Monday, March 24, 2014

Brassicas, Soufflés & Okra: Single Subject Cookbooks

Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables 
Remember when people hated broccoli? And Brussels sprouts? And kale and collard greens were something only Southerners ate, but that was about it. Happily the brassicas which also include bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, mizuna and tatsoi are in vogue. But if you only know a few ways to cook those glorious cruciferous greens, you should check out this book. The recipes sound like dishes you’d find on a trendy menu— Kimchi Pancakes, Moroccan Turnip and Chickpea Braise, Smoky Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds and Eggs. While it's a shame this book didn't come out in the Fall, that is my only quibble with it.

The French Cook: Soufflés
I love soufflés. I just need the encouragement and reminder to make them more frequently. That is the role of Greg Patent aka The Baking Wizard, who offers up sound advice regarding the importance of separating whites and yolks, the freshness of eggs, the use of salt and sugar and the most crucial question of all, when are the whites beaten enough? As a chronic overbeater, this is something I desperately need to learn.  From savory to sweet to frozen, there are recipes for 2, 4-6 and 8-10 so for just about any occasion. If you’ve only ever had a cheese or chocolate soufflé, try your hand at the Spinach and Mushroom Soufflé, Fresh Apricot and St. Germain Soufflé or Meyer Lemon Soufflé.

Okra: A Savor the South® Cookbook
A whole cookbook on okra? Yes! This book takes on a vegetable that some love and others don’t. But seasoned chef and all around charmer, Virginia Willis can do magic with okra, frying it crisp, turning it into gumbo and also shares African, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Indian recipes for this odd vegetable. This book is a must for okra lovers, but also those, like me who don’t have a clue how to prepare it. I bought some okra just the other day and plan on making the West African Chicken Stew with Okra and Peanuts as well as the Limpin’ Susan, with rice, okra and bacon. When tomatoes are in season I want to try the Old School Okra and Tomatoes.

Disclaimer: These book were provided to me as review copies. This post includes Amazon affiliate links.