Cookbook Giveaway - The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne is not another run of the mill book devoted to the basics of preparing a meal. It is a cookery course teaching techniques and perfecting skills in the hope that the reader develops their own style and instinct - all geared to to building confidence in the kitchen.

For more information on this cookbook, please see our review post which shares a recipe for a beautiful Summer Panzanella salad.

We are pleased to offer three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the US.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 29, 2017.

 

Why are there so many technique-driven cookbooks today?

 cookbook collage

While gorgeously-illustrated, recipe-based cookbooks still dominate the market, another category of books has been quietly experiencing a rennaissance. As Sarah Whitman-Salkin of Food52 explains, technique-driven, back-to-basics cookbooks have been on the rise in the last few years

There have always been general cookbooks, but the new crop sets themselves apart from older works that were straightforward in their descriptions of techniques like how to dice onions, make mayonnaise, or roast a chicken. The difference in today's books, says Whitman-Salkin, "is the variance in approach to these basics. Individually, each of these authors can teach a person how to boil an egg or braise vegetables; together, their combined voices offer a holistic portrait in what, how, and why to cook."

Several reasons are given for why technique-driven books are popular again. Some people view it as part of the natural "pendulum" of cooking trends - one year it's all about glossy photos and over-the-top presentations; the next brings us back to basics. Others think the exposure to new and exciting foods via social media feeds has encouraged a new generation - who did not, as a rule, learn to cook from their parents - to take up cooking for themselves. 

Even though these books aim at the a novice cook, everyone can learn something new from these modern how-to tomes, says Whitman-Salkin. Her relatives may have guided her in the kitchen, but she notes that while there is "great knowledge in generational cooking… sometimes there are better ways to do things than your great-grandmother did them.

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne is not another run of the mill book devoted to the basics of preparing a meal. It is a cookery course designed to teach techniques and perfect skills in the hope that the reader develops their own style and instinct - all geared to to building confidence in the kitchen.

The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School contains nine chapters centered on a key lesson: in the eggs chapter, readers will learn about timing and temperature while poaching, frying, and scrambling; in the soups chapter, they will learn to layer flavors through recipes like Green Curry with Chicken. The rigorously tested recipes - including wholesome lunches, dinner-party showstoppers, and delectable desserts - will become part of readers' daily repertoires. Beautiful photographs show both the finished dishes and the how-to techniques, with helpful illustrations offering further guidance.

The recipes here are far more than the fundamentals - learn to make dashi, ribollita, braised parsnips with white wine and vanilla, pakora, and mujaddara along with stocks, ratatouille, poached eggs and other basics. This book will appeal to both the novice and someone with a higher skill level. 

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing this Summer Panzanella recipe with our members today. Our contest page shares a giveaway for three copies of this book open to our US members. 

 

Summer Panzanella

Serves 6 to 8

1 small ciabatta loaf (about 6 cups cubed)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, ideally a variety of heirlooms
1 small red onion
1 English cucumber
Grated zest and Juice of 1 lemon
½ bunch of basil, leaves torn
½ bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut or tear the ciabatta into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the ¼ cup olive oil and a pinch of salt until coated. Let the oil soak into the bread for 3 minutes.

Place the bread pieces on the baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the bread is toasting, prepare the tomatoes by cutting them into fork-sized wedges and tossing them in a large bowl with a few pinches of salt. Salting the tomatoes creates a liquid, which gets absorbed by the croutons, softening them a bit and giving them flavor.

Cut the red onion down the middle from pole to pole, peel, and then cut into thin slices. Soak in ice water until you are ready to toss and plate the salad; this helps maintain the crunch and tempers the pungency. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, cut off the ends and discard, then slice into 1/4-inch half circles.

Add the croutons to the bowl of tomatoes and toss gently to combine.

Drain the red onion and place in the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the cucumber and lemon juice, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss gently with your hands.

Add the basil and parsley and toss gently again.

When ready to serve, season the salad with grated cheese and lemon zest. 

Excerpted from The Haven's Kitchen Cooking School by Alison Cayne (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Con Poulos.

