Desserts by the Editors of Food & Wine

Desserts: Over 140 of Our Most Beloved Recipes by Editors of Food & Wine is a drool-inducing collection of sweet recipes just in time for the holidays.

Desserts that will shine at the holiday table include the Poached peaches with baked ricotta or an Apple cake with cranberries. Sweet treats include Soft apple-cider caramels or Dark chocolate bark with roasted almonds and seeds will delight a hostess or are perfect for stocking stuffing. The mix of elegant, modern and classic recipes is refreshing and something I love in a dessert cookbook.

Cookies, Dutch babies, tarts, cakes, cobblers, candies and ice cream are all cover and seem approachable for any level baker. This book is deserving of our attention - whether the Chocolate peanut butter Swiss rolls call to you or the Seaweed shortbread is more your thing.

Special thanks to Oxmoor House for sharing the Chocolate chunk cookie for one with us today and for providing three copies of this book to our members in the US in our giveaway below.

 

Chocolate chunk cookie for one
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Makes: 1
Time: Active 5 min; Total 25 min

Cookies always hit the spot, but you don't have to bake an entire batch to get your sweet fix. Just make this single chewy-crisp one from F&W's Justin Chapple in the toaster oven.

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Maldon salt
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1½ Tbsp. dark chocolate chunks

Preheat a toaster oven to 350°. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter until just softened, about 10 seconds. Using a fork, blend in both sugars, the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend in the flour, then stir in the chocolate chunks. Scoop the batter onto a parchment paper-lined toaster tray; sprinkle with salt. Bake until lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

Excerpted from Desserts by the Editors of FOOD & WINE. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. 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 December 22nd, 2017.

Short Stack Editions - Butter by Dorie Greenspan



The Short Stack Editions are a collection of single subject titles where retro design meets contemporary recipes. These books  are penned by well-known authors and available directly from the Short Stack Editions website. Each volume has a home-spun feel and always deliver a collection of recipes you will turn to time and again.  

Short Stack Vol 30: Butter by Dorie Greenspan is the edition every cook must own. Here, Dorie Greenspan gives us a spread of recipes with classic French roots that remind us why butter is the reigning champion in our kitchens. 

From delicious pastries to savory main dishes, there is something for everyone here. Just look at the cover, I was admiring the design and colors this morning, when I noticed that the pattern is comprised of sticks of butter. In my defense, I just received the book yesterday and was too busy enjoying the contents that I missed the obvious.

Dorie starts out with the basics before going on to recipes that include Cinnamon-chile caramel corn, Cornmeal waffles, Frontier clam chowder and Buttermilk biscuits. Anything by Dorie is a must-have and Short Stack editions are definitely keepers. 

The publisher is offering three copies of Butter to our members in the US. Please be sure to enter our contest at the bottom of this article. In the meantime,  try the Butter-browned onion galette which makes a great appetizer for the holidays.  

 

Butter-browned onion galette
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Onions are chameleons: Eat them raw and they're like apples; cook them lightly and they soften and sweeten; cook them for a long time in butter and they turn darker and sweeter still, and as they caramelize, the butter takes on a nutlike flavor. They're a marvel in this rustic open-faced galette, the French version of a crostata, which you could finish off with some lightly dressed arugula. Keep these caramelized onions in mind for other dishes. They're great as a topping for a burger, layered into a grilled cheese sandwich and served as a bed for mashed potatoes or grilled meat.

1⁄2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 large Vidalia onions-peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 Sweet & Savory Butter Crust (*see recipe below), rolled out
Parmesan shards
Freshly ground black pepper


In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, stir in the salt, sugar and rosemary and cook, stirring often, until the onions color deeply, about 40 minutes. Don't rush it!

Season with pepper and remove the rosemary sprigs. Remove from the heat, set the skillet aside to cool and stir in the grated Parmesan. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lay the crust out on a parchment-paper- or silicone-mat-lined baking sheet. Spread the onions over the crust leaving a 2-inch border. Gently lift the border up and fold it over the onions. If the dough is too cold and cracks, wait a few minutes. The dough will pleat and be uneven, and that's just what you want.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust and onions are toasty brown.

Place the galette on a rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before scattering the Parmesan shards over the top. Cut the galette with a pizza wheel and serve. 

Sweet & savory butter crust
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Use this dough for any kind of tart or quiche or even galettes-and any time a recipe calls for pâte brisée. It's truly an all-purpose and truly delicious crust. Bake it to a good golden brown so that you can really appreciate the caramel and nut flavors that are the hallmark of an all-butter crust.

1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 stick (6 tablespoons) very cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ice water

Makes one 9 in. tart or 1 galette

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt. Scatter over the bits of butter and pulse until they're coarsely chopped into the mix. In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together, add the mixture to the machine in three parts and pulse after each one. You want a moist dough that holds together when it's pinched. Turn the dough onto a counter, flatten into a disk and place between sheets of parchment or wax paper.

To make a tart crust: Roll out the dough and fit it into a tart pan. Chill (or freeze) the dough for at least 1 hour before baking.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Press a piece of buttered foil on top of the crust and fill with dry rice or beans. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until golden. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the crust cool to room temperature. To make a galette: Roll the freshly made dough into an 11-inch circle and refrigerate (or freeze) it for at least 1 hour before using.

Proceed with the directions for making the Butter-Browned Onion Galette (see recipe above).

 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. 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 December 18th, 2017.


Le Creuset Cookbook and Cookware with Review, Recipe & Giveaway

Created in Le Creuset's very own test kitchen, Le Creuset: A Collection of Recipes from Our French Table is a cookbook that is as stunning as the French icon's beautiful cookware. With over eighty inspiring French recipes designed to empower home cooks to explore the timeless pleasures of the French table, this title will release your inner Jacques Pépin.

Pommes Dauphinoise, Coquilles St. Jacques, and Boeuf Bourguignon as well as other classics are shared along with sure to become new favorites Lamb Navarin, Cauliflower Polonaise, and Lentil salad with whipped goat cheese. I particularly love the Boulanger and Patissier chapters that contain recipes for Brown butter madeleines, Cake salé (a ham and cheese loaf), Chocolate soufflé and other tempting dishes. Beautiful photographs and an elegant embossed cover coupled with recipes that are approachable and impressive make this title a keeper. 

Besides my addiction to cookbooks, I have a deep affinity for Le Creuset cookware and all things French. The products are gorgeous (the colors add a splash of fun to my kitchen), last a lifetime and elegantly scream quality. Le Creuset introduced the first vibrant, flame-colored enameled cast iron cocotte in 1925 taking a kitchen staple - cast iron - and refining it, making it more functional, more beautiful and deeply joyful. I know they bring me great joy. I still have on my wish list a round Doufeu and the Loewy  coquelle and maybe then I will stop collecting. Don't fall for that one, Dear Husband.

When the stainless steel line came out, I lusted after it with the eye-catching lids and Le Creuset handles that taunted me - I had to have it! Just recently, I was able to review two of Le Creuset's stainless steel products, the gorgeous 6+ quart stock pot and the roaster and absolutely love everything about these pieces.

The stainless steel collection of cookware from Le Creuset is aesthetically pleasing and are workhorses in the kitchen. The stockpot is lighter than others of this quality but still sturdy. For some reason, water boiled so much faster in the Le Creuset pot. I know this is a strange thing to notice but here in the mountains water takes longer to reach a boiling point. A watched pot does boil when the pot is Le Creuset.

Breaking in my stainless steel roaster was great fun with a delicious brisket. I'm looking forward to using these two wonderful products (along with my Le Creuset cast iron) to bring style to my holiday cooking. I've had people comment on my collection asking if a chef lives in our house - the answer is no, but Le Creuset makes me feel like one. 

Special thanks to Le Creuset for providing me the gorgeous stainless steel items to review as well as a copy of their new cookbook. Graciously, they are sharing a comforting Onion soup recipe with our members today as well as offering copies of their book to two winners with one winner also winning a Le Creuset stainless steel stockpot in our contest below.

Onion soup

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Makes 4 to 6 servings

½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for the bread
3 pounds medium yellow onions, halved and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Kosher salt
½ cup dry white wine
8 cups chicken stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 dried bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 demi baguette slices, cut on the diagonal ½-inch-thick
1 garlic clove, halved
1 ½ cups coarsely grated or thinly shaved Gruyere
Garnish with coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to loosen the brown glaze from the bottom of the pan. Stir more often as the onions darken.

Deglaze the pot with the wine, stirring to loosen the fond from the bottom of the pot. Simmer until the wine nearly cooks away. Stir in the chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler on high. Butter the tops of the bread slices and broil until crisp and toasted. Rub the toast with the cut sides of the garlic clove. Leave the broiler on.

