January 2019 Eat Your Books Cookbook Club Summary

We have an incredible community here at Eat Your Books that has flowed into our Eat Your Books Cookbook Club and Sweet Eat Your Books Cookbook Club, places where we share our successes and fails in cooking and baking from specific cookbook titles. 

This month we've been cooking from the following titles: 

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group that is working through Ottolenghi's Sweet.

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.

A few announcements before we share some highlights from this month's options:

Be sure to check out our 2019 Cookbook Preview Post!

Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways.

Our EYBD Page has been updated with additional titles for 2019!

Now to this month's highlights:


 From Home Cooking with Kate I made the Hearty cheddar and potato soup. It was delightful and I used the leftovers in a gravy a few days later. I like to play with my food. 


Diane J made the Grilled Vietnamese flank steak with Super crunchy lime-y salad from Now & Again. "I really like the way this cookbook is organized, with suggested menus by seasons (what I made comes under "summer," but hey, I have a grill pan), tips on what can be made in advance, and creative ideas for leftovers (of which there were none in this case)."




Jane made the Confetti meatloaf and Creamy garlic mashed cauliflower from Now & Again "These two recipes were among the few I bookmarked as 'I want to cook this'. The meatloaf was quite time consuming with small diced vegetables (for the confetti) but tasted good. The cauliflower mash was too liquid even though I added half the cream after seeing an EYB note. I'd repeat the meatloaf but serve with a different mash."




Joan O made the Garlicky shrimp with tequila + lime from Now & Again. "I was planning on making the Italian version of this but forgot my lemon and didn't have tequila for the other version. I ended up using white wine for the tequila, parsley for the cilantro (hubby doesn't like) and using the lime and lime zest from the original recipe. I took her suggestion for turning this into a meal by serving it with black beans and rice. I used brown rice and also warmed a couple soft corn taco shells for hubby. We both thought this was a delicious meal. Was hoping to make the kimchi shrimp pancakes with some leftover shrimp as suggested in the again section, but we devoured the shrimp. Oh well maybe next time. I'll double the shrimp so we'll have leftovers."




Vicky H made the"Arugula salad with lemon, pine nuts & pecorino from Now & Again. Loved the delicious simplicity of this salad, especially the dressing."

There are many other wonderful photos in the group.

 

Eat Your Books Sweet Cookbook Club
Sweet - Ottolenghi (see the group for even more photographs).

 

Mona W. made "Prune cake with Armagnac and walnuts. Replaced Armagnac with rum as that is what I had. This was so much better than I expected. The prunes were so moist and they had absorbed all the rum...yum! I might add more of the walnut crumble next time."

 


Debra made the "Persian love cakes made especially for my gluten-free guests"


This week, I'll have up a poll for April - June choices. February and March's options are below: 

February

 

March

December 2018 Eat Your Books Cookbook Club Review

We have an incredible community here at Eat Your Books that has flowed into our Eat Your Books Cookbook Club and Sweet Eat Your Books Cookbook Club, places where we share our successes and fails in cooking and baking from specific cookbook titles. 

This month we've been cooking through the following titles and we were thrilled that Dorie Greenspan joined the group and commented on our shares: 

 

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group that is working through Ottolenghi's Sweet.

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.


A few announcements before we share some highlights from this month's options:

Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways. We have a few up right now that combine a cookware, products and more.

Be sure to check out our 2018 Gift Guide and Best Books of 2018!

Our EYBD Page has been updated with additional titles for 2019!

Now to this month's highlights:

Jessica J made the Ginger fried rice from Everyday Dorie "I love ginger and fried rice so this was a win for me. I added a few extra veggies and some tofu. I added a bit more ponzu at the end and would increase the amount of ginger next time (I really love ginger)."


Kimberly P made the Gingered-turkey meatball soup from Everyday Dorie. "Perfect on a snowy day. The meatballs are tender, light and flavorful (I will add a little more ginger next time). You could easily substitute any number of vegetables -whatever you happen to have on hand. A keeper." 

Jenny's note - we all love ginger!



