Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Finding the best recipes amongst the millions online is not easy - but you don't have to! The team here at Eat Your Books, searches for excerpts from indexed books and magazines and every week we bring you our latest finds. Every day recipes are added from the best blogs and websites.

As a member, you can also add your own favorite online recipes  using the Bookmarklet. With EYB, you can have a searchable index of all your recipes in one place!

Happy cooking and baking everyone!

 

From magazines:

5 homemade holiday gift  recipes by Caroline Craig & Sophie Missing from the December 3rd issue of indexed The Guardian Cook supplement

 

 

From AUS/NZ books:

2 recipes from Botanical: Inside the Iconic Brasserie by Paul Wilson, indexed by an EYB member

 

 

From UK books:

14 recipes from Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

 

10 recipes from Do-Ahead Christmas: Stress-Free Cooking for the Festive Season by James Ramsden, indexed by an EYB member

 

19 recipes from Mary Berry's Christmas Collection: Over 100 of My Fabulous Recipes and Tips for a Hassle-Free Festive Season

 

 

From US books:

5 recipes from Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
Calendar of upcoming events

Enter our Dorie's Cookies giveaway! (US/CAN only)

 

4 recipes from A Recipe for Cooking by Cal Peternell

Enter our A Recipe for Cooking giveaway! (US only)

 

4 recipes from Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked...and Fried, Too!: A Celebration of Potatoes in 75 Irresistible Recipes by Raghavan Iyer
Calendar of upcoming events

Enter our Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, & Baked giveaway! (US only)

 

These two books don't have recipes, but are useful kitchen references. Make sure you've entered our giveaways!

Enter our Spices & Herbs giveaway -- ends very soon! (US/CAN only)

Enter our Ingredient giveaway! (US/CAN/UK only)


Doing some holiday shopping? Click any of EYB's 'Buy Book' links first when purchasing anything on Amazon and we earn an affiliate fee to help index more books!

Gifts from the kitchen

 DIY limoncello

For those of us who are passionate about food, nothing says love more than making someone a delicious meal or treat. That often means we look to the kitchen for gifts to give our friends and loved ones for the holidays. If you are looking for ideas for homemade presents, The Washington Post just released their favorite 25 sweet, savory, and drinkable gifts

"Finding the perfect gift can be difficult,"  notes WaPo, "but something homemade and edible is almost always sure to please." An edible gift can be ideal because it doesn't have to be stored for very long but it will still be used and enjoyed. If you know even a little something about the recipient, it can be the ultimate customized present. 

While many people give baked goods including cookies, quickbreads, and candies, there are savoury options and even homemade liqueurs that make excellent gifts. In addition to being great for friends, family, and coworkers, homemade treats are also wonderful hostess gifts. The WaPo article lists 25 ideas, but the EYB Library is also chock full of recipes for DIY gifts. You'll find thousands of recipes for jams, jellies and preserves; cookies; candies; crackers; and homemade liqueurs. My favorite gift to give is English toffee, similar to this recipe - what's yours?

Photo of DIY limoncello from indexed blog Serious Eats

Cookbook Gift Guide for New to Advanced Cooks

This is the final gift guide for this year. Prior posts covered the Forty Best Cookbooks of 2016, cookbook suggestions for art and music lovers, cookbooks for entertainers and cookbooks for bakers. I hope these guides were helpful for your shopping or your collection endeavors.

A few final reminders: be sure to enter all our giveaways; this post has been updated highlighting all the open contests with links for your convenience. There are many giveaways planned for the next few months.  Remember as you do your holiday shopping using the Buy Book button (for any Amazon purchase) helps support our indexing efforts. Lastly, our life time membership contest is open for anyone who buys a gift certificate to Eat Your Books.

Today's guide shares suggestions for various levels of cooks - from beginner, experienced to the more advanced - including a few offerings for dinner dilemmas.

Mad Genius Tips: Over 90 Expert Hacks and 100 Delicious Recipes by Justin Chapple and Editors of Food & Wine shares creative uses for some of our faithful kitchen tools. Justin is the Food & Wine's test-kitchen expert whose job is to unlock genius hacks such as using a baking rack to weave bacon or skin hazelnuts. For each hack there is a recipe or recipes to accompany it. This is the perfect gift for the cooks in your life - especially those that are new to cooking, college students and those setting out on their own for the first time. Everyone needs to know how to weave bacon right?

Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, A Cook's Manifesto: The Ideas and Techniques That Will Make You a Better Cook by Michael Ruhlman reveals how a cook's success boils down to the same twenty concepts. Ruhlman illuminates the hows and whys of each concept and reinforces those discoveries through 100 recipes for everything from soups to desserts, all detailed in over 300 photographs. Cooks of all levels will appreciate this title. Another Ruhlman title, Ratio The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, dives into the truth of cooking: basic preparations that teach us how the fundamental ingredients of the kitchen work. For example, biscuit dough is 3:1:2 or 3 parts flour, 1 part fat, and 2 parts liquid. This ratio is the beginning of many variations, and because the biscuit takes sweet and savory flavors with equal grace, you can top it with whipped cream and strawberries or sausage gravy. One can't go wrong with a Ruhlman title.

 

Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell, is a New York Times' best seller and IACP award winner. Peternell wrote this cookbook for his son who was going off to college and it is has become a classic. In this title we are provided the basic techniques and recipes needed for cooks of every level to gain ease and confidence in the kitchen. Twelve Recipes is a truly beautiful book that flows like a great novel with photographs that reflect the true comfort that the author's food delivers - it is a must have in anyone's collection. I am particularly taken with one of first photographs in the book - a shot of the chef's cookbook collection.

Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cookby Kristen Miglore delivers 100 recipes that will change the way you cook all in one volume. This collection of recipes are from knowledgeable chefs and famous restaurants including raised waffles from Marion Cunningham, Touch-of-Grace Biscuits from Shirley Corriher, Pasta with Yogurt & Caramelized Onions from Diane Kochilas, Black Pepper Tofu from Yotam Otttolenghi, and Fried Asparagus with Miso Dressing from Nobu Matsuhisa. Food52 cookbooks, as I have stated before, are favorites in my collection. The Food52 A New Way to Dinner is the newest release which simplifies dinner planning with incredible recipes. You can read more about this title on my review and recipe post
 
It's All in the Timing: Plan, Cook, and Serve Great Meals with Confidence by Gail Monaghan is the ultimate guide to preparing multicourse meals and serving each dish at exactly the right time. Monaghan, an acclaimed food writer and cooking teacher, shares tips, stories and recipes that are guaranteed to work. Chapters are organized as follows: Dinner in a Flash; Class Favorites, Entertaining by the Light of Day; Dinner for 8; Holidays; and Assets (make ahead recipes, condiments and marinades). Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostata, Sweet 'n' Hot Malaysian Chicken and Raspberry-Nectarine Streusel Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream are examples of a few of the tempting recipes in this title.
 
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt is the must have book for every kitchen, for every level of cook. The Managing Culinary Director of the Serious Eats website (which recipes are indexed for our members) has delivered a comprehensive 950-page guide devoted to the art and science of food preparation. There are over 1,000 color photographs, including many step-by-step photos to help explain technique. The book covers knife skills, foundation recipes, and almost every culinary topic imaginable. López-Alt's recipes always work.

 

Cooking School: Mastering Classic and Modern French Cuisine by Alain Ducasse delivers 190 classic and modern recipes that include regional French cuisine, everyday family meals, patisserie, confections and so much more. The nearly 600 page book contains thousands of step-by-step process photos and tips from chefs that will expand your knowledge and skill in the kitchen. Beautiful photographs are plentiful throughout the title and recipes that range from Brownies to a stunning Raspberry Charlotte. For the serious cook that wishes to level up, this is the book for them. 

 

École Ritz Escoffier, Paris: 100 Step-by-Step Recipes from the Ritz Paris Culinary School includes 100 recipes for meat, fish, vegetables, foie gras, pasta and rice, international dishes, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. Each recipe is illustrated and includes clear explanations and a step-by-step guide. An homage to the prestigious school, which is still in its original home at the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vendôme, Paris, this beautiful book is more than a reference; it offers the savoir-faire and secrets of a gourmet chef who has inspired cooks for more than 150 years. This book is another title for the serious cook.

Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellence by Institut Paul Bocuse is perfect for professional chefs in training and aspiring amateurs. This is a comprehensive step-by-step manual covering all aspects of preparing, cooking and serving delicious, high-end food. First the book sets forth 250 core techniques in photographs then those techniques are put into practice in 70 classic and contemporary recipes. Over 1,800 photographs fill this essential guide for any serious cook who wants to tighten their game.
 

Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food by Ali Bouzari is a reference book highlighting each of the fundamental building blocks of food are fully explored to allow cooks a way to visualize and respond to what's really happening in the pan. An ingredient is a tomato, a tortilla, or some tarragon. An Ingredient (with a capital "I") is a recurring theme (or fundamental building block) that works behind the scenes in everything we cook. This is not a cookbook but a book that every cook should read. More information on Ingredient can be found in our article and we currently have a contest open for a chance to win a copy of this title.

The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz is a stunning title with hundreds of fresh ideas and tips for using pantry spices, 102 never-before-published recipes for spice blends, gorgeous photography, and botanical illustrations. Lior Lev Sercarz founded his New York City spice shop in 2006 and has become the go-to source for fresh and unusual spices as well as small-batch custom blends for renowned chefs around the world. Understanding spices and how they complement ingredients and each other is an important component in a cook's arsenal. This beautiful book is a wonderful place to expand our knowledge of spices to add flavor and vibrancy to our meals. 

 

 

 

The Swiss cheese of your dreams

 cheese fondue

Gruyère  lovers, this post is for you. Saveur Magazine has just published a lovely article on a rare Swiss cheese that is produced using only very traditional Gruyere methods that date back centuries. Known as L'Etivaz, it is such a special cheese that it has and A.O.P. (appellation d'origine protégée) status bestowed by the Swiss government.

When you read the romantic description of how this cheese is made, you may want to run off to be a farmer in Switzerland. The process includes shepherding small herds of pampered cows, who graze contentedly on wildflowers in idyllic Alpine meadows. L'Etivaz producer Frédéric Chabloz describes it this way: "you're in this beautiful place, you're surrounded by nature and your children, you're listening to the cowbells all day long."

And the cheese is, by all accounts, sublime. Terms used to describe the cheese include 'smoky' and 'flowery'. The smokiness likely comes from the fact that the cheese must be produced in vats that are stirred over a wood-fueled fire The exacting requirements extend all the way to the type of cheesecloth that must be used (100% linen).

Now that you are salivating, let me be an enabler. You can order L'Etivaz in the US through Murray'sZingerman's plus other sources. Fromages.com offers shipping to several countries including the US, Canada, Australia, and UK (sorry New Zealand!). There may be additional options depending on where you live. The price, as you might expect, is not minimal; expect to pay nearly $40 USD/$37 EUR per pound.

Photo of Cheese fondue from Cheese: A Collection of Sweet and Savoury Recipes for Every Course by Georgeanne Brennan and Maren Caruso

Cookbook Gift Guide for Bakers

The fall and winter are synonymous with baking more so than any other time of the year. What would Thanksgiving be without pie, or Christmas without cookies, or Hanukkah without rugelach or snow days without brownies and hot chocolate? Pretty sad - that's what it would be. Pretty sad.

Today, I've put together a baker's dozen of great baking books that any baker would love to receive this season. A few titles are from 2016 but the bulk are from years prior. Best books were covered in my Forty Best Cookbooks of 2016 (including new baking titles), books for art and music lovers, and books for entertainers were covered in prior guides. Gift any of these titles and you will find yourself looking for your own Bakery Shoppe sign.

Giving the gift of a baking book can be just as very rewarding for the giver as the receiver. One might very well find themselves on the receiving end of a special basket of goodies as a thank you.  My last gift guide will be up by Saturday and will focus on cooks of all levels from beginners to gourmets. 

If you wish to purchase any of these titles for someone on your gift list (or yourself), be sure to use the Buy Book button to help support Eat Your Books' indexing efforts. Lastly, An EYB subscription makes the perfect gift for cookbook lovers - each gift certificate purchase qualifies you for an entry to win a lifetime membership for yourself. 

Honey & Co: The Baking Book by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich (or it's U.S. edition Golden) is the ideal choice for someone who loves the savory and sweet aspects to baking as well as playing with exciting new flavors.  This book by the husband and wife team behind the wildly popular London restaurant, Honey & Co., delivers recipes such as Salty Sweet Orange and Tahini Pretzels, Leek and Goat's Cheese Pie, and Spice Cakes with Marzipan Cream Filling and Raspberries. I've made the Peach, Vanilla & Fennel Seed Mini Loaves several times and they were fantastic. Approachable, unique recipes that will make any level of baker happy.
 

Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories by Jocelyn Delk Adams is a collection of time-honored recipes, served up in exciting new ways with a nod to generations before. Sea Salt Caramel Cake, S'more Lava Cakes, and Peach Cobbler Shortcake are extraordinarily beautiful in this book. The author even shares a From Scratch Mix recipe, which can be made ahead and stored, much like boxed cake mix without all the unnecessary ingredients. For that someone special who always comes to a gathering offering a cake, this book is for them. 

 

The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking by Samantha Seneviratne will level up your dessert game with eighty unexpected but totally delicious recipes for spice-centric sweets. Incorporating global twists, the author takes peppercorns, cardamom and chiles and delivers recipes for Crunch Peanut Pepper Cookies or Raspberry Shortcakes with zesty Double Ginger Biscuits. I've made the chocolate chip cookies from this book and they were to-die-for - another title for the baker who is open to new flavors and loves a little spice.