Pyrex remains popular after more than a century

 Vintage PyrexIf you live in the United States, chances are good that you have a piece of vintage Pyrex or two somewhere in your kitchen collection. The heavy glass product, created over 100 years ago, has endured through the decades. NPR's The Salt takes a look at Pyrex's continued popularity, especially among mid-century modern collectors.

The story of the glassware's origins shows that Pyrex was both developed for and designed by women. Although a male scientist at New York based Corning developed the technology, it was his wife - Bessie Littleton - who thought of applying it to kitchenware. To prove her point, she baked a cake in a sawed off glass jar. Early versions of Pyrex, which debuted in 1915, were clear, but after World War II color was added and the product became even more popular. 

Although the heavy bowls and baking dishes can withstand extreme temperature change from cold to hot (they truly are freezer to oven), Pyrex is (to my surprise) not considered dishwasher safe. Still, the pieces are durable and nearly shatterproof. One advertisement in the early years showed someone dropping a piece of Pyrex from atop a ladder without it breaking. 

As collectors become more interested in the kitschy glassware, prices are rising. A few rare pieces can fetch as much as $3,000, although most of it costs much less. Some avid fans have thousands of pieces in their collections, like Michael Barber, author of the Pyrex Passion blog, who estimates he has nearly 4,000 pieces. Do you have any vintage Pyrex? If so, do you use it often?

Photo courtesy of Pyrex collector Jessica Kutchma

July 2017 Cookbook Roundup

As usual, I have waded through piles (albeit it smaller piles this month) of glorious cookbooks, selecting and reviewing all the best new releases from the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. This month again is light but that doesn't mean there aren't fantastic books to tempt us.

If you are planning to purchase any of these books for yourself or as gifts, please use the Buy Book link as we will receive a small affiliate fee that will allow us to index more books. You don't even need to buy the book you clicked from, we get affiliate revenue for anything you buy from Amazon over the next 24 hours after clicking the link. You will find the Buy Book link (pale blue box to the right of +Bookshelf) when you click on the book titles highlighted in this post (or any post) - your support is very much appreciated.

And just a few reminders: our World Calendar of Cookbook Events shares author signings, classes, bookstore events and more. We also have many great giveaways open - be sure to enter and check your email folders (spam and junk) for winning notifications. We will have promotions planned for many of these titles so check back regularly.

Lastly, in the publishing market books are being released in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand that are also available in the US - so you may wish to browse through the entire roundup. The Buy Book  button will show you the options available for online booksellers including Book Depository which offers free shipping worldwide.

This month offers a glorious selection of books from the UK - I am a fan girl of UK titles (who am I kidding? I'm a fan girl of all cookbooks) but the UK books always bring something special to the table for me - perhaps because I love London so much. We have some restaurant cookbooks that are truly spectacular this month as well as a book from Candice Brown (Great British Bake Off contestant and no spoilers because the show is airing now in the US) which I am obsessing over. I made the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Blondies from that title this weekend and my family was very pleased. Preserving books are making an appearance again this month as well as a nice selection of international titles to woo us. Let's get started!

USA

The Joys of Jewish Preserving: Modern Recipes with Traditional Roots, for Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, and More--for Holidays and Every Day by Emily Paster is the author's second title. Her first book Food Swap was such a beautiful surprise with helpful information for swapping and the best salted caramel sauce ever. There are 75 recipes in her new title from fruit jams and preserves, to pickles and other savory preserves, and recipes to use the preserves you make in other dishes. Emily has a number of events planned which we have highlighted on our calendar.

Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like by Chris Bianco brings us a full-color, fully illustrated cookbook illuminating the fundamentals of pizza making, from the basics of flour and water to the philosophy behind Bianco's cooking. The book features recipes for his signature pies as well as strategies and techniques for translating chef's methods to the home kitchen.

The Desserts of New York: (And How to Eat Them All) by Yasmin Newman is another title I am anxious to get my hands on. New York - oh how I miss you. This book is a travel journal featuring the desserts of New York City with 44 recipes from all the hottest sweet spots from number one voted old school Jewish chocolate babka to the infamous cronut - she covers them all. The book is being released in Australia and the UK as well.