Monique L made the Roasted squash hummus (among other dishes from the book)



I made the Sweet chili chicken thighs and these will be a definite repeat in our house. The sauce is everything.

Kimberly K made a "selection of cookies from the Great Minnesota Cookie Book plus one from Rose's Cookies. A lovely Sunday afternoon gathering in December with friends and family who contributed to our spread."

I shared my Italian rainbow cheesecake which is a decadent dessert for the holidays.

There are many other wonderful photos in the group.

 

Eat Your Books Sweet Cookbook Club
Sweet - Ottolenghi (see the group for even more photographs).

 

Rachel B created a number of delights from Sweet this month. I am particularly in love with her styling of the Oat, cranberry and white chocolate biscuits.

Our future selections: 

January

February

 

March

Love for latkes

Latkes are among the many traditional foods that will make an appearance on tables during Hanukkah, which began today. Epicurious offers tips on how to make perfect potato latkes to ensure that each one is light, crispy, and delicious. Follow these steps and your friends and family will be asking for this classic holiday treat year-round.

latkes

After testing different types of potatoes, Epicurious found that russets work best. Their high starch content means they are less watery and don't require a binder. Speaking of water, you want to make sure you squeeze as much as possible out your latkes before frying to make sure they achieve maximum crispness. 

After you have shaped your potato mixture, the next crucial step is frying. Using the right amount of fat is important so that the latkes don't stick to the pan or become too greasy. Epicurious recommends a  combination of vegetable oil and schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) to boost the flavor of your latkes.

The EYB Library has plenty of latke recipes both traditional and innovative. Here is a sampling to get you started:

Latkes from Jerusalem by  Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Potato latkes with apple-date chutney and cinnamon sour cream from Leite's Culinaria

Parsnip-celery root latkes from EatingWell Magazine (pictured above)
Crispy potato latkes from 'The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home' by Michael Zusman and Nick Zukin
Herb and scallion latkes from The Kitchn
Sweet potato latkes with spiked applesauce from Crossroads by  Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones and Serafina Magnussen

November 2018 Eat Your Books Cookbook Club Summary

We have an incredible community here at Eat Your Books that has flowed into our Eat Your Books Cookbook Club and Sweet Eat Your Books Cookbook Club, places where we share our successes and fails in cooking and baking from specific cookbook titles. 

This month we've been cooking through the following titles: 

 

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group that is working through Ottolenghi's Sweet.

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.


A few announcements before we share some highlights from this month's options:

Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways. We have a few up right now that combine a cookware, products and more.

Our giveaway for Now & Again plus OXO products ends 
tonight and Simply Vibrant and Rose's Baking Basics 
coupled with Rose's spatula set ends tomorrow. 

Be sure to check out our 2018 Gift Guide
and participate in our First Annual Cookie Contest!


Our EYBD Page has been updated with ten additional titles for 2019!

Now to this month's highlights:

 

 

Jane made the Squash with cardamom and nigella seeds with Lemon and curry leaf rice - both from Plenty More and available online -- "This wasn't the prettiest of meals but boy was it flavorful. The combination of the caramelized red onions and all the spices gave the squash so much depth. I didn't see the point of changing pans to put the dish in the oven so I did the stove-top cooking in a Le Creuset pan that could go into the oven. This avoided washing up another pan plus all the lovely caramelized onion stuck to the bottom of the pan went into the oven and flavored the sauce. I'm not a big fan of plain rice - the lemon zest and curry leaves really helped elevate the rice. And oven baking it at the same time as the squash worked well." "

 

Kimberly P made the Spicy, Garlicky Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Browned Butter, Toasted Nuts and Tequila Raisins from Rick Bayless, More Mexican Everyday- "I was intrigued with the flavor combinations when I read this recipe. It was amazingly good! It would have been even better if I had a grill...had to settle for roasting in the oven. The "topping" would be great on any roasted or grilled vegetable."