Ladle soup into French onion soup bowls or other oven-safe crocks, and place them on a baking sheet. Float a slice of toast in each serving. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the soup and toast, letting a little drape over the edge of the bowls. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve at once.

Le Creuset is offering one grand prize winner a copy of Le Creuset: A Collection of Recipes from Our French Table and a Le Creuset Stainless Steel Stock Pot with a second winner receiving a copy of the gorgeous cookbook. This contest is open to  EYB Members in the US. 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 December 16th, 2017.


InStyle Parties - Review, recipes and giveaway

Here in the US, November through New Years Day is peak party season. Even those  who don't like to entertain will gather together friends and family to celebrate the holidays. No matter how confident or organized we are in the kitchen, we all can use advice and tips from the experts when it comes to entertaining, and in this case the expert is InStyle Magazine.

InStyle Parties: The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining All Year Round by The Editors of InStyle is a completely revised and updated version of the 2007 edition of this book. The editors of InStyle offer their advice on hosting any type of celebration. Whether a baby shower, dinner gathering, or holiday affair, you'll discover how to transform your tabletop to fit the theme, get ideas for the perfect invitations, and learn the shortcuts of posh party prep.

Each chapter represents one occasion or party. For instance, the chapter on Thanksgiving dinner includes recipes for a Seasoned roast turkey, Carrots with espresso, dates, sorghum and lime, Cornbread with honey butter and scallions, Roasted green beans and okra with caramelized fish sauce, Sweet potato pave and a decadent Chocolate tart with pine nut crust. Also shared is a signature cocktail for each occasion and in Thanksgiving's case it would be a Maple old-fashioned. Ideas for decorating and ideas for activities to keep your gathering fun are also provided along with a countdown or timeline to keep you on schedule and shortcut options.

InStyle Parties would be the ideal gift for the hostess this season and I may be adding a few of the dishes mentioned above on my Thanksgiving table - especially that cornbread. Special thanks to Oxmoor House for sharing two recipes with our members today and for providing three copies of this book for our contest below.

 

Pear & pumpkin tart

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Serves 6 to 8

Hands-on 20 minutes, Total 50 minutes

1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1⁄2 (3-pound) sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices
1 firm Bartlett pear, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
1⁄4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1⁄4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Unfold the puff pastry sheets, and place side by side on a baking sheet, overlapping the short sides 1⁄2 inch. Press the seam to seal. Score a 1⁄2-inch border on all sides, using a knife. Do not cut through the pastry.

2. Toss together the pumpkin slices, next 3 ingredients, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large bowl. Spread the mixture in a single layer on the prepared pastry sheets, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border. Bake at 425°F until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.

3. Toss together the arugula, next 3 ingredients, and the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the mixture over the tart; cut and serve.

Fizzy ginger punch 

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Serves 8 Hands-on 15 minutes Total 1 hour, 15 minutes (includes cooling)

1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
3⁄4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
3⁄4 cup water
4 (2-inch) lemon zest strips, plus 1⁄3 cup fresh juice, chilled
1 star anise pod
1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne, chilled
1 cup brandy, chilled
2 medium-sized oranges, cut into rounds

1. Combine the sugar, ginger, water, lemon zest strips, and star anise pod in a small saucepan over high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour; pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer, discarding the solids.

2. Place 1⁄2 cup of the sugar syrup mixture in a pitcher. Cover and chill the remaining simple syrup up to 2 weeks; reserve for another use. Add the Champagne, brandy, and lemon juice to the pitcher; stir gently. Garnish with the orange rounds.

Excerpted from INSTYLE Parties by the Editors of INSTYLE. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. 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 December 15th, 2017.

Hazana - Review, recipe and giveaway

Cookbooks are beginning to transcend beyond a collection of bound recipes. Great cookbooks take us back to another time or deliver up an unfamiliar culture sharing traditions, cuisine and at times even profiles of the beautiful people of different countries. With great cookbooks, I get to travel and experience a whole new world without leaving my home.

Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin meets all my parameters for a great book. The pages of this book deliver beautiful photographs and crave-worthy dishes beginning with that stunning cover continuing throughout until the very last recipe for Chocolate walnut balls.

