Monthly Archives: May 2012

Beerlicious | Ted Reader

 

Is beer really an essential part of the BBQ process? I’ll let you decide.

Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin' and Chillin'

TITLE: Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’
AUTHOR: Ted Reader
PUBLISHER: FENN-M&S
CUISINE: Barbecue

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters (commonly called seed cones or strobiles), of a hopHops | By Duncan Harris species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. Hops were cultivated continuously around the 8th or 9th century AD in Bohemian gardens in the Hallertau district of Bavaria and other parts of Europe. However, the first documented use of hops in beer as a bittering agent is from the 11th century. Before this period, brewers used a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the German name for horehound means “mountain hops”), ground ivy, and heather. [Wikipedia]

First Impression
First off, if you show me a cookbook that has the word beer in the title, I’m immediately interested. Second, if there are recipes using just about every descent brew on the planet, I’m hooked. Such is the case with, Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’. Ted Reader has done an amazing job of combining the fine art of grilling and the fine art of beer drinking into one fun read. There are lots of great beer and non-beer images. It will get your mouthwatering from start to finish.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Beerilicious
BBQ Seasoning Rubs and Sauces
Appetizers
Steer
Pig
Lamb, Veal, Game
Birds
Sandwiches
Crustaceans and Fishes
Sides
Desserts and Breads

• • • • •

The guys over at Beer America TV know their brews. In this episode they head out to central NY to the Southern Tier Brewing Company to review their Imperial Red. Check out what they think.

 

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

 

Orgasmic Onion Burger Seasoning Pabst Blue Ribbon Hillbilly Basting Sauce
Beer Injected Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Ron’s Beer Brined Artic Char
Nut Brown Gaucho Flank Steak Roll-up Big Wheel Buttered Smoked Brisket
Cooper’s Lamb Ribs Yellow Snow Rib Sandwich
Pilsner Urquell Van Gogh Chicken Heeb’s Venison Beer Sausages
Rob McCann’s Grill-Baked Oysters with Beck’s Leffe Brune Smoked Extra-Meaty Back Ribs
Amsterdam Natural Blonde Ultimate Hot Dog Kronenbourge 1664 Poached and Grilled Halibut

 

When a book is crammed this full of dishes I NEED to make there will be a few that rise to the top. And, this is the case here. The Head to Foot BBQ Terrine with BBQ Sauce Jelly looks amazing. It also looks like an all-day (or two day) affair that will take some expertise and time to pull off. That being said, WOW! What a dish. The Shiner Bock Skirt Steak Churrasco is a recipe you can make for a descent sized crowd without being totally underwater. Skirt is a great flavorful cut and you can cook it up while still amusing your guests with your witty repartee. I love grilled turkey. And, the Harvest Grilled Turkey described here seems be a dead on winner. Again, you can’t whip this together at a moment’s notice. But, if you plan ahead you should be rewarded. The way I see it, if it takes a little longer to make, it leaves more time for beer drinking. Not a bad thing.

• • • • •

Special Features
This book is loaded with some useful extras. There is a detailed chapter on BBQ equipment Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin' and Chillin' and grilling prep. This includes the discussion of charcoal types, steak cuts, internal temps and more. Even if you think you have a good grip on these things, this chapter is a great refresher course. An overview of grilling techniques makes sense here. There is more to a great BBQ then just slapping some meat on a hot grate (that’s not bad either). Smoking, braising, planked cooking and rotisserie methods are reviewed. OK, I’ll admit the list of Top 10 Places That I’ve Had a Beer may be a little hokey. It may not be terribly useful, but, it is fun and entertaining to read through. It did get me thinking about my own personal top ten. So, without any further ado here’s my list:

10 – Capt. Lou’s (with a Lake Michigan Perch Basket), South Haven MI
9 –
The Beer Station, Paris France
8 –
Any Grateful Dead Show Parking Lot
7 –
Seven Seas Villa, Mammee Bay Jamaica
6 – While Tending the Grill

5 –
Linda’s Tavern or The Comet, Seattle WA
4 – “
The Patio”
3 –
Any Major League Baseball Park
2 – The Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Siesta Key FL

1 –
With Good Friends!

You should sit down and make your own.

