Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pure Beef | Lynne Curry

 

There is beef and then there is PURE BEEF!

Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut

TITLE: Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut
AUTHOR: Lynne Curry
PUBLISHER: Running Press
CUISINE: Beef

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Porcini Mushrooms
Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in highDried Porcini Mushrooms by Andrew Shansby regard in many cuisines, and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups,pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Although it is sold commercially, it has not been successfully grown in cultivation. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. Keeping its flavour after drying, it is then reconstituted and used in cooking. B. edulis is one of the few fungi sold pickled. The fungus also produces a variety of organic compounds with a diverse spectrum of biological activity, including the steroid derivative ergosterol, a sugar binding protein, antiviral compounds, antioxidants, and phytochelatins, which give the organism resistance to toxic heavy metals.[Wikipedia]

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First Impressions
This is a substantial cookbook. It contains information, not fluff. The distinct two part division makes for easy navigation. Part one includes prep techniques. There is a beef guide and lots of beef related info. Part two contains the recipes. They are printed in a burgundy color with green highlights and titles. It’s not distracting, but, an interesting choice. Sixteen bold, colorful Images by David Reamer are in one group located in the center of the book. It’s printed on a high quality bright white, gloss stock which has a nice silky, easy to handle feel.

• • • • •

What’s Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Part I
How Grass Becomes Beef
What’s the Beef?
How to Cook Like a Butcher
Part II
Great Ground Beef
Slow Simmered Feasts
Global Beef Cuisine
Steaks Done Right
Winning Roasts
Pure to the Bone
Simple Homemade Charcuterie

• • • • •

Honestly, is there anything better than cats singing about their love of beef? I think not. Enjoy!

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Poor Man’s Beef Wellingtons Pure Beef Meatloaf
Whiskey Pot Pie Korean Barbecue
Mixed Grill Chimichurri Steak Stroganoff
Dutch Oven Barbecue Short Rib Rendang
Porcini-Rubbed Tenderloin with Saba Sauce and Braised Lentils New England Simmered Supper with Whole-Grain Mustard
Grassfed Pot Roast with Parsnips, Carrots and Fingerlings Rib-Eye Steaks and Grilled Romaine with Hot Tomato Vinaigrette

 

When you pack a cookbook with this many beef recipes there is going to be a lot of drooling. It was unbelievably hard to pare down the recipe list for this review. But, alas, we can’t list them all. Yes, there were a number that worked their way to the top of the heap. For example, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at homemade sausage making. Not Italian or breakfast sausage, but, salami or pepperoni style. The Deli-Style Salami (p258) seems like a recipe that I could tackle without a mountain of problems. Oil poaching fish is a common preparation these days. But oil poached meat? The Olive Oil-Poached Steaks with Thyme (p179) gets a huge thumbs up.

Chicken fried anything is OK by me. So, the Chicken Fried Steak with Buttermilk Gravy (p182) is a natural. Lastly, if the words “roasted” and “marrow” appear together in the same recipe title, it’s immediately in the running for a gold medal. The White Truffle Risotto with Roasted Marrow Bones (p247) meets that requirement and more.

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Special Features
Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every CutThere are lots and lots of specials in this book. Most of them are contained in part one. It’s a great beef primer; they’ve titled one callout section, Cow 101. One of the more interesting and unique features is a guide on How to Taste Artisan Beef. It’s accompanied by a beef tasting scoring sheet. Apparently, the Food Innovation Center Experiment Station, located in Portland, is into this kind of thing. It’s good news for us! A detailed guide to cuts of beef is included and expected. The butchering section is a great how-to on slicing and dicing any cut of beef without mangling it into an unrecognizable form. A pairing list includes not wines as you would expect, but, garnishes, sauces, spices and herbs. Very handy. The rear of the book has some online beef resources. Thankfully, no measurement conversion chart taking a two page spread at the back.

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Conclusions
For beef and beef lovers this book is more than a home run, think grand slam here. It contains about everything you could possibly need or want on the subject. I usually find single topic cookbooks to be a little on the dry side. Not true with Pure Beef. Page after page has beefy information you can use day in and day out. That old Wendy’s question is finally answered once and for all. Where’s the beef? Here’s the beef!

