Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 22, 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.THE GOOD COOK'S BOOK OF OIL AND VINEGAR (Skyhorse Publishing, 1992, 2015, 429 pages, ISBN 978-1-63220-587-2, $18.99 US hard covers) is by Michele Anna Jordan, a Bear Award winner and cookbook author (Good Cook's series and a dozen more). She still writes for a local paper and hosts a radio show in California. It was originally published in 1992 (23 years ago) at 264 pages, with 100 recipes, by Perseus Books. Here, it has been expanded to 429 pages and with 150 recipes (50% more). It is a good guide, one which has withstood the test of time. There is a discussion on oils and vinegars in two chapters, updated with the latest health information. She's got notes on oil tasting and vinegar tasting, as well as stocking the pantry. The cookbook itself begins on page 71, and runs through the gamut of courses, apps to desserts and beverages. The appendices list an updated bibliography, resources, glossary, and templates for tracking tasting note and recommendations. She's got Fall Fruit Gazpacho with watermelon, Garden Minestrone , umpteen salads, and the usual standards of bruschetta, tuna tapenade, feta with olive oil, grilled pizzas, spaghettini with walnut and parsley sauce, and poached eggs with warm shallot vinaigrette. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Some dishes come with beverage recommendations. Quality/price rating: 89.
26.THE APPLE COOKBOOK, 3rd edition (Storey Publishing, 1984, 2001, 2015, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-518-3, $14.95 US soft covers) is by Olwen Woodier who has written six cookbooks. This is an updated collection to some 125 "freshly picked" preps, originally published in 1984 with a second edition in 2001. The range is both sweet and savoury, from breakfast through late night snacks. There is material on pick-your-own farms, cider mills, and nostalgia. It is all accented by 95 updated recipes and 30 brand-new ones. At the end she's got a description of the more prominent 28 varieties, with pictures, and some material on 27 heirloom varieties. Then she has charts showing which varieties are best for eating, salads, sauces, baking whole, pie and freezing. Be prepared for fragrant lamb stew, curried ham and apples, polish sausage with apples and red cabbage, and a variety of pies and salads. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
27.THE VEGETARIAN'S BIBLE (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, 2015, 351 pages, ISBN 978-1-63220-309-0, $18.99 US paper covers) is by Inga-Britta Sundqvist, a chef-writer in Sweden. The book was originally published in 2012 in Sweden with an English translation that same year. This is the paperback edition of that hardback book. She's got 350 quick and relatively easy preps for a fresh take on food and life. The recipes are good for a range of conditions: raw food, low glycemic, vegan, lacto-ovo, and gluten free. This is home cooking, and she recommends five seasonal buffets for any large crowd when entertaining. She's got a whole range of descriptions about non-meat foods, and finishes with vitamin and mineral guides and a variety of indexes for recipes and foods. It is an all-in-one book. Arrangement is by food category: salads, dips, apps, soups, pasta, through to mains, desserts, breakfasts, breads, and drinks. Most, if not all, are classic dishes, suc has as mango salsa, lemon marinated haricot verts, gomasio, tabbouleh, oat with apple and ginger, and zucchini pasta. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there are also tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
28.COOKING UP A STORM; recipes lost and found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans (Chronicle Books, 2008, 20157; distr. Raincoast, 368 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-4400-9, $30 US hard covers) is edited by Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker. This is the 2015 HARD cover reprint of the original paperback release from 2008. All the preps come out of the Times-Picayune newspaper. It is interesting that the newspaper became a post-hurricane
swapping place for old recipes that were washed away by Katrina. There are about 225 recipes here, along with the stories of how they came to be. They have been collated from the newspaper archives, local readers and chefs, and local restaurants. Both classic and contemporary are repped here, so you'll get a dose of beignets, chicken with okra, red beans and rice, grits, and local drink recipes. It is wide-ranging, and not all recipes are Creole or Cajun – it is more like a community cookbook from New Orleans and the parishes. And it means that there are many non-Creole dishes such as "Mexican lasagna" or "liver with onions" or "beef kababs".  Arrangement is by course, from apps to desserts, with, of course, a lagniappe chapter. The book concludes with a guide to local descriptions of food, such as po-boy or gumbo. Recipes use avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents at the far back. Anecdotes and pictures of a lost New Orleans complete the package. Some interesting recipes include pain perdu, seafood gumbo, fresh corn and shrimp chowder, banana bread, anise cookies, praline cookies, and muffuletta. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
29.BEST SALADS EVER; recipes for sensational salads all year long (Grub Street, 2009, 2015, 174 pages, ISBN 978-1-909808-33-1, $29.95 CAN soft covers) is by Sonja Bock and Tina Scheftelowitz; it was originally published in Copenhagen in 2008. This is the English translation via a London UK publisher, first released in 2009. The arrangement is by category: beetroot salads, cabbage salads, root veggie salads, potato salads, and then noodles, pasta, grains, beans, greens, and then fish, meats, and fruits. These are followed by a chapter on dips and dressings. They conclude with lots of buffet ideas and recipes for entertaining. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
30.THE BEST OF JANE GRIGSON; the enjoyment of food (Grub Street, 1992, 2015, 462 pages, ISBN 978-1-909808-28-7, $39.95 CAN hard covers) is material by the late Jane Grigson as compiled by Roy Fullick. It was originally published in 1992 By Michael Joseph, and this is the 2015 reprint. "This book is intended both as  tribute to Jane Grigson's culinary skills and scholarship and as a practical cookery book." It's divided into chapters that reflected her interests: England, France, Charcuteries, Mediterranean, Europeans, Americas, India, and Celebration Treats. There is a bibliography of her writings at the back. Preparations have their ingredients listed mainly in metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. A good book to read, a great book for gifting. Quality/price rating: 90.
31.GOOD AND CHEAP (Workman Publishing, 2015, 190 pages, ISBN 978-0-7611-8499-7, $16.95 US soft covers) is by Leanne Brown. It was her master's paper in food studies and food policy from New York University. It became a PDF with 700,000 downloads, morphed into a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish the book (40,000 copies), and that self-published book won the 2015 IACP Judge's Choice Award. As every copy of the Workman edition is sold, there will be a book donation to a family who needs it. The current book's premise is to present recipes to nourish people on only $4 a day. 46 million Americans have to survive on only $4 a day for food: students, grads seeking jobs, young families, retirees. It has been revised from its original publication. She's got a strategy and a flexible approach. Every prep is costed and there are economical cooking methods. The page on leftovers gives suggestions which are mainly for sandwiches or wraps, and soups. Nothing should be wasted. Typical foods include green chile and cheddar quesadillas, teriyaki carrots, breakfast quinoa, ramen-inspired deviled eggs, roast chicken, chana masala tomatoes. The global scope emphasizes some of the poverty areas of the world. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.
32.175 ESSENTIAL SLOW COOKER CLASSICS (Robert Rose, 2006, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0524-3, $27.95 CAN paper covers) is by Judith Finlayson, a longtime food writer who the publisher claims has sold more than 750,000 slow cooker books and close to 1 million cookbooks in all. If you have a slow cooker and don't have any of her other cookbooks, then where were you? This current book includes many preps from her first three books plus sixty new ones that were developed for inclusion here. Slow cookers are a mature industry, and they are one of the safest electric appliances. There's a wide range of meals plus different levels of expertise and different situations, from family home cooking (and kids' use of slow cookers) to entertaining. Useful are sweet potato lasagna, leek risotto, and buttermilk lemon sponge. Most dishes can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated; not everything here is a soup or a stew. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
33.MR.WILKINSON'S WELL-DRESSED SALAD (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2015, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-57912-993-4, $27.95 US hard covers) is by Matt Wilkinson, a market owner and chef-owner  of many restaurants in Melbourne. He also authored Mr. Wilkinson's Vegetables, a top seller and IACP Design award winner. This current book was originally published by Hardie Grant in Australia as Mr. Wilkinson's Simply Dressed Salads. I'm not sure why the title was changed, since "simply dressed" and "well-dressed" are at opposite ends of the word spectrum. Simply dressed implies lightness while well-dressed is more formal and heavy. Nevertheless, this book is arranged by the seasons (spring through winter) with a primer on growing your own leaves, creating your own dressings, and a glossary. For autumn we have an old man's slaw, egg with green olive and dukkah salad, and torn fresh figs & grapes with almonds and strawberry balsamic. The book is well-presented and laid out, so it is sure to wine another book design award somewhere. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.

No comments: