EASY SOUPS FROM SCRATCH WITH QUICK BREADS TO MATCH
(Chronicle Books, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-5502-9 $24.95
USD hardbound) is by Ivy Manning, cookbook author and free-lance food
writer. The title pretty much says it all: 70 recipes to pair and share. There
are meaty stews and bisques, each one paired with a quick bread such as
blue corn and maple skillet bread (with a BBQ pork ramen). The soups are
arranged by type (veggie-centric, bean and grain soups, seafood soups,
meat and poultry soups. The bread types are flatbreads, soda breads and
skillet breads, muffins, rolls and biscuits. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in mainly avoirdupois measurements with some erratic
metric, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: millennials would find this useful
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: zucchini, feta and dill muffins to
pair with either Persian yogurt, lentil and bulgur soup or egg and lemon soup
with toasted orzo and kale.
The downside to this book: I wanted more...
The upside to this book: each prep tells you the quantities, the service, the
active time and the total time.
Quality/Price Rating: 86.
4.SUPERFOOD SLOW COOKER (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 144
pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-843-7 $19.95 USD hardbound) is by Nicola
Graimes who specializes in vegetarian cooking. She's authored 26 or so
books. It's with Cathy Seward, a consultant home economist and cookery
writer. An electric slow cooker is great for a busy lifestyle (and millennials
love it too). Here are 60 preps, using mainly grains, beans and pulses,
along with superveggies and lean meats. So it is not strictly a vegetarian
book. Fresh herbs and relevant spices also contribute. Each prep gives a
nutritional breakdown. She's arranged it by course, beginning with breakfast
and brunch, light bites, weekday meals, and slow weekends. All dishes are
made in the 3.5 Litre slow-cooker. Preparations have their ingredients listed
in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of
Audience and level of use: millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: winter beef and prune pot roast;
piri piri lamb salad; bone broth pho; Spanish octopus with white beans and
lemon; sea bass in chile tomato sauce; beet falafel with lemon tahini sauce.
The downside to this book: I wanted more...
The upside to this book: good use of slow cooker.
Quality/Price Rating: 86
5.A TASTE OF LATIN AMERICA (Imagine! Books, 2017, 168 pages, ISBN
978-1-62354-521-5 $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Patricia Cartin, from
Costa Rica and caterer to the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the
United Nations in NYC. These are the culinary traditions and classic recipes
from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru,
Puerto Rico and Venezuela. There is also a bit of fusion here, and the
regions do share common foods such as sweet potatoes, squash, corn,
chocolate, and chili peppers. The arrangement is by country with about eight
preps each. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois
measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: Latin American food lovers, libraries
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: coxinhas; farofa; curanto;
chimichurri; empanadas; brigadeiro; manjar; almojabanas; tamales; perico;
arepas; lucuma; nachos.
The downside to this book: The Mexican section has already been well-
documented by countless books, so there isn't really nothing new from that
The upside to this book: a good collection of regional dishes that (apart
from Mexico) have not really surfaced in North America – terrific sampler!
Quality/Price Rating: 88
6.CHICKEN AND RICE (Fig Tree Penguin Books, 2016, 288 pages, ISBN
9780241199077 $42.95 CAD hardbound) is by Shu Han Lee, UK freelance
food writer and stylist and at www.mummyicancook.com These are mainly
dishes from Singapore and Malaysia with a Hokkien China influence – her
background in culinary development. The range embraces weeknight food,
weekend foods, snacks, celebrations, and others. The Southeast Asian
foods are arranged by type, from rice through noodles, soups, seafood,
meat, eggs/tofu, veggies, snacks and sweets. Her book was originally
published in the UK last year but is now making its way into North America.
At the back, she has 10 suggested menus (quick midweek suppers for one
or two) through brunches, veggies, through dinner parties and BBQ – plus
some ideas for DIY parties. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric
Audience and level of use: SEA food fans, millennials
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: congee with preserved radish
omelette and cabbage; Hokkien prawn noodle soup; fennel pad ka prao
with fried egg; peach on sticky rice with sweet and salty coconut cream;
barbecued sambal lemon sole; nasi ulam; nyonya achar; lamb shank
The downside to this book: the currency exchange rate bringing the book
over makes it a bit pricey, but it is worthwhile overall.
The upside to this book: she's got an interesting pantry selection plus a
glossary of ingredients and kitchen equipment needed.
Quality/Price Rating: 89
7.AUTENTICO (St. Martin's Griffin, 2017, 364 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-
12497-5 $35 USD hardbound) is by Rolando Beramendi, an importer
(Manicaretti). The 120 preps here are classic, and explore regionalisms.
Several important writers on Italian food provide the log rolling (e.g.
Lebovitz, Jenkins). The subtitle is "cooking Italian, the authentic way".
Rolando (with Rebekah Peppler) takes some family preps and others from
his suppliers, and has arranged them by chapters dealing with the pantry (la
dispensa), the prepared and ready to use food, the primo course, the
secundo, the accompaniments, ending with dolce. It's a vividly written book
sure to appeal to food book collectors.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and US avoirdupois
Audience and level of use: Italian food lovers
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: zuppa di farro; boiled veal
tongue with green sauce; broken fresh tomato halves; poached baby
pumpkins with traditional DOC Balsamic of Modena vinegar; fennel braised
in Chianti; orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabbe.
The downside to this book: Physically, it is a very heavy book and the
gutters are hard to deal with when looking at text near the spine.
The upside to this book: a good accomplishment, with lots of head-notes for
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
8.FIX-IT AND FORGET-IT HOLIDAY FAVORITES (Good Books, 2017, 338
pages, ISBN 978-1-68099-330-1 $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Hope
Comerford. It is one of a best-selling series of cookbooks centered around
the slow cooker. Hope Comerford has taken over the FIFI franchise. Here
she presents well over 150 slow cooker recipes suitable for holiday hosting,
including such as eggnog bread pudding, cranberry brisket, and orange
cheesecake. Once again, it has larger print (including the index) and
conversion charts for the measurements. Of course, everything here can be
braised on top of the stove the old-fashioned way. But if you have a slow
cooker (or an instant pot), you could do worse than "chicken broccoli rice
casserole". This prep comes from Gloria Julien in Michigan (all preps are
sourced), and gives the time as 30 minutes prep, 2 – 3 hours cooking, 5
quart slow cooker size. It's an easy-peasy recipe, slightly upscale for any
holiday feast. It is useful for potlucks or friendship dinners, especially for
people who are not terribly big meat eaters. And, as usual, there is a photo
of the finished product. The 150 preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents and
conversions. All courses are covered, and the print is large.
Audience and level of use: beginners, slow cooker aficionados.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: slow cooker turkey and dressing;
ham with sweet potatoes and oranges; gingerbread puffing cake; creamy
chive and onion mashed potatoes; cranberry pork loin.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
9.HOW TO INSTANT POT (Workman Publishing, 2017, 280 pages, ISBN
978-1-5235-0206-6 $16.95 USD paperbound) is by Daniel Shumski, who
has authored "Will It Waffle?" and "Will It Skillet?". He currently lives in
Montreal. Here he tells us about the Instant Pot: a slow cooker, pressure
cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, rice cooker. It's just about perfect for the
single person, making a variety of dishes with leftovers for other meals.
Over 1.5 million have been sold to date in the USA. It is organized with a
primer at the front, followed by function, with measurement conversion
tables, general times for pressure-cooking, recipe conversion formats, high
altitude modifications, and so forth. His 100 recipes include a six minute
no-stir risotto, five kinds of yogurt, soups with dried ingredients from scratch,
quick pickles, even "baked" potatoes. He's also got quite a few instant pot
shortcuts. Preps are meant for the six quart IP models.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but
there are also tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: Instant Pot fans
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: pork shoulder ragu; French onion
soup; Korean short ribs; French toast casserole; beef barbacoa tacos;
chocolate lava cakes with dulce de leche; faux cassoulet.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.