Sunday, May 18, 2008
Cookbook Watch - summer specials
I have tons of new books that are just about summer cooking. Most of them deal with grilling, but some are about other things as well. (And there are problably many more coming - I'll keep you updated!)
First, a nice one called "Sommarmat med Fredrik & Fredrik" (Summerfood with Fredrik & Fredrik). Both Fredrik and Fredrik are new to me - one is called Klein and the other, Hed. They're both fairly young chefs, working in Stockholm. The book is all about easy, casual summer dining - the type you'll make for warm summer nights on the patio with friends. And I really, really like that. The book has many gorgeous photos of both the food and summer "lifestyle". There's no real culinary theme, but it seems to be recipes that the chefs genuinely enjoy making, and eating. As for what I'm dying to make - I think I'll start with a Raspberry Mojito, followed by Tuna Carpaccio and Poached Halibut. The meat section looks the weakest to me, so I'll skip straight to the side dishes, and try their Fennel Slaw or Balsamico Marinated Mushrooms. The dessert section is short - but the Rhubarb Soup with Strawberry Salsa stands out. In all - a book that seems very useable.
Then, Linda Tubby has written "Grilla För Finsmakare" which is a translation of "Grill - Stylish food to Sizzle" that came out a few years ago. Swedes love to grill. They really, really, really do. Most people grill easy things though - ready marinated pork steaks, sausages, maybe a salmon fillet or some corn on the cob. Few ever wander beyond that - but for those who do, this book is for you. Here, you'll find things like Chicken Kebabs with Cashew Sambal, Grilled Fennel with Olives, Grilled Lobster with Basil Mayo or Whole Mackerel stuffed with Bacon. Wow. Conveniently, the book is divided according to how much time a recipe takes, so you can really choose how much of an effort to make. And this book has sausage too by the way - homemade from scratch. Which is probably not what I'll be grilling this summer. But I'll make a point of trying *something* from this book - after all, it's nice to give a little extra at times.
Finally, "Gott till Grillat" ("Good with Grilled") by Jan-Erik Hagbom which is all about the side dishes to go along with a good grilled or barbecued meal. It's a fairly small and compact book, nicely designed, and with sections on seasoners (sauces and marinades), "foody" stuff like salads, veggies or potatoes, fruity things which is mostly salads with fruits in them, and an intriguing section on "beany and nutty". The emphasis is definitely on salads, in general. Which is quite nice, because if you don't feel like trying something new on the grill, you can at least vary your side dishes.