Some classic cookbooks are getting a reprint

Picador books

A small selection of classic but out-of-print cookbooks are getting a second chance, thanks to the website Cookstr and Picador, a subsidiary of publishing giant Macmillan. In 2014 Macmillan purchased Cookstr, which was created by Will Schwalbe, who stayed on after the acquisition to lead this and other projects. Starting in May, the first three reissued cookbooks will be released

Schwalbe is excited about the concept. "One of the things that was part of the guiding philosophy of Cookstr is celebrating great cookbook authors," he told Publishers Weekly"When people think of the food world, they think of chefs, but they forget that many of the great cookbooks were written by cookbook authors…[Ones] you love and use and treasure and pass on."

Picador wanted to highlight books aimed primarily at home cooks and which have a literary bent. The May releases certainly live up this this criteria. The inaugural selections are The Confident Cook by Irena Chalmers (first published in 1975), Sameen Rushdie's Indian Cookery (released in 1988), and Cooking in a Small Kitchen by Arthur Schwartz (published in 1979). 

Each book will maintain its original formatting and include the same recipes, headnotes, and black and white illustrations, but the books will be updated with a new foreword and new cover designs. The covers feature a retro aesthetic, which is perfect for these books, which buck the current trend of glossy color photographs.

Eat Your Books Cookbook Club April - July Selections

Last September we announced the formation of the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club on Facebook and shortly thereafter the Eat Your Books Sweet Ottolenghi Cookbook Club. The latter is of course to bake our way through Ottolenghi and Helen Goh's Sweet and the former to cook through certain titles as a community. We continue to grow and welcome all to join us. In these clubs you will find like minded cooks and bakers who are supportive of each others flops and successes. We are all inclusive as we provide options to cook through older titles and online recipes to choose from. I know I've made a dish because a member's photo and notes were so convincing that I had to scrap my menu and make that particular dish. 

The EYBCC group concentrates on the titles and recipes selected previously by our members. For general cookbook questions you can check out the forum and The Cookbook Junkies. Don't forget to tag your photos on social media with #EYBCC, follow us on Instagram, and upload those photos and notes on the recipe to your bookshelf here at EYB. (learn more here) where they are permanently stored (after so many posts and photos these are deleted from the clubs by Facebook).

For ease in locating EYB Cookbook Club articles, I have tagged all posts with #EYBcookbookclub and include a link if you wish to Bookmark that search. If you are new to the group, this post may be able to help you navigate the clubs. 

A new announcement - our year long book for 2018 is Naomi Pomeroy's Taste & Technique. Previously, this book was covered in a separate club. Accordingly, if you cook anything from Naomi's book - share those photos in the club. 

Before annoucing our new choices, a reminder of February and March's selections which were chosen by our members in a previous poll. 

February 


Main title: The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart by Alex Guarnaschelli.

Online option: Any recipes by Nigel Slater   .

Baking option:  How To Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Food  by Nigella Lawson

Flashback option:  Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life by Jamie Oliver

 

MARCH

Main selection: David Tanis' Market Cooking by David Tanis.

Online option: David's online recipes which are indexed from his City Kitchen column.

Baking title: BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts for more information on Stella's remarkable book see our promotion post.

Flashback option: any recipe from any Moosewood title

Now for our new selections which were based on your votes in our poll this earlier this month.  Our schedule for April - July is as follows:

APRIL


Main selection: Chinese Soul Food by Hsiao-Ching Chou

Flashback and Online option: Any recipe from Grace Young books or online

Baking: Any bundt cake recipes from books or online (special Bundt promotion coming up soon).

