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Tuesday, October 2, 2012


...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. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
20. 150 BEST GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES (Robert Rose, 2012, 224 pages,
ISBN 978-0-7788-0412-3, $24.95 CAN paper covers) is by Alison Lewis, a
recipe developer who also created 400 Best Sandwich Recipes. Some of
her 150 preps here are taken from that book, but this is largely a new
and expanded cookbook. Grilled cheese sandwiches have been making a
comeback, especially in Canada with the support of the Dairy Farmers of
Canada. Two years ago, there was a competition at the CNE, which my
son-in-law (a chef) won. He's back this year to defend his crown, but
in the intervening years he's done promotional work throughout Canada.
The publisher says that grilled cheese was on 2012 trend lists (blogs,
TV, newspapers), and it does harken back to simpler, nostalgic times.
Lewis makes a valiant attempt to mention (p.14, not p13 as the index
says) gluten-free breads, but these are limited to general
substitutions and do not have a chew factor. The two preps she does
have which specifically mention using GF bread (one as a variation,
another as an alternative) seem to be no different from the other preps
– the book has a blanket statement about using GF bread as a general
substitute anyway. There is material on matching the right bread to the
chosen cheese. This is a thorough book catching all the major food
groups, and it is arranged by course or major ingredient (breakfast,
apps, meatless, beef, poultry, pork, seafood, desserts).
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 86.

21. CHATELAINE MODERN CLASSICS; 250 fast, fresh recipes from The
Chatelaine Kitchen (John Wiley & Sons, 2010, 2012, 391 pages, ISBN 978-
118-21800-6, $24.95 CAD soft covers) has been compiled and edited by
Victoria Walsh, associate food editor of Chatelaine. It's a general,
basic book, with the recipes coming out of the pages of the magazine
over the years. This paperback edition came out in 2010 in a hard cover
priced at $39.95; now is a softback at a reduced price. It is hard to
believe that three Canadian log rollers (including Michael Smith and
Anna Olson) were needed for pre-publication blurbs since Chatelaine is
extremely well-known within Canada. Still, it is a useful book, meant
for those homes with larger pantries and larders, and with a shortage
of time. The classics here have some short cuts (e.g., easy eggs
benedict) and some variations. Each prep has timing, ingredients listed
in both metric and avoirdupois measurements (but there is no table of
equivalents), cook's notes and tips, and a nutritional analysis. All
courses are covered, as well as breakfast and brunch. There is a short
chapter on entertaining ideas, with sections such as drinks and menus
(1l of them, but nothing specific to Canada – even the Christmas Dinner
for 12 can be used for Canadian Thanksgiving). Try linguine with spicy
gremolata shrimp; spicy sausage with dilled orzo; mushroom-stuffed
sirloin steak rolls; Singapore noodles; Asian burgers; California
sushi-roll salad; or cedar-planked salmon. Quality/Price Rating: 85.

2011; distr. Canadian Manda Group, 324 pages, ISBN 978-1-4549-0018-4,
$19.95 US soft covers) is by Kevin Zraly, an award winning wine expert
and long-time sommelier of that late, lamented restaurant atop the
World Trade Center. This has been newly revised and expanded, with
pages of new material on how to taste wine. It has frequently been
revised since its first edition in 1985. Now it has been redesigned in
layout, and with more recommendations in his tour of the latest
vintages. Over 20,000 students have taken Zraly's courses and
workshops. And more than 3 million copies of this book have been sold.
This is the text that comes with the courses, and as such, it serves as
a suitable book for almost any introductory wine course.
It certainly does address the needs of students and beginners: the
style-format is "question and answer", on what wine is, tasting wine
(how to taste wine over sixty seconds), wine service at home and in
restaurants, storage and cellaring. He avoids the markup controversies
in restaurants; however, one can compare a number of different sections
and conclude that he favours 3 to 4 times the wholesale price. The bulk
of the arrangement is by "classes", with ones for white wine, red
wines, champagne, fortified, and wines from outside France and the
United States -- still in the Q & A format, augmented by a continuous
stream of sidebars and tidbits which extend the answers. Throughout,
too, there are full-colour reproductions of wine labels. The book
concludes with a glossary and a pronunciation key, as well as
bibliographic notes for further reference reading. New in this edition
is the use of smart tags, to direct you to class notes, videos, and
more than 1300 audio pronunciations of key words and wine terms.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
23. BEST OF BRIDGE SLOW COOKER COOKBOOK; 200 delicious recipes (Robert
Rose, 2012, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0413-0, $29.95 CAN spiral
binding) is by Sally Vaughan-Johnston who has linked up with the Best
of Bridge ladies to update and modernize their original preps. This is
her third such book (others were Bravo! and Fan Fare!). Here she has
created some new recipes but has also adapted many of the preps to use
slow cookers using BOB recipes for baked pasta, quick breads, puddings,
fruit desserts, side dishes, roasted garlic – even Christmas Morning
Wife Saver (p.24). Just to keep the familiarity rolling, the recipes
have been retained in the BOB hand lettering style. Spiral binding and
the photo close-ups are very useful bonuses. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but
there is no table of equivalents. Also, everything has been approved
and re-tested by the BOB original ladies. Quality/price rating: 84.

Food Gift Chapter. 15th edition. (Wiley, 2010, 2012, 672 loose leaf
pages, ISBN 978-0-470-56080-8, $29.99 US ring binder) is from the
magazine of the same name. In fact, with each book US residents can get
a free subscription for one year (value: $6.13 US). Since the book is
widely discounted at box stores and Amazon, with the subscription the
book can be had at virtually next to nothing. The 14th edition was
published in 2007 and the 15th in 2010. But there is 2012 added value
here in the gift chapter (for a price increase of only four cents US).
It is important to remember: this is a classic that keeps getting
better, for the basic home cook. New to this edition of more than 1400
preps are 1000 recipes with 1000 photos (800 new) and 400 photos of
techniques. New features include a chapter on "Cook Once, Eat Twice",
creating two meals out of one, and an exploration of new flavours to
perk up basic foods. There is also new stuff on breakfast, brunch,
casseroles, sandwiches and pizzas, as well as convenience cooking. New
to this "special edition" is a 64-page chapter of food gifts, along
with 50 recipes paired with 30 or so packaging ideas for gifting all
year-round (along with step-by=step photos). Recipes have been laid out
in a more eye appealing fashion, and there is advice on how to
customize basic recipes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 85.

25. COMPLETE CAKE MIX MAGIC; 300 easy desserts good as homemade (Robert
Rose, 2005, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7788-0422-2 $24.95 CAD soft covers) is by
Jill Snider, a Test Kitchen Manager for over a quarter of a decade, and
a food stylist/recipe developer. She has written other books on cake
mixes. Here, Duncan Hines is featured as the cake mix of choice, as the
back cover states, although I am sure that just about any cake mix can
be used. It was published in 2005, with a revision or rebirth in 2012.
The preps cover single- and multi-layer cakes, tube and bundt cakes,
angel food, cheesecakes, coffee cakes, loves, muffins, cookies, bars,
and squares plus "special-occasion" desserts. Plus there is primer
information on baking. You can have fun with this one, especially if
you enjoy sweets. It comes with about 40 preps for frostings and
glazes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Sinfully rich photos. Quality/price rating: 83.

26. PRIMAL CUTS; cooking with America's best butchers (Welcome Books;
distr. Random House of Canada, 2010, 2012, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-59962-
115-9, $40 CAN hard covers) is by Marissa Guggiana, co-founder of The
Butcher's Guild, which supports artisanal butchers n North America. She
also writes a lot about meats. It was originally published in 2010, and
now has been updated. She covers about 52 butchers, with photos and
profiles for each, along with a record of their fave dishes (with
recipes), anecdotes, and techniques. Along the way there are separate
sections for sausage basics, making stock, hamburger basics, raising
your own chickens, primal cuts of meats, dry curing, how to cut a
steak, deboning a chicken, fave sauces, making bacon, and leftovers. As
well, there are discussions on how to find a farmer, sharing a cow,
factory vs. sustainable meats, and cooking methods. There's a directory
of names and addresses, websites, etc. for all of the chefs, and a page
of resources listings. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents,
although there is a separate table of suggested cooking temperatures.
Quality/price rating: 89.
27. TOP 100 STEP-BY-STEP NAPKIN FOLDS (Robert Rose, 2012, 226 pages,
ISBN 978-0-7788-0423-9, $29.95 CAN spiral bound) is by Denise Vivaldo,
who has specialized in catering, recipe-development for a crowd, and
food-styling. Her two previous Rose books were The Entertaining
Encyclopedia and Perfect Table Settings. For her current book, the
material came from Perfect Table Settings (2010). There's an average of
10 or so photos for each of the napkin folds, 1000 pix in all. Napkin
folding may be an art, but now it is also a great technique for
elegance or whimsy, maybe even some retro fashion. There is a primer on
how to select the best napkins and fabrics, napkin rings, and the
differences between cocktail napkins, luncheon napkins, dinner napkins,
and paper napkins. So there are details on how to make a vase, a
sailboat, an airplane, a bow, even a stairway. My fave is the pointed
pocket because it is so practical. Napkin folding is also greatly
creative, and a book useful for parent and child to play together. If
you don't already have her earlier book, then you'll need this one.
Quality/price rating: 88.
28. 250 BEST BEANS, LENTILS & TOFU RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2012, 288
pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0416-1, $24.95 CAN paper covers) has been edited
by Judith Finlayson. Much of it comes from an earlier book, The Beans,
Lentils & Tofu Gourmet (Robert Rose, 2000). It's a good selection with
plenty of vegetarian and vegan preps. The range is old and new, classic
and modern, old world and new world. There's a smattering of meat:
chicken, veal, pork, beef, plus fish. Contributions come from 22
cookbook authors; there's a list at the back, with provenance for the
recipes. Arrangement is by course, with chapters on wraps and rolls,
chilies, curry and dal. No desserts. Some colour photos. Typical dishes
include cider baked beans (vegan), refried nachos (vegetarian), beer-
braised chili, southwestern shepherd's pie, and cajun-style tofu with
tomatoes and okra (vegan). Preparations have their ingredients listed
in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of
metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.

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