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Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

At Eat Your Books we want to bring you the best recipes - our dedicated team searches out and finds online recipes excerpted from newly indexed cookbooks and magazines. New recipes from the best blogs are indexed daily and members index their favorite online recipes using the Bookmarklet all the time.

Below you'll find this week's recommendations from the EYB team.

Remember you can add any of these online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf - it's a great way to expand your personal recipe collection.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!

From magazines:

12 recipes starring fresh peas from the June/July issue of indexed Fine Cooking Magazine

From UK books:

13 recipes from Anatolia: Adventures in Turkish Cooking by Somer Sivrioglu & David Dale
Enter our giveaway (Ends June 3rd -- UK/NZ/AUS only)

8 recipes from The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak

From AUS/NZ books:

13 recipes from Josh's Backyard BBQ by Josh Emett

From US books:

15 recipes from Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World's Creamiest, Healthiest Food by Cheryl Sternman Rule
Enter our giveaway (Ends June 3rd -- US only)

8 recipes from Empanadas: The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America by Sandra Gutierrez
Enter our giveaway (Ends June 2nd -- US/Canada only)

Inside Ottolenghi's test kitchen


Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks are among the most popular books in the EYB Library. The recipes are vibrant, fresh, and visually stunning. If you've ever wondered what it takes to come up with these wonderful recipes, you can now satiate your curiosity, as NPR's The Salt gives you a backstage pass into the Ottolenghi test kitchen.

You might think the kitchen would be a large, gleaming space stuffed to the rafters with the newest equipment, but the truth is that the kitchen is quite humble. "This is completely a replication of a home kitchen," recipe developer Esme Robinson tells NPR. It even has an average electric range, much to the staff's chagrin. 

The produce used to create those stunning photographs that adorn the cookbooks is likewise ordinary. The staff purchases ingredients at supermarkets on their way to work. Ottolenghi explains: "We really try to emulate what people would do at home," he says. "We could use restaurant suppliers easily, but the whole idea is not to." Instead, he says, he wants to "try to get it tasting and looking like it would if people are using normal ingredients. Because I know 80 percent of people would not go to specialty shops. They'll shop in their local supermarket."

There are many more interesting tidbits to learn about the Ottolenghi test kitchen in the article, including an explanation of why some recipes are very exacting about equipment features like pan size.

Photo of Kisir from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

André Soltner on the importance of mother sauces

How to make bechamel

If you asked cooks today to name the five classic mother sauces most probably couldn't recite them. But chef André Soltner certainly can, and he thinks that knowing these sauces is vital to anyone cooking in a restaurant.

The esteemed chef knows a thing or two about these sauces and plenty more. The long time chef of the highly regarded Lutèce in NYC, Soltner is considered the godfather of French cooking in America. He currently serves as dean of classics at the International Culinary Center. In an interview with Lucky Peach, Soltner waxes poetic about the importance of mother sauces to cooking, especially for restaurants. 

"Mother sauces were the first things I learned when I started my apprenticeship in 1948. They're the foundation of cooking, especially French cooking. But we don't call them mother sauces in French; we call them les fonds, the basics. According to Escoffier, the first person to codify them, there are five of les fonds: espagnole, hollandaise, béchamel, tomat, and velouté."

Soltner spent three years learning these sauces as well as over fifty derivatives that can be made from them. In the article, he describes which he feels are the most important. In a break from tradition, Soltner no longer thinks stocks need to simmer for many hours, and he disagrees with Escoffier on the importance of roux in the sauce making process.

While Soltner thinks that these basic sauces aren't as important to home cooks, he worries that the trend away from teaching about these sauces in culinary schools is bad for the industry, noting that "it all comes back to the white stock and brown stock. These are the basics. Without them you cannot cook...The younger generation of chefs doesn't know how to make them. If they haven't learned, they might be able to cook nicely-but they will not be able to cook properly."

Do you agree with Chef Soltner's lament? Or are roux-based sauces not that important to a fine dining experience now?

Photo of How to make a white sauce (Béchamel) from The Kitchn


Highlights of the 2015 Ballymaloe LitFest

Ballymaloe grounds

For the second year running we spent a most glorious weekend at Ballymaloe (pronounced Bally-mal-loo), which hosted the third Kerrygold Cooking Literary Festival of Food & Wine (LitFest for short). The venue for the festival is split between the Ballymaloe House grounds and the nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School, which is helmed by Darina Allen and numerous members of the Allen family. Both the house and school are located in County Cork, Ireland.

The literary festival grew out of a suggestion by Geoffrey Dobbs, founder of Galle Literary Festival, that Ballymaloe celebrate its literary tradition, which includes publishing three generations of cookery books. The festival celebrates food and wine writing and draws authors, chefs, educators, wine experts, gardeners, publishers, and others for a weekend filled with stories, discussions,  music, dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.

Allegra McEvedyFaced with a difficult decision about which cooking demonstration to attend - talented presenters included April Bloomfield and Fuchsia Dunlop - we ended up seeing the wonderful Allegra McEvedy, who amused us for three hours. Her demonstration concluded with a wonderful feast of seven dishes. The weekend also included talks, tours, interviews, discussions and even foraging - the hard part is choosing which events to attend. As if there weren't enough to keep you busy from morning 'til night, between events you can visit the Big Shed, which transforms every year into a stunning mecca of entertainment and food stalls featuring delicious local food and beverages.

Other highlights of the weekend were:                                                      

April BloomfieldAn interview with April Bloomfield, who told us her girlhood dream was to join the police force, and that she only went into cooking because she missed the police application deadline. Her goal in culinary school was to come out knowing how to cook a lamb chop - she never thought cooking would be a serious career. April has worked in some of the most famous London restaurants including Rowley Leigh's Kensington Place, Bibendum (where she worked with Simon Hopkinson), Roscoff, the Brackenbury, and 4 years at the River Café. It was there that she realised cooking was her life, and she credits two dishes from River Café as being life changers: Walnut sauce and Kale puree. She thinks she'd still be at River Café if she hadn't received an amazing offer to open a restaurant in New York. In addition to that restaurant, The Spotted Pig, she has also helped revamp Tosca Cafe in San Francisco, and has opened three other NYC locations: The John Dory Oyster Bar, The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, and Salvation Taco. April's discussion was an amazing story of someone who started from humble beginnings and whose passion for food and cooking grew slowly. In recognition of her persistent hard work, intelligence, and drive to continue to learn and improve, the Beard Foundation named her the top chef in New York in 2014.

David LebovitzDavid Lebovitz's entertaining talk, where we learned that he was turned down in his first attempt to get a job at Chez Panisse. But in a later interview with Alice Waters, when she discovered he shared her love of eating lettuce out of the bowl with his fingers, he got the job - although I suspect there was more to it than that! He loved his 14 years at Chez Panisse, where he worked mainly as the pastry chef. But it was his discussion of his time in Paris that was the most interesting. It tells a lot about him that he relocated to a country which he knew little about and where he didn't speak the language - he has little sympathy for people who tell him he's lucky and they wish they could do what he did! Fourteen years later, he's the author of a highly successful food blog (indexed on EYB), which is used by thousands of Americans and others as their personal guide to Paris (and a few great cookbooks, too!). Despite the frustrations of living in a culture that is so obviously different to his own, Lebovitz doesn't see himself leaving in the short or long term. It's obvious that he's incredibly hard working and his success is as much a result of his work ethic as it is his talent as a writer.

Sam ClarkA discussion by Sam Clark: It is always interesting to hear how successful chefs arrived at cooking as a career and we heard very diverse stories over the weekend. Sam Clark claims his inspiration was being the child of a single working mother which meant he spent time in the kitchen as a means of survival! Unlike other kids who might not have ventured beyond pot noodles, he explored different cuisines and often his cupboards were bulging with ethnic foods. Sam feels that because there is no distinct food culture in England, chefs aren't constrained by tradition. You can definitely see that in his two hugely successful restaurants, Moro and Morito.

Chez Panisse reunion: Since several Chez Panisse alumni were present at Ballymaloe it seems only fitting that they got together to reminisce. Alice Waters - restaurateur, Chez Panisse alumnifood activist, and pioneer of the American organic and local food movements - was a delight. David Lebovitz reflected on his time at Chez Panisse where he became a perfectionist, particularly concerning dressings and flavours. This now means he can rarely go out to eat without being disappointed. David Tanis spent many years as the Chez Panisse chef, and his appreciation of what a great green salad is means he always has to make his own! April Bloomfield was only there for a short time before she went off to create her successful restaurants, but the restaurant made a lasting impression on her and took her to a new level of appreciation for the fresh, simple cooking championed there.

Alice was asked if Chez Panisse could have started anywhere else besides Berkeley, California. She noted that a combination of the rich and fertile soil, people who were open to trying new things, and the area's winemaking industry that was just beginning to take off, together created the perfect storm that allowed Chez Panisse to thrive. She told us that the open kitchen at the restaurant was created because she wanted to see the sunsets from the windows. Another interesting tidbit we learned was that most of the restaurant's staff at the time hadn't gone to cooking school  and operated under the philosophy of "fake it until you make it."

BallycottonAfter reading about our wonderful weekend, I'm sure you feel tempted to attend next year (the dates are May 20-22).  If you need any further encouragement, this was the view from our hotel window in the morning.  

May 2015 cookbook roundup

Every month Jane and Fiona wade through hundreds of cookbooks, selecting and reviewing all the best new releases of U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand cookbooks. The only thing left for you to do is to add them to your Bookshelf.


cookbook collageThe Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson: In The Broad Fork, James Beard Award winner Acheson narrates the four seasons of produce, inspired by the most-asked question at the market: "What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?" And so here are 50 ingredients--from kohlrabi to carrots, beets to Brussels sprouts--demystified or reintroduced through 200 recipes. Visit our World Calendar of Cookbook Events for details on Hugh's book tour.

Feeding the Fire: Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling by Joe Carroll and Nick Fauchald: Joe Carroll makes stellar barbecue in Brooklyn, New York, at his acclaimed restaurants Fette Sau and St. Anselm. In this book, Carroll proves that you don't fancy equipment to make succulent barbecue and grilled meats.

The New Mexico Farm Table Cookbook by Sharon Niederman: Long before eating "farm to table" was de rigeur, New Mexico's small farms and ranches provided its families and communities with homegrown vegetables, fruit, milk, meat, and eggs. The book provides an insider's knowledge of the state's unique traditional cuisine, a mixture of Indian, Spanish, and Mexican flavors. In addition to recipes, the book includes profiles of New Mexico's best food producers and purveyors. See Sharon's appearances in our Events Calendar.

Mr Wilkinson's Well-Dressed Salads by Matt Wilkinson: Following the success of the IACP-winning Mr. Wilkinson's Vegetables, chef Matt Wilkinson returns with delicious recipes for salads and dressings. Far more than a collection of green salads, this cookbook pairs produce with grains, beans, cheeses, fish, and meat. (This is the US release of an Australian book.)

cookbook collageYogurt by Janet Fletcher: Drawing inspiration from the culinary traditions of Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, India, and beyond, this useful handbook includes a guide to purchasing yogurt, advice on choosing a yogurt maker, and easy methods for making yogurt at home. Janet's book tour dates are listed here.

The Boozy Blender by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein: The duo, known for their appliance cookbooks and the best-selling ULTIMATE cookbook series, return with a tome dedicated to using the blender to concoct adult beverages. This whimsical salute to flavor and ice reinvents 60 classic cocktails using fresh ingredients and tailored to suit any occasion and fit every season.

Fried Chicken by Rebecca Lang: Southern chef Rebecca Lang collects dozens of crowd-pleasing variations on the classic fried chicken platform. In addition to  perennial favorites like Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken Smothered in Gravy and Tennessee Hot Chicken, she expands to gluten-free and internationally-inspired recipes. Rebecca's book tour dates are in our Events Calendar.

Linda Lomelino's Ice Cream by Linda Lomelino: Hot on the heels of last year's cake cookbook, the stylish blogger at the helm of Call Me Cupcake! follows up with cake's perennial companion, ice cream. In addition to recipes for smooth ice cream, the book offers cool sorbets, chunky-nutty-chocolaty frozen treats, ice-cream cakes, floats, sauces, meringues, and crumbles to top it all off.

cookbooksThe Negroni by Gary Regan: In The Negroni, cocktail guru Gary Regan - author of several highly-regarded cocktail tomes - delves into the three-ingredient cocktail's fascinating history (its origin story is still debated, with battling Italian noblemen laying claim) while providing modern updates.

The World on a Plate by Mina Holland: Released as The Edible Atlas in the UK to rave reviews, the award-winning cookbook was renamed for its American debut. The World on a Plate combines recipes, history, and culinary wisdom in a global quest to discover what people eat and why in 39 different cultures. Bubbling over with anecdotes, trivia, and lore - from the role of a priest in the genesis of Camembert to the Mayan origins of the word chocolate - The World on a Plate serves up a delicious mélange to be savored by food lovers and armchair travelers alike.Maangchi cookbook

Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking by Maangchi: A complete course on Korean cuisine for the home cook by the YouTube star whose fans compare her to Julia Child. An Internet sensation, Maangchi has won the admiration of home cooks and chefs alike with her trademark combination of good technique and good cheer as she demonstrates the vast and delicious cuisine of Korea.

This month's non-cookbook food books are heavily tilted to large animals and a focus on ethical eating:

cookbook collagePig Tales: An Omnivore's Quest for Sustainable Meat by Barry Estabrook: An investigation of the commercial pork industry that draws on the author's personal porcine-raising experience that offers alternatives to the way pigs are raised and consumed in America.

A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman: Since his New York Times op-ed column (the only one dedicated to food matters) debuted in 2011, Mark Bittman has emerged as one of our most impassioned and opinionated observers of the food landscape. Here his most memorable and thought-provoking columns are compiled into a single volume for the first time. 

Year of the Cow by Jared Stone: The theme of large farm animals continues this month with a nose-to-tail bovine experience. Amateur chef Stone purchased an entire grass-fed steer and resolved to make the best use of it that he possibly could. Year of the Cow follows the trials and tribulations of a home cook as he and his family try to form a more meaningful relationship with their food and the environment.

Gubbeen: The Story of a Working Farm and Its Foods by Giana Ferguson: Following the theme but moving across the pond, The US release of a previously published UK book, Gubbeen provides insight into the running of a farm that follows traditional ways of growing food and rearing animals. The Ferguson family produces more than 50 different types of foods off the West Cork Gulf Stream, Ireland, where their farm is located. The book chronicles the family's sixth generation of toil and labor on the scenic farm.


cookbook collageThe Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets by Darra Goldstein: This comprehensive tome explores questions about humans' collective sweet tooth from both scientific cultural perspectives utilising the collective knowledge of 265 expert contributors. More than just a compendium of pastries, candies, ices, preserves, and confections, this reference work reveals how the human proclivity for sweet has brought richness to our language, our art, and, of course, our gastronomy.

Home Bake by Eric Lanlard: Master patissier and television personality Lanlard turns to home baking in this new paperback edition of his latest cookbook, focusing on simple desserts like genoise, sticky toffee pudding, cheesecake, and Tarte Tatin. 

Spring by Skye Gyngell: Published to celebrate Skye Gyngell's groundbreaking London restaurant, Spring presents a collection of original recipes from the  restaurant's menu. More than a collection of recipes, the book also provides a fascinating insight into the creation of the restaurant itself, from Skye's first visit to the space at Somerset House, through the design and development of the site to the opening of the restaurant.

Gennaro's Italian Family Favourites by Gennaro Contaldo: Renowned chef Gennaro shows that good family cooking doesn't have to be complicated with this collection of everyday dishes and special occasion meals. The book contains plenty of recipes for kids, including pizzas and simple pasta dishes, and lots of ideas for getting the children involved with the cooking.

cookbook collageEat the Week: Recipes for Every Meal, Every Day by Anna Barnett:  Some days you feel more like cooking than others, and Anna Barnett has designed a cookbook to follow those moods. Some days it's all about simple dishes, healthy-eating resolutions, minimum fuss and robust flavours; when you have more time to shop and cook, things get a bit more extravagant.

The Zumbo Files by Adriano Zumbo: For his third cookbook, top Sydney pastry chef Adriano Zumbo recreates some of the classic desserts we all grew up drooling over, adding his unique spin to each recipe. Previously released in Australia, the book makes its UK debut. You can learn more about the book in our author Q&A and enter our contest for a chance to win a copy. 

The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka: The popular blogger lives by the principle that low calorie food doesn't have to be light on flavor. In this UK version of last fall's US book, she provides flavour-full, "skinnified" versions of family favourites and hearty yet healthy dishes. The Skinnytaste blog is indexed on EYB; add the blog to your Bookshelf to instantly access over 1,000 recipes.

Indian Kitchen by Maunika Gowardhan: Another book based on cooking moods, Indian Kitchen features dishes and menus to reflect the four main moods we cook in: hungry, lazy, indulgent and celebratory. Here you'll find  spice blends, family recipes and techniques for modern Indian cooking. 

cookbook collage

Prestigious London cooking institution Leith's School of Food and Wine has just released four new volumes in its popular How To series:

How to Cook Pastry: This volume takes you from simple shortcrust, hot watercrust and suet pastry, through enriched French pastries and choux, to puff and streusel.

How to Cook Desserts: This book provides instruction on a host of desserts from puddings, crepes,  creme brulees, jellies, souffles and meringues, to effortless ice creams and sorbets.

How to Cook Cakes: You guessed it, this volume is all about cakes: creamed cakes and whisked sponges, teabreads and traybakes, cupcakes, muffins and scones. In addition, there is a selection of gorgeous cookies and biscuits.

How to Cook Bread: Turning to more savoury baking applications, How to Cook Bread takes the reader through every aspect of preparation and cooking. Skills are comprehensively explained and illustrated with step-by-step photographs throughout to allow the reader to identify the correct texture at every stage of the recipe. Classic loaves, sourdoughs, enriched breads, sweet yeast breads and layered doughs are all featured.

cookbook collageVanilla Black by Andrew Dargue: From the restaurant of the same name, chef Dargue and his partner Donna Conroy put their restaurant's philosophy on paper: to reinvent expectations about what it means to eat vegetarian food. From the start, Andrew and Donna's rule was, no pasta bake and no vegetable curry. Instead, expect to find things like Jerusalem artichoke, white wine and thyme pie and Savoy cabbage pudding.

Peru the Cookbook by Gaston Acurio: The definitive Peruvian cookbook, featuring 500 traditional home cooking recipes from the country's most acclaimed and popular chef. Acurio guides cooks through the full range of Peru's vibrant cuisine from popular classics like quinoa, ceviche, and lomo saltado to lesser known dishes like amaranth and aji amarillo. Peru is also being released in the USA this month.

Teatime in Paris by Jill Colonna: Colonna shows you the easiest way to make many French pâtisserie classics, while keeping it authentic, full of flavour and creative. Not only has Jill cracked how the French create such tantalising cakes but she claims to have discovered how they can eat these beautiful pastries and still stay slim! Watch for a promotion on this book in the near future. Teatime in Paris will be issued in the US this month as well.

At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends by Mary McCartney: Food plays a huge part in celebrating special occasions with friends and family. Traditionally, many of these occasions call for meat - whether it's roast beef for Sunday Lunch, or burgers at a BBQ - but Mary wants to show us that vegetarian cooking can be just as celebratory and special.

Best of Jane GrigsonTwo classic cookery books are being re-released this month. First up is The Best of Jane Grigson: The Enjoyment of Food. After being been out of print for more than a decade, the ultimate compendium of Jane Grigson's recipes is being reissued by Grub Street to coincide with the anniversary of 25 years since Grigson's untimely death. A Turkish Cookbook


A Turkish Cookbook by Arto der Haroutunian is also being republished by Grub Street. Each of Arto der Haroutunian's twelve cookbooks written in the 1980s became classics; it was his belief that the rich culinary tradition of the Middle East is the main source of many of our Western cuisines and his books were intended as an introduction to that tradition. A Turkish Cookbook is regarded as the seminal work on the subject but has been out of print for over twenty five years.

Australia & New Zealand

cookbook collageA Free Range Life: Winter Goodness by Annabel Langbein: Following her successful summer annual, Annabel now brings us 150 new recipes with weekly meal plans, tips and inspiration for great winter food. You can enter our contest for a chance to win a copy of A Free Range Life: Winter Goodness. 

Easy Weeknight Meals Simple, Healthy, Delicious Recipes from My Food Bag and Nadia Lim by Nadia Lim: Nadia's background as a dietitian and her simple and nutritious approach to food has been the inspiration and success of My Food Bag in New Zealand and now in Australia. The recipes, organised by season, have been rated as favourites by their customers.

Bake Me Home: Treats to Show You Care by Alice Arndell: From the work shout and the school morning tea, to welcoming new neighbours or impressing family and friends with a delicious afternoon tea, baking is a great way to show you care. Alice Arndell shares her expertise and passion in this new collection of creative ideas and recipes to suit every home baker and every occasion.

Primal Kitchen by Dueweke Sarah: Sarah's Wellington restaurant delivers primal food, which offers the benefits of a paleo diet with fewer restrictions. Full-fat dairy products, including butter, cheese, yoghurt and milk, are allowed in limited quantities, as is alcohol and some starchy fruit and vegetables. Sarah's innovative recipes show how you can enjoy home baking and treat foods and still find weight maintenance easy.

Cookbook collageThe New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian Kitchen by Simon Bajada: With the current interest is Scandinavian cooking, this new book helps demystify classic techniques such as pickling and smoking. The chapters are divided into different food groups including ingredients found 'from the forest', 'from the sea', 'from the land', and 'in the larder'.

The Salad Kitchen by Courtney Roulston: Known on MasterChef as the 'salad making goddess' Courtney shows how easy it is to recreate some of her most sought-after salad recipes, using fresh ingredients. You'll find over 100 recipes using combinations of soft gooey eggs, roasted nuts, middle-eastern spices, thick yoghurts, sweet fruits and zesty dressings

Raw: 150 Dairy- and Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes by Omid Jaffari: If you're interested in exploring raw food, this book contains everything you need to get started. Raw  includes sections on essential kitchen tools and pantry items; step-by-step instructions on making up a range of key basics that can be prepared in advance ('dairy' basics, salts, sauces, sprinkles, infused sweeteners); and recipes for every meal course including dessert.

Superlegumes by Chrissy Freer: If you ever thought beans and legumes were boring, this book will dispel that notion with its delicious yet healthful recipes. The book includes vegetarian, meat- and fish-based recipes that rely on legumes and pulses - cannellini beans, broad beans, lima beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans, borlotti beans, lentils, chickpeas.

The Chef Gets Healthy

The Chef Gets Healthy by Tobie Puttock: When his partner asked for a more healthy diet, Toby wasn't going to compromise flavour. After perfecting his Italian dishes over 20 years he has come up with just as satisfying but healthy alternatives using fresh produce and fuss-free cooking techniques. The result is healthy, low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free recipes that easily hold their own in the flavour stakes.


Slow Cooker cookbook

The latest from Australian Women's Weekly

Slow Cooker: the Complete Collection  
Retro Baking

Celebrate National Wine Day with sangria

Sparkling sangria

Today is a national holiday in the US, but this year it also coincides with a "food holiday," National Wine Day (not to be confused with National Drink Wine Day).

Many people are attending parades and memorial services today to honor those who have fallen while serving in the military, and in addition are celebrating the long weekend by gathering with family and friends. What better way to do that than with a glass (or two) of wine?

Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to just pouring a glass of wine. The Splendid Table shows us another way to commemorate the day with two different sangria recipes. It's not too late to join the festivities in the US - just crack open a bottle, or try one of these sangria recipes from the EYB Library:

Pink sangria from Cuisine Magazine
Strawberry-basil rosé sangria
from Oprah.com (indexed by an EYB Member)
Prosecco sangria
from MarthaStewart.com (indexed by an EYB Member)
Rosé sangria
from Balaboosta
Sparkling sangria
from Cooking Light Magazine (pictured above)

The guide to grilling guides

This long weekend marks the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. The Memorial Day holiday also kicks off the grilling season, especially for those in more northern latitudes who eagerly anticipate the first firing of the grill. Although tradition dictates that steaks and hamburgers will make an appearance, more and more people are venturing beyond meat to grill fruit, vegetables, and pizza.

If you aren't sure of what changes you need to make for grilling these items or if you're looking to refresh your rusty steak grilling technique after the winter hiatus, there are plenty of guides available--perhaps too many. To help you wade through them, we've gathered a few to use as starting points. We will start off with indexed blog Serious Eats' comprehensive guide to grilling steak. Looking for a different protein? Try this guide to grilling seafood including fish, shrimp, and lobster.

grilled pizza

Grilled pizza can be a challenge unless you know the right technique. Indexed blog Simply Recipes offers a how-to guide, and you can also find indoor and outdoor grilling techniques from Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas. Food52 shows us the best methods for grilling fruit, and Kalyn Denny of Kalyn's Kitchen provides with advice on how to cook vegetables on the grill.

With over 8,200 online grill and BBQ recipes, the EYB Library has you covered for recpe ideas once you master the techniques. If you are feeling particularly adventurous after reading all of the guides, you could always try grilling on molten lava (but we don't recommend it).

Photo of The gamberian (sautéed shrimp with pesto and tomato pizza) from Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas by Craig W. Priebe and Dianne Jacob

Get "yellow fever" for saffron

Pumpking saffron orange soup by Ottolenghi

If you haven't cooked with saffron, the world's most expensive spice, you'll definitely want to after reading about the Ottolenghi saffron recipes featured in The Guardian. The name saffron comes from the Arabic word for thread, and the thin stigmas of the crocus flower do quite resemble thin crimson strands.

Harvesting saffron is a painstaking process that has so far defied mechanization. The flowers must be picked in the morning before they start to open, and the delicate stigmas must be removed individually, by hand. To produce 450g (1 lb) of saffron, you need about 70,000 crocus flowers. To put that number in perspective, 70,000 crocus plants take up the space of a football field. Factor in the hundreds of hours of labour for the harvest and it's no wonder the spice is costy, running about £5.50 ($8.50 USD) per gram.

But to many cooks, the results justify the price. Saffron adds vibrant color and a flavour that is difficult to describe, although the term "grassy" is often used. Thankfully a little saffron goes a long way, but when it comes to infusing the spice's unique flavour into a dish, "more is definitely more: give it as long as you can (ideally, leave the strands to soak overnight)." Some chefs instruct you to soak the strands until they have no color left in them. The longer you allow the colour and flavour to leach out into any soaking liquid, the more vibrant and flavourful the finished dish will be. Saffron is at home in dishes both savoury and sweet, so the sky's the limit when it comes to experimentation.

You can start with one of these saffron recipes by Yotam Ottolenghi from the EYB Library:

Chard and saffron omelettes from Plenty
Couscous and mograbiah with oven-dried tomatoes
from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
Poached pears with cardamom and saffron from Bon Appétit Magazine by Yotam Ottolenghi
Roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts, and honey from Epicurious by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Pumpkin, saffron & orange soup with caramelised pumpkin seeds from  Ottolenghi.co.uk (pictured above)

A big name returns with a new cookbook

Anthony BourdainIt's been over a decade since Anthony Bourdain has written a cookbook. His last was 2004's Les Halles Cookbook. But that's about to change as HarperCollins imprint Ecco has signed Bourdain for a new cookbook titled Appetites, currently slated for a release in fall 2016. The book will be coauthored with Laurie Woolever. According to the publisher, the book will distill 40 years of "professional cooking and world traveling to a tight repertoire of personal favorites."

MamushkaOther cookbooks on the horizon include one from blogger professional chef and blogger Theresa Carle-Sanders. Her cookbook, Outlander Kitchen, which is not due out until summer 2016, is based on her blog of the same name. The book will feature historical and character-inspired recipes from Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander series (the cookbook and series are both published by Bantam).

Arriving a bit sooner is Mamushka by Olia Hercules. Hercules formerly worked with Yotam Ottolenghi and was named the Rising Star of Food 2015 by the Observer in the U.K. Mamushka,  a celebration of the food and flavours of the "Wild East" - from the Black Sea to Baku and Armenia to Azerbaijan, arrives in October.

Featured cookbooks & recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection? You can now do this even if you have a free membership!

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf. Happy cooking & baking everyone!

From blogs & magazines:

Cauliflower cake from The Kitchn by Yotam Ottolenghi

From UK books:

11 recipes from Gennaro: Slow Cook Italian by Gennaro Contaldo

From AUS/NZ books:

10 recipes from A Free Range Life: Winter Goodness by Annabel Langbein
(Don't forget to enter our contest for your chance to win a copy)

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!