Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple. Jacques is not overpromising with that name. The recipes are just as delicious as you’d expect from him, but they are truly quick and simple. The book is totally newbie-appropriate. Most of them are super wallet-friendly, too, with ingredients like frozen vegetables. I’m so excited to share his recipe with you for Wine Merchant Steak. I’ve made many of Jacques’ different wine merchant steaks and this one is my absolute favorite. I love the addition of the Spicy V8. It’s fantastic. I’m going to try this as a bbq sauce, for a really flavorful, sugar-free option. I just bought crab to make his crab cakes and I’ll add that in later, but it’s Valentine’s Day, and this steak is perfect!!!
The Primal Gourmet Cookbook. He is not overpromising with that title! This is a fun new Whole30 book. He has a great range to suit your mood. There are easy, casual and loose recipes when you’d like to keep it simple and those that are more interesting and involved when you feel like it. The food is fresh, delicious, and nutritious. Perfect!
I’d love to share his recipe for Kung Pao Lettuce Cups with you! I’m making you concerned because it’s a health book? Don’t be! You won’t make them because they’re good for you. Make them because they’re awesome! He says this serves 4 as an appetizer. Double it and serve 4 for dinner. Or breakfast. You do you! A quick note on two ingredients you might not be familiar with: coconut aminos and arrowroot starch. Coconut aminos function like soy sauce and arrowroot starch functions like cornstarch.
Ottolenghi: Flavor is the third book in Ottolenghi’s vegetarian series: Plenty, Plenty More, and Flavor. This is a gorgeous book filled with more delectable love poems to produce. Yes! If you adore or want to adore produce, you need this! All the dishes we tried were wonderfully complex, balanced, and filled with flavor. While quite a few of the dishes are an hour or two from start to finish, most of it is just an exercise in patience. Do this 5 minute step and come back in an hour to finish everything off. It is all worth it!
I’ll tell you all about all the dishes we tried in a minute. But first, let me share his recipe for Chaat Masala Potatoes with Yogurt and Tamarind with you. Don’t be fooled by their appearance. Two out of four of us think this is the yummiest in the book so far. The cumin, chiles and tamarind give this an amazing flavor. And his dual handling of the potatoes, first boiling, then roasting, gives them a perfectly pillowy interior and a crisp exterior. Perfection. A huge thank you to Ten Speed Press for letting me share them with you! I’ve added links at the bottom to all his books. The holidays are coming up, and these are the ultimate gift for any produce lover that wants to flex a little kitchen muscle. Prepare to crave what you’re supposed to eat!
The recipe calls for nigella seeds. Sometimes they’re called black cumin. If you’re a Penzey’s-head, they sell it as charnushka.
If you’re already a Milk Street fan, you are going to adore Cookish!! This is my 4th Milk Street book, and it absolutely delivers. It’s my favorite kind of food – lazy posh. To my delight, it opens with a really extensive vegetable chapter. The ingredients are few, and it’s always just a couple steps between you and a plateful of flavor. The dishes are imaginative and balanced. They give lots of alternatives so it’s easy to make it work with what you have on hand, and you wont feel like you need to have every vinegar and jarred sauce available. I recommend this to anyone who likes lots of global flavor and enjoys minimalism.
I’ve only had the book for a few days and didn’t want to start in with a review until I really cooked the book. I’ll share my thoughts and pics of the dishes we tried in a second, but first I wanted to share a fabulous recipe with you, Jalapeno-apricot glazed chicken thighs. They’ve got tons of flavor and are on the table in 20 minutes, and only 5 of those involve the cook. I made my favorite sweet potatoes to go with them and had to get them started first so everything would finish at the same time. A big thank you to Milk Street for letting me share it with you!
Shin splints! I was running 9 1/2 miles a day and loving it! Then shin splints. Shin splints are the worst. I needed to deal with them so they didn’t become a stress reaction or stress fracture. I’m on a lady fitness site, and asked what people did to heal them. Foam rolling, deep squats to deal with a muscle imbalance, stretching, and compression socks. To my surprise, icing was really controversial and people felt passionate about their positions.
Okay, I ordered compression socks, foam rollers, and started going after deep squats and stretches like nobody’s business. I’d worked for a few years on that running endurance, and didn’t want to give that up. I decided to give CrossFit a try. Holy workout, Batman! You’re a sweaty mess and done in less than an hour. It’s totally scalable to every fitness level, so it’s custom order-type challenging, and a novice and a gymrat can work out side-by-side. Perfect. To my shock, my husband quit with his nautilus-type gym and started joining me. And then the kids showed up. Too neat.
They had me at the title with this one! I fell deeply in love with O’Connor’s work in a course back in college, and went on to read the whole collection. A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South is rich and storied, too. If you love the tales behind dishes, you’re going to love it. The illustrations are charming! And that’s just the frosting. The dishes are amazing!
I’ll tell you all about the dishes we tried in a minute, but first I wanted to share with you the recipe for THE SUZY B’S SPINACH AND MUSHROOM FRITO PIE. We love Frito Pie and had never heard of a vegetarian version before. It is absolutely amazing. To my shock, I strongly prefer it to the original one. It’s like a cheesy mushroom and spinach dip had a baby with frito pie. Yeah. Go make it now. I hope you love it, too!
We’ve been reading like crazy over quarantine! After the review of this book, I’ll tell you about our book-club for two. Let me know what great reads you’ve found!
I usually just tell you about the cream of the crop cookbooks I review, but there were a few other books that came across my desk in the past year that are outstanding and totally giftable for the right person. Truly special pieces.
Need a gift for a lit lover, dog person, mythology fan, or wine enthusiast? I’ve got you!