As the name implies, the book’s 100-plus recipes make use of pantry basics that we all do — or should — keep on hand.
What’s more, the chapters are even arranged by ingredient. For instance, got a half-bag of bulgur lying around? Then, make “Lemon-Bulgur Ricotta Pancakes” or “Hearty Tomato Soup with Bulgar.” Hiding a can of chickpeas in the back of a cabinet? Dig it out to use in “Lemon-Parmesan Chickpea Pasta.” Have some leftover panko? Whip up “Sheet-Pan Panko Lamb Meatballs with Walnut Chimichurri Sauce.”
No Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without a soul-satisfying pot of hearty and tender beans.
“Frijoles Rojos” is all that — plus vegan.
This classic bean dish is from “Provecho” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by Edgar Castrejon, a Bay Area chef, recipe developer and photographer, who grew up in Oakland to parents who emigrated from Mexico.
The title of the book comes from the Spanish expression to “wish someone a good meal.” The 100 vegan recipes embody that sentiment in rustic, homey dishes such as “Columbian Empanadas,” “Adobo Mushroom Tacos,” “Tortas de Tofu,” and a clever “Coconut Aquachile” in which the flesh of young coconut stands in for the usual fish.
“Frijoles Rojos” can be made with canned beans or dried. I used Rancho Gordo Midnight Black Beans, soaking them overnight, before cooking them the next day.
True confession: I’ve never been much of a fan of beef with broccoli.
Maybe it’s because I’ve dug into too many dishes of it at Chinese lunch buffets or banquet gatherings that were just so mundane and mediocre, with gloppy, over-cornstarched sauce glueing everything together.
There’s never been a version that’s been memorable and exciting.
And of course, it would be created by food scientist, cooking savant, and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.
If you are an avid stir-fry enthusiast already or a beginner picking up a wok for the very first time, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of his new The Wok: Recipes and Techniques” (W.W. Norton & Company), of which I received a review copy.
It will change how you stir-fry. It will change your life.
Admittedly, I love all things Danish — the timeless architecture, the clean-lined furniture, and the haunting murder-mystery thrillers.
And of course, the food.
So, when a review copy of “Nordic Family Kitchen” (Prestel, 2021) landed on my porch, I found myself beyond intrigued.
The book is by Mikkel Karstad, a Danish chef who cooked for years at world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen.
The book features 73 recipes that espouse Karstad’s eco-conscious sensibilities that prize foraged, home-grown and good-for-you ingredients in dishes such as “Seaweed Flatbread with Sea Salt, Herbs, Flowers, and Olive Oil,” “Elderflower Lemonade with Herbs,” “Pickled Chanterelles with Spruce, Apple, and Shallots,” and “Rhubarb and Marzipan Cake.”
Now, I’ve salt-preserved lemons for years. But apple cores?
All it takes is copious amounts of butter, freshly ground black pepper, and grated Parmesan to create a dreamy-creamy mouthful.
You know it best as cacio e pepe, that Italian classic dish of spaghetti whose strands get coated lavishly with that velvety amalgamation.
But for those eschewing gluten or grains these days, you’ll be glad to know you can get that same beloved taste in “Chickpeas Cacio e Pepe.”
This clever recipe is from the cookbook, “Ottolenghi Test Kitchen” (Clarkson Potter, 2021) by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi. The latter, of course, is the acclaimed London restaurateur and best-selling cookbook author; and the former is the head of his Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.
Yes, garbanzos stand in for the noodles. And the bean cooking liquid for the starchy pasta water that usually acts as the glue to emulsify everything.