 

 

Patisserie at Home by Melanie Dupuis and Anne Cazor features100 easy-to-master recipes, stunning full-color illustrations, and a eye-popping modern design that will guide the home baker into recreating French desserts in this oversized cookbook. Written by patissiere, Dupuis, and molecular gastronomist, Cazor, to demystify the art of French baking with detailed instructions, process and mise en place photos - one cannot veer off the pastry path with this baking bible. Gift this book (or buy it for yourself) for anyone that wants to perfect their pastry skills. While it deals with French baked goods which can seem daunting, the illustrations, photos and detailed instructions will have you hanging a Bakery Shoppe sign in your own kitchen.

 

Crumb: A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh, a finalist of the The Great British Bake Off, is packed with gorgeous photos and new and exciting recipes. Morning muffins with grapefruit, orange and white chocolate loaf cake, lemon and basil tart, rosemary pecan pie, and banana thyme tart - all await us in this debut offering. (Ruby has since published her second title Flavour which you can learn more about in my review.) Crumb is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, simple and complex. I hope to be seeing more from this talented young cookbook author.

 

Traditional Jewish Baking: Retro Recipes Your Grandma Would Make... If She Had a Mixer by Carine Goren is a charming collection of decadent treats. Photographs pop off the pages. Every recipe looks killer good - a stunning Babka - Just as it Should Be; Gerbeaud - A Hungarian Layered Cake, and Sfenj (fried, sponge like doughnuts) are calling me. Any baker, of any experience, would love this book! This book totally surprised me with its collection of recipes and totally cool layout.

 

Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake Up Your Baking by Malika Ameen is the pastry chef's debut cookbook overflowing with bold, interesting recipes that I found unique and enticing. You can read more about this book in my review post where we share a recipe for Malika's Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes. By now you see a theme with me, I totally covet books which utilized warm, interesting spices and have elements of savory aspects in their offerings. As I said in my review post, is it too soon to ask if Malika is working on a second book? It's never too soon for great cookbooks.

 

French Desserts by Hillary Davis is striking from its eye-catching cover of the Giant Break-and-Share Cookie, to the photographs of the vibrant French countryside and city markets. Hélène's Grandmother's Rice Pudding Cake Bathed in Caramel, Pumpkin Seed Tuiles, Grand Marnier Mousse, and a stunning Fresh and Dried Fruit Salad in Sweet Basil Syrup are examples of a few of innovative recipes from this title. The classics are here as well such as Breton Butter Cookies and Chocolate Sables. I have made the Orange Madeleines with Orange Glaze a few times now. They are truly magical because they disappear. For more information on this title, check out my review and recipe post - where you will find recipes for that cover cookie and those magic Orange Madeleines. Hillary's books are not to be missed.

Social Sweets: Top Desserts to Make at Home by Jason Atherton was a book that I chose for myself recently when I had a gift code. This cookbook brings desserts to an elevated, restaurant level. Beautifully presented recipes from the classics such as Tiramisu to Toasted Coconut Creme Brulée with Pineapple, Coconut and Malibu Sorbet are covered here. Somehow Atherton makes a corn muffin look as if it is deserving of a Michelin star. And curses to him, because now that I own this book, I went and ordered all his titles. I hope my husband isn't reading this - I will say they are birthday gifts as that date is rapidly approaching. We always joked that he would never want me working for Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table, as I would spend my entire paycheck or more - I think it holds true for this position as well.  
 

Sweet Studio: The Art of Divine Desserts by Darren Purchese is another new purchase. I had ordered Lamingtons & Lemon Tart  and included that title in my best of 2016 post and as is my norm, I went in search of other books by Darren. Sweet Studio is absolutely a show-stopper. Multi-component desserts have always intrigued me and this book breaks down the steps to create a Smoked White Chocolate, Coffee, Aniseed & Lemon cake what would wow Pierre Hermé. I'm longing for some time to play with these recipes and also wondering when the next title from this pastry genius will be forthcoming? Darren...tick tick. 

The Italian Baker: 100 International Baking Recipes with a Modern Twist by Melissa Forti is a hauntingly beautiful book set in darken hues (see the cover) that add an air of mystery and intrigue to the book. Melissa shares 100 international baking recipes with a modern twist in this title. From a Valencia Orange Cake that is gluten-free to a Torta Al Tè Chai E Zenzero (Chai and Ginger Layer Cake) - this book will have you mesmerized by her flavors, recipes and vintage inspired photographs.

 

Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day, Plus Butters, Sauces & Spreads by Donna Currie is a must have for the baker. There are recipes for breads, rolls, croissants, pizza dough, butters and even recipes for what we can do with leftover bread. Some of the standouts - sauerkraut rye, savory monkey bread, maple, bacon and onion loaf, stuffing bread with dried cranberries, blueberry and cream cheese buns with lemon zest, almond sweet bread, peanut butter bread with raspberry swirl, almond sweet bread and dozens more. Donna is the voice behind Cookistry and posts product reviews, great recipes and sometimes serves them up with a dose of sarcasm. 

Tarts by Frederic Anton and Christelle Brua and Chihiro Masui is a collection a selection of tarts that hit all the notes - classic and modern, sweet and savory and present them with 130 photographs by Richard Haughton. Each tart is photographed as circles of deliciousness that could easily be perceived as far too gourmet and complicated for us mere mortals. This book, however, is not all style and puffery, there is substance behind Tarts. The recipes contain clear-cut instructions that are detailed, yet concise, and simple to follow. More information and a recipe from this title can be found on my review post.

Breaking Breads, The Cardamom Trail, Layered, Art of the Pie, Dorie's Cookies, Marbled, Swirled & Layered, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, Classic German Baking, The Baker in Me, Lamingtons & Lemon TartsPanetteria and Better Baking are covered on my Top Books of 2016.  Be sure to check that post out for more information and links to full reviews and giveaways. Happy gifting and baking! 

Iron Chef America coming back to Food Network

 Iron Chefs

Fans of the television series Iron Chef America will be happy to learn that the show, which left Food Network in 2014, is returning in spring 2017. The reboot of the show includes a new name: the new program will be called Iron Chef Gauntlet

Reports indicate that Alton Brown will be reprising his role as host of the competition. It's hard to believe that the first Iron Chef America premiered in 2005 - over a decade ago! Next Iron Chef premiered in 2007 and the two shows ran concurrently for five seasons, after which Next Iron Chef was dropped. If you didn't realize that Iron Chef America was no longer on the airwaves, that is because although the program ended its run on Food Network in 2014, it moved to Cooking Channel for a year before being mothballed.

Bobby Flay remains the most winning chef on Iron Chef America, racking up 43 wins. He's followed by Michael Symon, whose tally stands at 34. Symon enjoys the best win percentage, beating his opponents over 80% of the time. At this time there is no word on whether these - or any - of the former Iron Chefs will return. 

Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid

Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid is a "reason to celebrate" to quote The New York Times. Duguid has authored many books exploring various cuisines from Burma to different regions of China. Every one of her titles is in my collection and I am always thrilled to learn when she is working on something new.

Duguid has the soul of a writer managing to convey the culture and cuisine of a particular region eloquently with thoughtful words and photographs. The beautiful images of the people and their landscape captured within these pages brings me closer to understanding their passions which are so similar to mine - family, food, life. Even though the people brought to us in Taste of Persia, speak many languages and have varying religious beliefs - they still share a history of Persian influences - in their kitchens - at their tables.

While there are 125 plus recipes in this book, it is far more than a collection of dishes. Duguid's words do, in fact, deliver the cuisine of Persia, but are also wrapped in the human element of the people who have known pain and anguish and yet still find joy in their traditions of food and love of family. The lined faces of the people reflect their wisdom, the hope in the eyes of children and the care in which the cooks share their food in this title makes this far more than a cookbook - it is a deeper understanding of this area of the world delivered through food.

Half-Moon Hand Pies, Cheese-Filled Quick Breads, Topknot Dumplings, and Tart Lamb Stew with Fried Potatoes are all marked in my copy to try. Truth be told, the majority of the recipes in this book, I am eager to recreate - save a few that involve offal or tongue - as we are not yet that sophisticated in this house. 

Duguid never disappoints and even if there were not a single recipe in this title that interested me - the book is a wonderful read that brings this section of the world, that I am so fascinated by, to my kitchen - to my table.  Anyone that loves travel, Persian cuisine or stellar writing would love this book as a gift this holiday season. 

Special thanks to Artisan and the author for sharing two recipes with us. Be sure to visit our contest page to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book.

Spinach Borani - Borani Ye Esfenaj
Serves 4 to 6

The Persian dishes called borani are a genius combination of cooked vegetable and thick drained yogurt. They are generally topped with fried onions, and often with a scattering of lightly toasted walnuts. People rave whenever I serve them, especially this spinach version.

