Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cookbook Watch: A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

newportuguese

Portugal has a pretty bad food rap, at least here in Sweden. My friends went there on vacation and came back and really ranted about the bad food. With this in mind, I was wary when I received David Leite's book "The New Portuguese Table". I have to say, I've really changed my mind now - this food is anything but boring and repetitive, and it looks very fresh and flavorful. Leite has a Portuguese heritage, and many of the recipes were favorites as he grew up and have a very comfortable, homey feel. Others are modern and exciting, and something I really want to try is the milk-based "mayonnaise" which seems very intriguing. The book as a whole is really nice if you want to learn more about a new cuisine - the recipes are well-written, the photos are beautiful, and it makes me want to get in the kitchen. (Or really, on a plane, but I'll have to settle for the kitchen.)

untitled

Mitt Nära Kök ("My Close Kitchen" - not available in English) is written by Henrik Norström who runs one of Stockholm's fanciest resturants, Lux. (Where I'd love to go, by the way - Per has been there several times and loved it, but I haven't had the chance yet. It's the sort of place you'd pick if someone else is paying, to put it mildly - not in my maternity leave price range, that's for sure.) I was really excited to get this book, as it's something akin to getting a book by Heston Blumenthal, or even Ferran Adría. (Well, maybe with slightly more traditional techniques.) However, it's about as approachable, too. The recipes are short, and they sound SO simple. However, I look at the photos (which are beautiful!!) and just go "huh?". They look WAY more complicated than what I can accomplish at home, and that really turns me off, in a way. So, this is a book that I love to look at and leaf through, but for actually cooking, I'll choose something else.

klarashalsomat

Klara Desser has written a lot of books about eating according to the GI - Glycemic Index - method, and her new book, Klaras hälsomat ("Klara's Health food" - not available in English) has the same approach but is even more basic. It doesn't specifically talk about GI, but lists five steps to a healthier way of life - eating more lentils and veggies, eating less sugar and quick carbs, choosing healthy fats, saving indulgences for the weekends and getting more exercise. Makes sense, no? As a health book, this is really nice for those who need inspiration to make a change. As a cookbook, it's not bad - the recipes follow the rules above, and many of them sound very tasty. Or how about roast veal with root vegetables and apple chutney? Or chicken in tomato sauce with almonds and capers? Sounds good to me.

781738_cover.indd

And finally, a much awaited book by the cake-guru Rose Levy Berenbaum. I have, and adore, her Cake Bible, and this new book is just as good. Rose's Heavenly Cakes has tons of cakes, helpful hints, and detailed recipes for success. She doesn't leave anything to chance - this is not for those of you who won't follow recipes, because these recipes are meant to be followed. And if you do, deliciousness will follow! I like this book slightly more than the old Cake Bible because of one particular feature: photos. This has full color photos of everything, which is also something I desire in a cookbook. So far, I've tried some Vanilla Bean cupcakes and those were most definitely amazing - all about those some other time...

11 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

I have followed Leite's Culinaria blog for a while and would love to have their book. The others are winners as well.

Pene said...

I'd like to see what your "cupcape" looked like, Anne!! And a Happy Thanksgiving to you. ;-)

Garance said...

Hej anna ,

Vet inte om du âr medveten om detta men din "Post" finns hos en Site som tydligen anvânder andras post , jag âr en Fransk Matconsult och har en Blog , jag bad dem att tar bort mina bilder .
Om du vet om det jag ber om ursâkt fôr detta ...
Love the books by the way...(sorry for the bad swedish)

garance

Garance said...

here's the link sorry :
http://sigalongastronomy.soup.io/

Anne said...

Bellini Valli - I love the blog, too!

Pene - well, sorry, but sometimes spelling mistakes do happen...

Garance, thanks for the heads up! Man, I hate sites that steal my content!!

pipopp said...

I think all .soup-sights are open personal pages where anyone can collect their favourite webpages. Similar to a RSS-reader, but anyone can see. I could be wrong, though.

Pille said...

I like your book reviews, Anne - so cool to read what's been published :)

However, I'm amazed to hear about Portuguese food having a bad rep in Sweden. I've only ever heard good things - and had excellent, if rustic, food in Portugal myself few years ago.

Jeanne said...

What I'd like to know is whether Henrik comes as in a take-away option?? :o)

Anne said...

Pille, I'm glad you enjoy it! :) And well, maybe it's just the people I know who've been to Portugal. :)

Jeanne - I know!! Totally cute! Come to Stockholm, we'll go to his restaurant :)

Angelica said...

It doesn't surprise me that Portugal has a bad food rep, in Sweden or elsewhere in the world. I spent 2 weeks on the Acores this summer and told me boyfriend on the plane back home that the airplane food was the best food I had had for 2 weeks.

However not all food was bad. The best Portugese food I tasted during those two weeks was a chicken and rice soup called Canja De Galinha. I have the recipe up on my blog, you should check it out (photo terrible though).

Margarida V said...

you have to try portuguese food it is really good.