Dinner in an Instant - Melissa Clark

Do you question if Melissa Clark ever sleeps? I do. She's a wife, mother, author of many books and columnist at the New York Times. There has to be two of her. The dynamo has another cookbook coming in early 2018: Favorite Recipes from Melissa Clark's Kitchen: Family Meals, Festive Gatherings, and Everything In-between that can be pre-ordered now. And her previous titles and her two newspaper columns, A Good Appetite and What's for Dinner are indexed for our members. Two clicks and all the recipes from both columns can be added to your bookshelf.

But back to the reason we are here today, Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, and Instant Pot is the second book this year from Clark. This title tackles those appliances that can make our busy schedules a little less hectic - the pressure cooker, Instant Pot (have you entered our contest to win an Instant Pot?) and slow cooker. What I love about Dinner in an Instant is that the recipes are complex in flavor with plenty of international flair. The "in an Instant" portion of the title is somewhat misleading as many of the recipes do take an investment of time with prep, marinating and searing to add flavor but the reward is well worth the effort. 

Japanese beef curry, Wild mushroom, pancetta and pea risotto, and Garlicky Cuban pork are a few examples of recipes you will find. As with Melissa's Dinner Changing the Game, this book will always be handy and both titles have made my best books of 2017 list. 

Special thanks to Clarkson Potter for sharing a recipe with us today - the Korean chile-braised brisket and Kimchi coleslaw. The publisher is also providing three copies of Dinner in an Instant in our contest open to members in the US. Be sure to scroll down to enter. 


Korean Chile-braised brisket + Kimchi coleslaw

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Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, plus at least 1 hour for marinating
Yield: 8 servings

Gochujang, a very slightly sweet and powerfully spicy Korean chile paste made from gochugaru (Korean red chile), has become a staple in my kitchen, where it adds a more intense, complex bite than other hot sauces. Here I use it to flavor tender beef brisket, along with the gochugaru chile flakes for added heat, sesame oil, garlic, and lots of fresh ginger. If you can't find gochujang, Sriracha makes a good though slightly less spicy substitute.

And if you're not a coleslaw fan, you can certainly skip it and simply serve some kimchi or a salad on the side.

  • 4 to 5 pounds beef brisket, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dried red chile flakes, preferably Korean gochugaru
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil, as needed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup lager-style beer
  • ¼ cup gochujang (Korean chile paste) or Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • FOR THE KIMCHI COLESLAW
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage (from 1 small cabbage)
  • ¼ cup chopped kimchi, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons peanut, grapeseed, or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Juice of ½ lime, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

COOK IT SLOW

Cut the beef into 6 to 8 pieces instead of 3 or 4 pieces. Marinate and brown as in steps 1 and 2. Place the meat in the pot and cover with the sautéed onion mixture from step 3. Cook on high for 7 to 9 hours or low for 10 to 12 hours.

1. Rub the beef with the chile flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

2. Set the electric pressure cooker to sauté (or use a large skillet). Add a tablespoon of the oil, let it heat up for a few seconds, and then add a batch of the beef and sear until it's browned all over, about 2 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed. Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat with the remaining batches.

3. If the pot looks dry, add a bit more oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the beer, gochujang, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Scrape the mixture into the pressure cooker if you have used a skillet.

4. Cover and cook on high pressure for 90 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.

5. To make the kimchi coleslaw, combine the cabbage, kimchi, both oils, lime juice, and salt in a large bowl and toss well. Taste, and add more salt or lime juice if needed.

6. Transfer the beef to a plate or a rimmed cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Set the pressure cooker to sauté and simmer the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is reduced by half or two-thirds (remember that it thickens as it cools). Use a fat separator to skim off the fat, or let the sauce settle and spoon the fat off the top. Serve the sauce alongside the beef, with the kimchi coleslaw.

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 January 17th, 2017.

 

Reprinted from Dinner in an Instant. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Vegan Recipes from the Middle East

Many cultures blend together to make up the melting pot that represents the food of the Middle East. Generations of  Iranian, Israeli, Armenian, Kurdish, Greek, Cypriot, Azerbaijani and Turkish cooks, as well as other nations, join together as the foundation of this varied and vibrant cuisine.

One constant among these people are the reverence and respect they have toward cooking with food that comes from the earth.

In Vegan Recipes from the Middle East by Parvin Razavi, vegan cooking blends natural culinary delights from various cultures with a contemporary approach to deliver dishes that will please the modern cook. Here are warm and spicy stuffed vegetables, cool and fragrant soups, delicate preserves, pilafs, breads, pickles, relishes and pastries with beautiful photographs to boot.

The dishes of the following countries: Iran; Armenia; Syria, Lebanon, Jordan; Egypt; Morocco and Turkey are the focus of Parvin's recipes. The book is organized in chapters for each country with a focus on the mezze style of cooking and serving. It is not unusual for up to ten dishes to be prepared for one meal in the Middle East and they are all served together. There is no designation of courses - everything is brought to the table to enjoy. I love this type of celebration that sets out myriad dishes so that guests can explore and share. 

The Crispy saffron rice and Orange and coriander relish were two dishes I tried several months ago and they were perfect, especially the relish.  I love the sweet and sour combination that added a bright note to our chicken dish (of course, this relish would be good with any number of vegan dishes such as rice or lentils).

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing the recipe below for Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate with our members today as well as providing five copies of this book in our contest for members worlwide. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter.

Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate
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Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • A little oil
  • 500 g ground walnuts
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup
  • 250 ml water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 g approx. Pomegranate seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A little parsley, for garnishing

1. Halve the aubergines, place in a generous amount of salted water and steep for half an hour.

2. Sweat the onions in a pan with some oil until transparent and add the garlic.

3.  Add the walnuts and pomegranate syrup to the saucepan and slowly bring to the boil with the water.

4.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring regularly.

5. Add the pomegranate seeds and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

6. Remove the aubergines from the water and wipe well with a clean cloth.

7. Cut into each aubergine flesh twice lengthways and saute in a heated frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side.

8. Add the lemon juice to the pomegranate and walnut mixture, and spread on the aubergines. Serve with pomegranate seeds and a little parsley as a garnish.

