Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cookbook Watch


Natur och Kultur, a Swedish publishing house that always has an interesting array of cookbooks, just came out with a series of small books that have been translated from English. The originals are "200 easy suppers", "200 veggie feasts", "200 low-fat dishes" and "200 pasta dishes". The first two are my favorites. "Easy suppers" is written by Jo McAuley, and it's full of really fast and tasty recipes. Perfect for quick weekday wonders that won't take a lot of preparation. I'm particularly interested in trying the spicy quinoa salad or the cider-cooked pork with pasta.


"Veggie feasts" by Louise Pickford is equally inspirational. I admit that I rarely cook with the intent to make it vegetarian - a lot of my food is, but it's really more of an afterthought. I do find it difficult to make vegetarian main dishes that aren't some kind of soup, pasta, risotto or salad. And, honestly, most of the dishes in this book are also some variations on that - but that's ok. In fact, it's quite good because a lot of it can be served as a first course, or as part of a buffet. First on my list is the homemade falafel (I've tried before, but not with huge success), and although fall seems far off, I really want to try the roast pumpkin with walnut pesto.


Korean food isn't very common in Sweden, but we do have some Korean restaurants. The most famous is probably Arirang, which has been open since 1975 - it was actually the first Korean restarant in Scandinavia. The founder's two daughters still run the restaurant with their mom and aunt, and now they've also authored a cookbook on Korean cuisine in Sweden. It's simply called "Koreansk Mat" which translates into "Korean Food", but with an undertitle of "kimchi, bulgogi and bibimbap". My experience with this type of food is.. well, limited, to say the least. I'm not extremely experimental, and some things, like kimchi, don't appeal to me at all. There's a lot of things that do sound good though - *very* good. I'd love to try the pickled cucumbers (oi namul), or mung bean pancakes (nokdo chun). And I already have the right noodles (made from sweet potato starch) for Chapchae, a noodle dish with veggies and beef that sounds right up my alley.


Jessica said...

I like the book Koreansk mat, I like the cuisine. The book highlights one of the main things about asian food though, that usually you don't need much of a recipe to begin with.
I try to get to Arirang when I have the time. This year I will be picking dandelion leaves to make a namul I've never had before.

Jelly said...

Mmmm - chapchae is yummy. It's pretty easy to make, but there's quite a bit of chopping (chapping?) to do! If there are any ingredients you have a hard time locating for a recipe you'd like to try, please let me know!

mina said...

wow, i didn't expect to ever see a korean cookbook in swedish! how many korean restaurants are over there? here in california one of the best supermarkets is called arirang. (:
a good way to start cooking the most popular dishes is through maanchi's recipes. ^^

Anne said...

Jelly - brilliant, thank you! :)

Mina - ooh, thanks for the tip, I'll bookmark it. I really don't know of more than that one resturant in Stockholm, but I'm sure there's at least a few more! :)