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Monday, January 18, 2021

THE DOUBLE HAPPINESS COOKBOOK; 88 feel-good recipes and food stories (Figure.1, 2021, 312 pages, $37.99 hardbound) is by Trevor Lui,

--THE DOUBLE HAPPINESS COOKBOOK; 88 feel-good recipes and food stories (Figure.1, 2021, 312 pages, $37.99 hardbound) is by  Trevor Lui, who has been cooking since he was seven, when he first manned the grill at Highbell, his father's North York Chinese restaurant.  This memoir and cookbook has developed Toronto boites which include Kanpai Snack Bar, La Brea Food and Popa. Typical are ramen carbonara,  udon-stuffed meatballs, the Last Samurai, and bulgogi beef tostadas.
A lot of it falls into the category of street food trucks, but the range does include vegetarian, choicen and egg dishes, family style comfort foods, rice and noodles. Many preps are contributed by his fellow chefs, and there are food stories for just about every recipe. A good gift book too. Quality/Price rating: 92
 

Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, January 16, 2021

SOME NEW BEVERAGE SAMPLES SENT TO ME FOR TASTING THIS MONTH –

 
JANUARY 1  -- 10 --
 
 
1.Henry of Pelham Estate Gamay 2019 VQA Ontario, +19903, $19.95 Vintages April 2021: [currently at winery] Aromatic black and red fruit (cherries, raspberries, blueberries), augmented by oak tones with vanilla cake spices, not as lean or Euro as Beaujolais. Fermented in stainless and aged in a mix of US and French oak for about 10 months before bottling. Medium-bodied, good for patio drinking (sangria too), parties, BBQ. Ready now, but with some tannic structure to carry through a whole meal. Hey, summer weather is coming! 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
1.Henry of Pelham Riesling Speck Family Reserve 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench, +643361
$27.95 [now available online and at winery]: absolutely delicious MVC intense riesling in a Mosel style (and using a Mosel clone), with an off-dry palate but a dry finish (good acid levels on the finish); broad fruity strokes of peaches and flowers on the mid-palate; quite a blazing riesling with intense pleasure, sip or food. Residual sugar is 15.4g/L, 9.8% ABV, cork closure, from HOP's oldest Estate vineyards (35+ year old riesling vines, handpicked, stainless steel fermentation). Try with rich bivalve dishes or porchetta. Should improve in the bottle over the years. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2018 Marlborough, +490326, $21.95 Vintages February 20: a dry summer led to a fruity harvest. The tropical fruit intensity leads to a citric lemony finish for food, typically white fish or seafood. Some creaminess in the texture (60% was fermented in older French oak barrels, and 15% new oak was also used). If you lay it down, it should be even better next year! 12.5% ABV, twist top. Residual sugar 4g/L. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4.Lapis Luna Zinfandel 2018 North Coast AVA, +17264, $19.95 Vintages February 20, 2021: [cheese and rice, where do they come up with these labels? 400-year-old copperplate engravings]. Anyway, something to look at and something to read while you consume and meditate on the niftiness of the blend (80% zinfandel, 20% sangiovese) done up in 10% new French and US oak for 10 months. The rich zin has been curbed and lightened by the sour cherries of the sangiovese. Think of a variety of flavours: cedar, jammy black fruit (plums, blackberry, blueberry), spicy florets. Dark and bold flavours. 14.3% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Durant & Booth Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Napa Valley, $34.95, +16565, Vintages February 6, 2021: The blend is cabernet sauvignon (87%), petit verdot (6%), merlot (5%), and petite sirah (2%). Chock full of some lightly floating red fruit (think cherries, strawbs, red mulberry) and then some plateaus of darker elements (plum, blueberry, mocha tones). Really good balance, but better after a year more in the bottle. There's some muscle here after 10 months in 25% new French oak. Do a double decant or taste it over a few days as I did. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
JANUARY 10 - 16 --
 
