton, co-owner or founder of five restaurants and author of nine cookbooks. As a chef, she has also won two Beard Awards. Carolynn Carreno, her focusing food writer, is a Beard Award journalist and co-author of many cookbooks. Here, Silverton  gives us 19 menus of recipes that can mostly be prepared in advance with the purpose of entertaining (a main, apps and sides). And of course all of these can be mixed and matched. At the end, she has 17 desserts in a separate section. Typical menus include "Umbrian tavola", "Nicoise deconstructed", "Sicilian swordfish spiedini", lamb and chicken tikka kebabs, flattened chicken thighs, "Southern-style Korean cut short ribs with vinegar onions". The book is a real treat with innovative groupings for the home cook. I loved the avocado salsa. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but unfortunately there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
12.MOLLY ON THE RANGE (Rodale, 2016, 284 pages, ISBN 978-1-62336-695-7, $32.50 USD hardbound) is by Molly Yeh, food writer and blogger. It is a celebration of family roots, cultural exchange, and the "meaning of home" – an extension of her blog. She is currently a farmer on the North Dakota-Minnesota border, but her story goes from Chicago through New York to her current sugar beet farm – along with her photography. It is self-referential and memoirish but then most food blogs tend to be that way, although there is more permanence about them when they are published on hardbound paper. Among the eight log rollers are Amanda Hesser and Marian Bull, prominent food writers. It is arranged by course, beginning with breakfast and brunch, moving through mains, snacks and desserts. She's got 120 preps to suit all manner of talent, including schnitzel bao with sriracha mayo and sesame pickles, black sesame milk, quinoa carbonara, Asian Scotch eggs, latkes, and marzipan. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
13.THE RYE BAKER (W.W. Norton, 2016, 368 pages,ISBN 978-0-39324521-9, $35 USD hardbound) is by Stanley Ginsberg, co-author of the 2012 IACP award winning "Inside the Jewish Bakery" and owner of The New York Bakers website which sells supplies, equipment and rye flours.
There is some impressive log rolling from Peter Reinhart, Tartine Bakery, and King Arthur Flour. He's got 70 recipes dealing with the classics of rye breads from both the Old and the New Worlds: alpine Austria, upper Italy, Scandinavia, Germany, Baltics, Poland, Russia, immigrant breads of North America. There's Swedish gotland rye, Russian Borodinsky, Westphalian pumpernickel, Old Milwaukee Rye, plus Austrian country boule. The range embraces the nearly black colours to the lighter shades, and many include caraway seeds. Good detail. Of course, everything is scaled, with Baker's Percentages, and great directions for the home cook. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, and there are also multiple tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
14.CURATE (Flatiron Books, 2016, 290 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-05944-4, $35 USD hardbound) is by Katie Button, chef-owner of the Spanish tapas bar Curate in North Carolina, as well as Nightbell, an Appalachian restaurant/bar. She interned at elBulli (Ferran and Albert Adria are two of her eight log rollers). Genevieve Ko is the focusing food writer and recipe tester. It's arranged by course, beginning with starters, soups, moving through seafood, meats, veggies, rice and beans, brunch and lunch, desserts – and then drinks. There is also lots of material about Curate along with the photos. Tapas from Curate have been adapted to be larger dishes for the home cook, and  Button also gives us other Spanish cuisine dishes. She carefully explains the principles of Spanish cooking (food shopping, meat treatment, pantry/larder, et al) and also re-creates the meals that she has at home with her family in North Carolina. The photography is extensive. Typical are artichoke salad with radishes and salted yogurt, grilled sardines, marinated lamb skewers, blood sausages with rice, sherried mushrooms, quail in escabeche. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
15.THE MOON JUICE COOKBOOK (Pam Krauss Books/Avery, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-8041-8820-3, $30 USD hardbound) is by Amanda Chantal Bacon, founder of the US Moon Juice wellness brand. The subtitle indicates "cook cosmically for body, beauty and consciousness". There are 75 preps for the cult brand's most popular healing beverages and foods. The pantry needs to be stocked with milks, juices, doughs and cultured foods – which can be combined together to create power meals. It is arranged by liquid: juices, well milks, moon milks, lattes, kefir, followed by cheeses, fermented veggies, and raw chocolate. There's a well milk chart, which details how to make almond milk, walnut milk, Brazil nut, hazelnut, pumpkin seed, lait de coco, hemp and coconut milk, and sesame butter milk. She's got some good notes on how to become an alchemist. First rate photography. If you need this, you've got it. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
16.COOKING WITH MARY BERRY (DK Books, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-5951-0, $25 USD hardbound) is by Mary Berry, well-known British cookbook author who has appeared as a judge on UK cooking shows and competitions in the American market. This is one of her first books for US viewers, although she has written over 70 (seventy!) cookbooks in the UK. Here are 150 everyday recipes "that my American viewers will love". There are also some UK specialties in the mix as well, such as Chelsea buns. Bath buns, It is a standard arrangement: breakfasts, soups & starters, mains, sides, breads, and desserts. It is international, with curries, enchiladas, hummus, salade nicoise, focaccia, Persian pilaf. Standard and classic Mary Berry. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
 