Tip: The nut and pomegranate filling can also be supplemented with 150-200 g strips of seitan and served with rice.

 

The publisher is offering five copies of this book to EYB Members 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 January 15th, 2017.

State Bird Provisions, Review, Recipe and Giveaway

2017 is the year of the cookbook.

So many titles this year, more than any other, deserve a well-earned spot on "the best cookbooks of 2017" list. Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski's State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook is another such title. The couple's Michelin-starred restaurant by the same name is located in San Francisco and was named Best New Restaurant in 2013 by James Beard. Two years later, both chefs took the Best Chef West category. The power couple manage to remain married despite working together in the stress-filled restaurant business all while creating amazing food. They need to share their secrets for this seemingly Herculean, yet harmonious, union. When my husband works from home (on a different floor than myself) it throws off my whole game.

The couple's debut cookbook, State Bird, captures the spirit of the restaurant where guests start to eat even before an order is placed. Carts roam the restaurant with tiny bites for guests to sample. As I page through the book, I find myself dreaming about the flavors and textures of each dish based on the photographs alone. For instance, the first recipe State bird with provisions (fried quail - the state bird of California is quail)- the super crunchy breading (a mixture of flours, pumpkin seeds and bread crumbs) jumps off the page, the generous shards of parmesan along with the rainstorm of chives and black pepper promises to be the perfect bite. I am excited to experiment with this recipe. 

The entire book has the same feel. These folks love food - good food.  With dishes such as Everything pancakes with smoked mackerel, cream cheese, and sweet-and-sour beets; Fried pork belly with plum, fish sauce, herbs, and long pepper; and Dutch crunch "bao" with carrot halwa, all levels of cooks will find excitement and inspiration here. The measurements are in weight and volume and the recipe instructions are detailed with components outlined clearly and separately. For example, the quail is set out over four pages, one page devoted to the finished dish photo. Breaking these recipes down for us, makes them less intimidating: marinate the quail, bread the quail, make the onions, and then finish the dish. 

Special thanks to Ten Speed Press for sharing the following recipe today and for providing three copies of this beautiful book for our contest below. 

Black butter-balsamic figs with basil and fontina fondue 
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Serves 4 

Make the fondue 

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup shredded Fontina Val d'Aosta or Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche 

 

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately turn the heat to very low to keep warm. 

Pour an inch or so of water in a second small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the cheese in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit in the saucepan without touching the water. Set the bowl in the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. When the cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds, pour in the warm cream. Continue to cook the cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the cheese has fully melted, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Stir the egg yolk, salt, pepper, and Tabasco into the cheese until well combined. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl, and stir in the crème fraîche until well combined. Cover and keep warm for up to 1 hour. 

Finish the dish 

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 large ripe fresh figs (preferably Black Mission or Kadota), halved lengthwise
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
  • Micro basil leaves or torn basil leaves for garnish

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Let it bubble and crackle, swirling the pan occasionally, until it stops crackling and turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, swirling constantly, until the butter smokes and turns a blackish color, about 30 seconds more. 

Put the figs, cut side down, in the pan, turn the heat to medium, and cook without stirring until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Toss well and continue to cook, tossing occasionally and making sure to brown the round sides, until the figs are deep golden brown and soft but not falling apart, about 2 minutes. 

Add the vinegar to the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook, swirling and tossing constantly, just until it reduces slightly to glaze the figs, about 30 seconds. 

Drizzle about ½ cup of the fondue on a large plate, top with the figs and glaze, and sprinkle on the scallion and basil. Serve right away. 

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 January 13th, 2017.

Baker's Royale - Naomi Robinson

Baker's Royale: 75 Twists on All Your Favorite Sweets by Naomi Robinson is jammed full of desserts, but not just any desserts - these  desserts are modernized classic recipes or what I fondly refer to as Naomi-ized desserts. In 75 recipes for all seasons and occasions, the popular blogger turns familiar desserts on their heads: macarons get a s'mores treatment; pavlova is gilded with Snickers and brownies; profiteroles get a make over with pecan and caramel crunch and so much more. Naomi's book is one of my top cookbooks of 2017.

I've been a follower and fan of the blog, Baker's Royale, from the beginning way before the rest of the world knew Naomi was a star. Her food shots are what all photographers dream of shooting and her recipes are exciting and fun. For years, I hounded the woman about her cookbook (where is your cookbook!?) but life and a new baby slowed things down a bit. Baker's Royale, the cookbook, has made its debut and it is everything I hoped for and well worth the wait.

Naomi has a style that others long to copy in both her recipes and how she captures those dishes behind the lens. Her recipes aren't pretentious or fussy.  A simple Chocolate-dipped orange and Earl Grey shortbread cookie looks elegant and sophisticated under Naomi's spell. Measures are given in weight and volume and chapters are organized as follows: Cookies, Brownies, and Bars; Pies and Tarts; Plate-Scraping Cakes; Single Servings; Confections; and Cool Treats and each filled with desserts that will wow you and whomever you choose to share, if you choose to share. 

Special thanks to Naomi and Running Press for sharing the Bananas Foster parfaits with us today and for providing three copies of her book for our contest below.

 

Bananas Foster Pudding Parfaits
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This is one of those classic desserts to which I gave a modern update by replacing the pyrotechnics with a simple pan sauté. And then I flipped it into a pudding parfait and finished with brûléed bananas and a sprinkling of caramel popcorn for a crunchy fun finish.

Makes 6 (8-OUNCE/235 ML) SERVINGS

For the pudding

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) whole milk, divided
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons gold rum
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the whipped cream topping
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

For the brûléed bananas

  • 3 medium bananas, peeled and cut on a diagonal into 1/4-inch/6 mm slices
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) demerara sugar
  • 1 ounce (31 g) caramel corn

Directions

TO MAKE THE PUDDING: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup/60 ml of water to a boil, using the handle of the pan to swirl the mixture (do not stir directly). Cook until a dark amber color is reached, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add 1 1/2 cups/350 ml of the milk, as the mixture will bubble wildly.

In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together remaining 1 cup/240 ml of milk and the cornstarch. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the milk mixture to the caramelized sugar mixture. Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook until thickened, making sure to stir continuously, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum, vanilla, and salt. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface and transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely, about 4 hours.

TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside.

TO MAKE THE BRÛLÉED BANANAS: Sprinkle the cut side of the banana slices with demerara sugar, then use a kitchen torch to brûlée until browned and toasted.

Assemble the parfaits by evenly dividing the pudding and whipped cream among six 8-ounce/235 ml cups. Top with the banana slices and caramel corn.

Reprinted with permission from BAKER'S ROYALE © 2017 by Naomi Robinson, Running Press, Photos by Naomi Robinson.

 

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 January 11th, 2017.

Chefs and Company

Chefs & Company: 75 Top Chefs Share More Than 180 Recipes to Wow Last-Minute Guests by Maria Isabella is one of my best cookbooks of 2017. There are many factors that contribute to that classification. This beautiful book contains a never-before-assembled collection of recipes that offer a rare and exciting glimpse into the private home kitchens of 75 culinary superstars as they prepare show-stopping meals for their own last-minute guests in an hour or less. The recipes look incredible and the photographs and chef profiles are brilliant. 

As I turn each page, I make a mental note to come back to almost every recipe. I gave up on applying post-it notes to recipes that interest me - those supplies would cost a small fortune in this year of magnificant cookbooks. For my last meal I would request: Arugula salad with goat cheese fritters, green apples and pomegranate; Roasted Niman ranch pork chops with black garlic marinade (a pork chop never looked so good) with Roasted coriander carrots and Poppy seed shortcakes with orange blossom cloud cream and blackberries. I'd also have to add the two dishes we are sharing today and go out with a bang. I couldn't decide which recipe I wanted to share so Page Street Publishing allowed us to share both. The pasta is absolutely great and the ribs are on my must make list which is as long as Santa's naughty list this year. 

Chef tips, approachable but elegant recipes from major players in the culinary world, measurements in weight and volume and stunning photographs make this book a must have of 2017. In addition to the recipes shared below, the publisher is also offering three copies of this stellar book to our members in the US and Eat Your Books is offering one copy worldwide in our contest below.  

 

Michael White's Garganelli with Prosciutto, Cream & Arugula
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Serves 4 as a main course

When you're in a hurry to make a pasta dish for last-minute company, this elegant version makes it look like you slaved all day over it. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Michael prefers to use garganelli pasta, which he considers to be "the finest of the short fresh pastas because of their textural complexity." Look for them in an Italian market or specialty shop.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (151 g) fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp (28 g) truffle butter (can substitute regular butter), divided
  • 5 oz (140 g) thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) wide strips
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh or dried garganelli (can substitute gemelli or penne)
  • ¾ cup (135 g) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups (45 g) loosely packed arugula, washed, spun dry, and torn or cut into strips

Fill a medium-size pot about two-thirds full of water and salt it liberally. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and cook just until they start to turn bright green, about 30 seconds. Immediately drain them in a colander and rinse under gently running cold water to stop the cooking and preserve their green color. Set aside.

Fill a large pot about two-thirds full of water and salt it liberally. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, set a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter and let it melt, tipping and tilting the pan to coat. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, just to warm it and infuse the butter with its flavor, about 1 minute.

Stir in the cream and bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat and continue simmering gently until it reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes for fresh or 7 minutes for dried.

Meanwhile, stir the peas and the remaining 1 tablespoon (14 g) of butter into the sauce, letting the butter melt.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce, then stir in ½ cup (90 g) of the cheese until it melts and thickens the sauce.

Divide the pasta among 4 individual plates. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper, a sprinkling of the remaining cheese, and the arugula. Serve promptly

 

Kenny Gilbert's Fried Western-Style Pork Ribs
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Serves 4

"My father was from Chicago," explains Kenny. "He took me to Chinatown there when I was a kid, and there was a place that would serve a fried pork chop sandwich between two slices of Wonder bread, topped with smothered peppers and onions with a hot mustard sauce. I remember this was the most delicious combination I ever had. Even now after thirty-plus years, I still remember it." We bet you'll always remember this dish, too!

  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (112 g) cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (25 g) Chef Kenny's Fried Chicken Seasoning (can substitute Goya Adobo All Purpose Seasoning)
  • ¼ cup (25 g) Chef Kenny's Raging Cajun Spice (can substitute Chef Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning)
  • 4 (4-oz [112-g]) western-style-not country-pork ribs (pork shoulder or Boston butt roast, cut into 2-inch [5-cm] thick strips)
  • 2 cups (460 g) lard
  • 2 cups (410 g) Crisco all-vegetable shortening
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the flour, cornstarch, and chicken seasoning in a bowl. Whisk together well.

Massage the Cajun spice into the ribs, then dredge the ribs in the flour mixture. Place on a baking sheet and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Dredge the ribs again in the flour mixture and set aside.

Place the lard and Crisco in a deep 12- to 14-inch (30- to 36-cm) cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When hot, add the ribs and fry, rotating every 2 to 3 minutes, until fully cooked, about 9 to 10 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 155°F to 165°F (68°C to 74°C). If necessary, cook ribs two at a time.

Remove the ribs to a platter with tongs and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Recipes excerpted from Chefs & Company by Maria Isabella, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017. Photo credit: Ken Goodman.

 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and EYB is sponsoring one copy 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 January 10th, 2017.


The Simple Bites Kitchen

The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque beautifully shares the popular blogger's love of whole foods along with heart-warming kitchen stories and recipes that are nutritious, fairly simple to make, and utterly delicious.

Aimée knows the challenges that come with feeding a family and tackles them head on by providing lunchbox inspiration, supper solutions and healthy snack options. Information on the author's first title, Brown Eggs & Jam Jars, can be found here.

Measurements here are given in volume and weight and the book is organized by categories:

  • Nourishing Breakfasts (Honey whole wheat bagels, Spelt date scones);
  • Wholesome Lunches and Snacks (Sauerkraut and Swiss grilled cheese sandwiches, Roasted sweet potato, pesto and bacon wrap);
  • Homegrown Vegetarian (Vietnamese summer rolls, Spaghetti with beet rosé sauce);
  • Fresh-Air Gatherings (Tequila-lime barbecue chicken, Herbed potato salad with bay leaf and lemon);
  • Everyday Suppers (Every-season risotto, Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding);
  • Simple Bites Staples (Lighter ricotta, Fig, rosemary and pistachio crisps); and
  • Preserves Pantry (Spiced pear jam with bourbon, Cranberry compote with port and pepper).


Aimée's recipes never disappoint, her flavor combinations inspire, and her generous spirit and love of food is contagious. Special thanks to the publisher for sharing the Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Cider Stew recipe which will be sure to warm up cold evenings. Penguin Random House Canada is also providing three copies of this title in our contest open to US and Canada members at the end of this post.

 



Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Cider Stew

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serves 4 to 6 ∙ requires time for prep

A resolution to cook more from my pantry inspired this autumn stew. It combines many ingredients I keep on hand, such as canned chickpeas, tomato sauce, onions and spices, along with root vegetables, into a comforting vegetarian stew. Cubes of turnip and parsnip simmer slowly in a sauce spiced with garam masala and turn into buttery bites that hold their shape nicely. Golden raisins plump up to become almost as big as the creamy chickpeas. Nearly a pint of fresh-pressed apple cider adds both acidity and sweetness to the dish, and a sprinkling of pistachios completes the stew.

Serve it up as is or with a wedge of crusty bread, and add a dollop of yogurt for good measure. It's even better on the second day, after the flavours have had an opportunity to mingle.

 

2 medium turnips (about 1/2 pound/225g)
2 large parsnips
2 teaspoons (10 mL) Golden Ghee (page 223) or unsalted butter, divided
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5 mL) garam masala
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sea salt, divided
1 can (19 ounces/540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1½ cups (375 mL) fresh-pressed apple cider (unfiltered raw apple juice)
1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce
½ cup (125 mL) golden raisins
Chopped pistachios, for garnish
Full-fat plain organic yogurt, for topping (optional)

1. Peel the turnip and cut into ½-inch (1 cm) cubes. Peel the parsnips and cut them slightly larger. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of the Golden Ghee over medium heat. Slide in the onion, then stir and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle in the garlic and garam masala and cook for an additional minute.

2. Push the onions to the side of the pan and melt the remaining 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Golden Ghee. Tumble in the turnips and parsnips and stir to coat with the ghee. Toss in a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker. Add the chickpeas, cider, tomato sauce, raisins and remaining salt. Stir well. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 5 hours. Slow cookers vary, so check the stew after about 4 hours. The stew is ready when the turnip is tender but not mushy. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and a spoonful of yogurt if you wish.

 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada. 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 January 8th, 2017.


Valerie's Home Cooking

Valerie's Home Cooking: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes to Share with Friends and Family by Valerie Bertinelli is a celebrity cookbook that delivers recipes that present beautifully and taste great. 

Rosemary and pepper crackers, Chicken with lemon-wine sauce, and Brown sugar sriracha bacon bites are just a few of the recipes that will become family favorites. Valerie comes from a long line of home cooks and her recipes work. Her Broccoli salad and Ricottta cookies with sour cream glaze are delicious.

This weekend I watched Valerie make her Mom's Christmas Bells and knew those had to be on my baking list this year (they are included in the book and online). The last few years, I haven't been watching many Food Network shows but I do watch Valerie - I've always been a fan. My husband loves Van Halen and always wants to know when Wolfie is on an episode. 

Valerie's recipes aren't based on convenience products - much of it is from scratch and all of it is delicious. Roasted asparagus and mushrooms with chile-lemon salt, Bucatini with wilted spinach and lemon mascarpone sauce, and Homemade baked potato tots are other recipes marked to make. Trick techniques and variation tips are shared with certain recipes. The book is organized as follows Rise & Shine; Getting Through the Day; Happy Hour (cocktails included); Around the Table, A Side Note and Finishing Sweet. There is a little something for everyone here. This book is a keeper and I don't keep many celeb titles. 

I have to update this review and share the following comment from my friend Rene who posted the following on the promotion thread in The Cookbook Junkies. "My mom, may she Rest In Peace, is giving this cookbook to me for Christmas. She told me before she passed that I was to buy a cookbook every year and put it under the tree to make sure I always get at least one cookbook for Christmas. I knew she would have picked this one!" 

Special thanks to Oxmoor House for sharing Valerie's Lobster BLTs with our members today and for providing three copies of this title in our contest below. 

Lobster BLTs

Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

The first time I ever touched upon this hybrid heaven was when I made these for my good old Louisiana girlfriend, Faith Ford. Faith is one of my favorite people to cook for because she loves and appreciates food. But let's be honest, who wouldn't love and appreciate a creamy lobster roll fused with a crunchy, salty BLT? This sandwich is decadence at its best, which also means it can get pricey and labor-intensive. Here's my time- and wallet-friendly tip: Buy a frozen lobster tail as opposed to buying a whole lobster. It's a lot easier, and by a lot I mean . . . when there's lobster salad, juicy tomato and crispy bacon on the other side, time is of the essence.

Serves 4 Hands-on 20 minutes Total 35 minutes

  • 3 (7-ounce) fresh or frozen, thawed lobster tails
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 white bread slices, toasted
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves, torn in half

1. Bring a medium stockpot of water to a boil over high. Add the lobster tails, and boil until the shells are bright red and the lobster is just cooked through, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the shells; coarsely chop.

2. Place the bacon in a large skillet. Cook over medium, turning occasionally, until crisp and browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Stir together the shallot, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of the mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Add the chopped lobster, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

4. Spread each of 4 toasted bread slices with a scant 1/4 cup of the lobster salad and top each with 2 bacon slices. Add 2 tomato slices and 2 pieces lettuce. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons mayonnaise evenly on the remaining 4 bread slices. Cover the sandwiches with bread slices, and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

You can make the lobster salad up to 3 days ahead; store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Trick Technique

Your cooking shears are your best friend when it comes to preparing this salad. Just cut the lobster shells, pull out the meat, and snip it into pieces.

Excerpted from Valerie's Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. 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 January 7th, 2017.


Kitchen Creativity - Kuhn Rikon Chef Kitchen Tools - Gneiss Spice

Kitchen Creativity: Unlocking Culinary Genius-with Wisdom, Inspiration, and Ideas from the World's Most Creative Chefs by Karen Page is one of my top cookbooks of 2017. You may find that inclusion a bit odd as this title contains no recipes, but what is great about this title is that it guides cooks to more inventive and intuitive approaches to cooking without recipes! 

"How does one get to be a great cook?" People have often asked me if I've gone to culinary school or how did I learn to cook so well? I've always been a good cook, but I would say that I am now a great cook because I've learned to cook with confidence. In Kitchen Creativity, the author reveals the secrets and techniques that the best chefs use to create memorable, delicious meals and those tips can help you build confidence as well.

As Page shows, good cooking is not just the right recipe or ingredients: it's a mental approach we can all cultivate. Her two decades of culinary experience coupled with more than a hundred interviews with leading chefs from around the world make this book a cook's dream come true. All of the author's books display a profound intelligence and intuition about the world of food, chefs, and cooking and they are supported by an extraordinary set of personal and professional connections.

Page's The Flavor Bible is another book that every cook needs in their arsenal as it draws on dozens of leading chefs' combined experience in top restaurants across the country to share their knowledge on seasoning ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Once a cook learns basic techniques, the art of seasoning and flavor profiles - the rest is gravy. 

We are pleased to offer three copies of this fantastic book to our members in the US as well as two special items that can spark additional creativity for you - Gneiss spices and great kitchen tools from Kuhn Rikon. Read about these items and then scroll down to enter our contest. 

Fresh spices make all the difference in cooking and Gneiss Spice offers a modern, and attractive, way to keep fresh spices close at hand. 

All of Gneiss Spice spices are certified organic, kosher and sustainably and ethically harvested, unless stated otherwise. You can build your own spice kit from a collection of over 200 seasonings! I love that the jars are about 1/4 cup size which ensures that we use  the freshest product possible.

Do you remember growing up and mom's rusty can of poultry seasoning looking back at you every time you opened the spice cabinet? I'm not even sure that spice can was ever opened - it became a rancid relic. Rancid spices are not a concern with these gorgeous little jars.  Just imagine how gorgeous the display above would look in your kitchen? That photo is the selection of spices on the side of my refrigerator. I have the rustic wall plate but since we are moving I didn't want to install it in this house. 

The attention to detail in this product is amazing. I love the metal lids punched with the spice names, the cute little bottles with GS embossed and the quality of the spices. Since I have put these spice jars on my fridge, I have used spices a great deal more than normally because I don't have to spend valuable minutes searching through my spice racks on my pantry door. Yesterday, I used the all-purpose seasoning on a roast and it was the best all-purpose blend that I have ever used. Whether it be Gneiss' blend or the freshness - it was stellar. Gneiss Spice is offering EYB members 10 percent off their products using the code EYB17! 

Kuhn Rikon is a cookware production company operating in Rikon in Zurich for almost a century. Their cookware products are of the highest quality and their history of good works is legendary. When Switzerland took in 1,000 refugees from Tibet in 1964, the Kuhns provided jobs and company housing and in 1967 they founded the Tibet Institute Rikon. Even today, among the employees of Kuhn Rikon many workers are of Tibetan descent. I have several of Kuhn Rikon kitchen tools and I never hesitate when looking for a new item to purchase their brand because I know it will be the best.

Kuhn Rikon was kind enough to send me their Chef's Kitchen Tools Set which consists of the High Performance Epicurean Ratchet Grinder, the Standing Stainless Steel Strainer and the Stainless Julienne Peeler.  I already owned one of their grinders and use it for black pepper. I love it, it works incredibly well and looks great. I donated my other strainers and use the Kuhn Rikon standing strainer all the time and it hangs from my pot rack in the kitchen. The peeler is sharp and does an incredible job - no more flimsy peelers for this girl. 

 
Now for the giveaway! 


Little, Brown is offering three copies of Kitchen Creativity Kuhn Rikon is offering three sets of the Chef's Kitchen Tools, and Gneiss Spice is offering three seven jar sets of their spices (with your choice of spices) to our members in the US. Three winners will win all three products! One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

What do you do when you need to spark creativity in the kitchen?

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 January 5, 2018.


December Cookbook Giveaway Roundup

 

It's time for the monthly giveaway roundup. As a reminder, we have tagged each promotion with the specific region to make them easily searchable. Once you have found your region's tag - bookmark that search and you will never have to scroll through the long giveaway list again. To further help, I have set out the tags below with links to the proper searches. Click on your country (or, of course, worldwide) and you will have a listing of giveaways available to you. (Remember to save that search to your favorites).

If you are having any difficulties with entering our giveaways, our how-to post should be able to steer you in the right direction. I am working hard on providing more worldwide entries but this all lies in the hands of our publishers. 

If you haven't joined the Eat Your Books Cookbook Club - please be sure to do so - we would love to have you. We announced our monthly selections for early 2018 this week. Our Eat Your Books Sweet Ottolenghi Cookbook Club (the Food52 Baking Club is featuring Sweet this month as well) is still working through Ottolenghi and Goh's epic cookbook.  

A few words on our posts for new members: Christine's weekly posts on Fridays keep you up-to-date on all the recipes and happenings here on EYB and Darcie's daily posts keeps us current with food, cooking and book trends - so be sure to catch those. Our home page provides links to our forums, categories of posts, author and cooking school events and so much more. My posts focus on cookbook promotions, reviews and cookbook news. If there is anything else you would enjoy seeing, please leave a comment here.

Following us on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest ensures you will not miss any book news, giveaways, and reviews. We always appreciate when members share our posts so that we can continue to grow our cookbook loving community. Please remember, if you are interested in buying any books (or any items from our affiliates), using the BUY BOOK button for your purchases helps support our indexing efforts and you can access our affiliate stores through these direct links Amazon US and Amazon UK with the same result.

Take a quick tour of Eat Your Books and if you wish to join you can sign up today!

Now to our promotions which include a giveaway for an Instant Pot and Instant Pot Miracle cookbook, Le Creuset Stainless Steel Stock pot and the new Le Creuset cookbook, Perfect Cookie Silpat with The Perfect Cookie Cookbook and more.

Just back in the next few days - I'll be posting a giveaway that includes Karen Page's Kitchen Creativity, a set of chef's kitchen tools from Kuhn Rikon and a gorgeous spice set from Gneiss. We have many more cookbook giveaways planned as well. 

Recipes from an Italian Butcher: Roasting, Stewing, Braising is the latest addition to the series and shares 150 inspiring and authentic Italian recipes for meat, poultry, and game. This book is not only a collection of recipes, it is also a valuable reference on meat cuts and cooking techniques for Italian, American and British cooks, respectively, includes a full glossary of cooking terms as well as providing a selection of side dishes. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US, CA, AU and the UK in our contest which ends at midnight on December 4th, 2017.

Best of Bridge Sunday Suppers: All-New Recipes for Family and Friends focuses on the all important Sunday supper. The recipes are approachable, flavorful and include measurements in both weight and volume and not just for Sunday. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and CA in our  contest which ends at midnight on December 5th, 2017.

Julie Jones hits a grand slam with Soulful Baker: From Highly Creative Fruit Tarts and Pies to Chocolate, Desserts and Weekend Brunch. Using natural and colorful ingredients, interesting flavor combinations, and a designer's nod toward decoration, Julie's recipes are not only pleasuring to the eye but also to the palate. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the UK, US and CA in our contest which ends at midnight onDecember 6th, 2017.

The Desserts of New York: And How to Eat Them All by Yasmin Newman is a travel journal and cookbook that features the sweet treats of the Big Apple. Forty-four recipes from all the hottest sweet spots include the number one voted old school Jewish chocolate babka to the infamous cronut. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US in our contest which ends at midnight on December 8th, 2017.

Coastline: The Food of Mediterranean Italy, France and Spain by Lucio Galletto and David Dale was published in the US by Interlink Books in August of this year. Prior editions in both Australia and the UK were published in March and May, respectively. This truly spectacular book is a collection of stories, debates, beautiful images and delicious Mediterranean recipes covering salads, pasta sauces, pizza and pies, soups and stews, feasts and desserts from the fishing villages, farms and cobbled squares around the golden crescent. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US in our contest which ends at midnight on December 7th, 2017.

Impatient Foodie: 100 Delicious Recipes for a Hectic, Time-Starved World by Elettra  Wiedemann and Claudia Ficca is the popular blogger's debut cookbook which shares 100 recipes for tight schedules and lazy cooks. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US in our contest which ends at midnight on December 4th, 2017.

Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey is a labor of love written by Robyn Eckhardt. Robyn's powerful story telling and her husband's brilliant eye behind the camera join together to capture the essence of Turkish cuisine in one stunning volume. Those who love to cook and travel, along with those who love to dream, are taken on an unforgettable epicurean adventure, beginning in Istanbul, home to one of the world's great fusion cuisines. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members worldwide in our contest which ends at midnight on December 12th, 2017.

Elizabeth Street Cafe by Tom Moorman and Larry McGuire with Julia Turshen shares recipes from the French-inspired Vietnamese restaurant located in the cultural hub of Austin, Texas. This must visit cafe is recommended by everyone from locals to Bon Appetit to The New York Times.  The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the UK, US, Canada and Australia in our contest which ends at midnight on December 7th, 2017.

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley focuses on real indigenous food not the Indian fry bread of folklore - American fruits and vegetables, the wild and foraged ingredients, game and fish are the staples of true indigenous cuisine. The stars of Chef Sherman's dishes are locally sourced, seasonal, "clean" ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking. He also shares his approach to creating boldly seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful and both elegant and easy. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US in our contest which ends at midnight on December 8th, 2017.

Redpath Sugar has been a staple in kitchens all across Canada since its birth in 1854. In The Redpath Canadian Bake Book: Over 200 Delectable Recipes for Cakes, Breads, Desserts and More, the company's first full cookbook, they share more than 200 recipes that showcase Canadian bakes and other classics. With recipes from Chinese egg tarts to Chocolate-orange babka, this beautiful book has it all. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada  in our contest which ends at midnight on December 9th, 2017.

The Dinner Plan: Simple Weeknight Recipes and Strategies for Every Schedule by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion offers five meal strategies:  Make-Ahead, Staggered, One-Dish, Extra-Fast, and Pantry that will help make weeknight dinners come together. Each of the 135 recipes, from main dishes to sides to salads and "lifesaver" condiments, provide practical Monday through Friday options whether time is super-tight, the fridge is empty, or everyone is coming home at a different time. And all of the recipes are "keepers" reliable, crowd-pleasing preparations that you'll confidently turn to again and again from the authors of Keepers. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US in our contest which ends at midnight on December 10th, 2017.

My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines by Rachel Yang and Jess Thomson 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. 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. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US  in our contest which ends at midnight on December 11th, 2017.

Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts by Alice Merdich has been reissued by Dover Books 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. The publisher is offering two copies of this book worldwide in our contest ends at midnight on December 10th, 2017.

America's Test Kitchen's The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies, and Bars is indeed perfect. Everything needed for creating and perfecting classic cookies, international favorites, bars, brownies, and candies are shared in this brilliant collection. And for cookie baking, I love a Silpat. 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 which ends on December 11, 2017. 

David Tanis Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient by David Tanis is nearly 500 pages of greatness. 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 publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the  US in our contest ends at midnight on December 14th, 2017.

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. The publisher is offering two copies of this book worldwide in our contest which ends at midnight on December 13th, 2017.

 

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. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US in our contest which ends at midnight on December 14th, 2017.

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. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US  in our contest which ends at midnight on December 15th, 2017.

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

 

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. 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 and ends at midnight on December 16th, 2017.

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

Easy Soups from Scratch with Quick Breads to Match: 70 Recipes to Pair and Share by Ivy Manning makes it simple to create delicious, nourishing soups and warm, toothsome breads for any day of the week with straight-forward, time-saving recipes. The publisher is offering three copies of this title to our members in the US and Canada. EYB is sponsoring one additional copy worldwide in our contest which expires on December 27th, 2017. 

Instant Pot Miracle: From Gourmet to Everyday, 175 Must-Have Recipes by The Editors at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt shares a collection of recipes approved by the maker of the world's best known multi-cooker, Instant Pot. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and Canada with one grand prize winner  winning a Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60 Electric Pressure Cooker, 6 quart 7-in-1 in our contest which expires on December 26, 2017. 

