Freda DeKnight, a 'Titan of African-American Cuisine'


A Date with a DishAs the recent movie 'Hidden Figures' demonstrates, African-American women have contributed greatly to the United States' success without getting much recognition for it and despite being unfairly treated. This is the case with American cookery, too. 

NPR's The Salt reminds us of another 'hidden figure', this one in the culinary sphere: Freda DeKnightBorn in 1909, DeKnight spent much of her life preserving and celebrating African-American culture and traditions. She served as the first food editor for  Ebony magazine, and used the food column to portray African-American cooking and culture in a sophisticated and glamorous manner.

In 1948, she published her only cookbook, titled A Date with a Dish. Subsequent editions were branded as The Ebony Cookbook, but in 2014 the book was reissued with its original title. DeKnight used her platform to challenge the stereotypes of black cooking, as you can see by her introduction to her cookbook: 

"It is a fallacy, long disproved, that Negro cooks, chefs, caterers and homemakers can adapt themselves only to the standard Southern dishes, such as fried chicken, greens, corn pone and hot breads. Like other Americans living in various sections of the country they have naturally shown a desire to become versatile in the preparation of any dish, whether it is Spanish, Italian, French, Balinese or East Indian in origin."

DeKnight died of complications from cancer in 1963, at the age of 54. The NPR article explores more of her history and her groundbreaking cookbook. 

Featured Cookbooks & Recipes

Did you know adding online recipes to your EYB Bookshelf is a really great way to build your personal recipe collection?  You can do this even if you have a free membership! 

Try it out now and see how easy it is. Browse the recipes below, choose one that appeals, click on the link, and add it to your Bookshelf. (Make sure that you are signed in first.)

All the recipes we feature in these weekly round-ups have online links so you can add any of them to your Bookshelf.

Happy cooking and baking everyone!

 

From websites:

Seared Sea Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce from indexed Serious Eats

 

 

From AUS/NZ books:

8 recipes from Breakfast Bowls: 52 Nourishing Recipes to Kick-Start Your Day by Caroline Griffiths

Enter our Breakfast Bowls giveaway! (US/UK/AUS only)

 

 

From UK books:

10 recipes from Made in the Office: Tasty & Hasty Meals With Just a Kettle, Toaster & Microwave by Rachel Maylor

 

5 recipes from  Ferment, Pickle, Dry: Ancient Methods, Modern Meals by Simon Poffley & Gaba Smolinska-Poffley

 

10 recipes from  The Little Book of Chocolat: Fifty Recipes Celebrating the Bestselling Novel Chocolat by Joanne Harris & Fran Warde, indexed by an EYB member

 

10 recipes from  The Breakfast Book: Wonderful Recipes for Eggs, Bacon, Muesli and Beyond by Dorset Cereals, indexed by an EYB member

 

 

From Canadian books:

10 recipes from Vij's Indian Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes by Meeru Dhalwala & Vikram Vij

Enter our Vij's Indian giveaway! (US/CAN only)

 

 

From US books:

6 recipes from The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook: Traditional Ways to Cook, Preserve, and Eat the Harvest by Jere & Emilee Gettle with Adeena Sussman, indexed by an EYB member

Olive oil prices skyrocket

 olives

It might be a good idea to stock up on olive oil. According to reports, supplies of the popular substance are dwindling and the price has skyrocketed due to several devastating weather events. Hot and humid weather in Italy attracted olive fruit flies and allowed damaging bacteria to flourish. The yield this year is expected to be only half of normal.

Greece likewise saw hot weather reducing output. And in Spain's largest olive oil growing region, floods ruined the harvest. All of these events are coupled with an increase in demand for olive oil, especially in the growing Chinese market. Prices were already on the rise and are expected to spike sharply in coming months as stockpiles dwindle. 

Some areas have seen increases of up to 20 percent with more on the way. Brits may feel the most pain, with prices estimated to be up over 30 percent by year's end. It doesn't look like olive oil will disappear from store shelves any time soon, but we'll definitely be paying more for the golden substance. 