17.THE SAFFRON TALES (Bloomsbury, 2016, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-63286-710-0, $35 USD hardbound), is by Yasmin Khan, a UK food-writer-cook who runs classes and pop-up supper clubs. It began with a Kickstarter campaign in 2013; 277 people backed her. She's got log rollers Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson on board for this book of recipes from the Persian kitchen. It's arranged by course, breakfast to mezze and sides, salads, soups, mains, and desserts. There are separate indexes for gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, and six menus (Iranian new year, vegan feast, Persian picnic). There is also a list of some eight quick and easy weekday suppers. Persian names for dishes are given alongside English titles and a photo of the plated dish. Cook notes and chapter outlines  provided generous detail of her travels, and who she spoke to and the kitchens she visited: rice paddies, tea plantations, coffee shops, spices and seafood. Try the spicy lentil and tamarind soup, the chicken livers with pomegranate molasses, spiced beef with eggs and spring onions, or the grilled mackerel with a spicy pomegranate salsa.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
18.THE RED ROOSTER COOKBOOK (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-63977-5, $37.50 USD hardbound) is by Marcus Samuelsson, who owns Red Rooster Harlem and other Manhattan restaurants. He's a Beard Award winner for "The Soul of a New Cuisine", and is a TV cooking show judge. Even with all these credits the publisher wanted some log rollers, including Leah Chase of New Orleans and Daniel Boulud of Manhattan. The text has been done with April Reynolds; the recipes with Roy Finamore. It is also a collection of stories from the locals of Harlem. Recipes relate to soul food (of course), but also to other aspects of Harlem: bread from Jewish emigrants, Latin food, Caribbean food, Italian pasta, Korean rice. A lot of the book has engaging personal photos and nicely written memoirish stories. It is a tome to study and contemplate. Some ingredients may be hard to source, and some dishes will need an experienced cook. But ultimately it is also a cookbook to read cover to cover, perhaps by the armchair traveller. For the musically inclined, he's also listed some playlists. Try bird funk and chicken liver butter or catfish with blackening rub or roasted turnips dduk. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
19.LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS (Bloomsbury, 2015, 336 pages, ISBN 978-1-4088-6925-3, $35 USD hardbound) is by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage in the UK. It was originally published in the UK in 2015, and here has its North American debut. As he says, these are "recipes for the resourceful cook", with primers on planning for leftovers, pantry/larder stocking, and some platforms for usage such as soups, salads, frittata, pies, curries, pastas – all of which can utilize leftovers in some capacity. Then come the recipes for meat, fish, roots, greens, breads, rice, dairy, eggs, and fruit. There is even a special section for Christmas, which apparently generates the most leftovers of all time. With its international scope, it is also a very colourful book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly metric with just a few avoirdupois volume measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. This may not sit well with the US cook. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
20.COOKING FOR JEFFREY (Clarkson Potter, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-307-46489-7, $35 USD hardbound) is by Ina Garten, possibly the world's best selling cookbook author and host of Barefoot Contessa. This is her tenth book, and here she cooks for her husband of almost 50 years. It is part memoir, with stories of their life together. But otherwise it is a straightforward family cookbook of Jeffrey's fave foods, such as brisket with onions and leeks or roasted salmon tacos. She's also got a chapter on bread and cheese. Good heavy typeface draws out attention to the recipes and the ingredients – hard to miss. The layout, of course, is standard Ina, and concludes with a basic pantry and basic kitchen equipment. Of special note is the listing of 12 of Jeffery's all-time fave dinners, and includes scallops provencal, bolognese, herb-roasted fish, parmesan chicken,  spiced pork, et al. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
21.10-MINUTE RECIPES (Hay House, 2016, 294 pages, ISBN 978-1-4019-4970-9, $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Liana Werner-Gray, who was very sick until she turned her life around with her "The Earth Diet" (the name her first book, her blog and her company). Here she concentrates on fast food, clean ingredients, and natural health. She's got more than 350 recipes that can be done in 10 minutes or less. It covers a range of goodies such as juices, shakes, smoothies, breakfasts, salads, raw vegan mains, cooked vegan mains, meat eater dishes, sides, desserts, and condiments. With such a range of preps, she's also got some meal planning ides and guides. These do include plans for specific goals, such as breaking the addiction to junk food, alkalizing your body, detox, weight loss, anti-inflammatory, high-protein, skin guide, and kid-friendly guide. This good resource continues with recommended resources and a bibliography. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for January 7, 2017.

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for  January 7, 2017.
========================================================
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS –
(This is the smart money & good value release, just after your Christmas spending. So there are NOT many wines in the release at over $20. Consequently, there are THIRTY wines in my newsletter under $20 worthy of your consideration, and only TEN from the "over $20" list.)
 
R+0391896,SEIN,2011,$17 Alicante, 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R+0420810,SAGELANDS CABERNET SAUVIGNON,2014,$18.95,Columbia Valley 13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R+0436949,COLI CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA,2009,$16.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
W+0470427,GÉRALD TALMARD MÂCON-UCHIZY,2015,$15.95, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+0467787,ANTINORI PIAN DELLE VIGNE ROSSO DI MONTALCINO,2014 $31  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91.
 
30 under $20
-----------------
 
W+0389726,BOYA SAUVIGNON BLANC,2016,$15.95,Leyda Valley, MVC/QPR: 89.
R+0394973,QUERCECCHIO ROSSO DI MONTALCINO,2014,$15.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88.
W+0462481,SAVEUR VERTE BY JEFF CARREL,2014,$19.95,IGP Côtes Catalanes, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+0470351,ODISSEIA TINTO RESERVA,2012,$19.95,DOC Douro 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W+0470393,ALAIN GEOFFROY PETIT CHABLIS,2015,$19.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0473132,CANTINA SAN PAOLO AGLIANICO,2015,$13.95,IGP Campania, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+0474171,AD LIB CRUEL MISTRESS PINOT NOIR,2014,$14.95,Pemberton, Western Australia, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89+
R+0475624,CA' DEL MONTE VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE,2011,$19.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0477075,I BALZI ROSSO,2013,$15.95,IGT Veneto, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+0480574,SANTA CAROLINA RESERVA ESTATE PINOT NOIR,2015,$12.95,Leyda Valley, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+0483321,NOBLE VINES 337 CABERNET SAUVIGNON,2013,$17,Lodi, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR:  88
W+0673236,LAURENT MIQUEL NORD SUD VIOGNIER,2014,$14.95,IGP Pays d'Oc, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0673897,JIP JIP ROCKS SHIRAZ,2014,$16.95,Padthaway, So Austral 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R+0704353,IRONSTONE LODI MERLOT,2015,$17.95,Lodi, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W+0907683,MARYNISSEN CHARDONNAY,2013,$15,VQA Niagara Peninsula, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0005199,KILIKANOON THE LACKEY SHIRAZ,2015,$17.95,South Australia, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+0011072,THE GOATFATHER,2014,$14.95,WO Coastal Region 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0025718,ROCCA DI FRASSINELLO POGGIO ALLA GUARDIA,2013,$18.95,DOC Maremma Toscana, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0037036,TRIVENTO AMADO SUR MALBEC/BONARDA/SYRAH,2014,$16.95,Mendoza, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0116574,HEARTLAND STICKLEBACK RED,2013,$14.95,Langhorne Creek, South Australia, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W+0126847,MAN FREE-RUN STEEN CHENIN BLANC,2015,$13.95,WO Coastal Region, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0134577,UMANI RONCHI JORIO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO,2013,$16.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
W+0175752,JIP JIP ROCKS CHARDONNAY,2015,$16.95,Padthaway, So Australia, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0230391,CHÂTEAU LAGRANGE,2012,$19.95,AC Lussac Saint-Émilion, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.
R+0272575,GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR TAUTAVEL GRENACHE /SYRAH/ CARIGNAN,2013,$18.95,AP Côtes Du Roussillon-Villages, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W+0330613,CALAMUS BARREL KISSED CHARDONNAY,2013,$16.95,VQA Niagara Peninsula, 12.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R+0354753,RIO MADRE GRACIANO,2014,$14.95,DOCa Rioja, 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W+0461400,MARQUÉS DE CÁCERES VERDEJO,2015 DO Rueda $14.95, 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+0981670,MOUNT RILEY SAUVIGNON BLANC,2015,Marlborough, $17.95, 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R+0163154,OLIVARES ALTOS DE LA HOYA MONASTRELL,2014,DO Jumilla, $13.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
 