MAY

Main selection: Dining In by Alison Roman

Flashback and Online option: Any recipe from Madjur Jaffrey books or her recipes online

Baking: The Fearless Baker by Erin Jeanne McDowell

JUNE

Main selection: At My Table by Nigella Lawson

Flashback option: Any recipe from Jacques Pépin's books

Online option: Any recipe from Nigella or Jacques online

Baking: Any recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum books

JULY 

Main selection: Favorite Recipes from Melissa Clark's Kitchen

Flashback option: Any recipe from Claudia Roden's books (or online)

Online option: Any recipe from Melissa Clark online

Baking: The Art of the Pie by Kate McDermott

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Check out the beautiful photos and creations in both of our cookbook clubs and join the fun: Eat Your Books Cookbook Club and Eat Your Books Sweet Ottolenghi Cookbook Club.

A few other reminders be sure that you have entered all our giveaways, check out our preview post for 2018 and be sure to follow our social media channels which can be found on the right sidebar of the home page where we also have links to our affilates that help support the site in indexing more titles.   

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Do you find other people's comments on recipes helpful? Have you written your own recipe Notes? It's a great way to remind yourself how a dish turned out and share your experience with the EYB community. On each Recipe Details page you'll find a Notes tab.

Adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to expand your personal recipe collection. You can do this even if you have a free membership!

We're featuring online recipes from these books, magazines and blogs - check them out.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!

 

Member Photo of the Week:

Chinese-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup from Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food by Nigella Lawson

Photo submitted by grindabod. Have you uploaded any of your own photos yet? Learn more!

 

 

From Websites:

Blood Orange Greek Yogurt Poppy Seed Breakfast Cake from indexed blog Eats Well with Others

 

 

From Cookbooks:

9 recipes from Le Creuset: A Collection of Recipes from Our French Table

Enter the Le Creuset GIVEAWAY! (US only)

 

3 recipes from The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Greatcollected & edited by Leyla Moushabeck

Enter The Immigrant Cookbook GIVEAWAY! (US only)

 

1 recipe from The Complete Plate: 120 Recipes · 30 Meals · A Stronger, Healthier, Happier You by Lauren Klukas

Enter The Complete Plate GIVEAWAY! (US/CAN only)

 

8 recipes from Weligama: Recipes from Sri Lanka by Emily Dobbs

Enter the Weligama WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY!


Bittman discovers the Instant Pot

 Instant Pot

Few kitchen gadgets have taken the world by storm as the Instant Pot and its derivatives. Many online forums have sprung up for recipes and advice. Most of the chatter online has been peer-to-peer, but that's about to change. Many of the food world's heavyweights, including Mark Bittman, have become enamored with the IP.

Bittman recently posted four new recipes made especially for the Instant Pot - can a book be far behind? The four recipes are updated takes on classic dishes: caldo verde, shrimp scampi, sticky glazed ribs, and choucroute garni. While some of these recipes may not seem well-suited to the IP, Bittman asks us to trust him. 

Of the shrimp scampi recipe, he notes that using the IP allows for the dish to be less greasy than its traditional counterpart. If you think that the texture of the shrimp might suffer, Bittman dispels the notion. "The texture is such a pleasant surprise," he says. "You'd think the shrimp might be tough or mushy but it's firm, tender, and briny."

With more food writers discovering the benefits of the Instant Pot, we can look forward to more and even better cookbooks for the device and its relatives. 

James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists

 Semi-finalists

The James Beard Foundation has just announced its 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists. The list recognizes the best new restaurants, established restaurants, chefs, bakers, and bar programs across the United States. Many of the chefs on the list have written outstanding cookbooks, including Hugh AchesonJoanne ChangAshley ChristensenRenee EricksonGabrielle HamiltonDavid KinchDonald Link Vikram SunderamJody WilliamsVivian Howard and Alex Stupak

According to Eater, this year the JBF added a new criteria regarding chef behavior for judges to consider when choosing semifinalists this year. In correspondence sent to judges earlier this year, the JBF said "If you have concerns about a chef, restaurateur or beverage professional, or about the culture around a restaurant or restaurant group, leave the person or business out of your nominations."

In mid-March, the JBF will winnow this "long list" down to a shorter list of nominees, and also announce the nominees for Media and Restaurant Design Awards. The nominees will be live-tweeted during an event that is being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 14. Once the cookbook award nominees are announced, we will provide a list for you just as we did for the IACP 2018 Nominees. You can see the complete list of JBF Restaurant and Chef semifinalists on the James Beard Foundation website.

The Comfort Food Diaries by Emily Nunn

At some point over the last four years, I feel as if I have lost myself as a person but found myself as a writer. I do not have delusions of grandeur, or even mediocracy, and this play on words is my motto "me write pretty one day". 

Since moving to Colorado, I have stopped engaging in activities that bring me joy: reading for pleasure, making time for friends, traveling and connecting. I have just not had the heart for anything that wasn't a necessity or work involved.

It is no secret that my, now 13 year old, son has bipolar and high-functioning autism and we have been struggling since we've moved from New York (and long before that but not to this degree). With that stress which included hospitalizations and feelings of hopelessness, I stopped reading for enjoyment. It is as if my brain is overloaded and I just wanted to fill up on "stupid" telelvision in the evening. 

Yes, I read cookbooks, but I do not read them like a novel. I can put down a cookbook and pick it up weeks later. But when I am presented with a great novel, I cannot put it down. Defying sleep, I will stay up speeding through the pages seeking a resolution. Why am I telling you all of this? I am oversharing to justify why I have not read The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart by Emily Nunn yet.

This morning I picked up Emily's book. It has been near my desk since I received it taunting me as I have heard incredible things.  As I wanted to put up this promotion today, I thought I should glance through the book, read the first few pages to be able to speak personally about its style. Immediately, I was drawn in and an hour later, I had to force myself to stop. I want to spend my entire day finishing this book, but I cannot. Work needs to be completed before I leave for New York next Thursday. My reward for not indulging myself now will be finishing The Comfort Food Diaries on the plane (who am I kidding this book will keep me up all night, thanks Emily.) The first few chapters are riveting, sad, funny, hopeless, hopeful and powerful. The book needs to be devoured in one sitting and the fifty recipes that are nestled throughout her journey of healing may help to mend my broken heart.

The publisher, Atria, has provided me with an extra copy of this title for one of you and I will ship it worldwide. The author is also providing two copies so we have a total of three copies to giveaway. Please enter below but do yourself a favor, buy the book now.

The publisher provided me one copy of this book which I will ship worldwide and the author is generously providing two additional copies.  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 try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to 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 March 19th, 2018.

A special treat for an Olympic medalist

 David Chang and Chloe Kim

A few days ago we reported on what it's like to eat in the Olympic Village. We've learned a bit more since that post, especially some interesting details about one Olympic athlete's eating preferences, through an article from The Washington Post and an Instagram post from chef David Chang. 

Chang posted a photo of the special creation he made for gold medal winner Chloe Kim: a churro ice cream sandwich. Chang assembled the concoction after learning that Kim was a fan of churros, ice cream, and sandwiches. Chang's Instagram post, pictured above, was captioned "Surprised  @chloekimsnow after her big win yesterday with churro ice cream sandwiches. Made in basically five minutes with pizza dough we found in the cafeteria because she loves churros, sandwiches, and ice cream. Proud of team [USA]."

The 17-year-old Kim definitely prefers junk food to fine dining, judging from her social media posts, chronicled by The Washington Post. Kim has posted photos of her driving with her father to grab an In-and-Out burger, enjoys Flamin' Hot Cheetos so much that she had some shipped to New Zealand while training there, and has claimed that churros are a good antidote to nervousness. 

Why chocolate is associated with Valentine's Day

 chocolate cookies

Valentine's Day has several items associated with it: red roses, an exchange of cards (often heart-shaped and trimmed with lace), romantic dinners, wine, and last but not least, chocolate. But why, and how, did chocolate become associated with the holiday? NPR's The Salt has the answer

We need to travel back several centuries to find the root of the idea. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Latin America, cacao already had a reputation as an aphrodisiac. The Aztec leader Moctezuma served mugs of cacao-based drink at a banquet where Cortez was a guest, and reports of the elixir's alleged properties as a sexual stimulant traveled back with cocoa to Europe. It wasn't long before chocolate was popular on the other side of the Atlantic ocean. 

