As February chills the air, there’s nothing more enjoyable to great cooks than a cup of something warm and a great cookbook. Here’s my selections to warm your heart.
FARM FORK FOOD: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm by Eric Skokan is a perfect book for cozy winter meals.
Chef Eric and Jill Skokan created the 130-acre Black Cat Farm that supplies the bounty of their two popular restaurants Bramble & Hare and Black Cat Bistro, a booth at the Boulder farmers’ market, CSA families, and, of course, their old farmhouse, Bramble Hill. In Farm, Fork, Food, Chef Eric invites readers to partake in the pleasure of vegetables just out of the garden and fruit right off the branch. His amazing recipes include porchetta with semolina dumplings; buttermilk poached turkey with spiced eggplant & onion beignets; and pistachio financier with pear & chocolate. This beautifully photographed book will inspire every cook to visit their local farmers’ market and start cooking Chef Eric’s awesome yet simple recipes.
THE CUBAN TABLE: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History by Ana Sofía Peláez and Ellen Silverman is a all-inclusive, study of Cuban food, recipes and culture as related by serious home cooks and professional chefs, restaurateurs and food writers. The authors traveled through Cuba, Miami and New York to chronicle and learn about traditional Cuban cooking from a wide range of authentic sources. In this book you can find recipes for everything from iconic Cuban sandwiches to rich stews with Spanish accents and African ingredients, accompanied by details about historical context. Standouts include: fritas a caballo con papitas a la Juliana (Cuban-style hamburgers with shoestring fries); potaje de garbanzos (chickpea stew); boliche mechado (stuffed pot roast); and baked chocolate ice cream “el Carmelo.”
FLAVOR FLOURS: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains by award-winning dessert and pastry guru Alice Medrich, is an epic new work. Ms. Medrich applies her baking precision and faultless palate to flavor flours—wheat-flour alternatives including rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, teff, and more. The resulting gluten-free recipes show that baking with these more unusual flours adds an extra breadth of flavor. The book is organized by flour, with useful information on its taste, flavor similarities, and more. And because flavor flours don’t react in recipes the same way as wheat flour, Medrich explains her innovative new techniques in the expert style for which she is famous.
For those into winter slow cooking HEALTHY SLOW COOKER REVOLUTION: One Test Kitchen. 40 Slow Cooker. 200 Fresh Recipes by the Editors of America’s Test Kitchens is a great resource. The slow cooker is a great way to cook healthfully without added fats. This well-rounded collection of recipes adds extra flavor to slow cooker dishes. It’s hard to believe that spicy Thai-style shrimp soup; Spanish chicken and quinoa stew; pork loin with dried fig compote; and rustic braised lentils with eggplant are both easy to prepare and wonderful for you to eat!
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS COOK-BOOK: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure by Barton Seaver is a total culinary adventure as the author explores what it takes to create the ultimate dish. The author delights his audience with mouth-watering recipes, the ins and outs of healthy eating, crafts and activities, and food-focused challenges, proving once and for all that cooking can be a total fun activity. Barton teaches kids how to plant a kitchen garden, host a dinner party for friends, and pack the perfect school lunch. Other highlights include ways to play with your food, festive holiday meals, snow day snacks, and family cooking competitions.