The Thompson sisters have always shared a loveof good food and their blog, The Bookery Cook (check it out at http://thebookerycook.com.au/), is a feast of recipes and other foodie delights. Here at Fairfieldbooks we have just received the sister’s first cookbook; The Bookery Cook, and it is brilliant! The sisters asked artists from all over the world to create artworks inspired by the recipes. All up 66 artists contributed and the results are beautiful and often quite quirky. There is a great selection of recipes including everything from dolmades to the classic meat pie, Vietnamese-style squid salad to panna cotta with berry balsamic reduction. The book is perfect for lovers of art as much as lovers of food (and it might even be the perfect Mother’s Day surprise!). $40.00.
Vegetables are experiencing a resurgence in our house, perhaps the time of year has something to do with it because of all the great fresh produce around. Another reason is another great book from Yotam Ottolenghi, author of our much loved Plenty. Jerusalem, unlike Plenty, isn’t JUST about vegetables so is perhaps a more complete cookbook of middle eastern inspired dishes. Ottolenghi really knows how to make vegetables the hero of a dish, not just an afterthought to have with your meat. Our entree was from another great cookbook; the recipe for Carrot and Coriander fritters with haloumi and sweet lemon dressing came from Vegetarian by Alice Hart and was motivated by a fritter obsession. These were a fine example of an easy to make fritter with heaps of flavour. You can even make the mixture ahead of time and it’ll actually make frying the fritters easier. My kind of recipe.
The salads from Jerusalem were the Spicy beetroot, leek and walnut salad and the Roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad. The beetroot salad was unusual and a great mix of textures, the sweet and spicy balance was fantastic. The deceptively simple roasted cauliflower salad was also delicious, cauliflower isn’t my favourite vegetable but I’d obviously just never had it like this! Roasted simply in salt, pepper and olive oil the crispy golden bits added just the right amount of crunch. I couldn’t believe how much flavour was on my plate. We had these salads with a wonderful whole-roasted rainbow trout and it was a light, summery meal perfect for these warmer days we’ve been enjoying.
Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi is hardback, $49.95. Vegetarian by Alice Hart is paperback, $40.
Following his highly informative ” On Food and Cooking” and the whimsical “Curious Cook”, Harold McGee has come up with another essential addition to the cook’s library.
This is an exhaustive description of techniques and ingredients that will enable anyone to get the best result from their ideas or other people’s recipes.
While some of it is quite basic, valuable to the beginner, there are some gems and insights into the cooking processes that will reward any experienced reader/cook.
The book covers food, resources, tools, appliances, cooking techniques, ingredients, safety and more. There are even recipes!!
This is a reference book without glossy photos from the ‘food stylists’ so will appeal to people with an interest in getting it right and making it better!
Unfortunately, the Curious Cook is out of print and only available second hand but McGee’s original book 2nd Edition is also available.
We invite orders for a bundle of BOTH books at the special price of
Delicious: Quick smart cook, by Valli Little, PB $40
If you are looking for fabulous cookbook with a huge variety of recipes and easy to obtain ingredients then the Delicious cookbook is for you!
The 120 recipes are organised into categories that cover every possible mealtime or occasion. Each dish is accompanied by a full page picture so you can try and replicate the mouthwatering look as well as taste. The food ranges from summer to winter and most of the recipes are not too difficult at all and use a variety of fresh ingredients.
Delicious has revamped some old favourites like cottage pies, rack of lamb, apple pies and ice-creams and then added some yummy new things; Grand Marnier crepe layer cake, Duck & shiitake mushroom pithiviers, salt & pepper squid and salmon baklava with dill butter.
If the delectable back cover photo of Coconut pancakes with banana and creme fraiche is any indication then this cookbook will keep the whole family happy for many years to come!
365 Good reasons to sit down to eat by Stephane Reynaud,
Renown French Chef Stephane Reynaud brings us a fabulous, comprehensive new cookbook with a recipe for every day of the year.
This beautiful hardback has plenty of pictures and tips for each dish and specifically uses seasonal fresh produce. The dishes range from prawn curry to roast pork to walnut tart to fruity sorbets. With something for everyone, Reynaud provides a good spread of ideas from a basic family dinner to a fancy party feast!
A great gift for lovers of food or someone who can never find something new to make.
And there’s no better helper for preparing delicious simple food at Christmas than Donna Hay’s Seasons
Soft Back $50 rrp
This excellent book gathers the recipes from the Donna Hay magazine and the individual seasonal cook books so here you can find Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn in one volume.
The first impact of the book are the beautiful pictures on almost every page, mostly of the recipes but also other evocative images of produce and places to set the mood. The Seasons format provides inspiration for summery food now but also some of the traditional wintry fare that we’ve borrowed for Christmas from the northern hemisphere.
The recipes are simple, quick, innovative and healthy[everything in moderation!]. There’s no extensive ‘cheffy’ preparation or technique in the recipes. All can be easily prepared by any home cook and results could be compared to that from many a Good Food Guide restaurant. Not the 3 hatters perhaps but many of the others.
There’s a good glossary at the back and a good index. All in all a great present or addition to the kitchen library at a moderate price.
This is my new favourite baking book. Bourke St Bakery is a Sydney company with a few outlets in suburban Sydney. The book is divided into Breads, pastries and sweets, preceded by general information and tips on baking. I’ve made some very grown up brownies from the book, and they were fabulous. You soak prunes in brandy for 3 days before making the batter. Don’t worry, there is a non-alcoholic option if children are going to be eating them, although, frankly, I’d keep them for the grownups! There are loads of photos, and it is a very good looking book. A terrific gift for the baker you know. $69.95 Heather