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Saturday, January 31, 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"...
21.EVERYDAY ITALIAN FAVORITES (Taunton Press, 2014, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-62710-709-9,$19.95 US paper) is by the Academia Barilla. It was originally published in Italy and is now translated for the North American market. It is a collection of recipes for weeknight meals, all put out by Chef Mario Grazia, who also contributed some of the text and some of the photos. There are about 100 preps here, meant for busy Italians who cook simply at home during the week. It is all arranged by apps through desserts, with separate chapters for pasta and rice, and for pizza and focaccia. Family-friendly dishes include spaccatelle with veggie ragout, lasagne bolognese, Tuscan pork roast, and ricotta gnocchi. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there are also tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
22,MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE (White Star Publishers, 2014, 304 pages, ISBN 978-88-544-0830-2 $35 US hard covers) comes from the Academia Barilla in Parma; it was originally published in Italy in 2011. It is one of the more renowned cooking school in Italy. In 2010 the Mediterranean Diet was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The 130 recipes here have been chosen by the Academy to most reflect the Mediterranean heritage. The emphasis seems to be more on the coastal sides of Italy, but range from apps through primi and secondi, salads, desserts, focaccia, and preserves. The limoncello recipe calls for Sorrento lemons, but just about any untreated or organic lemon will do. It does follow the principles of the Diet, while emphasizing seafood.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. The index is in teeny tiny print, so do wear your glasses. Quality/price rating: 86.
23.MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK. 40th Anniversary Edition (Ten Speed Press, 2014, 232 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-756-7, $30 US hard covers) is by Mollie Katzen. In 1974, she hand-wrote, illustrated, and locally published a spiral-bound notebook of recipes for vegetarian dishes from what was served at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. In 1977, it was enlarged and published by Ten Speed Press, and in 1992 it was thoroughly revised and added to with an extra 25 recipes. In 2000 it was tweaked and re-published, and here it is again, with a mite more re-tweaking. It is a great book, we use it a lot at home. It has sold millions of copies, and is an influential vegetarian cookbook. What more can I add? Just the one disappointment (for its international sales including Canada) -
preparations have their ingredients listed only in avoirdupois measurements, and there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 93.
24.WINEWISE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008, 2014, 376 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-33462-5, $35 US hard covers) is by Steven Kolpan, Brian Smith and Michael Weiss – all professors of
wine at the Culinary Institute of America. In 2008, Wiley published "WINEWISE; your complete guide to understanding, selecting, and enjoying wine" (360 pages) by
these same three authors; it subsequently won a Beard Award. Wiley has since left the consumer market, and the book transferred over to HMH. It is meant as both a textbook for hospitality students, especially those at the CIA, and for the informed consumer who wishes to pursue his vinous knowledge. It is a fairly complete basic guide
within two covers at a very decent price. There are over 300 colour
photos and 32 maps (in colour, and with sufficient detail). The authors
aim to prepare the basic consumer to appreciate wines, to select and
buy the best bottles in both stores and restaurants, and to pair wines
with foods (and vice versa). They begin coverage with material on the
major white and red varietals. They continue with profiles of the major
wine regions in the world. Here, Canada is lumped with Greece in a
separate chapter labeled as "up and coming". Ok, I can handle
that. There are a few errors in the Ontario section: there is no mention of Prince Edward County as a wine growing region. But some corrections and additions have been made since 2008. Additional material concerns lists of value wines. As for restaurant pricing policies, the authors say "the wine should never cost double its retail price on
the wine list" (p352). With a straight face, I can say that for Ontario, the
wine should ALWAYS cost quadruple its retail price. A $10 bottle from
the consignment warehouse is regularly priced in the $40 to $50 range. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
25.FINE COOKING ROASTING (Taunton Press, 2014, 154 pages, ISBN 978-1-62710-807-2, $14.95 US paper covers) comes Fine Cooking magazine and its editors. 42 contributors are named, and their recipes are sourced. For example, current Torontonian Jennifer McLagen, who has written four books concerning roasts (Bones, Fat, Odd Bits, Cooking on the Bone) has garlicky shrimp with basil, slow-roasted leg of lamb, moussaka gratinee, lamb nicoise salad, and Indian lamb curry. The recipes cover the whole dinner pattern, from apps, soups, to desserts and even leftovers. Ingredients include meats, poultry, veggies, and others. There is nutritional information as well. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
26.THE CHEESECAKE BIBLE (Robert Rose, 2008, 2014, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0192-4, $27.95 CAN soft covers) is by George Geary, a food journalist with five cookbooks. It was originally published in 2008, and some of the preps were earlier published in two Robert Rose anthologies in 2002 and 2005. It is a basic book, with 200 recipes devoted to decadence. They are very easy to make and bake, and they are full of flavour because they have fat. I did not see any low-cal or low-fat versions by flipping or by the index. Basic techniques include getting it out of the pan. There's some material on cracking and on side crumbs. The source list is all US except for one place. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
27.COMPLETE BOOK OF INDIAN COOKING (Robert Rose, 2007, 480 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0170-2, $37.95 US paper covers) is by Suneeta Vaswani, who has been teaching Indian cooking for over 30 years. It is the soft cover reprint of the 2007 hard cover edition, with no changes. The 350 recipes come from all regions of India. It is a pretty basic book, and extremely useful because of that. Chapters are arranged by course (apps, chaat, beans and lentils, grains, eggs-chicken-meat, fish and seafood, veggies, salads, etc.) after a brief introduction to the culinary highlights of Indian foods: ingredients, spice blends, herbs, regional cooking differences. Within each chapter there is a categorization by region (north, east, west, south). Chaat has its own chapter for street food. Spicier recipes are labeled HOT, and there is a glossary. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Try mustard-flavoured chicken tikka, fruit chaat, south Indian rice and lentil crepes, or lamb with green mango. Quality/price rating: 88.
28.PIES AND TARTS FOR DINNER AND DESSERT (Melville House, 2012, 2013, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-61219-417-2, $32 US hard covers) is by Stephane Reynaud, chef-owner of Villa 9 Trois just outside Paris. He has written award-winning cookbooks such as Pork & Sons, and he has appeared on TV. Here he has 75 recipes for savoury pies and tarts for dinner, as well as some desserts. There are regional French variations here as well. The book was published in French in 2012, and then translated in 2013 by Murdoch Books Australia. He's got a section on "successful pate brisee", "successful pate sablee" and "successful pate feuilletee" with photos  of techniques, all numbered and co-ordinated. Try his marvelous herb and hazelnut pie or duck confit a l'orange pies, or even sweetbread pie. Yeah, it is that kind of book. A winner. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. There are indexes to the recipes by major ingredient, by type of pastry used, and by individual product (e.g. boar. Brie, cantal). Quality/price rating: 89.


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