Sunday, November 15, 2015

Slow Fires

Slow Fires by Justin Smillie is my new favorite book on braising, roasting, and grilling.  Chef Smillie teaches you the fundamentals of these techniques and new trick to create the most flavorful dishes. All the recipes look delicious and I'm looking forward to making the pappardelle with year round sugo, stovetop cassoulet, zuppa di pesce, flash seared salmon, pan roasted pork chops, grilled skirt steak, and veal meatballs.  My only criticism is the recipe is meant to feed a large family.  If you're cooking for three or less people, you would have to scale down the ingredients or invite a lot of friends over.  Some recipes take two days to make so advanced prep is required.  Other than those minor issues, this book is one of my favorite books published this year.

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher

Monday, November 2, 2015

Olympia Provisions

I got this book mainly to get a thorough understanding of charcuterie since I love eating cured meats.  This is the most comprehensive book I have ever read on cured meats with wonderful recipes, helpful techniques and tips, and beautiful photography.  I rarely read a book from cover to cover and I couldn’t put it down.  This is definitely one of my favorite books published this year.   

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Donabe Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking

I was so excited to discover a whole new way of cooking after perusing Donabe.  Loaded with a lot of helpful information and wonderful recipes, this book will show you everything you need to know about Japanese clay pot cooking.  I can’t wait to try like the miso hotpot, Japanese style bibimbap, smoked duck breast, and steamed yellowtail shabu shabu. I love the idea of one-pot meals and how easy these recipes are.  Now I need to find the perfect donabe so I can start cooking and inviting friends over for dinner.

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees

Phoenix Claws and Jade Tree is one of the most comprehensive book on Chinese cooking techniques that I have seen.  I love the step by step photographs for techniques like how to de-bone a fish to recipe of how to prepare a Peking duck.  The recipes are well written and seem straight forward with ingredients that you can find at your local Asian supermarkets.  I can’t wait to cook from this book.

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Food52 Baking

Food52 Baking is probably my favorite book from Food52.  With basic recipes like scones, biscuits, cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, and tarts, it's hard not to find something you don't want to make.  The picture of the peach tart was irresistable so I picked up some peaches from the farmers market and tried it out.  It was beyond delicious!  Definitely a keeper.  Other recipes that I would love to try are the peach and blueberry cobbler, pumpkin pie crumble (for Thanksgiving), coconut tres leches cake, and black sesame cupcake with match buttercream.  I love how these recipes were created with the home baker in mind.  Can't wait to try more recipes from Food52 Baking.  

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Near and Far Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel

Heidi Swanson’s book is absolutely gorgeous and fun to cook from. From the San Francisco chapter, I tried the buttermilk cakes, cold soba noodles, and whole wheat waffles.  The buttermilk cakes and soba noodles were delicious but the waffles were a bit too dense and bland.  The waffles really needed less flour and a little sugar.  I also tried the nori granola from the Japanese chapter but couldn’t really get my tastebuds to get used to the saltiness and umami taste of nori in granola.  Overall, this cookbook has a lot of good recipes but it really depends on what your taste is.       

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Homemade Kitchen

I really enjoyed reading The Homemade Kitchen from Alana Chernila and her philosophy of “Homemade food is the opposite of perfection. It holds the stamp of its maker.”  I appreciate that the book is not preachy about eating organic and buying local but trying your best and to go for homemade food if possible.  She makes baking bread, making tofu, and culturing kefir approachable for the homecook.  Her style of cooking is comforting with dishes like coq au vin with buttermilk spaetzle, panzanella, broccoli rabe and sausage bread pudding, braised lamb shanks, popovers, cinnamon swirl bread, and summer trifle.  I’m looking forward to cooking from the Homemade Kitchen.      

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher