One of the most popular programs at the Warren Library is our Cookbook Club. Meeting about 6 times a year, a group gathers at the library with dishes made from a particular cookbook or cookbook author. When we met in November people were asked to bring any dish made from an Ina Garten recipe. This was by far one of our most successful evenings, culinarily speaking, and we talked about how we could easily have several more evenings with Ina’s recipes. What is obvious is that there are people in our valley that love to cook and share that love with each other and our conversations around the table are as enticing and fun as the food that we eat. So in celebration of food and gathering with friends new and old, below is a list of cookbooks that I’ve added to our collection recently. You just may see one featured at an upcoming Cookbook Club!
Sababa: Fresh Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen by Adeena Sussman. Market-fresh ingredients, simple preparation, and an easy-going attitude permeate Sababa. I’ve got my eye on the recipes for Sour Lime and Pomegranate Chicken Wings and Tahini Blondies.
Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen by Alissa Timoshkina will have you savoring warm, winter foods like Potato & Caviar Soup and then dreaming of spring with the recipe for Fern Stir-fry, using fresh fiddleheads. Narrative passages describing the cultural significance of the ingredients and recipes give this book more depth. There’s a list of resources in the back of the book for those adventurous types who want to try their hand at Bird Cherry Cake - made with bird cherry flour - or one of the other recipes that uses specialty ingredients.
Skillet Love: From Steak to Cake: More Than 150 Recipes in One Cast-Iron Pan by Anne Byrn. The cast iron skillets in my house get heavy use for making Dutch Baby oven pancakes but this cookbook has me dreaming of expanding that repertoire. Buttermilk Pork Chops sounds ridiculously quick, easy, and delicious; the Challah Wreath is beautiful and such a fun use for the pan; and if you’ve never tried to make a Dutch Baby, there’s a recipe (with variations!) for that. Byrn’s southern roots show through in a number of the recipes with How to Fry Okra Like a Southerner, Nashville Hot Chicken, and The Best Shrimp and Grits as just a few examples.
Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated. This classic cooking “bible” has been expanded to include 600 (!) new recipes and some modernization to the familiar ones. Reflecting our changing cooking habits, information on fermentation, sous vide, and pressure cooking is included, as well as a broader selection of vegan and vegetarian offerings and international fare.