 



Sharifah made the Orzo with prawns, tomato and marinated feta from Simple
"I halved the recipe for two, but kept the feta cheese portion as is, for four. Well, we finished everything between the two of us! "

 



Alicia F made the Pork with ginger, spring onion and aubergine from Simple. "Really delicious - I was sceptical about steaming the aubergines but they were perfectly silky and creamy against the punchy sauce."

 

 

Lisa S made the Mexican Chicken Soup from More Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. "A homey, comforting soup, and the garnishes really change it up however you like. I used 1/2 a chicken rather than the thighs as that's what I had available. The house smelled great as it was cooking, and since I rarely cook indoors, this was a delight in more ways than one."


I made Rose's chocolate chip cookies for my interview with Rose while she was in Colorado. Read more about her latest and enter our giveaway

There are many other wonderful photos in the group.

 

 

 

Eat Your Books Sweet Cookbook Club
Sweet - Ottolenghi (see the group for even more photographs).

Mona W shared the Flourless chocolate layer cake with coffee, walnuts and rose water. "The texture of the cake and cream went together so beautifully."

 

 

Our future selections: 

December

 

January

February

 

March

Chefs share which underused ingredients you should try at home

If you're like me, you have a pantry brimming with boxes and bags of unusual ingredients that you picked up on a whim at a farmers' market or specialty shop. Despite having so many unique items to use, I frequently wind up skipping over those because I am not familiar with how to use them. It would be nice to have some guidance, which is why an article from The Guardian caught my eye. In this piece, chefs not only tell you about their favorite underused ingredients, they also explain how to use them

celeriac and watercress soup

The ingredients run the gamut from vegetables to herbs to offal to beer. Chef Ryan Simpson-Trotman thinks verjus should be in everyone's repertoire. He says it's a "great non-alcoholic substitute for wine in cooking. It is under-ripened grape juice, so very tart; less acidic than vinegar and more savoury than lemon. It is especially good with fish."

If you aren't looking for an alcohol substitute but want to break away from throwing wine in everything, turn to another beverage - beer. "Cooking with beer adds fantastic depth of flavour to both savoury dishes - a dark beer in, say, a steak pie - and sweet desserts alike. Making cocktails with beer also adds something a little different," says Edinburg chef Tom Kitchin.

Steffan Richards of Wright's Food Emporium in Llanarthney, wants everyone to add celeriac to their shopping carts. He describes it as "massive" in flavor and inexpensive to buy. "It's extremely versatile - you can roast it, puree it or serve it raw. We roast it with cinnamon and nutmeg for a winter salad, but that's just because we like those spices - it's so flavoursome, you could not add anything at all," he says. 

Photo of  Fennel, celeriac and watercress soup from Belleau Kitchen

Leftover Halloween candy recipes

Over 500 kids trick-or-treated through my neighborhood this evening, so my stash of leftover Halloween candy is mightly slim this year. If you have any remaining from tonight's festivities, or if your kid has too much to eat by him- or herself, you might be wondering what you're going to do with it all. Midnight snacking aside, there are ways to use those leftovers in baking and other recipes. The Washington Post serves up six different recipes for using leftover Halloween candy

candy bar cookie bars

One of the easiest uses is as mix-ins for cookie recipes such as monster cookies. M&Ms work great here, but you can chop up almost any chocolate-y or nutty bar to add to cookie, brownie, or slice recipes. For gummy or chewy candies, you can make your own (very trendy) unicorn bark. The article also contains a recipe for a Milky Way malt, for those who like their excess in excess. 

The EYB Library contains another dozen or so ideas to make the most out of the extra candy. Halloween candy bark is a popular theme, and s'mores made with a variety of different types of candy bars is another great idea. The Sweet chocolate Halloween Chex mix is one that is really calling my name right now - I love the combination of salty and sweet. 

Photo of Candy bar cookie bars from indexed blog Joy the Baker by Joy Wilson

October 2018 Eat Your Books Cookbook Review

We have an incredible community here at Eat Your Books that has flowed into our Eat Your Books Cookbook Club and Sweet Eat Your Books Cookbook Club, places where we share our successes and fails in cooking and baking from specific cookbook titles. Here on the site our recipe notes feature - completed by members and our indexers provide issues and tips. Checking the notes section on a recipe for any errata that may have been reported by the publisher or discovered by a member is always a wise idea.

