Enoteca: Simple, Delicious Recipes in the Italian Wine Bar Tradition
The title alone invites you: Enoteca. Somehow exotic and comforting all at once. This description fits the book perfectly, as well. Photographed and designed like an art book, it covers a subtopic often overlooked by the cookbook genre. Though Italian food remains one of the most popular "ethnic" foods in North America, the food available in enoteche -- Italian wine bars where wine can be sampled by the glass -- has mostly been ignored. Perhaps it seemed to small of a take on the topic of Italian food? If this is the case, author Joyce Goldstein proves them all wrong. Though the food is ostensibly tapas-like in nature -- since ancient times, enoteche patrons have stopped off for a glass of wine and a small plate or plates of enoteca -- many of the recipes included in Goldstein's book -- like Tuna and Rice Salad and Florentine Roast Pork Loin -- have been adapted to accommodate the modern family or dinner party. Other recipes -- like Stuffed Chicken Breast -- include serving instructions as either an entree or for "tasting portions" while still others are delightful finger foods -- Sicilian Swordfish Rolls and Shrimp Wrapped in Pancetta among them -- intended for cocktail parties, buffet entertaining or even -- due the extensive wine pairing notes included -- your own wine tastings.
The Great Holiday Baking Book
Heaven on the Half Shell
Just what is it about the oyster? Widely known as an aphrodisiac, the oyster has, throughout history, been relished by royalty and relied on by coastal dwelling commoners. Few foods offer the oyster's complete versatility. The oyster's simplest preparation -- pry open the shell and slip the creature back -- is a snack suitable for the toniest of crowds. Simply scalloped or cooked into a stew, the oyster becomes a delectable comfort food, perfect for a casual family dinner. Heaven on the Half Shell explores the oyster in all its mysterious splendor. Since the book was published by the Washington [State] Sea Grant Program, the book's focus is -- quite understandably -- on Pacific Northwest oyster production. However oyster lovers everywhere will learn a thing or two about this noble bivalve from this charming and informative book. Though recipes demand the least of the book's real estate, a very good range has been included. Alternately classic, historical and regional in nature, the authors handily cover the basics and beyond of oyster cookery. Included are four versions of Oyster Stew as well as recipes for Panéed Oysters, Pesto Roasted Oysters, Oysters Wrapped in Bacon, Oysters Baked with Ginger Cranberry Port Sauce and others.
Lauren Groveman's Kitchen: Nurturing Food for Family and Friends
Too busy to cook? Lauren Groveman, host of PBS' Home Cooking With Lauren Groveman, knows about that. And while she doesn't promise to show you how to cook cordon bleu meals in 15 minutes, she does encourage you to look for the additional time in your day necessary to do it up right. "This book," writes Groveman in her introduction, " is meant to inspire you to take that time off for recreation and spend a few rewarding and fulfilling hours in your kitchen." Set up like a home cooking school in a book, Groveman includes easy-to-follow recipes for complicated-seeming stews and stocks that can be made in quantity and then frozen for future use. She also includes meals-in-a-hurry like salads, sautés and various grills. Since she is a professional cooking instructor, the "Tips From A Teacher" sidebars that pepper the book are both useful and real. Another sidebar feature that shows up frequently, "Time Management Tips," complement the book's learning-while-doing approach. If you know someone who doesn't cook, but would like to learn, Lauren Groveman's Kitchen would be a good starting point.
The Minimalist Cooks Dinner: More Than 100 Recipes for Fast Weeknight Meals and Casual Entertaining