10+ over $20
-----------------
 
R+0469536,CHÂTEAU CLOS DU LOUP CUVÉE PRESTIGE,2010 $   Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux $22.95, 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
R+0473124,SOPRASASSO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA,2012 $34.95, 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+0468272,CHÂTEAU LA CROIX D'ARMENS,2012,$24.95,AC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+0437277,CHÂTEAU HAUT FAUGÈRES,2010,$47.95, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru [Second wine of Château Faugères] 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+0164707,LEONARDO CHIANTI RISERVA,2012,$20.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+0085274,NIKOLAIHOF HEFEABZUG GRÜNER VELTLINER,2014,$20.95,Wachau 11.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+0123927,DOMAINE DU MEIX-FOULOT CLOS DU CHÂTEAU DE MONTAIGU MERCUREY 1ER CRU,2013,$38.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89.
R+0479691,GABRIEL MEFFRE SAINT-BARTHÉLÉMY VACQUEYRAS,2014,$25.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88.
W+0479824,BOUCHARD PÈRE & FILS CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET,2014,$66.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+0146951,FOLIE À DEUX CHARDONNAY,2014,$24.95 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County 13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+0470443,MARQUIS DE MONTFERRAT SAINT-JOSEPH,2012,$29.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+0743385,CHÂTEAU BOUSCASSÉ,2009,$21.95,AP Madiran 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, January 2, 2017

* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
23.BETTY CROCKER FRESH FROM THE FREEZER (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-81624-4 $19.99 USD paperbound) is 150 recipes from the magazine's cooking labs. These are all freezer-friendly plates, ranging from frozen slow-cooker preps to easy casseroles and baked dishes. There are some Special Freezer Essential preps that have dishes such as turkey meatballs and ground beef, that can be used to make Freezer Short-Cut recipes. There is full nutritional info for each recipe. Just pop into freezer and then thaw and re-heat in most cases. It works best with meat/seafood dishes and baked goods. Hey, and the publisher has been reading my reviews for there is a metric conversion guide!! Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
24.MARTHA STEWART'S VEGETABLES (Clarkson Potter, 2016, 328 pages, ISBN 978-0-307-95444-2, $29.50 USD hardbound) is from the editors of Martha Stewart Living. There are 150 recipes, mostly vegetarian, with an emphasis on colours: greens, reds, yellows, oranges.  They've been tested in the cooking labs, The book is arranged by the physical nature of the plant: bulbs (lily family), roots (beets, turnips, jicama), tubers (potatoes), greens (chard, kale, bok choy), stalks & stems (asparagus, fennel), pods (edamame, fava), shoots (microgreens), leaves (lettuces, cabbages), flowers & buds (artichokes, broccoli), fruits (avocados, tomatoes, eggplants), and kernels (corn). There are notes for seasonality, buying and storing, and prepping and cooking, followed by flavour pairings and some recipes – with plated dishes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
25.ANDREW JEFFORD'S WINE COURSE. Rev. and updated. (Ryland Peters & Small, 2008, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-778-2, $24.95 USD hardbound) is by the winner of eight Glenfiddich writing awards and six Roederer Awards. Jefford, a UK wine writer, has also collected many other awards, such as for best wine writer of the year in 2006 and 2007. This is another basic primer, structured much like a class. Contents are threefold: first up are "The Tools" of how to taste, drink and learn, wineglasses, decanters, and so forth. There are three projects that you must do here. After that, you move on to the next level, "The Elements", with its five projects revolving around grapevines and styles. It is here that we learn Zinfandel is a third-level grape, like Vermentino. The last – "The Journey" – is the pilgrimage, with its 12 projects on countries and regions. So that's 20 projects in all, enough for a month. There is just one page on Canada, and that is mostly Ontario and mostly icewine. Sidebars are used extensively, but no question-answer formats. It is all from a UK perspective: Jefford does not go overboard about USA wines, so that keeps everything in balance. There is a glossary and an index, but although reading about wines is encouraged, there are no lists of recommended books or even suggested readings or websites. Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
 
26.BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS SKILLET MEALS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-80087-8, $24.99 USD hardbound) is from their test kitchen, and displays more than 150 recipes for almost everything: pizza, steak, brownies, pies. There are special icons for preps that can be made in 30 minutes or less, icons for healthsmart reduced calories and/or fats, and icons for dishes that are prefect for cast-iron skillets. Cast-iron is to be preferred with its heavier bottom, lower purchase price, seasoning ability, and imparting tiny bits of iron into the food. If you are on an iron-restricted diet, then you'll need a stainless steel-lined or a tri-ply. The range is from apps to desserts (but with only two for fish: salmon). A really goof basic book, full of principles and tips. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
27.FLAVORS OF MOROCCO; tagines and other delicious recipes from North Africa (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2008, 2012, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-784-3, $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Ghillie Basan, cookery writer specializing in Middle East cookbooks and food articles. This cookbook is revised from two earlier tagine books published in 2008 and 2012. There is a primer on tagines. Lamb tagine is traditional, but she also has preps for beef, kefta, sausage, chicken, duck, vegetable, fish and seafood tagines. That's half the book. There are also a range of couscous, skewers, roasts, pan fries, sides, salads, soups, sweets, and drinks. So it is a full Moroccan cookbook. And you can always use a heavy-based casserole dish instead of a tagine. Some interesting recipes include kefta tagine with lemon and coriander; Berber lentils and coriander; tagine of lamb with veggies and mint; fluffy pistachio nougat. Preparations have their ingredients listed in partial metric and full avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
28.A COOK'S TOUR OF FRANCE (Hardie Grant Books, 2013, 2015, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-74379018-2, $29.99 USD hardbound) is by Gabriel Gate, French author of 22 cookbooks. This latest comes from his TV series "Taste Le Tour with Gabriel Gate", which extended over 9 seasons. He's been to France for two months every spring to shoot the series, and most of the preps are contributed from the French chefs, pastry cooks and charcutiers (eight are especially named). It is a bit of a travel book too, but the arrangement is not by region but by courses, from apps through veggies, fish, poultry, meats, and sweets. Material comes from all the main regions including Pyrenees, Burgundy, Loire, Nice, Normandy – all from the previous 4 years of the TV series: Lyonnaise cheese dip with herbs, baked haricot beans with bacon, beef cheek stew, duck with turnips, crunchy almond biscuits. Each prep is sourced with some detailed notes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both avoirdupois and metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
29.BROWNIES, BLONDIES AND OTHER TRAYBAKES (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-765-2 $19.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's compilation from RP & S cookbook authors. This time the theme is 65 traybakes, mostly brownies and blondies, with credits going mostly to Annie Rigg, Linda Collister, Sarah Randall, and Victoria Glass. 14 other authors were involved; they were all co-ordinated by Alice Sambrook. The preps are quick and easy, such as apricot flax seed bars, lavender shortbreads, chocolate marshmallow brownies, and spiced pear cake. Preparations have their ingredients listed mostly in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
30.101 ONE DISH DINNERS (Storey Publishing, 2005, 2016, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-841-2, $16.95 USD paperbound) is by Andrea Chesman, prolific author of cookbooks. She teaches classes and demos at fairs and festivals across the USA.  This book was originally published in 2005 as "Mom's Best One-Dish Suppers". Here are 101 preps for filling just one utensil (skillet, Dutch oven, soup pot or salad bowl) with a complete meal. Mac 'n' cheese comes to mind, as well as a Thai noodle salad. International flavours are stressed. Typical are sausage and kale with garlic roasted potatoes, seafood paella, corned beef and cabbage. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
31.BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS MAKE IT DON'T BUY IT (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 480 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-80086-1, $29.99 USD loose leaf three ring binder) is from their test kitchen. The emphasis is on making foods yourself, and not buying processed products. Their stress: real food, real ingredients. As the editors say, this is really serious stuff – made-from-scratch basics include Greek-style yogurt, crackers, pretzels, marshmallows, salad dressings, seasoning mixes, ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc. It is better for you and cheaper! 300 recipes also cover cured salmon, pasta, preserving (jams, jellies, veggies) – even fermenting sriracha sauce, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Contemporary items include nut butters, cold brew, and coffee creamers. Nutrition information comes with every recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com
 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! *