This month we have been working through:

And, desserts are still being churned out in our second group that is working through Ottolenghi's Sweet.

Our members have voted and our future month selections are re-shared at the end of this post. All club posts are tagged #EYBCookbookClub if you are looking for a particular month's summary.

The photos below are just a few of the beautiful shots our members have been sharing; visit each group for more inspiration. Do not forget to also upload your photos and add your notes to your bookshelf at Eat Your Books. Instructions on uploading your photos and links to other helpful articles can be found here.

On that note, Eat Your Books has been sharing your photos on our Instagram feed. If you would like to be tagged in your lovely photos, update your bio here at EYB to include your social media handles. You can edit your bio on your Profile page, accessed from the menu under your username at top right. When we choose photos, we can then check your bio for your Instagram handle.

Other members have expressed an interest in following the members that make such beautiful food! Also, if you would like your EYB username shown when we post your photos in this monthly roundup, please add your username to your Facebook posts.

A few announcements before we share some highlights from this month's options:

Please make sure you have entered all our giveaways. We have a few up right now that combine a cookware, products and more. More promotions are planned that will offer a Mauviel roaster, Leuke products for pastry and chocolate work, Emile Henry stoneware, a bread machine, Swiss Diamond cookware, as well as a set of Shun knives!

Every week new and books are being added. Find out more here. For more information on EYBDigital see our updated post for more information.

Every Sunday, I compile a post of Kindle cookbook deals so be sure to check those for bargains!

Now to this month's highlights:

Our Darcie made the Spinach, ricotta, and mint pie from A Table in Venice and states "Simple spin on a classic, but the mint is a nice touch. I think a citrusy olive oil works best here."

Diane J made the Riviera Salad from Craig Claiborne's "Cooking with Herbs and Spices," and states "or in this case mixing them: fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, & parsley with tuna, anchovies, celery, garlic, Kalamata olives, tomatoes. I've been cooking (& dicing & mixing) recipes in this book for many years."




Jessica J made the Lime soup with chicken and hearty greens from Just Cook It! and stated "We enjoyed this. It's an easy weeknight dinner and there are some leftovers for lunch. The cilantro and avocado were nice additions. Next time I might add a little more tomato."

 

Kimberly K made the Secretly vegan chocolate chip cookies from Genius Desserts and states "If I didn't tell you they're vegan, you wouldn't know. Yum."

 

Kathleen L made the Crisp homemade granola from Serious Eats online and states "I started making this granola some time ago for my husband, who was trying to cut down on sugar. I believe one cup total here. I created a monster - have to make it every month now!  Buttermilk tenderizes the oats, wheat germ, flax, and chia. My bake time is a bit less than called for- otherwise I follow recipe. Buttermilk soak time, sugar dissolve time and 100 mins. bake time make it a project, but it certainly is good."

 

There are many other wonderful photos in the group.

 

Eat Your Books Sweet Cookbook Club
Sweet - Ottolenghi (see the group for even more photographs).

Ching Y made the Apple and olive oil cake with maple cream cheese frosting and states "I was initially concerned that the apples seemed a little too chunky as instructed in the recipe and seemed to overwhelm the other ingredients, but it baked out well. This way, there's plenty of apple in every bite. I used Mutsu/Crispin apples since I just went apple picking over the weekend."

 

Our future selections: 

November

 

December

 

January

February

 

March

Indian cooks embrace the Instant Pot

While Instant Pots and their clones have become a phenomenon in the US, Canada, and beyond, most people who have purchased one were not already owners of a stovetop pressure cooker. Or perhaps they had one, but rarely used it because it was intimidating (I will include myself in the latter category). Stovetop pressure cooker recipes were just not that common in most people's homes. 