In Hebrew, the word "Hazana" refers to nourishment, it is a word that defines the role food and cooking play in Jewish life. Nourishment, of course, comes in many forms - the pages here are also nourishment for one's soul. Hazana takes us on a journey of twenty countries from Poland to Morocco, Italy, Lithuania, Turkey and more. The first thirty-five pages highlight the Jewish holidays and festivals as well as highlight each of the aforementioned countries sharing details about the history of the Jewish people and their cuisine. 

Here, 140 traditional Jewish vegetarian dishes that have been passed down for generations are covered with photographs peppered throughout. Simple, but elegant, dishes are shared from Mushroom strudel, Swiss chard and white cheese gratin, to Courgette and potato moussaka.

Special thanks to Quadrille for sharing the recipe for Herb omelette with walnuts and barbaries which would be great for Chanukah as well as providing three copies of this book in our contest below. 

 

Herb omelette with walnuts and barberries
Kuku sabzi

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This is one of the most well known omelettes in the Iranian Jewish repertoire, and is often prepared for the Sabbath. It is made from a variety of herbs and greens, such as flat-leaf parsley, coriander (cilantro), dill, lettuce and spring onions (scallions), though the exact proportions vary, according to what is at hand. In this recipe, barberries add a deliciously tart flavour. Kuku sabzi is very good served with drinks, in which case it is usually cut into small squares and garnished with chopped walnuts.

Serves 4

  • 3 spring onions (scallions), very finely chopped
  • 50g (1 cup) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 25g (1/2 cup) finely chopped dill
  • 25g (1/2 cup) finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly shelled walnuts, finely ground in a blender or food processor
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried barberries or cranberries, to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, ghee or olive oil

Place the spring onions and herbs in a bowl and mix well, then stir in the walnuts and barberries.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl with the flour and spices. Add the herb and walnut mixture and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a heavy frying pan and, when it is hot, pour in the egg mixture. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 15-20 minutes or until the bottom is golden. Place under a hot grill (broiler) for 20 seconds to set the top, then slide the kuku onto a saucepan lid or plate. Place the frying pan over the uncooked side of the kuku and hold the pan firmly against the saucepan lid. Quickly flip both the frying pan and the lid over, so that the uncooked side of the kuku sits on the bottom of the frying pan. Continue cooking the omelette over a gentle heat on the hob until the bottom is golden. Slide onto a serving platter and serve hot, cut into wedges like a pie.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Hazana: Jewish Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin, published by Quadrille October 2017, RRP $35.00 hardcover.

 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. 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 December 14th, 2017.

The Epicurean - The Classic 1893 Cookbook

The Epicurean: The Classic 1893 Cookbook (Calla Editions) by Charles Ranhofer is a nearly 1200 page tome on the art of cooking. Ranhofer was a master chef who worked for decades at America's most celebrated restaurant of the Gilded Age.

Ranhofer was already famous when he was hired by the legendary Delmonico's of New York, and under his supervision, the restaurant's kitchen achieved even greater renown. In 1893 Ranhofer shared his professional secrets with the publication of The Epicurean. This splendid reproduction of the now-rare volume offers modern cooks and gastronomes a complete culinary encyclopedia, comprising more than 3,500 recipes. 

From appetizing soups, sauces, and garnishes to mouth-watering desserts, this collection provides a wealth of options for every course, including recipes for meats, seafood, and hot and cold side dishes as well as wine pairings. In addition to 92 ways to prepare eggs and 172 vegetable dishes, scores of menus offer suggestions for breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, buffets, suppers, and parties.  A detailed index directs readers to specific dishes and foods, and nearly 800 black-and-white illustrations depict methods of preparation, table settings, cuts of meat, carving methods, and other techniques.

Inspiration and practical instruction abound in this historic book, which is as suitable for at-home cooks wishing to add elegance and sophistication to their kitchen repertoire as it is for gourmets and professionals seeking a guide to world cuisine. Anyone with a taste for fine dining will find this this self-contained library a timeless guide to the pleasures of food and drink. Just as Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a must have in a cookbook lover's collection, this title is as well. 

Dover is providing two copies of this beautiful book to our members worldwide in our contest below as well as offering 25 percent off any of their cookery titles for the holidays using this link and entering the code WRBK which expires on 12/31/2017.  

The publisher is offering two copies of this book worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which book from Dover's site would you like?

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 December 13th, 2017.

David Tanis Market Cooking - Review, recipe and giveaway

David Tanis has always been a favorite. His work is elegant, yet approachable, and his dishes rely on ingredients that are readily available.

One Good Dish, Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys and A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes are all on my bookshelf. Corn: A Country Garden Cookbook was just ordered (how did I not know about this title?)

