Thursday, August 28, 2008
Cookbook watch - new favorites
You'd think I'd grow tired of new cookbooks eventually. But no. Not at all. I don't like all of them equally much, of course. But sometimes, a few of them stands out from the crowd. I think that recently, I've hit upon several such treasures, and today, I'll tell you a little bit about three of them.
First - the Spice Merchant's Daugther, by Christina Arokiasamy. This is a lovely book about the importance of spices, in especially south-eastern cuisine. The author grew up in Malaysia, so there's a lot of recipes from her childhood, but there's also a lot of spice blends and ideas that can be used for whatever food you like to cook. I *have* to get myself a spice grinder, that's for sure! This book is truly mouth-watering, and the author writes so beautifully and passionately about the use of spices. She also has smart suggestions for what you can do ahead of time, and have at hand in the fridge or the freezer to make a quick meal extra-special. Very highly recommended!
Next up, something entirely different. Two Dudes, One Pan, by Jon Shook and Vinnie Dotolo is a book about.. not having fancy kitchen equipment, one might say. Or it could be a book about cooking delicious food with small resources, and that's how I think of it. These guys obviously know a lot about on-the-fly cooking, and this book shares so many tips and ideas for what you can do with limited kitchen space or equipment. And on a budget, for that matter. I especially love that they rarely use stock, but instead build flavors in other ways. (I rarely use stock myself - at least not homemade. *blushes*) The chapters goes along the lines of "one big bowl", "non-stick skillet", "dutch oven" etc - and has recipes that can be made in, indeed, just that one pan. (Well, most of them require a bowl on the side, but then again, most people have something you can mix stuff in.) This might sound boring, but the recipes are anything but. Everything sounds utterly delicious - and although I usually tend to read a book start-to-finish before decicing what to cook, this book had me running into the kitchen after just half a chapter. (Made a delicious salad, I'll tell you all about it soon.) The "two dudes" have a MySpace page, and a restaurant called Animal which doesn't seem to have a webpage yet, but where I'd love to eat. My only question is who's who? Who is Jon, who is Vinnie? I'm just curious...
And finally a book that despite the title - Eat the Meat - is only available in Swedish. It's the fairly famous chef Jonas Borssén, well known for his ways with chili, who's written this really ambitious book about meat. It's divided into chapters on beef, veal, pork and lamb, and in addition to that, it also has a fairly long introduction about meat production in general and why you should buy locally produced meat. I love that each chapter talks a lot about different cuts of meat - but it also talks about different breeds of animal, and that's something I've never seen before. The book also uses cuts that aren't really common in Sweden, but the author suggests you take the book to your butcher and show him exactly what you want! Most of all, I love this book for the beautiful photos, and the amazing recipes. I'll be using it a lot this fall.