Cookbook reviews

Chilled Marbled Raspberry Cheesecake

Chilled Marbled Raspberry Cheesecake

Chilled Marbled Raspberry Cheesecake recipe excerpted from Entertaining with Mary Berry. Photography by Georgia Glynn Smith.

Entertaining with Mary BerryIn this extra-special updated edition of Mary Berry’s popular entertaining cookbook, Mary makes cooking for gatherings of family and friends easy, with over 160 recipes that work well for both small and large parties.

Lavish new photography and bonus festive recipes make this edition a precious self-purchase or an ideal gift for any Mary fan. You’ll discover how Mary cooks for her family and friends during the Christmas party season, and for other occasions and celebrations throughout the year. Timeless guidance and expert tips will help you cater successfully on a small scale for dinners and lunches around a table, or on a larger scale for drinks parties, buffets and teatime.

Adapting quantities is made easy. Recipes provide two sets of ingredients for serving either 6 or 12 guests, plus there is new advice on how to scale up recipes for any number.

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Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower

Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower

Beeswax, Peaches and Elderflower, Sun and Rain by Ana Roš. Photography by Suzan Gabrijan.

Ana Roš, considered one of the world’s best chefs, is the chef and owner of Hiša Franko in the Slovenian countryside.

Hiša Franko, one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, is situated in Slovenia’s lush and remote Soca Valley, resting between the foothills of the mountains and a stunning turquoise river. One of the most influential and inspiring talents, Roš took the helm at the restaurant in 2002, from her in-laws, without any culinary training. She now runs the restaurant with her husband, Valter, who is the in-house sommelier and cheese-monger.

Roš’s rebellious spirit and idiosyncratic style of cooking has contributed to putting her, the restaurant, and Slovenia on the map. In 2016 she appeared in an episode of the Netflix series Chef’s Table, in 2017 she was named the World’s Best Female Chef, and Hiša Franko is currently ranked #38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Nearly all the restaurant diners travel from abroad to taste Roš’s cooking and experience the beautiful Slovenian landscape.

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Rough Night Rice

Believe it or not, Japanese cuisine, in general, is actually quite vegan-friendly, and many dishes can be made vegan with just a simple substitution or two. You can enjoy the same big, bold, salty-sweet-spicy-rich-umami recipes of modern Japanese soul food without so much as glancing down the meat and dairy aisles. And best of all, it’s super-easy to make!

In Vegan Japaneasy, Tim Anderson taps into Japan’s rich culture of cookery that’s already vegan or very nearly vegan, so there are no sad substitutes and zero shortcomings on taste. From classics like Vegetable Tempura, Onigiri, Mushroom Gyoza and Agedashi Tofu, to clever vegan conversions including Cauliflower Katsu Curry, Rough Night Rice, French Onion Ramen and Mapo Tofu with Ancient Grains, you don’t need to be vegan to enjoy these tasty recipes. Add to that some outrageously good drinks and desserts, like the Watermelon Mojito and Soy Sauce Butterscotch Brownies, and you’ll be spoilt for choice!

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Not Your Ordinary Pot Roast

Not Your Ordinary Pot Roast

Not Your Ordinary Pot Roast, Low & Slow Cooking by Robyn Almodovar, photography by Jennifer Blume.

Savour the experience of preparing a well-marinated, slow-simmered roast with Chef Robyn Almodovar, winner of both Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen. The techniques she’s perfected help you master the art of slow cooking to build depth of flavour in every bold, satisfying dish. Her innovative recipes reimagine tried-and-true classics as new, stunning meals including: Not Your Ordinary Pot Roast; Nothing Baby about These Ribs; Pork Belly This; Beefed Up Bourguignon; Steppin’ Spare Ribs; Dutch Oven Bread, and Cassoulet, My Way.

Robyn has found a way to transform cooking from a chore into a joy with showstopping dishes that only call for simple preparation and hands-off cooking so that every roast, shank and chop turns out mouthwateringly tender. Each dish in this book develops a symphony of flavours sure to satisfy any palate.

