August 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.


Believe it or not, summer's over! as far as cookbook publishers are concerned. The busy season is ramping up with a number of books that home in on the fall sweet spot: high-flavor, high-comfort foods that are either easy, quick, or both.  It's a big ol' grab bag, but still, there's something for everyone.

From the U.S.:

The Book of Schmaltz


The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat, by Michael Ruhlman and Donna Turner Ruhlman:  The contrarian food writer teams up with his food-photographer wife on a subject that is nothing if not undersung.



Eat Your Vegetables


Eat Your Vegetables, by Joe Yonan:  A vegetable-centric though not vegetarian book from cooking-for-one expert Yonan.



Glorious Vegetables of Italy


 The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, by Domenica Marchetti & Sang An: Not that Italy has a monopoly on glorious vegetables, but everybody's got to have their own angle on vegetables these days.



Root to Stalk Cooking


Root-to-Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable, by Tara Duggan: The plant companion to nose-to-tail eating.



The 6 Ingredient Solution


The Six-Ingredient Solution: How to Coax More Flavor from Fewer Ingredients, by The Editors at America's Test Kitchen: Cook's Illustrated goes for fast results with big-impact ingredients



The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook


The Flavorful Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Amazing 3-Ingredient Flavor Combinations, by Robert Krause and Molly Krause: The Krauses aren't going for the fewest-ingredients crown (see above), but choosing very effective trios to use as bases to build on.



Cuisine Nicoise

Cuisine Nicoise: Sun-kissed Cooking from the French Riviera, by Hillary Davis:  It's not "yet another Mediterranean book!"  if you call it " Nicoise"!


The Southern Slow Cooker


The Southern Slow Cooker: Big-Flavor, Low-Fuss Recipes for Comfort Food Classics, by Kendra Bailey Morris: Low and slow recipes re-defining soul food.



Pastry: A Master Class


Pastry: A Master Class for Everyone, in 150 Photos and 50 recipes, by Richard Bertinet & Jean Cazals:  Step-by-step photographs and guides to the daunting art of traditional pastry.




Sylvia's Table


Sylvia's Table: Fresh, Seasonal Recipes from Our Farm to Your Family, by Liz Neumark and Carole Lalli: Ode to seasonal cooking from the New York organic grower, caterer, and food educator Neumark.





ChopChop: The Kids' Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family, by Sally Sampson:  The kids' cooking magazine launches a different kind of print venture - a collection of easy-to-tackle recipes for the pre-teen set.




Some August trends: cooking for, with, and by kids; the art of lunch; DIY spirits. And, after a three-month hiatus in deference to the heat: slow cookers are back AGAIN!


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

 From the U.K.:

The Great British Bake Off

 The Great British Bake Off: Everyday, by Linda Collister:  Yet another spin-off book from the hit BBC TV series, which has single handedly revived interest in baking and has resulted in booming sales of baking equipment.  This book (the 5th  by our count) contains foolproof recipes for bakes you may need for everyday events - home dinners, bake sales, etc.



Tapas Revolution


Tapas Revolution, by Omar Allibhoy:  Omar Allibhoy is the new face of Spanish cooking in the UK.  After training at El Bulli, he has worked in tapas restaurants in London and now opened his own Tapas Revolution.  With a  friend he recently travelled around the UK on his motorbike, introducing the British to his cooking.  Expect a TV series to follow soon.



Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food

Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food, by Tom Kerridge:  Another TV show tie-in, this one covering comfort food as served by the British pub.  The publisher's book description describes this as "man-food" which we find rather sexist as we know lots of women (ourselves included) who enjoy pub food.




Brilliant Bread 

Brilliant Bread, by James Morton:  The Great British Bake Off hasn't just spawned books from the judges - there have been several from contestants.  James Morton was a popular contestant in the 2012 series though not the eventual winner.  This, his first cookbook, should make up for the loss.



Save with Jamie

 Save With Jamie, by Jamie Oliver:  Jamie's 30-Minute Meals became the fastest selling non-fiction book ever in the UK in 2010.  Will this latest title, which aims to get  home cooks "cooking clever, shopping smart and wasting less", match that success?




Meringue Girls Cookbook

Meringue Girls Cookbook, by Alex Hoffler & Stacey O'Gorman:  We've seen cupcakes, macaroons, hand-held pies and doughnuts in recent years be hailed as the hip dessert.  Now it's the turn of meringues to be the cool kid.  And since they are gluten-free and easier to make than the afore-mentioned sweet things, we could see this one take off.



From Australia and New Zealand:


The Blue Ducks

The Blue Ducks, by Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson:  Darren and Mark are Professional chefs, mad surfers, keen gardeners and foragers.  They run the Blue Ducks café and share 80 of their most enticing recipes.  This book is an inspiring reminder of the joys of connecting with the land, whether it be growing your own veggies, keeping chickens or making more ethical food choices.



Salt Grill

Salt Grill: Fine Dining for the Whole Family, by Luke Mangan:  Luke Mangan opened his first Salt restaurant in Sydney in 1999, and there are now several Salt and Salt Grill restaurants worldwide. Luke brings together the signature dishes from these restaurants, alongside his favourite recipes that you can cook at home for your family and friends. 


Hungry & Frozen

 Hungry and Frozen: 150+ Oh-so-delicious Recipes, from Fast to Fancy, by Laura Vincent:  One of the first NZ bloggers to get a cookbook deal, Laura's successful blog started when she was "hungry and homeless," even though she no longer is.  She describes her book for those moments when you want to rush into the kitchen and make something, including those late night dinners when "I've had one too many gins and it's nearly 9pm but I really need dinner" occasions. Comfort food to eat any time of the day or night.



After ToastAfter Toast: Recipes for Aspiring Cooks, by Kate Gibbs:  Kate's part of a culinary dynasty, her grandmother was Margaret Fulton.  Her latest book shows young adults what to eat and how to cook and puts an end to endless fridge searches by answering the perpetual question, 'What can I eat?' Her recipes help raise the bar for the packed lunch, serves up new ideas on snacks, and shows teens and twenty-somethings what to cook for mates or Mum!


Bill's Italian Food

 Bill's Italian Food by Bill Granger:   Bill's latest book brings 100 original recipes, inspired by holidays in Italy and the diversity of Italian regional food to make the most of fresh seasonal produce. Concentrating on simple, flavoursome dishes with short ingredient lists and uncomplicated methods, the recipes in this book are divided by solution-driven chapters that embody Bill's casual cooking style.


Fired Up Vegetarian

Fired Up: Vegetarian by Ross Dobson:  Ross Dobson turns traditional barbecue recipes on their heads to create colourful and flavoursome dishes that every vegetable fan and vegetarian will love. Drawing on culinary influences from around the globe, including South East Asia, India, the Middle East and Europe, Fired Up Vegetarian features 80 easy-to-cook recipes, with everything from silverbeet and feta gozleme to Jalapeno jam.


Almond Bar

Almond Bar: 100 Delicious Syrian Recipes by Sharon Salloum:  Sharon, co-owner and chef of Almond Bar restaurant in Sydney, was brought up in a traditional Syrian household. Helping in the kitchen, Sharon learnt to cook from an early age, and developed a strong sense of pride in her Syrian heritage. Sharon shares over 100 classic and contemporary recipes, including black hummus, pumpkin kibbeh, almond-crusted scallops, sour cherry kebab balls, fig sorbet and semolina fudge.



7000 Islands

7000 Islands: A Food Portrait of the Philippine, by Yasmin Newman:  A comprehensive, and evocative cookbook on a relatively undiscovered cuisine. For Filipinos, food is more than a pleasurable pursuit; it is the cultural language of the Philippines. Divided into thirteen chapters, 7000 Islands is a beautifully illustrated guide to Filipino food and an insight into the culture and history of the Philippines. The recipes are detailed and easy-to-follow even if you have never tasted or cooked the cuisine before.  


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