  • About 1½ cups plain full-fat yogurt
  • 2 pounds spinach
  • About 2 tablespoons sunflower or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped lightly toasted walnuts

Drain the yogurt to thicken it: Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth or a cotton cloth. Moisten the cloth with water. Set the sieve or colander over a bowl and add the yogurt. Set aside, loosely covered, to drain for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the tough stems from the spinach. Wash the spinach thoroughly in several changes of water and drain well. Coarsely chop and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wide heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, lower the heat to medium, and fry the onion until translucent and touched with color, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to a plate and set aside.

Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high and add the spinach, turning it to expose it to the hot surface. Add about ½ cup water and cook, pressing and turning the spinach, until it is well wilted and deep green, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a bowl to cool slightly.

Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze it thoroughly, a handful at a time, to press out excess water.

Transfer the spinach to a bowl, add ½ teaspoon salt, and mix well.

Turn the thickened yogurt out into a bowl; you'll have about 1 cup. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the water to loosen the yogurt slightly and stir. (Save the whey for another purpose or discard.) Add the yogurt to the spinach and stir gently to mix them a little, but not into a smooth blend, leaving the mixture with patches of white and dark green. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Strew on the fried onions, sprinkle with the saffron water and toasted walnuts if you wish, and serve.

Beet Borani

You can make borani with other vegetables too. One of the most appealing is beet borani-the yogurt's slight tartness is a great foil for the sweetness of the beets. Place 6 medium beets (1½ to 2 pounds) in a roasting pan, coat with a little oil, and roast at 400°F until cooked through, about 1 hour, or boil them whole until cooked through. Let cool. Peel the beets and chop into about ½-inch dice. I have a weakness for beets with cumin or fennel, so I suggest tossing a generous pinch of one or the other into the pan as you fry the onion, along with ½ teaspoon salt. Once the onion is softened and touched with color, add it to the chopped beets. To serve, combine the beets with about 1 cup drained yogurt (from 1½ cups full-fat yogurt) seasoned with ½ teaspoon salt, without mixing them completely. Top with about 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted walnuts or, for a splashier look, with coarsely chopped pistachios.

Baku Fish Kebabs - Baliq Shashlik
Serves 4 to 6

Although sturgeon from the Caspian Sea is the classic and most highly regarded fish in Azerbaijan, you can use any firm, rich fish for these kebabs. The chunks of fish marinate briefly in a blend of lemon juice, salt, and dill before being threaded onto skewers and grilled. They make a great summer meal.

  • 2 pounds skin-on fish fillets: sturgeon or other rich fish, such as salmon or Alaskan black cod
  • About ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • About 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced (optional)
  • ¼ cup minced scallions (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac, or to taste

Cut the fillets crosswise into pieces about 1½ inches wide. Place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, dill, and ½ teaspoon of the salt and mix gently to coat the fish. Add the oil and mix again. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium hot and place a rack about 5 inches above the coals or flame.

Thread the fillets onto skewers. It's easiest to use two skewers in parallel to hold the fish: Pierce 2 or 3 pieces of fish with one skewer, not through the center, but close to one end; then pierce the other end of the pieces with a second skewer, so the arrangement looks like a ladder with fish rungs. Make sure the skin side of all the pieces is facing the same way. Set aside on a tray and repeat with the remaining fish.

Place the skewers skin side down on the rack over the coals or flame and grill for 10 minutes. Turn over and grill until the fish is just cooked, another 4 minutes or so.

Cover a platter with the sliced onions and the sliced tomatoes, if using. Slide the fish off the skewers onto the platter. Sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the scallions, if using, and sumac over the fish.

Excerpted from Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid.

Photograph Credit: Gentl & Hyers.

 

 

 

Cookbook Giveaway - Taste of Persia

Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid delivers another world to us by journaling her travels.

The countries that encompass the Persian region while a mix of centuries old religions, cultures, and politics, are connected by food traditions. The food shines with jeweled pomegranates, the golden hues leached from saffron, and the bountiful fresh herbs that all add life and vibrancy to the meals of this region.

I, for one, am grateful to Naomi Duguid, who for decades has been unearthing fascinating recipes and haunting tales from those areas of the world where most of us have not yet traveled. Taste of Persia contains 125 recipes, blanked with narrative and photographs of the people and landscapes that bring this far-away world closer to the reader. To read more about this title and try two recipes, please see our review and recipe post.

We are pleased to offer three copies of Taste of Persia to our EYB Members in the U.S. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

Do you have any of Naomi Duguid's books in your collection? If so, which ones?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends January 6th, 2017. 

Be sure to check your email spam folders for email notifications or check back on this post on the 6th for the names of the winners.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick and easy dinners for the hectic holiday season

 General Tso's tofu

Between the parties, cookie baking, shopping, candy making, musical events, family gatherings, and gift wrapping, the year-end holidays make for one of the busiest times of the year. It can be exasperating to fit in home-cooked meals when you are scurrying about at breakneck pace. To help keep you sane yet well-fed, we've gathered a few resources so you don't have to search for what to make for dinner.

Epicurious starts us off with five quick dinners that will keep you satisfied. They've got comforting chili, breakfast for dinner (always a winner in our house), and a healthy Cracked farro and broccoli salad to balance out the cookie tasting. Indexed blog Food52 takes us in a slightly different direction with the winners of their recent "Easy Weeknight Roasts" contest, which includes Mulligatawny carrots and Coffee-rubbed pork loin

Delicious (Aus) Magazine ups the ante with 56 quick, easy, and healthy midweek dinners.  With everything from roast chicken to Valli Little's Raw pad Thai to spiced coconut eggs, you are bound to find something that is both delicious and a snap to prepare. Not to be outdone, Delicious (UK) Magazine has a collection of easy midweek recipes that all take under 30 minutes to prepare.  You'll find delights like Fennel and pork pappardelle, Creamy leek and gorgonzola risotto, and sausage, apple and potato one-pan roast

Food52 aims to please carbohydrate addicts (myself included) with 15 pastas "you can make with your eyes closed". The recipes include One-pot garlic Parmesan pasta (a.k.a. the Lazy Cook's Fettucine Alfredo. Another indexed blog, The Kitchn, gives us 20 timesaving "Miracle Meals" for the frantic holiday rush. Highlights of this list include Easy skillet chicken pot pie, Weeknight General Tso's tofu (pictured top; perhaps fitting since the creator of General Tso's chicken died last week), and 10-minute black bean tacos

Cookbook Gift Guide for Entertainers

We all know those people who love to bring folks together around the table with food. I'm one of them - many of you are as well. This post highlights some cookbooks that are ideal for the entertainer or those that wish to be. A perfect hostess gift would be one of these titles with a cute kitchen towel - I can't pass up a cute kitchen towel. 
 
A reason that we do this gift guides is to aid in partnering a cookbook with the proper recipient. Darcie hits on the importance of matching a cookbook with the right personality in her article. My previous gift guide was geared toward those that love art and music and another title that should be on that list just arrived and is gorgeous: Fonda San Miguel which will be covered in our December monthly roundup. 

Back to those who love to entertain - I have picked out a dozen of my favorites from this year and past years. I hope they hit a chord and make your shopping easier.
 
Dinner at the Long Table by Andrew Tarlow and Anna Dunn and Scarlett Lindeman delivers a year's worth of menus that range from the simple, yet stunning, Carrot Cues, with Pistachio & Parsley to an elaborate Rabbit & Chorizo Paella. Beautiful full page photographs fill the book and menus are quaintly named - such as Cold Night Cassoulet or I Love, You Love, We All Love Bluefish. This cookbook is fun, elegant, quirky, sophisiticated and simply beautiful and perfect to elevate dinner party fare.


3 X a Day
 by Marilou and Alexandre Champagne reflects the author's natural flair for entertaining and cooking. Recipes like Garlicky Angel Hair Pasta with Stuffed Turkey Meatballs; Thai Shrimp and Vegetable Soup; and Tomato Strawberry and Basil Gazpacho with Cheese Balls are all great examples for dinner parties. This book is also very special in that it speaks to finding a healthy relationship with food.


Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion
by Danielle Walker includes helpful hints for menu planning, preparation and twelve month's worth of recipes organized by calendar year, this title is perfect for the entertainer in all of us. Lavender-Rosemary Leg of Lamb, Knife-and-Fork Pork Ribs, Chicken Salad Biscuits, and Berry Tart with Vanilla Bean Custard are a few examples of the range of recipes that woud be perfect for a dinner party or backyard barbecue. Our author interview shares two recipes from the title.


The Gourmet Kitchen: Recipes from the Creator of Savory Simple
 by Jennifer Farley home-cooked meals are elevated with unique and bold flavors. Jennifer Farley, the author, is also the creator of the blog, Savory Simple (451 recipes currently indexed on EYB) with almost half-a-million followers who eagerly await her new recipe posts. The book delivers over 100 sophisticated, but approachable, recipes accompanied by her signature photography. From quick and healthy weeknight dinners, fun appetizers and sweets for all occasions, Jennifer provides classic recipes with inventive twists that will please novice and seasoned cooks alike.  You can read more about this book and the author in our author interview and enter our giveaway as well.