• • • • •

Conclusion
This book is fun. That’s the bottom line. Page after page of recipes that you’ll drool over make it tough for any grill (or beer) lover to resist. All types and styles of beer are used here. Great photos accompany the dishes and it’s over the top book design make you wonder what will turn up next. This isn’t your casual backyard grilling cookbook. The recipes will take some effort. But, if you’re willing to put in the time, you will most certainly be rewarded. I was hooked when I flipped the page and saw a smiling face holding a cold bottle of Rolling Rock!

Culinary Expertise Required: 7.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like you own copy of Ted Reader’s ode to ale and grill? Of course you would. You can click the link below and you’ll be one step closer.

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Links, Resources and Other Press
Ted Reader’s Website
Ted Reader’s Smoked Chicken Cheese Hotdog Recipe
Toronto Life – Ted Reader Article
Ted Reader Makes The World’s Biggest Hamburger

 

Grilling Vegan Style | John Schlimm

 

Who would have thought that vegan+grill=delicious?

Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ

TITLE: Grilling Vegan Style
AUTHOR: John Schlimm
PUBLISHER: Da Capo Lifelong Books
CUISINE: Vegan

Featured Ingredient: Tempeh
Tempeh (English pronunciation: /ˈtɛmpeɪ/; Javanese: témpé, IPA: [tempe]), is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. Tempeh is unique among major traditional soy foods in that it is the only one that did not originate in the Sinosphere. [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impression
Vegan isn’t in my culinary comfort zone. I think that has more to do with a general ignorance on my part of the subject matter rather than the food itself or the way in which it’s prepared. This book could go a long way to educating me on the topic. Bright colorful images artfully shot by Any Beadle Roth accompany many of the delicious looking recipes. It is loaded with dishes for the grill that could convince even the heartiest of carnivores to give a Stacked Portobello Burger a try.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

Grill Meets Vegan: The Basics of Firing Up
The Friendly Grill: Flame Meets Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan & More
Backyard Bites
Summertime Salads
Fired-Up Sides
Tapas on the Deck
Country Marinades for Tofu, Tempeh & Seitan
The Burgers Are Ready!
The New Tailgating Classics
Supper Under the Stars
Picnic Desserts
Grillside Happy Hours

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

The more you read through the recipes the more you start to think of your own take on the dishes. That’s a good thing. I like cookbooks that get your culinary juices flowing. There were a few that looked “Simply Irresistible”.

Romaine Holiday Fiery baby Artichokes
Grill-Baked Potatoes Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
Bonfire of the Herbs Grill-Kissed Cauliflower
Italian Herb Burgers on Focaccia Slip-N-Sliders
Seventh Inning Stretch Tacos Two-Faced Avocado Sandwiches
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Piquant Sauce Portobellos with Roasted Leeks & Spinach

 

I can imagine enjoying the Tattooed Watermelon Salad (p61) on just about any warm summer evening. For me, The Blue Pear (p133) was the standout of the book. It’s a mouthwatering variation of a layered sandwich. Two flavors that are meant to be together. And, who could possibly resist A Pitcher of Margarita’s (p198)? Answer, no one.

There are a lot of recipes that feature tofu, tempeh and seitan. So, if that’s your thing, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction here. The ingredients are easily obtainable and the recipes are written in a clear and easy to follow style.

• • • • •

Special Features
The first two chapters of Grilling Vegan Style are information based. Chapter one focuses onGrilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ grilling in general. Lots of info on types of grilling equipment and terminology. I knew most of that stuff already. But, chapter two was a lesson that I sorely needed. It featured the big three of vegan fare: tofu, tempeh and seitan. I didn’t think that I knew virtually nothing about those three. But, after reading chapter two, I realized, much to my dismay, that it was sadly true. The chapter also contains details of other vegan food products (hot dogs, mayos, condiments….).

The back of the book has a large list of online grilling resources. It’s useful for both vegan and non-vegans. And, of course the obligatory page of conversions and measures. I’m beginning to think that if I pick up a cookbook that doesn’t have that page, it will most certainly be the one time when I’ll need it the most.

• • • • •

Conclusion
Leading a vegan lifestyle is a commitment. It’s becoming easier because of people like John Schlimm. Thanks go out to those willing to share their knowledge with those of us who need a lesson or two. This cookbook has something for non-vegans too. There are tempting salads, desserts and sides to accompany whatever you’re serving as a main course. Finally, it’s light. The topic can be pretty heavy at times. John presents it in a fun, lively and fact filled manner.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.0
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like to own your very own copy of John Schlimm’s Grilling Vegan Style? We can make that happen. Here’s a handy dandy link for you.

Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ

Links, Resources and Other Press
John Schlimm’s Website
De Capo Lifelong
Grilling Vegan Style Video Trailer
Recipe: Carousing Cucumber Rounds with Rummy Hummus

Monday Books: Meatless

 

Who says you can’t do without meat?

Farm Fresh Carrots

Just look at those great farm fresh carrots. Think of the amazing dishes you could make if you only had them in your kitchen right now. Well, farmers market season is just getting under way in most parts of the country. The parts that traditionally have a winter anyway.

This meatless edition of Monday Books fits the week quite well. I’ll be reviewing John Schlimm’s latest cookbook, Grilling Vegan Style later this week. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime time, I’ve got some great cookbooks with an emphasis on veggies for your consideration. I’ve included some vegan/veg heavyweights in the selections. Most notably, Kim O’Donnel and Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Have a relaxing and respectful Memorial Day.


Vegetarian

The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour Vegetarian: A Delicious Celebration of Fresh Ingredients How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food  A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends


Vegan

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour


Raw

Going Raw: Everything You Need to Start Your Own Raw Food Diet and Lifestyle Revolution at Home Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day Live Raw: Raw Food Recipes for Good Health and Timeless Beauty Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food


If we’ve missed one of your favorites, please let us know. We’re always looking for great cookbooks that we may have overlooked.

Paradise Kitchen | Daniel Orr

 

Bring a little culinary paradise into your kitchen.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

TITLE: Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr
AUTHOR: Chef Daniel Orr
PUBLISHER: Indiana University Press
CUISINE: Caribbean

* * * * *

Featured Ingredient: Jerk Seasonings/Spices
Yes, we immediately think Jamaica when we talk about jerk spices or seasonings. But, Michele's Scotch Bonnet and Mango Chutney. By Tom Purvesthis unique flavor combination is the basis for lots of dishes found sprinkled around the Caribbean. The two main ingredients of any jerk mixture worth its salt are allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers. After that the remaining ingredients may include, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, salt and thyme. The mixture is a natural with chicken and pork. I’ve even seen it used as a beef rub. Jerk mixes are personal. So, go ahead and put your stamp on your own unique blend today.

* * * * *

First Impression
It’s a “showbook”. It’s not a coffee table book. But, its presentation is a step above the average cookbook on the market today. There are tons of bright, beautiful images inside. The fact that it’s printed on a slick, heavy white stock says someone cared enough to make a statement. The book has more chapters than you normally see. It is divided into very specific manageable pieces. That allows you to find sub-groups of recipes quickly. The ingredients to complete some dishes may be a little hard to find in some parts of the country or world.

* * * * *

What’s You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

Breakfast at the Beach
Sunrise, Shakes and Smoothies
Soups and Salads to Beat the Heat
Energize You Afternoons
Tango with Tapas
Caribbean Cocktails
Homemade Flavored Rums
Island Starters
Limiting It Up Under Pressure
Fish
Grilled Lobster
Cooking for Carnivores
Sides and Accompaniments
Bush Teas
Sunny Sweets
Recipes for the Body

* * * * *

Never been to Anguilla? I guess that means you’re like most of us. I can’t get you there, but, I can give you a quick peek into what the island is like.

* * * * *

Best of the Book (Our favorite Recipes)

Saltfish and Yam Cakes Kumquat and Star Anise Rum
Black Bean Soup Snapper in Chili & Ginger Broth
Anguillian Conch Chowder Pressure Cooker Goat Stew
Good Vibration Chicken Salad Grilled Potfish “en Papillotte”
Lavender Lemonade Spice Crusted Rack of Lamb
Anguillan Jerked Fresh Ham Hot Chocolate Soufflé
Soft Mofongo Crab Fritters with Lemon Zest & Parmesan

* * * * *

Special Features
This book is loaded with non-traditional cookbook information. For example, one back section contains a guide on how to prepare for a hurricane. You don’t find that in every cookbook about island cuisine. Lots of people live in areas of the U.S. that are impacted by tropical storms. So, a prep list is a good thing. If you don’t happen to live in a hurricane susceptible area, it will give you a little insight on what people do to prepare.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

There is a boatload of valuable info on the island of Anguilla. I’ve seen the island from afar, but, have never set foot on it. There is great background for a future trip. The book also contains one of my favorite features, a bookmark ribbon. I love that.