Culinary Expertise Required: 5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut

Cookbook Giveaway! Yes, you read that right. I’ve got an extra copy of Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut to giveaway. Just click below and drop us an email. Tell us why you deserve Lynne Curry’s joyous ode to beef.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Links, Resources and Press
Lynne Curry’s Website
Seattle Times Review of Pure Beef
Perseus Books
The Artisan Beef Institute

Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes | Clara Czegeny

There is more to Hungarian fare than gulyás.

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

TITLE: Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes
AUTHOR: Clara Margaret Czegeny
PUBLISHER: Dream Machine Publications
CUISINE: Hungarian

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Featured Ingredient: Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried fruits of Capsicum annuum, either bell pepper or chili pepper varieties or mixtures thereof. In many European languages, the word paprika refers to the Capsicum fruit itself. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot. Flavors also vary from country to country. [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impression
First off, I love self-published cookbooks. It’s a tough mountain to climb. I admire the determination it takes to get one of these publications into the hands cooks like you and me. Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes is similar to so many of these self-produced projects. Homey and comfortable, those are two adjectives that would accurately describe this labor of love. Lots and lots of recipes are contained in the 377 pages. Mostly Hungarian as you would expect. The book is dedicated to Clara’s mother, Helen. Looks like Helen really knew how to cook. And, as a real pat on the back the book was named a 2010 Canadian Cookbook Best Seller.

• • • • •

What You Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Introduction & Forward
History of Hungary and Foods
Appetizers and Soups
Sauces, Salads and Side Dishes
Main Dishes
Pastries, Squares, Tortes and Crepes
Passport to International Fare

• • • • •

If you’re going to be cooking Hungarian food, you may as well know some of the local phrases. It’s not Rosetta Stone, but, it’s a start.

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Transylvanian Veal Stew Hungarian Liver Sausage
Wild Braised Rabbit in Red Wine Breaded Chicken Livers
Braided Raisin Bread Wild Mushroom Strudel
Potato, Egg & Sausage Casserole Hungarian Soup Dumplings
Rustic Fisherman’s Soup Chicken Cordon Bleu (France)

 

Yes, of course there were recipes that really caught my eye. I love salty things. So, the Salt Bread Sticks (p112) are a big hit with me. The Anchovy Stuffed Hard Boiled Eggs (p31) are a great take on an old favorite. Who doesn’t love a good deviled egg? So, when you pep it up with a little anchovy and Madeira you’re sure to have a hands down winner. The Chocolate Jelly Roll (p245) will make a wonderful finish to any meal, Hungarian or not.

• • • • •

Special Features
Each recipe has its name printed in English and Hungarian. That’s a nice touch. There are a Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes lot of Hungarian facts to check out, along with a short history lesson. A handy “check-list for successful baking” is included. A rundown of ingredients and utensils you will need to make some of the dishes will take some of the guesswork out. I love the fact that lard is prominently listed. AND, that margarine has been labeled a dirty word! I didn’t realize that paprika came in six varieties. Here’s the way it breaks down: Exquisite delicate, delicate, noble sweet, semi-sweet, rose and hot. Toward the back of the book is a comical page of Hungarian tongue twisters. The translations are pretty hilarious, it’s worth a peak (SPOILER ALERT: There was a bearded hamster. It was lapping syrup. If a hamster is lapping syrup, it will be seized with a hamster clamp. WHAT IN THE WORLD??). There are two indexes, the first in English and the second, as you would expect, in Hungarian. There are also some pre-set menu ideas for your consideration.

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Conclusions
There are 440 recipes in this cookbook. More than you will probably ever need. For those of you who have been looking to fill out your Hungarian recipe collection, this book will do the trick. Simple, easy to execute recipes are the norm here. There are some challenging recipes, but, it’s an ideal guide for beginning and intermediate home cooks. Nothing tricked out. The ring binding lets it sit flat on the counter without a fight. If you have some Hungarian roots in your family (like I do), this book deserves a spot on your rack. If you’re just interested in some delicious ethnic cuisine whose roots stretch back several hundred years or so, you’re in luck.

