Cooking for good

Guy Fieri and Jose Andres

No doubt you have heard about the devasting fires in northern California, and the dire situation facing the residents of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. What you might not have known is that two celebrity chefs have jumped in to help the people affected by those disasters. With all of the bad news being reported in recent weeks, it's heartwarming to learn that chefs are among the first to respond.

In Puerto Rico, chef José Andrés has led efforts by the nonprofit World Central Kitchen to help feed those left homeless and otherwise adversely affected by the deadly storm that swept across the small island, home to nearly 3.5 million people. As of last week, World Central Kitchen had served over  450,000 meals to families, an average of 50,000 meals produced per day. You can follow the progress of the organization with the hashtag #ChefsForPuertoRico on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Turning to California, we learn that Santa Rosa resident Guy Fieri is firing up his barbecue smoker to provide over 3,500 meals to first responders and those evacuated from their homes. Fieri and his family were among those evacuated from their homes due to the massive wildfires. "We had to evacuate at two in the morning, and we grabbed what we could, taking pictures off the wall as fast as we could. Jumped in the truck, loaded in the dogs, and away we went," the chef told television station KQED.  Fieri has lived in Santa Rosa since the 1990s, and opened his first restaurant, Johnny Garlic's, there in 1996.

JapanEasy - Tim Anderson - Recipe and Giveaway

JapanEasy: Classic and Modern Japanese Recipes to (Actually) Cook at Home by Tim Anderson offers an introduction to the world of Japanese cooking via some of its most accessible dishes. Anderson's first book Nanban is killer, you can find more information on that title on my Friday Flashback.

In his new title, Anderson shares everything we need to know to make authentic Japanese food at home which, in turn, eliminates all the reasons ("excuses") that we come up with for not doing so. The photos are killer, the instructions spot on and the recipes and diagrams will have us all whipping out gyoza (including making our own wrappers) in no time.

Fried prawns with shichimi mayo, Japanese fried chicken, the Best miso soup, and Crab cream croquettes are a few examples of what you will find here. Also included are Sushi, Sukiyaki, Hot Pots and more with tips, tricks and Anderson's expertise to guide us.

Thanks to Hardie Grant for sharing the Curry udon recipe with our members and for providing three copies of this book in our contest below.

Curry udon (Kare udon)
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Serves 4

Difficulty: Supremely not difficult

Japanese curry and udon: a comfort food power couple. The addition of curry to hot udon doubles down on its warming, satisfying qualities - I love all kinds of udon, but this may be my favourite.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chilli, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, diced
  • 60 g (2 oz / 1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 45 g (1 3/4 oz) Madras curry powder (you can use hot or mild, or a combination of both)
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1.2 litres (41 fl oz / 5 cups) chicken or beef stock, dashi, or any combination of the three
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup or Tonkatsu Sauce (see below)
  • salt
  • 1 sweetcorn cob, or 150 g (5 oz) tinned sweetcorn
  • 4 portions of udon noodles
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • 4 eggs, poached or soft-boiled
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 40-50 g (1 1/2 -2 oz) red pickled ginger (optional)
  • 50 g (2 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated (optional - but it's DELICIOUS)
  • toasted sesame seeds

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until lightly browned, then add the chilli, garlic and red pepper. Continue to cook until the garlic has softened and the pepper has started to brown.

Remove the veg from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the butter to the pan and let it melt, then whisk in the flour. Cook until the roux turns a light golden brown, stirring constantly. Add the curry powder and garam masala, reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the stock or dashi in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce and ketchup or tonkatsu sauce and reduce to a simmer.

If using a sweetcorn cob, blanch in boiling water then cut off the kernels, or heat up the tinned sweetcorn in a saucepan or the microwave.

Cook the udon according to the package instructions, then drain and portion into deep bowls. Pour over the curry broth and top with the sweetcorn kernels, sautéed onion and pepper mixture, spring onions, eggs, chilli flakes, pickled ginger, cheese, if using, and sesame seeds.

Tonkatsu sauce 
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Makes about 600ml (20 FL OZ / 2 1/2 Cups)

Variations on this tangy-sweet, fruity-savoury, Worcestershire-like brown sauce - an essential flavour in dishes like okonomiyaki, takoyaki, tonkatsu and yakisoba - are incredibly common in casual modern Japanese cooking. I was running a cooking class a while ago in which I taught the students how to make this, and one of them said, upon tasting it, 'Oh! You taught us how to make brown sauce.' And so I did - tonkatsu sauce's flavour is remarkably British, sitting somewhere on the flavour spectrum between HP and Branston Pickle, but it has a few Japanese flourishes to enhance umami and sweetness. It also has a delightful affinity with mayonnaise.

By the way, there's no need to get too nerdy about this, but generally speaking this sauce should be made a little sweeter for okonomiyaki (more sugar), more acidic for tonkatsu (more vinegar/Worcestershire sauce), and thinner and more savoury for yakisoba (more soy sauce/Worcestershire sauce).

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz / scant 1 cup) Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar (malt or rice, or a mixture)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 dates or about 3 tablespoons raisins, chopped
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon hot mustard (English, Chinese or Japanese)
  • big pinch of garlic powder
  • big pinch of white pepper
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz / scant 1 cup) tomato ketchup

Method

Combine the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, vinegar, onion, dates or raisins, and apple in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion and dates or raisins are very soft. Add the mustard, garlic powder, white pepper and ketchup, transfer to a blender, and purée until smooth (then pass through a sieve if you want it really smooth).

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge indefinitely. PRO TIP: This is the best possible condiment for a sausage or bacon bap.

Recipe excerpted with permission from JapanEasy by Tim Anderson, published by Hardie Grant Books September 2017, RRP $29.99 hardcover.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on November 17th, 2017.

Gâteaux - Christophe Felder & Camille Lesecq


Gâteaux: 150 Large and Small Cakes, Cookies, and Desserts
by Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq is a masterpiece of pastry. This book is stunning and is on par with Felder's other titles such as Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French Pastry

Every page of Gâteaux invites a world of inspiration from stunningly perfect pastries, step-by-step technique photographs, detailed instructions and photos as lovely as the cake on the cover grace every page of the book.

Pastry level ranges from a Walnut and pecan sponge and Breton butter cookies to a spectacular Saint Honoré cake or Toulouse violet macaron cake with mixed berries.

The publisher, Rizzoli, is sharing the Bee sting cake recipe with our members today as well as providing one copy of this book to our members in the US. Be sure to enter our contest at the bottom of this post.

 

Bee sting cake (Alsace-lorraine) 
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This cake shares some characteristics of the Tarte Tropézienne, a specialty of St Tropez, but I'm pretty certain that the recipe is considerably older.  If you choose to give it a hint of 
the sunny south, flavor the pastry cream filling with orange flower water. In that case, do prepare it a few hours ahead so that the aromas can develop fully.

prep: 25 minutes
chill and freeze: 4 hours
cook: 20 to 25 minutes
serves 8 to 10

Simple brioche dough

  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz. / 500 g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
  • 1 ½ cakes (1 oz. / 30 g) fresh yeast
  • ¼ cup (2 oz., 50 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 2/3 sticks (10 oz. / 300 g) unsalted butter, softened and diced

Pastry cream

  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons (3 g) skimmed powdered milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • Scant ¼ cup (2 oz. / 60 g), about 3
  • ¼ cup (2 oz. / 60 g) sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (1 oz. / 25 g) cornstarch


Bee sting cream

  • 2 ½ sheets (5 g) gelatin
  • 9 oz. (250 g) pastry cream
  • 1/3 cup (2½ oz. / 75 g) egg whites, about 2 ½
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz. / 25 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) kirsch
  • 1/3 cup (90 ml) whipping cream, whipped to firm peaks
  • Almond-honey topping
  • Scant 1/3 cup (3½ oz. / 100 g) multi-floral honey
  • ½ cup (3 ½ oz. / 100 g) sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz. / 90 g) butter
  • 1 cup (3 ½ oz. / 100 g) sliced almonds

Equipment: A 9-inch (23 cm) pastry ring or cutter

Make the brioche

1. Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater (or dough hook). Place the yeast on one side of the bowl and the sugar and salt on the other. Begin kneading at low speed as you add the eggs, one by one.

2. Increase the speed to high. Gradually add the diced butter and knead for a further 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

3. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and refrigerate for 2 hours.

4. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Weigh out 1 lb. 2 oz. (500 g) of the brioche dough, and roll it to a 9 ½-inch (24 cm) disk that is ¾ inch (2 cm) thick.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator while you proceed with the recipe. Use the leftovers to make yourself a small brioche!

Make the pastry cream

1. Bring the milk, powdered milk, and half vanilla bean and seeds to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very smooth. Sift the cornstarch and carefully incorporate until smooth. Whisk a little of the hot milk into the mixture. Gradually pour in the remaining milk, whisking to combine. Return the liquid to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat.

3. Immediately transfer to a mixing bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator until cooled.

Make the bee sting cream

1. Soften the gelatin in a bowl of very cold water.

2. Whip the pastry cream briskly for 2 minutes until very smooth

3. Make the meringue: whisk the egg whites with the sugar until they hold a soft peak. Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets. Warm the kirsch slightly in a saucepan or in the microwave oven and dissolve the gelatin in it. Spoon some of the pastry cream into the kirsch-gelatin mixture and whisk briskly. Scrape into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the remaining pastry cream. With a flexible spatula, fold in the meringue. Carefully fold in the whipped cream.

Make the almond-honey topping

1. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the work surface and have another sheet at hand.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the honey and sugar. Stir in the orange zest.

3. Stir in the butter and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute.

4. Stir in the sliced almonds and mix to coat them well.

5. Pour the almond-honey mixture over the parchment paper and cover with the second sheet. With a rolling pin, roll it to a thickness of 1/8 inch (3 mm). Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and cut out a 9-inch (23 cm) disk. Return it to the freezer.

To assemble 

1. Place the firm almond-honey topping over the brioche dough disk. (If it is not firm enough, return it briefly to the freezer.)

2. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°F (200°C).

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sides and base are golden.

5. Allow to cool on a rack.

6. Cut the brioche in half horizontally. Spread a ½-inch (1 cm) layer of bee sting cream over it and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, until firm. Place the upper half of the brioche with the topping over the cream, pressing lightly so that it holds together. The cake is ready to serve!

 

The publisher is offering one copy 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 November 17th, 2017.

The Sportsman - Stephen Harris - Recipe and Giveaway

The resume of Stephen Harris might cause one to scratch one's head. How does a punk rocker, turned history teacher, then financial advisor end up a self-taught Michelin-starred chef? The author's incredible journey is told in his new stunner of a debut cookbook, The Sportsman, released last month by Phaidon. 

The Sportsman, the restaurant located in Kent, has earned a Michelin star every year since 2008 and was also voted number one gastropub in the UK. The Sportsman, the cookbook, blends age-old techniques with those of today to perfect 50 British classics just as Harris does at the restaurant.

Along with full page photographs, Harris profiles each of the key players at his restaurant from the front of the house to the pastry chef. Kent and the places that surround this region are prominent characters as well. The author strikes the perfect balance with a great story, profiles of the area and his team, stunning photographs and elegant recipes. 

Lamb breast and mint sauce, Wild blackberry lollies with cake milk, Crab, carrot and hollandaise, and Elderflower posset and fritter are a few examples of the recipes here, all with detailed instructions. The Sportsman is a stellar offering from the multi-talented Stephen Harris. Please remember Eat Your Book members receive 30% off Phaidon titles when using the link provided. 

Phaidon is sharing one of the dishes from this book for our members the Pork belly with applesauce. This dish has multiple components and will take some planning but is brilliant in its simplicity. Please be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to enter our contest open to members in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia for a chance to win a copy for yourself.

Pork Belly and Applesauce

Serves: 8-10 as part of a tasting menu 

Ingredients

Pork belly
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1 x 2 kg / 4 lb 8 oz pork belly, bone in good handful of sel gris
3 liters / 100 fl oz (12 cups) duck fat
Apple sauce
Mashed potatoes, to serve
Sautéed cabbage or steamed spinach, to serve

Applesauce
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makes 600 ml / 20 fl oz (2 ½ cups)

2 large Bramley apples, unpeeled, quartered and cored
350 ml / 12 fl oz (1 ½ cups) sugar syrup

Mashed potatoes
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serves 6

5 medium potatoes
300 ml / 10 ½ fl oz (1 ¼ cups) double (heavy) cream
50 g / 2 oz (¼ cup) butter
1 teaspoon salt

Sautéed cabbage
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serves 4

1 Savoy cabbage (or another green cabbage), outer leaves discarded 
50 g / 2 oz (1/4 cup) butter 
lemon juice 
sea salt and pepper 

Instructions:

To make the Applesauce

To make the apple sauce, cut the apples into small chunks and put into a small food processor or jug blender. Pour in enough sugar syrup to almost cover the apples. Blitz on high until you have a smooth, bright green sauce.

To make the Mashed potatoes
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.

Roast the potatoes in their skins for 2 hours, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh (use rubber gloves if they are too hot). Press the potato flesh through a ricer into a mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a small pan and simmer for 5 minutes, taking care it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan. Mix the hot cream into the potato then press it through a fine sieve. Mix in the butter then season with salt and serve.

To make the Sautéed cabbage

Cut the cabbage into quarters and discard the hard core sections. Cut into thin slices and wash.

Melt 20 g/3/4 oz of the butter in a lidded frying pan. Add the wet cabbage, cover the pan, and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Remove the lid and cook for around 2 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the cabbage is soft, but still green. 

Add the remaining butter, then add lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Stir briskly to amalgamate, check the seasoning again, then serve.

To make the Pork belly

Sit the pork belly in a large roasting pan and rub the salt into the pork flesh. Put the pan into the refrigerator and pour in enough water to cover the mea completely. After 12 hours, take out of the refrigerator and pour away the water. Rinse well.

Preheat the oven to 100ºC/210ºF. Put the duck fat into a large pan and melt it slowly. Pour a layer of fat into the roasting pan and arrange the pork belly on top, skin side down. Pour in the rest of the fat and cover loosely with greaseproof (wax) paper. Cook for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, check that the pork belly is cooked by pulling at a rib bone. If it doesn't move freely, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes and check again.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. You can strain off the duck fat to be used again. Transfer the pork belly to the refrigerator and leave overnight to set hard.

Remove the bones and trim the edges to create a neat rectangle. Keep the trimmings to make the pork scratchings.

Cut the belly in half down the middle and then divide into portions as you wish. We get 8-10 main course portions from one belly. Wrap the individual portions in clingfilm (plastic wrap) until they are needed.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and take the belly portions out of the refrigerator.

Arrange the belly portions in a non-stick, ovenproof frying pan and loosely cover with a baking paper. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. If the skin isn't nicely browned, then finish on direct heat on the stove. Remember the skin is like glass: it will be gel like when hot, but will crisp up as it cools. Turn the portions over and leave to cool slightly before serving with applesauce, mashed potatoes and cabbage.

Adapted from THE SPORTSMAN by Stephen Harris (Phaidon, $49.95 US/59.95 CAN, September 2017) 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. 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 November 16th, 2017.

The evolution of the newspaper food section

 newspapers

In today's media saturated age, it can be difficult to imagine a time when there was only one or two sources for information about food and cooking. For decades, however, that was the case. Before there was Instagram, blogs, food television, or even food magazines, the newspaper food column provided the only information most people could get about recipes or dining. The Denver Post has just written a neat piece regarding the 125-year-plus history of its food writing, and what it says about that particular paper parallels the experience of many others.

Early in the newspaper's publication, in the late 1800s, there was no section dedicated to food. There were, however, the "women's pages", where articles ranged from daily devotions to poems and a few scattered stories about food. In 1895, for instance, an article provided some tips from a traveler to France: "Always boil soup long and slowly." 

Things progressed in the early 20th century, and by the 1930s stories about food were commonplace, as were advertisements about food for groceries and home keeping products. Prizes were offered for the best recipes from readers (much cheaper than paying someone to write full time). 

The 1950s and 60s were breakthrough years. This was the birth of dedicated food columns, along with profiles or interviews of chefs and cooks. Weekend magazines appeared on the scene, often featuring several pages of food writing, both home grown and from outside. Fast forward to the 1970s, and you see the first dedicated food section. Larger papers may have had it a few years prior, but this is when food writing in newspapers really began to take off. 

From there, the food section remained more or less the same for decades. Recipe articles shared space with restaurant reviews, food news, and stories from celebrity guest writers. Food advertisements moved from the paper's pages to inserts. Then, faced with severe budget pressures from a decline in subscribers (mainly due to the Internet), many newspapers began to curtail or even eliminate standalone food sections. Now only the largest newspapers such still have dedicated sections devoted to food and dining, although a large portion of the content has moved to the web.

While the future of printed newspapers may be uncertain, one thing we can say: food writing isn't going away, even if the papers do. Thanks to blogs, websites, and other online forums, there is a plethora of information and plenty of excellent food writing to be found. Newspapers helped usher in this golden age, and we should be ever thankful for that. 

