22 October 2007

Three New Cookbooks

The fall season is when a majority of the year's new cookbooks are released, in anticipation of the holiday gift-giving frenzy. Well, cookbooks are nice and thoughtful gifts for the culinary inclined. And for the rest of us, it's a nice time to add to our gastronomic library. Several new arrivals, I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers, 1080 Recipes by Simone Ortega, and Cooking by James Peterson, are highlighted below, with the descriptions courtesy of Jessica's Biscuit:

"In an era of outfitted home kitchens and food fascination, it's no wonder home cooks who never learned the fundamentals of the kitchen are intimidated. Twenty years ago, James Peterson could relate, and so he taught himself by cooking his way through professional kitchens and stacks of books, logging the lessons of his kitchen education one by one. Now one of the country's most revered cooking teachers, Peterson provides the confidence-building instructions home cooks need to teach themselves to cook consistently with ease and success. Cooking is the only all-in-one instructional that details the techniques that cooks really need to master, teaches all the basic recipes, and includes hundreds of photos that illuminate and inspire."

by James Peterson
Hardcover Book: 624 Pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pub. Date: Oct 01, 2007
Photos: Color Photographs


"Following close on the heels of the public’s love of Italian food, Spanish food is fast growing in popularity with more and more Spanish restaurants emerging all over the world and a tapas-style revolution happening in the way we eat out.

1080 Recetas de Cocina is a comprehensive collection of traditional and authentic Spanish recipes, covering everything from tortilla to bacalao. This title has been a bestseller in Spain since it was first published, and with over 2 million copies sold it can be found in most kitchens across the country. The book’s author, Simone Ortega is considered to be the doyenne of cooking in Spain and has written about food for numerous years, including for magazines and in books.

Since its first publication, over 35 years ago, 1080 has undergone several updates to keep it relevant to modern living while still preserving the integrity of the original book. For the English and American editions, the recipes have been adapted to suit readers in these countries and their kitchens, and include alternatives for local ingredients where necessary, but the authenticity of the original recipes has been carefully maintained.

Divided into 14 chapters, and including menu plans from celebrated Spanish chefs, cooking tips and a glossary of terms and ingredients, 1080 is presented in an approachable and user-friendly format. In addition, the no-fuss, encouraging style of the recipes makes this a book for everyone who has ever wanted to cook authentic Spanish food. 1080 offers readers the opportunity to take their first steps in Spanish cooking, or expand their repertoire of recipes, with one of Spain’s best loved cooks."

1080 Recipes
by Simone Ortega
Hard Cover Book: 960 Pages
Publisher: Phaidon Press Inc.
Pub. Date: Oct 01, 2007
Photos: Color Illustrations and Photographs

"Christmas + Chocolate = Heaven!

Oh! You Better Watch Out, or you'll find yourself as frantic as Santa's elf on December 23, baking complicated desserts for friends and family for the holidays. Instead, you can use the recipes in this book—they are simple and straightforward, but still loaded with 'Wow!' Honestly."

I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas
by Marcel Desaulniers
Hard Cover Book: 224 Pages
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Pub. Date: Oct 01, 2007


These three publications are available online at Jessica's Biscuit and Barnes and Noble.

18 October 2007


Photo: Sylwia Kapuscinski for The New York Times

Ah, olives! They're great. And almost no one ever thinks of how they come about.

And it's true, if you have ever bitten into an uncured olive, as I did years ago in Spain, you will appreciate why and how they become palatable. This recent article, "Olives, Flavored by Time, Seasoned With Memories", in the Dining and Wine section of The New York Times is must reading for oliver lovers:

"Many Americans have become olive aficionados, finicky about their picholines and arbequinas, Kalamatas and Cerignolas. But few have a sense of how olives get from the tree to the table; even fewer attempt the process at home, though it can be as simple as this: Add salt to olives. Wait."

Read the whole article here: "Olives, Flavored by Time, Seasoned With Memories".

02 October 2007

The Art Of Simple Food Notes, Lessons, And Recipes From A Delicious Revolution

It's the latest culinary offering from Alice Waters' series of indispensible writings on foods, musings, and recipes, The Art Of Simple Food Notes, Lessons, And Recipes From A Delicious Revolution. And anxiously waited by many. From Jessica's Biscuit:

"Culinary phenomenon Alice Waters proposes an entirely new way to cook and eat--simple, local, sustainable, and, above all, delicious. With 20 lessons for teaching core principles and over 200 flawless recipes, this is the basic handbook that every cook, new or experienced, must add to his or her collection this year.

Perhaps more responsible than anyone for the revolution in the way we eat, cook, and think about food, Alice Waters has “single-handedly chang[ed] the American palate” according to the New York Times. Her simple but inventive dishes focus on a passion for flavor and a reverence for locally produced, seasonal foods.

With an essential repertoire of timeless, approachable recipes chosen to enhance and showcase great ingredients, The Art of Simple Food is an indispensable resource for home cooks. Here you will find Alice’s philosophy on everything from stocking your kitchen, to mastering fundamentals and preparing delicious, seasonal inspired meals all year long. Always true to her philosophy that a perfect meal is one that’s balanced in texture, color, and flavor, Waters helps us embrace the seasons’ bounty and make the best choices when selecting ingredients. Fill your market basket with pristine produce, healthful grains, and responsibly raised meat, poultry, and seafood, then embark on a voyage of culinary rediscovery that reminds us that the most gratifying dish is often the least complex.

Named the most influential figure in the past 30 years of the American kitchen by Gourmet magazine, ALICE WATERS is the owner of Chez Panisse restaurant and the author of nine cookbooks."

The Art Of Simple Food Notes, Lessons, And Recipes From A Delicious Revolution
by Alice Waters
Hardcover Book: 448 Pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (Crown)
Pub. Date: Oct 02, 2007

Available online from Jessica's Biscuit and Barnes and Noble.