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Thursday, August 21, 2014

* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

 
...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
 
 
15.DELICIOUSLY VINTAGE (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-486-6, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Victoria Glass who runs Victoria's Cake Boutique. She also does design work for the cakes, and has written Boutique Wedding Cakes. Here she concentrates on sixty baking classics (cookies, cakes, pastries). They range from jumbles to chocolate chip cookies, scones, Victoria sponge cakes, sachertorte, eclairs, lemon meringue pie, trifle, madeleines, Black Forest, peach cobbler and more. All of them are easy enough o do, and it is good to have them all under one set of covers. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric (mostly) and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
16.MARY BERRY COOKS; my favourite recipes for family and friends (BBC Books; distr. Random House Canada, 2014, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-849-90663-0, $39.95 CAN hard covers) is meant to accompany the TV series of the same name, for the BBC. It is a new collection of her preps, covering about 100 recipes. It's arranged by plate or course, beginning with the primer and moving on to quick bites, canapes, starters and apps, veggies, salads, cold desserts and hot puddings. There are separate chapters on sharing plates, family favourites, suppers, and afternoon tea. It is very British, with aubergines and courgettes, but it is vitally useful to her legion of worldwide fans. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, and there are even tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
17.MUSSELS; preparing, cooking and enjoying a sensational seafood (Whitecap Books, 2014, 196 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-214-7, $29.95 CAN paper covers) is by personality Alain Bosse (chef, consultant, food editor) and Linda Duncan (executive director of the Mussel Industry Council). If you love mussels and want to cook them at home, then this is the book for you. The collaborators tell how to purchase, store and prepare mussels. The variety of 77 preps range from classic marniere to curried, risottos and carbonaras to more  contemporary offerings which move into South East Asia or Latin America. There's Tom Kha soup with mussels and lemon grass, mussel ceviche, chorico cider mussels, and sweet Thai chili mussels. Mussel strudel used mangoes. It's arranged by course (apps to BBQ, with sides and breads covered) with plenty of detail on home cooking such as BBQ. They are enthusiastic and the pix are gorgeous. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
18.THE DELICIOUSLY CONSCIOUS COOKBOOK (Hay House, 2014; distr. Raincoast, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-4019-4580, $19.95 US paper covers) is by Belinda Connolly, a private chef who runs a stall at the Totnes Market in Devon, England. She's got about 100 vegetarian recipes here: many are GF, dairy free, low sugar and/or vegan. There are some notes on her philosophy of cooking plus some memoirish material. This is followed by savoury recipes, from soups to salads to pastries, and then sweet recipes (tarts, cakes, cheesecakes). She's also got a resources section, both US and UK, with some recommended reading. Try her butternut-berry & goat's cheesecake, or Thai cauliflower with coconut and lime as a soup. For the unusual, there is adzuki bean fudge brownies and tropical parsnip and polenta cake. Also mushroom chard and cheddar quiche. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of  equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
19.BEEROLOGY (Appetite by Random House, 2014, 179 pages, ISBN 978-0-449-01612-1, $24.95 CAN, paper covers) is by Mirella Amato, a Master Cicerone (a beer sommelier) living in Toronto. Indeed, she is an award-winning judge and the first non-US resident to be a Master Cicerone, and heard on CBC Radio. Any book with French flaps and the word "Cicerone" gets my immediate attention. She's written a convincing introduction to the world of suds, one that is not gung-ho with machismo prowess, thus it appeals to women as well. There's some log rolling from Brooklyn Brewery and Dogfish, both American craft breweries, but the book needs American sales to thrive. Amato has been promoting local beer and beer appreciation since 2007. The first part of the book deals with the mechanics of making beer and other basics. Then she has a section on beer styles, ranging from light to heavy, with top notch descriptions, what each is fun with, food to pair with, and some international label examples (there are a lot of Canadian and US examples here). The last section is the "entertaining" one, with points on constructing a beer tasting, pairing beer with food, and beer cocktails. These have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. At the end, there is a resources section with a glossary, evaluation sheet, beer flavour wheel, and some visual reference charts. There is more to be found at beerology.ca where she has news and a blog. Quality/price rating: 90.
 
 
20.SCOOP ADVENTURES; the best ice cream of the 50 states (Page Street, 2014, 191 pages, ISBN 978-1-62414-034-1, $19.99 US soft covers) is by Lindsay Clendaniel, a blogger at scoopadventures.com. It comes with log rolling endorsements from some head pastry chefs. Here are the preps from great ice cream shops in New York, Maryland, Illinois – at least one per state. Clendaniel has adapted the recipes from the creameries for home use. There are over 80 ice creams here, with anecdotes behind the flavours, photos of the shops (but not the people) and photos of the finished scoop. It is arranged by region; even DC is covered. There are names and locations for each place, including websites (but for three places, just phone numbers: nice to know that not everybody is on the web. And their ice cream is also old-fashioned). Try key lime pie ice cream, purple cow ice cream, or chipotle raspberry ice cream. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, with no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
21.MERINGUE GIRLS; incredible sweets everybody can make. (Chronicle Books, 2014; distr. Raincoast, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-3353-9, $19.95 US hard covers) is by Alex Hoffler and Stacey O'Gorman, the Meringue Girls in London UK who plan food-events and supply sweets and food stylings. It was originally published in the UK in 2013 by Square Peg. It is a basic book about what you can do with meringues, incorporating ideas for design. There are many preps for kisses, summery desserts, and winery puddings, plus gift ideas.  Of particular value is the chapter on "using your yolks". In addition to the regular meringue method, they highlight three others: marshmallow meringue, Italian meringue, and maple meringue. It is an extremely colourful and playful book, bound to reward all younger readers. Try almond meringue roulade, Eton mess, pomegranate meringue slab, or meringue Easter eggs. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
22.PALEO GRILLING; a modern caveman's guide to cooking with fire (Fair Winds Press, 2014, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-59233-612-8, $22.99 US paper covers) is by Tony Federico, who hosts a paleo radio show and is a full-time writer, and James Phelan, who last was chef at Matthews' restaurant in Florida but is now a gourmet paleo delivery service. So this is the paleo guy book of meats and sides. There are also drinks and desserts, but mercifully short with only five apiece. There are over 100 preps here for grilling (charcoal, gas, smoking, BBQ), along with a primer and a "primal pantry". There's a good section on smoking without a smoker and a resources list. Log rolling comes from five other paleo authors. The book is arranged by meat type, and does include wild game and offal. Try smoked offal meatloaf, or BBQ bison ribs, lamb steaks with gremolata, herb-smoked clams, or Korean frilled pork belly. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
23.CAESARS; the essential guide to your favourite cocktail (Appetite by Random House, 2014,  200 pages, ISBN 978-0-449-01648-0, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Clint Pattemore, chief "mixing officer" for Mott's Clamato; he has been the brand ambassador since 2012. Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, partners in CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary, developed the 20 food recipes designed to accompany or "pair" with the 50 drinks here (which include such variations as blackberry lemon Caesar, Thai mango Caesar, and smoked lime and tequila Caesar). A Caesar or Bloody Caesar is a cocktail created and primarily consumed in Canada. It typically contains vodka, Clamato (a proprietary blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large, celery salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime. The Caesar was invented in Calgary (1969) by Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of his new Italian restaurant in the city. It quickly became a popular mixed drink within Canada where over 350 million Caesars are consumed annually and it has inspired numerous variants. However, the drink remains virtually unknown outside Canada. The standard is vodka with clam and tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and "other" spices, quite similar to a Bloody Mary. But like the Martini, it has been popularized with other base alcohols. All of the preps here use some product from Mott (such as Mr. and Mrs. T), but you can, of course, substitute your own. The arrangement of the drinks is by season. None of the food recipes use Mott materials, except for one vinaigrette. All of them have been paired with a suggested "Caesar" of different provenance. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Try some figs stuffed with blue cheese, turkey breast porchetta, or grilled asparagus with tarragon dipping sauce. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
 
24.THE POUND A DAY DIET (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014, 298 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-2367-2, $26 US hard covers) is by Rocco DiSpirito, a Beard winner and author of 9 other diet and cookbooks. He founded Union Pacific restaurant (which became a major food show on US TV), and is also now a host on the Food Network. This current book says that you can lose up to 5 pounds in 5 days by eating the foods you love. This is accelerated weight loss by virtue of eating six low-calorie meals a day. The principles are explained, followed by the recipes for both the diet and the maintenance program. There are about 60 recipes, mostly quick and easy, and with five ingredients or fewer. There is also some advice on how to buy store-bought versions of the main foods. He's got some menus and shopping lists as well as calorie counts. Typical preps include rotisserie chicken and teriyaki Asian noodles, turkey Alfredo, cab taco, frozen dark chocolate shake, and sweet potato chips. Worth a shot. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. At the end there is a resources list. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SOME MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS IN REVIEW

KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG (Robert Rose, 2014, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0472-7, $24.95 CAN soft covers) is by Fraser Smith, ND, prominent naturopathic academic, and Ellie Aghdassi, PhD, RD, dementia researcher and academic in Toronto. It is a book in line with other self-health books from Rose, covering arthritis, skin, diabetes, liver, et al. Because we are all growing older, we need to keep our brains in shape to avoid neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It is more important than ever to age well. The book deftly summarizes the issues on age-related diseases, proposes a 12-step healthy brain diet to help prevent or delay damage, and has 150 recipes done up in Rose style, with tips and notes and nutrient tables. Recipes come from other Rose books, and these are noted as to author or authority. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no overall table of equivalents.  At the end there are periodical and book references as well as websites and web-pages listed.
Audience and level of use: those interested in a program to prevent brain damage.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: the number of those with Alzheimer's is expected to triple by 2050. Anti-oxidants from fruits and veggies can protect the brain against disease. The brain can make new neural connections in the elderly.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
4.HOMEGROWN TEA; an illustrated guide to planting, harvesting, and blending teas and tisanes (St.Martin's Griffin, 2014, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-03941-5, $23.99 US paper covers) is by Cassie Liversidge, a UK gardener-food writer who last wrote Grow Your Own Pasta Sauce, about eating home grown food. Here she looks at tea gardening (backyard, balcony, and window sill). She delves into growing tea from seeds, cuttings and small plants. She gives details on when and how to harvest, plus how to prepare and dry the teas for year-long storage. She's got sections on nutritional and medicinal benefits as well as an illustrated guide on prepping fresh and dried teabags. Arrangement is by part of the plant: leaves, followed by seeds, fruits, flowers, and roots. There is also a plant reference chart, and index of plants, and some recommended sources.
Audience and level of use: a book for the tea completist.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: under sage, she lists varieties and botanical names, medical benefits, growing, harvesting, making the tea, some relevant tips for making bag blends – as well as an illustration of the leaves.
The downside to this book: no recipes for cooking with teas.
The upside to this book: good encouragement for tea drinkers.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
5.LOW & SLOW; the art and technique of braising, BBQ, and slow roasting (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 246 pages, ISNM 978-1-118-10591-7, $19.99 US hard covers) is by Robert Briggs (professor) and the Culinary Institute of America. The basic principles here concern low heat and slow cooking times for prepping tough but flavourful cuts of meat. It tells one how to make the most of every cut of meat, any time of the year. There are chapters on homemade rubs and sauces, plus some accompanying sides to prepare. It is arranged by the three techniques, and each chapter begins with a master recipe, with all the techniques fully illustrated and explained. Under braising, there are two recipes for each prep, one using a slow cooker, the other a stovetop or oven braise. Under BBQ, there are extensive notes on prepping and regional styles. The emphasis throughout is on international cuisine influences. It is a good thorough book, with plenty of techniques illustrated and good suggestions for sides. Just under 100 preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginning cooks, and men.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: braised pulled pork BBQ sandwiches; Korean-style braised short ribs; beef braised in beer and onions; braised oxtail; Moroccan chicken tagine; Eastern North Carolina BBQ pork butt; spit-roasted garlic and lime chicken.
The downside to this book: could have had more recipes.
The upside to this book: very compact.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
6.THE FRENCH COOK: souffles (Gibbs Smith, 2014, 128
pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-3612-0, $21.99 US hard covers) is by Greg Patent, a Bear Award winning author for 2002, a blogger, and radio host. This is the third in a new series on French cuisine, here dealing with the basics of souffles: mainly how to beat eggs and how to create the sauces. There are photos and step-by-step techniques. The basic souffles are here (hot, cold, sweet, savoury, molded, unmolded) plus more and some variations are noted. The book is set up as a primer for beginners. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginner
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: leek and pancetta souffle; fennel and salmon; chocolate; vanilla; fresh fruit; almond and praline.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
7.300 BEST HOMEMADE CANDY RECIPES; brittles, caramels, chocolates, fudge, truffles & so much more (Robert Rose, 2014, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0475-8, $24.95 CAN soft covers) is by Jane Sharrock, who comes from a long line of candy-makers (her mother was also a Home Ec professor). This is candy as it used to be, and it you really want to duplicate it, try using organic fair-trade sugar for authenticity (that's my opinion). There's a primer for candymaking, sections dealing with heirloom candies, fudge, farmhouse faves, and short and sweet for a quick fix. Thus, there are chocolates, pralines, creams, toffee, holiday treats, and no-bake cookies. There are two indexes: one by level of difficulty, from novice to expert) and one alphabetical by ingredient. The book is also loaded with cook's notes and tips for most recipes.  Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. This is the usual thorough Robert Rose package.
Audience and level of use: beginner to intermediate
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: caramel pecan pralines; Mexican candy; Mexican orange drops; patience candy; brown candy; butterscotch nut marshmallows; lollipops; turtles; raspberry fudge truffles.
The downside to this book: I really don't think we should eat this much candy, so the 300 recipes should really last us a lifetime before repeats. But she does have a top 40 list, so begin with those.
The upside to this book: there is an excellent selection of popcorn candy recipes.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
8.SOUTHWEST DUTCH OVEN (Gibbs Smith, 2014, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-3635-9, $15.99 US spiral bound) is by George and Carolyn Dumler, both seasoned Dutch oven cooks preparing food for large crowds. They have qualified for the World Championships every year since 2009. Indeed, some of these preps here are reprinted from cookbooks of the 2010-2012 World Championship Cook-Off Dutch Oven Recipes. There's a primer, and then the book is arranged by course or ingredient such as chiles, sauces, sides, mains, breads, and desserts. There is also a menu for a big Southwestern Thanksgiving, with nine recipes. This must be the tenth book published this year on Dutch ovens: a really popular item?
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: Dutch oven users.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: mashed potatoes; turkey with chile garlic marinade; turkey breast with chipotle gravy; chorizo and pistachio stuffing; corn pudding; cheddar jalapeno twists; tequila cranberry compote; pumpkin pinon bread; and pecan chile pie.
The downside to this book: ripped out pages are easy (spiral binding)
The upside to this book: spiral bound, lies flat.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
9.GLUTEN-FREE MADE EASY (Front Table Books, 2014, 268 pages, ISBN 978-1-4621-1408-5, $22.99 US paper covers) is by Christi Silbaugh and Michelle Vilseck. Silbaugh is an active blogger, with three on the go, plus lots more food social media interactions; her daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009. Vilseck has needed to be gluten-free for the past 11 years or so. Together they have created more than 150 preps in this book plus the tips and tricks involved in putting the dishes together. There's a primer (here, called FAQ) and some resources, plus a glossary and endnotes. The thrust here is on family cooking, so there are lots of things that kids could make, eat and enjoy. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are also tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those who need GF foods.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: raspberry breakfast bars; peanut butter power balls; cauliflower pizza crust and cheesy bread; parmesan crusted halibut; mini-taco salads; flour-free cloud bread.
The downside to this book: like many other GF books, this one – sadly – has no "chewy" bread recipe. It's the Holy Grail of GF food.
The upside to this book: I love the large print and the bolding of the ingredient lists.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
10.COOKING TECHNIQUES AND RECIPES WITH OLIVE OIL (Two Extra Virgins, 2014, 132 pages, ISBN 978-0-9893289-2-0, $26.95 US hard covers) is by Mary Platis and Laura Bashar. They have a variety of olive oil social media websites (Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google Plus, and more). This book originated as an ebook; in fact, it was a gold medalist as a Global Ebook Award. They have basic olive oil information followed by chapters devoted to poaching, braising, marinating, steaming and baking. There are also some bibliographic references at the end. Lots of tips and advice, nicely integrated with the photos. Prep times and cook times are indicated. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginning cooks.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Rosemary-Garlic Lamb Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Artichokes; Tuna with Citrus and Avocado Salad; Greek Style Vegetables with Tomatoes; Chicken Kabobs with Cucumber-Mint Barley; Stuffed Grape Leaves with Brown Rice, Kale and Fresh Herbs; Olive Oil Almond Cookies with Rosewater and Cardamom; Olive Oil and Vanilla Ice Cream; Watermelon Shooters with Persia Mint Syrup and Olive Oil.
The downside to this book: as a basic book, it could use a few more recipes.
The upside to this book: great photography.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
 
 
11.THE GREEK YOGURT KITCHEN (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014; distr. Hachette, 242 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-5120-0, $20 US paper covers) is by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, a top nutrition advisor and consultant to major groups, including Foodnetwork.com. Here she gives us a basic yogurt cookbook, using Greek yogurt as the base since it is a trendy power food. And with seven log rollers. So long as the nutritional benefits of Greek yogurt carry through, then you can cook with it. Otherwise, it may be best just as it comes out of the fridge. It's a form of yogurt that has been strained to remove a lot of the whey, which results in a lower fat content and higher protein content. This also means that it has lower levels of lactose. If you have to, you could substitute just about any unflavoured organic yogurt. Whatever you do, you must check the label to see what is in the yogurt: go for simple, cultured, and unflavoured. The 133 recipes here are a beginning. They range from traditional breakfast food through snacks, apps, salads, mains, and desserts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those who are lactose sensitive, health food fans.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: crustless mushroom quiche; buttermilk chicken fingers; mexican-sty6led creamed corn; coconut lemon cookies; dulce de leche bowl.
The downside to this book: the use of "Greek" yogurt is overplayed when other forms can also be used.
The upside to this book: good selection of recipes, including one for making your own low-fat Greek yogurt by straining out the whey.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
12.MARINADES; the quick-fix way to turn everyday food into exceptional fare, with 400 recipes (Harvard Common Press, 2014; dist. T.Allen, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-55832-827-3, $17.95 US paper covers) is by Lucy Vaserfirer, recipe developer and cookbook author. This is a great idea for a book, as an alternative to a slow-cooker. With the right marinade, you can dress up meats or veggies in the morning, put the food in the fridge for the day, and finish off the plate at night with a broil, grill, microwave, or saute. Of course, for meat like beef, this only works on the softer textured cuts. The heavy duty stewing meats may be a tad too tough for quick cooking. The 200 marinades here are vinegar-based, oil-based, fruit-based, milk-based, and alcohol-based. There is certainly something for every day; each marinade comes with a recipe that shows one way to use it.  More than half the "suggested use" recipes are for grilled dishes and BBQs, but they can be adapted for indoor use. She opens with the marinades, in separate chapters for herbs, spices, citrus, tomato and the like. Then she moves on to different cuisines, such as southwestern marinades, South American marinades, European, Chines-Japanese-Korean, Southeast Asia, Indian, African, Caribbean, and even "sweet" dessert marinades.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those willing to experiment or looking for more jazzy flavours.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Buffalo wing marinade; balsamic-soy marinade; grilled portobellos; cranberry-cider marinade; teriyaki marinade.
The downside to this book: I just wish that there was something that can be done for the bully beef and the mutton, and other tough cuts of meat, that can happen within the 12 hour spread of AM and PM in the fridge.
The upside to this book: there are two indexes, one to the marinades and another to "suggested use".
Quality/Price Rating: 89.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

 
 
...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
32.THE COUPLE'S KITCHEN; a newlyweds cookbook. (Ryland Peters and Small, 2014, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-499-6, $29.95 US hard covers) is a cookbook package pulled together by the publishers with recipe credits from Ross Dobson, Maxine Clark, Tonia George, Ben Reed, and others – 25 in all. It has been stylishly designed by Maria Lee Warren, and edited by Gillian Haslam and Miriam Catley.  It has been indexed by Hilary Bird (good to see an indexer credit). The arrangement is by course, from breakfast and brunch to apps, soups, salads, right through to drinks and menu planning, with 14 menus and their page refs. Other chapters are for preps for dealing with just two people, or feeding a crowd, or having a "baking" day. It is an affordable good wedding gift package or a shower item. It ranges from simple preps for two to stylish ideas for elegant entertaining and hosting special occasions. Among the drinks there is the Champagne cocktail and sherry cobbler, kir royale, hot buttered rum, and other social beverages. Pancetta and fennel puffs, fresh beans with pecorino and prosciutto, Moroccan orange cake, and huevos rancheros – these are some of the recipes. The format is large and prestigious, there is a bookmark cloth ribbon, and the recipes total 150 or so. There is even room for both the husband and wife to cook together. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
33.THE WHOLE LIFE NUTRITION COOKBOOK; a complete nutritional and cooking guide for healthy living (Grand Central Life and Style, 2014; distr. Hachette, 449 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-8189-4, $26 US paper covers) is by Alissa Segersten (once a personal chef and now cooking instructor) and Tom Malterre (an academic nutritionist). Together they also run the Whole Life Nutrition website. Here are over 300 "whole foods" recipes, including gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and egg-free dishes. Almost something for everyone. It was originally published in 2008, and it is now updated into virtually a brand-new book. Even the bibliography is current: there are references to 2014 works. It is thorough and comprehensive, beginning with a primer on diet sensitivities, the need for whole foods, the larder, the equipment, the cooking techniques. The recipes are arranged by courses, from soups to desserts, with diversions to smoothies, bacteria-cultured foods, whole grains, dips and sauces, snacks and beverages. All with large type, easy to use instructions, and tips/tricks. There is also a web resources listing; there's more at www.wholelifenutrition.net(recipes, courses, newsletters, blogs). Various diets are discussed as there is some benefits in every one of them. I could not find any discussion on alcoholic beverages, not even through the index. While there is a table of US equivalents (weights and volumes), preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
34.TRUE FOOD; season, sustainable, simple, pure (Little,
Brown, 2012, 2104, 255 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-12940-4, $19 US
paper covers) is by Andrew Weil and Sam Fox, with Michael
Stebner. Weil is well-known for his books and columns on
alternative health practices and issue (including many food
recipes). He is partner with Sam Fox in the True Food
Kitchen chain. Stebner is the executive chef of these
restaurants. The work comes heavily endowed with log
rollers Alice Waters and Marion Nestle. This is the 2014
paperback reprint. It's a book based
on SLOFE principles (seasonal, local, organic, fast, and
easy); there are about 150 recipes adapted from the six
restaurant chain. The important thing you need to know
about Andrew Weil is that the guy is completely
trustworthy: he has impressed me for over 20 years. Other
than that, this is good food with plenty of explanations
from Weil and a pantry to start up. You cannot go wrong
here. There are good illustrations and sufficient white
space in the book's layout. The chapters follow a daily
meal, with breakfast, appetizers, salads, soups, mains,
pasta, veggies, desserts and drinks (only a few with
alcohol). This is a good book for the struggling dieter –
you will get your appetite sated. Dishes include chocolate-
banana tart, stir-fried long beans with citrus-sesame
sauce, bibimbap, bison umami burger, and halibut with
fingerling potatoes. There are no tables of nutritional
sources. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric
equivalents, which is a shame for international sales.
Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
35.CROHN'S & COLITIS DIET GUIDE. 2D ed (Robert Rose, 2008, 2014, 336 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0478-9, $24.95 CAN soft covers) is by A. Hillary Steinhart, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Julie Cepo, RD. It accompanies Dr. Steinhart's Crohn's & Colitis Understanding & Managing IBD (also in a second edition). The major part of the book, here revised since its 2008 publication date, is a FAQ about food and IBD, along with a primer on causes, symptoms and therapies. These are proven dietary strategies for managing IBD, with menus and meal planning, tips on maintaining good nutrition, and 175 recipes. Over 25 new ones have been added, to take into account new foods such as banana cinnamon quinoa waffles, or new techniques such as slow cooker squash couscous. The preps largely come from two dozen Rose cookbooks, which have been vetted, of course, for their IBD relationship. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no overall table of metric equivalents. Each recipe has been noted as vegetarian or vegan, low cal, low fat, high protein, lactose, fibre, sodium, and others. Lots of tips for following a low fibre diet. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
36.THE GLUTEN-FREE TABLE; the Lagasse girls share their favorite meals (Grand Central Life & Style, 2012, 2014, 230 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-1687-2, $17 US soft covers) is by Jilly and Jessie Lagasse, daughters of Emeril Lagasse. It was originally released in hardback in 2012, and this is the paperback release. In 2004 Jilly was diagnosed with celiac disease. Jessie, at some point, needed to follow a gluten-free diet. Both of course have been food-inspired by their upbringing, so it seemed to be a no-brainer that a gluten-free cookbook was in the shaping. They have taken their fave preps from childhood and family and redeveloped them into tasty, celiac-friendly alternatives.
There's about 100 recipes, of family favourites, Southern classics, and
ten original preps from Emeril himself. It's all arranged by course,
from apps to sweets. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
There's a concluding list of resources and website. Some interesting or unusual recipes redefine Southern food: cornbread and Andouille stuffed pork chops; baked halibut with creole tomato and Vidalia onion vinaigrette; cheesy shrimp and crab grits; mini goat cheese and fig pizzas. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
37.NATHALIE DUPREE'S SHRIMP AND GRITS (Gibbs Smith, 2006, 2014, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-36665-6, $21.99 US hard covers) has been co-authored by Marion Sullivan. They have worked together for three decades, with heavy involvement in maintaining the culinary experience of the American south through cookbooks, magazines, newspapers, and broadcasting. Both of them live in Charleston SC. This is a revised edition of the 2006 book. Its history is covered: the evolution of shrimp and grits (cooked grits were also called hominy) from a breakfast dish, and the variations made by local chefs in the Carolinas. Most of this book covers those variations, but the last chapter is about grits alone, and here is where the reader can find some desserts (peach and grits cobbler, peach and grits parfait, anadama bread, grits pudding, grist waffles, and more. For the savouries, there are a lot of sauces to go with shrimp and grits, such as a chorizo cream sauce, roasted red pepper sauce, hot pepper cream sauce, garlic butter sauce, lemon sour cream sauce, or sausage gravy. A great book for shrimp and/or grits lovers. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
38.DELICIOUS DIABETES COOKING FOR ONE OR TWO PEOPLE (Robert Rose, 2014, 144 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0476-5, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, founder of the Free From Food Awards (food allergy/intolerance). It was originally published in 2013 in London by Grub Street. These preps have been specifically designed for one or two (they can be scaled upwards), and can be used by anyone who needs low-sugar restrictions. With some modifications they can also be used for managing dairy or gluten allergies. Everything is fairly easy. Each prep has full nutritional analysis, larger type face, and tips. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Arrangement is by course, from apps and soups to baked goods and desserts. Typical are herb frittata, moules marinieres, pasta and broccoli gratin, and cod with chilies. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
 
39.SIMPLE FRENCH FOOD. 40th Anniversary Ed. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1974, 1992, 2014, 455 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-24220-3, $24.99 US hard covers) is by the late Richard Olney, one of the better passionate writers of French cuisine. I remember reviewing this book in 1974 for the American Library Association, but over the years I had misplaced it. Olney began with "The French Menu Cookbook", criticized by some for being overly complicated. He was persuaded to come up with a "simple" book. This latest reissue comes with the original Foreward by James Beard (1974), the Introduction by Patricia Wells (1992), and a New Foreward by Mark Bittman (2014). There is also unabashed log rolling from Jacques Pepin and Alice Waters. He opens with some thoughts about French cooking, wine, breads, and then moves on to courses by ingredients. He also did all of the drawings in this book. As Wells says, "Olney shares with us the tactile, aromatic, visual joys of food." His reclusive ways belied his editing of all 27 volumes of the Time Life Good Cook series. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 92.
 
 
40.CANADIAN WHISKY; the portable expert (McClelland & Stewart, 2012, 2014, 236 pages, ISBN 978-0-7710-2744-4, $22 CAN paper covers) is by Davin de Kergommeaux, a sommelier and whisky expert who has been writing for more than decade about whisky through print and his award-winning blog at <www.canadianwhisky.org> . This book is a paperback reprint of the 2012 edition, with no changes. It was a finalist of the 2013 Taste Canada Food Writing Awards. As a basic book, it covers what Canadian whisky contains (grains, water, wood), how it is made, flavours and tasting techniques, plus a concise history of the industry, with extra notes on the nine distillers of Canadian whisky. There have been some changes here, including ownership and name changes, since 2012, but these have not been incorporated. Still, a great basic book about Canadian whisky and the industry, made better for most people by the inclusion of a section about tasting techniques. There is a bibliography, a glossary, and two indexes: a general one and an index to the tasting notes. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
41.BEST OF BRIDGE HOME PRESERVING (Robert Rose, 2014, 303 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0482-6, $29.95 CAN spiral bound) is by the Bridge folks. It is a collection of some 120 recipes for jams, jellies, marmalades, pickles, and more. These have been derived from quite a few Best of Bridge books, plus some Rose books, and some unpublished preps by Sally Vaughan-Johnston. The Bridge format works – all caps printing enclosed in a window, easy   instructions, and detailed overall techniques for the basics of pickling, jamming, and the like. While local produce has been emphasized, for the adventuresome, try pineapple/mango/papaya conserve, or kiwi/pineapple/orange jam. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. The spiral binding is a nice bonus, with all the pages lying flat. This sets it apart from many of the other recent home canning books which have traditional binding. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
42.LA MERE BRAZIER; the mother of modern French cooking (Rizzoli, 2014; distr. Random House Canada, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-8478-4096-0, $35 US hard covers) is by Eugenie Brazier who opened La Mere Brazier in 1921 in Lyon. She was awarded multiple Michelin stars. Her book was first published in 1977 in France (just as she died), but here it is in North America, available in English for the first time. Most of the recipes here come from her niece's husband, Roger Garnier, who was Brazier's chef for 20 years. The rest come from taped transcriptions in 1975. This is, in all senses, a Gallic memoir. There are photos, line drawings and classic menus (with page references). Paul Bocuse lends an informal foreward. Arrangement is by ingredient (eggs, fish, poultry, meat) or by course (apps, first courses, baking, desserts, butters). There is also glossary of cooking terms. This is classic French cooking, over 300 recipes, with reminiscences: beurrecks a la turque, ecrevisses a la nage, langouste au ricard, poulet saute a la provencale. Regional wine recommendations for each dish are made. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
43.BLOOD SUGAR: quinoa & healthy living (New Holland, 2013; distr. T.Allen, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-74257456-1, $19.99 US paper covers) is by Michael Moore. It is a collection of previously published recipes from his Blood Sugar cookbook series, with some additional new preps using quinoa. Moore has owned or managed numerous restaurants in London and Sydney, including the Ritz Hotel London and the Bluebird London. He is currently the chef and owner of O Bar and Dining in Sydney. This is basically a diabetic book (Moore is a diabetic) but also one for clean, healthy living. It is divided into meals, with breakfast, light meals and snacks, mains and desserts. He's got figs on toast with ricotta, hot milk and barley porridge, homemade breakfast bars, plank-roasted salmon with quinoa tzatziki, strawberry quinoa custard pie, and more. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
----------------------------------------------------


Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Wines Tasted this month

1.Stratus Kabang Red 2011 VQA Niagara, + $: another juicy cabernet blend from JL Groulx, winemaker behind Stratus. The blend is largely Bordeaux-style (cabernet sauvignon 28%, cabernet franc 15, merlot 24, petit verdot 9, malbec 4, with syrah at 21%), and the usual fine tuning of French oaking (247 days) with 13% new oak. Results are mostly black fruit tones and wood spices at 14.8% ABV in a twist top bottle. As the winery says, it is ready to go. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Stratus Wildass Rose 2013 VQA Niagara, +71712, $17.95: another top notch Groulx blend with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, and semillon in the mix. It's been in used French oak for three months, and tops out at 13.9% ABV in a twist top bottle. The 2012 was a much darker red colour but its alcohol was only 12.5% ABV. The pale red tones, the dried fruit tones, and the garrigue tones strongly suggest the south of France. Ultimately, this wine is better with food (first course, salad) than with sipping. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Sileni Cellar Selection Chardonnay 2013 Hawke's Bay New Zealand, +358994, $15: a fairly basic chardonnay, MVC for the region, brimming with orchard fruit and some oak tones (due to partial French oak barrel fermentation). And there was some partial malolactic fermentation. 12.5% ABV, twist top. Good price-point. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
4.Poquito Moscato NV Valencia Spain, +377143 seasonal $5.95: a nifty idea – a half-bottle (375 mL) of a fizzy moscato, but here from Spain. 5% ABV, crown cap for ease of opening, great price for two people to finish off a meal. It's the Muscat of Alexandria grape, known far and wide as the grapey sweet wine under 140 other different names such as moscatel and zibibbo. Lots of oranges and peaches, and a nice fizz component. At this price it should fly off the shelves!  Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
5.Jackson-Triggs Chardonnay Grand Reserve 2012 VQA Niagara, +593996, $19.95: I was a fan of the 2011 vintage when it arrived at the LCBO last year, and this one continues the orchard fruit with a lemon finish complexity, aided by creamy butterscotch. It's a bit lean, but the toastiness promotes a long finish on the mid-palate. I quite like it just as much as the 2011, but like the 2011, it could use a bit more bottle age. Full malolactic in French oak, then aged 5 months on the lees in one year old barrels. 13.5% ABV.  Unfortunately, the price has gone up two bucks over the 2011 (which of course was underpriced). Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
6.Chateau des Charmes Vidal Icewine 2013 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake,
$25.95 for 200 mL, +565861: a compact icewine with apricot as the defining aroma and flavour, followed by honey tones. Ready now, but should be aged – but then it will taste different and, in my opinion, taste better. 9% ABV. Perfect for gifting (comes in a handsome box). Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
7.Chateau des Charmes Pinot Noir Old Vines 2013 VQA NOTL, +256834, $18.95: I think that this is the first de Charmes' "Old Vines" Pinot in some time. Quite a powerful wine (the 2007 was a Cuvee winner), lots of forest floor (mushrooms, earth) to complement the red fruit. Needs time. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
8.Saint Clair Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +237255, $15.95: full of ripe fruit and cut grass, with zesty kiwi savvy tones (herbs, grapefruit). 13% ABV. Twist top, best with anything grilled (e.g., veggies). Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
9.Two Oceans Pinot Grigio 2014 WO Western Cape South Africa, +295022, $10.25: my first 2014 wine this year, typical with crisp lemon tones, finish suggests first course foods. 12.5% ABV, Twist top. Quality/Price rating is 87 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
10.Nugan Estates Alfredo Dried Grapes Shiraz 2012 SEA Riverina, McLaren Vale, NSW, +376707 Vintages, $26.95: a limited release of an Oz amarone style (dried shiraz grapes) then done up in US and French oak for a year. Plums and peppers (savoury), both black and red fruit, dark chocolate and mocha, underbrush. Dense and chewy at this point, needs back-and-forth decanting. 14.5% ABV, twist top. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
11.Nugan Estates Alfredo Second Pass Shiraz 2012 SEA, +368811, $15.95: a limited release of an Oz ripasso style (the wine is pressed onto the pomace and yeast lees of Dried Grape Shiraz, noted above) and then into French and US oak (the reverse of the Dried Grapes Shiraz above) for a year. The label suggests tones of rhubarb, cherry, tobacco, but I could also add some earth/underbrush and mocha.14% ABV, twist top. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 


Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR AUGUST 16, 2014

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR AUGUST 16, 2014
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com.
Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium
"Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net" is a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here. NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting.
 
NOTE: It is getting more difficult to endorse wines under $20 for the simple reason that the LCBO does not release many of them (in the Vintages program) that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values.
 
 
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Gerard Bertrand Saint Chinian Syrah/Mourvedre 2009, +370247, $17.95: this month;s candidate for a nicely aged syrah from the south of France. MVC all the way, with some movvie tones. 14.5% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 92.
 
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Dr.Hermann Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese 2005 Mosel, +376368, $23.95. QPR: 92.
2.Tawse Redstone Limestone Vineyard South Riesling 2012 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +381251, $18.95: off-dry and delicious, 9.5% ABV, twist top. Perfect for summer sipping, lovely fruity flavours. QPR: 89.
3.Vineland Estates Elevation St. Urban Vineyard Riesling 2012 VQA Niagara Escarpment, +38117, $19.95: one of the finest traditional-styled Rieslings in Ontario, distinguished, age-worthy, 9% ABV. Good Mosel character. QPR: 89.
4.Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2012 Casablanca, +390203, $19.95: well-priced treasure chest of chardonnay aromas and bouquets, balanced, toasty wood-finish, 14%, cork closure. QPR: 91.
5.Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +734798, $18.95: some good character, tamed grass, tropical fruit peeps out, long finish, twist top, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Excelsior Sauvignon Blanc 2013 WO Robertson South Africa, +382085, $12.95: nice price-point for a balanced savvy that is delicious and not overly zesty. QPR: 89.
7.Guillaume Aurele Viognier 2013 IGP Pay d'Oc, +380741, $13.95: layers of fruit, longish finish, good south of France MVC feel, affordable twist top. QPR: 89.
8.Durbacher Klingelberger Riesling Trocken 2012 Baden, +378331, $16.95: close to Alsace in style (it is made not far away, same climate), very good Riesling character, 11.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
 
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Decero Remolinos Vineyard Malbec 2011 Agrelo Mendoza, +247304, $22.95. QPR: 90.
2.Chateau de Lastours Grande Reserve Corbieres 2008, +383067, $22.95. QPR: 90.
3.Ninin de Antonio Izquierdo 2009 Ribera del Duero, +380766, $23.95. QPR: 91
4.Domaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec 2012 Uco Valley Mendoza, +55244, $15.95: very bright fruit driven wine, 15% ABV, organic grapes, malbec to a T. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau de Gourgazaud Cuvee Mathilde Minervois 2011, +958629, $14.95: good blend of syrah and mourvedre, not at the level of Bertrand (above) but still very syrah-dominated. 13.5% ABV. Cork closure, QPR: 89.
6.Apollonio Copertino Rosso 2007 Puglia, +23226, $18.95: plummy, good depth to the aging (now seven years old), 14% ABV, a bargain. QPR: 89.
7.Zeni Marogne Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2011, +220830, $17.95: this month's LCBO ripasso. QPR: 89.
8.Lopez de Haro Crianza 2008 Rioja, +377481, $15.95: a nicely aged wine, 18 months in French and American oak – which is three times the norm for a Crianza. Expect tobacco and dried fruit tones, excellent for the next year. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
 
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
 
1.Norman Hardie Niagara Unfiltered Chardonnay 2012 VQA Niagara, +184432, $39.20 retail
2.Chateau Les Cruzelle 2010 Lalande-de-Pomerol, +257907, $39.95
3.Patrizi Barolo 2008, +653527, $28.95
4.Villa Annaberta Amarone della Valpolicella 2010, +338921, $39.95
5.Prats & Symington Post Scriptum de Chryseia 2011 Douro, +67538, $29.95
6.Bodegas Olarra Erudito Reserva Especial 2008 Rioja, +378885, $36.95
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Event: Pan American Food Festival Launch of Peruvian Pisco Santiago Queirolo Pisco Acholado 2013

The Date and Time: Sunday August 10, 2014  3PM to 5PM
The Event: Pan American Food Festival Launch of Peruvian Pisco Santiago Queirolo Pisco Acholado 2013
The Venue: Daniels Spectrum
The Target Audience: wine and food media
The Availability/Catalogue: this pisco is not yet available in Ontario, but was launched here as part of Peru's sponsorship of the Pan Am Food Festival. Jose Luis Peroni, Director of the Trade Office of Peru spoke to us about Peru. They will be hosting the Pan Am games in Lima in 2019.
The Quote/Background: Giancarol Cassinelli Ledgard, director of exports, spoke about his pisco with a slide presentation
The Beverages: we had three beverages. First up was Ciao Bianco Pinot Grigio NV IGT Veneto, one litre tetra pak at $12.65, +669200, a colourless vinous wine suitable for quaffing. Next there was a fabulous Mexican red, L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah 2011, which has been coming into Vintages for quite some time and is now a Vintages Essential at $11.95, +988742. I had some that was opened the night before, it was pretty good in flavour. The fresh sample I had was still tannic, so I'd suggest a double-(or more) decant first. The highlight was of course the Peruvian Pisco Santiago Queirolo Pisco Acholado 2013, 42% ABV, competitively priced but not yet available in Ontario. Pisco is made from grapes of the muscat family, so the flavour and character is pretty much grapey, a good thing. The closest I can some to would be Italian Moscato grappa. But Giancarlo took pains to assure me that the clear spirit comes from fresh-pressed grape juice, and not pomace. They make other pisco, notably "uva Quebranta" and "uva Italia".
The company also makes a range of wines, and these too might be available in Ontario – in the run-up to the Peruvian Pan Am games.
The Food: Moustache Friendly, through Prince Massey, provided the food, with a detailed deiscussion on how the food goes with pisco and wines. We began with spicy beets and goat cheese salad on biscuits with sprouts, continuing with tandoori skewers with a jalpeno/mango chutney, then a bison burger on thinly sliced ciabatta. This was followed by picana (tri-tip, best cut in Latin America) both with and without grilled pineapple, and then skewers of fruit. Excellent preparations and catering all round, kudos.
The Downside: there were only about 20 people attending
The Upside: a chance to taste some wine and pisco with the food of Moustache Friendly.
The Contact Person: yvette.astorga@gmail.com; peroni@perucanadatrade.com;
gcassinelli@santiagoqueirolo.com; mjordan.cipelli@bellnet.ca.
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 85.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, August 9, 2014

THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
13.THE HUNGRY GIRL DIET (St. Martin's Griffin, 2014, 285 pages, ISBN 978-0-312-67679-7, $26.99 US hard covers) is by celebrity Lisa Lillien, author and TV personality of a series of Hungry Girl books going back five years – over 2 million were sold. She's got hungry-girl.com (with a free companion app to create shopping lists and track one's food) and shows on the Food Network and Cooking Channel. Here she proposes a diet of big portions, big results, and dropping 10 pounds in four weeks. It has all been vetted by David Grotto, RD. There are 60 easy recipes, including Hungry Girl classics such as oatmeal bowls, egg mugs, salads, and foil packs. And the usual tips, tricks, hints, strategies, how-tos, and food swaps or substitutions. The emphasis, as always, is on lean protein, fat-free and reduced dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, and huge portions for volume. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
14.FIRE & SMOKE (Clarkson Potter, 2014, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-7704-3438-0, $24.99 US soft covers) is by Chris Lilly, executive chef and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. Their competition cooking team has won 10 World BBQ Championships, six other world titles, and other competitions. Lilly has also written Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book. It is just one of many new BBQ books unleashed this season (see below for others), by competition champion celebrities and cookbook authors. Each, of course, has pitmaster secrets and also reflects as a Good Ol' Boy. Lilly combines the speed of grilling with smoky flavours of low-and-slow BBQ. No special equipment required: just the hot grill of smoldering coals and a rack or pan. There are 100 preps here, covering BBQ oysters, lamb ribs, grilled pizza, smoked pork belly confit, and cowboy ribeye. Sides, apps, salads, desserts, and cocktails are also here. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Profusely illustrated. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
15.VIRGIL'S BARBECUE ROAD TRIP COOKBOOK; the best barbecue from around the country without ever leaving your backyard (St. Martin's Press, 2014, 335 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-04109-8, $29.99 US hard covers) is by Neal Corman, executive chef of Alicart Restaurant Group, with freelancer Chris Peterson as the focusing food writer. Virgil's has been doing BBQ since 1994 in New York City, with ideas from US BBQ country of Texas, North Carolina, Kansas City and Memphis.  Here there are preps for beef (Texas brisket, chicken fried steak, burnt ends), pork (baby ribs, pulled pork, slow ham), and chicken (pulled, fried, jerked). No lamb. It's arranged by course, from apps to desserts, with suggested menus (social gatherings, game day, afternoon grill fest, fish fry, Sunday brunch – 7 in all). There are also beer notes. These are recipes modified for home use from the restaurants which use 1400 pound smokers. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
16.WILEY'S CHAMPIONSHIP BBQ (Gibbs Smith, 2014, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-3631-1, $19.99 US spiral bound) is by Wiley McCrary, a former Atlanta BBQ caterer, now a BBQ pitmaster champion and owner of Wiley's Championship BBQ restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. He's a co-author here with his wife Janet and Amy Paige Condon, associate editor of Savannah magazine and food writer (she's also co-authored The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook). It is all done with the engaging subtitle "secrets that old men take to the grave". It is thorough and comprehensive, with pix of techniques. The spiral binding in a plus, for the recipes can lie flat on the counter or by the BBQ. There's the primer on smoking and BBQ, calculating, sauces (he also has a line he sells), and a section on how to use this cookbook, including getting a notebook for your own revisions. He's got a beef tri-tip, a smoked leg of lamb, pulled pork, deep-fried turkey, smoked and stuffed chicken breasts, and even a seafood casserole. Sides and accompaniments include fried pickles, black-eyed pea hummus, grilled peaches, and a bread pudding with bourbon. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents on the inside back cover.
Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
17.THE LUCKY SANTANGELO COOKBOOK (St.Martin's Press, 2014, 162 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-01465-8, $27.99 US hard covers) is by novelist Jackie Collins, who needs no further attribute. Here are 100 recipes inspired by the seven novels featuring Lucky Santangelo: the world of lust, intrigue, violence, and redemption. Maybe the latter involves cooking. Most of the dishes here are traditional Italian, glam desserts, and over-the-top cocktails. Just what Collins' readers need. The Italian dishes include pasta puttanesca, angel hair pasta, fettuccine with crab and cream, chicken Milanese, and the like. There are little tidbits from the novels. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Definitely a book for her fans. Quality/price rating: 83.
 
 
18.ARTISAN BREAD (Race Point Publishing, 2014, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-937994-42-6, $30 US hard covers) is by Keith Cohen. He bought the 100-year old Orwasher's, an Upper East Side New York bakery, in 2007, and returned it to its beginning roots. Just about everything is sourced locally, and Orwasher's now has a line of artisan wine and beer breads to complement some re-inspired kosher rye and challah breads. The wine bread uses wine grape starters with natural yeasts for the leavening process. Beer breads use a local stout for the dough. There are other techniques too, and this is all carefully explained with lots of instructions and engaging photography of the techniques. The 30 recipes are all scaled. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no overall table of equivalents. A glossary concludes the book. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
19.RAWLICIOUS AT HOME; more than 100 raw, vegan and gluten-free recipes to make you feel great (Appetite by Random House, 2014, 174 pages, ISBN 978-0-449-01618-3, $29.95 paper covers) is by Angus Crawford and Chelsea Clark, founders and co-owners of a Rawlicious mini-chain/franchise in Toronto and southern Ontario (six in all, and one just around the corner from me). This is an easy cookbook, inspired by their own resto dishes, for home preps. There is a full ranger here from drinks/smoothies, breakfasts, apps, soups, right through to desserts. There is even a section of 12 preps for common staples such as pizza crust, burger buns, tortillas, herb and onion flatbreads, and various "cheeses" from nuts. A primer covers the "raw life" and pantry/larder. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Typical recipes embrace a raw/vegan/gluten-free side of pad Thai, nori rolls, coffee cheesecake, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Lots of white space and large type is a good thing here for the kitchen, but the typeface for the index is smaller than it could be. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
20.MARC FORGIONE; recipes and stories from the acclaimed chef and restaurant (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014; distr. T. Allen, 417 pages, ISBN 978-1-11830278-1, $40 US hard covers) is by the eponymous chef in Tribeca, New York City. It is an acclaimed restaurant, and Forgione is also on Iron Chef America. Recently, he's opened three other restaurants. He's assisted here by Olga Massov, a Brooklyn-based food writer and blogger. There is also some heavy log rolling from Alfred Portale and Michelle Bernstein, and others. This is an illustrated memoir of his journey through life, from line cook to chef, with 170 recipes and more photos. There's also primer material on prepping food and his thoughts on the New American cuisine. His resto's most popular recipes are here: Chili Lobster, Chicken Under a Brick, Bacon-Crusted Hampshire Pork Chop, and Tortellini d'Avanzi. Other recipes are family faves or native American traditions. Most of the recipes were home-tested by his mother. There's a tool list and a sources list. All of the recipes are well-detailed. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. A great book for his fans and armchair cooks. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
21.GALE GAND'S LUNCH (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-54422650-0, $27.99 US hard covers) is by a Bear Award winner and co-founder of TRU in Chicago. She has made multiple appearances on Food Network shows, including hosting Sweet Dreams. She's written seven other cookbooks. Focusing writer Christie Matthews is a food writer, and coauthor of other food books, including one other book with Gale Gand. To complete the picture there is an A-list of log rollers, including Batali, Cat Cora, Moulton, and Dupree. Gand tries to re-invent lunch, steering people away from a medley of breakfast leftovers and vending machines and food courts, to some decent and relevant food. There are 150 heal;thy and homemade lunches here. Some of them are school lunches, while others are picnics or midday parties. All of it is fine, but it helps to have kids to partially prepare their own meals, and there is still the problem of socializing at work. There is a vast difference between eating at your desk, in a work lunchroom, and in a food court. Although, maybe with social media, we actually no longer have to talk to anybody over lunch – just text your way through the meal. Rustic ratatouille tart shines, as does a variety of veggie and fruit salads. Chipotle cheddar biscuits are filling, and Israeil couscous with cranberries and toasted pecans is something new. Well worth looking at, although time can be a problem. Healthwise, lunch should be the biggest meal of the day, loaded with energy and protein and carbos – to sustain you.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
22.TEA & TREATS; perfect pairings for brews and bakes (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014; distr. T. Allen, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-497-2, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Liz Franklin, a finalist in the BBC Masterchef competition, BBC food host and producer, and now cookery school owner and food writer. She's written two other cookbooks. Here she offers us ideas on tea time. She has 60 recipes matching tea and sweet treats. She defines the types of teas and then proposes a small baked good. So for white sweet tea (pai mu tan), there is cardamom shortbread; for fennel tea, there is lemon and almond financier. For teas you don't like, you can always make the treat and have them with something comparable. The major arrangement is by class: breakfast tea, calming tea, different tea, afternoon tea, and dinner party tea. It is a great gift book for a tea lover. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. There is also a sources list (UK and US only). Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
23.THE SODA FOUNTAIN (Ten Speed Press, 2014, 218 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-484-9, $19.99 US hard covers) is the first book I've seen for summer. It is by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, co-founders of the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain. They've appeared on various TV shows and channels. And they have log rolling from such celebrities as Alain Ducasse and the Borough President. Their place, opened in 2010, replicates the soda fountain, and here the recipes deal with floats, sundaes, egg creams, and more. There are vintage illustrations and adverts, plus a memoirish history involving seltzer water. The range is from classics to contemporary, such as the Sundae of Broken Dreams, topped with broken pretzel bits, or the Makin' Whoopie with hot fudge and chocolate whoopie cake. You can make your own milkshakes and syrups and a variety of toppings (they also suggest others). There are even some resources pages, a bibliography, and a cocktail alcohol beverage section. Scaling is encouraged, so recipes have volumes indicated with weight equivalents. But preparations have their ingredients listed only in avoirdupois measurements; there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
24.EXTRA VIRGIN (Clarkson Potter, 2014; distributed by Random House Canada, 272 pages, ISBN  978-0-385-34605-4, $32.50 US hard covers) is by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos. Debi is an actress (Entourage, Goodfellas) while Gabriele was raised in Tuscany. Together they are the producers and co-hosts of Cooking Channel's primetime show Extra Virgin, which is all about Tuscan food. This book developed out of the show. It is a book about everyday good rustic food from Tuscany; most of it is traditional. Log rolling comes from Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Marty Scorsese, Bourdain, Madonna, Cat Cora, and many more. Arrangement is by course: apps, pastas, risotto, soups, salads, mains, sides, pizza, panini, desserts and drinks. There are no wine notes at all. Good classic Tuscan food. There are two dough recipes: one for pizza dough, and another for Tuscan bread dough (involving a starter). The pizza dough is in avoirdupois measurements by volume like the rest of the book. But the Tuscan bread recipe is only in metric, and it is scaled. As preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, and there is no table of metric equivalents, I find this can be confusing to the avid reader. And there is no explanation anywhere. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
25.MAN MADE MEALS; the essential cookbook for guys (Workman Publishing, 2014; distr. T. Allen, 631 pages, ISBN 978-0-7611-6644-3, $24.95 US paper covers) is by Steven Raichlen, author of seven grilling books (one of which is the award-winning Barbecue! Bible which I reviewed in 1998, with its 500 BBQ recipes) and host of the PBS series Barbecue University and Primal Grill. The book concentrates on guy food: heavy, substantial flavours, lots of protein and starches. Veggies are mainly chiles, beans, corn, potatoes, mushrooms, kale, cauliflower, and collard greens, although he does have a (downplayed) salad chapter. The 300 preps here stress that knowledge is power and that all men have an inner chef who loves showing off that power. Like in the wine world, Raichlen advises kicking butt (in the introduction)-- whatever sells the book which is being billed as a cookbook, textbook, and guidebook to male cooking. He also manages to pull in material from Thomas Keller, Michael Pollan, and Mark Bittman, among others. The 17 food chapters embrace courses and meals, such as breakfast, sandwiches, pizza, breads, ribs, chili, soups, and a short sweet chapter (rum and coke float, affogato, bourbon brown cow, Mexican chocolate pudding, bananas Foster). There are lots of lists and tables (male things) scattered throughout, plus an opening primer. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. I found some inconsistencies in the index, such as the matter of corn-flour-taco-tortilla. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
26.ONE-HOUR CHEESE (Workman Publishing, 2014, 260 pages, ISBN 978-0-7611-7748-7, $14.95 US paper covers) is by Claudia Lucero, a developer of DIY Cheese kits and the Williams-Sonoma's home cheesemaking kit. These preps, with colour photos of each step, tell us how to make 16 fresh cheeses at home, in an hour or less, using basic ingredients and equipment. There are also some recipes for the cheeses that we have just made, such as Mexican bahn mi torta, grilled eggplant rolls, butternut and chive crostini, and curry lettuce wraps. There is a pix of the plated dish, but no pix of the prep steps for the application of the cheeses. Covered are: ricotta, mozzarella, chevre, paneer, burrata, fresco, cottage cheese, haloumi, and others, grouped around three types (creamy, chewy, and melty). Fun for all, and quite easy. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of equivalents. There is a supplies list and a bibliography. Check out urbancheesecraft.com for more. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
27.BUVETTE; the pleasure of good food (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014, 286 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-2552-2, $30 US hard covers) is by Jody Williams, chef and owner of Buvette, a top restaurant in NYC. She recently opened a second Buvette in Paris. With some log rolling headed by Alice Waters and Mario Batali, the book is a pretty good account of a restaurant's life in the world of French and Italian bistro cooking. She makes and serves the classic dishes in a book arranged by time of day (mornings, afternoons, aperitifs, evening, sweets). There is a chapter on beverages that deals with cocktails and covers some French wine regions, but otherwise there are no wine recommendations for the courses. Her chapter on larders discusses crème fraiche, vinaigrette, herbes de provence, pistou, pickles, rouille, and about a dozen more. Try oxtail marmalade, leeks in vinaigrette, salmon rillettes, pate de campagne, duck confit, or almond toffee. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
28.THE TEXAS FOOD BIBLE; from legendary dishes to new classics (Grand Central Life & Style, 2013, 2014; distr. Hachette, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-7430-8, $30 US hard covers) is by Dean Fearing, former chef at the Mansion on Turtle Creek and now at Fearing's. He's been a fave chef of mine for years; maybe it's his first name. Here he offers a history of Texas food through culinary experiences. He expands it all to the southwestern regional experience through such as Navajo fry bread, sweet potato spoonbread, enchiladas, and BBQ. It is a guide to regional grilling-smoking-braising, with additional recipes from other chefs. There is also material about local suppliers. He begins with a pantry, and moves through the courses of breakfast, brunch, apps, salads, mains, sides – with other chapters on the grill and BBQ. Good boldfacing of ingredient lists, as well as a list of sources. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Try poblano-mango-carmelized onion quesadillas with cilantro-lime-sour cream, or molasses-tabasco duck with smoked veggie dressing, or even smoked salmon tartare with roast jalapeno cream and roasted garlic. Innovative stuff. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
29.THE NOLAN RYAN BEEF & BARBECUE COOKBOOK; recipes from a Texas kitchen (Little Brown and Co., 2014; distr. Hachette, 172 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-24826-6, $25 US hard covers) is by baseball great Nolan Ryan and three others: JP Rosenthal (food and baseball writer), Cristobal Vazquez (executive chef at Texas Rangers Ballpark), and Charlie Bradbury (CEO of Nolan Ryan Beef). Texas BBQ is all about beef, so here it is: hamburgers, hot dogs, T-bones, rib-eyes, strip steaks, tenderloins, sirloin, roasts, ribs, brisket, flank steak, flat iron steak – plus some salads and sides and desserts. It is not Dean Fearing, but it is Texas and it is beef. The idea too is to pitch Texas beef, specifically Beefmaster cattle (half Brahman, quarter Hereford, quarter Shorthorn). So you can order it, at least in the USA, and try it out on the BBQ grill. He's got easy T-bone with soy and pineapple, slow-roasted prime rib with natural jus, beer-braised country ribs, and grilled balsamic flank steak. It is a good introduction to Texas beef, with many compelling recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
30.SAUSAGE MAKING (Chronicle Books, 2014, 207 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-0178-1, $35 US hard covers) is by Ryan Farr, author of Whole Beast Butchery, and owner of 4505 Meats, an artisanal meat company where he teaches butchery classes and makes sausages. Jessica Battilana is the focusing food writer. It is a basic book for home cooks, with the techniques skills and equipment needed for cooking/curing/smoking every type of sausage. The arrangement is by texture, with a section on coarse (chorizo, merguez, Italian), firm (linguica, Polish, bratwurst), soft (boudin noir, scrapple), smooth (bierwurst, bologna, wieners), and combination (duck confit and cherry terrine, headcheese). There is a major discussion of selecting meats and fats (including frog), techniques of grinding-mixing-stuffing-twisting, and cooking styles – most with photos. Typical preps of the 38 sausages here include those for goat sausage with peppers, turkey-apple-campari sausage, guinea hen and kimchee links, smoked trout and pork sausage, and the veal-sweetbread-morels en croute combo. Other recipes cover condiments and breads. There is a resources list and a picture of a side view of each sausage. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both US and metric measurements, along with ratio tables. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
31.COOLHAUS ICE CREAM BOOK; custom-built sandwiches with crazy-good combos of cookies, ice creams, gelatos, and sorbets.(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-12004-4, $25 US hard covers) is by Natasha Case (CEO) and Freya Estreller (business  manager), with Kathleen Squires as the focusing food writer. Coolhaus began as a food truck, but now it is a national brand. Their sandwiches are sold throughout the US at supermarkets and trucks. There are also tips on ice cream making and some memoir-like materials. Ice cream sandwiches are divided into fruity, boozy, cakey, cheesy, nutty, salty, savory, smoky/spicy – the Eight Dwarfs (my phrase) of the business. Other chapters explore gelato, sorbet, and vegan sandwiches. There is a nice chapter on vegan and gluten-free cookies to make your own. There are guides to flavours and to toppings, and of course, "making your own" is encouraged. Both my faves Earl Grey and Green Tea ice cream sandwiches are included. You can have fun with this book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Event: OltrePo' Pavese (Lombardy) meets Canada, via the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario

The Date and Time: Thursday, July 10, 2014  4:30 PM – 8 PM
The Event: OltrePo' Pavese (Lombardy) meets Canada, via the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario
The Venue: Gardiner Museum
The Target Audience: members of the Chamber, guests, wine writers, wine agencies.
The Availability/Catalogue: not much is available, so this was a great introduction.
The Quote/Background: Stemming from a viticulture heritage of more than 2000 years, the Oltrepo' vines benefit from a combination of well-drained, clayish soil and a microclimate that create a unique terroir for the native grapes. Oltrepo' is also considered Italy's capital of Pinot Noir. The area produces more than half of Lombardy's wine production and two-thirds of its DOC-designated wines.
 
The Wines: There were 8 wineries with about three wines each.
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Az. Agr. Ca di Frara Moscato 2013 6.5%
-Bruno Verdi OP Rosso Riserva Cavariola DOC 2010
-Calatroni vini Pinot Nero DOC Cruasè Rose
-Azienda Agricola Quaquarini Pinot Nero Brut DOC
-Tenuta Fornace Soc. Agr. Pinot Noir 66 MC 2008 66 months in bottle
-Tenuta Fornace Soc. Agr. Sangue di Guida Il Tardio Sparkling
-Az. Agr. SanMichele ai Pianoni Pinot Nero Pynos DOC 2006
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Az. Agr. Ca di Frara Pinot Nero 2012
-Azienda Agricola Quaquarini Buttafuoco "Vigna Pregana" DOC 2010
-Az. Agr. SanMichele ai Pianoni Rosso dei Pianori DOC 2010
-Az. Agr. SanMichele ai Pianoni Profondo di San Michele Rosso Riserva DOC 2010
-Bruno Verdi OP Rosso Riserva Cavariola DOC 2009
-Bruno Verdi OP Buttafuoco DOC 2013
-Bruno Verdi OP Metodo Classico 70PN/30Ch
-Azienda Agricola Montelio Comprino 2011
-Azienda Agricola Montelio Oltrepo' Pavese Rosso DOC 2011
-Azienda Agricola Montelio Oltrepo' Pavese Rosso Riserva 2009
-Gravanago di GoggiP. Pinot Nero Big Black 2011
-Gravanago di GoggiP. Moscato blue bottle 2013 4.5%
-Calatroni vini Pinot Nero 2012
-Calatroni vini Rosso OPDOC Perorossino 2010 7 grape blend
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Tenuta Fornace Soc. Agr. Pinot Grigio 2013
-Az. Agr. Ca di Frara Pinot Grigio 2013
-Gravanago di GoggiP. Bonarda DOC 2013
-Calatroni vini Pinot Grigio DOC Unico Rose
-Azienda Agricola Quaquarini Pinot Nero V/R Blau DOC 2010
-Azienda Agricola Quaquarini Barbera Poggio Anna DOC 2011
 
The Food: cheeses, breads, biscuits, veggies, dips.
The Downside: it was lightly attended
The Upside: a good chance to explore a region I had  not tasted much of
The Contact Person: Giorgio Tinelli tinelli@italchambers.ca
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

FRENCH FOOD COOKBOOKS STILL POPULAR!!!

THE FRENCH COOK: souffles (Gibbs Smith, 2014, 128
pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-3612-0, $21.99 US hard covers) is by Greg Patent, a Bear Award winning author for 2002, a blogger, and radio host. This is the third in a new series on French cuisine, here dealing with the basics of souffles: mainly how to beat eggs and how to create the sauces. There are photos and step-by-step techniques. The basic souffles are here (hot, cold, sweet, savoury, molded, unmolded) plus more and some variations are noted. The book is set up as a primer for beginners. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: beginner
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: leek and pancetta souffle; fennel and salmon; chocolate; vanilla; fresh fruit; almond and praline.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
27.BUVETTE; the pleasure of good food (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014, 286 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-2552-2, $30 US hard covers) is by Jody Williams, chef and owner of Buvette, a top restaurant in NYC. She recently opened a second Buvette in Paris. With some log rolling headed by Alice Waters and Mario Batali, the book is a pretty good account of a restaurant's life in the world of French and Italian bistro cooking. She makes and serves the classic dishes in a book arranged by time of day (mornings, afternoons, aperitifs, evening, sweets). There is a chapter on beverages that deals with cocktails and covers some French wine regions, but otherwise there are no wine recommendations for the courses. Her chapter on larders discusses crème fraiche, vinaigrette, herbes de provence, pistou, pickles, rouille, and about a dozen more. Try oxtail marmalade, leeks in vinaigrette, salmon rillettes, pate de campagne, duck confit, or almond toffee. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
39.SIMPLE FRENCH FOOD. 40th Anniversary Ed. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1974, 1992, 2014, 455 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-24220-3, $24.99 US hard covers) is by the late Richard Olney, one of the better passionate writers of French cuisine. I remember reviewing this book in 1974 for the American Library Association, but over the years I had misplaced it. Olney began with "The French Menu Cookbook", criticized by some for being overly complicated. He was persuaded to come up with a "simple" book. This latest reissue comes with the original Foreward by James Beard (1974), the Introduction by Patricia Wells (1992), and a New Foreward by Mark Bittman (2014). There is also unabashed log rolling from Jacques Pepin and Alice Waters. He opens with some thoughts about French cooking, wine, breads, and then moves on to courses by ingredients. He also did all of the drawings in this book. As Wells says, "Olney shares with us the tactile, aromatic, visual joys of food." His reclusive ways belied his editing of all 27 volumes of the Time Life Good Cook series. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 92.
 
 
42.LA MERE BRAZIER; the mother of modern French cooking (Rizzoli, 2014; distr. Random House Canada, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-8478-4096-0, $35 US hard covers) is by Eugenie Brazier who opened La Mere Brazier in 1921 in Lyon. She was awarded multiple Michelin stars. Her book was first published in 1977 in France (just as she died), but here it is in North America, available in English for the first time. Most of the recipes here come from her niece's husband, Roger Garnier, who was Brazier's chef for 20 years. The rest come from taped transcriptions in 1975. This is, in all senses, a Gallic memoir. There are photos, line drawings and classic menus (with page references). Paul Bocuse lends an informal foreward. Arrangement is by ingredient (eggs, fish, poultry, meat) or by course (apps, first courses, baking, desserts, butters). There is also glossary of cooking terms. This is classic French cooking, over 300 recipes, with reminiscences: beurrecks a la turque, ecrevisses a la nage, langouste au ricard, poulet saute a la provencale. Regional wine recommendations for each dish are made. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com