COOKBOOKS TO SHAKE OFF THE KITCHEN COBWEBS

George Maguire

Like all things, home cooking can become habitual and stale if we keep cooking the same things. No longer exposed to the wonderful restaurant dishes of the world and a casual browse in the cookbook session in your local bookshop, we end up ordering the same produce and cooking it repetitively. Still in the onset of 2021, why not get inspired with some recipes and smart thinking from some of our cooking greats…

1. Amy Chaplin’s Whole Food Cooking Every Day – link here


Amy Chaplin’s style of cooking. Link here
 
Dietary choice is of course a personal, political - even religious affair. Nutrition experts agree on surprisingly little about exactly what we should eat. However, all scientists can at least confirm the benefits of eating whole and fresh foods. Allow chef Amy Chaplin to champion this message in her cookbook Whole Food Cooking Every Day which strategically breaks natural cooking into simple vegetarian recipes that will not disappoint.
 
Order here

2. Sean Brock’s SOUTH – link here


American Southern food pioneer Sean Brock in action. Image via New York Times
 
Sean Brock is as dedicated of a chef as they come. A leader in Southern style cooking and a featured chef in Netflix’s Chef’s Table series, Sean’s restaurant Nashville based Husk elevates ingredients such as grits, corn and collard greens to new heights. South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations is a tour guide (or perhaps a bible) to the cuisine with recipes that will lead you through Southern style fried chicken and smoky baby back ribs and okra stew.
 
Order here

3. Ivan Orkin’s Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chief, Father, Eater and Lifelong Outsider – link here


A fresh bowl of Orkin’s Gaijin Duck Soba. Image via The Gaijin Cookbook
 
 
Perhaps an unlikely master of Japanese ramen cooking, Ivan Orkin’s Long Island upbringing is far from the cobbled back alleys of Kyoto. Orkin’s Ivan Ramen restaurants mix a love of Japanese ramen, noodles and flavours with his US Jewish identity. Gaijin translates to ‘outsider’, a reference to his perspective, curiousity and interest in an adopted cuisine and culture. The cookbook’s dishes are accessible complete with a primer on the ingredients, how to source them and substituions should this prove difficult. It might be time to get your chopsticks out!
 
Order here

4. Nigella Lawson’s Cook Eat Repeat – Link here


Nigella Lawson. Image via the BBC.
 
Nigella Lawson needs no introduction so I will focus on her latest cookbook which ‘interweaves domestic goddess-style recipes with personal musings and guides’ Vogue. Cook Eat Repeat is Nigella’s 2020 guide to living with food in ‘constant pleasure’ and ideally inspiring more of us to cook - and more often. Recipes intermingled among essays that attend to this goal are the Burnt Onion and Aubergine Dip, Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Bread and a Crab Mac & Cheese. 
 
Order here

5. James Morton’s Super Sourdough – link here


An extract from James Morton’s Super Sourdough. Link here
 
Former Bake-Off contestant, doctor and baker; James Morton knows bread. Super Sourdough is packed with all you need to turn simple grains of flour into delicious loaves – with a little bit of coaxing. Sourdough cooking has risen in popularity due to COVID with many of us experimenting in our kitchens. As with all things fermented, the process will be slow but the rewards great. 
 
Order here

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