BESOTTED (Sonderho Press, 2016, 82 pages, ISBN 978-0-9917484-6-4, $25 CAD paperbound) is by Larry Horne, who works as sales manager for Calamus Winery in Niagara. He has spent 30 years in the broadcast sales business and then moved to St. Catharines in 2005. He began his quest for truth in wines in 1984, and this book is a cumulative memoir/diary of his adventures around the globe, subtitled: "My Love Affair with Wine". It's one person's account; your life may have varied...He's been motivated by his passion for all things wine, and thus has written a rich and zesty memoir that documents his status as a beginning wine taster, wine collector, amateur winemaker, grape grower and the Noble Rotters. Plus the Ontario Wine Society. Wine has also been the basis for his many international travels with his wife and wine-drinking partner, Alice (many food and wine writers seem to have wives named Alice). They have traveled to Kiwiland, Oz, Left Coast, Finger Lakes, Napa, Germany, France, and Tuscany in search of the ultimate wine-tasting experience, and these adventures figure prominently in his memoir/diary. If you want a paper copy of the book, send a cheque for $25 CAD (includes postage) to Larry Horne at #37-275 Pelham Road, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3B9, and be sure to include your return address. The e-book is available via -
 
 
Audience and level of use: Canadian wine lovers.
The downside to this book: too quick a read that may end up in the john genre.
The upside to this book: it is actually a worthy contribution to the literature of the Canadian wine industry and history – there aren't too many memoirs like this one.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 

Friday, December 23, 2016

* SOME GREAT FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS

 
 
3.SCANDINAVIAN COMFORT FOOD (Quadrille, 2016, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-859-3, $35 USD hardbound) is by Trine Hahnemann, who has written 14 cookbooks, mostly in Danish. She embraces the art of "hygge" (Danish for coziness) for comforting foods. This book is just one of many Scandinavian cookbooks published this year. She's got 130 preps dealing with home life, such as family meals, veggie love, soups for every season, condiments, breads, and sweets. Along the way she has notes on long summer nights, cooking in her kitchen, and Christmas (lunch and dinner). Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: families for the most part, light entertaining with friends.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: barbecued langoustines with lemon mayo and chilli cream; asparagus soup; buckwheat-zucchini-tomatoes and lovage salad; kale and pancetta tart; chicory with red onion and grapefruit; baked rhubarb and strawberries with ice cream and toasted flakes.
The downside to this book: there is a lot in here that needs exploring.
The upside to this book: good theme, family and quality food.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
4.THE UNEXPECTED CAJUN KITCHEN (Skyhorse Publishing, 162 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-1044-3, $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Leigh Ann Chatagnier, a food blogger who currently lives in Texas and is now married to a Cajun. These are 70 classic bayou recipes using fresh Louisiana ingredients that could or should be available in the larger urban marketplaces – or by mail. It is all arranged by course, beginning with brunch, lunch, everyday dishes, date night, small bites, sweet tooth,and happy hour. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: family style, easy to learn.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: bourbon butterscotch bread pudding; Cajun breakfast fried rice; couche couche; crawfish butternut squash mac 'n' cheese; jambalaya pot pies for two; pecan praline cinnamon rolls; chicken and andouille sausage gumbo with fried okra dippers.
The downside to this book: I wanted more recipes
The upside to this book: conversion charts.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
 
5.ADVENTURES IN CHICKEN (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-55820-5, $30 USD hardbound) is by Eva Kosmas Flores, who manages to combine food writing with food photography. She's a free-lance Portland-based writer with a blog adventuresincooking.com. These 150 preps are derived largely from that blog, and perfectly illustrate the diversity of poultry from the Mediterranean to SouthEast Asia. There are ideas for drumsticks (the forgotten part of the chicken) and for mixing up meats. A primer includes material on deconstructing the chicken, using up leftovers, using bits and pieces, and creating a variety of stocks. It's arranged by form, first with apps and then followed by style: whole and roasted, grilled and fried, soups and braises. After that there are pastries, noodles, casseroles, and various sandwiches.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use:
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: some interesting ideas for chicken necks (nectarine and orzo, maybe a nec and neck salad! Sorry, I had to use that), slow-cooked gizzards, popcorn chicken hearts, fried chicken feet, glass noodles with chicken and leek, roast chicken with apricot-habanero glaze, chicken sumac with beets and feta, chicken souvlaki.
The downside to this book: it is a good package but a bit pricey.
The upside to this book: everything is tasty,
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
6.BUT MY FAMILY WOULD NEVER EAT VEGAN! (The Experiment, 2016, 322 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-343-4, $24.95 USD paperbound) is by Kristy Turner, a recipe developer and food stylist with a vegan blog. She has also written "But I Could Never Go Vegan!" Here she promotes 125 recipes to wine everyone over. It's a mixture of the veggie aspect and the faux, meant for picky eaters who would learn to enjoy vegan food at the table. She has a huge section on the vegan pantry and substitutions, followed by breakfast (no eggs) and family dinners (no meats), kid-friendly meals, sports games munchies, homestyle and entertaining meals, and made over classics. There are icons for gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, advanced planning required, and lunch leftover/options. As well, there are variations and other suggestions. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: vegans, vegetarians
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: vanilla french toast with strawberry sauce; date nut bread; dill yogurt sauce; cheesy quinoa and zucchini; grilled veggie kebabs; bean and cheese quesadilla; lasagna soup; blue cheese dip.
The downside to this book: nothing much really, well-priced.
The upside to this book: good collection of classics reinterpreted.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
 