That only provides part of the explanation of why it is associated with Valentine's Day. We have to fast forward a couple of centuries to the mid-1800s in England to see how that happened. Chocolate had only recently been transformed from a drink to a solid candy. A rivalry between two chocolate companies J.S. Fry & Sons and Cadbury cemented the relationship between chocolate and the romantic holiday. I think we all know which company came out on top in that rivalry, but you can learn how fancy packaging helped link chocolate and Valentine's day on the NPR website

Photo of Double-chocolate sandwich cookies from Food Network Magazine

On the Side by Ed Smith

Do not let the unassuming cover fool you, On the Side: A Sourcebook of Inspiring Side Dishes is a stunningly photographed cookbook packed with tempting recipes that we all want to cook and eat. This title also made the top ten best of the best cookbooks of 2017 from information gathered from UK sources and I now know why!

Smith left his career as a lawyer to train as a chef in 2012. There seems to be a great deal of that type of thing happening (business professionals turning toward food careers). Presently, he is a food writer and Creative Director of British cured meat wholesalers and retailers, Cannon & Cannon, based in London's Borough Market. Smith also authors the food blog Rocket & Squash.

In On the Side, the humble side dish is brought front and center, where it should be. How many of us would be happy with just turkey or ham on the table during the holidays with no bowls of steaming potatoes or roasted vegetables? Not me. I want Sweet potato, celeriac and porcini bake, Curry leaf, cashew and coconut rice, or Spiced roast carrots on my plate.

140 plus recipes are spread out over four chapters: Greens, leaves and herbs;  Vegetables, fruit, flowers and bulbs; Roots, squash and potatoes; and Grains, pulses, pasta and rice. A recipe directory entitled What's your main dish? takes the guess work out of which side would best complement your main dish. Where is the side dish prepared is another directory that specifies: counter, hob, oven, or hob and in the oven. Big family meal and the oven is full? Check out that directory for a side that can be made on the counter (no cooking) or on the hob (stove top). Lastly, How long does it take to make?  indexes the recipes by time committment from less than 15 minutes through more than an hour. 

This is a book I will turn to time and again. I just received the title on Saturday and knew I wanted to make something straight away. The Roman rosemary polenta was my choice to serve my Steak pizziaola and what a perfect choice it was. I used an additional 1/4 cup of milk and two tablespoons of butter (warmed together) to loosen the polenta before serving. The essence of rosemary was subtle and truly magical in the polenta. My husband and son were crazy about the dish but I cannot use the words Andrew used to describe it (if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen his declaration). It was rated NSFEYB (Not suitable for Eat Your Books). 

Special thanks to the publisher, Bloomsbury, for providing the original version of this fantastic recipe to share with our readers. Next time I will follow through and make the polenta cakes, if I can stop myself from eating the polenta right out of the pot.

 

Roman rosemary polenta
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These rosemary-infused squares of set-then-baked polenta are, to me, more satisfying than polenta 'chips', which never live up to their name. I'd serve them with almost any tomato sauce-based dish, but also next to chargrilled lamb chops, chicken thighs in a cheesy sauce or as part of a meat-free medley. There's a bit of work involved, but the first two steps can be done in advance of eating. Also: it's worth it.

The instructions below are to suit polenta that hasn't been pre-cooked. If you have the instant or quick-cook type, follow the instructions on the packet, replacing the water with milk, then pick up the method when the cheese and butter are added.

INGREDIENTS

  • 800 ml milk
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 150g polenta
  • light olive oil, for greasing
  • 70g butter, cubed
  • 80g parmesan, grated
  • sea salt

Method

Put the milk and 2 of the rosemary sprigs in a large saucepan, bring to a rapid simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 25 minutes, then discard the rosemary.

Sprinkle the polenta into the pan in a slow, steady stream, stirring continuously. At first it will seem as though there's far too much milk, but after 3-5 minutes the polenta will swell and thicken. Continue to stir vigorously, almost without interruption, for 10-15 minutes over a low heat. Once the grains are less visible and the polenta starts to become smooth, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 10 minutes more, beating it frequently. Add some extra water to loosen the mixture if necessary.

Meanwhile, line an approximately 20 x 20cm baking tray with baking parchment and grease the paper with 1 tablespoon oil. When the polenta is cooked, smooth and slick, add 40g of the butter and 60g of the Parmesan and beat well, season with salt, then pour it into the lined tray. Use a palette knife or the back of a spoon to push and smooth the polenta into the corners to an even depth of around 3cm. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Once the polenta has cooled and set, turn it out onto a clean work surface and cut into 5cm squares. Place these smooth-side up on a larger lightly oiled baking tray (or two), leaving a little space around them. Preheat the oven to 250°C.

Strip the leaves from the remaining rosemary and chop them very finely. Melt the remaining butter and pour or brush this over the polenta squares. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top, then finish with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool and firm up for 5 minutes before serving.

Roman rosemary polenta recipe excerpted from On the Side by Ed Smith, Bloomsbury Publishing 2017© and used with permission. Photos here by Jenny Hartin. 

The publisher is offering two copies of this book to 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 try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to 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 March 18th, 2018.

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Steak pizzaiola 
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To the left is the polenta with my version of Steak pizziaola. A few of you asked for my recipe and I'm sharing it here for you.

3 lb. beef chuck roast 
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 large cans (28 oz each) of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning mix 

1 teaspoon of salt *or more to taste
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Depending on the acidity of the tomatoes - 1/2 tsp of sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil 
2 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to season the meat before searing 

Preheat the oven to 325F

Fifteen minutes before searing the meat, take the roast out and pat both sides with a paper towel to remove any moisture (so that you get a nice sear)

In a large shallow dutch oven add the olive oil and two tablespoons of butter and turn the temperature to medium high. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat generously. When the butter is melted and the oil is hot, sear the meat. Five minutes on each side. Don't peek - I set the timer and walk away because I have been found guilty of peeking. 

Once seared, scoot the meat over a bit. Add a little more olive oil, if needed, and toss in the garlic, onions and Italian seasoning and cook for a minute or two.  Add the two cans of crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and stir. Let come to a simmer and watch out for that bubbling sauce so you don't get splattered.

Cover the pot and place in the oven to cook for anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. This always changes for me - after 2 hours I check the meat with a fork for tenderness and to see if the pot needs more liquid. Yesterday the roast took the full 3 1/2 hours to become fall apart tender and I needed to add 1/2 cup of water (or 1/2 cup of beef broth if you have it) to loosen as it thickened as it cooked down. Serve over pasta or over this delicious polenta. 

 

A cake fit for a king

King cake

Fat Tuesday, the capstone of the Carnival season in New Orleans, is tomorrow. Because it is the last day before Lent begins, people often indulge before they begin their Lenten abstention. In New Orleans, that involves eating king cake. King cake is to Mardi Gras as  pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving: the holiday just wouldn't be the same without it.

Although it's called a cake, king cake is more like a sweet bread. Laced with cinnamon, the cake if often shaped like a braid or a crown. It's also frequently decorated with sugar tinted in the three colors associated with Mardi Gras: gold for power, green for faith, and purple for justice.

A tiny plastic baby is hidden in the cake. This tradition stems from the cake's religious origins, but today the concept is much more secular. If you are the lucky person who gets the baby in your piece of cake, you are named "King" for a day and are required by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.

If you can't make it to New Orleans or if your local bakeries don't offer king cake, you can make it yourself. The EYB Library contains 27 recipes for king cake, including How to make a king cake for Mardi Gras from indexed blog The Kitchn, pictured above. 

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

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