New cookbook releases come in slow and easy during the summer, giving us all a chance to kick back, dig around in the garden, and maybe even work on our salad skills to eat a little healthier. Or in my case, work on corn-on-the-cob eating skills where I try not to cover my entire face with butter and salt. Now it is time to gear up for the forthcoming cookbook onslaught: September, October, and November are the biggest cookbook release months of the year. In preparation for the cloudburst of cookbooks-yet-to-come, let's take a look at a few recent summer releases.
Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites without the Junk
Quite anticipated by our booksellers, Paleo Takeout is a hit. Most people have a few go-to restaurants for a quick takeout fix. Often, though, that takeout isn't the healthiest. Russ Crandall, blogger of the Domestic Man and author of The Ancestral Table, gives us a broad selection of recipes common to a variety of restaurants — Tom Yum, Bam Bam Shrimp, General Tso's Chicken, Tzatziki, Gyros, Fried Chicken in a Bucket — all remade to fit healthy Paleo standards. I made the Burrito Bowl Date Night with the Carnitas recipe. So freakin' good. Those carnitas are definitely being made again in my house.
Burrito Bowl Date Night — Insider tip: Plan ahead; the carnitas take 14 hours to
slow cook, but it is worth it! Don't have 14 hours? There are instructions for
fast-fast pressure cooking.
Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen
This is not your mother's Ball recipe preserving book. There's no strawberry jam, there are no crunchy dills, there's certainly no succotash. This is an extensive and gorgeous look into traditional Japanese preserving, wrapped in modern techniques. You'll find umami on every page: Salted Sour Plums, Miso Cured Eggs, Soft Tofu. Going on beyond basic recipes, there are further recipes that include the preserves. Author Nancy Singleton Hachisu (who you may remember from the very popular Japanese Farm Food) has sought out traditional family recipes and documented her path with photography and text, making this culinary-travelogue worthy. Preserving the Japanese Way is a wonderful gastronomic history read as well as a great collection of recipes.
Jerky Everything: Foolproof and Flavorful Recipes for Beef, Pork, Poultry, Game, Fish, Fruit, and Even Vegetables
Really, there isn't much more that needs to be said beyond the title, this book really does have tons of recipes to "jerky" a lot of different foods, from the basic beef recipes that you'd expect to the surprising and even exotic. I'm taken with the Root Beer Jerky, the Cuban Pork Jerky, and the mind-blowing sounding recipe of Chocolate Orange Slices (dry on the outside, moist inside, dusted with cocoa and cayenne). In fact, a coworker just promised to make the Chocolate Orange Slices for me. Hurray!
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day
So often, cookbooks marketed to a budget audience are tired rehashes of the same old recipes. Not so with Good and Cheap! These recipes are extremely well thought-out, both with an eye toward good food and with an eye toward making food that people will want to eat. The birth of this book was unusual. It started out as a project for author Leanne Brown's master's degree in food studies; went viral online; became a Kickstarter campaign; was picked up by Workman Publishing; and oh yeah, garnered an IACP award along the way! Why $4? U.S. food stamps currently budget $4 per day for food. Brown's intent is to give people on a tight budget the ability to eat both healthfully and deliciously. Following this intent, for every book sold, Workman Publishing will give away a copy to a person/family in need.
Cauliflower Cheese — This will fill the desire for mac and cheese without the
carb overload. Insider tip: don't expect the cheese sauce to get super thick while
in the pot — that magic takes place in the oven.
Pierogi — This is from The Big Batch section of the book. Insider tip: recipe makes a lot! Plan
for your family to eat these over a couple of days, or take a make-ahead freezer opportunity.
These will keep for at least six months in your freezer.
Mexican Street Corn — Cheesed and chili powdered, this was a delicious treat. Insider tip:
be sure to soak your husks a bit if you want to avoid the Flame-On incident that went on
in Kim's broiler.