July 2013 cookbook roundup

Every month Susie Chang reviews new cookbook releases and notes trends in the United States. And she may also occasionally throw in a review of a "not-quite cookbook."   And for our non-U.S. members, Jane and Fiona provide similar reviews for new U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases.

United States 

Cookbook pickings are always slim in mid-summer, but there's still a handful of charming offerings, from beach-vacation/seafood books to warm-climate-cuisine books to food memoirs for reading.  These summer authors have a good grasp of what people like to eat during the summer.  But that's not the same as the other question: what do people like to cook during the summer?  As far as I can tell, as little as possible.

The Catch


The Catch: Sea-to-Table Recipes, Stories & Secrets, by Ben Sargent and Peter Kaminsky: A merry romp through everybody's ocean favorites - shellfish, bivalves, finfish, crustaceans, the works. 


Indian Cooking Unfolded 

Indian Cooking Unfolded: A Master Class in Indian Cooking, Featuring 100 Easy Recipes Using 10 Ingredients or Less, by Raghavan Iyer: Hotly anticipated - at least by me - an easy-entry cookbook from the author of the outstanding 660 Curries.


Banh Mi

Bánh Mì: 75 Bánh Mì Recipes for Authentic and Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches, by Jacqueline Pham: An in-depth exposé of just how involved and difficult it is to make a sandwich that's famously effortless to eat.



Best Lunch Box Ever

Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love, by Katie Sullivan Morford & Jennifer Martiné:  Finally! salvation for the harried parent on lunchbox duty.  And available two months before you'll actually need it.



50 shades of kale


Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please, by Drew Ramsey M.D. & Jennifer Iserloh: Yet another gimmicky takeoff on the Fifty Shades phenomenon, but the recipes themselves have some practical value.



Blue Plate Special


Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites, by Kate Christensen: A look back at the author's troubled but well-fed younger years.





On the noodle road


On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta, by Jen Lin-Liu: Asian-American food writer seeks out the true origin of noodles along the Silk Road - review by me to appear in NPR's book section shortly.




The eat a bug cookbook


And just because who can resist?....

The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes and Their Kin, by David George Gordon: There are, believe it or not, better ways to eat insects than swallowing them while driving in a convertible to your beachhouse.




Some July trends: cake decorating! (shockingly contrarian - isn't everybody's frosting melting?!), anti-wheat books (because no one wants to bake, and everyone wants to look good in their swimsuit), stir-fries and smoothies.



And here are the new arrivals from the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand:

 From the U.K.:

The Square


The Square: The Cookbook, Volume 2: Sweet,  by Philip Howard:  The second volume from two-Michelin-star chef, Philip Howard focuses on Sweet dishes, including his signature Brillat Savarin Cheesecake with Passion Fruit and Lime.  There are precise instructions on how to create food that reaches top Michelin standards. A great book for keen amateurs and serious cooks alike. 


Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen

Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen,  by Martin Morales:  Martin Morales, whose top Soho restaurant opened to wide acclaim in 2012, has travelled the length of Peru to find the best recipes, and the length of Britain to find the freshest fish. From sizzling barbecued anticuchos, superfood quinoa salads, giant corn choclos, juicy saltados, and lucuma ice, Ceviche shows you how to bring the unique and delicious dishes from Peru to the home kitchen.


The Jewelled Kitchen


The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes,  by Bethany Kehdy:  Bethany writes the popular blogdirtykitchensecrets.com . The Jewelled Kitchen is her modern take on Middle Eastern and North African cuisines as she mixes traditional country fare with cosmopolitan feasts, and adds contemporary twists.  Includes mezze favourites - hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh - as well as Tuna Tartare with Chermoula and Sumac-Scented Chicken Parcels.



One: a cook and her cupboard

 One: A Cook and Her Cupboard, by Florence Knight:  In this, her first cookbook, Florence, the head chef at Polpetto in Soho, turns her attention to the kitchen cupboard to create imaginative, honest food from her favourite ingredients: olive oil, flour, mustard, vinegar, salt, ketchup, nuts, eggs, honey and chocolate. Each recipe in One will inspire you to think again about the everyday essentials in your pantry, and to learn the chef's art of simple cooking.




From Australia and New Zealand:


At my table

 At My Table, by Amanda Bilson and Janni Kyritsis:  Although the recipes in this book suit diabetics, and have been assessed by clinical dieticians, they will also benefit anyone watching their weight, blood glucose levels, or cholesterol. Some of the best chefs in the Southern Hemisphere have contributed wonderful recipes to help raise funds for diabetics, including Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, Tetsuya, Luke Mangan, and Kylie Kwong. 


 Ice Cream Dreams

Ruby Violet's Ice Cream Dreams, by Julie Fisher Not just ice cream recipes, this book shows you how to create stylish, show-stopping desserts using local and exotic natural ingredients. Learn how to make layered bombes, delicate sorbet flowers and mouth-watering accompaniments like chewy mini meringues, crunchy almond nut brittle, and a delectable fleur de sel caramel sauce.



Cook Simple

 Cook Simple: Fresh Meal Ideas for Busy Lives, by Sarah Bowman:  A busy working mother with four active children, Christchurch dietician and food writer Sarah Bowman understands the demands of creating hearty and delicious meals on the run. Her favourite recipes for every meal occasion - from lightning-quick after-work dinners to lazy weekend breakfasts, extended family get-togethers, and special celebrations.


 Alice in Bakingland

Alice in Bakingland, by Alice Arndell:  With sections on Delicious, Decadent and Daring, Alice shows both the novice and experienced how to take their home baking efforts to a whole new level.  Along with easy to follow recipes, Alice includes 10 special "How To" sections so you can learn the tricks of the baking trade.



Food Truck Cookbook

The Food Truck Cookbook: Number 2 by Michael Van De Elzen:  More easy, tasty, healthy versions of takeway-food favourites from the The Food Truck TV series.  Mike puts himself up against standard fast-food outlets to see if he can persuade Kiwis to try his healthier, tastier options. With loads of ideas for achieveable meals and snacks, from old favourites with a twist to more unusual world food recipes. 



1 Comment

  • helen crozier  on  7/24/2013 at 11:37 PM

    wow great updates. 50 shades of kale - how hilarious and as I am just (3 weeks) on a super healthy food regime very tempting. And there is a book from the Ceviche place in soho? I had a drink in that place last December - was too packed to eat unfortunately but I am tempted to buy that book for the friend who took us there. Great food. Will be an asset for anyone's kitchen bookshelf.

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