Quick action saves M.F.K. Fisher's former home

The Art of EatingFew people have had as much impact on food writing as M.F.K. Fisher. Beginning with Serve it Forth, published in 1937, her career as a writer flourished. For the last 20 years of her life, Fisher resided in a home she designed and called "Last House", built in Glen Ellen, California. 

The recent devastating wildfires in northern California threatened the historic structure, part of the Audobon Canyon Ranch historic site. But thanks to the quick action by the Ranch's fire ecologist, Sasha Berleman, the house was saved

When one of the area's many fires began Monday, Berleman, "grabbed her gear and headed straight for Bouverie," said Wendy Coy, communications manager for the Audobon Canyon Ranch.  When Berleman arrived at the site, nearly all the buildings in the Bouverie Preserve, part of the Audobon Canyon Ranch, were on fire. Berleman organized a bucket brigade with the assistance of neighbors. They used water from the swimming pool next to David Pleydell-Bouverie's house, located adjacent to Last House. Nearby staff offices and other structures burned to the ground, but the two homes were saved.

As part of an ongoing restoration project, many of Fisher's personal possessions were recently returned to Last House. All items were all saved, including the writer's signature rattan Peacock chair, dining-room table, pottery, books, and her well-used Coronamatic typewriter.

Syria - Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi

In Syria: Recipes from Home, Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, two food fanatics, bring the beauty and tenacity of the Syrian people to life within its pages. Despite incredible odds and harsh conditions, the people of this country still rejoice in the celebration of food and family.

The pair travelled across Europe and the Middle East meeting Syrian women, some who were living in tents, on the street or in one room apartments, but all were bravely fighting back against the destruction of their homes with the only way they know how through cooking. Following traditions and sharing dishes kept their sense of home alive. 

Throughout the book we meet these women - Hala, Tahani, Ahlam, Mona, Israa, Shaima, Fedwa, and Razan. We often see their stunning faces in photographs surrounded by the words of their escape from whatever hell they were living through and how their food memories and recipes kept them strong. Their favorite recipes and dishes are shared and for some there is no happy ending - just survival. 

The recipes are vibrant and approachable. The women are the same. While Syria is a cookbook and shares recipes such as Sweet stuffed pancakes, Turmeric cake, Freekeh with chicken, and Baba ganoush with minced lamb, the book shines in the narrative that reflects the indeliable spirit of the women of Syria.

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing one of the recipes from this truly spectacular book and for offering three copies in our contest opened to members worldwide. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter. 

 

Za'atar flatbread
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(Mana'eesh)

SERVES 6

  • 3 tbsp za'atar
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 x 320g pack of puff pastry
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve
  • ½ tomato, diced, to serve


Preheat the oven to 160ºC/fan 150ºC/gas mark 3, then mix the za'atar with the olive oil.

Roll out the pastry and, using a pastry brush, spread the za'atar olive oil all over, leaving a 2.5cm border around the edges.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the pastry puffs up and turns golden brown.

Serve with fresh mint and tomato on top.

Recipe from SYRIA: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, which is published by Trapeze in hardback and eBook. Photography by Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton.  

The publisher is offering three 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 November 15th, 2017.

Featured Cookbooks and 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!

 

Member Photo of the Week:

Apple Cider Pie with Toasted-Walnut Lattice Crust from The Weekend Baker: Irresistible Recipes, Simple Techniques, and Stress Free Strategies for Busy Peopleby Abigail Johnson Dodge

Photo submitted by Zosia. Have you uploaded any of your own photos yet? Learn more!

 

 

From Blogs & Websites:

Sweetened Condensed Milk by Stella Parks from indexed site Serious Eats

 

 

From Cookbooks:

6 recipes from L.A. Mexicano: Recipes, People & Places by Bill Esparza

Enter the L.A. Mexicano GIVEAWAY! (US only)

 

8 recipes from  Orange Appeal: Savory & Sweet by Jamie Schler

Enter the Orange Appeal WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY!

