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Friday, December 28, 2018


...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"...
19.CHARCUTERIE; how to enjoy, serve and cook with cured meats. Rev ed (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014, 2018,160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-037-6, $14.95 US hard covers) is by Miranda Ballard, who co-owns the UK ethical beef concern Muddy Boots. This is the 2018 revised edition. Charcuterie and salumi are discussed, especially in the creation of a charcuterie board (French, Italian or Spanish). Layouts are noted, as well as choice of meats and sausages. The Italian board would have olives and crostini, as well as a pecorino and olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. The French board would also have tapenade, baguette, and a soft cheese. The Spanish board would also have olives, marinated red peppers, rustic breads, Manchego cheese, and almonds. The the rest of the book concerns small bites, apps, salads, light lunches, larger dishes, and side dishes with accompaniments. Home curing is part of the primer. It is a good start. Presumably, you could also end the meal with a cheese board, although this is not discussed. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 89.
20.NORDIC BAKERY COOKBOOK Rev ed (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2011, 2018, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-044-4, $14.95 US hard covers) is by Miisa Mink, a partner in the bakery. The Nordic Bakery opened in Soho, London in 2007. This is the revised edition of the 2011 book. The emphasis from the resto is an offering of dark rye bread, cinnamon buns, and coffees. Scandinavian cookery has been touted as wholesome and comforting, with its emphasis on rye flour, oats and barley. So first up, then, is a whole section on breads, followed by savory pastries, cakes, sweet pastries, tarts and cookies. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. The book is further distinguished by the usual high photographic standards of the finished plates. Typical preps include rye bread, gravad lax, rye baguettes, open faced sandwiches of many kinds, carrot and oat rolls, karelian pies from Finland, and anchovy twists. Quality/price rating: 88
21.RISOTTO; delicious recipes for Italy's classic rice dish Rev ed (Ryland Peters & Small, 2005, 2018, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-035-2, $14.95 US hard covers) is by Maxine Clark, a cooking teacher and writer who specializes in Italian food. She has also written other such books for Ryland in the past. It was originally published in 2005, as
"Risotto with vegetables, seafood, meat and more". Beginning with the basics (white risotto step-by-step, broths), she continues with sections on food by ingredients: there is a vegetarian section, but of course risottos deal mostly with cheese, egg, poultry, meats, and seafood. There are over 60 recipes here (expanded from 50), including a few desserts. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. And there is a listing of useful UK and US websites for mail orders.
Good for home cooks, or for those who only want the basics. Try fennel and black olive risotto, pesto risotto, chicken liver risotto, or beetroot risotto. Each recipe is illustrated with a lush presentation photo. Quality/Price Ratio: 87.
22.EASY TAGINE; delicious recipes for Moroccan one-pot cooking (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2012, 2018, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-045-1, $16.95 USD paper covers) is mostly by Ghillie Basan, cookery writer specializing in Middle East cookbooks and articles. Some of the preps here are from six other writers. It's a timely book, one of the "Easy" series from this publisher and it fits in the "one-pot" mode of ease, although there are other recipes here for traditional or classic accompaniments. Of course, there's a primer on tagines. Lamb tagine is traditional, but she also has preps for beef, kefta, sausage, chicken, duck, vegetable, fish and seafood tagines. That's half the book. There are also a range of couscous, skewers, roasts, pan fries, sides, salads, soups, sweets, and drinks. So all of it is almost a Moroccan cookbook. And you can always use a heavy-based casserole dish instead of a tagine. Preparations have their ingredients listed in partial metric and full avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Do try kefta tagine with eggs and roasted cumin; oven-baked tagine of red
mullet, tomatoes and lime; tagine of beans, cherry tomatoes and black olives; chorizo tagine with lentils and fenugreek; tagine of lamb with veggies and mint; fluffy
pistachio nougat. Quality/Price Rating: 89.
23.EASY COMFORT FOOD (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2008, 2018, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-042-0, $16.95 USD paper covers) is a publisher's collection of more than 100 "feel-good" recipes for indulgence: warming soups, stews, baked goods, desserts. Twenty writers from  the RPS stable were involved, although not equally. The lion's share of the preps come from Maxine Clark and Ross Dobson. Topics also include savoury snacks, broad supper dishes, and teatime treats. If you really want something comforting and stress-reduced, then try those foods with the most umami such as Parmesan cheese or mushrooms. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 87.
24.SOUPED UP (Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-034-5 $14.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's collection compiled by Miriam Catley, with recipes from nine different food writers in the RPS stable. Belinda Williams has the lion's share of these preps; the others have six or fewer preps each. Recipes are sorted by chapters into smooth, light, hearty, and luxurious, pretty evenly (although smooth and hearty seem to have a few more). The soups are internation (Vietnam, Morocco, Italian, French, etc.). Some interesting ones: watercress soup with nashi pear, scallops and pancetta; citrus broth with king prawns, chilli and ginger; callaloo with sorrel and crab; pheasant soup with mushrooms and port. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88
25.VEGETARIAN PARTY FOOD (Hardie Grant Books, 2018, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-78488-185-6 $19.99 USD paperbound) is by Jessica Oldfield. It was first published by Hachette Livre Marabout in 2017; this is the English translation. The publisher describes the preps as "delectable vegetable-forward bites for entertaining". So these are ready-to-eat foods for a party or gathering. It has four main sections: basics, dips, vegetarian, and vegan. The 80 meat-free dishes include simple no-cook bites through to complex which require cooking. Typical are basics such as cashew ricotta, dips such as pesto or romesco sauce, veggie such as za'atar popcorn cones or crispy delicata squash rings, and 27 vegan preps such as caprese stacks, portobello pizzas, sweet potato crostini, or artichoke tapenade. Excellent photography emphasizes layout beyond the plated dish. Prep times are indicated in the recipes, but the book could have been improved if it also used all metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
26.RUSTIC FRUIT DESSERTS (Ryland Peters & Small, 2018, 128 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-033-8 $14.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's compilation of recipes from the RPS stable of 20 cookbook authors, pulled together by Alice Sambrook. Here are 55 easy and comforting recipes from cobblers to pies, and including crisps, crumbles, tarts, strudels, slumps, puddings and dessert cakes for all occasions. Most authors here have 1, 2, or 3 preps, but Hannah Miles has ll and Maxine Clark has 10. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 86.


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