 
1.Troupis Fteri Moschofilero 2019 Greece, +647388 $14.95 Vintages March 20: flower aromatics and some grape tones (much like muscat) and with a deceptive citric finish. So: starts out floral, rises to fat perfume, and then descends to crispness for the food as a first course wine, paired with white meats. 12% ABV. Price dropped $2 since the 2017 vintage was in Ontario. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Estate 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench Niagara, +268391 Vintages, February 20, $24.95: Here is a deft Burgundian-character pinot noir wine, with cherry-berry tones, some toast, mildly opulent style, not totally cool climate at all. Fermented in stainless and aged in oak. Ready in a year or two. Dependable. And also available in Denmark, Hungary, Japan, USA and Czech Republic. Needs time; try a double decant. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench +616466, $29.95 [currently at winery] Vintages May 1: Grapes come from their oldest estate vineyards (beginning 1988), hand-picked. Barrel fermented in French oak with a portion in 3000L foudres, and then barrel aged for 8 – 10 months in a mix of new and older barrels. This continues the tradition of Burgundian elegance. Expect some ripeness, balance of oaking and fruit, integrated style in place.  Wood integration produces some creaminess in the finish. 12.8% ABV, cork closure. Definitely needs another year – or more – in bottle in order to bring out the nuances. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
4.Henry of Pelham Estate Riesling 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench, +557165, $19.95 Vintages March 20: intense riesling in a Rhine style of cool fermentation, with very off-dry palate but dry finish (good acid levels on the finish) – broad grapefruit and lemons on the mid-palate, sip (mainly) or food. 9.8% ABV, 19.5 g/L RS, twist top, from HOP's oldest Estate riesling vineyards (planted 1984). Should also age well. Try with fish that live in water but die in wine. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Buena Vista The Sheriff Sonoma County 2017 +539114, $49.95 Vintages March 6: well, here was a surprise – a really good wine from 10 different red grape varieties, a sort-of California Chateauneuf-du-Pape. For the record, this 2017 vintage has petite sirah (28%), petit verdot (21%), cabernet sauvignon (16%), carignan (9%), grenache (9%), syrah (7%), malbec (4%), cabernet franc (2%), merlot (2%), and mission (2%). The proportions can vary from vintage to vintage. All grapes were grown on different parcels in Sonoma. One of California's first sheriffs, Agoston Haraszthy was elected Sheriff of San Diego County in 1850. He built the first jail. This is a full and firm field blend type of wine, with aromas/palates of every good thing you could find in the "kitchen sink": black fruit cassis, cherries, blackberries, plums, red raspberries – and then drifting off to mocha, followed by savouries such as black pepper and tobacco leaf. Oak aging was 10 months, with 15% new oak. The rich tannins need time, so put it away for a few years. If necessary, do a double decant and taste over several days. 15% ABV. Serve with rich game stews or tomahawk steaks. Quality/Price rating is 91-92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
6.Perdeberg The Vineyard Collection Cinsault 2018 Paarl South Africa +18618, $17.95 Vintages March 6: this is a broad basic, entry-level wine from a grape imported to South Africa via Languedoc and South Rhone. Indeed, cinsault is one of the parents of "pinotage" (the other is pinot noir). Until recently, it had the largest acreage planted in South Africa (cabernet sauvignon now has the largest number of plantings). This particular vineyard in 2018 had 30 year old cinsault vineyards. Expect some heady fruity ripeness aromas, a slight sweetness despite 3.8 g/L residual sugar, with a pronounced peppery backspin, much like grenache. Needs tomato sauce dishes, with veal-beef-pork meats. Cork closure. Ready now. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
7.Gustave Lorentz Sylvaner Reserve 2019 +18160, $16.95, Vintages March 6: sylvaner is the workhorse wine of Alsace. It turns up everywhere by itself or as a zwicker wine. It is light and delicate, somewhat reminiscent of the pinot grigio style and mood. Indeed, it could have been marketed the same way. It's an uncomplicated fresh wine stressing lemons and citric attack with a dry finish. Aperitif wine or first course (seafood/fish). A good entry level wine with lots more body than the pinot grigio style. [a wine colleague of mine had accidentally left a car-trunk full of Alsatian white wines to freeze in the cold – only the sylvaner survived] 13.5% ABV, 1.8 g/L residual sugar. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 

Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under $20 for JANUARY 9, 2021 (annual “value” release) --

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under $20 for JANUARY 9, 2021  (annual "value" release) --
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
....and a Happy New Year to all for 2021!!
 
These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on or some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
 