Have vanilla, will travel

affogatoPichet Ong has carved out a reputation as a world-class pastry chef known for combining French technique with Asian ingredients. He's written a cookbook, The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts, and has appeared on Top Chef. In the last several years, Ong has transitioned from holding a traditional chef position into being a jet-setting pastry consultant

Although Ong likes to incorporate local flavors into his desserts, he has a few items that he brings with him wherever he goes. One of those things is vanilla beans, which he refers to as his "secret weapon". He also frequently travels with a digital scale, some of his favorite cake rings, and a citrus zester.

So what does a pastry consultant do? It involves working out problems in consistency for a chain, developing new recipes, and making new flavors for existing products. Even though traveling to exotic locations and working with renowned chefs is exciting, there a few downsides to his new gig. "I miss going to a place that's consistent and familiar," he admits. 

Photo of Vietnamese coffee tapioca "affogato" from The Sweet Spot  by Pichet Ong and Genevieve Ko

Cookbook Giveaway - Share

Share: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table by Chris Santos and Rick Rodgers contains a wonderful selection of recipes perfect for entertaining family and friends. 

For more information on this title, please see our review and recipe post which shares a recipe for Rigatoni with Merguez, Ricotta Salata, and Brown Butter. 

We are pleased to offer two copies of Share 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:
 

What 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. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on March 20, 2017
 

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

 

 

Share by Chris Santos with Rick Rodgers

Share: Delicious and Surprising Recipes to Pass Around Your Table by Chris Santos and Rick Rodgers is full of sexy food and gorgeous photographs.  

Lately, books that focus on friends and family gathering around the table have been catching my attention and this title is an attention-grabber. There is something warm and comforting that emanates from these pages that make you want to start cooking surrounded by people you love.

Santos' debut cookbook comes out of the gate with a bang. Over 100 "big platter" old favorites all with his rock-star chef twist make this a book you will turn to time and again. French Onion Soup Dumplings, Tomato Tartare with Brioche Crostini and Wasabi Pea - Crusted Salmon with Soba Noodle and Beet Salad are a few of the inventive dishes that caught my eye. And let's talk desserts, shall we? Nothing pretentiously stuffy - just tempting sweets like Warm Stout Cakes with Toffee Sauce, Apple Tart with Cheddar Streusel and "Twinkies" both Peanut Butter and Jelly and Red Velvet with Crème Fraiche Filling. 

For Valentine's Day, I made my husband the Ribeye Steak with Garlic-Butter Baste and Mustard-Bourbon Sauce - he said it was perfect. In fact, he went out to dinner with his team from work and had a steak which he said wasn't half as good as the one I prepared. (Thanks Chris Santos!) I plan on tackling the French Onion Soup Dumplings soon. Special thanks to Grand Central Life & Style for allowing us to share the recipe below. Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway for this book. 

 

RIGATONI with MERGUEZ, RICOTTA SALATA, AND BROWN BUTTER 
 
MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS
 
Here it is-my favorite pasta dish. Ever. I learned to make it with torchio, an unusual funnel-shaped Venetian pasta, but any tube-shaped kind will do. The dish isn't saucy, so you can really taste the individual flavors, and the merguez, with its spicy harissa flavor, has an unexpected kick. Both parsley and mint provide fresh accents.
 
INGREDIENTS 
 
1 pound ziti or other tube-shaped pasta
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound merguez sausage (see Chef Talk, below), casings removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded ricotta salata cheese
½ cup Sicilian Bread Crumbs (see below) or pan-toasted soft bread crumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
 
METHOD

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain well and rinse under cold running water.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until the milk solids in the saucepan turn hazelnut brown, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the melted butter into a small bowl.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, occasionally stirring and breaking it up with the side of the spoon into bite-sized pieces, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it softens, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and parsley and mix well. Pour into a colander to drain the excess fat. Clean the skillet.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage mixture and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the pasta mixture to a serving bowl. Add the browned butter and mix well. Top with the ricotta salata, bread crumbs, and mint. Drizzle with additional olive oil, toss, and serve immediately.

