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Monday, January 30, 2017


...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"...
22.THE ULTIMATE STUDENT COOKBOOK FROM CHICKEN TO CHILI (Firefly, 2010, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-55407-602-4, $14.95 CAD paperbound) is by Tiffany Goodall, a personality-celebrity chef in the UK (where the book was first published by Quadrille in 2009). This is a nifty book about basics and budget. The author had lived away from home on a limited budget while she was a culinary arts student, so she shows college students how to get by with fresh and healthy food every day. Of course, she had a leg up since she was actually studying cooking. There are 100 preps here, requiring only 20 kitchen items, fewer than 20 on-hand staples, plus regularly available ingredients from the grocery store. There's some health information, hygiene, storage, and use of leftovers.
Substitutions and adaptations are also included. What I really like about the book are the step-by-step photos with captions and balloons that show the prep and presentation of each dish. But on the other hand, some recipes need re-figuring: the saltiness of soy sauce will NOT disappear with evaporation, and baking 2 inch potatoes for 1.5 to 2 hours at 400 degrees will get you blackened (not crisp) potatoes. So: what do students like?How about mac and cheese, pizza, roast chicken, fajitas, stir fries, sandwiches? Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/Price rating: 87.
23.COCKTAILS MADE EASY (Firefly Books, 2010, 2016, 192 pages, ISBN  978-1-77085-775-9, $19.95 CAD paperbound) is by Simon Difford, an award-winning spirits writer in the UK. It was last out in 2010. It is exceedingly useful for its 500 recipes, with new ones since the last edition. Many recipes have been modified one way or another: different brands are used, different proportions adapt to modern times, recipes are simpler. There are four basic ways to mix a cocktail: stir, shake, blend, and build, and there is an order in which to mix the ingredients. His preps show those things, along with appropriate garnishes, a correct glass, and information on origins. He has a listing of 14 key alcoholic ingredients for 450 cocktails and essential staples. Most of the
book is, of course, an A – Z dictionary style arrangement of the cocktails, using the best known name of the drink. There is no real ingredient index, but there are highlights to some suppliers used as ingredients. He has no overall print index to, say, rye or rum. You can always search cocktail recipes by ingredients at Quality/price rating: 89.
24.THE NEW VEGETABLES, HERBS & FRUIT; an illustrated encyclopedia (Firefly, 2013, 2016, 704 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-798-2, $45 CAN hardbound) is by Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar, and Bob Flowerdew. Separately, they had written books dealing with vegetables (Biggs, 1997), herbs (McVicar, 1994) and fruit (Flowerdew, 1995), and they had last been revised in 2002. Here they have been collated into three distinct sections, with glossary, bibliography, seed sources, yearly calendar, and practical gardening matters. Each botanical plant has been identified, illustrated, given a variety of names under which it is known ("species"), some cultivation notes, some culinary uses, some medicinal uses, and some warnings and other uses. So for example, parsley has three zone 5 species, it propagates by seed, pests are notes, gardening and harvesting are noted, two preps (fine herbes and fish bouquet garni) are given, diuretic use and poultices are mentioned, and other uses include killing head lice. The warning is to not use parsley for medicine during a pregnancy. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Caution: the book weighs more than 3 kilos. Quality/price rating: 88.
25.101 MEATBALLS (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2016, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-774-4, $19.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's collation of recipes from RPS cookbook authors. "Meatballs" in this context also means fish and veggies, and almost anything spherical, including the great arancini. This is universally adored comfort food, and here are 101 versions plus variations. Most of the preps came from Cathy Seward, Ghillie Basan and Laura Washburn, and the many others contributed about three each on average. Just about all the balls are spicy and international. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
26.ARTISAN BREADS; practical recipes and detailed instructions for baking the world's finest loaves (Skyhorse Publishing, 2004, 2011, 2016, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-65107-1252-2, $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Jan Hedh, a Swedish bread maker. The book was originally published in 2004 in Swedish, and here it has been translated and released into North
America. This is the paperback edition. He's got 110 recipes that are internationally based, and are quite suitable for home cooking. There are lots of primer-type information and photos of techniques and finished breads. There's nothing gluten-free here, and most of the preps are European influenced. There are sandwich breads, sweet breads, dark breads, savoury bread, brioches, Christmas breads, and the like. Preparations have their ingredients listed in only avoirdupois volume measurements,
with no scaling, and there is no table of metric equivalents. A concession to the American market? Quality/price rating: 82.
27.THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FRYING; how to fry just about anything (Skyhorse Publishing, 2010, 2016, 264 pages, ISBN 978-1-63450-709-7, $14.99 USD paperbound) is by Rick Browne, a food writer specializing in BBQ. It's an all-purpose fry book, with a healthy dose of macho attitude. It seems like a safe purchase for that male in your life. It's a new edition with a new chapter on game day fried snacks. There's sections, anecdotes and stories for such as lobster and pork. Chapters cover appetizers, beef, fish, shellfish, pork, poultry, side dishes, sauces, marinades, veggies, game, desserts and batters. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Try fried salmon egg rolls, alligator marinade, oysters 'n' bacon, chicken-fried steak, or shark with fresh mango salsa. Quality/Price Rating: 85.
28.100 WAYS WITH EGGS (Ryland Peters and Small, 2016, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-773-7, $19.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's book with recipes contributions from 32 different cookbook writers. But mostly they are from Miranda Ballard, Tonia George, Shelagh Ryan, and Laura Washburn. These are eggs 100 ways (boiled, baked, fried, scrambled)from breakfasts to salads, hashes, desserts and cocktails. There is also included the usual food safety notice for when dealing with raw eggs. Pea, basil and feta fritters with roast tomatoes caught my eye, as did matambre (Argentine stuffed flank steak). Preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
29.TINA NORDSTROM'S SCANDINAVIAN COOKING (Skyhorse Publishing, 2013, 2014, 2016, 384 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-0614-9, $22.99 USD paperbound) was first published in Swedish in 2013 as "Tina". The next year it was translated and published in English in hardbound in the US. This is the jumbo paperback version. She's got 234 recipes that are mainly Swedish in taste but applicable to the whole region. Typical passions are for au gratin potatoes, salmon with warm grapes and capers, grilled watermelon and peanut sauce. She's hosted 14 seasons of cooking shows on TV, after qualifying as a finalist for Swedish Chef of the Year in 2001. Of note is the spiced bread with butternut squash puree, or marinated artichoke hearts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements for the most part, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
30.AUSTRIAN DESSERTS (Skyhorse Publishing, 2010, 2013, 2016, 447 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-0646-0, $29.99 USD paperbound) is by Toni Morwald (pastry chef) and Christoph Wagner (food writer). It was originally published in German in 2010, and then in English in 2013 by Skyhorse. This is the 2016 paperbound edition. Here are more than 400 recipes for cakes, pastries, strudels, and candies. The range, all in separate sections, also includes puff pastes, tarts, schnitten, compotes and sauces, creams and mousses, souffles and puddings, dumplings, noodles, gnocchi, pancakes, doughnuts, ice creams, cookies, and parfaits. As such it is fairly  comprehensive. Preparations have their ingredients scaled and listed in metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.


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