Search This Blog

Monday, January 21, 2013


  ...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"...
19. WINE FOR DUMMIES. 5th edition (Wiley Publishing, 2012,
410 pages, ISBN 978-1-118-28872-6, $22.99 US paper covers)
is by Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan, wine educators
in New York City. The first edition was published almost
two decades ago, and this book gets revised about every
five years (it has already sold almost a million copies).
It has been widely endorsed by the industry, and has served
as a popular textbook for many beginning wine courses. It
even won a Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year award.
This edition presents a general updating, with mention and
notes about new appellations and new rules, plus of course,
new wines that have come onto the market. There is more
material on newer emerging regions such as Argentina,
Greece and Chile, but it seems like Canada has been dropped
(it used to have two pages): no Ontario, no BC, no Niagara,
no Okanagan, and, significantly, no icewine. What a shame,
points off! Vintage charts have been updated. The thorough
text contains basic information on storing, tasting and
serving wine, along with material on grape varietals and
how to buy wine (in the store, in the restaurant). But the
bulk of the book is a region-by-region account of
winegrowing areas. An index and glossary completes the
package. Quality/Price rating: 85.

Publishing, 2012; distr. T. Allen, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-
61608-604-6, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Jan Hedh, a
Swedish pastry chef specializing in ice creams. His book
was originally published in Sweden in 2008, and here it has
been translated and made available to the North American
market. This is an amazing upscale collection of over 300
gelatos, sorbets, ice cream cakes, and other fancies. He
has material on wine pairing, using sorbets as appetizers,
and using veggies. There's a primer on history and making
ice creams, followed by preps in categories (ice cream,
sorbets, parfaits, semifreddo, bombs, stuff for kids,
sides, meringues, and both sugar and chocolate techniques.
How about lobster ice cream with herbs? Or white asparagus
ice cream? Cauliflower ice cream? Melon granite with
Serrano chips? There's a lot more, all with skillfully
crafted presentation food styling photos by Klas Andersson.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric
and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of
Quality/price rating: 88.

21. CLEAN FOOD; a seasonal guide to eating close to the
source (Sterling
Epicure, 2012, 355 pages, ISBN 978-1-4549-0010-8 $30 US
hard covers) is by Terry Walters. It was originally
published in 2007 ad then re-done in 2010 as "Clean Start".
Log rolling comes from Charlie Trotter, Mario Batali, and
Alice Waters. It's another book dealing with SLOFE
principles (seasonal, local, organic, fast, and easy).
There are now more than 250 recipes here for making healthy
choices. There are the usual tips and advice plus ideas for
leftovers and how to protect nutrient-rich foods. Recipes
are vegan and gluten-free, and arranged by season beginning
with spring. So that means whole grains, vegetables,
fruits, legumes, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds. The photos
looked especially enticing. A good solid typeface is large
enough for most to read, and the layout is useful. The
index is by major ingredient only, not by name or title of
the recipe. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric table of
equivalents. Some interesting or unusual recipes include
roasted cauliflower and garlic soup, cinnamon whole oats
with toasted almonds, festive quinoa with apricots and
orange zest, and polenta pizzas. Quality/Price Rating: 87.
22. COOKING WITH WHOLEFOODS; healthy and wholesome recipes
for grains, pulses, legumes and beans (Ryland, Peters, and
Small, 2012, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-334-0, $24.95US
hard covers) is by Ross Dobson, an Australian chef,
caterer, and food writer with several cookbooks to his
credit from Ryland Peters & Small. It was originally
released in 2010 as "Wholesome Kitchen" but has here been
reissued with newer material but kept to the same
pagination. These are mainly preps for pulses and grains,
sorted by course (apps, soups, salads, sides, mains, and
baking). The thrust is ethnic, the excitement is spicy. All
the recipes are useful, especially for vegetarians.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric
and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no separate
metric table of equivalence. Some interesting or unusual
recipes include ful medames; Moroccan bean and cumin dip;
Mexican taco salad with pinto beans and avocado; chickpea
and fresh spinach curry; chocolate and aduki bean paste
fingers; and semolina crumpets. Some recipes include meat
and fish, but Dobson does give vegetarian variations.
There's some slight shading on the pages with the recipes,
and thus some of them are hard to read without contrast.
Quality/Price Rating: 83.
23. GLUTEN-FREE GIRL AND THE CHEF (John Wiley & Sons, 2010,
2012, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-118-38357, $19.99 US soft
covers) is by Shauna James Ahern, blogger at and author of the memoir Gluten-
Free Girl, and Daniel Ahern, a chef in Washington state.
Notable log-rollers Molly Wizenberg. The book was
originally published in 2010 as a hard cover edition, and
this is the 2012 soft cover reprint. There's 100 recipes
here, strewn amongst a memoir of a love story between the
"GF girl" and the "chef". The book also follows a day in
the life of the working chef. So there is material about
life at home and life at the restaurant. Lots of teff and
millet and quinoa are used. There's an index to the
recipes, as well as a resources list (all U.S., mostly west
coast). Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric table of
Some interesting recipes: millet tabouleh; gluten-free
fresh pasta; gluten-free crackers; gluten-free polenta with
goat cheese; and chocolate-peanut butter brownies. There is
also a separate list of recipes that is easy to scan over.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.

