What I’m Reading and Cooking From:
From time to time publishers send me cookbooks for review purposes. Sometimes I am very happy to get them; other times I say to myself, ‘What were they thinking?’ I’m not going to bother telling you about those ones this time, but there are a few I’ve just received that I’ve been enjoying.
1. Christine Ha, Recipes from my Kitchen; Asian and American Comfort Food
Christine Ha was the winner of MasterChef season 3 in the U.S. That’s remarkable in itself. What is more remarkable is that Christine Ha is blind. She lost her sight in her twenties, but relearned how to cook using all of her other senses. Her first cookbook echoes her Asian heritage blended with the other flavours she grew up with in Texas. Renowned snarly chef Gordon Ramsay practically purrs over Christine in his forward to the cookbook, he judged her efforts as she defeated 99 other contestants in MasterChef. Published by Rodale.
2. Richard Bertinet, Pastry; A Master Class for Everyone, in 150 Photos and 50 Recipes.
Richard Bertinet was born and raised in northwest France. That gives him a head start in pastry right there. He is also the owner of The Bertinet Kitchen cooking school in Bath, England, and he puts his teaching experience to good use in this cookbook. I’ve always been intimidated by making pastry, but at the beginning of the book he offers simple and clear instruction for his foolproof method of pastry making, followed by a series of both sweet and savoury dishes. Published by Chronicle Books
3. Cook’s One Line A Day; A Five-Year Culinary Memory Book
You don’t read this book, you write it! It’s a thick little book with one page for every day of the year. Each page is split into five equal sections, where you write down what you cooked in year one at the top. The following year, use the section below, write down what you cooked. You could use it as an eating-out diary as well, but it allows you to trace what you cooked and ate for five years in one handy place. You won’t be writing your next autobiography here, you get six lines per year, but it will be neat to compare your habits from year to year and see if and how your cooking was determined by time of year and availability of ingredients. Published by Chronicle Books
Next time I’ll have some ‘meatier’ food books to consider for your summer reading.