Celebrate Everything: Fun Ideas to Bring Your Parties to Life
by Darcy Miller Celebrate Everything!: Fun Ideas to Bring Your Parties to Life by Darcy Miller is packed with planning strategy and original ideas making it the ultimate guide to creating unforgettable special occasions. Darcy invites readers to dozens of parties she's thrown, and shares hundreds of chic and cheerful ideas for ways to make a celebration personal. It's a blueprint for making the best occasions in life even better, filled with fun ideas to inspire just in time for the holiday season! 


How to Celebrate Everything: Recipes and Rituals for Birthdays, Holidays, Family Dinners, and Every Day In Between
 by Jenny Rosenstrach is a New York Times Best Cookbook of Fall 2016. The book provides a warm and inviting guide to turning birthdays, holidays, and everyday occasions into cherished traditions, with more than 100 time-tested recipes.


Pastry Queen Parties: Entertaining Friends and Family, Texas Style
 by Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman delivers more than 100 recipes for starters, sides, main dishes, desserts, and drinks and showcase Rebecca's bold and bounteous style of cooking. Plentiful stories and useful cooking and entertaining tips from Rebecca and other great Texas hosts and hostesses, a roster of "party express" recipes to pull together quickly, and more than 100 gorgeous scenic and food photos from across the state, 


The Yellow Table: A Celebration of Everyday Gatherings: 110 Simple & Seasonal Recipes
by Anna Watson Carl features delicious seasonal recipes just right for feeding the people you love. The book includes everything from Crustless Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Spice Pancakes to a Kale Detox Salad, Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille, and Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri. Enjoy snacks like Watermelon, Feta, & Mint Skewers; soups and stews, including Three-Bean Turkey Chili; sandwiches, simple suppers, sweets, and stress-free dinner-party menus. You'll even find plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options - and wine pairings from award-winning sommelier Jean-Luc Le Dû add the perfect finishing touch.


Party-perfect Bites: Delicious recipes for canapes, finger food and party snacks
by Milli Taylor delivers a mouthwatering collection of recipes for small bites and fingerfood - ideal for serving at parties or any social gathering, large or small. This book includes ideas for fresh all seasons of entertaining: Grilled Peach, Mozzarella and Parma Ham Bites, Seared Beef Tataki Spoons with Miso Sauce and Scallions, and Persian Sausage Rolls with Pistachios. For the dessert aspect of entertaining there are Rose and Raspberry Profiteroles, Cocoa Nib and Salted Caramel Brownies, Mini Candy Cane Meringues with Whipped Cream, Berries and Raspberry Coulis and Mini Donut Balls on Coffee Shots.
 

At Our Table: 120+ Recipes and Entertaining Tips for Every Occasion
 by Delicious Magazine is the cookbook for those of us who love cooking for friends and family as much as they appreciate presentation. This book is from the award-winning team behind Australia's leading premium food lifestyle magazine delicious. and hugely successful website delicious.com.au. With gorgeous photography, stunning design and more than 100 impressive but effortless recipes, and each chapter offering a flexible menu, as well as brilliant ideas for drink pairing and advice for setting the scene - including styling the table, colour palette inspiration, flowers, lighting and downloadable party invitations - this is the ultimate party planners' cookbook.  


In the Mood for Entertaining: Delicious Food for All Occasions
by Jo Pratt has an easy-to-follow layout, with four main chapters broken down into various different menus, offering you food for every occasion: Two's Company, Relaxed Entertaining, The Extravagant Dinner Party and Cooking for a Crowd. From Coconut and ricotta hotcakes with espresso syrup to Honey roast ham with pistachio crumbs, via Mini tomato tatins and Spiced mussels with tomato spaghetti, Jo Pratt's creative and stylish recipes are fuss-free and easy to follow. Accompanied by beautiful full-colour photography, drink suggestions and recipe hints and tips, this book will make entertaining a joy, whatever the occasion.

Other titles perfect for entertainers are: Vegetarian Dinner PartiesMozza at Home, A Recipe for Cooking (see our interview and giveaway), Mad Hungry Family (see our interview and giveaway), Effortless Entertaining Cookbook was one of my picks to review at Sunday Supper Movement and Twenty Dinners.

Of course, a gift certificate to Eat Your Books is a great gift for a cookbook collector and we have a special contest for those who buy a certificate so be sure to check that out! I have two more gift guides planned this week and next: a guide for the baker and a guide for cooks from beginners to advance. My top forty cookbooks of 2016 may help with your decision making as well.

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

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