24. BETTY CROCKER'S QUICK & EASY; 30 minutes or less to
dinner (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 2012, 336 pages, ISBN 978-
1-118-23069-5, $19.99 US soft covers) is now in at least
its third edition. The second was published in 2009, at 276
pages and with only 120 recipes. The book now has 150
preps, including their version of Mexican pasta skillet or
chicken and smoked provolone pizza or orange and dill pan-
seared tuna. There's a colour photo of each dish, many
dinner ideas using eight or fewer popular ingredients,
icons indicating "20 minutes or less" for extra-quick
dishes, plus some menu ideas for side dishes. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements,
but there are tables of metric equivalents. As a useful
book for beginners, it is arranged by main ingredient.
Quality/price rating: 86.

25. FIRESIDE FEASTS & SNOW DAY TREATS; indulgent comfort
food for winter eating and entertaining (Ryland, Peters &
Small, 2012, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-260-2, $29.95 US
hard covers) is a project from the publisher. More than 150
recipes and ideas for eating during the colder months have
been assembled from a dozen or so cookbook authors who
regular write books for Ryland. The largest collection of
recipes comes from Laura Washburn with 41. It is all
arranged by snacks, comfort homey food, feasts, some
indulgences, and cheery drinks for a cold night. It's a
good book to take to your ski chalet. Typical preps include
chicken liver parfait, cheese and basil soufflés, spicy
pork satay, salt cod, meat balls, Vietnamese beef pho,
seafood and yellow split pea curry. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some
metric, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 85

26. HORS D'OEUVRES [sic]. New edition (DK Books, 2007,
2012, 224 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-9836-2, $24 CAN hard
covers) is by caterer Victoria Blashford-Snell and cooking
school owner Eric Treuille. It was originally published in
2007 at 168 pages, in paperback format. It has been
rearranged and resorted with new recipes. There are now
more than 200 preps, with a series of step-by-step
sequences. Included are the major groups of crostini,
tartlets, skewers, and wraps. Also puffs, meringues, and
other finger-foods that can be assembled at home. Over 100
colour photos help with the techniques. Much of the food
here seems to be derived from Spanish tapas and Middle East
mezze. Each chapter has a special section on a "6 ways"
option. Under Little Nibbles, there are "6 ways with
oatcakes" and "6 ways with spoons". These all present
variations on the theme, a great idea. Sweets are rarely
thought of as hors d'oeuvres, but can be useful for a
dessert selection where people can make choices or birthday
celebrations or even a sweet wine and food party. The
authors have a primer, useful for doing this kind of work,
plus a menu planner. Look for 6 skewers: medjool dates,
shrimp, lamb loin, bocconcini and cherry tomatoes, Thai
chicken, and bresaola with figs. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in partial metric and avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 88.

27. HUNT, GATHER, COOK; finding the forgotten feats
(Rodale, 2011, 2012, 324 pages, ISBN 978-1-60961-890-2.
$14.99 US soft covers) is by Hank Shaw, a free-lance food
writer and winner of two IACP Awards for best blog. It was
originally published in 2011, and this is the paperback
reprint. It has been well-received with reviews in the New
York Times and San Francisco Chronicle. It is an essential
foraging book (and includes hunting and fishing). It's a
good how-to book, with a bibliography for further reading,
a resources list, and, of course, an index. But there is no
separate index to the 50 recipes here. Typical are shad or
herring roe with bacon, boneless tempura shad, Sardinian
hare stew, mazzafegati (Umbrian fresh sausage), and seared
duck or goose breast (best recipe here: well-expressed and
written). Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.

No comments: