by Mallory Viscardi in Books, December 19th, 2014
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, December 18th, 2014
“On our first day of shooting we spent an entire day trying to capture a good shot of pancakes. We almost quit on the spot,” admits Ben Towill, one of the restaurant owners and writers behind this week’s featured book, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries. The Fat Radish serves up vegetable-centric English cuisine, but make no mistake: This cookbook reaches further into the restaurant team’s history than a simple recitation of recipes from the menu. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries is full of vibrant, funny tales of the journey it takes to build a successful restaurant business (and to write a truly gorgeous cookbook).
That’s not to say the food isn’t remarkable. As far as restaurant cookbooks go, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries is remarkably cookable, filled from the first page to the last with recipes that you’ll easily be able to make and enjoy in your home kitchen. The book features traditional English fare, like Cottage Pie, Brussels Sprout Bubble and Squeak (recipe after the link for you to enjoy at home), and Scotch Eggs. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries also includes a couple of nods to pub favorites, like The Fat Radish Cheeseburger and Spring Onion Rings with Tartar Sauce. The book is organized seasonally, but the gorgeous images dare you to wait until spring to enjoy the Leek and Peekytoe Crab Gratin or the Charred Snap Peas with Mint Salt and Chili Oil. The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries even has a recipe for Banoffee Pie, something many Americans have wondered about since the first time they watched Love Actually.
by Food Network Kitchen in Books, Holidays, How-to, December 16th, 2014
Tim Federle, the mixologist mastermind behind Tequila Mockingbird, is back and quippier than ever in his new book for new parents, Hickory Daiquiri Dock. Squeeze happy hour in right after bedtime with these nursery rhyme-inspired cocktails, garnished with a twist of humor. All your kids’ favorites are present and accounted for, from Rocks-N-Rye, Baby and Wee Willie Whiskey to Mary Had a Little Dram and London Binge, I’m Falling Down. Give the Bloody Mary, Quite Contrary a try for yourself (recipe for you to try at home after the link).
Unlike parenthood, the rules for enjoying a refreshing cocktail are simple. “Rule No. 1: Don’t serve anything alcoholic in a sippy cup! Rule No. 2: Drink what you like and don’t stress out too much about rules. Rule No. 3: make fresh ice. You don’t want your cocktail to taste like a frozen hot dog.” The drinks are simple, designed to be mixed quickly and deliciously. Federle candidly declares, “If a drink requires more than, say, three alcoholic components (I’m looking at you, Long Island iced tea), but it doesn’t taste alcoholic at all (I’m glaring at you, Long Island iced tea), grab a beer and hide in the attic.”
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, December 5th, 2014
“I guess I’m a baking nerd,” says Dorie Greenspan with a sly smile. The award-winning cookbook author is standing in the middle of Food Network Kitchen, whisk in hand and talking about her latest book, Baking Chez Moi. “I’ve come to think of myself as a baking evangelist. I want people to have the satisfaction of making something themselves. So when I write, I try to imagine I’m talking to a newbie.” Dedicated to the home cooking she delights in during the four months a year she spends in Paris, Greenspan’s newest book is friendly and approachable, straddling both the high (Bubble Éclairs) and humble (Chocolate Chip Cookies). Her Custardy Apple Squares are an ideal mix of the two, and Greenspan happily demonstrated how to whip them up during her visit. “I love this recipe,” she says. “It’s so easy, so unfussy, so French.” Follow Dorie’s step-by-step how-to to make them at home.
For many sweets lovers, Greenspan’s name is synonymous with one thing above all: amazing cookies. So we couldn’t let her go without asking her to share a few of her best cookie tips, too. Here’s what we learned. Read more
by Guest Blogger in Books, October 30th, 2014
“If you can make a cake or a batch of cookies using a mix, you can surely bake something from scratch!” This is the premise of Kamran Siddiqi’s new cookbook, Hand Made Baking, and the simple, delightful, classic recipes in the book deliver on that promise. Siddiqi’s goal is to set even the most-timid home baker up for culinary success with easy-to-follow and fun-to-make dishes. Everything in Hand Made Baking, from the friendly headnotes to the luscious images, draws you in and compels you to head straight for the kitchen. Classic Cream Scones and Lemon-Poppy Seed Drizzle Cake (recipe linked below for you to try at home) dare you not to crave them. The Cinnamon-Raisin Granola wants to be your new go-to breakfast. Jammy Linzer Cookies are the perfect sweet treat to make this holiday season.
Siddiqi shared with us several tips to ensure success when baking from scratch. “My first tip, though quite obvious to most, is to read the recipe first; this helps any confusion later on.” He added, “Learn how to measure flour properly. Proper measurement of flour is crucial in baking, and not doing so can lead to lackluster baked goods. A pretty standard way to measure flour is the ‘fluff, pour, and sweep’ method, which I talk about in detail in the ‘Before You Begin’ chapter of my book.” If you’re just starting out baking from scratch, Siddiqi recommends his Nancy Drew Blondies, the Everyday Chocolate Cake and the New York-Style Bagels as a jumping-off point. And with the holidays coming up, Siddiqi said his family and friends always request the Pistachio Polvorones, the Molasses Spice Cookies, Forgetabout it Cinnamon Rolls (perfect on Christmas morning), Cranberry and Almond Coconut Macaroons, and the Chocolate Pudding Pie. The reality is there’s not a bad recipe in the book, and you’ll find yourself reaching for it again and again.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, October 10th, 2014
By Michelle Park
The last couple months of the year are packed with excuses to consume ridiculous amounts of sweets. Why not take full advantage of the season’s sugary spirit and make your own? Homemade candy is a great party trick, and it’s surprisingly straightforward. If you have reservations about thermometers and molten sugar, fear not — the well-versed duos behind this month’s picks will have you caramelizing with confidence.
1. The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King
Gutman and King, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based candy company Liddabit Sweets, have a love affair with candy. It’s no small task to demystify the art of candy making for the average home cook, but their optimism is contagious. Their playful, extremely thorough cookbook starts with a three-page chart titled Speed Date the Candies, a swift tour of the 75 recipes ahead, so you can quickly find one to fit your needs, whether that’s vegan, fun to make with the kids, or “melt-in-your-mouth-y” (sic) — or all of the above (Chocolate Mint Meltaways). Candy 101 then explains everything you need to know about sugar, chocolate, cleaning, safety and essential equipment. (The equipment section is split into “musts” and “coulds,” and you might find that your kitchen is already equipped to bust out some Pecan Turtle Caramel Corn.) Because Gutman and King want you to remember that “MAKING CANDY IS FUN” from start to finish, these chapters read less like a chemistry textbook and more like a friend discussing softball sugar with you over coffee. As far as the recipes go, no secret is withheld, and they range in difficulty from easy (Buckeyes) to ambitious (Gutman and King’s signature peanut-butter-banana candy bar, aptly named The King) to ambitious and patient (Beer Pretzel Caramels). You can rest easy regardless of what you choose first; “Liz Says” and “Jen Says” bubbles pop up on every other page with additional encouragement, suggestions and troubleshooting tips, should you make any missteps.
by Sarah De Heer in Books, Contests, October 7th, 2014
Yotam Ottolenghi’s newest cookbook, Plenty More, could very well be one of the most-anticipated books of the year. It’s not hard to see why. The book is gorgeous, and the recipes will change the way you approach eating vegetables — taking them from simple side dishes and turning them into stars worthy of center plate. Expectations for Plenty More were high, and Ottolenghi exceeded them at every turn.
The introduction is touching and endearing, as Ottolenghi pulls back the curtain on his hesitation to be pegged as a chef that specializes in vegetables. With his restaurant and in his other books, Ottolenghi has made it apparent he’s capable of much more than a delicious vegetable dish, but the way he plays in the vegetarian space is nothing short of enchanting.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, September 26th, 2014
There’s something undeniably eye-catching about opening up a cookbook for the first time and feeling like the author has shared with you one of the most passionate parts of his or her life — including family roots, recipes and laughs about life. I’m talking about Aarti Sequeira‘s first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul. So many Food Network fans first met Aarti when she won Season 6 of Food Network Star. Others were introduced to her when she hosted her first show, Aarti Party.
