My Latest Obsessions
Eat Like It's Summertime
I know I am late on another What I’m Reading post (and a lot of other things) but I thought I’d do a roundup of some other fun reading I’ve been doing/using lately – Cookbooks! I thought I’d give you a review of some of the cookbooks I’ve been reading and cooking from lately.
Pure Simple Cooking, A Bird in the Hand, and A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry
Diana Henry, where have you been all my life? (My answer is that I had her confused with Diana Kennedy, who is an extremely accomplished authority on Mexican cooking). Diana Henry is a British cookbook writer and columnist for the Sunday Telegraph, and her recipes are exactly what I want to cook AND eat most of the time – big flavors, simple prep. I bought Pure Simple Cooking (called Cook Simple in the UK) on a recommendation, and proceeded to cook out of it for three weeks straight, making things like Arroz con Polly y Chorizo (like a lazy person’s paella), Smoked trout watercress salad, baked cod with a zesty crust, and rhubarb cake. I liked it so much, I promptly bought the Kindle Edition of a Bird in a Hand, which answers in about a hundred different ways the eternal question of the family cook, “What ELSE can I do with chicken?” Favorites from that one have included a Turkish spiced grilled chicken with a spicy relish made from olives and herbs and roast chicken in the pan with garlic, potatoes and cashel blue cheese butter. Feeling a bit guilty over that blue cheese butter, I then bought A Change of Appetite, which is a lighter approach, but unlike most of the “healthy” cookbooks I’ve seen, doesn’t pick one trendy diet (low fat! no carb! vegetarian!) and stick with it – nor does it use ingredients that may be impossible to find or unappetizing, like coconut aminos or butter flavored cooking spray. Instead, it’s full of delicious-sounding recipes for sensible eating – a little lower in fat, cutting back on refined sugars and white flours – but not sacrificing any flavors. Scandinavian salmon burgers were the first recipe I cooked from this one, and they were a big hit. I love that Henry’s recipe are not out of reach for the home cook, but they’re not boring – she draws from traditional British and French cooking, of course, but also Mediterranean flavors, and Asian, and Middle Eastern (and Latin American!) Any or all of these books would be a terrific addition to any home cook’s library.