Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cookbook Daily: Italian, My Way

Cookbook Daily

Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian ClassicsYou’ve seen him doing his thing on Top Chef Masters. Now, you can cook the dishes that the amazing Jonathon Waxman whips up seemingly out of thin air.

We know there is a ton of skill and training that goes into being one of the best chefs in the country, that much is obvious. But, Jonathon Waxman makes cooking look almost effortless. I mean, I’ve seen those episodes. While other world famous chefs run around like, well you know what. He keeps calm, cool and collected making the dishes he puts together look easy (and of course delicious).

Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics is a collection of rustic Italian dishes spun the Waxman way.

This book is being released on April 5, 2011. If you want to be the first on your block to have a shiny, new copy. You can click on the book cover image above or the link below to pre-order one. I’m sure everyone will want this for their collection.

We will hopefully be posting a full review in the near future. Keep an eye out for it.

Author: Jonathon Waxman
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416594310

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If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

Great cookbooks can be found in all sorts of places. Here are a few more:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction
Serve Yourself

Cookbook Daily: Weber’s Time to Grill

Cookbook Daily


Spring is here! I’m sure after being cooped up indoors and having to endure the long cold winter, die hard grillers across the country are chomping at the bit to get that fire started.

Once the weather breaks and the outdoor cooking season begins, we all want to whip up our favorite BBQ recipes right from the start. That’s only natural. But, how about trying something a little different this year?

Author Jamie Purviance has put together a great collection of grilling possibilities. Weber’s Time to Grill: Get In. Get Out. Get Grilling, is stocked with over 200 recipes for all grilling skill levels. There is everything here from your basic burger to Lemon Stuffed Snapper with Roasted Tomato Sauce (and, everything in between).

If you’re ready to embark on a little outdoor cooking adventure like I am, Jamie’s grilling guide is the perfect place to start and keep things interesting all summer long.

Author: Jamie Purviance
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0376020601

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How about a little grilling music to get things started!

If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

If you left the room for a minute, you may have missed these other Cookbook Daily features:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Modernist Cuisine
Appetite for Reduction

Cookbook Daily: Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi

Cookbook Daily


One of London’s newest culinary stars, Yotam Ottolenghi, has just released this useful collection of 120 vegetarian recipes.

Since Ottolenghi isn’t a vegetarian himself, it’s interesting to see the way in which he uses his Mediterranean background to make the ingredients he uses really shine. His recipes are based largely on selecting the best ingredients that are in season at any given time of year.

If you happen to find yourself in London, you can stop by and taste some of his cooking for yourself. Ottolenghi, co-owns four restaurants around town. If you’re not luck enough to be able to just drop by one of his places, Plenty will just have to be a suitable substitute.

Author: Yotam Ottolenghi
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452101248

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If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

There’s More To St. Patrick’s Day Than Corned Beef And Cabbage

St. Patty’s Day is upon us once again. For me, it’s kind of the unofficial start to spring. If you live north, there’s still a descent chance you could have a white March 17th, but, there’s an even better probability that short sleeve weather is right around the corner.

I’ve put together a collection of books rejoicing the Irish way of cooking. There’s more to all of this than a plate of boiled potatoes and lamb. Trust me.

Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland’s Heritage

Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland's Heritage

Author Darina Allen shows off some great traditional Irish dishes (you probably guessed that from the title). All of the classic recipes from that region are featured here, plus some ones you probably have never heard of. Darina runs the Ballymaloe Cookery School over in Ireland, so she not only knows her stuff, but, teaches it to others!

The New Irish Table: 70 Contemporary Recipes

The New Irish Table: 70 Contemporary Recipes

Right from old school to new school. The New Irish Table does more than just put a new spin on some old recipes. Author Margaret Johnson invents some completely original dishes in keeping with the style of cooking that has defined Ireland. These dishes contain ingredients for the healthier lifestyle of today.

Irish Potato Cookbook

Irish Potato Cookbook

This cookbook is exactly what the title suggests. Lots of recipes for cooking what has become Ireland’s national food. it’s 125 pages of pure potato pleasure. Hey, I love potatoes. And, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare them. So, this book is a natural for my collection. If you’re like me you’ll want a copy of this one too.

Mcguire’s Irish Pub Cookbook

Mcguire's Irish Pub Cookbook

Lastly, we travel all the way to, Florida? That’s right, Pensacola to be exact. That’s where Molly and McGuire opened up their traditional Irish pub back in 1977. And, whenever you open up a traditional Irish pub (at least in this country), the cookbook can’t be far behind. Now you can re-create, in your very own home, some of the great dishes from this quaint, 20,000 square foot, Florida/Irish eatery.

