Thursday, October 15, 2009


Here are three new cookbooks that do a good job of representing the wide range of recipes we have available here at the Public Library.
The New Portuguese Table: exciting flavors from Europe's Western coast by David Leite. Portugal always seems to be one of the overlooked countries in Europe (perhaps not as bad as Andorra, but close). So how exotic it will sound to invite your friends over for an authentic Portuguese supper. Befitting a country bordering the ocean, this cookbook has lots of seafood recipes, including a lovely "Skate with leeks in a saffron broth" that would work well with halibut or cod instead of skate. "Pumpkin soup with spicy seeds" is a nice choice for fall, and the classic Portuguese dessert "Baked custard tarts" will round off the meal nicely.
Rustic fruit desserts by Corey Schreiber and Julie Richardson is invaluable - if for no other reason - because it actually defines the differences between pie, tart, galette, cobbler, grunt, slump, crisp, crumble, betty, pandowdy, buckle, teacake, fool and trifle. So if you have fond memories of some kind of fruit-based dessert that your grandmother used to whip up when you were a kid, it's a good bet you'll find something similar here. "Ginger Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy", anyone?
The Sauce Book: 300 world sauces made simple is by London chef Paul Gayler. This is more of a reference than a cookbook, since the majority of the recipes are for straight sauces, not the entire dish. Gayer does include some examples of how to use a few sauces, though ("Provencale toasts with sea bass and tapenade", "pork strips in adobo"). Organized geographically, this book is a way of stirring your creative juices. Pick a place (I think I feel like Mediterranean food tonight), then pick a sauce ("avgolemono", a classic Greek lemon sauce), and then consider Gayler's suggestions ("baked cod steaks with butter beans and avgolemono"). Or you might prefer to come up with your own use (drizzle over wild rice, perhaps...or grilled chicken breasts). The world's your oyster.....perhaps with a Japanese citrus ponzu marinade.

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