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Sunday, August 23, 2015


...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"...
25. 101 BBQ AND GRILL RECIPES (Dog 'n' Bone, 2015, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-909313-54-5, $19.95 US hard covers) has been compiled by Dan Vaux-Nobes, drawing from a writing stable led by Fiona Beckett, Maxine Clarke, Louise Pickford, and 13 others. It's a basic grilling and smoking book, with international preps for jerk chicken, grilled eggplant, duck satay, spiced falafel burgers, charred leeks, and Sicilian spiced seabass. The 101 preparations have their ingredients listed in a mix of metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
26.EAT RIGHT FOR YOUR SIGHT (The Experiment, 2014, 2015, 210 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-249-6, $24.95 US paper covers) was first published in hardcover in 2014 as "Feast for the Eyes" by the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Here it has been reissued for a larger commercially popular audience. As the publisher notes, these are simple, tasty recipes that help reduce the risk of vision loss from macular degeneration. And, to that end, of course, it is in large print. Even the index is in a larger typeface. Some preps come from other writers such as Lidia Bastianich, Andrew Weil, Alice Waters or Jacques Pepin, and some from named spas. Arrangement is from apps to desserts, with some healthy beverage drinks. It is a full panoply of recipes, totaling some 85 plus recipes (Tuscan kale salad, spicy broccoli saute, Provence pizza, spicy udon noodles, et al). Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
27.SIMPLY VEGETARIAN THAI COOKING (Robert Rose, 2015, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0505-2, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Nanci McDermott, a food writer who specializes in Thai food (she lived there for three years). She has written other books dealing with Thai cookery. In fact, this one was originally published in 1997 by Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Here it has been revised, extended, and also rendered into both metric and avoirdupois. Of the 125 recipes, more than 100 can be considered vegan; in essence, this is mostly a vegan cookbook. Her preps have substituted for eggs and dairy. She seemed to have worked really hard in finding a replacement for fish sauce, but she did it. The arrangement is by course, from apps to sweets and drinks. There is an important collection of basic recipes such as various curry pastes, mushroom mince, roasted chile paste, and even sriracha sauce. The range of soups covers coconut and butternut; there are also spring rolls and bean fritters. There are cook notes plus the usual Rose photos, clear instructions and ingredient lists. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 90.
28.SUPERGRAINS (Appetite by Random House, 2013, 2015, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-449-01688-6, $19.95 CAN paper covers) is by Chrissy Freer, a food writer-nutritionist and recipe developer who contributes to many magazines.. It was originally published in Australia by Murdoch Books in 2013. Here are over 100 recipes (about 40 or more are gluten-free) for 12 grains: quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, chia, millet, oats, and the gluten grains of spelt-kamut-farro-freekeh (all variants of "wheat") and barley. But no rye, which is puzzling. "Supergrains" have nutrients to control blood sugars, they are a source of dietary fiber, and half are gluten-free. The book is arranged by grain, which is a nice touch. Typical preps include barley and oat porridge with fig and hazel nuts, creamy Parmesan millet with ratatouille, buckwheat granola bars, and chicken and freekeh (toasted green wheat) tagine with lemons and olives. All good international flavours. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
29.THE FOODS OF THE GREEK ISLANDS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000, 2015, 298 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-46502-2, $19.99 US paper covers) is by Aglaia Kremezi, who won a Julia Child Award for her best-selling "The Foods of Greece". She has written other Mediterranean cookbooks as well. This book was originally released in 2000 and has been reprinted in 2015, and without (apparently) updating web resources. No matter as things move slowly in Greece itself. Her other book covered Greece; here, it is the Islands' turn. Some preps come from Molyvos in New York, from their extensive Greek menu. It is arranged by course, beginning with meze and moving on to savoury pitas and pies, fish and seafood, meats, beans/rice, salads, breads and then desserts (which includes cheeses). There is not much directly mentioned about "healthy" food since the book was written by 2000, but the Islands have been acclaimed for their inhabitants' longevity based on their diets. It is good to see this book back in print. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