SICILIAN BREAD CRUMBS

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 cups cubed (1-inch) trimmed brioche, challah, or crusty Italian bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

METHOD

1. To make the bread crumbs: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350oF. With the machine running, drop the garlic through the tube of a food processor to mince the garlic. Add the bread cubes, oil, and parsley and pulse until the bread becomes coarse crumbs. Spread on an 18-by-13-inch half-sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are lightly toasted and smell garlicky, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool. Makes 2 cups. Measure out 1 cup of the bread crumbs. (Reserve the remaining bread crumbs for another use; they can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.)

CHEF TALK 
Merguez is lamb sausage, boldly seasoned with harissa, the North African spice paste. Because it is pork-free, you'll often find merguez at halal and kosher butchers. As an easy substitute, mix 1 pound ground lamb, 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa (sold at specialty markets and online), 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 garlic cloves, shredded on a Microplane zester.

Excerpted from the book SHARE by Chris Santos. Copyright © 2017 by Chris Santos. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. Photography by Quentin Bacon. 
 

 

Is Prue Leith coming to the GBBO?

Leith's Cookery SchoolRumors are swirling that restaurateur, and cookery-school founder Prue Leith may be in the running to replace Mary Berry on the new GBBO. No one has confirmed this rumor, but many people agree that she is amply qualified for the hosting spot. Leith opened her Michelin-starred restaurant, Leith's, in the late 1960s and founded Leiths School of Food and Wine a few years later. She's written many cookbooks plus a handful of novels.

 

Leith says that she has had two auditions and several meetings with GBBO producers and thinks the job is down to two contenders (there's no word on who the other contender may be). Hosting the show would be a dream job, according to Leith. "Of course I'd love to do it. Who wouldn't want to do it?" she said in an interview. Both Love Productions, who purchased the rights to the show, and Channel 4 have declined to confirm whether Leith is being considered for the job.

 

The 76-year-old Leith is the same age as Berry, who chose to stay with BBC after GBBO was sold. The show is set to return later this year, as the BBC decided not to exercise a "hold-back" clause that would have precluded Channel 4 from airing the show in 2017. 

February Highlights - Part II

Earlier this month, I shared details about some exciting February releases and today I have a few more to bring to your attention. As always, I will have more about these titles and all new releases in my monthly roundup later this month. 

Wholehearted by Kelly Gibney is filled with over 100 recipes for inspiringly accessible nourishing meals. This title which is being released in New Zealand (and available in the US and UK) contains recipes to cater to everyone's dietary requirements. An abundance of gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options for ideas for breakfast through to dinner and dessert ensures that feeding everyone in your life, including yourself, with wholesome food that is both delicious and easy, never feels like a chore ever again.

 

Flipping Good!: Pancakes from Across the World by Sudi Pigott takes influences from countries all over the world to create a unique collection of recipes. We love pancakes in this house and I preordered this book because of the list of recipes which include Ricotta pancakes with Banana and Honeycomb Orange Butter; Potato Latkes with Sumac Fried Egg; Galettes de Sarrasin with Leeks and Merguez sausage; Okonomiyaki with Shredded Cabbage, Prawns and Tamarind Sauce; Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes with Apricots and Maple Syrup; and Kaiserschmarren with Plum Compote. This title is being released in the UK and US. and I will provide more details once my order arrives.

 
Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow by Jennifer Booker shares recipes for two delicious meals, one Southern and one French, from one list of ingredients. The Southern-born author traveled to Paris to study French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts only to realize that rustic French and Southern dishes use many of the same ingredients. This is Jennifer's second title, her first book Field Peas to Foie Gras looks like a winner as well. Frequently, I repurpose a meal in our home so that no one cries "leftovers again?" so I'm looking forward to this title which is being released in the US.


Everyday Delicious: Super Tasty Breakfasts, Brunches, Mains, Desserts & Snacks by Izy Hossack is the paperback version of Top with Cinnamon which is being released in the UK and US this month. I recently posted a review of this title on Sunday Supper Movement and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of dishes this young blogger has created. Her next title, The Savvy Cook will be out in July and is geared toward cooking for one or two people. Izy is someone to watch. The Chocolate Chip Amaretto Torte from Everyday Delicious is fantastic! 


