La Latina - Review, recipe and giveaway

When spunky Grace Ramirez was a guest on The Chew a few months ago promoting her work and cookbook, I had to find out more.

I reached out to Grace about La Latina, her brilliant cookbook published by Random House New Zealand in 2015, and she immediately responded by mailing out a copy to me.

La Latina takes us on a cook's journey of Latin America from Mexico in the north to Argentina in the south, and shares a beautiful array of dishes from almost every country in between. Each country's culinary history and background is nestled in the recipes and gorgeous photographs making this a full immersion into Latin American cuisine.

Grace is a Miami-born chef who was raised in Venezuela and her food style can be described as comforting Latin American soul food mixed with her own culinary chic. When the former Masterchef USA contestant isn't creating dishes, she's a judge on one of New Zealand's highest rated shows: My Kitchen Rules which airs in New Zealand, the UK and Asia. She's also the host of Food Network LATAM: DESTINO CON SABOR, currently airing throughout Mexico and Latin America.

The book is broken down as follows: Grains & Soups; Poultry & Eggs; From the Sea; Meats; Dishes with Fillings; Rice; Salads & Vegetables; Sauces, Condiments & More; Something Sweet; Drinks and Feasts with the country of origin listed at the beginning of the recipe. Dishes include Lomo Saltado (Beef Stir-fry Peruvian-style), Mandocas (Anise, Panela & Cheese Fritters (Venezuela), Llapingachos (Kumara & Cheese Patties with Peanut Sauce) from Ecudaor. and Pupusas Con Curtido (Cheese-filled Corn Pupusas with Curtido Slaw) from El Salvador. 

Special thanks to Grace and Random House New Zealand for sharing the following recipe with our members as well as providing copies of this book for our promotion below.

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

Serves: 4
Time: 10 mins prep, 10 mins cook

4 chorizos or sausages of choice
4 ciabatta pockets
1 tbsp butter
1 cup guasacaca (see below for recipe)


Preheat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat.

Grill chorizos or sausages on all sides until fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes depending on size.

Slice open ciabatta pockets, spread with butter and lay on grill to lightly toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble, tuck chorizo or sausage in and top with guasacaca.

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Makes: 1¼ cups
Time: 10 mins prep

4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf
parsley with some stems
1⁄4 cup finely chopped coriander
with some stems
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 fresh green chilli, or red chilli flakes to taste (optional)
flaky sea salt


Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with a pinch of salt and then muddle it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When a paste has formed, add herbs and combine.

Halve avocado, remove stone and scoop out the flesh. Combine with herbs, mashing with a fork. Add lemon juice, vinegar and chilli (if using), and season to taste with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chef's note: Some people make this in a food processor or blender, but I prefer the chunky, rustic consistency you get from a mortar and pestle.

The publisher in New Zealand is offering one copy to members in New Zealand. The generous author is offering three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you 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 September 18, 2017.

Recipe excerpt from La Latina published by Random House New Zealand, 2015. Food Photography by Garth Badger.

What is 'nduja?

'nduja and mozzarella toasts

Spreadable salumi might sound like an oxymoron, but it is in fact a product, namely an Italian specialty called 'nduja. Made from pork, chilli peppers, herbs and spices, the fiery spread (pronounced en-doo-yah) comes from the Calabrian region of Italy. As Australian Gourmet Traveller explains, its spicy flavor enhances many dishes, from eggs to pizza and beyond

In addition to its fiery taste, one of the appeals of 'nduja is its supple texture. Bringing the 'nduja to room temperature before you use it allows the fat to soften and the flavor to fully bloom. While not a supermarket staple, 'nduja is available in Italian delicatessens or specialty shops. It is sold in either in its whole form, which is shaped like a football, or in jars or other resealable containers. 

'Nduja's bold flavors can complement a wide variety of dishes. One of its most common uses is as a bruschetta spread, and you will often find it paired with eggs as well. But that's far from all - you can find 'nduja jazzing up roasted vegetables, perking up pasta sauces, and used as part of a marinade or rub. If you're interested in trying 'nduja, the EYB Library contains over 50 online recipes to get you started, including the 'Nduja and mozzarella ciabatta with garlic and thyme oil from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine, pictured above. 

Around the World in 120 Salads - Review, recipe and giveaway

Katie and Giancarlo are a dynamic duo that met in 1997. He was a restaurateur and she an artist. He loved her painting, she loved his pasta and now the pair have two restaurants, a cookery school, have written over a dozen cookbooks and have two sons.

One of their newest titles, Around the World in 120 Salads: Fresh, Healthy, Delicious delivers globally influenced salads that are perfect for any time of day and occasion.

The book is divided into the following chapters: Dressings, Rise & Shine, First Things FIrst, Salads From the Farm, Salads From the Sea, Salads from the Garden, Simple Little Sides and On the Sweet Side.

First Things First hits on the basics for making a perfect salad, tips and techniques for textures and serving. Dressings, of course, lists myriad dressings, sauces and more to make our salads more flavorful and exciting. Then we get into the salad chapters with Rise and Shine - yes you can make a salad for breakfast! Doesn't a Spinach, Bacon, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Poached Eggs or a Saffon Peach & Mint Salad with Banana Pancakes & Lemon Crème Fraîche sound like something to make even the sleepiest head jump out of bed?

The middle chapters include recipes with seafood, proteins and produce with Middle Eastern, Greek, and other global flavors. Simple Little Salads is one of my favorite chapters - I love the addition of a fresh element on a plate and there are recipes for small pops of flavor in the form of sides such as Ginger Vichy Carrot Salad, Smashed Cucumber Salad and more.

Of course, any good meal ends with a sweet bite and On the Sweet Side includes recipes for Raspberries & Red Currants with Whipped Ricotta, Lemon Curd & Ginger Crumbs and Roast Black Fruit Salad with Amaretto & Cashew Lime Cream for a healthier alternative to an indulgent dessert. Frankly, those sound as decadent as any other dessert - sign me up.

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing a recipe our members can try now and for providing three copies of this book in our giveaway below.

Pan-fried halloumi & roasted fennel salad with orange dressing
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serves 4 to 6

Giancarlo learned how to make this punchy orange dressing in Bistrot de Venise restaurant in Venice, and now we use it all the time. Reducing the orange juice makes it zing with color and sweetness. The dressing can be made in advance but cook the halloumi just before serving.

2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a large handful of watercress, arugula, or lettuce leaves
a handful of seedless green or red grapes, halved
8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
a few fronds of wild fennel or dill, stems discarded
salt and freshly ground black pepper for the dressing
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (approx. 2 small oranges)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the fennel slices and boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until just tender, then drain.

Lay the slices onto a baking sheet, brush with the oil, and season.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until they just start to burn. Little crispy areas are good. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put the orange zest and juice in a small frying pan over medium heat, and leave it to bubble gently until reduced by about half. Leave to cool. When cool, mix with the oil, salt, and pepper.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Lay the leaves on a large platter, and top with the fennel and grapes.

Dry-fry the halloumi slices, in a nonstick frying pan, on each side for a couple of minutes or until just golden, and add to the salad. Drizzle with the dressing, season with black pepper and scatter the fennel or dill fronds. Serve immediately or the halloumi will harden.

The publisher is offering three copies of this title to our 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 like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you 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 September 18, 2017.

Recipes taken from Around the World in Salads by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books. Photography by Helen Cathcart.

Sri Lanka The Cookbook - Review, Recipe and Giveaway

The Sri Lankan Civil War raged for over a decade due to ethnic tensions between the Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the Hindu Tamil minority. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 citizens lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of civilians were displaced. But in the pages of Sri Lanka: The Cookbook, husband and wife team, Prakash Sivanathan (who is Tamil) and Niranjala Ellawala's (who is Sinhalese) love for their homeland cuisine and each other comes together with the melding of recipes from both ethnic groups coming to the table as one.  

This beautiful book shares a collection of authentic and vibrant recipes including feather-light hoppers (rice pancakes), fiery sambols (relishes), curries and unique 'vada' (fried snacks). 100 recipe celebrate the island's wonderful ingredients, from okra and jackfruit to coconut and chillies, and explore its culture through original travel photography of the country, its kitchens and its people. 

As you know, I am an avid fan of cookbooks that share more than the recipes of an area - I love to study the photographs of the people, markets and landscapes to soak in that region's unqiueness. The terra cotta pots that line a galvanized metal store front or the the shoulder-high stacks of bananas in a marketplace all provide me a glimpse into the scenery of Sri Lanka. 

The couple, who moved to London in the seventies, use to own a restaurant and would fight over who will do the cooking both there and at home. They find it is easier to take turns in the kitchen to avoid tensions finding a way to balance  their slighly different styles of cooking.

The recipes in Sri Lanka: The Cookbook are approachable but some have a long list of spices and ingredients such as the chicken biryani. I have made the Spicy Baked Chicken which was super easy to throw together and full of flavor. As always, you can browse the index here at Eat Your Books to see the recipes that are available in this title. 

Special thanks to Frances Lincoln for sharing the Devilled Prawn recipe with our members today and for offering three copies of this book in our giveaway below.  

ISSO BADUMA  Devilled prawns (shrimp)
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This is a bar food originally served in drinking clubs during the era of the British Raj, and it has found its way into the homes and hearts of Sri Lankans. As a nation, we're also fond of devilling squid, cuttlefish, pork, potato…you name it.

Serves 4

  • 400g (14oz) raw prawns (shrimp), shell on
  • 1 green (bell) pepper
  • 1 red (bell) pepper
  • 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ketchup (tomato sauce)
  • 1 tbsp medium soya (soy) sauce (not dark)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Wash and clean the prawns (shrimp). Remove the head and most of the shell, leaving it just on the tail. Wash them again, drain and set aside. Remove the stems from the (bell) peppers, quarter and remove the seeds. Halve each quarter and cut them into about 1cm (½-inch) chunks and set aside. Loosen the layers of the onion quarters and set aside. Put the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) or wok over a very high heat, and immediately add the onion. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the (bell) peppers and stir-fry for a minute. Tip in the prawns (shrimp) and stir-fry for just over a minute, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir-fry for another minute. Serve immediately.

Note: When making other devilled dishes, the main ingredient will need pre-cooking with a pinch or two of salt, before adding into the (bell) peppers and onions. You can use this method with prawns (shrimp), but they do not need to be cooked for long.

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

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you 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 September 17, 2017.


Joan Nathan's list of the best Jewish cookbooks

 Jewish cookbooks

Joan Nathan knows a thing or two about Jewish cooking. She is the author of over a dozen cookbooks in the genre, including Jewish Cooking in America, which won both the James Beard Award and the IACP / Julia Child Cookbook of the Year Award in 1994. (Learn more about Joan in her EYB author story.) Recently she spoke with Saveur, where she compiled a list of the ten best Jewish cookbooks

She starts off with The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York by Claudia Roden, which fittingly enough is the most popular Jewish cookbook in the EYB Library (Joan's book Jewish Cooking in America comes in next). While you can still find copies of that epic cookbook, you may have difficulty finding the next on Joan's list, The Israeli Cookbook by Molly Lyons Bar-David. "When I'm looking to learn about Jewish customs, I go to that cookbook. She talks about all kinds of customs. Libyan, Moroccan...every recipe has something above it," says Joan.

Of more recent books, one of Joan's favorites is Zahav by Michael Solomonov, who Joan feels "goes to the heart of Israeli cooking". Like most exceptional cookbooks, this one tells a story, of how Solomonov embraced the food of his birthplace. See the rest of the list on indexed site Saveur

The Joys of Jewish Preserving, Recipe and Giveaway

Emily Paster is the voice behind the blog, West of the Loop, and co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap, one of the most active and dynamic food swap groups in the country. Her first book Food Swap shared her advice for starting up swaps, recipes that work well in the swap environment and happens to share the best salted caramel sauce recipe ever (I have made it several times).

In The Joys of Jewish Preserving: Modern Recipes with Traditional Roots, for Jams, Pickles, Fruit Butters, and More-for Holidays and Every Day, Emily is back with 75 recipes that range from fruit jams and preserves, to pickles and other savory preserves, and recipes to use the preserves you make in other dishes (love that!)

Chocolate Babka with Jam, Dulce De Manzana (apple paste) and Lemon Walnut Eingemacht are a few examples of the types of recipes you will find in this book and of course you can browse the entire index here. Be prepared to pull out the canning jars once you look these recipes over. Emily has a number of events promoting this book. 

Thanks to Harvard Common Press for sharing Emily's Apple, Honey, and Rose Jam with our members today as well as offering three copies of this book to our members in the US and Canada (see giveaway below).

Apple, Honey, and Rose Water Jam
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This is a special preserve that combines traditional foods and flavors for Rosh Hashanah in both Ashkenazi and Sephardic cuisine. Apples, of course, are a fall crop and thus plentiful at Rosh Hashanah. Beginning Rosh Hashanah dinner by dipping apples into honey, to symbolize the hope for a sweet new year, is nearly universal among Eastern European Jews. The Sephardim often end their new year's celebrations with sweet jams and preserves made from quince, figs, dates, and apples.

Rose water, which is made by distilling fresh rose petals in water, is featured in many Sephardic desserts and pastries. It can be purchased at Middle Eastern grocers and specialty food stores. Rose water has a very strong flavor and should be used sparingly or it can overwhelm your palate. Here it adds a haunting floral note to this unusual, pale yellow jam.

Makes four 8-ounce (235-ml) jars

  • 3 lb (1.4 kg) apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-in (1-cm) dice (6 to 7 cups prepped)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1½ cups (300 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (340 g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon rose water

Prepare a boiling water bath and heat four 8-ounce (235-ml) jars.

Place the apples, ½ cup (120 ml) of water, and lemon juice in a wide, deep saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir, and cover the pot. Lower the heat to medium, and cook until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking or burning. Mash the apples coarsely with a fork or potato masher.

Add the sugar and honey to the pot, stirring to dissolve. Return to a boil over medium-high heat.

Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and mounds up on a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. It will splatter, so use caution. Remove the jam from the heat and stir in the rose water. Ladle jam into clean, warm jars, leaving ¼ inch (.6 cm) of headspace at the top.

Bubble the jars and wipe the rims with a damp cloth. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings just until you feel resistance. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the water for 5 minutes before removing. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

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

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you 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 September 16, 2017.


Excerpted from The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster, © 2017 Quarto Publishing Group. Used by permission from the publisher, Harvard Common Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group. All photographs by: Leigh Olson.



Chefs recall their greatest influences

 summer ribollita

Every chef - and probably most passionate home cooks as well - can recall a dish that inspired them to dive headlong into the world of food, whether it was a top chef who guided them or a family member passing down cherished treasures. I find these stories fascinating so I was tickled to see top chefs recently sharing some of the recipes that inspired them. Not only do we get to learn the who and why behind the careers of a few culinary giants, we also get the recipes to try at home.

For Samantha Clark of Moro, the dish that really sticks in her mind is a Tuscan summer ribollita. She recalls chef Rose Gray of London's venerated River Café teaching her how to make it by "building up the layers of vegetables, first with the base of onion, celery and garlic, followed by the fresh tomato, then borlotti beans, chard, basil and bread, and to finish, copious amounts of Capezzana extra virgin olive oil - a thick, syrupy green nectar with a peppery finish."

After a revelatory meal at Fergus Henderson's seminal 'nose-to-tail' restaurant St. John, Chef Jonathan Jones knew he had to work there. After a year, he got a job at the establishment, and Henderson mentored him. Although St. John is known mainly for meat and offal, Jones found a vegetable recipe to be one of items that inspired him. It opened his eyes to "what a restaurant could do."

Another River Café alumnus, April Bloomfield, was also wowed by vegetables. She was fascinated by how the chefs transformed simple items like celeriac, fennel and fresh shelling beans, making a dish "that comes alive and dances around on the palate." She shared an aubergine recipe inspired by the café. 

Photo of Summer ribollita by April Bloomfield 

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!


Member Photo of the Week:

Marble Bundt Cake from Annie Bell's Baking Bible

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



From blogs:

Corn and Zucchini Goat Cheese Quiche with Lemon and Basil from indexed blog Closet Cooking



From AUS/NZ books:

4 recipes from The Adriatic Kitchen: Recipes Inspired by the Abundance of Seasonal Ingredients Flourishing on the Croatian Island of Korcula by Barbara Unkovic

Enter The Adriatic Kitchen WORLDWIDE giveaway!



From UK books:

10 recipes from Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food: Delicious and Nutritious Meals You'll All Enjoy by Lizzie King

Enter the Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food WORLDWIDE giveaway!


10 recipes from Saffron Soul: Healthy, Vegetarian Heritage Recipes from India by Mīra Manek

Enter the Saffron Soul GIVEAWAY! (US/UK only)


8 recipes from The Silver Spoon Naples and the Amalfi Coast

Save 30% on ALL Phaidon cookbooks!

Enter the Naples & the Amalfi Coast GIVEAWAY! (US/CAN/UK/AUS)



From US books:

10 recipes from Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work, with Healthy Recipes and Tips for Involving the Whole Family by Sarah Waldman

Enter the Feeding a Family GIVEAWAY! (US/CAN only)

Two Kitchens - Rachel Roddy - Review, Recipe and Giveaway

Two Kitchens: Family Recipes from Sicily and Rome by Rachel Roddy, the award-winning Guardian Cook columnist and winner of the Andre Simon and Guild of Food Writers' awards, delivers a glorious book highlighting the food that comes from her two kitchens - one in Sicily and the other in Rome. (Because we index every recipe from the Guardian Cook, you can add any of Rachel's 137 recipes from there to your Bookshelf as well.) 

Rachel's first title Five Quarters (also published as My Kitchen in Rome) shares the story of her love affair with Italy that blossomed when first visiting the neighborhood of Testaccio, the wedge-shaped quarter of Rome that centers around the old slaughterhouse and the bustling food market. With that visit began a new life. In Five Quarters she journals a year in her small Italian kitchen, shopping, cooking, eating, and writing. It sounds like a dream, right?

In her latest book, Two Kitchens, Rachel's beautiful writing, stunning photographs and scrumptious recipes makes this title a must have. Simon Hopkinson provides a quote on the front of this book "I want to live under Rachel's kitchen table. There are very, very few who possess such a supremely uncluttered culinary voice as hers." I don't want to live under her table - I want to stand next to her, make a lovely meal and sit at her table to soak in her culinary wisdom. Since this is unlikely to happen, I will take the next best thing - cooking her recipes and enjoying her stories as if at her table. 

I have made four recipes from Two Kitchens and my family, guests and I loved them all. Those recipes were: Meatballs in white sauce (Polpette in bianco) - was my favorite and we are sharing that recipe with you today, Spaghetti with garlic, oil and lemon (Spaghetti aglio, olio al limone), Potato and aubergine cake (Gattò di patate e melanzane, and Sausages with grapes and red onions (Salsiccia all'uva e cipolla). The only suggestion I would do next time is to add additional seasoning to the potato dish - it was great but I would love it a bit more with a little onion or garlic in the mix. We had guests over when I made the meatballs and potato cake and they used some of the sauce from the meatballs on the potatoes - there were raves all around. 

If you remotely enjoy real Italian cooking, you need Rachel Roddy in your library. If you remotely enjoy beautiful writing, you need Rachel Roddy in your library. If you remotely enjoy beautiful photography - well you get the picture.  Her style of cooking is what has transformed me into an Italian food lover. 

Rachel and her publisher, Headline, are sharing the Meatballs in White Wine Sauce with us today. These may be my favorite meatballs ever - something about the sauce does it - almost a piccata like flavor. Headline is also offering three copies of this title to our members in the UK (see giveaway below).