One of the most-approachable Indian-American cookbooks available today, the book is broken down into typical cookbook sections (including breakfast, salads, soups and stews, and dessert). There is also a section on chutneys. “Chutneys are a wonderful place to start for both new cooks and new-to-the-Subcontinent cooks because they either require no cooking at all or employ familiar cooking techniques,” Aarti shares. What makes this book stand apart are the anecdotes about how her mother and grandmother cooked these dishes — how they made exotic-sounding dishes sound familiar and comforting for their family. Before you get cooking, read Aarti’s introduction to common Indian spices — there’s no such thing as an intimidation factor in this book. FN Dish strongly suggests you read through the introduction, then run (not walk) to recipes for Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce, Lasagna Cupcakes, Lucia-Lucica Fried Rice, Pregnancy Potatoes, Indian Street Corn, and Homemade “Magic Shell” with Garam Masala and Sea Salt.
You can buy a copy of Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy of Aarti Paarti, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite recipe from Aarti (must include recipe URL). Need inspiration? Flip through her recipes here.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, September 19th, 2014
There are so many wonderful things to say about Charles Phan’s new cookbook, The Slanted Door, it’s almost impossible to pick a place to start. The Slanted Door tells the tale of the San Francisco restaurant of the same name through its storied 20-year history. It follows Phan and his beloved eating establishment as he built it, brick by brick and dish by dish, taking The Slanted Door through three locations in the City by the Bay. The pages are ripe with bright stories, honesty about the struggles that come with starting and maintaining a restaurant, and a rich appreciation for elegant food, wine, tea and cocktails.
The book is broken down into acts of the restaurant’s history, highlighting dishes as they became popular at each of the establishment’s locations. Act One is from Valencia Street in the Mission. Act Two features dishes from the Brannan Street location. Act Three features dishes from The Slanted Door’s final and permanent home, The Ferry Building. Within each location-based act, you’ll find select recipes from the restaurant’s menu, including starters, cocktails, the raw bar, salads, soups, mains and desserts. It also includes essays about how the tea, wine and cocktail programs were all developed to give customers the best possible dining experience.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, September 12th, 2014
Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton is the ideal cookbook for the home cook who loves a good food story and wants to give homemade past a try. The book features recipes from the renowned Flour + Water restaurant in San Francisco, along with the history of the establishment. It perfectly captures the thought and detail that go into opening and running a restaurant, and building a seasonal menu from the ground up.
The book sings with the possibility of turning inspiration into actualized dreams, and that’s what sets it apart as a restaurant cookbook. It beckons readers to step into their kitchen with their pasta makers and do the same: Have a little culinary adventure inspired by seasonal ingredients. The prose stops just short of being whimsical, an enjoyable mix of good-humored practicality and well-timed comedy. McNaughton takes you step by step and story by story through the launch process for Flour + Water, tying details of the restaurant and menu tightly together with their local and global inspirations in the pages of the book.
As is usually the case when talking about pasta, the recipes will bowl you over with their variety and deliciousness. The majority of the storytelling takes place in the introductions of the book (there are three, each more entertaining than the last). Then it gets down to business with sections for dough and composed recipes. The dough section takes you through the heritage and science of pasta making, and features stunning photo tutorials, easy-to-follow instructions and even an email address you can message if you have questions. It covers everything from equipment to how to cook fresh pasta, and you’ll be crazy with cravings before you crack a single egg thanks to Eric Wolfinger’s immaculate photographs.
Sara Deseran’s Tacolicious is a fiesta cleverly disguised as a bright, colorful cookbook. The book is inspired by the heart of the menu of the collection of taquerias in San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif. of the same name: tacos, snacks and cocktails.
The recipes you’ll find are admittedly a mix of authentic Mexican cuisine and Californian variations on Mexican-American dishes. The book is broken into themed chapters, starting with Salsas, Pickles and More, then focusing on Snacks and Sides, Tacos, Tacos and Tacos, and finishing with Cocktails, Aguas Frescas and More. Peppered throughout the book are fantastic factual tidbits that reveal the deep roots of the food’s heritage, as well as tips and tricks that make the recipes easier to execute. Tucked into these little asides you’ll find everything from tips for cooking beans to an in-depth look at corn tortillas and a comprehensive guide to quick and easy taco dinner recipes. The book has all the information you need to cook delicious Mexican-style food at home, regardless of your past experience with the cuisine.
Deseran also introduces you to vendors that have become friends, the chefs and bartenders that keep their eatery running, and a colorful assortment of characters that bring life to the restaurant and the pages of the book. The recipes in Tacolicious feel like they’re meant to be shared among friends and family (like the Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Taco, recipe shared below). This cookbook is perfect for the busy home cook who wants vibrant, flavorful, fuss-free food. You can order your copy here.