30.PEANUT BUTTER COMFORT (Skyhorse Publishing, 2013, 265 pages, ISBN 978-1-63220-362-5, $14.99 US paper covers) is by Averie Sunshine, a food blogger whose work has appeared in major US food magazines and food blogs. It was originally published in 2013; this is the paperback reprint. It's a good collection for breakfasts, brunches, bars, cakes, brownies, fudge, candy, cookies, frozen or cold desserts, frostings and dips, savoury and salty snacks, and even no-bake preps – over 100 recipes in all. At the end she's got the basic recipe for homemade peanut butter (food processor) plus 27 more ways to jazz up the butter (adding coffee or cinnamon or hazelnuts or cherries or chocolates, et al) and five recipes to make a dish in under five minutes each.  Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
31.AT HOME WITH MAGNOLIA (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006, 2015, 157 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-46272-4, $19.99 US paper covers) is by Allysa Torey, who opened Magnolia Bakery in New York's Greenwich Village in 1996. She had also authored "The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook" (1999) and "More from Magnolia" (2004). This time the book is an all-purpose cookbook of family dishes, ones she uses at her upstate New York home. It was originally published by Wiley in 2006; this is the 2015 paperback reprint. As such it is trading in on the Magnolia name. There's nothing wrong with that, so long as the purchaser/reader of the book knows that the recipes here are not just for baked goods. 93 preps cover all courses (it's arranged that way), and deal with retro-styled comfort food – such as corn fritters with chile-lime mayonnaise, eggplant with cherry tomato sauce, tomato lentil
soup with spinach and corn and brown rice, baked vegetable cavatappi with besciamella sauce, chicken with mustard cream sauce. While the preps are expressed in US weights and measures, there are no metric tables of equivalents. A bonus: the index is in large print. Quality/Price Rating: 84.
32.GENIUS RECIPES (Ten Speed Press, 2015, 254 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-797-0, $35 US hard covers) has been compiled by Kristen Miglore, executive editor at the multiple award-winning site (Beard, IACP). There are over 30,000 recipes at this site, and Miglore also writes the Genius Recipe column. The idea for the book is terrific: a one-stop place for all the great recipes created by cooking geniuses in one place in print (otherwise, one could use the Internet to locate the original prep or her columns). Thus, she has Judy Rodgers' roasted applesauce, Roger Verge's fried eggs with wine vinegar, Deborah Madison's currant cottage cheese pancakes, Ottolenghi and Tamimi's basic hummus, Lahey's no-knead bread, and other preps from Wolfert, Greene, Willan, Ruhlman, Hazan, Kennedy, Raichlen, Lawson, Waters, Medrich, Kafka – quite a parade (hey, even my wife's ex-husband's first wife is here!!). But no Bayless nor Trotter nor Bittman; and some writers have more than one recipe here. The complete recipe is given, along with a re-shot photo of the plate and some new tips from Miglore and others. All tips and recipes have a credit, and full bibliographic data is at the end of the book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
33.BLUE RIBBON CANNING; AWARD WINNING RECIPES (Taunton Press, 2015, 268 pages, ISBN 978-1-62710-769-3, $21.95 US paper covers) has been collated by Linda J. Amendt, who has won nearly 1,000 awards in state and country fair canning and baking competitions. She's also a cookbook author. Here she has 140 prize-winning recipes, all sourced and notated, for jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves, conserves, sauces, butters, pickles, veggies and fruit. There are photos of some of the winners and some photos of being at a fair (many tilt-a-whirls here), as well as stories about people involved. She's got a primer on preservation, and as well some material on judging: what they look for (container, appearance, texture, flavour), reasons for disqualification, and canning mistakes (e.g. stale nuts, weak seals, incorrect headspace). The book also has a directory of fairs, including Canada. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
34.THE COMMUNITY TABLE; recipes and stories from the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and beyond (Grand Central Life & Style, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-5435-5, $35 US hard covers) has been collated and pulled together by Katja Goldman, Judy Bernstein Bunzl, and Lisa Rotmil, all chefs at the JCC. From around the USA there are anecdotes and other recipes. Log rolling involved Claudia Roden and Mimi Sheraton. It is kind of an upscale junior league collection, like Colorado Cache. But of course everything here is kosher, with an indication of what works for holidays and Passover. It is arranged by topic, with breads, starters, soups, salads leading the parade, marching through pasta and polenta, fish, poultry, meat, grains, legumes, veggies and desserts. There are recipe charts for dairy, meat or pareve, shabbat and holiday menu suggestions, plus recipes that are kosher for Passover. I enjoyed fig and fennel bread, latkes four ways, stracciatella, and cilantro matzo balls. Despite the overlarge photos that show people and food (not plated dishes), the book can be a real winner in the Jewish gourmet cookbook sweepstakes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.


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