Ball Canning Back to Basics: A Foolproof Guide to Canning Jams, Jellies, Pickles, and More by Ball Test Kitchen focuses on the building block techniques and classic recipes that every canner should know. The book begins with in-depth information on the equipment you need, preparing your fruits and vegetables, and food safety guidance. Each canning and preserving method is thoroughly explained with step-by-step photographs and beginner-friendly tutorials highlighting key steps. Packed with 100 foolproof recipes for the modern pantry, a wealth of variation ideas for low-sugar and flavor change-ups, and time-tested tips.

Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor by Maricel E. Presilla is a stunning visual reference to peppers showcasing nearly 200 varieties (with physical descriptions, tasting notes, uses for cooks, and beautiful botanical portraits for each). Following the cook's gallery of varieties, more than 40 on-trend Latin recipes for spice blends, salsas, sauces, salads, vegetables, soups, and main dishes highlight the big flavors and taste-enhancing capabilities of peppers.

Short Stack Vol 28: Cucumbers by Dawn Perry is the latest addition to the Short Stack series. Get to know this summertime staple in new and exciting ways, from inspired salads to simple and delicious cooked centerpieces (yes, you can cook a cucumber!). This edition will turn you into a cuke connoisseur through recipes like Soy & Wasabi-Glazed Cucumbers with Crab & Lemon and Cucumber-Honeydew Paletas.

Deepa's Secrets: Mouthwatering, Slow-Carb New Indian Recipes by Deepa Thomas is part cookbook and memoir. Deepa's Secrets introduces breakthrough slow carb and gut-healing recipes that are simple and nutrient-packed, without sacrificing its rich South Asian flavors. On a mission to demystify and make healthy an "exotic" cuisine, Deepa shares shortcuts and techniques that will make "New Indian" everyday fare.

Graze: Inspiration for Small Plates and Meandering Meals by Suzanne Lenzer is full of tips to help you prepare healthy, wholesome, and appetizing food without spending hours in the kitchen. Lenzer is a food stylist and often this is how she entertains by making small plates or tapas where one can go from plate to plate trying a little of everything.

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro takes on six famous women through the lens of food and cooking - what they ate and how their attitudes toward food offer surprising new insights into their lives. It's a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to "having it all" meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.

The Vibrant Table: Whole Recipes from a Food Stylist's Kitchen by Clara Luboff features a collection of over 80 original, wholesome and nutritionally balanced recipes that are a reflection of author's time spent living in South America, Australia and Asia. Straightforward and packed with flavor, Clara's recipes turn everyday cooking into an easy task and are a boon for time-starved home-cooks. Her unique food styling tips and entertaining menus will also appeal to avid foodies and party hosts.

Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America's County Fairs by George Geary is an illustrated cookbook featuring 120 of the recipes of the most popular and offbeat food served at state and county fairs across the USA.

Fabulously French Cooking: 70 Simple, Classic, and Chic Recipes for Every Occasion by Cathleen Clarity shares twelve fabulous menus and seventy refined dishes to help you conjure the taste of France in your home kitchen. Here, you will find French foods for every occasion as well as instructions and professional advice on prepping, cooking, and flawlessly (and easily!) entertaining year-round.

The Complete Make-Ahead Cookbook: From Appetizers to Desserts--500 Recipes You Can Make in Advance by America's Test Kitchen helps you to take back your kitchen with a collection of 500 foolproof recipes for everything you would ever want to make ahead of time.

FOOD & WINE Best Weeknight Meals by The Editors of Food & Wine shares more than 100 practical, delicious, get-it-on-the-table-now hacks and recipes are featured in this new special edition from the pages of everyone's favorite cooking magazine.

The Smart Dinner: Clever and Versatile Ways to Use What You've Got on Hand by Betty Crocker provides more than 125 recipes, with tips and techniques for creating dinners everyone will love and that make the most of on-hand ingredients. With genius tips for cooking with fresh, wholesome fixings, the book empowers home cooks to become more resourceful, accomplished, and eco-friendly.

Egg on the Menu by Luc Hoornaert is the second book in the On the Menu Series. Chicken on the Menu came first and is an incredibly beautiful book. I am anxious to get my hands on this title. Luc Hoornaert has collected 60 recipes from his travels around the world. What are the classics? How do other cultures use egg in the kitchen? How do top chefs make dishes based on eggs?

Other titles released this month include:

CANADA

 

Italy: Recipes for Olive Oil and Vinegar Lovers by Emily Lycopolus includes recipes for appetizers, soup and salad, pasta, mains, and sweets, and also offers five full menus for planning a pitch-perfect dinner party. You'll find all your favourite classic rustic Italian dishes here, including bruschetta, panzanella salad, cioppino, polenta, fresh pasta, meatballs, biscotti, panna cotta, and many more--all accompanied by stunning photography.

 

U.K.

Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Rachel Roddy, the award-winning Guardian Cook columnist and winner of the Andre Simon and Guild of Food Writers' awards, delivers a glorious book highlighting the food that comes from her two kitchens in Sicily and Rome. Rachel's first title Five Quarters is on my bookshelf and I cannot wait to have this title join it. I had the privilege of reviewing the electronic version and it is spectacular - Rachel's beautiful writing, stunning photographs and scrumptious recipes makes this title a must have. Because we index every recipe from the Guardian Cook, you can add any of Rachel's 135 recipes from there to your Bookshelf. That's like a whole free cookbook!

Sabor: Flavours from a Spanish Kitchen by Nieves Barragan Mohacho shares the food that the Basque-born chef likes to cook when she's off duty; the food that she grew up eating and the food that she still makes for friends and family. The recipes range from hearty dishes such as braised Iberian pork ribs and chorizo and potato stew, to lighter fare such as seafood skewers, clams in salsa verde and stuffed piquillo peppers, and a wealth of other recipes, from grilled hispi cabbage to baked cauliflower with salted almonds, chilli and shallots. This is the chef's second book - her first, Barrafina named after the world famous tapas bar where she was chef, is a must-have as well.

Veneto: Recipes from an Italian Country Kitchen by Valeria Necchio shares the food and flavors at the heart of the Veneto region in North Eastern Italy. Veneto includes lovingly written recipes that capture the spirit of this beautiful and often unexplored region, and Valeria's memories of the people and places that make the Veneto so special. The title will come to the US in December.

Trullo: The Cookbook by Tim Siadatan is being released simultaneously in the US and UK in July. London restaurant Trullo, and its baby sister, Padella, are taking the food world by storm with modern Italian recipes with a British twist. Siadatan, who was the youngest head chef ever to work at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, takes the best of Italian cooking and combines it with British produce to create innovative original dishes.

Chai Chaat & Chutney: a street food journey through India by Chetna Makan. Chetna is back with another title - this time focusing on street food. She is the author of one of my favorite books The Cardamom Trail which I had previously reviewed in May of 2016. Chai Chaat & Chutney will be released in the US in September. For this new title, the author traveled to all four corners of India - Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai - sampling the extreme varieties of street food available. Each area has subtle differences in ingredients and techniques, making the cuisine completely unique and full of character. From her journey, she has taken inspiration and created delicious recipes that are simple to cook at home.

Comfort : Delicious Bakes and Family Treats by Candice Brown delivers the recipes Candice learned to bake from her nan and mum, recipes close to her heart, that should be served up as a big generous slice - and preferably on a vintage plate if you have one. Candice's recipes are easy to make, no nonsense and hearty. I had to order this book because (remember fan girl) and it is so wonderful. I had it only one day and made the Peanut Butter Marshmallow Blondies which disappeared in minutes.

Nadiya's British Food Adventure : Over 120 Delicious and Diverse Recipes to Celebrate the Land we Call Home by Nadiya Hussain features mouth-wateringly delicious recipes from her BBC programme. Famed for her fantastic cookery skills and adventurous flavour choices, she sets off on a journey around the country to meet some of the finest growers, producers and pioneers. Her travels were the inspiration for the British Bake-Off winner to create over 120 easy and enticing new recipes that mix the local ingredients she encountered with her very favourite flavours: a nod to her Bangladeshi roots.

Crave: Brilliantly Indulgent Recipes by Martha Collison is the second book from Sunday Times bestselling author and Great British Bake Off contestant (Twist was her first). Using brilliant food science and delicious flavour combinations, she provides go-to recipes incorporating 8 of those things we so often hanker for: citrus, fruit, nut, spice, chocolate, caramel, cheese - and alcohol! There are 'Instant' recipes such as Lemon Cheesecake Pots - your super quick treats to be rustled up in next to no time. There are 'Soon' recipes that are ready to snaffle in under an hour, like Chilli Chocolate Churros. And you'll find 'Worth the Wait' recipes, too. Think Olive & Preserved Lemon Focaccia and Caramelised White Chocolate Cake - a collection of bakes where patience yields intense flavours and sumptuous textures. This book is coming to the US in June of 2018.

The National Trust Book of Scones: 50 Delicious Recipes and Some Curious Crumbs of History by Sarah Clelland gathers 50 scone recipes from National Trust experts around the country, and is a quirky guide to 50 National Trust places to delight and entertain you while you bake or eat those blissful treats. Includes dual measures.

15 Minute Vegan: Fast, Modern Vegan Cooking by Katy Beskow uses ingredients that are available in supermarkets to deliver recipes that are as easy as can be - from shopping to cooking to serving. Starting with advice on the equipment you need to make cooking go faster, plus essential pantry ingredients, chapters cover Breakfast, Light Bites, Mains, Essentials and Sweet Stuff. Katy also offers straightforward recipes and tips about preparation, freezing and storing.

Milly's Real Food: 100+ easy and delicious recipes to comfort, restore and put a smile on your face by Nicola 'Milly' Millbank is all about going back to basics and creating tasty classics from scratch with a modern twist, making food a pleasure; both the ritual of cooking and the joy of eating. Recipes that embrace sustainable and accessible ingredients, easy methods and a refreshingly fad-free approach to home cooking.

Miguel Barclay's Fast & Fresh One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay is the must-have second book by the bestselling One Pound Meals' author. Over 80 delicious super-simple recipes that will save you both time and money.

Ella's Kitchen: The Easy Family Cookbook by Ella's Kitchen is packed with more than 100 easy-to-make and delicious family recipes that bring everyone together to share in life's food adventures. In chapters organized by mealtime, each recipe has been carefully developed to ensure that it's perfectly balanced and lip-smackingly tasty for little ones and grown-ups alike.

Eat Well For Less: Family Feasts on a Budget by Jo Scarratt-Jones delivers everything from quick and healthy breakfasts to delicious snacks, simple but hearty dinners to indulgent puddings, all 80 recipes are easy to follow and use only widely available ingredients.

Dinner Deconstructed by Annabel Staff features 35 recipes as you've never seen them before, broken down into their individual ingredients and photographed in stylish still-life arrangements.

The Street Food Secret: The World's Most Exciting Fast Food in Your Own Kitchen by Kenny McGovern celebrates classic dishes enjoyed every day by generations of people the world over, as well as more modern fusion food creations, this book is packed full of exiting recipes ideal for sharing with friends and family. 

A Passion for Pasta by Carmela Sophia Sereno takes a delicious trip down Italy, from top to toe, led by the author also known as the pasta queen. With stunning photographs throughout, Carmela guides you through making speciality pasta dishes from each Italian region. 

 

 

Australia

Yemek by Isabel Lezmi, Lisa Rienermann and Veronika Helvacioglu shares authentic recipes, from mezze to desserts, which are surprisingly simple to re-create in any home kitchen and call on the iconic fresh ingredients and spices, all easy to source, that define Turkish cooking. This title was originally released in the German language in 2015 and at last is being published in English in Australia and the UK. It will be available in December for US members.

Healthy Made Easy: More than 140 Fast and Delicious Recipes to Make you Look and Feel Your Best by Luke Hines features over 100 recipes, this time with a focus on simple and quick dishes for those short on time but who still strive to eat well. Luke makes eating healthily as easy as possible for people, regardless of how much time they have or how much experience they have in the kitchen.

Elsa's Wholesome Life: Eat Less from a Box and More from the Earth by Ellie Bullen writer of the hugely popular blog Elsa's Wholesome Life is a veritable explosion of colour, sunshine, coastal living and delicious plant-based recipes. Her first cookbook features more than 100 of her go-to dishes, from nutritious granolas and powerhouse smoothies to flavour-packed salads and soups, hearty curries and burgers, and drop-dead delicious sweets. A qualified dietitian and nutritionist, Ellie explains everything you need to know about adopting a plant-based diet, including how to: - get enough iron, vitamin B12 and calcium - achieve the right balance of carbs, proteins and good fats - shop smarter and get more organised in the kitchen - enjoy a lifestyle that is better for you and the environment Ellie's food is fresh, flavoursome, nutrient-dense and - above all - fun.

Chefs Eat Toasties Too: A Pro's Guide for Reinventing Your Sandwich Game by Darren Purchese is a celebration of that most enduring of comfort foods, the toasted sandwich - but taken to new heights. While crafting elaborate dessert and pastry confections by day, by night Darren secretly perfects the art of the toasted sandwich. In this book, he reveals 50 of his masterful creations: from the perfect Maple Bacon, Pear & Camembert on Sourdough, to his Pulled Pork, Fennel Slaw & Chilli Mayo Sliders on Brioche Buns. He has also developed sweet recipes for the ultimate in comforting indulgence, such as Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil & Salt on Olive Bread, Apple, Vanilla & Lemon Parcels and Salted Caramel on Sourdough. For those wishing to take their toasties to truly cheffy heights, there are even recipes to make the condiments from scratch, including pear dressing, pickled onions & chutney, chilli caramelised onions, vanilla cherries and rose raspberries. Chefs Eat Toasties Too caters for all manner of cooking methods: from grill, to pan, to sandwich press, to oven.

Put excess produce on ice

 Vegetables

Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of produce that is ripening all at once in your garden? If you have too much to use and don't want to let it go to waste, you have a few choices. Canning takes time, heats up the kitchen, and requires special equipment. Freezing, on the other hand, is quick and easy, but not all vegetables take well to it. Taste of Home gives us the skinny on which produce is well-suited for freezing. During the frigid winter months you will be well rewarded for the small amount of work you did during the summer. 

You probably already knew that you freeze excess bananas and berries to use in smoothies. But did you know that you can also freeze items like tomatoes, zucchini, and dark leafy greens? They take a bit of extra preparation, but you can enjoy summer's bounty through the fall and winter with just a bit of work. Blanch tomatoes, shock in an ice bath, peel, and pop them into a freezer bag. They'll be ready for soups, stews, and braises with no additional effort. 

Zucchini also needs to be blanched to deactivate the enzymes that make it get discolored and mushy. Once it is blanched and drained, spread it out onto a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to a storage container. Dark leafy greens require a similar treatment. Once they are blanched and shocked, squeeze out as much of the water as possible. Pack the greens into tight balls and store in freezer bags. You should thaw the greens before cooking. 

Other fruits and vegetables can be frozen too. Peppers freeze well either raw or roasted, and corn is a natural for the freezer. It does best when removed from the cob, and takes up a lot less room that way too. Stone fruits are easy to freeze, although you may want to cut up larger pieces to aid in defrosting. 

This app aims to identify recipes from photographs

 iPhone food photo

Seeing a photo of a gorgeous dish is nice, but it won't do much good in learning the recipe - at least for now. Researchers have developed an algorithm that locates a recipe for a dish using only a photograph

The algorithm has been made into an app called Pic2Recipe (if they had asked me, I would have suggested Pic2Plate). To get it to work, researchers provided the computer with a database of a million recipes, along with a photograph of the final dish. The recipes and images came from allrecipes.com and food.com. You can see the database at the Pic2Recipe website.

To use the app, you upload a picture of the food for which you want the recipe. The deep learning algorithm analyzes the picture and attempts to link it to the correct recipe.  Usually you will get several recipes; the number depends on the confidence level of the system that it has found the correct food. 

The system is far from perfect - currently it only has about a 65% success rate. Variables that affect the accuracy include whether the photo is a close-up or not, or if there are other food items in the photograph besides the one you are searching for.

It's an interesting concept but I'm not sure how valuable it would be - it is not very often that I see a photo of a dish and want the recipe without knowing the name of the dish. If I know what it is called I will just search EYB to find the recipe. It might be good when you are at a restaurant, smell a dish at a nearby table, and want to know what it is. In that case, however, getting a photo of the dish might prove to be tricky unless the diners are very friendly. What do you think of this concept?

Cookbook Giveaway - Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet

Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet: My Low-Carb, Stay-Happy Way to Lose Weight by Tom Kerridge fits into an unusual category of books for me. Yes, it is technically a diet cookbook but one that is full of recipes that are comforting and totally appeal to me.

For more information on this cookbook, please see our review post which shares a recipe for Curried Cauliflower Soup.

We are pleased to offer three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the US and UK. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 25th, 2017.


 

 

Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet

Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet: My Low-Carb, Stay-Happy Way to Lose Weight by Tom Kerridge fits into an unusual category of books for me. Yes, it is technically a diet cookbook but one that is full of recipes that are comforting and totally appeal to me.

Kerridge lost eleven stone in three years - that's over 150 pounds using his Dopamine Diet approach - low carb, high protein foods that naturally release dopamine and endorphins - feel good pleasurable sensations. Hence, the dishes in this book make you feel rewarded and less likely to turn to junk food or poor choices.

Kerridge's use of spices and herb help boost flavor and keep us satisfied and not feeling deprived or "being on a diet" in the four letter word sense. With recipes like Lamb ragu, courgette spaghetti, feta and mint, Pork kebabs and spicy cauliflower couscous, Crispy vinegar pork with cauliflower puree, and Barbecue-style brisket with red cabbage salad how can you go wrong? And better yet, desserts - Tiramisu, Crème brûlée and chocolate mousse with sesame almond biscuits - are shared. Not being able to join in at dessert time is usually one pitfall that trips folks up who are trying to watch their weight or get back on track - Kerridge takes care of that with a chapter full of desserts.

Special thanks to Absolute and the author for sharing a flavor packed soup with us today - I'm one of those weird folks that loves soup in the summer - try it now or save it for cooler temperatures. Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway open to US and UK members.

 

Curried cauliflower soup

I've eaten a lot of cauliflower on my low-carb diet and I've grown to love it. When it's cooked and puréed like this, it takes on such a rich, creamy texture that it feels quite indulgent, particularly when combined with the coconut and cream cheese. It takes on spices beautifully, too.

Serves: 4
Carb count: 22g per person

  • 50g dried onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1½ tbsp curry powder
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • 1 large cauliflower (about 800g), broken into florets
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander, tender stems and all
  • 2 hot green chillies, sliced, seeds and all
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Sea salt and cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Scatter the onion flakes on a baking tray, trickle on the oil, give it a stir and season with salt. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the onion flakes are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat gently, stirring from time to time, for 10-15 minutes until soft. Sprinkle on the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.

3. Now pour in 1 litre water and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil and add the cauliflower florets. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft.

4. Stir in the coconut cream and cream cheese until fully combined. Bring back to the boil then take the pan off the heat.

5. Blitz with a stick blender, or in a jug blender or food processor. If you've time, pass the soup through a sieve into a clean pan at this point - this will give the soup an unbelievably silky and delicious texture. Warm gently and season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.

6. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and scatter over the toasted onion flakes, coriander, chilli and lime zest.

Chefs dish on the worst mistakes you can make in the kitchen

 mess on counter

Everyone makes mistakes in the kitchen. There are some things you may not be able to avoid, but many errors are completely preventable. The Independent recently quizzed a number of chefs to find out which mistakes they see most often, and which ones really raise their hackles.

One of the most grievous errors is wasting food. Buying more than is needed and wasting the surplus. Tilesh Chudasama, founder and chef at an Indian street food restaurant in London says that instead, chefs and home cooks alike  can avoid waste by following a few simple mantras: "buy less, freeze surplus, share it, take a doggy bag, use the leftovers, give it to someone who needs it, make compost. Just don't throw it away!"

Poor organization is another common complaint. Chefs suggest taking a few minutes before you start cooking to give yourself a rough timeline of how the dish should proceed. Many chefs reported being frustrated by cooks who don't promptly clean up any messes. You should be cleaning as you go, and never leave a mess for someone else to deal with.

Another practice that some chefs feel is a mistake is to follow a recipe too closely. Chef Dan Doherty of Duck & Waffle says people should stop "thinking it'll all go wrong if they don't have the right type of parsley or the right leek. Aside from pastry and baking, recipes are there to be tweaked, changed and evolved - that's the fun part of cooking."

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

Archives