7.UPSCALE DOWNHOME (St. Martin's Griffen Thomas Dunne Books, 2016, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-07884-1, $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Rachel Hollis, and event planner who now tests casserole recipes – among other things – for free-lance food pieces and her blog TheChicSite.com. Here she concentrates on family recipes "all gussied up" for parties and entertaining. These are twists on American classics, including buffets and BBQ events. It's arranged by theme: snacks, dips, casseroles, slow cooker, potluck, leftovers, sweet, sips, and parties. Lots of ideas here. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: families
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts:
The downside to this book: it is pretty basic but serviceable for the novice cook.
The upside to this book: lots of photos showing the mise en place.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
 
 
 
8.ONE PAN, TWO PLATES: vegetarian suppers (Chronicle Books, 2016, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-4583-9, $24.95 USD paperbound) is by Carla Snyder, a caterer and cooking school operator in Ohio. Chronicle Books had previously published her "The Big Book of Appetizers". These are 70 weeknight vegetarian meals for two people, using one pan. It's all arranged by course: soups and stews, eggs and cheese, garden-fresh, grains and beans, pasta, and pizzas/tartines. She dedicates the book to all those who like to cook, like to eat but hate to wash dishes and tidy up. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: couples, although meals can be expanded.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: bibimbap; vadouvan-spiced cabbage; latkes with rutabagas and rapini; polenta dishes; bow ties with Brussels sprouts; migas.
The downside to this book: I wanted more recipes.
The upside to this book: there is a separate index "find it fast" with sections on gluten-free, dairy-free, summer meals, autumn meals, winter meals, spring meals, and dinners in under 30 minutes.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
9.SMASHED MASHED BOILED AND BAKED AND FRIED TOO (Workman Publishing, 2016, 250 pages, ISBN 978-0-7611-8547-5, $16.95 USD paperbound) is by Raghavan Iyer, a Beard and IACP Award winner. He's written a number of Indian food books, such as "660 Curries". Here it is all about potatoes: tidbits, finger foods, soups, salads, mains, small plates, and sweets. There are 75 preps in all, put together and laid out in that world-famous Workman style. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Variations come under the category of "Tater Tips".
Audience and level of use: potato lovers, exploratory cooks.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: stuffed crispy flautas; sweet potato-peanut stew; Irish lamb stew; twice-baked potatoes with bacon; vegan mozzarella potato stacks; water chestnut potato potstickers; papas a la huancaina.
The downside to this book: I wanted more recipes.
The upside to this book: there is a separate index to special diets (GF, vegan, lacto-veggie).
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
10.STIR, SIZZLE, BAKE (Clarkson Potter, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-45966-1, $25 USD hardbound) is by Charlotte Druckman, a food writer associated with Food52 and co-author of "Cooking Without Borders". Here she promotes the idea of the only pan you will ever need: the cast-iron skillet. She comes with log rolling from Christina Tosi and Dorie Greenspan and a few more. This is a very elegant book, but it does have to compete with manmy other skillet books out there. She's got good notes on caring for the skillet and the pantry needed for skillets. Her arrangement is by category: no-bake, easy-bake, on-the-rise bake, make-the-most-of bake, and condiments (giardiniera, pan-fried sage pesto, charred green pea hummus, and chocostachio spread). Excellent photography, of course.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: newish cooks, small kitchen cooks
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: tomato pie; sesame brown-butter cornbread; crumpets; pineapple-pine nut buttermilk cake; rosemary-olive oil brownies with sea salt.
The downside to this book: I think the market has now been completely saturated this year for cast-iron or one-pan skillets.
The upside to this book: pretty definitive.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A MOUNTAIN OF COOKBOOKS REVIEWED

THE CORNERSHOP COOKBOOK (Square Peg, 2015, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-22410104-2, $38.99 CAD hardbound) is by Sophie Missing and Caroline Craig, both food writers, principally with Guardian Cook. Its hook is using your local shop and their recipes to create meals. There are about 100 preps here, based on easy ingredients found in the local shops that can make you avoid supermarkets. It is arranged by category, from the "quiet night in" through takeaway alternatives, catch-up dinners, unplanned dinner parties, comfort foods, and leftovers. Plus, of course, the sweets. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those cooks looking to do something new but easy and simple.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: croque-person a cheval, tuna melt, vegetable rice bowl, spicy Asian-style turkey and greens soup, sardine pasta with lemon breadcrumbs.
The downside to this book: there is a distinctly UK orientation which works well in Canada, but may bot go over well in US.
The upside to this book: it uses metric measurements, which is more precise.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
 
 
4.BRITISH COLUMBIA FROM SCRATCH (Whitecap, 2016, 312 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-234-5, $40 CAD hardbound) is by Denise Marchessault, who had a cooking school in Victoria. She now writes and photographs in Vancouver. The gorgeous photographs in the book are attributed to Caroline West. These are a total of 111 recipes for every season, a celebration of BC food – as the publisher says, "through a cook's palate and a photographer's lens". It's arranged by season beginning with spring, and then further subdivided by savoury and sweet. This is a strong regional cookbook, but certainly most of the ingredients should be found nation-wide: apples, local cheeses, salmon, duck, seafood. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements.
Audience and level of use: nationalists, BC residents and lovers, home cooks.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: poached salmon in a tomato wine broth; cranberry-fig pulled pork; potato rosti; apple cranberry bread pudding; chunky seafood stew; crispy oysters.
The downside to this book: a few wine notes might have been useful.
The upside to this book: it is a bit of a memoir too, with detailed description of the local scene.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
5.VEGETABLES (Quadrille, 2016, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-752-7, $35 USD hardbound) is by Antonio Carluccio, a leading authority on Italian food. He's written two dozen book on Italian food, including one on veggies. He felt it was time for a re-visit. Here he has 120 recipes for veggies, mostly done up in Italian-style. He covers leaves, shoots, pods, seeds, roots through squashes, pulses, grains, herbs, spices, nuts and mushrooms. It's arranged by greens, followed by roots, vegetable fruits, pulses and grains, herbs and nuts. ending with mushrooms and truffles. There is a lot of impressive material about Italian veggies and the manner of cooking them, as well as illustrative watercolours. Deets are given for each veggie, with botanical info. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with mostly metric, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: Italian veggie lovers, all vegetarians.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: farinata; pomodori farciti; avocado pera e gamberetti; frittata de peperoni e mandorle; risotto con zucca; piatto di vegetali con salsa olandese.
The downside to this book: It weighs a lot and can be awkward to use – most times I photocopy recipes that I cook from.
The upside to this book: everything sounds so good and makes me hungry, with the Italian names highlighted by bold caps.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
 
