I’m a complete sucker for a great cookbook and there’s no shortage of candidates in my collection this time round. Check out my new cookbook reviews.
It’s high time I shared some of the great cookbooks that have been showing up in my post office box of late. Grab a cuppa, sit back and read on – this is a lovely bunch of books.
There’s been quite a surge in interest and availability of various thermo cookers (see my posts comparing a few of them). They all come with their own cookbooks but, if you’re at all like me, you can’t get enough recipe ideas.
Home economist Tracey Pattison’s Whole Food Thermo Cooked (Murdoch Books $39.95 rrp) is a brilliant healthy food recipe resource for whatever brand of thermo machine you may own. Her adaptable recipes cover every aspect of use of these fantastically handy machines, from the basics of dairy alternative milks, condiments, flavour pastes and stock, right through to hearty soups, delicious mains, sweet treats and healthy smoothies and drinks.
There’s plenty of wholesome, nutritious inspiration here for family meals and special occasions – as well as a few treats that won’t make you feel too guilty. A perfect cookbook for anyone who has a thermo cooker and is exploring ways to make more use of it.
Luke Mangan’s Sharing Plates (Murdoch Books $39.99 rrp) is so nice that I bought a copy of it to give to a friend for her birthday. Not many of us bother with a formal dinner party these days, instead embracing the more relaxed form of dining that the shared platter encourages.
Luke’s new cookbook has over 100 recipes for various shared dishes, including desserts, with a handy section at the back with recipes for the sauces, dressings and condiments that are going to make your food sing. The mouth-watering photos of delicious dishes like beef short ribs with Pedro Ximenez, roasted red onion and carrot and cumin purée, tempura mussel po boys or honey and oregano haloumi with fig, golden beets, dandelion and walnuts are all the inspiration you’ll need to get cracking on these impressive, but not complicated, dishes.
I made the fabulous Moroccan cauliflower salad with saffron yoghurt, pine nuts and currants for an evening with friends. It was hugely well received and will be on regular rotation here in the future. A perfect book for anyone who loves to entertain, without all the fuss.
Sue Quinn’s Cook Fast, Eat Well (Murdoch Books $35 rrp) comes with the subtitle ‘5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes, 160 Recipes’ and adeptly demonstrates that preparing delicious, tasty meals doesn’t need to involve long lists of ingredients and several hours of commitment in the kitchen. Each of the simple recipes is described in full colour photos, making this an ideal book for beginners, and is full of fresh, healthy ingredients.
The book also includes quick fix, time saving tips that will help speed things up without compromising on quality or flavour and has a section on must-have short cut ingredients for the pantry. A perfect book for a beginner cook who wants to explore flavours.
For something completely different, check out Victor Garnier Astorino’s quirky Los Angeles Cult Recipes (Murdoch Books $49.95). This book is a road trip through some of LA’s favourite dishes and extreme food trends, with recipes for chilli hot dogs like you’ve never tasted them before, avocado cheeseburgers, lobster rolls, French-style tacos, fro yo, kale pizza, acai bowls and shrimp pad thai.
It is divided up into the districts of this iconic city, and the foods you will find there, with frequent little side notes explaining some of the back story behind the dishes. Capturing the true spirit of this quirky town, Astorino also includes recommendations for places to eat and visit, including bars and clubs. With this book you will be able to cruise the LA food scene like a local, or at least feel like you have done so.
My last recommendation is a gorgeous book which has just recently been released by a friend of mine in France. Orange Appeal by Jamie Schler (Gibbs Smith $34.99) is available from online stores and is also available in ebook format. Jamie writes the award-winning blog Life’s a Feast and her writing has been featured in many publications including Huffington Post, Saveur and Modern Farmer.
Focusing totally on those glorious globes of sunshine that ripen here in the winter chill, this book is full of bright and cheerful recipes featuring the juice, zest, and fruit from many varieties of oranges as well as flavourings, extracts, and liqueurs. This book will have you totally rethinking your opinion of this versatile fruit.
The dishes include sauces, dressings, salads, main dishes, sweet treats and breads, all photographed by the international award-winning Ilva Beretta, a Swedish photographer based in Tuscany. Every recipe will suit cooks of any level and include simple, speedy dishes and recipes for times when you want to take a little more trouble.