Unfortunately, one of the special features that seems to be missing is an online resource guide to some of the harder to find ingredients. Home cooks attempting a dish that may live in an area without a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market would appreciate knowing where to obtain some of the more obscure components.

The people are a BIG part of this book. They make it special. Turn to page 91 and have a look at Lavon and the array of island drinks before him. It looks like he enjoyed making them and would love for you to sip on one. That alone makes you want to take a trip south. Or, maybe replicate the experience wherever you live.

* * * * *

Conclusion
In most cases this is not an everyday cookbook. Assembling the ingredients may be a challenge for some and not everyone needs to prepare for a hurricane. That being said, the recipes are unique, flavorful and offer a great look into the local cuisine. There are spice blend recipes that you could use on dishes you create yourself. And, it’s just a fun book to leaf through and enjoy. If you’ve ever been on an island vacation, Paradise Kitchen will allow you to re-create some of the culinary experience.

Lastly, I’m a big supporter of smaller publishing endeavors. This book is published by the Indiana University Press. It represents an outlet for chef/authors to get their work into the mainstream in a non-traditional way. I wholeheartedly support that effort.

If you’re looking for that summertime dish to impress your friends at your next backyard party there are lots of great choices waiting for you here. Just open to a page and you’re likely to point to a winner.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like your own copy of Paradise Kitchen? We can make it easy for you to get one.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

Links, Resources & Other Press
Indiana University Press
The Anguilla Guide
Chef Daniel Orr
Guide to Caribbean Fish

America’s Best Ribs | Ardie Davis & Paul Kirk

 

Kickoff your summer in smoky style. Presenting an entire book of great rib ideas.

America's Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home

TITLE: America’s Best Ribs
AUTHOR: Ardie Davis & Paul Kirk
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing
CUISINE: Barbecue

* * * * * *

Featured Ingredient: Chili Powder

I love this versatile spice. Along with salt, pepper, garlic powder and some type of sugar,Red Peppers Bali by Jeda Villa Bali chili powder makes up the the basis for most rubs used on pork and beef. For the purposes of this cookbook, chili powder makes an appearance in quite a few recipes. If you’ve been smoking or grilling ribs for any length of time you know just how important the inclusion of this spice can be to the success of your final product.

* * * * * *

First Impressions
I love ribs. And, I think I put out a pretty darn good slab. So, a book committed to the subject already has a big jump on the race for my affections. As you would expect, this cookbook has a bright, colorful and fun feel. Given the subject, it’s a good approach. After all, we’re talking about ribs, not, the intricacies of French sauces. All of the recipes take up a full page and are easy to read through. Lots of great images and drawings are liberally spread throughout.

* * * * * *

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

  • Rib Basics
  • Pork Ribs
  • Beef & Bison Ribs
  • Lamb & Mutton Ribs
  • Sides
  • Desserts

* * * * * *

I ran across this video recently. It touts “perfectly cooked pork ribs”. That’s a pretty big statement. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree.

* * * * * *

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Baron’s Basic Barbecue Spice Memphis-Style Grilled Baby Back Ribs
First Time Grilled Baby Back Ribs Lazy Daisy Cake
Grilled Peppered Dry Spareribs Jay’s Tangy Grilled Beef Short Ribs
Texas-Style Smoked Beef Back Ribs Whiskey Ribber Grilled Lamb Ribs
Joellyn’s Smoked Mutton Breast Hush Puppies
Slow-Cooked Baked Beans Smoked Alabama-Style Country-Style Ribs

 

I’ve never been able to get my wife to fully embrace the short rib thing. I can’t figure that out. I’m going to give the Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs a try. It will be my last attempt to convert her. Wish me luck. I’ll post the results here in a couple of weeks.

A lot of the recipes contain similar ingredients and processes. Some might think this makes for a lot of repetition. I look at it from a different angle. It allows you to see the nuances of the individual recipes. Slight changes that make a big difference. There were lots of side dishes I would give a big thumbs up to. The Heartland Grilled Corn on the Cob, Tomato Bread and Ribilicious Potato Salad all sound like solid winners.