Almost 500 of David's online recipes from his City Kitchen column for the New York Times are indexed, one click and you can add them all to your bookshelf. 

David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient, his latest title, is nearly 500 pages of greatness. Ottolenghi says it perfectly, "Who needs fireworks when your ingredients are market fresh, the recipes are reassuringly straightforward, and the author is the most brilliant cook?" Who would dare to disagree with Ottolenghi, not I?

Organized by ingredient, the author's purpose in this title is to enable us to become discerning with regard to ingredient selection at the market and to educate ourselves about the methods of cooking those ingredients to highlight their specific qualities. Over 200 recipes and 300 photographs brought together by David's brilliant writing make this one of the best books of 2017.

The Japanese cucumber salad is so easy and delicious and the Garlicky pork and potatoes are perfection and is what was for dinner today (my not so lovely photo can be found at the link). The recipes here will be turned to time and again in this stunning book. Be sure to check out our calendar for David's book tour dates.

Special thanks to Artisan and the author for sharing the Incendiary Chinese chicken with our members today and for offering three copies of this book in our contest below. 

Incendiary Chinese chicken

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In some Chinese dishes, a very hefty handful of whole dried red chiles is added to the wok. Left whole, they provide a kind of sneaky background heat. The dish looks frightening at first glance, and it is pretty darned spicy, but the result is not overwhelmingly incendiary as long as you remember to eat just the chicken and dodge the chiles.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet rice wine, such as Shaoxing (or substitute sherry)
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon slivered fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 24 Chinese dried red chiles (or substitute chiles de árbol)
  • 2 cups Blond Chicken Broth (see below)
  • 4 scallions, chopped

Put the chicken in a bowl, add the cornstarch, salt, sugar, wine, and soy sauce, and toss to coat. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Put the oil in a wok over high heat and heat until hot. Add the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes, tossing constantly so it browns and crisps all over. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the Sichuan peppercorns and let them toast for a minute or so, until fragrant. Add the ginger, garlic, and dried chiles and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat to high, add the chicken, chicken broth, and half the scallions, and stir-fry until the liquid has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining scallions. 

Makes 4 servings

Blond Chicken Broth

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Put 3 pounds meaty chicken bones (a combination of wings, backs, and necks), 2 quartered medium onions, 2 chopped carrots, 1 chopped celery stalk, a bay leaf, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 parsley sprigs, 5 black peppercorns, and 6 quarts water in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that has risen to the surface. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, skimming frequently. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve and cool to room temperature. Skim the fat from the surface and use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for future use (the fat will rise to surface and congeal). 

Makes 4 quarts

Excerpted from David Tanis Market Cooking by David Tanis (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Evan Sung.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. 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 December 14th, 2017.

The Perfect Cookie Cookbook and Silpat Promotion

No other time of the year feels as right for cookie baking than the months that usher in the holidays (at least for me). The colder days of October and November cry out for the oven to be set at 350 degrees and the blending of flour, sugar, butter.

America's Test Kitchen's The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies, and Bars is indeed perfect. (ATK's The Perfect Cake will be released in March and I will bring you more information closer to release date on that title). Everything needed for creating and perfecting classic cookies, international favorites, bars, brownies, and candies are shared in this brilliant collection.

Each recipe is accompanied by a photograph, a section entitled "Why this recipe works", and detailed instructions with tips. Measurements are provided in both volume and weight. The novice and experienced baker alike will enjoy the selection of sweets, the range of recipes and the beautiful photography shared here. 

Ultranutty pecan bars, Mini pumpkin whoopie pies, Greek honey cakes, Orange-cardamom twists and Tahini cookies with sesame seeds are a few examples of the variety of cookies. Also included are classics from Chocolate chip cookies, Sugar cookies to caramel candies. As always, America's Test Kitchen's recipes are tested and re-tested to provide positive and yes, perfect, results. 

When I start my cookie baking marathon for the holidays, I pull out my best cookie sheets and my Silpat® liners. The first Silpat® liner was created in the late sixties by experienced baker, M. Guy Demarle, in Northern France. After having worked on and developing a non-stick form for his baguette baking, he moved on to developing a liner for baking cookies and the like. Since that time, the company has continued to improve its product and has expanded to include Silpats® for macaron, bread and other specialized baking (they even have a sushi mat!)  I love the Perfect Cookie Silpat to help space my cookies and keep them from sticking. I want to add the macaron kit and pretzel mat to my Silpat collection soon. Santa, if you are listening...

