Pasta, pasta everywhere.

It's not like pasta books ever take much of a break - they're seasonally evergreen (baked ziti in the winter, pasta salad in the summer, every other kind of pasta the rest of the year), so I'm used to seeing a couple every month or so.  But three in one week! is unusual even for pasta.  And all of them are worth a look.

Jenn Louis' Pasta By Hand: A Collection of Italy's Regional Hand-shaped Pasta offers a thoughtful selection of rustic shapes - the ones that are forgiving if they turn out a litte squat or rubbed or frayed: malfatti, gnocchi, ricotta gnudi.  Though not entirely familiar, they're mostly very approachable; few will bring your day to a complete standstill.

Even more ambitious is Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri, co-written by the very able and seemingly ubiquitous David Joachim.  This is the one you want if you want to attempt Doppio Ravioli, Chestnut Tagliolini, or Stuffed Paccheri.  You also get some no-nonsense talk like "You know those commercials where they show a plate of cooked pasta with a pile of sauce on top?  That's bullshit."

On the other end of the spectrum is Healthy Pasta: The Sexy, Skinny, and Smart Way to Eat Your Favorite Food. It's by Joe and Tanya Bastianich, son and daughter of Lidia.  These are mostly low-sauce pastas and on the easy side; despite the name it's hard to distinguish just what's extra-healthy about them.  But they're likely to make for weeknight favorites.

Roots and Sprouts and Fire

It's March! and that means fresh starts and kitchen adventures and maybe a break from the routine.  It's the smell of dirt and the fresh air.

Blogger Sarah Britton has My New Roots, full of seed butters and sprouts and bright-colored salads.  Meanwhile, the Sprouted Kitchen's Sara & Hugh Forte are back with a second opus, Bowl + Spoon,  focusing on single-bowl meals. Don't forget Sara's entire Sprouted Kitchen blog can be added to your Bookshelf.

Then there's the meat books - a little earlier than the usual Memorial Day extravaganza, but you can almost smell the grill smoke emanating from them.  There's Franklin Barbecue (after Aaron Franklin's Texas restaurant) and Oklahoman camp cook Kent Rollins' A Taste of Cowboy.  Both will make you test your outdoor-cooking skills - once the snow has finally left the ground.

And then of course there's The Wild Diet, by Abel James, last seen in advance galley form in my Men in T-shirts post.   His book is out now, leading me to inevitably ask: Are "Mustard-roasted chicken legs with Peach Salad" wild?  Are "Pulled Pork Sliders" wild?  Are pancakes wild?

To be truthful, the wildest part of these books is what each reader brings in their imagination.  But that's probably true of most books and most cooks.  What wakes you up as a cook, in spring?

New York: 48 hours and approximately 12000 calories

So this weekend my 14-year-old and I took a long-anticipated trip to Manhattan.  I prepared my usual database of places to eat, and was mildly dismayed to realize that, between old favorites and new must-try's, I had put down 17 restaurants for 5 meals.  This, of course, would not do.

I started out fabric-hunting in Little India, where I stopped at KoKum, a relatively new South Indian, for a masala dosa.  Now it's my favorite place for dosas.  At Kalustyan's - still my favorite spice shop after all these years - I got some dried hominy, dried orange peel, and Aleppo pepper.  Then I picked up my son - starving from an afternoon of fencing - and we stopped at his personal favorite, Eddie Huang's Baohaus, where he wolfed down a couple of bao and I had a sarsaparilla soda.

Then we headed down to Chinatown, where we conducted an experiment in comparative soup dumplings (Shanghai Cuisine vs. 456 Restaurant) in which the newcomer, 456, won by a nose.  We picked up a dozen pork buns on Mott Street and then wandered off and got lost in the non-tourist part of Chinatown, finally ending up at a literal hole in the wall (Lam Zhou) where we sat at a tiny counter in a tiny corridor and ate beef noodle soup with handpulled noodles, back to back with the noodle-maker himself.  The pounding of dough on marble shook our bones.  The noodles were chewy, irregular, and divine.  On the way back to the train we stopped at the one and only, incomparable Russ & Daughters to pick up whitefish and gaspe nova and matjes herring. 

The next day our equally food-obsessed host packed us prosciutto sandwiches ("just in case") and we headed straight to Chelsea Market.  I methodically demolished a truffled mozzarella crepe and a straciatella gelato.  We somehow managed to escape after purchasing only: 3 speed pourers for my oil bottles, some dried porcini, a set of edible ink markers for decorating iced cookies.

All restraint was left behind at dinnertime, which we spent in Koreatown (chosen for proximity to train home) and had a blowout in the form of Korean pork belly barbecue.  And then we got on the train.  I, at least, felt certain I would not need to eat again for 3 days.

But Noah needed a burger an hour later.

Round the world and back again

Every once in a while, after a long drought, we get a spate of internationally-flavored cookbooks to enjoy.  In fact, I'm starting to wonder if February/March might be an ideal time for publishers to release these books - halfway between the holiday rush of big-name books and the May onslaught of grills and cocktails.

We've had a seemingly endless parade of French cookbooks, regardless of season, but now we're finally getting some variety.  Irish TV chef Clodagh McKenna has a re-evaluation of her native cuisine.  And Philadelphia-based Jeremy and Jessica Nolen do the same for their own heritage in New German Cooking.

Rosa's Thai Cafe takes its name from the London restaurant run by Saiphin Moore.  They're bright, streamlined dishes, though the recipes may require some interpolation.

And then there's Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes - paying tribute to a seriously underserved corner of our culinary mosaic.  It's a revised book, but no less timely for it.  It's a must if you need to revamp your goat repertoire.

It's a funny thing that all of these books (except the Irish one) celebrate countries that their authors have left.  Absence, I guess, may or may not make the heart grow fonder.  But it certainly does wonders for the stomach.

February 2015 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 Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases.

US

February is the usual prolific jumble of in-between season books: diet books, fast books, ethnic books, any books that don't have an obvious season and don't need a massive media blitz to launch.  One odd new product is popping up in the books - the "spiralizer," a device which turns vegetables into noodles and has become a darling of paleo and gluten-free followers.  I saw at least three spiralizer cookbooks this month, and I'm sure that's not the end of it.

Cookbook collageThe Cabot Creamery Cookbook: Simple, Wholesome Dishes from America's Best Dairy Farms, by Cabot Creamery (Oxmoor House, $22.95)  The Vermont-based cooperative releases a cookbook chock-full of cheddar.

The New Passover Menu by Paula Shoyer: Shoyer's innovative collection of 65 recipes celebrates culinary freedom while still honouring the holiday's dietary rules.

The Great Big Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough: The intrepid pair of cookbook veterans explore a universe of recipes under pressure.

How to Braise by Michael Ruhlman: The popular author is back with the second volume of his "how to" series.

Cookbook collageInspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals by Ali Maffucci: The appliance of the month gets some star treatment by a Big Six publisher.

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley (Victory Belt Publishing, $34.95)  A sequel to the very popular and successful 2011 book.

Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong: A Culinary Journey from China to Vietnam by Luke Nguyen: A personal exploration from a fervent exponent of Southeast Asian foodways. This is a US release of a previously published Australian book.

Mastering Homebrew: The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer by Randy Mosher: A thorough and well-illustrated handbook for the aspiring brewmeister.

Cookbook collage

 

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque: The "Simple Bites"  blogger and urban homesteader releases a highly anticipated first book.

Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil by Nancy Harmon Jenkins: The Mediterranean-cooking expert focuses in tight on the primary staple of her craft.

Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams: A mother and daughter go on a mission to make a delicious heritage a healthier one.

Against the Grain: Extraordinary Gluten-Free Recipes Made from Real, All-Natural Ingredients, by Nancy Cain: Cain does away with the xanthan and guar gums and crafts a gluten-free world out of natural ingredients.

The Land Where Lemons GrowAnd just for reading...

The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and Its Citrus Fruit by Helena Attlee: A culinary and cultural history of Italy's relationship with citrus..

February trends include diet books marketed towards men, ethnic Paleo, smoothies, juicing, raw vegan sweets, and DASH diet books.

 

 

UK

Cookbook collageRachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook by Rachel Khoo: A tie-in with Rachel's latest TV series, this book has Rachel moving back to her native London from Paris.  The book combines recipes, travel notes and her own sketches.  See our excerpt from the book and enter our contest to win one of two copies of the book.

Tea & Cake With Lisa Faulkner by Lisa Faulkner: Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa wants you to sit down and relax with a cup of tea and something yummy to eat.  But first you have to make the something yummy and Lisa provides the recipes.