* * * * * *

Special Features
It seems like every great rib recipe has a story attached to it. There are plenty of these tales nestled in the pages. Ribs yarns taken right from the source. Tucked in the back of the book is a short list of additional reading on the subject. There are also some online resources for meats and smoking woods. A page of metric conversions is also included. If you ever have the need to know how many milliliters are in 1⅔ cups, look no further.

* * * * * *

Conclusions

It’s hard not to like America’s Best Ribs. Even if you think there is no room for improvement in your personal recipe (like me), there is still a lot to learn. I wanted to attempt about 80% of the recipes in the book. That’s high, even for me.

America's Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home

The stories help bring the recipes to life. You won’t try each and every recipe, so the included commentary will help you appreciate the dish even though you may not be cooking it. Great images. Some seem pretty random. That’s appealing to me.

The only small issue I had with the entire book came when I closed it. It’s on the back cover. At the bottom, in not so big print it states, “Printed in China”. How can a book on “America’s Best Ribs” be printed in China? I don’t know. But, given the decidedly American subject matter, the text on the bottom of the back cover should scream, “Proudly Printed in the USA!”. Maybe even a flag (OK, that might be overkill).

I loved this book. And, I would easily recommend it to rib novices and pit masters alike. With summertime here, it will really get you motivated to break out the grill or smoker and get cooking.

Culinary Expertise Required: 5.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Want your very own copy of America’s Best Ribs? We can help you out. Get yours here.

America's Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home

Links, Resources and Other Press
America’s Best Ribs – Andrews McMeel Publishing page
Fantastic rib resource – amazingribs.com
The Kansas City Barbecue Society
More info on Ardie Davis aka Remus Powers

Edible Seattle: The Cookbook | Jill Lightner

 

Wouldn’t it be great to bring a touch of Seattle straight into your kitchen?

Edible Seattle: The Cookbook

TITLE: Edible Seattle: The Cookbook
EDITOR: Jill Lightner
PUBLISHER: Sterling Epicure
CUISINE: Regional Food – Pacific Northwest

* * * * * *

Featured Ingredient: Chanterelle Mushrooms
Chanterelles | By Philip FerratoMushrooms can be a mystery. That’s unfortunate, because they really don’t need to be. A lot of people have a hard time getting out of their grocery store, mushroom comfort zone. How many white button mushrooms can one person consume in a lifetime?

The chanterelle mushroom flourishes in the Seattle Washington area. You can usually find these delicious golden beauties gracing any farmers market worth a damn. The rich, earthy flavor makes these mushrooms an ideal choice for so many dishes. They lend themselves well to sautéing. Chanterelles are considered by many food professionals to be one of the more sought after mushroom varieties. They’re right up there with the morel and truffle.

* * * * * * 

First Impressions
The book feels much like the magazine. The paper choice, a soft matte, was right in keeping with the Edible image. When you read through an Edible magazine you come away with a certain classy and thoughtful impression, The cookbook is no different.

“Edible Tips” are sprinkled throughout the pages. There are also short one page stories featuring local Seattleites who have an impact on the local food community. Again, a comfortable and natural extension of the periodical. The book really invites you to try some or all of the dishes contained. A lot of cookbooks miss that mark.

* * * * * *

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

  • Starters
  • Side Dishes
  • Main Dishes
  • Sandwiches, Suppers and Snacks
  • Desserts and Drinks
  • Resources

* * * * * *

Seattle has lots of great food and for that matter, food attractions. None is more popular than Pike Place Market. In the market you’ll find Pike Place Fish. YES, that’s the place where they throw the fish. If you haven’t seen it in person we have a treat for you. The next best thing, a video. Check out all of the action at one of the area’s most unique food finds.

 

* * * * * *

Best of the Book

Carmel Apple Cider Cupcakes Salty Green Potato Salad
Salmon Run Vegetables Jam Oatmeal Streusel Bars
Soothing Seaweed Soup Saag Paneer
Feisty Chicken Karage Dungeness Crab Melt
Razor Clam Linguine Sausage Rolls
Mama Lil’s Dipping Sauce Chanterelle Puffs

 

The recipes contained in this cookbook represent all that is great about the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. Lots of great uses for locally grown or sourced ingredients. That’s not to say that anyone cooking outside of the Seattle area wouldn’t enjoy cooking from it. On the contrary. It represents an opportunity for those living in other parts of the country or world to enjoy what makes this regional cuisine so special.

As you would imagine I had some favorites. The Tavern Law Fried Chicken is a standout. For those of you lucky enough to have visited this Capitol Hill neighborhood hotspot, you know what I’m talking about. The Oyster Stew and Salmon Tacos also make their way to the top of my heap. The area is all about great seafood. I would have loved to have seen a recipe for halibut included. It’s one of my personal favorites. And, a really great halibut recipe is hard to come by.

* * * * * *

Special Features
The back of the book contains some resources. Seattle being a big food Edible Seattle: The Cookbookcity, so, a food guide is helpful. A list of Farmers Markets is nice. People sometimes think that Pike Place Market is all that there is. So not true. There is also a useful guide to local artisan food producers. Too many cookbooks contain a table of weights and measures just tossed in that back of the book. This isn’t the type of cookbook that would lend itself to that. I’m glad they resisted the urge.

* * * * * *

Conclusions
Edible Seattle: The Cookbook hits a lot of high notes. I just loved the fact that they stayed so true to the look and feel of the magazine. I know that would be expected. But, it would have been so easy to screw it up. They didn’t. The recipe difficulty spans a range. The ingredients required are in most cases are not difficult to obtain.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Want your very own copy of Edible Seattle: The Cookbook? We can help you out. get your own copy here.

Edible Seattle: The Cookbook

Links, Resources and Other Press:

Edible Seattle Magazine website
Edible Seattle on Twitter
Weekly Seattle Article | Edible Seattle Cookbook
Savor Seattle Food Tours

The Truck Food Cookbook | John T. Edge

 

What could be better than food truck food in your kitchen?

The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels

TITLE: The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels
AUTHOR: John T. Edge
PUBLISHER: Workman Publishing Company
CUISINE: Street Food

_____________________________________________________________________________

Featured Ingredient: Onions
I think we would all agree that nothing lights up a dish quite like an onion. As ingredients go, the humble onion has more uses than anyone would think possible. Not only is it delicious,Florida Onions but, it might be better for you than you think. It’s been speculated that onions have powers to cure and heal everything from a cold to heart disease.

We love them because they add a distinct layer of depth and texture to everything they’re used in. Left out, a lot of you’re favorite dishes would just fall flat.

Purchase them individually or buy the sack. You just can’t have too many onions on hand when you’re trying out a batch of new recipes from your latest cookbook purchase.

* * *

Observations
The Food Truck Cookbook comes to us from a food niche that didn’t even exist ten years ago. Mobile food prep and sales have come a long way in that time. And, with the popularity of the food truck comes the next natural step, food truck recipes. The Treats Truck Book did it successfully. And, the topic has found a fun and frivolous presentation here too. Fairly easy recipes and playful art is part of what gives this book it’s feel.

* * *

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

  • Street Eat Ethics
  • Fries & Pies
  • Waffles & Their Kin
  • Brunch on Wheels
  • Unexpected Pleasures
  • Sandwich Up!
  • Hot Dogs
  • Tacopalooza
  • Rolling in Sweets
  • My Life as a Lucky Dog

* * *

In case you’ve been living under a culinary rock for past five years or so, here’s some of what you’ve been missing.

 

* * *

The Best of the Book:

Lemon Aioli Basil Aioli
Guacamole Salsa Verde Serrano Cilantro Salsa
Breakfast Burgers Grilled Cheeseburgers
California Dogs Dante’s Chicken Dogs
Downtown Dogs Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese
Salmon & Chipotle Fried Pie Sloppy Jerk Chicken & Pork

 

There’s a wide variety of delicious looking recipes to try. Some of the standouts for me were the Elotes from Melissa’s, the Kolbi Beef Sliders courtesy of KOi Fusion and the Taiwanese Fried Chicken served from the NYC Cravings truck, Lots of super interesting sauces and spreads. Burgers and dogs that really separate themselves from the crowd. A few unique desserts and lots of condiments for your creations.

* * *

Special Features

There are scant culinary resources tucked in the back of the book. Standard weights, measures and conversions are about it. Most of trucks that roll through any major metropolis use Twitter as a main form of communication. A list would have been nice.  It’s probably easier (and more up to date) to use your smartphone and look for them yourself. I guess the omission is no big deal.

* * *

Conclusions

There’s lots to like inside these pages. Fun, reasonably easy recipes. A pretty good variety especially when you consider that these dishes were designed to be executed in a 10 X 10 space. Food trucks from all across the country are featured. So, you really get a good picture of what these mobile chefs are up to. The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels

Culinary Expertise Required: 5.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Want your very own copy of The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America’s Best Restaurants on Wheels? We can help you out. get your own copy here.

The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels

Links, Resources and Other Press:

Truck Food Cookbook Website
Workman Publishers – Truck Food Cookbook
John T. Edge
CBS News Interview
How to Open a Successful Food Truck
Food Trucks via FLICKR

Cookbooks Fit For Any Mother

Giving a cookbook to your mother/wife on Mother’s Day. It seems like a pretty easy gift. Especially if the special person in your life likes to cook. But, how do you present that present in a way that doesn’t make it look like more work for her down the road? A delicate matter for sure.

There’s a super fine line between giving a gift of enjoyment and entertainment and one that reeks of four to five hours of slaving over a stove in a hot, cramped kitchen. We obviously are shooting for the former here,

That being said, I’m going to leave the selling of the romance of cooking to you and just drop a few cookbook ideas in your lap. Here are a few Cookbook Man approved selections for that special female in your life.

James Beard Award Winners

 

The Latest & The Greatest

Old School

I’ve done all of the hard work for you. Now you just need to follow through. I’m sure once the wrapping has been unceremoniously flung off, everyone will be impressed by your excellent taste in cookbooks.

Unraveling The Mysteries of Lard

 

It’s easy to see why your grandmother loved it.

BUY IT!: Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient

I don’t know much about lard. My guess is not many people are experts in the field. I don’t remember my Mom ever cooking with it and have no recollections of a jar or carton sitting in our fridge or pantry.

I do know one thing. The common grocery store variety, is not lard. I mean, I guess, technically it is, but, then again, not really. That’s the first lesson I learned after paging through Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient. There is a commercially produced product. And, then there’s the good stuff. We all want the good stuff.

Who in their right mind would author a cookbook glamorizing an ingredient that has been vilified over the past twenty years? Leave it to the Editors of GRIT Magazine to attempt to bring lard out of the doghouse and into our kitchens again. And they make a compelling (and tasty) case.

Here’s an example. Did you know that lard contains only fifty four percent of the saturated fat found in butter AND it is trans fat free when rendered properly? I certainly didn’t. I guess that’s the point here. There’s a lot to learn about this much maligned cooking staple of days gone by.

This book takes the subject seriously. So seriously, that the first recipe you will come across is how to render your own lard. If you would rather take the easy route, the book provides some great online resources for buying lard that has been lovingly rendered for your culinary enjoyment.

There are 150 recipes here ranging from Cherry Pie to Pot Pie and just about everything in between. As you would expect, there are loads of delicious recipes for baked goods. That’s where our featured ingredient really shines. Nothing makes a crust as flaky as lard.

Pie!

With all of this lard talk you’re probably saying to yourself, “Hey this is great, but, how about an example I can sink my teeth into”. Done! Here’s an amazing fried potato recipe just for you.

Here’s how to do it.

Fried Potatoes Deluxe

Ingredients
4 cups raw potatoes, shredded
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
¾ tsp. salt
Dash black pepper
Dash paprika
2 Tbsp. lard

Method
In a large bowl combine the potatoes and cream. Add the salt, pepper and paprika. Mix Well.

Heat the lard in a large skillet over medium heat until just sizzling. Pour in the potato mixture and spread it evenly in the pan. Cover tightly. Reduce heat to low and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Remove lid and turn potatoes and cook uncovered until the other side is browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6
Recipe courtesy of Andrews MacMeel Universal. Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient, The Editors of GRIT Magazine © 2012

The Bottom Line: Your first inclination is to think that this is a novelty cookbook. Not true. Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient has tons of useful information on a topic that not a lot has been written on. The recipes are straightforward and easy for home chefs of all skill levels. Beautiful food images are sprinkled throughout the pages. Am I going to cook out of it every day? No. Am I going to break it out for that killer Southern Fried Chicken recipe? You betcha.

BUY IT!: Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret IngredientAuthor: The Editors of GRIT Magazine
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN-10: 1449409741

BUY IT!: Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient