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Wednesday, March 25, 2020


--PALESTINE ON A PLATE; memories from my mother's kitchen (Interlink  Publishing Group, 2020, 240 pages, $34.95 paperbound) is by Joudie Kalla, a UK chef who specializes in Palestine food. She earlier had also written the cookbook "Baladi Palestine". This is the home-cooked food of her heritage, paying homage to the Palestine that her family knew and remembers. She starts off with her world of ingredients before moving on to the courses (breakfast, desserts) and the major ingredients: grains, legumes, veggies, lamb, chicken, fish. There's also a bibliography and a list of suppliers. First rate photography with strong memoir-ish cook's notes and travel info.
--BIG FLAVORS FROM ITALIAN AMERICA: family-style favorites from coast to coast (America's Test Kitchen, 2020, 278 pages, $35 hardbound) is by the crew at America's Test Kitchens in Boston, where their motto is "recipes that work".  The cookbook celebrates the basic red sauce (ragu gravy) cooking found in America, and also included here is a short history of Italian American food. Created here were spaghetti and meatballs, cioppino, and scali bread. Pizza shops, pasta shops, and sandwich shops came to every town., sustained by those customers who wanted simple and inexpensive meals – usually with garlic bread and modestly-priced baskets of chianti, often lasagna. As the years went by, new items appeared: risotto, polenta, different ravioli.  This work also covers minor variations in restaurants across the USA – Philadelphia pork sandwiches, Utica greens, Detroit-Chicago-St Louis pizzas, eggplant pecorino, garlic knots and zeppole. Good holiday reading, from marinated olives through calamari, Sunday suppers, breads and desserts.
--BOWLS; vibrant recipes with endless possibilities (America's Test Kitchen, 2020, 246 pages, $35 hardbound) is just one a series of ATK books, now numbering in the seventies. They always take a theme and look at it from every angle, to produce the absolute best cooking ideas and recipes, taking into account kitchen equipment and varying cooking skills. This one produces  presp on salad bowls, grain and bean bowls, noodle bowls, and soup bowls.  There are master meal preps with make-ahead components, some mix and match items, and handy use of leftovers. There are 63 toppings and sauces, making enough here for a year full of bowls, many of them customized. This is probably the only bowl cookbook  you will ever need. Great ideas, with service ranging mostly from two to six, and with full nutritional information for each. There are tables of conversions and equivalents. Just perfect for the zoomer starting out in life.

May we all have 2020 vision.

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