The Hummingbird Bakery: Life is Sweet by Tarek Malouf: The latest book from the popular London bakery, which specialises in American-style home baking.  This book contains re-worked classics plus old favourites.

Gennaro: Slow Cook Italian by Gennaro Contaldo: Gennaro shows you how to prepare good Italian food with minimum effort by letting the oven or hob do the work. Slow cooking draws out flavours and softens the texture of food to create delicious, impressive, often inexpensive meals with little fuss.

Cookbook collageMary Berry's Absolute Favourites: It can seem like there is a new Mary Berry book every couple of months, with reissues and GBBO tie-ins.  This one is a new book, a tie-in to her new 6-part BBC2 TV series.  These are Mary's most favourite recipes - for family meals, entertaining and of course, baking.

My Busy Kitchen: A Lifetime of Family Recipes by Alex Hollywood: We have seen cookbooks from Great British Bake-Off winners, runners-up, judges plus numerous show-related GBBO books.  And now here comes a book from the wife of a judge, Paul Hollywood.  This book isn't about baking but everyday family cooking - quick & simple for weeknights and slow & simple for weekends.

White Heat: 25 by Marco Pierre White: A new edition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the classic cookbook from the brilliant and fiery chef. Contains new contributions from many other chefs plus new photos. Read an interview with the enigmatic White via The Guardian.

Kew on a Plate with Raymond Blanc: A tie-in with a new TV series, Blanc explores how British vegetables arrived in the country, how they are grown and how they are used in cooking.  He uses a new kitchen garden at Kew Gardens as illustration and draws on his own three deciades of experience in the kitchen garden at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons.

Cookbook collageSesame & Spice: Baking From the East End to the Middle East by Anne Shooter: Inspired by her Jewish family and by Middle-Eastern ingredients such as cinnamon, honey, dates, almonds, apples and pomegranate, Anne Shooter produces recipes for modernized classics and her family favourites.

Secrets From my Indian Family Kitchen by Anjali Pathak: Anjali is from the family who make the well-known Indian sauces and chutneys so her family kitchen saw a lot of experimentation and testing.  Her recipes cover authentic Indian dishes and modern creations.

Dim Sum by Helen & Lisa Tse: Sisters Helen and Lisa are also producers of sauces, their's being Chinese. In this book they offer everyone a chance to experience the popular Sweet Mandarin Cookery School dim sum masterclass in their very own kitchen.

The 5 O'Clock Apron by Claire Thomson: Claire has become well-known in the UK, through her blog and Guardian column, for providing solutions to the daily dilemma of what to feed the kids.
Sweet & Simple

 

Canada

Canadian Living: Sweet & Simple: The Canadian Living Test Kitchen has rounded up 100 of their easiest Tested-Till-Perfect desserts, treats and snacks.

 

 

 

Australia & New Zealand

Cookbook collageMy Abuelo's Mexican Feast: A Life and Love of Mexican Food by Daniella Germain: Following the successful My Abuela's Table, Daniella's latest book is an illustrated journey back to Mexico's past, tracing the life of her Abuelo (grandfather) and his love affair with food. The chapters of based (chronologically) around the different stages of her Abuelo's life. From Street Food to traditional Ranch Food to Mexican Sandwiches, providing an authentic look at the food of Mexico, going beyond trendy tacos and to the soul of Mexican cooking and family life. 

Amina's Home Cooking by Elshafei Amina: MasterChef favourite Amina Elshafei is draws on her family ancestry of both Korea and Egypt to take you on a unique culinary adventure, exploring the best cuisine from both cultures. You'll find recipes for traditional Middle Eastern dishes such as Lamb, Prune and Fig Tagine and Korean staples such as Kimchi, as well as exciting new recipes, such as Sumac-crusted Trout with Heirloom Tomato Salsa and Harissa Chicken.

Taking You Home: Simple Greek Food for Friends & Family by Helena Moursellas and Vikki Moursellas: My Kitchen Rules finalists, Identical twins Helena and Vikki take you home to the simple Greek food they love to eat with their friends and family. From simple recipes for tzatziki and marinated olives, through to a slow-roasted pork belly and a twist on a classic Greek dessert like Sticky Baklava Fingers.

Two Dads: Food for Family and Friends by Blair Tonkin and Paul Bullpitt: Another cookbook from My Kitchen Rules contestants to share simple and healthy recipes, many with an Indonesian influence, that the whole family will enjoy and without breaking the budget.

One dish dinnersOne-Dish Dinners: Easy all-in-one meals by Penny Oliver: Using just one pot, pan, bowl, baking dish or casserole, Penny shows you that cooking fabulous meals doesn't require complicated recipes and a multitude of pots and pans. Using aromatic spices and fresh herbs, she shows you how to prepare a slow-cooked hearty casserole that can be prepared a day ahead, a simple one-tray bake or a last-minute tossed-together summer salad, arranged according to the single cooking vessel you'll prepare them in.

White Pages & Glossy Photos: A Rubric for Titling Cookbooks

"Well, this is lovely,"  I thought as the new cookbook slid out of its padded envelope.  "Rose Water and Orange Blossoms," it read, in a curling thick cursive.  I scanned downward to see what kind of Middle Eastern food we were talking about - Lebanese, it turned out.

Inside, the format didn't seduce me as readily - double-columned, unnumbered steps, wide leading but tight kerning.  But each time I closed the book, that title just pulled me right back in again.  "Now that's some powerful marketing,"  I thought.

There is something just instantly evocative, for me, in titles that use the formula XY & X'Y', where X is an adjective and Y is a concrete noun.  You instantly start visualizing, and once you've done that your senses are trapped.  Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - another juicy-looking book from this season using the same ploy.

In fact, when I think about it, there have been many cookbooks that have trapped my senses and caught my attention - Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones, the terrific ice cream book from Bi-Rite Creamery.  Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume, Silvena Rowe's well-received title from a couple years before that (by "Purple Citrus" she just means "sumac," but doesn't "Purple Citrus" sound better?)

The farthest-back one I can recall off the top of my head is Blue Eggs & Yellow Tomatoes, from 2008 (though I'm sure there are earlier instances).  It's a gorgeous book, and it was popular too, yet I can't recall a single recipe from it that's gone into regular rotation for me.  Do I really only love it for its title?

Have you, too, ever been a sucker for this kind of title?  And how did it work out, in the long run?

Green Mountain cookbooks

Quiet, small-scale food revolutions are happening all the time, all over the country.  You might not think it to be the case in Vermont, with its tiny geographic footprint and forbidding New England winters, but it is.  And they've got the cookbooks to prove it.  

You may have heard of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative, whose dairy products penetrate markets throughout the Northeast.  What you might not know is that its named after the small town of Cabot, Vermont, where in the early 20th century a group of dairy farmers agreed to collectively churn their excess milk into butter. Mostly the new  cookbook revolves around cheddar, the signature product of Cabot, though there's a lesser focus on yogurt and butter and cream as well.

I learned about Hector Kent and his new book, Dry Curing Pork, in the most serendipitous way.  There was a Vermont wedding in our family, and our household ended up enjoying the hospitality of Kent's parents during our weekend stay there.  There we feasted on homemade yogurt, hand-picked berries, the morning's eggs, and some truly remarkable bacon.  Afterward, Kent's mother brought us downstairs to show us "something we have in our basement which most people don't" : a handmade, climate-controlled chamber full of works of art: prosciutto, coppa, salami, and, of course, bacon.  This was the work of all the Kents, but instigated by Hector, who explains how in his remarkably fleet yet thorough book.

It's easy for me to imagine popping over to the store for some Cabot products.  It's hard for me to imagine building a climate-controlled chamber in my basement, or cultivating a sustainable curing practice of my own.  On the other hand, it's very easy indeed for me to imagine eating some more home-made dry-cured pork.  And every day it's getting easier for me to imagine inviting myself back up to Vermont, with arrival scheduled right about mealtime.

Chefs, simplified.

Geoffrey Zakarian - chef-entrepreneur, TV food show judge (and contestant), big-shot restaurant consultant.  (You might remember his very classy last book, Town/Country, where he presented the same ingredients in "upscale" and "rustic" versions.)

But his current book, which was one of my favorite picks last year, is approachable to a fault.  My Perfect Pantry scours your storage areas for things you always have on hand - pasta, flour, canned tomatoes -  and offers an abundance of easy, flavorful recipes you don't have to go out in the snow to shop again for.

Zakarian may be the media-mogul type of chef, but the other kind of chef - old-school kitchen generals never seen without their whites - is going back to basics too.  I did a double take when I saw the slender new Paul Bocuse book, because it looks - from the front though not in profile - a lot like his signature, doorstop cookbook from 2012.

The new one has under-an-hour recipes like wild mushroom omelets and baked potatoes and tomatoes and lemon tart.  I seriously doubt anyone's going to take up his "easy" recipe for sea bass encased in puff pastry incised to look like...a sea bass.

Still, it's a canny move on the part of any chef who wants to stay relevant in a digitally democratize age.

Under pressure

I know, I know, it's a completely ridiculous question.  What does that even mean?

I ask because this season has been remarkably light on slow cooker books, which I had always thought of as a 4-season staple of the cookbook industry. I'm as devoted to my slow cooker as ever, but right now it's mostly being used as a sous-vide machine for yogurt and buttermilk.

I haven't yet sprung for a pressure cooker. In fact, it may be the one single gadget my kitchen lacks.  

But that intrepid pair, Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, may convince me otherwise with their forthcoming The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book.    Lamb stew in 20 or 30 minutes?  Seriously?  Black beans in 18 minutes?

When you think about it, slow cookers and pressure cookers are simply different responses to the same problem: a chronic shortage of prep time before the dinner hour.  Do you deal with that shortage by anticipating it?  Or do you wait till the last moment and scramble around for an answer?  (Another way to put it: Do you clear out your roof gutters by Labor Day?  Do you buy your Christmas tree on December 10th or 24th?)

Considering how much of a scrambler I am, it's surprising I haven't considered getting a pressure cooker till now.  I guess, in theory, since I work at home, I should never need a shortcut to dinner because I can start hours in advance if I want.  Somehow it doesn't work out that way, though.

So, poll: do you own a pressure cooker?  Do you use it all the time?  And - most importantly - do you regularly resort to a pressure cooker cookbook to use it?

January 2015 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 Canada, U.K., Australia, and New Zealand releases.

US

cookbook collageRecipes from My Russian Grandmother's Kitchen: Discover the rich and varied character of Russian cuisine in 60 traditional dishes by Elena Makhonko: The latest in Lorenz's popular "Grandmother" series.

Chocolate-Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly Good for You by Katie Higgins: Treats based on alternate ingredients (coconut oil, spelt flour, stevia).  A big hit in the blogosphere.

Weeknight Vegetarian by Ivy Manning: The Portland food writer offers her own contribution to a popular category. You can read our author interview and enter our contest for a chance to win one of three copies of the book.

Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide: Reset Your Health, Detox Your Body, and Feel Your Best by the editors of Martha Stewart Living: The usual beautifully-curated collection of very familiar recipes: smoothies, lean proteins, whole grains.

cookbook collageSheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight from the Oven by Molly Gilbert: The logical end product of people now knowing all about roasted vegetables.

Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship by Ashley Rodriguez:  Part relationship-therapy book, part cookbook, Date Night In exhorts parents to shut off their screens and find - somewhere - the energy to cook a meal with and for each other at the end of their days.

Fat Witch Bake Sale: 67 Recipes from the Beloved Fat Witch Bakery for Your Next Bake Sale or Party by Patricia Helding: Feed-a-crowd sweet treats from the popular bakery inside New York's Chelsea Market.

Dashing Dish: 100 Simple and Delicious Recipes for Clean Eating by Katie Farrell: Gluten-free, sugar-free, and spiritually approved recipes from Christian lifestyle personality Farrell.

cookbook collageThe Soup Club Cookbook by Courtney Allison: Four women decide that once a week each would whip up an extra-large batch of soup and deliver it to the others as a way to stay connected. Learn more about their story and the cookbook it inspired.

A Good Food Day by Marco Canora: A chef is inspired to make simple, natural recipes fit for a food lover's palate.

Healthy Latin Eating by Angie Martinez and Angelo Sosa: Radio and TV personality Martinez and acclaimed chef Sosa join together to create over 100 recipes that blend the art of Latin cooking with healthy eating.

Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution by America's Test Kitchen Editors: More healthy January eating, this time from the familiar ATK-brand of heavily-tested recipe. The Test Kitchen crew brings over 200 new recipes featuring leaner cuts of meat, more fresh vegetables, and hearty whole grains.

cookbook collageGerman Cooking Now by Jeremy Nolen and Jessica Nolen: Turning traditional German cooking on its head to reflect modern palates, this book celebrates fresh vegetables, grains, herbs and spices as obsessively as it does pork, pretzels and beer.

The Cuban Table by Ana Sofia Pelaez: A comprehensive, contemporary overview of Cuban food, recipes and culture. Read more about the author's research on the EYB blog.

The Baker's Four Seasons by Marcy Goldman: Over 175 recipes ranging from casual baking to special occasion treats and holiday show-stoppers, arranged by the season and further delineated into "big baking" and "small baking" sections.

Lomelino's Cakes by Linda Lomelino: A self-called "look book" of 27 stunning cakes. In addition to recipes the book offers advice on how to decorate with frosting, stack multiple layers, create perfect ganache, and make the most of seasonal ingredients.

January trends include gluten-free and paleo, quinoa, smoothies, make it fast, make it ahead.  If there were a book called "5-Minute Gluten-Free Paleo Quinoa Smoothie," it would probably fly off the shelves!

Finally, a few reading titles from the academic presses, for curling up by the fire...

cookbooksThe Poets Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire by Gaylord Brewer: Recipes from an unexpected source - a Tennessee literary critic, playwright, and poet.

1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton: The Part of the 1,000....before you die series, this one has the "grande dame" of food journalism offering her take on must-eat items.Chopsticks by Edward Wang

 

Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History by Q. Edward Wang:  Everything you ever needed to know about the second-simplest way to get food from plate to mouth.



 

 

UK

cookbook collageDeliciously Ella by Ella Woodward: Popular food blogger Ella's focus is all about the food that tastes good AND makes you feel good - for her that is sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.  In this her first cookbook she chronicles her own journey to health and provides over 100 recipes.

Bread by Nick Malgieri: A UK edition of the book published in the US in 2012.  The master baker takes you through all the basic techniques, through into more advanced recipes and finally dishes containing bread.

Small Bites by Paul Gayler: Gayler takes small bites beyond the tapas of Spain with quick and easy small plate recipes from around the world including China, Italy, the Middle East.

Spelt: Meals, Cakes, Cookies and Breads from the Good Grain by Roger Saul: As interest in ancient grains grows, more grain-specific books are emerging.  This one focuses on a grain that claims to help reduce heart disease and bowel cancer and is authored by a leading UK producer of artisanal spelt products.

cookbook collageHome Comforts by James Martin: The celebrity chef brings it home with comfort food ranging from meals for one to fancy dinners.  He has recipes for his trademark British hearty food but also lightens it up and travels the world for more adventurous dishes.

Guilt-Free Baking by Gee Charman: It may be January when we are meant to be focused on healthy eating but Gee says that doesn't mean we have to give up the sweet things.  She finds novel ways to keep sweetness and flavor while reducing "bad" fats and calories.

Eat. Nourish. Glow by Amelia Freer: Nutritional therapist and healthy eating expert Amelia Freer doesn't want you to follow fad diets - she wants to help you change the way you eat for ever.  She has 10 principles of healthy eating that she thinks will help you on the path to better health, losing weight and looking great.

 

Australia & New Zealand

cookbook collageThe Best of Spirit House by Spirit House: Since it opened in 1995 Spirit House has grown into an iconic destination for lovers of Asian food, including myself. There have been several books from Sprit House and this features the best recipes, including the Whole Crispy Fish with Roasted Chilli Paste and Lemongrass and 20 new ones.

The Gourmet Farmer Goes Fishing by Matthew Evans and Nick Haddow and Ross O'Meara: Television presenter of The Gourmet Farmer TV series, food critic turned farmer and sustainable seafood activist Matthew Evans, along with his two best chef mates, shows us how seafood should be cooked. Simple recipes that demystify everything from abalone to sea urchin, snapper to octopus, as well as inspiration if you want to catch your own dinner rather than head to the fishmongers.

Eat Drink Paleo by Macri Irena: The creator of the popular blog Eat Drink Paleo, originally self published this book, and it is now more widely available from Penguin in Australia and the UK. All recipes follow the paleo diet and the book includes an introduction to paleo nutrition and philosophy; a handy inventory of foods to focus on and avoid; and user-friendly recipes and measurements. The book takes home-cooks on a real-food journey from breakfast (hazelnut pancakes with blood orange syrup) through to dessert (chilli chocolate mousse).

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