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell and Valerie Howes will open your mind to a vast array of fish and shellfish that you might not have considered before. Here, readers embark on a wild Pacific adventure and discover the benefits of healthy oils and rich nutrients that seafood deliver. The publisher is offering two copies of this title in our contest open to US and CA members that expires on December 29th, 2017..

The Vegetable: Recipes that Celebrate Nature by Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis is a collection of 130 plant-based recipes featuring fresh flavors and exciting combinations that will delight anyone looking to eat more vegetables. Over the last few years, cookbooks focusing on vegetable dishes have become incredibly tempting and exciting. The publisher is offering four copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and AU (two in the US and two in AU) in our contest which expires on December 30th, 2017.  

Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Fresh and Flavorful Mediterranean Home Cooking by Julie Sageer shares 125 recipes for traditional favorites from mezze, street-food skewers and sandwiches, and staples like Labneh and Ajin (Lebanese yogurt and bread) to fresh seasonal salads, pickles and vegetables, delicious main dishes and sweets, and rich desserts laced with Atar (rose water syrup) are found here. Julie even shares how to put together your own delicious, multi-purpose spice mixes and includes step-by-step photos to show technique driven instructions such as pastry folds. The publisher is offering three copies of this book to our members in the US and CA. Our contest expires on December 31st, 2017.   

Modern French Pastry: Innovative Techniques, Tools and Design by Cheryl Wakerhauser is not your grandmother's pastry cookbook. In the world of cookbook reviews, the word unique gets flung about like spun sugar, but I swear on my stack of vintage French tart pans - this title is unique and exciting. The publisher is offering three copies of this stunner to our members in the US. Eat Your Books is sponsoring one copy worldwide (excluding the US). Be sure to enter our contest before December 31st, 2017

 


Modern French Pastry

Modern French Pastry: Innovative Techniques, Tools and Design by Cheryl Wakerhauser is not your grandmother's pastry cookbook. In the world of cookbook reviews, the word unique gets flung about like spun sugar, but I swear on my stack of vintage French tart pans - this title is unique and exciting. 

Cheryl Wakerhauser is the owner of Pix Pâtisserie in Portland, Oregon and has been serving both innovative and traditional French desserts, chocolates and house made ice creams alongside a variety of top notch beverages since 2001. Cheryl trained at the prestigious pâtisserie of MOF Philippe URRACA (this training translates to major pastry cred). A frequent visitor to France and Spain, she returns to soak up the atmosphere, culture, flavors and techniques associated with French pastry, Spanish tapas and the tasty beverages they drink with them. She then recreates these dishes and drinks back home at Pix. 

In Modern French Pastry, Cheryl focuses on modern pastries that are elegant and show stopping. Recipes include a Concerto, a beautiful mini tart that contains components of coffee cream, fleur de sel caramel, coffee caramel glaze, phyllo decor with a chocolate almond dough. While there are multiple components to the Concerto, each one in itself is doable and the end result is spectacular. I want to find the time to recreate these stunning desserts. The bûche de noël jingled my bells and I ordered a mold to create it. Yes, Virginia, there will be a bûche de noël on our Christmas table this year as I have faith in Cheryl's detailed instructions.

Measurements are given by weights in grams, including liquid measurements (you need a scale), the author doles out parlor tricks (look for the P A R L O R   T R I C K! tan boxes of text) that provide tips and shortcuts, and each dessert is given a "Difficulty" rating from a half macaron (Level 1) to three macarons (Level 6). 

Special thanks to the author and Page Street Publishing for sharing this jaw dropping dessert with our members today and for offering three copies of Modern French Pastry to our members in the US. Eat Your Books is offering one copy worldwide (excluding the US) - so a total of four winners. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter! 

 

Not your grandmother's bûche de noël
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

DIFFICULTY: Level 6

Nor Martha Stewart's, for that matter.

We've all seen the bûches de noël attempting to disguise themselves as pieces of wood (page 31). They are cute, sure. But the modern bûche is sexy.

The bûche de noël here is soft and silky, with a base of chocolate mousse hiding a festive cannoli filling and brandied cherries. There is a bit of chocolate cake along the bottom to hold everything together, and a brilliantly shiny chocolate glaze covering the top. 

For this recipe, you will need a bûche de noël mold 50 centimeters (20 in) long and 9 centimeters (3.5 in) wide and a demisphere polycarbonate mold to make the ornaments. If you do not want to invest in a bûche de noël mold, you could make your own with a poster tube from the post office (see Assembly, page 149).

YIELD: 10 servings (2 bûches de noël of 5 servings each) 

Chocolate biscuit

  • 120 g egg yolks
  • 185 g egg whites
  • 68 g sugar
  • 50 g cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks on high speed until they are thick and pale in color, about 5 minutes. Transfer the yolks to a bigger bowl with a larger surface area on top.

Prepare a French meringue (see page 191) with the egg whites and sugar, whisking to soft peak. Add half of the meringue to the yolks and gently fold to combine. Sift half of the cocoa onto the batter in a thin layer covering the top. Gently fold the cocoa into the batter. Repeat with the rest of the meringue and then the rest of the cocoa, being careful not to overmix. Ideally, if you have a helper in the kitchen, have the person continually sift the cocoa over the batter while you continually fold.

Spread evenly onto the half sheet pan, using an offset spatula. Bake until cake is dry to the touch and feels firm, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Cannoli filling

  • 2 g (scant 1/2 tsp) powdered gelatin
  • 10 g cold water
  • 50 g cream cheese
  • 265 g ricotta cheese
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 1 g (½ tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 2 g orange zest
  • 5 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 25 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 g Cointreau

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the gelatin with the cold water and stir well to dissolve. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom.

In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and ricotta on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Sift the powdered sugar and add it, plus all the remaining filling ingredients, except the Cointreau and gelatin, to the cheese mixture. Mix until combined, about 20 seconds.

Melt the gelatin on low in the microwave. Swirl the bowl to stir the gelatin every 30 seconds, until it is completely melted. While stirring, add the Cointreau to the gelatin. Then add a fourth of the cheese mixture, continuing to stir. Add the remaining cheese mixture, stir to combine and place in the refrigerator.

Chocolate glaze

  • 95 g heavy cream
  • 115 g water
  • 145 g sugar
  • 48 g dark alkalized cocoa powder
  • 5 g powdered gelatin
  • 25 g cold water

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, water and sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Bring the mixture back to a boil and then strain it into a bowl. Allow to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the cold water and stir well to dissolve. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom.

When the glaze reaches 140°F (60°C), add the gelatin mixture and gently combine with an immersion blender. Refrigerate.

Chocolate mousse

  • 500 g heavy cream
  • 90 g egg yolks
  • 90 g honey
  • 185 g milk chocolate
  • 125 g dark chocolate

In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream to very soft peak and allow it to come to room temperature. Make sure the cream is still at very soft peak just before using, as sometimes a liquid portion will sink out to the bottom of the bowl. If that happens, whisk it by hand very briefly until it comes back together.

Place the egg yolks in a separate mixer bowl. Bring the honey to a full boil. While whisking on low speed, pour the hot honey down the side of the bowl being careful not to let it hit the whisk. Increase the speed to high and whisk until the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm, about 5 minutes. The cooled egg mixture, known as the pâte à bombe in French pastry-making, should be pale and thick.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave on low, stirring often.

Pour the pâte à bombe into a bowl large, shallow bowl. Pour all the melted chocolate onto the pâte à bombe. With a bowl scraper, stir the two together very quickly, starting in the center and then incorporating the rest. Once the mixture looks homogenous, quickly stir in one-third of the cream until evenly mixed, then fold in the remaining cream. The whole mixing process should take about 30 seconds or less. Use immediately (see Assembly, page 149).

A note about mixing: The melted chocolate in the recipe will want to set up very quickly. It is imperative that you mix the pâte à bombe and the chocolate together quickly, and then add just one-third of the cream (at room temperature) to incorporate and loosen the chocolate pâte à bombe mixture. The rest of the cream should then incorporate well when added. If your cream is too cold or you do not mix fast enough, the chocolate will set up into small bits in the mousse. This will result in a mousse with chocolate pieces floating in it as well as a mousse lacking the chocolate flavor it should have.

Chocolate ornaments

  • Green cocoa butter, as needed
  • Gold luster dust, as needed
  • Red cocoa butter, as needed
  • 800 g dark chocolate

Warm the green and red colored cocoa butters to 90 to 93°F (32 to 34°C). Wearing latex gloves, use your finger to smear a swirl of green cocoa butter in the cavities of demisphere polycarbonate molds. Once the cocoa butter is dry, about 3 minutes, smear each cavity with some of the gold luster dust. Follow with a smear of red cocoa butter.

Temper the chocolate in the microwave (see Techniques, page 190). Pour the chocolate into the mold to fill all the cavities. Tap the mold on the edge of the counter fast and vigorously for a few seconds to release any air bubbles. Flip the mold upside down, holding it over a piece of parchment. Tap the side of the mold with a wide metal scraper to get rid of the excess chocolate. Scrape the top of the mold smooth and place it upside down on a clean piece of parchment.

After 1 minute, lift up the mold and scrape the top clean with the metal scraper. Place it right side up in the refrigerator to chill for 5 minutes, to set the chocolate. Repeat with the second mold. Remove the molds from the refrigerator and let sit for another 10 minutes.

Slide half of the demispheres out of the mold. Heat the metal scraper with a propane torch. Holding the demisphere flat on the surface of the scraper, melt the edges. Piece the melted edges together with the edges of one of the demispheres still in the mold. Continue until all the spheres are complete.

 PARLOR TRICK! If you have a pancake griddle, you can turn that on low and use it to melt the ornament edges. This way you won't have to keep reheating the metal scraper.

ASSEMBLY

  • 200 g brandied cherries
  • 40 g pistachios, finely chopped

Strain the cherries and reserve the juice.

Line a bûche de noël mold with a piece of parchment. The parchment should cover the whole interior and hang over the sides. Unmold the chocolate cake and cut 8-centimeter (3-in) strips from it. You will need enough 8-centimeter (3-in)-wide cake strips to cover the bottom of the mold, or 50 centimeters (20 in) total. If you made your own mold (see Parlor Trick!), cut the cake into narrower 6.25-centimeter (2.5-in) strips.

Prepare the chocolate mousse and pipe it in the mold to fill halfway. With a 1.5-centimeter (0.6-in) open piping tip, pipe a line of cannoli filling lengthwise down the center. Place the cherries, one by one, touching each other, in a line on top of the cannoli filling. Add more mousse to fill the mold 2 centimeters (0.75 in) from the top. Lay the cake on top of the mousse and press it gently until it is just below the top of the mold. Brush the cake with the reserved juice from the cherries. Freeze overnight.

Remove the bûche from the mold by lifting up the edges of parchment paper. If the bûche sticks on the ends, warm them with a propane torch or simply wait a few minutes for the edges to thaw. If you made your own mold, remove the plastic wrap on the ends and slide the bûche out of the tube. Remove the parchment and place the bûche flat side down on a clean piece of parchment.

Warm the chocolate glaze in the microwave to 90°F (32°C) and pour it over the entire bûche. Using a large offset spatula and your hand as a guide, lift up the bûche and place it on a large, clean piece of parchment. Cut the bûche in half and then trim the ends that have glaze on them. Press chopped pistachios 2 centimeters (1 in) up the sides. Using a large offset spatula, lift each bûche off the parchment and place them onto cake boards or platters. Top the bûche with the chocolate ornaments.

PARLOR TRICK! Purchase a 7.5-centimeter (3-in)-diameter poster tube from the post office to make your own bûche de noël mold. Using a utility knife, cut the tube down to 50 centimeters (20 in) long. Then, draw a straight line down the tube from one end to the other. From this line, measure 7.5 centimeters (3 in) around the circumference and draw a parallel line down the tube. Cut out this section with the utility knife. Tape plastic wrap on the ends to close them off. A bûche de noël mold is curved with straight sides toward the bottom. This makeshift mold will have a bit of curvature on the bottom. When you line it with parchment, crease the parchment back at the edges so it does not get in your way when filling.

 

The publisher is offering copies three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and EYB is offering one copy worldwide (outside 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?

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