Hi Everyone! Sorry we’ve been AWOL lately, but between camera problems (got a new one and figured out how to work it!) and actual, paying work, we had to go on a bit of a hiatus! But ever since I acquired not one, but SIX new cookbooks over the holidays, inspiration is exploding all over the place! To be specific, I am the proud owner of 19.5 POUNDS of cookbooks including:
I am already having a hard time deciding which one to dive into first, but here are my first impressions in case you are thinking of getting any of these – or were the lucky recipient of any over the holidays.
Tartine Bread: Whoa – this is one serious and comprehensive bread book. Yes, it asks you to make your own starter, which takes up to 7-10 days, but once you make it, you can save a bit to keep going again and again. I’m definitely going to do it.
Complete Indian Cooking: This was given to me by my friend Kate, because she knows I am thinking of going to India later this year, so I can get a jump on the food. It came from World Market, and has a great summary of all the regional styles of cooking throughout India – yippee!
Arabesque: My friend Susan lent me her copy after I returned from Morocco in late October, and I used the recipe for Preserved Lemons, and they were divine! Author Claudia Roden is the consummate expert on many Mediterranean cuisines, and this one is all about Turkish, Lebanese and Moroccan food. I’ll do a separate post on making them (they take a month, minimum, to fully cure in your fridge) and the chicken tagine I made with them, evoking sighs of happiness!
Around My French Table: Anyone who knows me well knows how much I ADORE France and all its food, and since I friended Dorie on Facebook, it makes it extra fun. So many delicious-sounding recipes and none are terribly difficult.
Bon Appetit Desserts: My sister Vickie gave me this one and I got so excited about having one go-to book for sweet stuff! It’s organized really well and even features a tear-off flap on the back of the book jacket to redeem for a free subscription to Bon Appetit! Fantastic!
One Big Table: My friend Susan gave me this for my birthday in December. Molly’s always been one of my favorites in the New York Times food section, and this is a great compilation of recipes from all over America. Fun stories accompany each recipe. Love.
So I’m armed and ready! Official thank-yous to everyone who gifted me with cookbooks! I even cleared out a whole shelf on the big living room book shelf for cookbooks. They join some of my other faves from Nigella, Ina, Julia and Giada. No excuses for not being inspired this year!
While I’m at it, I’ll share a preview of coming posts from some recent succulent successes:
We followed up on last year with the second Turkey Show-down. He does a deep-fried turkey, and I do the herb-roasted turkey and everyone votes. I have to say, I think I won. The flavor you get from stuffing all that herb-oil under the skin the night before roasting is awesome. (Sorry, bro: yours was good, too; just not as good!)
Here it is: a preview of the Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons I made with, well, the preserved lemons I started on Nov. 11. Complete post on this to come, but suffice it to say, it was heavenly. I swear, I’d eat a wrench if it had preserved lemons on it.
And this is a sunchoke (also known as a Jerusalem artichoke). While a little ugly, its flavor is divine – reminiscent of artichokes, but a little sweeter. And while they are a bitch to peel, I did just that to make a pureed soup featuring them, with apples, onions, a bit of white wine, some turkey stock and a tiny bit of half-and-half. Sautéed some cremini mushrooms and had myself a feast!
And while I would love to show you a finished picture of the bangers (sausages)and bubble-and-squeak(big mash-up of potatoes, parsnips, carrots and onions) that my friend Katy and I made for New Year’s Eve dinner, my camera went haywire and I didn’t capture it.
There you have it. Thanks for sticking with us, and sorry about the absence, but I promise lots of delicious posts coming right up! Will gladly take requests, too! The Crazy Cook and the Lazy Cook are back (well, Lazy Cook is still a bit lazy, but she’s on the rebound and will be back soon, too!) Happy New Year and Happy New Cooking and Eating!