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Tuesday, January 12, 2016


...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"...
31.SIMPLY VIETNAMESE COOKING (Robert Rose, 2015, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0521-2, $19.95 US paper covers)is by Nancie McDermott, a US SouthEast Coast food writer specializing in SouthEast Asian food. It was published in the US in 2006 as Quick & Easy Vietnamese, with 75 everyday recipes. She has also authored "Quick & Easy Thai" and "Quick and Easy Chinese". The Vietnamese book, with 135 recipes this time, has traditional dishes plus some shortcuts. She has notes on ingredients, substitutions and techniques, as well as a glossary, pantry notes, and utensils needed. There are menus for 12 different meals, with extensive details. The arrangement is by food type(beef, chicken, etc.). She concludes with a bibliography and a North American mail order source list. Some interesting recipes include lemongrass soup. grilled leaf-wrapped beef kebabs, crab and asparagus soup, hainan chicken and rice, grilled tuna steaks with pineapple-chili sauce, and sweet and tangy soup. The index has both the Vietnamese and English names of the dish, and the menus all have page references to the recipes used. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
32.MICHAEL JACKSON'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO SINGLE MALT SCOTCH Fully Revised 7th edition. (DK, 2015, 448 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-3798-3, $25 US hard covers) has been expanded by 112 pages since the 1999 edition. It was originally known as MALT WHISKY COMPANION. This Companion was first available in 1989, so it has been around for 26 years now. Regular
revision has enhanced the late Jackson's status; this is the world's best selling book on malt whisky. There are over 1000 tasting notes, reviewing the latest releases from every distillery in Scotland (plus a few from offshore in Ireland, Japan, Sweden, Germany, India, and Australia –  but not Cape Breton. Included are bottlings from closed distilleries and some rediscoveries. The first 70 pages here bring us up to speed on malt whisky, including "what's new?" (e.g., micro-distilleries, wood finishes, cask strengths, vintages and single casks, and unchillfiltered). Then, there is the A-Z listing of single malts. The range is from Aberfeldy to Tullibardine. For each is given the usual names and numbers, websites, history, house style, tasting notes for each label and brand (colour, nose, body, palate, finish, score). The good stuff is scored over 70, the exceptional drink is in the 80s, while the 90s are for the greats. These
scores are not indexed, so you have to skim through the whole book to find the "best" malts. I'll tell you now that The Macallan 1824 Sienna rates a 91, while there is Highland Park 18 year old (92) and Lagavulin 12 year old (91), Lagavulin 2014 distilled 1995 (93), and Springbank 21 year old (91). There is also a bibliography and an index.
Nova Scotia's Glenora Distillery's Glen Breton once rated a few encouraging lines but a score of only 71 in the past. It is no longer in the book. Because of the need for colour in the label reproductions, the pages are thick and the book is exceedingly heavy. Not a bedside winner for the faint. In addition, there is no index to the rating numbers, nor are price ranges quoted. Quality/Price rating: 91.
33.COMPLETE CHINESE COOKBOOK (Firefly Books, 2011, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-583-0, $29.95 CAD soft covers) is by prolific chef-cookbook author Ken Hom. He's sold over 2 million cookbooks over the past 35 years, as well as appearing on many TV cooking series. This is a group of 250 or so recipes, co-published in the UK by BBC Books. It is a paperback reprint of the 2011 hard covers book. There's a primer on ingredients, equipment, techniques, menus, and how to eat Chinese food. The range is from apps through desserts, although Hom does discourse on yin, yang, and yin yang. Overall, it is a basic book, emphasizing that Chinese food is healthy, modestly priced, and quick and easy. So it fits today's trends. Preps are sourced from all different regions such as Cantonese, Hong Kong, Szechuan, and more. Try curried vegetarian spring rolls, Beijing-braised lamb, cold marinated peanuts, walnut chicken, paper-wrapped chicken, or stir fried spinach with garlic. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is also a table of equivalents. Good layout, interesting photography, and large typeface. Quality/price rating: 88.
34.BETTY CROCKER GLUTEN-FREE BAKING (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-57920-0, $22.99 US paper covers) has about 230 recipes for all meals, both sweet and savoury. It is loaded with tips and photos to make life easier, presented in a succinct style of tables. Just about everything is covered, and you can, with comfort and ease, make your own variations. There are a couple of gluten-free flour blends, but mostly they fall under the Betty Crocker (TM) banner (e.g. the BC GF yellow cake mix, the all purpose rice flour blend, the devil's food cake mix, or the Biquick (TM) gluten- free mix). Nothing wrong with that since most feel comfortable with a pre-mix, one that will work. Overall, I think the cookies work best. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
35.LANCASTER CENTRAL MARKET COOKBOOK (Good Books, 2015, 284 pages, ISBN 978-1-68099-066-9, $19.99 US paper covers) has been pulled together by Phyllis Good. It's the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Central Market Cookbook, it's former title. This now is an expanded collection, now updated with new recipes and revisions, and contributions from the "new" current standholders. The Lancaster Central Market was founded in 1730; it is the oldest continually run farmers' market in the US, just off the main square in Lancaster, PA. It operates Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with a mix of local organic farmers, truck patch gardeners, bakers, butchers, cheese-makers, and cooks from local kitchens who bring their fully prepared food to sell. 25 years ago one of the sellers collected her fave recipes, and a book of 300 preps was issued. It now has 300, ranging from pumpkin cream soup to lamb balls with sour cream and capers, to scallops and pasta Romano, espresso mousse, and strawberry snowbank pie. Good had previously written the bestselling "Fix-It and Forget-It" cookbook series; in her youth she worked at the market and now still shops weekly at the market. The range covers apps to desserts, and is distinctly family oriented. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
36.THE COMPLETE WILD GAME COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2015, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0516-8, $39.95 CAN paper covers) is by Jean-Paul Grappe, chef and owner of four restaurants. It was originally published in French in Montreal in 2008. It is an all-in-one game book, with advice on preparing the flesh of game birds (half the book) such as duck, goose, grouse, ptarmigan, partridge, quail, pheasant, turkey and others. The other half deals with game animals such as moose, caribou, wild boar, bison, muskox, bear, beaver, rabbit and more. Quite thorough: they only thing lacking are game sausages, although there are patties and terrines. There are also preps included for gravies, broths, marinades and glazes. Related preps include pairing with wines and wild plants and mushrooms. Each recipe such as the roasted American Black duck with root veggies or the filet of Virginia deer on gingerbread loaf with confit of onions and fava beans comes with a variety of tips and variations. The photography is first-rate. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements with no need for a table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
37.THE ESSENTIAL AYURVEDIC COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0513-7, $27.95 CAN soft covers) is by Lois A. Leonhardi, a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and educator who creates individual diet/exercise programs. Portions of the book were previously published as East Well, Be Well in 2013. Here are 200 basic recipes for health/wellness/balance. It addresses dietary needs for omnivores, vegetarians, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free individuals. Her approach is breezy in style, and it is written for the modern day life of millennials (dare I say it?) with busy lifestyles who need to save time, make food ahead, get organized, and find essential ingredients rapidly at grocers. Knowledge of ayurvedic principles is not required. The first 100 pages concern the ayurvedic life (five elements, twenty qualities, three doshas, six tastes), followed by pantry/larder material. The preps are arranged mainly by meal time, breakfast through to end-of-day snacks. Typical are amaranth crepes with pomegranate syrup, endive with honeyed goat cheese, lavender essence tea bread, and ginger salmon hand rolls. Each prep has tips and variations, with their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.
38.BEST OF BRIDGE HOME COOKING (Robert Rose, 2015, 360 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0514-4, $29.95 CAN spiral bound) is by the "Best of Bridge" team (over 4 million sold). These are the tried and true classics for the home, a sort of first cookbook choice for those setting up their first kitchen. Comfort food like you would not believe (hot sausage sandwiches, chicken tacos, poached eggs, creamy tuna pasta bake, carrot raisin muffins – 250 recipes are here. Plus advice on quick meal preparation and shopping. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 86.


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