JUNE COOKBOOK OF MONTH - Suggestions, etc.
- oakjoan May 13, 2008 11:47 AM
The time has come, comrades, to pull on our boots and get to work choosing the next cookbook of the month.
For inspiration, the May suggestion thread is somewhere on this site and you can search for it if you feel the need. I imagine that all the other suggestion threads are also here.
This is the thread in which you may tell us of your love for "My Bakersfield Cauliflower Cookbook" or "Favorite Recipes from Denny's" or "Extremely Difficult Dishes Made With Hard To Find Ingredients"....whatever.
You may attempt to convince others of the merits or demerits of a cookbook.
I'll leave this up until May 20 (7 days) and then we'll move to the run-off.
Sorry to be late with this again, but I've been out of town twice this month and am just getting back to my chores.
Here's a newcomer for a suggestion -- "White House Chef" by Walter Scheib.
I found it a really fun read and has lots of recipes that sound very solid, delicious and scaled for the home cook. Broad range of mains, veggies, appetizers and salads. Scheib was the exec chef at the Greenbrier before getting the WH gig.
Scheib was the Clintons' chef for 7 years, where he says he worked w/ Mrs. Clinton to showcase what's best about American food. No longer stodgy french food. There's even a cheery note from Julia Child about how she had been a guest at the White House during several administrations and that since the LBJ administration she had not been so impressed but stated that at a recent lunch at the WH she found the food delicious.
Accessible, diverse and all recipes read: yummy! Orange, jicama and red onion salad, rack of lamb w/ peach and ginger chutney, oven roasted tomatoes and blue cheese on crispy polenta, grilled arctic char, buttermilk biscuits, jerk-spiced shrimp on corn cakes w/ mango and black bean salsa, shrimp and vegetable quesadillas.
(Published in 2007; lots of copies not checked out in my library system)
I've really enjoyed cooking from this. One caveat is that some of the ingredients may be difficult to find, since they are from Sardinia - I'll take a look through the book and see how often they are called for and how much I think it matters if you can't find them. The other issue may be that there are very few recipes available on line, from what I recall. Here's a thread on which I posted about my cooking from the book:
I've just gone through the book - boy am I hungry now. A lot of really beautiful seafood dishes, which I think would be wonderful in the summer. And many ways to use zucchini - just noticed a recipe for "Fettuccini with zucchin, zucchini blossoms and bottarga", which somehow I never noticed before - can't wait to make that! The list below is ingredients that might be harder to find - though plenty of recipes don't call for them, and he offers substitutes that I've tried to list as well. It may look "daunting" but I was thorough, and as I said, loads of things could be made without them, and most with just the couple of ingredients I suggest in the next paragraph.
If I were to acquire several new ingredients for cooking for this book (available on line if not locally), I'd get: Pecorino Sardo, Bottarga, Fruttato and Saba (which I dilute when the recipe calls for the Mosto d'Uva). This is his website selling them (I've not bought anything there), but there are other on line sources too:
Pecorino Sardo stagionato (or other semi-aged pecorino
)Pecorino Sardo (or other pecorino)
Fiore Sardo ("Flower of Sardinia" cheese)
Sheeps's Milk Ricotta (or other creamy ricotta cheese)
Fruttato EVOO - amazing olive oil from Sardinia - but a v. green/high end EVOO would be a good substitute - he recommends finding a "single orchard one.
Mosto d'uva & Saba - I've found these in NYC - saba is the syrup made from the mosto, which is a reduction of grape must
Mirto Liqueur - haven't looked for
Myrtle - never found/used substitutes
Bitter Honey/Miele Amaro - never found it
Abbamele - "honey & pollen reduction" - I've never found this in any Italian mkts in NYC that I've been to.
filindeu ("or angel hair pasta nests")
Malloreddus (I've found it in NYC, but used other pastas shapes before I found it)
Lorighittas (or shell shaped pasta)
Macarrones de busa pasta (or bucatini pasta)
Sardinian Roma rice (it's a short grain risotto rice, so I'm sure one could substitute arborio)
Pan carasau - it's a Sardinian flat bread - never looked for it - but there is a recipe for it.
Bottarga - pressed grey mullet roe (tuna is also available, though I prefer the grey mullet)
Lamb or Duck prosciutto
Durum Flour (for fresh pasta dough to make ravioli
Salt cured cod
re: Father Kitchen
Oh yeah! I got that in April and have been slowly enjoying it. I made the Tibetan Momos last weekend, see the post on Home Cooking with photos. The Romaine salad with hot beef dressing is a snap to make and wonderful. It may be too new for many libraries to have but if you ar a D&A fan it is definitely a book to own.
My suggestions are the MORO cookbooks, which specialise in Spanish/Moorish cuisine. The beauty of these books is that they combine tapas favourites with more inventive recipes from the Muslim Mediterranean. Their paellas are to die for and I've made the fiduea several times. I'd like to cook more widely from them though.
I'd also like to nominate the RIVER CAFE EASY cookbooks which are I think known as ITALIAN EASY in the States. Simple yet sophisticated recipes using quality ingredients which are perfect for summer, and for those of us who work full-time. Authors Ruth Rogers and Rose Grey run the wildly expensive but renowned River Cafe restaurant in London - apparently their books are recommended by Mario Batali.
I'd like to use the RIVER CAFE books as well. Either of the EASY books would be a perfect seasonal segue.
OTOH, Father Kitchen's recommendation of BEYOND THE GREAT WALL sounds intriguing to me. Having loved the Fuchsia Dunlop books looking to other parts of Asia would be an interesting culinary journey.
I haven't, sadly, but my friend says it's one of the best meals she's ever had (and her parents paid the bill!). I should go really, but it's a bit of a trek from where we live.
And yes, it's where Jamie Oliver was discovered. He was spotted by a BBC producer while they were doing a River Cafe cookery programme. His other mentor is Genarro Cotaldo of Passione - I really like his book of the same name.