 
 
6.SALT (St. Martin's Griffen, 2016, 214 pages, ISBN 978-1-2650-08871-0, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Leslie Bilderback, a pastry chef who has worked around California restaurants. She's written four other well-received cookbooks (e.g. Mug Meals). Here she provides a discourse on salt: history, lore, culture, medical aspects. There's about 100 recipes, with details on how to make infused salts, how to hold a salt tasting, how to cook with salt blocks, and a market guide to artisanal salts. First up is the primer material, followed by salt infusing, curing, and apps to sweets, with a heavy emphasis on the section "sauces, condiments and dressings". There is also a listing of specialized salt purveyors. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are multiple tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: salt lovers
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: rabbited stewed with IPA; Mexican chocolate; fruity ice cream; harissa sauce; herbed cheese lined with fig leaves; pickled rhubarb.
The downside to this book: I wanted more recipes.
The upside to this book: good discussion on types of salt.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
7.CRAFT PIZZA (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-761-4, $19.95 USD hardcovers) is by Maxine Clark, prolific UK food writer and cooking coach/teacher.
Here, in her latest RPS book, she covers mainly "classic" pizza, Sicilian, sourdough, calzone and focaccia made at home. She's also got pizzette and small bites. It is pretty thorough, with a primer on equipment and flours. About 80 plus recipes in all.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: pizza lovers, Italian food freaks looking for new ideas.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: focaccia with crispy kale with whipped ricotta, roasted garlic and chipotle; parmesan soda bread; rolled pesto and olive and garlic bread; rustic country pie; potato and mozzarella calzone.
The downside to this book: gluten-free is not covered
The upside to this book: good layout.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
8.FOR THE LOVE OF LICORICE (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-1293-5, $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Elizabeth Johansson, a Swedish pastry chef who competed at the Culinary Olympics. She's also known as the Queen of Licorice. This is an English translation of the Swedish book, and it covers 60 preps for candies, desserts, and full meals. While there are three recipes using fennel and none with anise, the book focuses on licorice roots, granules, and pastilles. There's a primer and some cultural history about licorice; she also describes a licorice factory in Calabria. The book is arranged by dish: candy, ice cream, pastries, desserts, "food", and drinks. She covers a licorice tasting, licorice festivals, use in beverages (make your own liqueurs), and the like. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric conversions.
Audience and level of use: licorice lovers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: licorice gratineed lobster with fennel salad;  fish soup with ground licorice root and fennel topping; Belgian licorice waffles; white chocolate cake with lime marinated berries; salty licorice caramels.
The downside to this book: I would have liked more recipes, and perhaps something about anise.
The upside to this book: a good single ingredient cookbook, whose time has come.
Quality/Price Rating:
 
 
 
9.MY ABUELO'S MEXICAN FEAST (Hardie Grant Books, 2015, 128 pages, ISBN978-1-7427-0678-8, $29.99 USD hardbound) is by Daniella Germain, who was taught Mexican home food styling by her grandparents. Her first book (My Abuela's Table) paid homage to the culinary skills of her grandmother. This time, it is her grandfather's turn, and more of an entertaining style. It's got a lot of memoir material and family photos. The preps are sorted as regalos del mar (seafood), comida callejera (street food), tortas (sandwiches), nieves (sorbets), colosinas y dulces (candies and sweets), panaderia (sweet breads), and comida del rancho (ranch food). A passionate cookbook. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois with some metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use:  Mexican food lovers; memoir lovers
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: ensalad de nopales; arroz a la mexicana; chicharron; barbacoa; caldo xochitl; pavo en mole negro; cabrito en cerveza; arroz con chorizo.
The downside to this book: I wanted more!
The upside to this book: excellent watercolours by the author, a graphic designer.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
10.FOOD 52 A NEW WAY TO DINNER (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 280 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-57800-7, $35 USD hardbound) is by Amanda Hesser and Merill Stubbs, both co-founders of Food52 and former writers/test kitchen/editors, etc. at the New York Times. Hesser won a Beard Award for The Essential New York Times Cookbook. This current work is described as "a playbook of recipes and strategies for the week ahead". It is an organizing manual of some 16 chapters, divided into the seasons and further divided into two parts – one by Stubbs (with two weeks of organizing), and one by Hesser (with two weeks of organizing). There are game plans, pantries, and shopping lists. Perfect for the millennial, to reduce everything to a plan. And even to have home delivery of the food! As with most American cookbooks, preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: Millennials, frazzled homemakers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: as we head into winter, I should be doing Amanda's winter: oxtails, rice porridge, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, coconut, hot {chili] honey. Or maybe Merrill's (pork tacos, fish, rice, beans, soup, cabbage, chiles,ginger, grapefruit, lime ice cream).
The downside to this book: you can become too reliant on the recipes that work into their scheme.
The upside to this book: organizing is always a good idea.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
7.THE ITALIAN BAKER (Quadrille, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-761-9, $29.95 USD hardbound) is by Melissa Forti, who has a tea room on the Italian Riviera close to Tuscany (Sarzana, Liguria –  Melissa Tea Room and Cakes). This is a collection of 100 tarts, cakes, loaves, coffee style cakes, and sweets, using olive oil, almonds, mascarpone and other Italian ingredients. Some North American classics have an Italian makeover, such as the ubiquitous brownie or carrot cake. Recipes are listed by their Italian name, but of course are also indexed by an English language name. Try torta de grano saraceno (buckwheat cake) or torta al limone lamponi e rosmarino (lemon, raspberry and rosemary cake). There are some stories about her tea room: it is a very elegant place. Recipes are scaled. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
8.NATURALLY, DELICIOUS (Avery: Pam Krauss Books, 2016, 239 pages, ISBN 978-1-101-90530-2, $30 USD hardbound) is by Danny Seo, founder/editor of "Naturally, Danny Seo" magazine. He designed a line of lifestyle products and appears regularly on TV, now with his own show. Here, in his first cookbook, he takes a grab-bag of 100 preps that make you both healthy and happy from his magazine and arranges them by course: breakfast, lunch and dinner, with juices and snacks in separate sections. But of course nothing is guaranteed. The dishes do have nutritional value, but happiness is a relative thing. He's got matcha chicken noodle soup, halva bars with sorghum, and saffron cauliflower rice paella. Glazed eggplant and black sesame fried rice with optional fired eggs can easily become a house fave of mine. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
9.BIG BAD BREAKFAST (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 258 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-736-9, $30 USD hardbound) is by John Currence, founder of City Grocery Restaurant Group. They have a number restaurants, most serving breakfasts, including (of course) his iconic restaurant  Big Bad Breakfast. He's won multiple awards such as a Beard (Best Chef: South) and one from the Southern Foodways Alliance. The preps here come from his resto, include all the traditional southern elements plus local ones from Oxford, Mississippi: hillbilly eggs hussarde, shakshouka, spicy boudin and poached eggs, pain perdu, hoecakes, and monkey bread – just over 100 in all. Each recipe comes with a story and a photo. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
10.HATTIE'S RESTAURANT COOKBOOK (Countryman Press, 2016, 271 pages, ISBN 978-1-58157-346-6, $29.95 USD hardbound) is by Jasper Alexander, chef and co-owner of Hattie's in Saratoga Springs NY. These are classic Southern US and Louisiana recipes. It's a bit of a memoir too as he recounts the history of the restaurant and the land of the Deep South. After the introductions, it is arranged by course, beginning with starters and moving through soups and stews, fish, meats, sides, breakfasts, cocktails, and surprisingly few desserts (pies such as Key Lime, Pecan, Sweet Potato). It is typical food, done homestyle (as it will be prepared at your home), with such popular items as brisket chili, crawfish etoufee, chicken and dumplings, pecan-crusted trout, crab cakes, deviled eggs, ribs, meat loaf, and more. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
11.POOLE'S (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 296 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-687-4, $35 USD hardbound) is by Ashley Christensen, chef and owner of seven restaurants in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. She has a Beard for Best Chef: Southeast in 2014. Even for a diner book there are nine logrollers here. Poole's is known for its comfort food, and that is here in abundance. There are also a dozen or so go-to techniques for the best cornbread, foolproof vinaigrettes, and roasted tomatoes for dish enhancements. The modern diner has well-prepared food such as black pepper parmesan popcorn or fried eggplant with burnt honey aioli. For veggies, she's got oyster mushrooms and asparagus with sherry and cream or cornmeal-fried okra with Tabasco mayo. There are cocktails, bowls, counter snacks, plus meat and fish as well as desserts. It is a full table, especially the benne seed toffee ice cream and the challah bread puddings with whiskey apples and crème fraiche. It is an over-sized book, so it weighs a lot. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
12.THE HOMEMADE CHEF (New American Library, 2016, 324 pages, ISBN 978-1-101-99041-4, $30 USD hardbound) is by James Tahhan, two-time Emmy award winner and chef/cohost of Telemundo's morning show Un Nuevo Dia. He is the owner of Sabores by Chef James in Miami. He grew up in Venezuela but through his restaurant he cooks Latin American fusion food, both from within the Latino range of foods and with blending to non-Latino food. So you have fish a la veracruzana and flank steak with coffee crust and salsa criolla. There's green gazpacho and there's grilled corn with chipotle may and cotija cheese. There's lasagna enchilada and there's lentil soup with chorizo. It's a good mix with a considerable amount of memoir-like material. The range is from apps to sweets with drinks. The best dishes are the Latin fusion and the Mediterranean fusion. What's there not to like here? Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
13.COCKTAILS (DK Books, 2016, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-5338-9, $22 USD hardbound) is by Klaus St. Rainer, one of the most successful bartenders in Germany. He has opened many bars and has been awarded many bartending honours. He adjudicates internationally and runs training sessions globally. He owns a cocktail shaker manufacturer and sells his own bitters and tonic water. Details are at www.goldenebar.de It is a basic book at an affordable price, and deals with the art of mixing perfect drinks. There's a primer, and then a three-fold listing of recipes, from the simple through the classics and then the spectacular. The appendix is valuable with its material on alcohol, indexes for celebrations, and supply sources. There are more than 70 recipes here, and the author promises that they all have attitude. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both avoirdupois and metric measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
14.SMALL VICTORIES (Chronicle Books, 2016, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-430905, $35 USD hardbound) is by Julia Turshen, a writer and recipe developer, and a coauthor with Mario Barali, Gwyneth Paltrow, and others in a long series of cookbooks. It comes with log-rolling by Reichl, Coppola, Sheraton, Batali, and Ina Garten. Those should be enough to sell the book. She's also hosted two years of Radio Cherry Bombe. Here she gives us 95 recipes plus a huge number of variations, and much advice with hundreds of ideas for home-cooking. It's a general cookbook ranging over breakfast, soup, salad, veggies, grains and legumes, meat, poultry, seafood/fish, and desserts. There is, of course, a pantry for items to keep on hand: various sauces, vinaigrettes, pickles, preserves. She's got some menu suggestions too, such as a low-key breakfast for a group on Sunday, your best friend's birthday, or a Jewish holiday. Variations can include seven things to do with a can of chick peas, what to do with leftover chicken or ground meats, seven things to do with mussels or pasta dough. Great photography throughout by the team of Gentl + Hyers. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mostly avoirdupois with some metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
15.THE HOMEBREWERS ALMANAC (Countryman Press, 2016, 205 pages, ISBN 978-1-58157-349-7, $22.95 USD flexibound) is by Marika Josephson, Aaron Kleidon, and Ryan Tockstein, all co-founders of Scratch Brewing company, a brewpub using seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table food and beer. It's a practical guide for incorporating fresh and foraged fruits/veggies/herbs into your beer – with no hops. Repeat: no hops. The chapters are arranged by season, and profile ingredients offering tips on how to grow, to harvest, and to preserve specific plants to be used in beer. There are preps, then , for such as "cedar IPA", "basil ale", "horseradish stout", and "sweet potato vienna". It is a book not-for-the-faint-of-heart. And there are even recipe conversions for extract brewers. There are two apple beer recipes that are interesting, especially since they seem relatively close to ciders, but of course, they contain malts. At the other extreme, there are now quite a few commercial apple ciders that have been hopped. So the apples are really getting exposed to change – at both ends of the spectrum. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
16.CHOCOLATE (DK Books, 2016, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-5406-5, $22 USD hardbound) is by Dom Ramsay, award-winning chocolatier with the longest running blog about chocolate and his own company, Damson Chocolate. It's a basic book about chocolate, one of the very few published this year (has it run the course?). So there is the basic primer about chocolate history, culture, politics, trade, and so forth. Chapters deal with choosing chocolate, tasting chocolate, making your own chocolate (bar, ganache, truffles, et al),  and the act of enjoyment in s social setting, which includes 50 pages recipes covering stout cake, Swiss brioche, piano key cookies, duck ragu with chocolate, fondues, ice cream, and more. There is also a glossary. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
17.CHOWGIRLS KILLER PARTY FOOD (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016, 148 pages, ISBN  978-1-55152-645-4, $22.95 CAD paperbound) is by Heidi Andermack and Amy Lynn Brown, co-founders (in 2004) of Minneapolis' Chowgirls Killer Catering. These are 85 bites (apps and small plates) and cocktails for every season and every occasion, inspired by seasonal ingredients (also local, organic, and sustainable) and a flair for entertaining. Try the whiskey-ginger cocktail meatballs or the saffron-lemon shrimp bruschetta. Dips and spreads are also here, as well as a range of paleo and vegan dishes, diary-free and gluten-free. Arranged by season, but no separate index to the cocktails. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
18.SOUP CLEANSE COOKBOOK (Rodale, 2016, 212 pages, ISBN 978-1-62336-731-2, $24.99 USD paperbound) is by Nicole Centeno, founder of the online business Splendid Spoon (wellness and nutrition). She's cooked in restaurants and has managed a catering business. Here she promotes "soup cleanses" as a modern quick way for diets. It combines smoothies, juices, and nutrient-dense veggies into an enduring puree (for the most part). It is simple and tasty. There is also a lot of material her on how to incorporate more veggies into your diet. There are 75 plant-based and gluten-free recipes plus several weekly plans for a better body. Try beet balsamic bisque, plant based tagine, green chili or fall ratatouille. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
19.CLEAN SOUPS (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 152 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-57825-0, $22 USD paperbound) is by Rebecca Katz (founder of Healing Kitchens and author of other such healthy cookbooks) with health writer Mat Edelson, who co-authored Katz's books. Together they present a range of 60 simple, nourishing recipes. Unlike the Soup Cleanse Book, most of the soups here use meat stock – so they are not really any good for vegetarians or vegans. Still, you could use veggie stock (they have a Magic Mineral Broth) or just water. And unlike juicing, nothing is lost in the stockpot. The authors are firmly convinced that everyone can enjoy making and consuming soup, whether for a cleanse or for weekly consumption. They've got a weekend jump-start cleanse that covers three pages of detail, plus a comprehensive guide to soup making of any kind. Typical are springtime asparagus and leek soup, avocado citrus soup, kinpira gobo, and hot-and-sour shiitake mushroom soup. There are also recipes for garnishes and drizzles, as well as polenta croutons. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
20.SPOON (Hardie Grant Books, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-055-2, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Annie Morris and Jonny Shimmin, founders of Spoon Cereals in London UK, a breakfast establishment. The book details simple and nourishing breakfast bowls that can be enjoyed any time of day. There is a collection of preps for granola, muesli, porridge, bircher (overnight oats), savoury bowls, and smoothies – along with some breakfast accompaniments. There's avocado with savoury granola crunch, blackberry and apple bircher, banana yogurt bowl, and herbed cottage cheese with poached eggs and pickled beetroot. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
 
