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Monday, July 5, 2021


3.PEAS LOVE & CARROTS: the cookbook (Artscroll/Shaar Press, 2020,
432 pages, ISBN 978-1-4226-2578-1 $50 hardbound) is by Danielle
Renov. It grew out of her social media and website work at From her kitchen in Israel she transforms
classic Jewish cooking to new approachable recipes. Her own
background includes Moroccan ancestry, so she is able to draw on the
entire Middle Eastern experience. Her site is full of tips and advice,
cooking tutorials, and good food knowledge; her book is a permanent
extension of the better elements of that digital site. Here are 254+ recipes
with 180 full-colour photos. She opens with a whole pile of tips, especially
on how to read a recipe, and closes with the conversion tables. In
between there are lots of vignettes that relate to each prep. Good reading.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements,
but there are tables of metric equivalents at the end.
Audience and level of use: those looking for a comprehensive modern
Jewish cookbook.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: roasted sweet potato, apple
and leek soup; slow roasted deckle; bourbon braised short ribs; Korean
flanken roast; shakshuka for a crowd; sfinge (Moroccan donuts); orange
blossom syrup.
The downside to this book: only two lamb recipes
The upside to this book: generous selection of relevant and contemporary
Quality/Price Rating: 88
4.A TABLE: recipes for cooking + eating the French way (Chronicle
Books, 2021, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1-7972-0223-5 $43 hardbound) is by
Rebekah Peppler, a Paris-based food writer and stylist who contributes to
the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, and others. She specializes
in simple but sophisticated French food and French living. So we've got
two books here: one on the food and one on the style or manners. Pre-
pandemic she usually hosted impromptu gatherings on a weekly basis,
and this goes to the preparation of this book as the blurb notes: "a go-to
repertoire of new French dishes that reflect a modern French table." The
125 recipes embrace the classic dishes, the regional dishes, and the
merging dishes of new cultures from previous colonies of Algeria to
Indochina. It is also a travel book with materials about the different
elements of food as found in Paris. All of her feasts at home are in three
parts: before (85 pages) with aperitifs and snacks, during (130 pages)
with mains and sides, and after (60 pages) with deserts and digestifs.
There's a bit about wine, but not much. The main wines of Paris appear to
be Muscadet and Beaujolais, both compellingly fresh and aromatic.
Expensive wines are usually Champagnes.` The book could have been
improved if it had also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a
metric conversion chart.
Audience and level of use: those who enjoy a Parisian environment as a
backdrop to their food.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: Basque chicken, Alsatian
cheesecake, salade nicoise for a crowd; lamb tagine; green shakshuka;
bigger banh mi.
The downside to this book: I wanted more on wine
The upside to this book: good arrangement
Quality/Price Rating: 89
5.CULINARY HERBS; Grow. Preserve. Cook! (Whitecap, 2021, 278
pages, ISBN 978-1-770-50335-9 $34.95 softbound) is by Yvonne
Tremblay, a recipe developer for major food companies and food
marketing boards. She specializes in herbs, and has also written other
cookbooks on preserves. And chutneys. This current book focuses on
growing, harvesting, and using herbs. The primer includes a discussion on
fresh vs. dried herbs, the various herb mixtures (bouquet garni, herbes de
provence, fines herbes), and how to cook various herbs. Her glossary of
19 herbs includes a basic 17 and two categories of lemon and mint family
herbs. Recipes are arranged by course, from appetizers through soups,
salads, mains, sides, desserts – with an excursion through crackers,
biscuits and breads – ending with herbal beverages and preserves. The
book could have been improved if it had also used metric in the recipes,
or at least had a metric conversion chart.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements,
but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: gardeners and home cooks
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: veal saltimbocca alla Romana;
braised lamb shanks with rosemary; Thai mango salad; mint julep; herbed
wine; rosemary apple cider jelly; strawberry lavender jam.
The downside to this book: needs more metric 
The upside to this book: a good reference collection, very
Quality/Price Rating: 88
lose weight, reverse insulin resistance, and stop pre-diabetes. (Adams
Media, 2021, 270 pages, ISBN 978-1-5072-1420-6, $25.99 softbound) is
by Marie Feldman and Jodi Dalyai, both of whom are registered dietitians
and diabetes educators. Both use nutrition in their daily work to help
patients in the areas of weight loss and diabetes. Much has already been
written in the media about both diabetes and pre-diabetes, but this book
begins a bit earlier with "insulin resistance".  The key here is weight loss
and, of course, lifestyle pattern changes. These alone would go a long
way to end the path to diabetes. They've got 150 recipes and a 10-week
plan for healthy eating and increased activity. Based on their researches
and patients they have worked with, you can lower your risk for type 2
diabetes. The book could have been improved if it had also used metric in
the recipes, but at least it had metric conversion charts. Quality/price
rating: 88.
7.THE ITALIAN DELI COOKBOOK (Hardie Grant Quadrille, 2021, 256
pages, ISBN 978-1-78713-596-3 $50 hardbound) is by Theo Randall,
who had worked at River Cafe (UK) and Chez Panisse (USA) before
opening his own UK restaurant in 2006. He has also been a guest on
many UK TV shows. This is his third book on Italian cooking, and it deals
with the Italian pantry. Keep well-stocked shelves and you'll never go
hungry – you can make a meal out of anything found in the kitchen. A
perfect pandemic selection. Everything can be purchased ahead of time
from Eataly or similar delis (no matter how small), and the arrangement of
the book follows the shelves. First up are eggs, which are sort of an
anomaly since they are "fresh". Nevertheless, this section is followed by
cheese (good storage for dairy!), salumi, tinned fish, smoked fish, jarred
veggies and pulses, dried pasta, olives, herbs, rice, Italian sausages,
olive oil and other oils, vinegars, flour, wine, and coffee. From all of these
you can make dishes of pasta, pizza, and panini for a start. The only
reservation I have of this steady diet is a concern about the amount of salt
and other preservatives. It's best to look at labels. Never buy pesto: you
can make your own and preserve it. The same with ragu and other sauces.
The index has a double whammy for the older folks: tiny tiny typeface and
grey ink. Not every reader is a millennial. Anyway, self-confession time:
we've got all these ingredients at our house and we have been using the
Italian pantry for over 40 years. The book could have been improved if it
had also used more metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric
conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 90.
8.BOARDS, PLATTERS, PLATES: recipes for entertaining, sharing, and
snacking (Artisan, 2021, 160 pages, $24.95 hardbound) is by Maria Zizka,
co-author of  the excellent "Tartine All Day" cookbook. Here she gives us
30 boards/platters/plates for all manner of events, ranging from the basic
charcuterie board and cheese board through appetizer board, Parisienne
party size board, cauliflower pakora, beachside, Lebanese lunch, vegan
rainbow, bagna cauda party size, and even six boards for dessert. Very
well-presented with illustrated examples of layouts of boards and
identification of all the components. Fish and seafood are also added, as
for the beach or for the grand aioli. Well-worth a look. Quality/price rating:
9.ONE-BOWL MEALS: simple, nourishing, delicious (Artisan, 2021, 160
pages, $24.95 hardbound) is by Maria Zizka, co-author of  the excellent
"Tartine All Day" cookbook. Here she has given us 30 combinations
organized by base (oatmeal, chia, yogurt, grains, noodles, greens. The
basic formula is start with a base, build with a protein, and add a sauce,
and then a couple of toppings, and some crunchy garnishes. Thes one-
meal bowls can be protein-enhanced, or made vegan, or made gluten-
free. She's got the ideas all laid out for us. Yummy photos too.
Quality/price rating: 89
10.TABLES & SPREADS (Chronicle Books, 2021, 288 pages, $27.95
USD hardbound) is by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel with Wyatt Worcel.
She's a vegetarian food blogger; he's an aquaculture graduate. Together
they have compiled a go-to guide for snacks, small gatherings, and
inviting feasts. They present 21 inspired design ideas, with timelines,
shopping lists, and diagrams. Plus of course the recipes. The duo's got
some tips for choosing a theme and styling the food in a creative manner.
Linens, flowers, and music complete the picture. Platters can be as small
as a burrata bar or a creamy polenta spread, or just a selection of
delicious dips. Some typical themes embrace a savoury focaccia party, a
mezze spread, pierogi dumplings, breakfast nacho buffet, Dutch baby
party, and the like.  Taking their notes and ideas you can create many
more tables and spreads.  There's one spread for bought sliced meat and
sausages, but the recipes themselves are all vegetarian. Quality/Price
rating: 90.
11.NEGRONI (Ryland Peters & Small, 2021, 64 pages, $13.85
hardbound) is by David T. Smith and Keli Rivers. Here are more than 30
classic and modern recipes for Italy's iconic cocktail.  Variations make use
of dry and aged vermouths, along with ports and sherries and white
bitters. One for the cocktail friends. Quality/Price rating: 90.

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