Saturday, May 01, 2010

Cookbook Watch - May 2010

There's a lot of new Swedish cookbooks out at the moment, and as usual, I thought I'd tell you about some of them. All of these are in Swedish, and only in Swedish, for the time being.


Toms tips

Tom Sjöstedt is a really cool chef. He won Chef of the Year in Sweden a few years ago, and has a really nice attitude to cooking. He's not stiff or formal, but seems like a genuinely fun guy - a lot of rock'n'roll! This book has a really nice setup. The idea is that families need some planning in order to make good food and eat together, so he provides complete menus for seven weeks. Each week has four fast weeknight dinners, one fast but delicious Friday night meal, a three-course dinner for Saturday, and slow cooking for Sunday. He also has ideas for weekend lunches, using leftovers from the week.

So. I love the idea. I love his writing (and you can tell he's really been writing the recipes himself - they seem genuine!). And I love his style. Sadly, I don't love his food. Out of the 77 recipes provided, I only found five or six recipes that I really wanted to try. (One was gorgeous by the way - a white chocolate panna cotta topped with strawberries and cookie crumbs.) I will try those, but I really doubt this will be used as intended in my kitchen, so I plan to give it to someone who'll appriciate it a bit more. It's a fun book!


Monica Eisenmanns Asiatiska Nudlar

A whole book about Asian noodles, written by a Swede? Really? Well, Monica Eisenman previously ran The Cookbook Café with her sister, and they've written several really nice cookbooks (mainly about pastry) so I wasn't as sceptical as I might have been. And hey - it's nice! Really nice! It might not have the most genuine recipes, but I don't care too much about that, as long as it tastes great. This book has everything from Korean bulgogi to Malaysian Laksa and favorites like Pad Thai and Char Sui pork with ramen and when I read it I had the urge to try every single recipe. I might never get around to that, but it's certainly a good feeling to get from a book. I heartily recommend this one if you, like me, love noodles.


Kom in och ät ("Come in to eat")

I was really excited to see this book by Karolina Sparring, who previously ran a café in Stockholm (Café Arom) that I never managed to visit before they closed down. However, she wrote another book, years ago, with salad recipes - it was great. So, when this one was announced, I was thrilled. This book focuses on family-friendly food, and draws on Karolina's experience as a pre-school cook. Since I have a little boy who'll begin pre-school this fall, that's something that interests me - a lot.

The book holds tons of ideas for yummy dinners - and what I like is that the food is not dumbed down at all. It's flavorful, made from good ingredients, sometimes rather elaborate, and it all looks great. I think this will be a very well-used companion for any family with kids, and I look forward to using it.

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