Low & Slow Cooking: 60 Hands-Off Recipes That Are Worth the Wait is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. (more…)

Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Chicken Stew with Dumplings. Photography and Styling: Anita Murphy and Zania Koppe (page 187)

When the first people migrated to Ireland around 10,000 years ago, they ate out of necessity. Yet, these first peoples ate food that we still encounter today: oysters, seaweed, nuts, berries, and fish; and brought with them knowledge and foods from other lands. Since then, Ireland continued to cement its gastronomic character as nations collided and combined—the Celts, Vikings, Normans, Anglo-Saxons, and later the English all brought with them their own culinary traditions.

In The Irish Cookbook, acclaimed chef Jp McMahon masterfully brings these varied influences together, demonstrating the high quality of the ingredients that have been the backbone of Ireland’s cuisine, celebrating the unique culinary culture of the island, and honouring the historical roots of its hearty flavours.

Several years in the making, The Irish Cookbook contains more than 500 home- cooking recipes. McMahon undertook the mammoth task of bringing together hundreds of authentic Irish recipes into one impressive volume: he sought out and adapted old recipes, drew on the wealth of archival material available in the National Library of Ireland, and trawled through the books of Ireland’s best food writers, pulling together classic dishes, seeking out lost recipes, and learning about the uses of ancient ingredients.

The featured dishes have been organized into 15 chapters by ingredient: eggs and dairy; vegetables; shellfish; freshwater and saltwater fish; poultry; wild game; boar and pork; lamb, mutton, and goat; beef; breads, scones, and crackers; cakes, pastries, biscuits, and desserts; pickling and preservation; stocks, sauces, and condiments; and drinks, shrubs, and syrups. The Irish Cookbook spotlights both authentic traditional recipes such as Colcannon, Bacon and Cabbage, Coddle, Dingle Pies, Soda Bread, Gur Cake, and Barm Brack as well as fresh new takes on classic dishes or native ingredients, such as Oysters with Wild Garlic Butter; Baby Carrots with Buttermilk and Tarragon Oil; Crab Claws with Seaweed and Samphire; and Chicken with Morels and Cider.

The Irish Cookbook also includes an index of the wild Irish herbs, plants, seaweeds, and fungi that McMahon values for their culinary uses. These ingredients have been a common thread in Irish cuisine through the ages, and though some may only be found in a particular part of Ireland, reading about them will add depth to any understanding of the history and development of Irish food, and should inspire readers to look differently at their own food culture and cooking.

With beautifully evocative images of over 120 recipes and landscapes, and exquisitely designed with a rich mossy colour palette, The Irish Cookbook vividly evokes the warmth, hospitality, and culinary spirit of the Emerald Isle.

The Irish Cookbook is available at Amazon.com an Indigo.ca.

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St. Clement’s Cake

St. Clement's Cake

St. Clement’s Cake, excerpted from Artisan Home Baking by Julian Day, with recipes from Meg Rivers. Photography by Steve Painter

Artisan Home Baking by Julian Day, with recipes from Meg Rivers.A light Victoria Sponge, gooey Chocolate Fudge Brownies, and a sweet Treacle Tart are all delicious treats that do so much more than satisfy your appetite. They bring together loved ones, help celebrate occasions, and, most of all, evoke pleasant memories of when these sumptuous treats first passed your lips. In this delightful collection of bakes, you’ll find classic recipes that are at the heart of home baking; this is the essence of the Meg Rivers bakery, to create traditional cakes, cookies, tarts, and puddings to cherish and enjoy.

Nestled in the English countryside, the bakery started its life when Meg wanted to make cakes for her family that not only tasted good but were also fresh and wholesome. Soon—after her popularity grew at home and abroad—the bakery was born and, now, its mail-order treats travel all around the world for everyone to savour.

If you’ve been searching for the comforting, traditional bakes that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, look no further than these marvellous recipes.

Artisan Home Baking: Wholesome and delicious recipes for cakes and other bakes is available at Amazon.com an Indigo.ca. (more…)

Macaron Cake

Macaron Cake

Macaron Cake, excerpted from Naked Cakes by Hannah Miles. Photography by Steve Painter © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.

Naked Cakes by Hannah Miles, published by Ryland Peters & SmallHere you will find recipes and decoration ideas for exquisitely beautiful cakes. While in previous years the fashion had been for cakes to be encased in fondant and decorated in a fancy style, there is now an established trend for stripping cakes back, and decorating them more simply with edible flowers and vibrant berries or using different shades of batter to make the cake itself the star attraction.

Whether you want to create Vintage Elegance, Rustic Style, Romantic Charm, Chic Simplicity or Dramatic Effect, or make something to represent the Changing Seasons, you’ll find the perfect recipe and design here. Choose from floral cakes such as Rose Petal Cake, zingy citrus bakes such as Clementine Cakes and luxurious berry fruit offerings including Blueberry and Lemon Drizzle Cakes.

There are plenty of ideas to tempt the sophisticated nut-lover and chocoholic, such as Chocolate Chestnut Cake, Hazelnut Harvest Cake, and Pistachio Layer Cake. These cakes are not for every day—they are special treats and perfect for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations all year round. (more…)

Baked Chilaquiles

Baked Chilaquiles

Baked Chilaquiles excerpted from Keeping it Simple by Yasmin Fahr. Photography by Patricia Niven.

Keeping it Simple, Yasmin FahrAfter a long day at work, heading home to cook a fussy, complicated meal is the last thing anyone wants to do. Keeping it Simple is the ultimate collection to have on hand for these moments. Featuring over 60 quick and easy, drool-worthy one-pot dinners you can whip up in the time it takes to have a glass of wine (or two, let’s be honest), Yasmin Fahr has got you covered.

Inspired by her column for Serious Eats, One-Pot Wonders, Yasmin sets out to arm readers with sneaky gems and low-key showstoppers that work every time, and a promise that they will learn at least one new move (if not a good few) to up their skills in the kitchen. The ultimate goal is to get dinner on the table quickly, but also to create something truly delicious as a weeknight reward. Why order a takeaway when you can throw together Miso-Ghee Chicken with Roasted Radishes or Rigatoni and Broccoli with Crispy Prosciutto in 20 minutes? And when you can cook it all in one pot, clean-up is a breeze.

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Challah Grilled Cheese

Challah Grilled Cheese

Challah Grilled Cheese, Eat Something by Evan Bloom & Rachel Levin, Photography by Maren Caruso.

Eat Something by Evan Bloom & Rachel LevinThis long-awaited cookbook (the first one for Wise Sons!) is packed with homey recipes and relatable humour; it is as much a delicious, lighthearted, and nostalgic cookbook as it is a lively celebration of Jewish culture.

Stemming from the thesis that Jews eat by occasion (and with enthusiasm), the book is organized into 19 different events and celebrations chronicling a Jewish life in food, from bris to shivah, and all the makeshift and meaningful events in between, including: Shabbat, Passover, the high holidays, first meal home from college, J-dating, wedding, and more.

• Both a Jewish humour book and a cookbook
• Recipes are drawn from the menus of their beloved Bay Area restaurants, as well as all the occasions when Jews gather around the table.
• Includes short essays, illustrations, memorabilia, and stylish plated food photography.

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Pizza Picante

Pizza Picante

Craft PizzaHailing from the sunny south of Italy, and quickly popularized around the world, pizza is undoubtedly a fast-food favourite. Now more popular than ever with the rise of “craft” creations, its versatility of tastes, toppings, and types of bread, means that everyone can share in a slice of the action, and Craft Pizza will show you how.

Without the need for elaborate equipment, you’ll be shown it’s possible that—with just the most basic, fresh ingredients—you, too, can make luscious handmade pizzas, calzones, and focaccias. If you’re a fan of the classics you’ll find recipes for a Margherita, Stromboli, or Pizza Piccante but, if you fancy something a little different, why not put your hand to the Pulled Pork Calzone or the Truffled Breakfast Focaccia.

Once you master the basics of the pizza doughs and sauces, you’ll be amazed at how this popular dish is wonderfully easy to make, always tasty to eat, and guaranteed to transport you to the vibrant streets of Italy—you’ll want every night to be “pizza night”!

Craft Pizza: Homemade classic, Sicilian and sourdough pizza, calzone and focaccia is available at Amazon.com an Indigo.ca. (more…)