Some New Wines Tasted Over the Past Little While ---
 
1.Buena Vista Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 North Coast, $19.95 +254458 Vintages January 9, 2021: Buena Vista has been continuing with its historic-looking wine labels (the winery was founded in 1857). It's a nifty blend of cabs from Fountaingrove, Sonoma Mountain, and Alexander Valley (all part of the North Coast appellation). After 11 months in 10% new French oak it was racked. The emphasis is on darkness, with plenty of black fruit (cassis, black cherry) and butterscotch tones with black pepper spices, softish finish. Still needs time, another year. Do a double decant or leave it open for a day to get a taste of its potential. 14.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
2.Monte del Fra Lena di Mezzo Valpolicella Classico DOC 2018 Veneto, +160226, $18.95 Vintages: a fairly basic but inviting Veronese wine full of red cherry-berry fruit, a bit jammy on the finish, ready now. Typical forest floor elements as well. Pretty well goes with everything, good as a sipper and as a food paired wine. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
3.Monte del Fra Lena di Mezzo Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC Ripasso 2017 Veneto, +165662, $24.95 Vintages: bright red fruit dominate both its texture and its palate, evoking some minerality that cuts through the balanced fruity cherry tones. Some forest floor; some mocha tones. Amarone grape pressings are added just before spring, to give it the second fermentation oompf. Great as a sipper or with food or both, ready now at three years after the vintage. It has been aged in large French oak for 18 months. This is a collaborative brand with the LCBO, and there will be a new release in May 2021. The grapes used are corvina veronese and corvinone (80%) with rondinella added. 14% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
4.Westcott Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2019 VQA Niagara Escarpment, +424507, $29.95 Vintages: This Estate wine has had full MLF, 100% wild yeast, barrel fermentation, and French oak aging for 9 months (50% one fill, 50% neutral). Two different clones were used (95 and 96), and the results show a typical Westcott feature of orchard fruit with some tropicality concentrated notes contributed by the oak aging leading to a slight citric finish. Still too young, lay it down – or taste it (as I did) over a stretch of time. A good first course wine since the oak appears in the background as grace notes (it's lighter in toast tones than the 2018). Do not overchill. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 92 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
5.Westcott Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2017 VQA Vinemount Ridge, +424500, $29.95 Vintages: This Estate Pinot Noir (clones 115, 667, 777) has been barrel aqed in French oak (15% new) for 23 months. Overall it is harmoniously silky in a cool climate way, with red cherry-berry fruit and nuances of mocha. Good acid levels and soft tannins highlight an herbal consistency. Definitely a food wine that should appeal to all, especially with simply prepared meats and poultry. A slight chilling can enhance its performance with fish such as salmon or trout. It is still too young, so do a double decant or taste over several days as I did. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
6.Henry of Pelham Family Estate Chardonnay 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench, $21.95, +268342 Vintages Essential: this bottling continues the tres elegante Burgundian character of earlier years. Some ripeness, pleasant balance of oaking and fruit, integrated style in place, wood integration produces some creaminess in the finish. Overall balance of fruit and wood, vanilla, modest spices. 12.8% ABV, cork closure, barrel fermentation in French oak, barrel aging (some in 3K litre foudres for 8 months. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
7.Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Speck Family Reserve 2019 VQA Short Hills Bench, +657874 Vintages, $34.95: fruit-forward with enough black/dark tones of cherry-berry capable of long cellar aging. The winery says Clones 667 on Block 100 were used for 250 cases. Tank fermentation with 10 months European oak barrel aging (30% new), finishing as blended in an oak tank. Very, very food friendly. 13% ABV. Steady pricing at this level for some years now. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
8.Pencarrow Chardonnay Martinborough NZ, +16028 Vintages, $21.95: one of the nicest balanced fresh chardonnays to come past my palate in quite some time, full of that old style oaking (not too toasty but at least noticeable). Golden hue and golden tastes, stressing a nuttiness from the French oak (20% new) and the wild yeast fermentation (50%). Aged on the stirred lees for 10 months. Plenty of stonefruit nuances. 13% ABV. The buttery finish lingers and nicely accompanies many complex first course dishes. Quality/Price rating is 93 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
9.Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 2018 BC Okanagan VQA, +585760 Vintages, $32.95: typical cool climate approach to pinot noir, emphasizing its savouriness: yellow flower aromatic notes, candied red fruit, sweet green herbals and black pepper on the medium- soft juicy-citric finish. 93% Pinot Noir, 7% Gamay (although this varies from year to year, usually within a percentage point). Aged in French oak barrels for 10 months. Astounding residual sweetness of 0.28 g/L. 13.5% ABV. Tasted over several days. Probably best with any Christmas fowl. Quality/Price rating is 91+ points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
10.Quails' Gate Dry Riesling 2018 BC VQA Okanagan +308312 Vintages $19.95: this particular wine benefits from both an early and a late picked harvest, with the early contributing fresh acid and the later nectarine and citric orange tones. It's very crisp and dry (4.7 g/L RS) and full of orchard fruit (apples, pears, apricots, nectarines, peaches) and sweeter citric fruit such as tangerines and mandarins. There's lots going on here. Best with spiced or vinegared seafood. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
Under $20 [this is the annual "value" release, post-Christmas/New Year, hence few wines are over $20]
=========
W+147975    GÉRARD BERTRAND RÉSERVE SPÉCIALE VIOGNIER    IGP Pays d'Oc    2018    $14.95    MVC/QPR: 92
W+488981    FOLLAS NOVAS ALBARIÑO    DO Rías Baixas 2019    $17.95     MVC/QPR: 89
W+458810    TOM GORE CHARDONNAY    California    2018    $19.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+328559    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CHARDONNAY    WO Western Cape    2019    $17.95 MVC/QPR: 91
R+631820 DESQUICIADO MALBEC Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2017 $16.95MVC/QPR: 89
R+254458    BUENA VISTA CABERNET SAUVIGNON North Coast    2018    $19.95MVC/QPR: 91
R+488015    QUINTA DO ESPÍRITO SANTO    Vinho Regional Lisboa 2017 $14.95 MVC/QPR: 89
 
Over $20 [sorry, I have not tasted any from Jan 9 release at this price level]
========

Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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

* 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"...
 
 
14.THE CURIOUS BARTENDER'S GUIDE TO MALT, BOURBON & RYE WHISKIES (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014, 2020, 176 pages, $14.95 USD hardcovers) is by Tristan Stephenson, not only a drinks author but also a brand ambassador and consultant in the UK world of cocktails. This, his second work covers malt, bourbon and rye types of whiskey, with histories, an exploration of the barrel-aging process, and a trip to major distilleries throughout the world (but principally the UK and the US). It's a second edition of a 2014 book but he has updated it and given us many more places to visit in his Directory of Distilleries. He's also got some classic preps for cocktails, such as the Boilermaker. It follows the rising tide of brown spirits that has returned after many years of clear spirits. There are lots of colour photos and a description of each business (along with tasting notes) including what to watch out for.  Oh, and there are some nifty cocktail recipes. An absolutely perfect oversized book for the bourbon, rye, and whiskey lover.
 
 
15.INDIAN CUISINE (DK Books, 2006, 2010, 2020, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-9941-7, $29.99 CAD hardbound) is a publisher's book, with contributions by Vivek Singh, G. Sultan Mohideenh, Das Sreedharan, and Mahmood Akbar – all international chefs with British and American experiences. This is its third edition, with 200 recipes written for the modern  home cook. The arrangement is by principal ingredient, with veggies up first, followed by fish, poultry, meat, rice and bread, plus sauces and chutneys. The book opens with international ingredients explained, mainly from North India, South India and Pakistan. There is a concluding glossary. Most everything here is a "curry": curry is defined as any fish, meat or vegetables cooked with spices in a liquid. Spices determine the differences. The book could have been improved if it also used all metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89
 
 
 
