Sunday, February 24, 2008
Cookbook Watch - from healthy to extravagant
Three new cookbooks to tell you about today! Let's get the healthy one out of the way before we move on to the others. Paulún's GI-månad (GI-month) is a new book by Fredrik Paulún who is known as the Swedish guru on GI-eating. GI, as in Glycemic Index, is incredibly popular here. It's along the same lines as the South Beach Diet, but perhaps a bit less severe. Definitely the latest diet fad here - or is it a fad? I suppose time will tell! Anyway. This book, which Fredrik has written with his wife, gives very easy and detailed instructions on what to eat for an entire month on this diet. It even has shopping lists, making it very easy to get going, if you feel that this is something you want to try. It has some basics on the science of this diet, and nutritional information, as well.
The recipes are simple, and I suppose pretty exciting considering this is a diet - but I don't really feel compelled to go cook. Which I suppose is also kind of the point! This isn't geared towards people who love to cook, but to people who want to learn how to eat the GI way, without too much hardship. Many of the recipes use shortcuts, such as ready-made meatballs or mackerel in tomato sauce, and very many of them use a lot of lentils and beans. I am pretty eager to try a few recipes but I have to admit I have no inclination of going an entire month!
The nexy book is called Salt & Peppar (I'm sure you can figure out what that means!) by Jody Vassallo and it's available in English as well as in Swedish. The theme is obvious - half the book is devoted to salt, the other half to pepper. To emphasize this, the first half of the book has everything photographed against white background, the second on black. I found this just a teeny bit obvious, but hey - the photos are really beautiful, Deirdre Rooney did a great job.
I'm not sure that salt and pepper are excellent themes though. Or at least not strong enough themes - after all, salt and pepper or at least one or the other is pretty much included in every single dish, isn't it? I would have expected the recipes in this book to be more focused on salt, or on pepper, but I find them a bit.. average, I suppose. That said, and neverminding the theme, this is a beautiful book with some really delicious-sounding recipes. I'm dying to try a Jansson's Temptation with Fennel, Feta cheese Chicken with Honey-Capers sauce, Avocado salad with Pink Peppercorn vinaigrette, and Lamb filet encrusted with Pistachios and peppercorns. It also has nice sections on different salts and peppers, which I enjoyed very much.
Finally, a book that's not really a recipe book, but more of an inspirational book. If you like cookies, that is. Or more to the point, decorating cookies. It's called Cookie Craft and it's written by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer. Oh, dear. What a book! How is it even possible to make cookies that pretty? I'm *not* very artistic, and piping designs on cookies is definitely beyond me. At least that's what I've always thought. But this book, with tons of photos and very detailed instructions on how to achieve different looks, is definitely inspiring me to try! I haven't yet, but I'm really eager to schedule a day of cookie decorating with a few girlfriends. It does have a few basic cookie recipes as well as plenty of recipes for icing - I'll give it a test run when I have the time, and I promise to let you know the results! I'll tell you this much right now - if you're at all interested in decorating cookies, this is a book you should add to your collection.