Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Cookbook watch: best right now
I haven't done a proper cookbook post in a long while, but I'm happy to have three really nice books to talk about today. First is a real find - "Samantha's movie food" or "let's break for lunch" by Samantha Larsen. (Swedish title: Nu bryter vi för lunch! Samanthas filmmat.) It's written by a movie set cook, and her food is highly appraised by all those who have been lucky enough to encounter her. As a bonus, the photography is just beautiful - no surprise, as the photographer is the super-talented food blogger Helena Ljunggren. I love her style!
The book is divided into weeks, much as a real movie shoot would be. She always serves chicken on Mondays, soup for Tuesdays and so on, so the book (and her real life lunches) have a good variety. What I particularly love about this book is that everything is presented as complete meals. I made her chili-marinated chicken, but also a lovely mango salsa and a coriander sauce. A ginger yogurt to dollop into the curried lentil soup. And an Indian feast of Chicken tikka with the most heavenly cauliflower-cashew stir fry, as well as raita and melon-cucumber salad. It just has a very thought-through feel to it, this book. I want to make just about everything!
I admit that I don't love Jamie's latest books as much as his first three or four. I never really took to the "Jamie does" series, and I'm not fond of the 30- or 15-minute meals either. However, I've always admired Jamie's ability to combine flavors that are so spot-on. That hasn't changed. I like that this book has less restrictions than the previous ones. He's focused on cheap cuts ingredients, sure - but that't not very limiting at all, thankfully. I haven't cooked from this book yet, but on a quick read-through, I found lots of things I wanted to try.
I can't seem to get enough of mexican/texmex/latino cookbooks! Well, of the food really. I love it, it has exactly the flavor profile that I prefer. And I'm not alone in this - it's super popular in Sweden, despite Mexico being very far from here and we have virtually zero Mexicans. I've said it before, but most Swedish families eat some sort of taco variation at least once a month - and many every week. Taco Friday is a common expression, and the taco shelves at the store are very well stocked. (Sadly, we lack a lot though, most notably short shelf-life corn products like masa harina, fresh corn tortillas, thin taco chips and a few other things, due to the fact, I'm guessing, that we don't grow much corn.)
Anyway. This book is great. It has tons of ideas for taco fillings and salsas, dips, salads.. all you could want. I want to get my friends together for a great big taco feast, so we can try a lot of things at once - perhaps for May 5? :-)