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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:10 am 
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Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Thanks Mary - Amazon ordered and received! VERY disappointed by the extra-wide margins and 6pt. font - WHY? WHY? WHY?
Beautiful photos. Recipes read intelligently so I don't anticipate problems but I'll get back with that.
Of course I ripped out the lime/cilantro dressing :twisted: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:46 am 
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I think all my favorite recipes have cilantro. The black bean sweet potatoe on is fantastic.
Fuzzy, Ha! I didn't even see the chicken thing.
Mary


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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:11 pm 
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So, full-length cookbook review on my blog:

http://www.fuzzychef.org/crossroads-a-review/

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:45 pm 
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1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelan Batra

Given the title of this book, I would probably have never looked at it (it was written in 2002, well before my two favorites - 660 Curries and How To Cook Indian), if it hadn't been for a close friend of mine - my old college roommate, who got into cooking back when I did, and is another cookbook junkie. He called me up and apologized for telling me about another cookbook I was going to have to have! LOL And this is the first one I have gotten for a long time that I had to write a review for, a rather lengthy one at that!

The title doesn't do it justice, as usually books with titles like that aren't really that great. This is definitely an exception, as it not only has all of those recipes, but descriptions of the ingredients, methods, and the regions that many of the dishes originate from. It would be good for somebody starting off, as well as somebody that already cooks Indian. I was surprised at the high number of southern Indian dishes, given that the author is from New Delhi.

One thing, which some may not like, and which seems to be true with all of the Indian cookbooks I have, is the lack of photos. This doesn't really bother me, as I don't want half of the pages filled with photos of finished dishes. I'd rather have this space used for photos showing ingredients, or preparation of the dishes.

The book starts off with a list of most of the spices and other ingredients needed, then a generous number of spices mixes, or masalas. This is where I can identify the better cookbooks - most simply tell you to use store-bought masalas, which are simply raw spices ground up, while the better books tell you which spices to toast, and sometimes with some oil added to the mix, giving a totally different flavor. Most of the recipes in this book are for 1 1/2-2 cups, which is more than I would probably use soon enough, so I will probably reduce them some! The only thing I didn't like that I saw in these was that a few called for dried curry leaves, which are pretty flavorless. And since the fresh ones dry out when dry toasting them with the herbs, there's no real reason to use them dry.

Something in this book that I haven't seen elsewhere is a section on masala pastes (9 pages of them) - sort of like Thai curry pastes, but less complex. I've seen ginger and garlic pastes in other books (and I usually just sub some minced garlic or ginger for them, when called for), but not these kinds.

As with many Indian books, there is a large chapter on Starters and Snacks. I just skimmed through this; most of these dishes are usually fried, so I don't usually cook many of them, though I'm sure there are many good ones. I'll check it out when I have more time, when I'm not looking for ways to use up all the veggies from the garden. The chapter on Paneer is another I only skimmed through, though there are a generous number of recipes.

One chapter than is definitely better than any I've seen in other books is the chutneys and pickles chapter. Many great sounding recipes, and many of the pickles are laclo-fermented, calling for covering the jar with muslin, and setting in a warm, sunny spot for several days. I saw a lot of recipes in here I am going to try.

The soup chapter is the best I've seen, as well, with a generous number of rasams. And there were a couple of cold soups, which I rarely see in Indian. Again, a bunch of recipes I have to make!

The chapter on salads also has some great sounding recipes, as does the chapter on raitas and pachadis. The recipe Spicy Raita With Lamb's Quarters was the first recipe I made from the book, and it was delicious. A lot of great sounding recipes in the Vegetables On The Side chapter, as well as the chapter Vegetarian Curries.

The chapter on legumes is great, up there with the one in 660 Curries. Recipes with many different legumes. Again, many recipes I will have to try in here. Many use a pressure cooker, and have a label, to ID them easily, as with the vegan recipes.

I don't cook too much white rice (except when I have to have some jasmine rice with a Thai Curry!), which is probably why I forgot about this. However, I did look through it, and there are some really good sounding pilafs and biryanis, and a number of recipes combining rice with legumes, which is what I often do, to make a one dish meal. There are also some recipes using other grains, though most have white rice as the main ingredient.

The bread chapter was the one I was least impressed with, as there were only a few flat breads that were not fried. Many were actually deep fried. There were some baked breads, but overall, I really didn't see any that I really have to make, as in some of those other chapters.

I glanced through the chapter on Non-vegetarian Fare, mostly at the chicken recipes, and saw some really good sounding recipes, as in the other chapters. The last chapter (I think?) is the sweets chapter, which I didn't look at very much. I have never really cooked Indian sweets, probably due to the lack of chocolate! LOL But I'm sure they must use butter, given their love for dairy.

I told my friend that I'd forgive him, for telling me about this.

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:14 pm 
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Dave,

Thanks! I'll see if the library has it.

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:45 pm 
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My sweetie has been going through Yogurt Culture this week, and it's a great book! While a bunch of the book does cover making your own yogurt (which, face it, I'm not going to do), the yogurt recipes in the book make it worthwhile on its own. We did "harvest waffles" last weekend with pumpkin, yogurt and apples in them, and they were great. Recommended for the lactose-tolerant.

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 11:47 pm 
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Big Flavors from a Small Kitchen is an intriguing cookbook from a tiny-footprint restaurant run by an Australian chef in London. Because they only do lunch service and he's trying to have family time, all of the recipes are geared towards fast prep. Even the baking section is exclusively quick breads. It also has an invaluable quality I look for in cookbooks I'd actually buy; interesting combinations of ingredients I wouldn't have thought of myself but nevertheless work well. For example, last night I made a salad with grated raw broccoli, orange juice and olive oil. Recommended for anyone wanting to do interesting and adventurous gourmet stuff on a both-spouses-work weeknight schedule.

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:35 pm 
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Two new ones:

Home Baking by van Boven is a fun cookbook because of the illustrations, and the recipe commentary. The recipes are good, even the somewhat unusual one; my sweetie just did the black pepper cookies, and they're tasty. It's a good cookbook for beginning to intermediate bakers; techniques are explained in detail. And there are some unusual and interesting ones for the experienced folks.

Koreatown by Hong and Rodbard is the cookbook for everyone who wants to make Korean diner classics at home. Ignore the ultra-hipster "we want to be Lucky Peach" styling; the recipes are solid and easy. Not just bulgogi and bi bim bap, this cookbook has a fat chapter on banchan (the little appetizers), and many other great quick-cooking Korean dishes besides. I've made soon doobu (tofu soup) and japchae noodles from it, and plan to try one more before I have to return it to the library. Recommended for anyone who wants to reproduce the dishes you had at that cheap-but-good Korean greasy spoon or table-grill place.

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:15 pm 
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Location: Florida Gulf Coast
Thanks, Josh for the kick start. I've had Koreatown for a few months,but haven't tried anything from it yet. I schoolmates on several e real pages -I need to try some of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Random cookbook of the week
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:53 pm 
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So, here's a surprising recommendation: the Vermont Country Store Cookbook.

Given their catalog, we borrowed it from the library for entertainment value; we expected it to be kitchy and full of mail-order foods. Far from it! This is a really serious, recipe-packed, from-scratch New England cookbook. We haven't made anything from it yet, but there's a few things we'll probably try.

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