16.SURF-SIDE EATING (Ryland Peters & Small, 2020, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-207-3 $24.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's anthology collection of recipes from 13 different food writers. Valerie Aikman-Smith has the most with 27 preps, followed by Shelagh Ryan and Laura Santini with 15 each. It's a good assembly of food and food ideas for prepping and eating in a relaxed mode while by the seaside. So the emphasis is on coastal seafood such as fish tacos with chipotle-lime cream, spciy tuna and black rice bowl, or a Thai steamed snapper. The arrangement is by time of day: rise and shine, brunch/lunch, all-day dining, BBQ at the beach, sunset dinners and desserts – all along with various beverages with or without alcohol. It's a nifty idea, with many preps involving little or no work, or even sharable work. I particularly enjoyed the quinoa and asparagus salad with matcha lemon dressing, the grilled halloumi with jalapeno and lime and tequila relish, and, of course, the crab with mango and coconut – all from my own imitation seaside kitchen at a lockdown home and supermarket delivery. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
17.STREET FOOD    (Ryland Peters & Small, 2020, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-216-5, $19.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's anthology collection of recipes from 25 different food writers. Nitisha Patel leads the way with 7 preps (pakoras, dhal, kulfi, samosas, rolls) followed by the rest who have about 4 or 5 recipes. Some even have just one or two. The range is international, of course, and this leads to many "food trucks" and stalls. These are all quick bites and mobile snacks, arranged by continent. The range is from the Americas to Europe to Africa and the Middle East, ending up with Asia and India. There is something for everybody, with the inevitable caution that a steady diet of street food may keep you up at night. So: from the USA comes the Hawaiian poke, Peru has the mackerel ceviche, Southern US has pulled pork, Buffalo NY has its wings, New York City has egg rolls, Jamaica has a jerk, Mexico has quesadillas and pork tamalee, and more. There's a whole season's worth of food here for takeaway lovers. Each prep comes with a story and a photo of the plated product. Unfortunately, there is no recipe here for cassava fries which must be the ultimate fried food in the world! But otherwise, what fun! The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 91
----------------------------------------------------

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

VQA wines this holiday season --

From the Grape Growers of Ontario  --
 
When you purchase a bottle of VQA wine you are generating $98 in economic impact, supporting small business & farm families. This holiday season we hope enjoy a glass of 100% Ontario grown wine and toast to all the good things that grow in Ontario

Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, December 18, 2020

MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS REVIEWED...

--THE ART & SCIENCE OF FOOD PAIRING (Firefly Books, 2020,  388 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is by the team of Peter Coucquyt (chef), Bernard Lahousse (bio-engineer), and Johan Langenbick (entrepreneur) who together co-founded "Foodpairing", a creative food-tech agency that works with chefs and bartenders to provide new food combos. They analyze foods to identify flavour components and have created the  world's largest ingredient/flavour database. The pairings have been validated by 14 top chefs. Here they present 10,000 flavour matches such as chocolate on cauliflower and kiwi with oyster. It's all based on aromatic molecular properties of foods (80% of the taste is via the nose, the rest is vua the tongue). The matches that they give us are graphed as taste wheels and colour keys. You look up one ingredient and you wil find 10 food pairings with a colour wheel that states the taste results. They cover key food characteristics ( a Modal Varietal Character, which I use in my wine reviews), aroma profiles, classic and contemporary combos – all with scientific explanations. The top 150 ingredients are listed (maybe there is more to come?) along with their wheels and keys. This is a great book at a decent price for that foodie at Christmas.
--TRAVELS WITH MY SPATULA (Ryland Peters & Small, 2020, 144 pages, $27.95 hardbound) is by Tori Haschka, a food and travel writer-blogger from Sydney. She's got you covered for eating fresh sardines with Campari, peach and fennel in Venice, and apple fritters in the Swiss Alps, or maybe some different breakfasts for when you wake up. It's a mix of food and travel, as that is what Tori is. Good enough as a host gift for the inveterate traveller. The photography is all plated food while the travelling is all text. You'll have to use your imagination in this lively book. Check her out at www.eatori.com
-GLUTEN-FREE HOLIDAY COOKIES (Artisan, 2020, 96 pages, $17.95 hardbound) is part of the Artisanal Kitchen series of small handbooks. This one is by Alice Medrich with Maya Klein. They've got over 30 recipes "to sweeten the season" . Not all then preps are exclusively Christmas: the standards here reflect both the classics (chocolate chip, ginger, double oatmeal, nutty thumbprint, et al)
and the festives (buckwheat walnut or hazelnut tuiles, toasty pecan biscotti, chocolate sables, ginger-peach squares, et al). Sure to be a winner in the hostess gift sweepstakes, for it even includes conversion charts.
--JEWISH HOLIDAY BAKING (Artisan, 2020, 112 pages, $17.95 hardbound) is part of the Artisanal Kitchen series of small handbooks. This one is by Uri Scheft with Raquel Pelzel. They've got over 25 preps for inspirations dealing with Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, and more. The savoury section includes challah, potato hamantaschen, spinach burekas; the sweets have date mamoul, chocolate rugelach, sufganiyot.  Another great hostess gift, which also includes conversion charts.
--THE GOODE GUIDE TO WINE; a manifesto of sorts (University of California Press, 2020, 233 pages, $24.95 hardbound) is by the renowned UK wine writer Jamie Goode, who visits a lot of wine regions. It's a collection of observations and opinions about wine absurdities, excitements, interests, and how things could be better in wine culture. Of late he has been doing and saying nice things about Ontario wines, but there 's nothing here about that. There is, however, an illuminating article on how to succeed at wine writing by writing boring articles. It's a great book for the knowledgeable wine lover who has almost everything.
--MAN'OUSHE; inside the Lebanese street corner baker (Interlink Books, 2020, 200 pages, $43.95 hardbound) is by Barbara Abdeni Massaad, a food writer whose family owned a Lebanese restaurant "Kebabs and Things" in Florida. She has since located back to Lebanon, and here gives us a stunning document about kitchen rituals and traditions of Lebanese culture. The national pie is man'pushe, and she has 70 recipes for the perfect style of pies as found in  a Lebanese bakery. It's a great snack, and she goes through the range of fillings, from cheese, yogurt, egg, chicken, meat preserve, and Armenian sausage. Photography is by her and by Raymond Yazbeck. She tells stories about the bakeries, the places, and the types of pies. She's got a pantry description as well as kitchen tools and techniques for making/baking the dough. And of course it all starts with za'tar and wild thyme pie. It's a work of art, not just a cookbook, and has been been endorsed by both Alice Waters and Paula Wolfert.
--DELICIOUS DIPS (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 2020, 64 pages, $13.95 hardbound) is a publisher's collection of some 50 recipes for dips from fresh and tangy to rich and creamy, using meats, legumes, veggies, herbs, olives, nuts, seeds, yogurt and cheese. Something for all, from 13 different UK food writers, principally Hannah Miles (with 15 preps).
--HOW TO DICE AN ONION (Dog 'n' Bone, 2020, 128 pages, $14.95 hardbound) is by Anne Sheasby. These are hacks, tips and tricks for the home cook, originally published in 2007 as "Kitchen Wisdom".  Scores and scores of fail-safes will reward the budding home cook, offering assistance in all aspects of cookery. The best tips are those that try to correct your mistakes; next best are those tricks that employ substitution. It's an easy read, but try to dip into it often for reminders.
--PINK GIN (Ryland Peters & Small, 2020, 64 pages, $14.95 hardbound) is a collection of some 30 or so pink-hued cocktails. Most of the preps come from Julia Charles, with some more from Laura Gladwin. It's an open-and-shut slender work, with the recipes scattered among three categories: cocktails, sparklers, and coolers. Most call for "pink gin" but you can use regular gin and add your own colouring, if need be (grenadine, cranberry juice, rose/red wine).
--VENETIAN REPUBLIC (Interlink Publishing Group, 2020, 256 pages, $49.95 hardbound) is by Nino Zoccali, chef-owner of some Italian restaurants in Sydney Australia. He has written before on diverse cuisines of Italy. These recipes here come from the days when Venice was a world power, the centre of the spice/salt/silk  trade routes. The four key regions were: Venice and the lagoon islands, the surrounding Veneto, the Croatian coast, and the Greek Islands (Santorini, Cyprus, Crete, Corfu, et al). Hence, we have Venetian  Prosecco and snapper risotto, Croatian roast lamb shoulder with olive oil potatoes, Cretan sweet and sour red mullet, Corfu's zabaglione, and Dubrovnik's ricotta and rose liqueur crepes. It's all arranged by the regions, with sub-arrangement by course (from antipasti to dolci). And it has a whack of history/culture behind each prep. Loaded with mostly pictures of finished plates, but there are also some maps and tourist attractions.
--THE SICILY COOKBOOK (DK Publishing, 2020, 240 pages, $39 hardbound) is by Cettina Vicenzino who was born in Sicily and grew up in Germany. She is a cook, food photographer, and writer, and has written several books on Italian and Sicilian cuisine. Three types of food  are here --cucina povera (peasant food), cibo di strada (street food), and cucina dei monsù (sophisticated food).
It's part cookbook and part travel, with loads of her own photos  and cultural/gastronomical notes emphasizing local chefs and food producers.. The arrangement is by course, primi (Sicilian cuisine doesn't include  antipasti) pasta, through secondi mains and piatto unico, intermezzi, and dolci. She's got a few non-alcoholic drinks and some wine. In all, the vast majority of her 70 preps use local spices, citrus,  cheeses, olives, tomatoes, eggplant and seafood. This is a real treat for Sicilian food lovers, featuring ricotta dumplings in an orange and tomato sauce, stuffed sardines, salt cod, and grilled octopus with ricotta hummus. 
--ARAN (Hardie Grant Books, 2019, 240 pages, $42.50 hardbound) is by Flora Sheddon, who became the youngest ever semi-finalist on The Great British Bake Off Baking Show in 2015. She runs Aran bakery in Dunkeld, Highland Perthshire. She has also written a weekly baking column for the Sunday Telegraph. These are recipes and stories from a bakery in the heart of Scotland. Material includes the origins of the bakery (aran is Scottish Gaelic for bread or loaf) and a day in its life from dawn to dusk. There is location photography plus a slew of recipes for breakfast, lunch and High Tea. Typical are a pork, apple and sage sausage roll, and apricot and almond frangipani. Try also chocolate oat cookies, pear, coffee and hazelnut cake, and pomegranate and raspberry financiers. An impressive giftbook for the baker in your life.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Time for my annual Christmas Greeting to all my beloved friends...A Child's Christmas in Scarborough...

 
A Child's Christmas in Scarborough
 
By the late Howard Engel, with apologies to Dylan Thomas, and with felicitations from Dean at the end...
 
 
Whenever I remember Christmas as a child in Scarborough, I can never remember whether the slush was new or old, or whether we lived on the sixth street north of the shopping plaza stoplights and I was seven years old, or whether it was the seventh street and I was six. But still my nose and fingertips tingle at the thought of Christmas in the row-housing, whose names rang their challenging, forlorn ways down to the fast-backed, nerve and gear-wracking lanes of the freeway: Elegance Manors, Tweedingham Mews, Buckingham Back Courts; and I am again a boy among boys, riding our crash-barred, chrome-bedazzling bikes through the supermarket swing doors, grabbing girls' toques and Popsicles in the Mac's Milk and diving with our arms spread to make angels in the snow-banks that the ploughs churned up, plunging our hands to the soggy, stitch-straining armpits and pulling out, as I am doing now, uncles with ham-red hands, scratchy and sizzling-hot in their wife-bought cable-knits and après ski, who through the live-long Christmas afternoons watched the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams battling in full colour on a purple field, and sat through Sugar Bowls and Dust Bowls, Cotton and Flannel Bowls until the punch bowl was emptied for the last time and they moved up the queasy, shifting stairs from the rec-room to the hall. And clear as the chlorinated water in the taps, but not so clear as a secret rivulet in the snows that we boys found near the highway that was gone in the spring when the hill was cleared for a condominium, I see Uncle Harry turning away the Salvation Army girl at the door and making us all laugh as she fell on the path on the ice I should have chipped away.
 
Christmas in Scarborough was nothing if it was not families and laughter. But before the compacts and the late-models and the single sports car owned by Aunt Hetty, the divorcee, who bought the Fugs record, before the hordes of uncles and aunts and cousins jousted for a parking spot and the superintendent appeared to ask us to remove a car that had been parked in someone else's spot, there were the presents that smoothed Father's absence due to overtime, and Mother's voice raised in the kitchen downstairs while the supper held in the stove at low heat congealed.
 
And there were disappointments, for as one scavenged among boxes and ribbons and discarded batteries from robots that never worked, and broken strings from suddenly mute Talking Barbies, there had to be one, small, bright and unutterably just right present that lies forever hiding over the rim of memory even now, as I remember, I can see it dancing somewhere in the dark room before sleep, and even in the dreams of Christmas night, when I ran through the vanished fields of our subdivision and climbed and tumbled in the haylofts of the vanished barns, it was there amongst the ghosts of swallows and blue jays and horses -- all gone now, like the words we wrote in last year's snow: Fanny Hill puts out. And, in the moonlight in the dark of the yard unlit by streetlights because of Charlie's air rifle and where no car would desecrate its stillness and the dark velvet of its shadows with the cold incandescence of its lights, I crept close to the sleeping whaleback of the hay-breathing house. I stole past the oaken veneer majesty of my parents' door, and finally warm in the acrylic goose down of my bed above orchards and cockcrow and the sailing ship moon on the skating pond; I slept until dawn sped back the whole farm and the cattle and the soft-eyed horses back to the darkest corner of my room where the sun never shines and socks can sometimes be found amid the slut's wool.
 
And then it was afternoon: and all the cousins, friends of friends, who had been stuffed into spare rooms and cautioned to nap because they had stayed up all night in candy-caned anticipation of catching Santa and delayed for a day his return to the department store throne, were awakened and sent off into the streets. And, waking from a dream in which I chased the blue and white stocking-capped boys, bigger boys from the skating rink at City Hall, glimpsed once on television, I dress in my fur-lined boots, was stuffed into station wagons with protesting uncles who drove as though the football games of all the world were punting in the shadows of the last-minute goalposts. And then we were sliding down the slopes of everlasting snow, everlasting for as long as the machine flew Niagaras of chipped ice over its diesel-throbbing back. And there, in that spinning time, I have my ski-lift ticket stapled to me, as though I were my own receipt for being, and hug for dear day the live cable that pulls me to the top and almost doesn't let go, and then I am poised on last year's skis, and am ready to take my turn. And then I do that. And I do it again, and then I come home for tea, uncles and the barracks of my Christmas soon-to-be-forgotten child's life.
 
And I remember that Aunt Hetty, who was the centre of attention in the kitchen but was not allowed in to help with the gossip, lay stretched out on the Spanish sofa, her soft, brandy-breath keeping Ernie, her latest lover, stupefied. Then Uncle Herbert appeared from the depths of the basement like a drunken porpoise and chased the whole kitchen gaggle with a plastic spring of mistletoe, and came to a bad end with his elbow in the gravy boat. Then Father phoned from Number 41 Station to say that he had been in the eggnog again and that he would be detained, and Mother drank the cooking sherry, and the turkey went unbasted. Then Uncle Frank who had been a stockbroker and then a convict tried again to dance the Windfall of '65 and fell through the picture window. Then the neighbours knocked on the wall and we knocked on the neighbour's wall and then the police came. – Howard Engel
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
From Dean: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral, winter solstice holiday, practised within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all.
 
Additionally, please accept a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2021, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical disability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.
 
[Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.]
 
By The Way, this Christmas greeting is good for TWO years, 2021-2022, in case COVID-19 is still around.
 
SO: Have a Merry...and a Happy....
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com
AND http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
AND https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://winewriterscircle.ca
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Prank-O Wine Labels !!


When looking to inject humor into celebratory events, you might want to consider a series of prank wine labels (you won't get these at the LCBO). Each set comes with a back and a front label. They are both hilarious, and they are both removable/reusable for multiple experiences. Just apply them over existing labels, and then easily remove them later for other viewings with other, different guests at future dinners.

One such wine label is "Sloppy Girl Wines" (front label) with text on the back label that reads "Sloppy Girl Vineyard redefines what it means to act like a lady. During the vinification process of this light little beauty, we reverse the bonding effect of the tannins, which negates the wine's ability to fuse to fabrics and skin, hiding inevitable stains at bay." Dyn-no-myte -- and useful too !!

You can find more info at https://pranko.com/products/sloppy-girl?pr_prod_strat=copurchase&pr_rec_pid=4824298553480&pr_ref_pid=5762893873320&pr_seq=uniform
and at https://pranko.com/collections/more/products/highways-bounty-wine-label   (which describes wine to accompany roadkill, from the Highway's Bounty Winery).

There is also The Happy Napper from Sonoma, touted as a sleep-aid, and the Chateau La-Di-Da from the Fancy Du Schmancy Winery in France. More are in development...

Price? For multiple entertaining, a mere $5 USD for each set of front and back labels, from www.pranko.com     or www.30watt.com   
 
They ship to Canada too....

Enjoy the fun of the holidays!!!

Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, December 11, 2020

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES: under/over $20 for DECEMBER 12, 2020

 
WORLD WINE WATCH TOP WINES AT VINTAGES:  under/over $20 for DECEMBER 12, 2020
 
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
These notes for good wines available through  LCBO Vintages (on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca  or at  http://www.deantudor.com No winery can buy their way into – or out of – this publication.
 
Scores are a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, e.g. a Southern Rhone would taste like a Southern Rhone) and QPR (Quality/Price Ratio value in the marketplace above or below its price).
 
Currently, the wine media have no access to the tasting samples usually provided to us in the LCBO lab on a fortnightly basis. This will go on or some time. HOWEVER,  the wine media will still have access to the advance spreadsheet of the wines to be released. So I know what is to be released and when. SOME (but not many) of these 100 or so biweekly released wines I have recently tasted since January 2020 or so, and I can comfortably recommend them based on this prior sampling.
 
Some Interesting New Wine Etc. Books for the Holidays!! --
 
--A YEAR OF GOOD BEER 2021 PAGE-A-DAY CALENDAR (Workman, 2020, 320 pages, $20.99 CAD) quenches the beer lover's thirst: microbrewery recommendations, beer lore, trivia, history, labels, vocabulary, tasting notes, beer festivals, and more daily fun. Discover Bell's Porter whose smoky coffee notes lend an intriguing aroma profile; a hoppy Noble Prize Imperial Pilsner; and a perfect summer aperitif in the burgundy-hued Brombeere Blackberry Gose. Includes beer drinking games (like Buffalo Club, in which you must never be caught drinking with your right hand), recipes for refreshing beer cocktails, and "Hop Lookout" notes (like the smoothly bitter Cashmere, developed by Washington State University in 2013).  Some of the beers appear as imports in Canada, but otherwise there are few Canadian brews included. Lights, wheat, lagers, ales, porters, stouts, seasonal beers, and lambrics – they're all here, 165 or so craft beers. If you buy any of the PAD calendars, then you can go online to the website and pick up other, free stuff, at www.pageaday.com. 
Quality/Price Rating: 91
 
 
--WINES YOU SHOULD TRY; a guide for Canadians (Whitecap, 2019, 204 pages, $22.95 paperbound)  largely supersedes the ninth annual edition (2016) of   "The 500 Best-Value Wines In the LCBO 2017".  This new work by wine scribe Rod Phillips is now national, and has both international and domestic wines arranged by wine colour and then by region/country with an indication of a price range (under $12  to  over $49). He tasted about 1000 wines, and chose about 500 wines that are available in at least two provinces.  Each of the wines has some value, or else they would not be in this tool: they can be considered at least "better" if not "best" of what's around in Canada. Each  has an indication of food pairings. A good guidebook which features only those wines available in Canada -- that you should try. Quality/Price Rating: 91
 
 
--THE GOODE GUIDE TO WINE; a manifesto of sorts (University of California Press, 2020, 233 pages, $24.95 USD hardbound) is by the renowned UK wine writer Jamie Goode, who visits a lot of wine regions. It's a collection of observations and opinions about wine absurdities, excitements, interests, and how things could be better in wine culture. Of late he has been doing and saying nice things about Ontario wines, but there 's nothing here about that. There is, however, an illuminating article on how to succeed at wine writing by writing boring articles. It's a great book for the knowledgeable wine lover who has almost everything. Quality/Price Rating: 91
 
 
--PINK GIN (Ryland Peters & Small, 2020, 64 pages, $14.95 USD hardbound) is a collection of some 30 or so pink-hued cocktails. Most of the preps come from Julia Charles, with some more from Laura Gladwin. It's an open-and-shut slender work, with the recipes scattered among three categories: cocktails, sparklers, and coolers. Most call for "pink gin" but you can use regular gin and add your own colouring, if need be (grenadine, cranberry juice, rose/red wine).Quality/Price Rating: 89
 
 
--GROWING YOUR OWN COCKTAILS, MOCKTAILS, TEAS & INFUSIONS (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2020, 152 pages, $18.99 USD soft covers) is by Jodi Helmer gardening author, who gives us gardening tips and how-to techniques for making artisanal beverages at home. Jeannette Hurt, author "Drink Like a Woman" works out the recipes. There are 64 plant profiles here for the best homegrown drink ingredients (rhubarb, lemon balm, kale, chamomile, ginger, etc.). The recipes range from a lavender mojito to a garden gin-and-tonic, to mint iced tea, and veggie juice. It is all arranged by plant part: leaves, flowers, fruits and vegetables, and roots, with other material about syrups, shrubs, and alcohol-free drinks. There are plant hardiness zone maps for Canada and the USA, plus a resources list for ordering through the internet. A perfect stay-at-home project. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Some interesting or unusual recipes: anise hyssop; fruit smoothie; citrus lift tea; French hibiscus 75; rhubarb gimlet; red sangria; garden margarita with strawberries and basil. Quality/Price Rating: 91
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
+499152    ALVEAR PEDRO XIMENEZ DE AÑADA    DOP Montilla-Moriles, Spain    2015    $24.95    MVC/QPR: 89
+234161    JACKSON-TRIGGS ENTOURAGE GRAND RESERVE BRUT SPARKLING    Traditional method, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario    2016    $29.95 MVC/QPR: 89
+560367    INNISKILLIN SPARKLING VIDAL ICEWINE    Charmat method, VQA Ontario    2018    $79.95    MVC/QPR: 89
 
Under $20
=========
W+734798    THORNBURY SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2019    $18.95      
MVC/QPR: 89
W+341586    FEATHERSTONE FOUR FEATHERS    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2019    $14.95 MVC/QPR: 90
W+277228    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES OLD VINES RIESLING    VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake    2015    $18.95    MVC/QPR: 91
R+14667    CHÂTEAU HYOT RÉSERVE    AC Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux    2015    $17.95   
MVC/QPR: 89
R+18667    SPECK BROTHERS FAMILY TREE THE PADRÉ CABERNET/MERLOT    Sustainable, VQA Niagara Peninsula    2018    $18.95     MVC/QPR: 91
 
 
Over $20
=========
Sparkling+16602    ALBINO ARMANI EXTRA DRY CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE    DOCG, Friuli, Italy        $22.95  MVC/QPR: 89
W+410712    MEIOMI CHARDONNAY    Monterey, Sonoma and Santa Barbara Counties    2017    $21.95 MVC/QPR: 89
W+140525    DOMAINE BONNARD SANCERRE    AC    2019    $29.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+287367    PLUME CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Alexander Valley, Sonoma County    2016    $39.95     MVC/QPR: 89
R+15667    NK'MIP CELLARS QWAM QWMT PINOT NOIR    BC VQA Okanagan Valley    2018    $34.95    MVC/QPR: 89
R+261784    PAPALE LINEA ORO PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA    DOP    2016    $23.95 MVC/QPR:  89
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

FOOD BOOK OF THE MONTH !!

FLAVORBOMB; a rogue guide to making everything taste better (Appetite by Random House, 2020, 262 pages, ISBN 978-0-525-61089-2 $35 CAD) is by Bob Blumer, best known here as The Surreal Gourmet, from his Food Network shows. He's also an eight-time Guinness World Record holder of note and advocate for food banks and food politics. Currently, he works out of LA, living under the D of the Hollywood sign. A "flavourbomb" is a dish that explodes with flavour and texture. This latest book, after six previously-acclaimed cookbooks, pretty well summarizes his cooking philosophy which he shares with us: such rules as making food taste good without playing by the rules. The first half is full of cooking advice in the form of tips, hacks, and techniques. Here we find his thoughts on caramelization,  umami, olive oil, lemon juice, cured pork (including bacon), balsamic vinegar, garnishes, and more.
 
This primer starts with the flavour building blocks (salt levels, spicy heat, sweetness, acid balance, herbaceousness, and of course the lily family (garlic, shallots, et al), and then the importance of tasting all of your ingredients. And, of course, the necessity to taste and adjust as you cook. This section on adjustment is very important: very few home cooks seem to adjust for salt, sweet, acid, or spice levels. Probably because they do not know how or what to adjust. Well, Bob's your uncle here, he guides us through nicely. Memorize this section. The primer ends with discourses on techniques, such as using a chinois fine mesh sieve, food processor, deep fryer, BBQs, grills, knives, mandoline, microplanes, and cast iron pans. He's got material on toasting, roasting, crusting, braising, deglazing, reducing, emulsifying, sous vide, and pan-searing. And as a final note BEFORE passing us off to the food prep recipes: he adds "read the recipe", set up the mise en place, taste as you cook, and plate like an artist. And then, I guess, Bob REALLY is your uncle...
 
The second half has 75 step-by-step common sense recipes that use the strategies of part one. The base here is the simplicity of the dish, followed by the topping up with added flavours to make the final dish more tasty, and even addictive, such as umami. This section is arranged in menu order, from nibbles to soups, salads, mains, veggies, and desserts – with special side-trips for brunch dishes and the basic sauces and condiments.  Needless to say, everything is full of flavour, right down to the last recipe in the book: rustic fried breadcrumbs.  Typical are caramelized cauliflower florets, avocado and butter bean hummus, Japanese fried chicken, Thai coconut corn soup, rapido ravioli and pan-seared arctic char. Each prep comes with headed notes dealing with time, yield, advance work, and liquidity (accompanying beverage, eg. white wine, sherry, beer, or others). His instructions are full but do bear with him. There's also a glossary and a listing of key ingredients that can be used in many different ways.  As Blumer says, "If you want to go deeper, I encourage you to let your fingers do the googling."
Quality/Price Rating:  95
 
Your health depends on my health. We cannot escape one another in these perilous times.
Chimo! www.deantudor.com