The Homemade Vegan by Joanne O'Connell is being published in the UK this month and comes to the US in April. This book is a collection of recipes from vegan's early days giving them the proper context and referencing the communities and households who created them. The recipes demonstrate affordable ways to eat healthy dairy alternatives, without the added chemicals, sugar, and salt, which are now so often added to the processed versions produced by major food manufacturers. 



breddos Tacos: A Delicious Edible Plate by Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney was released in 2016 in the UK and is coming to the US this month.  The book offers over 75 recipes for tacos, tostadas, and small plates, and over 70 condiments. Their awesome dishes include Barbacoa beef cheeks, Yucatan chicken with mango habanero sauce, Green chorizo and duck egg, Baja fish tacos, and Octopus 'al pastor' with roasted pineapple. The book is packed with gorgeous photos and recipes for accompaniments, wings and more.  


Naturally Nourished: Healthy, Delicious Meals Made with Everyday Ingredients by Sarah Britton streamlines vegetarian cooking by bringing her signature bright photography and fantastic flavors to an accessible cookbook fit for any budget, any day of the week. Her mains, sides, soups, salads, and snacks all call for easy cooking techniques and ingredients found in any grocery store. With callouts to vegan and gluten-free options and ideas for substitutions, this beautiful cookbook shows readers how to cook smart, not hard. The author's first book, My New Roots, is absolutely gorgeous and I am excited to get my hands on this title! 

 
Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis is a practical, inspirational, and seasonal guide that will help make any garden more productive and enjoyable with a variety of projects using unexpected and often common garden plants, some of which may already be growing in your backyard. Visually stunning, the book contains vibrant photographs and is teeming with myriad uses for the wealth from our gardens.
 
 
My Sweet Kitchen: Recipes for Stylish Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Donuts, Cupcakes, and More--Plus Tutorials for Distinctive Decoration, Styling, and Photography by Linda Lomelino shares not only recipes but also the author's expert advice on how to bake, decorate, and photograph your own delicious creations. Through nearly 50 original recipes for decadent delights - from Rhubarb Summer Cake and Lime Pie with Marinated Strawberries to Chocolate Cake with Meringue Brûlée and Caramel Macadamia Tart - Linda is your guide to making picture-perfect desserts. Turn each recipe an opportunity to bake, style, click, and share. Look for our promotion on this beautiful title soon. 

If any of these books interest you, please consider using our Buy Book button to help support Eat Your Books' indexing efforts. 

Also, don't forget to enter all the giveaways that are available here at Eat Your Books.

 

 

Food52's Piglet 2017 lineup

cookbook collage

While the official tournament doesn't begin until next Wednesday, Food52 gave us a head start on its 2017 Piglet cookbook contest by announcing the contenders via Twitter. They haven't announced which books will be going head-to-head, only which books are in the contest.

For those who aren't familiar with The Piglet, we'll provide you with a quick refresher. The contest is a bracketed tournament of cookbooks (for the sports-minded, it's akin to the NCAA basketball tournament), where 16 notable cookbooks from the previous year square off in head-to-head competition. The winner of each competition goes on to a contest against the winner of another two-cookbook contest. The judges are top food writers and chefs, and each matchup has a different judge. The Piglet takes place over the course of 3 weeks, with a decision published each week day. Last year's winner was The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen.

Without further ado, here are the books competing in the 2017 Food52 Piglet: 

Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid
Tasting Rome by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill
Soframiz by  Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick
The Adventures of Fat Rice by Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo and Hugh Amano
A Recipe for Cooking by Cal Peternell 
Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
Victuals  by Ronni Lundy
Simple by Diana Henry
Taste & Technique by Naomi Pomeroy
Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour
Koreatown by Deuki Hong and Matt Robard
Samarkand by Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford
Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard
Land of Fish and Rice
 by Fuchsia Dunlop
My Two Souths by Asha Gomez
Golden by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer 

Cookbook Giveaway -There's Always Room for Chocolate

There's Always Room for Chocolate: Recipes from Brooklyn's The Chocolate Room by Naomi Josepher, Jon Payson and Georgia Freedman shares recipes from The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn famous for their delicious treats and drinks. 

For more information on this title, please see our review and recipe post which shares a brownie recipe perfect for baking for someone you love.

We are pleased to offer three copies of There's Always Room for Chocolate 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 love to make first?

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 at midnight on March 19, 2017
 

 

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