2011: The missing cuisine

The last week of the year has a special gift for the cookbook-obsessed: perspective. From our vantage point at the very end of a long, busy year of food publishing, we can see trends that weren't so obvious before.  There was a great swell of Mediterranean cookbooks, including a sudden spate of rustic Italian.   There were long, loving glimpses… read more

Holiday food traditions

Just for fun this morning, I ran a little EYB search (Occasion: Christmas; Course: Main Course)  to see what holiday proteins our cookbooks feature.  The results read like some kind of crazy, carnivorous 12 Days of Christmas (I know I'm leaving out our vegetarian friends here):  85 beef joints82 whole turkeys81 pork joint77 whole ducks or geese62 hams, cooked or… read more

Threshold ingredients

We all love "usable" cookbooks, but "usable" is different for everybody.  And one big part of "usable," I've come to realize, is the availability of specific ingredients.  Each of us carries with us an internal dictionary of the ingredients we consider normal--the ones we know how to get without thinking about it--and a sort of anti-dictionary consisting of the ones… read more

3 ways with ground beef

Over the weekend, we got the yearly beefer delivery--1/4 of a steer, or approximately 125 pounds.  Some 25 or 30 pounds of that is ground beef, which I *could* just turn into hamburgers or chili.  Or, I could hit the new cookbooks with my pal EYB! and see what insights they have to offer. Spicy Glazed Mini Meatloaf, from Serve Yourself by… read more
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