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Thursday, February 27, 2020


...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"...
23.COOKING WITH MARY BERRY (DK Books, 2016, 2019, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-9421-4, $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Mary Berry, well-known British cookbook author who has appeared as a judge on UK cooking shows and competitions in the American market. This is one of her first books for US viewers – published in hard covers in 2016, and here now in paper covers, although she has written over 70 (seventy!) cookbooks in the UK. Here are 150 everyday recipes "that my American viewers will love". There are also some UK specialties in the mix as well, such as Chelsea buns. Bath buns, It is a standard arrangement: breakfasts, soups & starters, mains, sides, breads, and desserts. It is international, with curries, enchiladas, hummus, salade nicoise, focaccia, Persian pilaf. Standard and classic Mary Berry. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
24.PARTY-PERFECT BITES (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014, 2019, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-157-1, $14.95 USDhard covers) is by Milli Taylor, a London caterer who has a supper club called Milk & Sugar. Her book is all about finger food (sorry, only one asparagus recipe: asparagus filo cigars) and small bites. She's got about 100 recipes, all easy and quick to do. In addition, there are menu planners to help serve a variety of people and a selection of both hot and cold apps – all matched to the season, the celebration, and the venue.  These include a formal drinks party, a casual drinks party, a festive winter drinks party, a vegetarian affair, and a gluten-free affair. Strewn throughout are the usual shortcuts, tips, hints and advice on parties. Typical preps are chestnuts and bacon, mini okonomiyaki (with no fish), coconut pancakes, beetroot and apple on crispbreads, prosciutto-pear-gorgonzola rolls, and churros. Something for everyone. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric (for the most part) and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.
25.FLAVORS OF THE MIDDLE EAST (Ryland Peters & Small, 2014, 2019, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-162-5, $19.95 USD hard covers) is by Ghilli Basan, a Cordon Bleu trained food writer of books dealing with the Middle East and with South-East Asia. This book was originally published in 2014 as "Flavors of the Middle East". It's more a general introduction, almost-travel book with its photography by Steve Painter. The arrangement here is pretty traditional, beginning with basic recipes and a cultural history of the region, followed by mezze, salads, soups, meat, poultry, seafood, veggies, grains, sweets and drinks. It is a fabulous introduction with a good layout. Preparations have their ingredients listed in some metric but mainly in avoirdupois measurements, and there are no tables of equivalents. Some interesting recipes of the 65 given include chicken tagine with fried halloumi and olives; chicken onions and sumac; lentils with rice and caramelized onions; carrot, almond and cardamom conserve; pickled purple turnips; brown beans with soft-boiled eggs; and fish tagine with chermoula and cabbage.
Quality/Price Rating: 85.
26.THE GUILT-FREE GOURMET; indulgent recipes without wheat, dairy or cane sugar (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2012, 2019, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-78879-152-6, $19.95 USD hard covers) is by Jordan and Jessica Bourke, an Irish brother and sister. He's a chef specializing in nutrition; she's a nutritional therapist. The book originally came out in 2012; it is reprinted here (with an addition: the word "sugar" in the former subtitle has been replaced with the words "cane sugar"). None of the recipes here use wheat or dairy, or "processed sugar" (but date syrup and agave syrup is used, so it is not entirely sugar free). There is also use of xylitol, a natural sweetener. But stevia, though, is strangely not mentioned. The book is arranged by mood, so there is a chapter on brunch, another on comfort food, another on foods from afar, home baking, sweet treats, light and fresh, and sharing plates. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both mainly metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Some interesting recipes include apple, raisins and cinnamon muffins; chicken and chorizo with mashed squash and romesco; sweet potato hummus; borlotti bean puree; globe artichoke and fennel; chicken tagine; chocolate panna cotta. Quality/Price Rating: 85.
27.RAINBOW FOOD; 50 recipes color-coded and vitaminized (Firefly Books, 2018, 2019, 143 pages, ISBN 978-0-2281-0224-3, $19.95 CAD softcovers) is by Linda Louis, who lives in France and writes often about wild foods and organic cooking. It was originally published last year in French by Gallimard (Paris). The theme is "colourful" foods to promote good nutrition, based on easy and delicious (with spices) recipes for a variety of tastes using standard grocery foods, mainly fresh fruits and veggies. The three most powerful nutrients in colourful foods are: chlorophyll, carotenoids, and polyphenols. Preps cover the range from apps to desserts to frozen snacks. There is even a section on homemade natural food colourings. Typical dishes include roasted heirloom carrots with balsamic, yogurt and pomegranate sauce; pickled roasted peppers; chia pudding; fruit popsicles; dried fruit ice cream – even mojitos. The book could have been improved if it also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. This is probably the best new colourfully photographed books this year!  Quality/price rating: 87.
28.ROASTS (National Trust, 2009, 2019, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-911358-75-6 $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Laura Mason. It was originally published a decade ago, and now it is back in a revised edition (although the bibliography does not seem to have been updated). It's a good basic book, with all the British elements of what constitutes a roast and how to prepare it for the baking process. It opens with beef and veal, and then moves along to lamb and mutton (the latter rarely seen in North America), pork and ham, poultry (including goose and duck), and game (a toughie). Plus a selection of sides and sauces. Conversions charts are at the back. Quality/price rating: 87


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