Instant Pot

However, there is at least one country where a stovetop pressure cooker is an everyday item: India. Many Indian households use one to make dishes like biryanis, dals, curries and kormas, which are particularly well suited to this cooking method. The Indian diaspora was among the first to embrace the Instant Pot - there are a half-dozen Indian Instant Pot Facebook groups, with a combined membership of nearly 200,000 active users. 

Hand in hand with this trend, cookbook publishers are releasing electric pressure cooker cookbooks focused on Indian cuisine - more for this genre than for any other. They've become so popular that even Knopf Doubleday (which releases precious few appliance cookbooks) is publishing one by renowned author Madhur Jaffrey, titled Madhur Jaffrey's Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook. Unfortunately, we have to wait until May 2019 for this book.

Jaffrey translated the recipes for traditional stovetop cookers into ones suited for an Instant Pot. It took some trial and error to find the best setting for each type of dish. "This is an Instant Pot," she wrote in an email to the NYT. "It is not a Magic Pot. It will make food for you but, rather like a computer, you have to create the programming that gives you the perfect dish."

This wave of Indian pressure cooker books follows on the heels of the higly successful Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy & Fast by Urvashi Pitre (2017), which has sold over 100,000 copies and enjoys a 5-star rating in the EYB Library.

You can preview recipes from the EYBDigital book Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot by Rinku Battacharya, out this month (stay tuned for a contest for this book as well as promotions for Ivy Manning's IP titles with an Instant Pot as a grand prize). Another recent volume to consider is Chandra Ram's The Complete Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: 130 Traditional and Modern Recipes (we will have a promotion on Chandra's title as well.  

Currently, Amazon has the DU0 7-in-1 model on sale so now is the time to pick up one!


Everything you need to know about molasses

Nothing can replicate the rich, complex flavor of molasses. It's essential to gingerbread and, as a component of brown sugar, adds its subtle bitter and roasted caramel notes to many baked goods. There are several types of molasses available so it can be confusing to know which one is right for which recipe, but Southern Living Magazine sets us straight with its primer on molasses.

ginger cookies

First, the magazine explains just what molasses is - a viscous product resulting from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. After the cane or beet juice is cooked down to form crystals, the remaining liquid is molasses. The boiling process is repeated several times, and each step yields a different type of molasses. As a side note, if you have ever driven past a sugar beet processing plant, you will know that these boiling steps are incredibly aromatic - but not in a good way. Try to keep upwind, or at least keep your car windows rolled up, if you ever pass by one of these facilities. 

As you might expect, the intensity of flavor increases with each progressive boiling step. The liquid from the first go-round is lighter and less flavorful. Usually known as light molasses, it can be used in any application, whether cooking or baking. The darkest form of molasses is commonly known as blackstrap, named after its extremely dark color and assertive flavor. Use this type sparingly in savory applications such as black beans or as part of a glaze. Since the flavor is so pronounced, you probably don't want to use blackstrap in baked goods. 

Most commercial brown sugars are nothing more than white sugar with some of the molasses added back in, so you can always have brown sugar in an instant if you keep molasses and regular granulated sugar on hand. The bonus for doing this is that you will never have hard, lumpy brown sugar. In addition, you can vary the intensity of flavor to suit your mood or a particular recipe's requirements. 

Photo of Giant ginger cookies from Everyday Food magazine

Perfect your butter-basting technique

Have you ever watched professional chefs on a cooking show cooking a piece of meat in a skillet, scooping liquid from the pan in deft strokes and pouring it over the steak or chop? This technique, called butter basting, is beloved by many chefs. Although it requires a bit more finesse than some other techniques, Daniel Gritzer shows us how it can add an unparalleled depth of flavor

butter basted steaks

Gritzer walks us through the "ups and downs of butter-basting", explaining how it can be applied to a variety of meats including steaks, pork chops, chicken breasts, and even fish fillets.  The method for each is similar, although there are a few  small details that differ for fish. There are several benefits to the process, including amazing flavor, quicker cooking, and a great sear. Says Gritzer, "When done properly, the method gives the outside of the meat, or the skin of fish, a crackling, potato chip-like crispness."

Once you learn this technique, you can practice on recipes from the EYB Library. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!

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