21.SOFRAMIZ (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 260 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-918-9, $35 USD hardbound) is by chef-co-owner Ana Sortun and pastry-chef-co-owner Maura Kilpatrick. Separately they had worked for or opened some restaurants in New England before coming together with Sofra Bakery and Cafe in 2008 in Cambridge MA. Their book is entitled "soframiz" which means "our table" or "our hospitality", a spin on Sofra. It is a Middle Eastern cookbook with the classics and contemporary refinements plus spins on the traditional regional cuisine. Logrolling includes Alice Waters and Yotam Ottolenghi. The emphasis is on foods and baked goods from Turkey, Lebanon and Greece. It is arranged by breakfast, meze, flatbreads, savoury pies, cookies and pastries, beverages, and a pantry for stocking. The latter are essential ingredients in order to cook in the Middle Eastern food style. You may want to try carrot kibbeh with golden raisins and pine nuts, apricot halawa with white chocolate ganache and pistachios, syrup-soaked semolina cake (revani), or stuffed simit. Everything looks pretty good too. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
22.BAKE WITH ANNA OLSON (Appetite by Random House, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-753021-9, $35 CAD hardbound) is by Ann Olson, well-known host of Canadian TV food shows, including the eponymous "Bake with Ann Olson". She's also authored seven books on baking and cooking. Here she has 125 fave simple preps from her TV show, complete with food styling photos. It is arranged by type: cookies, pies, cakes, other pastries, other desserts, breads, and sauces. It is a beautifully presented book, with eye catching items such as langues du chat, tart lemon roulade, salted caramel pear tarts, the inevitable croquembouche and gateau St. Honore profiteroles, and chocolate mousse cups. There is also a baking primer, a series of foundation recipes (pastry doughs, cakes, frostings, fillings) and a listing of 19 gluten-free recipes. All preparations have their ingredients listed fully in both metric and avoirdupois measurements with no need for conversion tables. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, December 17, 2016

* FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH! *

MEALS FOR ME (Quadrille, 2015, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84949-734-3, $29.95 USD hardbound) is by Sam Stern, who has written seven other books. His lifelong mission is to show that anyone can make good food from scratch. This current book, now available in North America fir the first time since its publication last year in the UK, suggests that by cooking a main menu item, you can be halfway to preparing a second dish for the next day. Basic supermarket packages are for two or more, and what Stern proposes is that you can make two meals from one for less time and less money and f]less food waste.  OK, so it is basic stuff: one core ingredient, two meals. There is the technique, the primer (kitchen essentials, pantry items, equipment), and the arrangement. Chapters deals with meats, from chicken through duck, beef, pork, lamb, fish, veggies, and sweets. It is a male approach (left brain analysis) that calls for proper organization.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: men, students, those who cook for one or two.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: beer and orange chicken can be used for Asian chicken salad in its second coming; chicken teriyaki can be chicken-cheese nachos later;  chicken saag curry becomes chicken tikka kabobs; beef and tatties can be cottage pie.
The downside to this book: I wanted more variations for the second dish.
The upside to this book: a good hook to have a book on cooking.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com