Special thanks to Demarle for providing a Silpat® Perfect Cookie mat for my review as well as an Entremet Silicone Baking Pan - I am looking forward to experimenting with this pan to make sticky baked goods such as pecan bars a less stressful task. Demarle is offering a Perfect Cookie Silpat® and America's Test Kitchen is offering a copy of The Perfect Cookie cookbook to three of our US members in our contest below. 

Try this recipe for Baci di dama now from The Perfect Cookie and add a new addition to your holiday trays this season. 

 

Baci di dama

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Why This Recipe Works

Hailing from Italy's Piedmont region, baci di dama have a darling name (they translate to "lady's kisses") and an even more darling appearance. The sandwiches consist of two diminutive hazelnut cookies surrounding a rich chocolate filling. Baci di dama are a textural marvel, at once crisp and meltingly tender. The hazelnut cookies get their texture from rice flour, which gives baked goods crispness-and since it doesn't contain the protein gluten like wheat flour does, doughs made with it don't run the risk of becoming tough if overworked. But we don't usually have rice flour on hand, so to replicate the crisp texture with staples, we used a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. We also found that cutting cold butter into the dry ingredients rather than creaming the butter and sugar resulted in a crispier cookie (and a dough that was easier to handle). We used chocolate chips for the filling rather than bar chocolate; chocolate chips contain emulsifiers so once they're melted, they have a thicker consistency-making them an ideal filling for holding the tiny, bulbous cookies together.

Makes 40 sandwich cookies

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • ½ cup (2½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips


1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Process hazelnuts, flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add butter and vanilla and process until dough comes together, about 30 seconds.

3. Transfer dough to counter and divide into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, press and roll into 10-inch-long by 1-inch-wide rope. Using bench scraper or sharp knife, cut rope into 20 lengths, then roll lengths into balls with your hands and space them 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 16 to 18 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cookies cool completely on sheets.

4. Microwave chocolate chips in small bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread ¼ teaspoon chocolate over bottom of half of cookies, then top with remaining cookies, pressing lightly to adhere. Let chocolate set, about 15 minutes, before serving.

America's Test Kitchen is offering three copies of The Perfect Cookie and Demarle® is offering three Perfect Cookie Silpats to EYB Members in the US. Three members will win a copy of the book and a Silpat. 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 December 11th, 2017. 

Friday Flashback - Cocolat - Alice Medrich and Worldwide Giveaway

Alice Medrich is one of those authors that demand attention. Her books are as impressive as the first lady of chocolate herself. Since 1976, when her renowned shop Cocolat opened and her first dessert feature appeared in a national publication, Alice's innovative ideas and recipes and her insistence on quality ingredients have influenced a generation of confectioners, pastry chefs, and home cooks. Among her early accomplishments, Alice is credited with popularizing chocolate truffles in the US all from a recipe she procured from her Paris landlady.

In 1989, she sold her interest in the Cocolat shops. Since then she has become an award-winning cookbook author, receiving three Cookbook of the Year awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals for Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts, Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts; and Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate. In 2007, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine magazines named her Pure Dessert one of the top cookbooks of the year. Alice's book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your Mouth Cookies, won the 2011 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award in the baking category. Her 2014 book, Flavor Flours won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Baking and Dessert Book. The paper back edition, Gluten Free Flavor Flours, was published this year. Also, Dover has published a revised and updated edition (including a new introduction and ingredient information but the recipes remain the same) of Cocolat. She has authored other titles including Chocolate Holidays and Cookies and Brownies.

While I'm covering Alice's decadent career, today's focus is on Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts which as stated above has been republished by Dover with a new introduction and information about ingredients. Every recipe in this book creates a stunning showpiece dessert. Cranberry Christmas cake, Queen of Sheba (a stunning tart), and a Chestnut chocolate torte (which my friend Jenni Field made recently at Pastry Chef Online). Anything from this book will wow your holiday guests.

I love when a book is republished and finds a whole new audience of fans but also reminds me of the brilliance of one of my favorite authors. Dover is providing two copies of this beautiful book to our members worldwide in our contest below as well as offering 25 percent off any of their cookery titles for the holidays using this link and entering the code WRBK which expires on 12/31/2017. There is also a worldwide giveaway for Vincent Price's Cooking Price-Wise at The Cookbook Junkies' site be sure to enter that promotion. Price was a gourmet and the recipes in this title will impress you. 