Polpette in bianco (Meatballs in white sauce)
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Serves 6

250g minced beef
350g minced pork
75g soft fresh breadcrumbs
75g Parmesan, grated
1 heaped tablespoon finely
chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 eggs
fine breadcrumbs, for rolling
6 tablespoons extra-virgin
olive oil
2 garlic cloves
200ml white wine (you may
need a little more)
salt and freshly ground
black pepper

A friend calls it the 'blessed curse of mamma's meatballs'. The meatballs are, to the person describing them, the best, their taste inimitable; just the thought of eating them is to be transported home. Italians take this idea to quite an extraordinary level, which I have learned to appreciate, love even, despite being English. The curse is that no meatballs will ever come close, even those made by other relatives. Vincenzo's family have proved this. Uncle Liborio, who is a chef and technically a much better cook than his mother, Sara, has made meatballs with meat from the same butcher, breadcrumbs from the same bakery, the same pan and water, and standing on the same patch of floor in front of the stove. The meatballs were good, but not Sara's, and therefore disappointing. The other part of the curse is that we all have to hear about everyone else's blessed meatballs.

This recipe is for meatballs in white (bianco) as opposed to red (rosso), i.e. tomato, sauce - but you could simmer them in tomato sauce if you wanted to. There is a moment of stove-top alchemy when the escaped breadcrumbs, meat juices, wine and olive oil come together into a thickish gravy that clings to the meatballs.  Served on a wide platter with the gravy poured over the top and a handful of parsley, they make for a pleasing and, due to their pop-in-the-mouth size, irresistible dish. Potatoes and greens (see page 100) or mashed potatoes make good partners.  

Knead together the meat, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley (reserving a little for later), eggs, a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Work the mixture, kneading and then squeezing the ingredients together into a soft, consistent mass.

Pour more breadcrumbs on to a plate. Take walnut-sized balls of the meat mixture and roll them firmly between your palms into small, neat balls. Roll the balls in breadcrumbs and sit them on a clean board or plate.  

Warm the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan. Crush the garlic cloves with the back of a knife so that they split but remain whole and add them to the pan. Fry gently until golden and fragrant, which should take a minute or so. Remove the garlic and add the meatballs. Fry the meatballs, increasing the heat a little and moving them around until they are brown on all sides.  This will take about 6 minutes.  

Add the wine, which will sizzle vigorously, and a good pinch of salt. Continue to cook the meatballs, nudging them around.  As the wine reduces into a thickish gravy, scrape it down from the sides of the pan and keep the meatballs moving so they cook evenly. You may need to add more wine. After about 5 minutes, taste a meatball to see how it is cooking. You may need to cook them a little longer; you may not. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and stir again.  Once cooked, turn the meatballs on to a warm platter, pour over the pan gravy and sprinkle over a little parsley to serve.



Headline Books is offering three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the UK only and Eat Your Books is offering one copy worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you 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 September 16, 2017. 


The story of food in photography

Feast for the Eyes by Susan BrightIn the Instagram age, where everyone's screens are saturated with lush, colorful, and precisely arranged images of food and drink, we have to be reminded that for most of human existence, people did not have photographs of food to entice them to eat or guide them to cook. From photography's earliest days to the present, however, food and photography have been a natural pairing, not just in terms of art but also of commerce, as advertisers quickly realized the selling power of striking images. 

Interest in both food photography and food as a subject has risen dramatically in recent years, and Susan Bright's book Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography latches onto this trend, exploring food photography's rich history―not only in the realm of fine art, but also in crossover genres such as commercial and scientific photography. Bright recently provided a brief excerpt from her book to Saveur Magazine

Feast for the Eyes takes a historical look at the changing aesthetics of food photography and how those images have impacted us. In the excerpt, she discusses a handful of photographers every food lover should know. The first she discusses is Charles Philippe Auguste Carey, a pioneer in the nascent days of the genre in the 1850s. His still-life images embody the departure "from the symbolism of food in painting, while simultaneously pulling on its legacy," according to Bright. 

Fast forward almost a century to the 1940s, and you will encounter the work of Nickolas Muray. A Hungarian émigré to the United States, he brought with him not only great technical skill, but also "a vision to represent the fantasy of American life." His photography for magazines like McCall's featured bold, saturated colors and tables overflowing with food and flowers. This may have been the first 'aspirational' food photography.

If you are attracted to the intersection of eating and imagery, you will find Bright's book to be a fascinating read that chronicles how food photography has transformed over the last two centuries, and how those changes have affected the way we eat and how we think about food. 

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