Culinary Expertise Required: 4.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

Links, Resources & Press
Hungarian Cream Puffs Video
Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes Website
Helen’s Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream
Hot Hungarian Chef Website

Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones | Hoogerhyde & Walker

 

There’s a little magic at work in the ice cream making process.

Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

TITLE: Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery
AUTHOR:  Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker and Dabney Gough
PUBLISHER: Ten Speed Press
CUISINE: Desserts

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Buttermilk
Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left over from churning butter from cultured orStrawberry Ice Cream Cone by TheCulinaryGeek fermented cream. Traditionally, before cream could be skimmed from whole milk, the milk was left to sit for a period of time to allow the cream and milk to separate. During this time, naturally occurring lactic acid-producing bacteria in the milk fermented it. This facilitates the butter churning process, since fat from cream with a lower pH coalesces more readily than that of fresh cream. The acidic environment also helps prevent potentially harmful microorganisms from growing, increasing shelf-life. [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impression:
Ice cream and summer are tied together as closely as any food can be with any season. It’s summer. Well, maybe not officially, but, close enough. So, it appears that Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones arrives at just the right moment. You see, planning’s not overrated. It’s a fun and delicious unraveling of the mysteries of homemade ice cream (and cones). Nice lively images by Paige Green compliment the recipes. Every imaginable type of frozen confection is given its due.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Vanilla
Caramel
Chocolate
Coffee and Tea
Nuts
Berries
Citrus
Herbs and Spices
Tropical Fruits

• • • • •

Happy yet? With all of this ice cream talk it would be hard not to be. If you need a little extra nudge we can help.

How’s that? better?

• • • • •

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)
Before the authors roll out the individual recipes, there is a little housekeeping to take care of. They provide you with a few very important details. A list of equipment that you’ll need along with the most commonly used ingredients. This is extremely helpful if you’re not a baker (like me). Also included is a useful discussion of techniques.

The most important part of the front section of the book is the master recipes. Ice cream, sorbet, granite, ice pops are all detailed. As are instructions for assembling ice cream cakes, ice cream pies and ice cream sandwiches. Armed with this info we can really make the most of the recipes that follow.

Buttermilk Ice Cream Vanilla Butterscotch Sauce
Cheesecake Ice Cream Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Almond Toffee Chocolate Midnight Cake
Earl Grey Ice Cream Almond Fudge Ripple Ice Cream
Mexican Wedding Cookies Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream
Raspberry Ice Pops Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
Candied Citrus Zest Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

 

Standouts? Yes indeed. I would hardly be able to resist if a giant bowl of the Malted Milk Ice Cream (p82-83) were to magically appear in front of me. Eating the entire thing would be effortless, I assure you. I love sorbets and the Blood Orange Sorbet (p162) was different enough to really catch my eye. I imagine the Espresso Fudge Sauce (p105) would make a cereal box taste amazing.

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Special Features
On page 47 is one of the most unique things I’ve seen included in a cookbook, How to Make an Ice Cream Cone Mold . Even if you’re not into making your own ice cream, it’s nearly impossible not to attempt to make your own cone. Ingredient tips are scattered throughout. The resource list was arranged by ice cream ingredient. That was a helpful way to do that. Don’t panic. Have no fear, there is a measurement conversion chart. I could see you starting to sweat.

• • • • •

Conclusion
This is a great, fun, summertime cookbook. The recipes are easy to readSweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery through. And, they make sense as you’re cooking. After the first skimming, the recipes do not appear super simple to execute. But, given a second look they may not be quite as hard as they seem. There are loads of excellent step by step images that contribute heavily to both the instructive nature of the book and the completeness of the recipes. If you or your family loves ice cream like most normal human beings, this will be a necessary addition to your collection. I scream, you scream…

Culinary Expertise Required: 7
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like you own copy of Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones? Of course you would. You can click the link below and you’ll be one step closer.

Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery

Links, Resources and Other Press
Bi-Rite Market Website
Sweet Cream @ Random House
Sweet Cream Trailer
Recipes from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones