by Food Network Kitchen in Books, September 1st, 2014
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, August 29th, 2014
by Michelle Park
There is arguably no other American cooking tradition quite as lore ridden as barbecue. This month, we’ve handpicked two cookbooks devoted to that mouthwatering marriage of meat and smoke that will urge you to partake before summer officially ends. The first is one of the most-classic books we have on the subject, and the second is sure to become one.
The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery, James A. Beard and Helen Evans Brown (1955)
When navigating something as American as barbecue, who better to turn to than quintessential American cooks? A little antiquated on some fronts, pheasant being less common than it used to be, The Complete Book still has much to offer anyone entering the foray of outdoor cooking — something tells me corn pudding and grilled sausages won’t go out of style anytime soon. Inside, you’ll find a handy guide of times and temperatures for nearly every cut of meat you can put over a fire. True to its title, the book also dedicates entire chapters to tried-and-true sauces, marinades, appetizers and sides to round out your all-American feast — each, of course, matched with its ideal meat pairings. At once authoritative and approachable, this book is the trustworthy friend you’ll consult before any cookout. The American palate may have since graduated beyond French dressing, but we think this book is here to stay.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, August 22nd, 2014
Pack your bags and grab a fork, because this week you’re heading on a trip around the world with Kim Sunée’s new book, A Mouthful of Stars. Part travel diary and part cookbook, A Mouthful of Stars covers a vast and intriguing amount of ground in its pages. It also offers up an impressive and delectable selection of food from Sunée’s favorite destinations.
The chapters are broken down into location themes, but you won’t simply find the usual suspect destinations in A Mouthful of Stars. Instead, Sunée takes you on what really feels like a personal guided tour of her favorite international (and a few domestic) food spots. Chapter one takes you to Seoul; chapter two whisks you off to North Africa, India and Mexico.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, August 15th, 2014
Flipping through Alexe van Beuren’s B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook is like wandering down the friendliest small-town Main Street in the country. Hailing from Mississippi, the book is a love letter to small-town life and the food that goes along with it. The stories and recipes are vibrant, jumping right off the page. Van Beuren founded the grocery to fulfill a need for the town, but it was the establishment’s addition of a lunch counter that led to the genesis of the recipes collected in the book. The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook tells the tale of both businesses in a charming and honest way. The foundation of the book and the moral of van Beuren’s stories always lead back to a willing and supportive community coming together around plates of delicious food.
That brings us to the most-important part of the book: the food. The magical spell a good Southern dish casts over the senses is laced throughout each recipe. The book starts off with a bit of town history and a welcome to the store, then covers breakfast, seasonal soups, salads, spreads and sandwich fixings, casseroles, mains, sides and “Southern sweet thangs.”
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, August 8th, 2014
Opening The Soda Fountain by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman is like taking a step back in American culinary history. The book takes you on a fascinating tour of the American soda fountain, a traditional establishment that has roots far deeper than a lot of the cola drinkers and ice cream lovers of today realize. It hits the mark of being “a slice of history with a double scoop of how-to.”
The Soda Fountain is divided into two primary sections, Stories and Recipes. The Stories chapters take you through the evolution of the soda fountain as an American culinary institution, from its first days as a pharmacy staple (yes, you read that right) through its Golden Age and into the Great Depression, right on to its second coming in small shops around the country. The stories are fun and charming, featuring tales of jazz and Prohibition. You get the sense as you flip through the pages that Giasullo and Freeman love and respect American food history as much as they appreciate a well-made ice cream float.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, August 1st, 2014
Libbie Summers approaches cooking like a fun adventure, and Sweet and Vicious bursts with color, excitement and inspiration. Her mantras leap right off the page and snare your attention: Welcome the unexpected. Be fearless. Have fun. Be creative.
The book promises right in the introduction that the recipes are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and they do not disappoint. Summers approach to baking is layering flavors together, some that you’re familiar with, and some that will delight and surprise you from the first bite to the last. Sweet and Vicious breaks the baking into chapters on cakes, sweet breads and pastries, savory breads, pies, cookies, canine goods and secret weapons. That’s right: There’s a whole section featuring treats for your furry friends (and my own pup can attest that these recipes are something special).
The section entitled Secret Weapons is the one that really stands out and brings it all together. Libbie gives you recipes for myriad extracts, the essences that take the layered flavors in her recipes to the next level. You’ll also find a handful of especially wonderful drink recipes tucked in there, along with some infused sugar recipes and a frosting guide. Secret Weapons elevates recipes like the Hot Spiced Donut Holes (below) or the Salvation Cinnamon Rolls or the Lemonhead Cake. Sweet and Vicious also contains a lot of supplemental content that you can find on Libbie’s site. You can order a copy of Sweet and Vicious here.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, July 25th, 2014
If you have a family to feed, I have the cookbook for you. Laurie David’s The Family Cooks was written with the goal of assembling delicious, nutritious meals that will keep everyone at your table full and happy, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I think it knocked it right out of the park.
Overall, the most-enjoyable thing about the book is its empowering message and tone. It encourages readers to take their family’s food choices into their own hands. It gives you all the information you need to make delicious snacks, meals and treats at home. The recipes are sympathetic to both the time and budget constraints many families face today without shortchanging flavor. It has a fail-safe guide to get you in and out of the grocery store in one piece, an ingredient rundown that’ll have you cooking with more flavors in no time, and a buy-and-store guide that’ll help you cut down the amount of food you purchase and then discard because it’s past its prime. The recipes in the book are broken down by course, starting with breakfast and working through lunch, soups and salads, dinner, snacks and drinks, sides, condiments, and sweets.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, July 18th, 2014
There are countless ways to enjoy summer produce, and FN Dish has touched on a lot of them in Off the Shelf (I’m looking at you, Corn and Zucchini Fritters and Peach Jam with Sriracha). One that we haven’t addressed yet is juicing, and that’s because until this week the right book hadn’t come along. Juice by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores and Hayden Slater (founders of the Pressed Juicery) came out this week and it’s the book you’ve been waiting for if you’ve ever been curious about layering fresh juice into your weekly food routine.
The three entrepreneurs love their juice drinks, and their excitement for what they do shines through each page of the book. Never before has juicing looked more delectable; the flavor combinations they present are so tempting you almost feel like you’re getting away with something when you enjoy them. This book stands apart because it explains the technical side of juicing in simple, inviting language no matter how much or how little experience you have with the process. You can start at the beginning and build your juicing regimen from scratch, or hop in at the middle with Juice’s huge selection of bright, enticing flavor combinations and suggestions. The recipe sections are broken down into chapters on greens, roots and citrus, and each section contains a wide selection of recipes and flavor combinations for you to try. It also has chapters on nut milks, sweet sips, savory and spicy juices, smoothies, flavored waters and elixirs, and more.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, July 11th, 2014
Rawia Bishara’s new cookbook, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar, keeps the family in mind. Like so many home cooks I know, it’s clear through Bishara’s stories and recipes that her food comes from a place of love for feeding family.
Though the finished dishes are foreign and exotic, they ring with notes of familiarity. She builds flavors using ingredients you already know and love (and probably already have in your pantry) as the foundation, then dresses them with a Middle Eastern finish you can’t resist.
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by Mallory Viscardi in Books, July 4th, 2014
Cookbooks written by people who are passionate about their work are the best cookbooks. It’s in this spirit that I present Tom Mylan’s The Meat Hook Meat Book. Mylan is one-third of the braintrust behind The Meat Hook, a little butcher shop with big personality tucked below the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This book is meaty (pun intended). It has everything you need to know about how to select, order, prepare and enjoy great meat — plain and simple. The book overflows with mouthwatering recipes, thoughtfully funny anecdotes and an insider’s look at the art and craft of butchery. Mylan’s wit weaves itself through every chapter, making it an exceptionally fun read.
The deeper into it you dig, the more apparent it becomes that The Meat Hook Meat Book is more than a collection of recipes. If you want to learn about different cuts and how to cook them, this is the book for you. If you’re curious about grilling, smoking, roasting and braising, this is the book for you. If you just want to plan your weekly meals with the confidence of knowing you know how to make the perfect roast chicken, pork chop or steak every time, this is the book for you. If you just want a little more confidence when ordering from your local butcher shop or supermarket butcher counter, this is the book for you. Mylan has thrown open the door to the secret world of a butcher’s life and invited you in for supper.
A different pie for every week of the year is a concept that I can get behind. That’s the idea that drives Allison Kave’s First Prize Pies, and the book is a perfectly balanced year of pie possibility. Pie is known for its finicky nature, but Kave sets readers up for success with a thorough rundown of everything you need to make an exceptional pie, from equipment to ingredients. There are step-by-step photo guides for skills that require a little more explanation, like how to peel stone fruit for the Sugar Plum Pie and how to ace your marshmallow topping for the S’mores Pie. Kave tells you everything you need to know about assembling her pies, making this the perfect book for a home cook who hasn’t ventured too far into the land of pies from scratch.
The book’s seasonal recipes feature classics you crave like Apple-Cheddar Pie, Key Lime Pie and Pumpkin Spice Pie. But it colors outside the lines a bit, too, mixing up flavor combinations with recipes like Eggnog Cream Pie in a Gingersnap Crust, Mint Julep Cream Pie and Root Beer Float Pie. There are enough pie recipes in the book to cover each week of the year (and then some!), so you can think of it as a long-term investment in your culinary happiness. Kave balances the recipes to be practical too. There’s a vegan-friendly You-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Pie that everyone at the table will love and a no-bake Banana Split Ice Cream Pie (recipe featured below), which is perfect for the summer months when it’s just too hot to spend hours in a kitchen with your oven blazing. Even summer’s heat is no match for a pie made of ice cream. You can order your own copy of First Prize Pies here.