Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

the recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

My spring celebration continued last Sunday with a ramp, mushroom and linguiça tart. The original recipe didn’t call for linguiça but I wanted to punch it up. Linguiça is a Portuguese pork sausage made with garlic and paprika. I order five pounds at a time from a place up in New Bedford and store it in the freezer.

As for the tart recipe, I omitted the lemon, thinking it wouldn’t go with the linguiça. I should have chopped the ramps into big pieces—it would have made slicing a whole lot easier. The tart was tasty. The goat cheese filling blended well with the other flavors. For our side, I sautéed collards with spring onions, red bell pepper and poblano pepper in the linguiça pan to get all the leftover greasy goodness.

We had the leftover pie later that week along with kale sautéed with red bell pepper, onion and ham. I had the last pieces of pie a few mornings for breakfast.

My Bella Bean Organics order last week included chicken thighs from Joyce Farms that ended up in a delicious ginger scallion chicken. I added carrots (sliced into matchsticks), garlic and red pepper flakes, and omitted the sugar. On the side, another great dish—spicy roasted (local) bok choy. These recipes are both keepers. The ingredients in the bok choy dish would work well with other roasted vegetables too, like broccoli or green beans.

the recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

On My Menu

Tonight we’re having the meal I planned for Friday—we ate out that night. We’re having mahi mahi with tomatoes, jalapeños and dill. Yes, a strange combo but I’m using up what I have in the fridge. I’ll do something with chard and radish greens—maybe sauté them with green onions and garlic and top with parmesan cheese. And I’ll either bake whole sweet potatoes or roast cubes. I have three lonely cipollini onions left over from another recipe that I plan to roast in a ramekin with butter—cook’s treat.

The great freezer clear-out continues with a long lost package of porcini-stuffed ravioli. I don’t think the portion is enough for a main dish (oink) so I’ll serve it as a side with an herby butter/olive oil sauce and parmesan. I’ll pull some cod from the freezer for roast cod with tomatoes and olives. A green veg from the CSA will be our other side.

Later this week, I’ll thaw some ground lamb and make lamb burgers. Hopefully I can find some type of flatbread in our local supermarket—something thicker than pita—and use that instead of regular hamburger rolls. I plan to pickle some red onions today so I can use them as a burger topping—ooh, quick pickled cucumbers would be good too—along with feta cheese. I like the idea of this chickpea salad with lemon and dill as a side.

On Friday, I’m getting local chipotle chicken sausage from The Produce Box. I’m thinking about making chipotle chicken sausage quesadillas with onions and peppers—and a little cheese, of course. I ordered a double portion of the last asparagus of the season so we’ll probably have that as a side.

I’ll report back next week on what I end up making.

the recipes on my menu and e-cookbooks on sale this week

eCookbooks and Food eBooks on Sale

Act quickly if any of these interest you, ebook deals last a day, a week, or sometimes longer. Click on the title to get to the Amazon deal. Blurbs are from Amazon unless otherwise credited.

Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell ($1.99)

Winner of the 2015 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award. When his oldest son was leaving for college, Cal Peternell, the chef of California’s legendary Chez Panisse, realized that, although he regularly made dinners for his family, he’d never taught them the basics of cooking. Based on the life-altering course of instruction he prepared and honed through many phone calls with his son, Twelve Recipes is the ultimate introduction to the kitchen. Peternell focuses on the core foods and dishes that comprise a successful home cook’s arsenal, each building skill upon skill—from toast, eggs, and beans, to vinaigrettes, pasta with tomato, and rice, to vegetables, soup, meats, and cake.

Simple French Food by Richard Olney ($1.99)

The reprinting of Olney’s classic and indispensable Simple French Food offers readers the chance to learn more about this most idiosyncratic and accomplished of cooks. No pared down, paint-by-numbers recipes here: Olney is obsessed not only with showing you how to cook, but how to see, smell, feel, listen, and taste as well. Read, for example, Olney’s description of Scrambled Eggs… “correctly prepared, the softest of barely perceptible curds held in a thickly liquid, smooth, creamy suspension.” To scramble eggs, Olney insists on a wooden spoon, a generously buttered copper pan or bain-marie, and a precise control of the temperature–very simple to accomplish, as all his recipes are, as long as you take care to absorb fully his sensuous and exact instructions.

Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens by Pati Jinich ($2.99)

On her PBS TV series, now in its fifth season… Pati Jinich, a busy mother of three, has shown a flair for making Mexican cooking irresistibly accessible. In Mexican Today, she shares easy, generous dishes, both traditional ones and her own new spins. Some are regional recipes she has recovered from the past and updated… Pati has “Mexed up” other recipes… Still other dishes show the evolution of Mexican food north and south of the border… Throughout, Pati is an infectious cheerleader, sharing stores of the food, people, and places behind the recipes.

New England Open-House Cookbook: 300 Recipes Inspired by the Bounty of New England by Sarah Leah Chase ($1.99)

Sarah Leah Chase is a caterer, cooking teacher, and prolific writer… For New England Open-House Cookbook, she draws from her memories of growing up in Connecticut and Maine; her experience living and cooking on Cape Cod; and her extensive travels meeting farmers, fishermen, and chefs… All of New England’s classic dishes are represented, including a wealth of shellfish soups and stews and a full chapter celebrating lobster. From breakfast… to delightful appetizers and nibbles… to mains for every season and occasion… Plus perfect picnic recipes, farmstand sides, and luscious desserts.

One Good Dish by David Tanis ($3.00)

The New York Times food columnist offers 100 utterly delicious recipes that epitomize comfort food, Tanis-style. Individually or in combination, they make perfect little meals that are elemental and accessible, yet totally surprising—and there’s something to learn on every page.

Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local by Clotilde Dusoulier ($3.99)

Tasting Paris features new and classic French recipes and cooking techniques that will demystify the art of French cooking and transport your dinner guests to Paris… Featuring classic recipes… as well as newer dishes that reflect the way Parisians eat today… With 100 recipes, 125 evocative photographs, and native Parisian Clotilde Dusoulier’s expertise, Tasting Paris transports you to picnicking along the Seine, shopping the robust open-air markets, and finding the best street food—bringing the flavors and allure of this favorite culinary destination to your very own kitchen.

Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World by Madhur Jaffrey ($2.99)

Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, a meticulously researched collection of more than 750 meatless dishes from around the globe, presents its author in superlative form, culling the best vegetarian home-style dishes from virtually every culture and cooking tradition. Jaffrey’s book, filled with delicious, approachable recipes, has universal appeal, and should be part of every cook’s library. Divided into sections on beans, grains, and vegetables, and including chapters on vegetables, soups, salads, and sauces, among other topics, the book brilliantly juxtaposes recipes grouped by ingredient to reveal, finally, the way that ingredient is approached globally to make food… Throughout, Jaffrey provides definitive notes on ingredients… and techniques, as well as a truly comprehensive glossary.

The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes by Beth Hensperger ($1.80)

The Bread Bible contains 300 recipes, plus slice after slice of baking wisdom. Hensperger certainly knows her bread: she is the author of several other yeasty numbers… Her Bible features simple, basic breads… as well as fancier breads… Not forgotten are scones, biscuits, pizzas, croissants, waffles, muffins and even coffee cakes… Hensperger’s latest ode to bread will still prove invaluable for both new and seasoned bakers.

Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, China, India, and Beyond by Karen Solomon ($1.99)

Asian Pickles introduces the unique ingredients and techniques used in Asian pickle-making, including a vast array of quick pickles for the novice pickler, and numerous techniques that take more adventurous cooks beyond the basic brine. With fail-proof instructions, a selection of helpful resources, and more than seventy-five of the most sought-after pickle recipes from the East… Asian Pickles is your passport to explore this region’s preserving possibilities.

The Cheese Chronicles: A Journey Through the Making and Selling of Cheese in America, From Field to Farm to Table by Liz Thorpe ($1.99)

Liz Thorpe, second in command at New York’s renowned Murray’s Cheese, has used her notes and conversations from hundreds of tastings spanning nearly a decade to fashion this odyssey through the wonders of American cheese. Offering more than eighty profiles of the best, the most representative, and the most important cheesemakers, Thorpe chronicles American cheesemaking from the brave foodie hobbyists of twenty years ago (who put artisanal cheese on the map) to the carefully cultivated milkers and makers of today.

Start the Fire: How I Began a Food Revolution in America by Jeremiah Tower ($2.99)

Widely recognized as the godfather of modern American cooking, Jeremiah Tower is one of the most influential cooks of the last forty years…. In Start the Fire… Tower shares with wit and honesty his insights into cooking, chefs, celebrities, and what really goes on in the kitchen. No other book reveals more about the seeds sown in the seventies, the excesses of the eighties, or the self-congratulations of the nineties. With a brand-new introduction by the author, Start the Fire is an essential account of the most important years in the history of American cooking from one of its singular [arrogant] personalities.

The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites by Libby O’Connell ($2.51)

Dr. Libby H. O’Connell takes readers on a mouth-watering journey through America’s culinary evolution into the vibrant array of foods we savor today. In 100 tantalizing bites, ranging from blueberries and bagels to peanut butter, hard cider, and Cracker Jack, O’Connell reveals the astonishing ways that cultures and individuals have shaped our national diet and continue to influence how we cook and eat. Peppered throughout with recipes, photos, and tidbits on dozens of foods, from the surprising origins of Hershey Bars to the strange delicacies our ancestors enjoyed, such as roast turtle and grilled beaver tail.

Looking for more e-cookbook and ebook deals? Check out previous lists, some are still on sale.

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Creative Commons licensed images by Jasmine Waheed (bok choy) and Christine Siracusa (asparagus) via Unsplash.

Amazon book links are affiliate links which allow me to earn a small commission on any sales that result from clicking. Thank you.

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