 

9 recipes from  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner... Life: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King

Enter the Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...Life GIVEAWAY! (US only)

 

10 recipes from Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert's Renegade Life by Emily Kaiser Thelin

Enter the Unforgettable GIVEAWAY! (US/CAN only)


10 recipes from Hot Mess Kitchen: Recipes for Your Delicious Disastrous Life by Gabi Moskowitz & Miranda Berman

Enter the Hot Mess Kitchen GIVEAWAY! (US/CAN only)


Friday Flashback - Southern Italian Family Cooking Carmela Hayes Sereno

Last month, I had the pleasure of reviewing and cooking from Carmela Sophia Sereno's cookbook, A Passion for Pasta which is truly a keeper - beautiful, inspiring and approachable. Check out my review and enter our promotion to win a copy along with some wonderful pasta making tools.

Today's Friday Flashback focuses on Carmela's her first title, Southern Italian Family Cooking: Simple, Healthy and Affordable Food from Italy's Cucina Povera. While it may appear to be a timid little paperback, it is filled with delicious family recipes including Fennel biscuits, Marrow parmigiana with Italian sausage sauce, and Auntie Anna's amaretto and dark chocolate cake. Rest assured all of the Southern Italian classics are covered as well. While Southern Italian doesn't have the visual beauty that A Passion for Pasta has, its content and Carmela's passion for food makes it just as valuable. 

Carmela is a friend and I've noticed in some of her photographs a gorgeous cookbook collection. I'm one of those people who will pause the television, rewind and pause again, if I see a cookbook collection or an interesting piece of kitchen equipment. So naturally, I asked Carmela if we could feature her collection here. Thank you, Carmela, for providing me a copy of Southern Italian and taking the time to share your library with us.

Which cookbook was your first?

The first cookbook that made me take notice was Nigella Lawsons 'How to Eat'.

How many cookbooks do you estimate you have in your collection?

I own approximately 800 cookbooks and my collection will continue to grow. Now, however, I am a little more selective as to what I choose to buy and add to my library. 

Which authors are your favorites? Which cookbook is a favorite?

My favourite authors are Anna del Conte, Valentina Harris, Tessa Kiros and Nigella Lawson, in truth I have a list of favourites but Anna is my number one. A favourite book is an impossible task. I love Anna del Conte's memoir Risotto with Nettles but I adore any book from my chosen authors.

Are there plans for another title from you?

Yes, book three is currently being penned and I am inspired to continue writing about my passion of Italian cookery and food but book three has a hint of seasonality through it.

Are recipes dead? Tyler Florence thinks so

Tyler FlorenceWhile attending the Smart Kitchen Summit in Seattle, celebrity chef Tyler Florence made a bold declaration: recipes are dead. Not only did he say that, he proclaimed that our entire approach to making food, from grocery shopping to ingredient preparation to cooking, is outdated. 

"Recipes served a purpose back in the day, but inflexible recipes don't work with the modern lifestyle anymore - they're too long, complicated, and require too much pre-planning," says Florence. "Today's recipe content is one dimensional - it doesn't know who I am, my family's nutrition needs and likes/dislikes, the food I have in my fridge, or the appliances I have in my home." The chef goes on to say cookbooks average about 125 recipes (it's actually more than that), but that most cooks only use about five of these, and the recipes are not created for the modern, busy person.

We beg to differ. Several recent cookbooks are perfect for the "modern, busy person" including The Simple Kitchen: Quick and Easy Recipes Bursting with FlavorHalf Hour HeroIndian Instant Pot Cooking: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy & Fast, and 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food. That is just a small sampling from the last two months, and doesn't even include slow cooker books, where recipes are also easy if not fast.

Tyler's reason for disparaging cookbooks and recipes may be that he is hawking a product labeled as an "alternative" to traditional methods:  Innit's Connected Food Platform, "a high-tech platform that eschews classic recipes in favor of a computer-based integrated hub where food purchases and preferences are tracked and recipes are customized based on nutritional needs and what ingredients you should cook before they go bad in your fridge." 

Or, you know, he could use Eat Your Books to find recipes that use the ingredients he has on hand, and find a recipe that actually works instead of relying on an algorithm that doesn't take into account flavor affinities, preferred cooking methods, or other nuances. 

Plus EYB allows users to make notes on what works or doesn't, so that the next time they face the situation of expiring ingredients, they are armed with a more wholesome understanding of how to use them in a dish that really works for them and their families. Recipes are not dead, Mr. Florence, in fact they've never been more healthy and vibrant. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to use EYB to find the perfect recipe for the fennel that's aging in my crisper. 

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