The publisher is offering two copies of this book worldwide. 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 December 10th, 2017.

My Rice Bowl - review, recipe and giveaway

As soon as I opened My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines by Rachel Yang and Jess Thomson, I was smitten. A two page photo spread of perfect half-moon dumplings in all their imperfectness with a few cracks in the dough, a little filling slipping out, greeted me. It was then that I knew this book was all about having fun while cooking. This and the author's instructions to cook the recipes as written or make them our own were a sure sign of good things to come.

My Rice Bowl is one of the titles I was most excited about this Fall and my patience for its arrival was well rewarded. 75 recipes based on the author's deeply comforting Korean fusion cuisine, inspired by cultures from around the world fill this book. Yang is a co-owner of the popular Seattle restaurants, Joule, Trove, and Revel, and Portland's Revelry. 

The recipes Yang shares in this her debut cookbook are the authentic food of a Korean-immigrant who tried everything she could to become an American. She came to realize that her culture (and those of countless others) are what makes America so delicious - after all we are the melting pot. You will not find typical Korean food here, but you will find the restaurants' kimchi recipe and a wonderful collection of innovative dishes. Recipes include Seaweed noodles with crab and crème fraîche, Tahini-garlic grilled pork belly, Fried cauliflower with miso bagna cauda, Chipotle-spiked pad thai, Korean-taco pickles, and Miso caramel chocolate torte.

Dumplings have an entire chapter to themselves starting with a recipe for basic dough. The fillings, however, are anything but basic for example Cauliflower and farro. Homemade noodles share the same delicious fate with Black sesame noodles made with black sesame powder as an option. Other surprise dishes are Geoduck fried rice with seaweed dust and pickled pork rind as well as Funky, spicy, pork pancakes with pork belly and kimchi. The price of the book is worth one recipe alone, Mrs. Yang's spicy fried chicken with peanut brittle. (Photo courtesy of Marc Schmerhorn who made this dish for his cookbook club.) 

My Rice Bowl  is full of surprises as it is not your classic Korean cookbook, nor your typical restaurant cookbook. It is ballsy and refreshing. Recipes may have a long list of ingredients but the dishes are approachable and worth the effort. 

Special thanks to Sasquatch for sharing the Korean treasure rice recipe with our members and for supplying three copies of this book in our contest below open to US members.

 

Korean treasure rice - shiitake, burdock, walnuts
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In Korea, there's a traditional special-occasion dish whose name translates to "healthy mix rice." It's served in a big stone pot, usually posed as a table centerpiece and decorated with, say, a circle of gingko nuts, or something else that makes it pretty. It always has grains, nuts, mushrooms, and dates, but beyond that, like so many traditions around the world, the recipe varies by household. This is my own version, which I make with Medjool dates (rather than Korean jujubes) because they break down and become almost jammy. It's the ultimate recharging dish in the winter, meant to be deeply satisfying but also nutritious when the juiciest produce isn't in season. Eat the rice alone as a meal in itself, for breakfast or lunch.

Look for mixed-grain rice in the rice section of a large Asian grocery store. It should have a mix of grain types-different-colored rice, oats, millet, barley, and sometimes beans.

Makes about 6 cups

  • 2 cups mixed-grain rice, rinsed and drained three times
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 cup)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1⁄2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and halved
  • 1 (2-inch) piece burdock root, peeled and cut into 1⁄8-inch slices 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped 

1. SOAK THE RICE.  Put the rice in a medium mixing bowl. Add cold water to cover, and soak for 30 minutes.

2. SOAK THE MUSHROOMS.  Put the mushrooms in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the 1 quart of water to a boil, then pour the hot water over the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms soak, submerging them with a plate if necessary, for about 30 minutes, or until soft.

3. MAKE THE RICE.  Drain the rice and add it to a large saucepan, then drain the mushroom soaking liquid directly into the pot with the rice. Trim off and discard the mushroom stems, then quarter the mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with the dates, burdock, and walnuts. Bring the rice to a simmer, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook for about 1 hour, or until the water is absorbed and the grains are cooked. Remove the rice from the heat, let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff and serve.

*(c)2017 by Rachel Yang and Jess Thomson. All rights reserved. Excerpted from My Rice Bowl by permission of Sasquatch Books.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. 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 December 11th, 2017.

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