That wraps up the tour of the cuisine of the Emerald Isle. If you want to do your own thing in the kitchen this St. Patrick’s Day we’ve just given you a good way to get started. If you want to get out and celebrate with the masses and let someone else do the cooking, I know the feeling.

“May the wind at your back always be your own”.  – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

You can click on any of the book covers for additional information or to purchase that book.

Cookbook Daily: Modernist Cuisine

Cookbook Daily

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

What happens when you mix a former Microsoft executive and some pretty experimental cooking techniques? The answer: A 50 pound, 2,400 page, 5 volume cooking beast.

Authors Nathan Myhrvold and Chris Young really pull out all the stops in this fantastic look at culinary art through a science inspired lens.

As you could rightfully guess, there are tons of recipes for things you can’t even imagine yourself cooking. And, lots of things you could. My kind of book!

There are great food images and step by step instructions on how to create some real cooking magic in the comfort of your own kitchen.

If you want to make a REAL foodie roll around of the floor in pure culinary joy, just drop a box of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking on them and sit back and watch.

Authors: Nathan Myhrvold and Chris Young
Hardcover: 2438 pages
Publisher: The Cooking Lab
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982761007

Want It? We Can Help.


If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

If you left the room for a minute, you may have missed these other cookbook features:

Eva’s Kitchen
If It Makes You Healthy
Italian, My Way
Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi
Serve Yourself
Appetite for Reduction

Grilled Cheese, Please – The Inside Story

Last month we ran a piece on Chef/Author Laura Werlin’s new book, Grilled Cheese, Please. Well, as luck would have it, we have a video of Laura talking about grilled cheese and her new book.

Take a look.

That Double Cheddar and Tomato Jam sandwich looks pretty great. You can find that on page 9 of Laura’s book.

We made the Camembert and Conte with Mushrooms sandwich. You can check that out here.

Cookbook Daily: Appetite for Reduction

Cookbook Daily

Appetite For Reduction

Vegan chef and author Isa Chandra Moskowitz shows us that eating vegan can be delicious, flavorful and healthy all at the same time.

I know that most of you haven’t tried a vegan cooking routine. And, to be completely honest, neither have I. It’s not that the thought of cutting animal protein out of my daily food consumption scares me, but, I I happen like it (at least every now and then). I also like a lot of the vegan dishes I have tried in the past. So, there may be some hope for me yet (from a vegan standpoint).

Isa has packed 125 inspired vegan dishes into her cookbook. These recipes are nutritionally balanced and contain only 200 to 400 calories per serving. They are naturally low in saturated fat and sugar, which make them great for you too.

I know that this isn’t for everybody. But, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be interested in a little dietary diversity. Especially, when it may help you live longer!

Author: Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
ISBN-10: 1600940498
ISBN-13: 978-1600940491

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If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

A Monday Dish That’s Great Any Day


I’m always skeptical of anything that is called “The Best, The Greatest or World Famous”. It’s just my nature.

Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook

This past Tuesday just happened to be Fat Tuesday. It’s the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the official end of the Mardi Gras season. If you’re going to cook or eat any type of creole or Cajun style food, this was a pretty good day to do it.

It’s a day when people who normally don’t partake in this particular type of regional cuisine enjoy a bowl of gumbo or a sweet and salty corn bread muffin. Think corned beef and cabbage here (oh, and green beer). It’s the same “everybody’s Irish for a day” concept.

From 1944 to 1994 in the famous New Orleans French Quarter, a man named Buster Holmes was cooking up some amazing classic Creole food. Legend has it, people would travel a pretty long way to get some of Buster’s cooking. One particular dish of his was so notable that it earned him the nickname, “King of Red Beans and Rice”.

KING!! That’s impressive. Considering, there has to be a thousand places in a 10 miles radius of the French Quarter that have red beans and rice on their menu. At least a thousand. That may even be an understatement. If any food claim warranted a more thorough investigation, this was certainly in the running.

As you can see above, Buster has a cookbook. It’s entitled, appropriately enough, The Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook. And, I have a copy.

Contained within the pages of this book are fantastic stories of Buster and his French Quarter pals whooping it up and enjoying life, each other and of course food. Also included in Buster’s cookbook is the recipe for his “World Famous” Red Beans and Rice.

You don’t think for one minute that I’m not going to check this out do you? Correct. Let’s do it!

Just looking through Buster’s recipe things seem very straightforward (as do the rest of the recipes in the book). I’m checking out the ingredients and the steps and thinking to myself, “What separates his red beans recipe from all of the others. The non world famous ones?”.

You start off with a pound of dried red beans.

Dried Red Beans

You’ll need about a pound of smoked ham hocks.

Smoked Ham Hocks

And, the usual creole/Cajun cooking vegetables. Garlic, onion and green bell pepper. Add some water and simmer in a pot.

Red Beans Simmering

I let my beans cook for the prescribed 2 hours, before preforming the finishing touches (including cooking my rice).

How could these few simple ingredients and steps yield something so good that the creator of this dish would be awarded the noble title, King of Red Beans and Rice?

I was now ready to see if I could answer the question I had been thinking about since I first turned to page 56 and looked at the recipe. It was tasting time!

Red Beans and Rice

WOW! OK, now I was really turned around. These red beans were out of this world! They were so creamy tasting, but, the beans weren’t mushy. The flavor was bold enough to stand up to a good dose of Louisiana hot sauce, but, not strong enough where you couldn’t taste the nutty flavor of the rice.

Could these beans really be called “World Famous”? I haven’t tasted all of the potential title holders, but, these are some damn good beans!

Here’s How To Do It

1 lb. red beans
1 lb. smoked ham hocks
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic (I smashed mine)
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp.) margarine
Salt and pepper to taste

Sort through beans and remove any debris (rocks, etc.). Wash the beans and place in a heavy bottomed pot. Add onion, bell pepper, ham hocks and garlic. Add enough water to the pot to cover. Simmer uncovered on a medium low heat for about two hours. You’re going to want to stir this through occasionally. Raise or lower the heat to compensate for the amount of cooking liquid lost. You’ll want to have enough liquid for the beans to have a nice consistency at the end of the cooking time. But, not too much. It’s not a soup.

When the beans are a good texture, add salt, pepper and margarine. Cook 5 minutes more. Serve on rice with Louisiana hot sauce and French bread with butter.

Recipe: Buster Holmes World Famous Red Beans and Rice, Buster Holmes, The Buster Holmes Restaurant Cookbook. Pelican Publishing Company.

The Bottom Line

This is a fascinating collection of regional cuisine, stories and culture. Buster Holmes passed away back in 1994. And, as chance would have it, on a Monday. His book allows you a taste of what it was like to pull up a stool at the counter of his famous French Quarter eatery. Buster can’t do the cooking for you anymore, but, at least you can do it for yourself and others. Long live the KING!

Check out our video on how to makes Buster’s Famous Red Beans and Rice.



Author: Buster Holmes
128 pages
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
ISBN-10: 1589808495
ISBN-13: 978-1589808492


Just in case you missed it, here are some other cookbook reviews we recently posted:

Steaks and Texas Go Great Together
How To Make Red Beans and Rice
RV Cooking: The Possibilities of an Endless Road
Taking Grilled Cheese To A Whole New Level

Cookbook Daily: Ad Hoc at Home

Cookbook Daily

Ad Hoc At Home

Thanks to a very thoughtful wife, I was given a copy of this amazing cookbook when it was first published at the end of 2009. I’m glad she was paying attention (my son got one too. He’s also glad).

Thomas Keller is obviously a brilliant chef and great restaurateur (I probably didn’t even need to say that). Here’s an opportunity for the home chef/cook to take a stab at some of Chef Keller’s classics.

After reading my copy cover to cover, the first thing I tried my hand at was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. And, I must say, HOME RUN!

This book is filled with delicious recipes that you and your family will love. They are more casual and more approachable than the French Laundry Cookbook. The recipes are accompanied by some mouthwatering food photography and entertaining graphics. The entire book has a very relaxed and warm feel to it. You might just want to snuggle up with it!

A must for any self respecting home cookbook collector.

Author: Thomas Keller
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Artisan
ISBN-10: 1579653774
ISBN-13: 978-1579653774

Want It? We Can Help.


If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.

Cookbook Daily: Smoke and Spice

Cookbook Daily

Smoke & Spice

I love smoked food! And, this book tells you how to make the real deal. REAL AUTHENTIC BBQ just like some of the best pit masters around the country.

Now, I’m not suggesting that if you buy this book you’re going to wake up the next morning with a medal round your neck that says “1st Place – Brisket Division”. That would be scary and it’s not going to happen.

But, if you’re looking for a place to start on that trail to barbeque stardom then this is a pretty good roadmap. It has all the methods the big boys use to achieve great results from tough meat and low heat.

Cheryl and Bill Jamison go through some of the basic smoking fundamentals for newcomers to the art. Plus, advance techniques for those with some experience. They have also added 100 additional recipes to the latest addition.

If you’re a seasoned veteran of the smoke pit or just want to get started learning a fantastic method of outdoor cooking, then Smoke and Spice is a must for your collection.

Author: Cheryl and Bill Jamison
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Paperback: 528 pages
ISBN-10: 1558322620
ISBN-13: 978-1558322622

Want It? We Can Help.


If you already own this book. Leave a comment and let everyone know what you’ve made from it and how it turned out.