Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

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

Last Sunday, I made slow cooker barbecue beef short ribs. I consulted two recipes—this one and this one—to come up with my own version so I could use what I had in the pantry instead of running to the store. Here’s the barbecue sauce recipe I developed for two pounds of ribs:

  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (I added them to the pan after browning the ribs for a bit)
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

We’re talking tremendously delicious here. I froze the leftover sauce and will figure out a way to revisit that goodness—maybe over polenta? The recipe would be great with pork ribs too.

I made roasted beet and quinoa salad with orange-ginger vinaigrette for one of our sides—the other side was leftover greens. This was another adapted recipe from here and here. Besides the beets and regular quinoa, I added:

  • Carrots, chopped
  • Fresh little mozzarella balls, quartered
  • Spinach, julienned
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet onion, chopped

During the week, I made chipotle salmon. But since I was in a rush—it was a short work week and I was pressed for time—I didn’t marinate the fish. Instead, I sprinkled on the spices, using ground chipotle instead of chipotle en adobo. We also had sautéed lacinato kale and chard with bacon, spring onion, carrot, and tomato along with the leftover quinoa/beet salad. I munched on that salad all week, so good.

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

We went backpacking Friday in Stone Mountain State Park. Since we were meeting family on Saturday morning to hike a few trails in the park, Jim and I decided to hike out to a primitive site in the park and camp Friday night. Widow’s Creek trail to our site was only 1.8 miles but it was mostly uphill and rated strenuous. With 30-pound packs on our backs, I agree with the strenuous rating.

I’m the designated camp cook—for now, REI is my grocery store. For dinner we had Mountain House beef stroganoff. I boiled some water in a pot over our backpacking stove and added it to the package: stir, seal, wait, stir, seal and serve. It was better than we expected. Dried apricots for dessert.

The next morning we had Mountain House breakfast skillet: another package filled with hash browns, scrambled eggs, pork sausage, peppers and onions. Add some hot sauce, ignore the texture, and it’s darn satisfying alongside a cup of coffee. We only camped out one night and spent the next night at our nephew’s house which is only an hour or so away from the park.

I had plenty of time to make dinner on Sunday so we had baked cobia with parmesan bread crumbs. What a fish. My seafood shop says it’s one of their favorites and I can see why. For the topping I tossed melted butter with parmesan, seasoned bread crumbs, garlic salt and fresh basil.

On the side, I sautéed a medley of summer squash—pattypan, zucchini, yellow, and zephyr—with red bell pepper, spring onions and carrot top pesto. The squash was from our CSA (Chickadee Farms) as were the new potatoes roasted with rosemary and garlic.

On My Menu

I haven’t had a chance to think about this week’s meals. I know we’ll have bonito tomorrow night—it’s the other fish I picked up from Locals Seafood (and froze) before going camping. I still have some baby bok choy and cabbage in the fridge and some sweet potatoes too.

If I pick up some blueberries at the farmers market this week—highly likely—I might make this blueberry cake over the weekend. All the calories I burn hiking and at the gym just come right back to me. C’est ma vie!

I’ll report back next week on my kitchen activities.

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.

32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert ($1.99)

In an industry where celebrity chefs are known as much for their salty talk and quick tempers as their food, Eric Ripert stands out. The winner of four James Beard Awards, co-owner and chef of a world-renowned restaurant, and recipient of countless Michelin stars, Ripert embodies elegance and culinary perfection… Taking us from Ripert’s childhood in the south of France and the mountains of Andorra into the demanding kitchens of such legendary Parisian chefs as Joël Robuchon and Dominique Bouchet, until, at the age of twenty-four, Ripert made his way to the United States, 32 Yolks is the tender and richly told story of how one of our greatest living chefs found himself—and his home—in the kitchen.

Le Bernardin Cookbook: Four-Star Simplicity by Eric Ripert and Maguy Le Coze ($2.99)

Cuisine from New York’s four-star seafood restaurant, Le Bernardin, is made accessible to everyone in more than 100 meticulously formulated and carefully tested recipes for all courses, from appetizers through dessert. The food served in Le Bernardin’s beautiful dining room is as subtle and refined as any in the world, and because fish and shellfish are often best turned out quickly and simply, the recipes in this book can be reproduced by any home cook… Essential to the experience of dining at Le Bernardin and to the Le Bernardin Cookbook are the dynamic and charming personalities of Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert, whose lively dialogue and colorful anecdotes shine from these pages as brightly as the recipes themselves.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook: Recipes & Tales from a Classic American Restaurant by Sandy Ingber ($1.99)

Here are more than 100 of the restaurant’s best-loved classic recipes—some dating back to its opening in 1913—along with behind-the-scenes stories, historical anecdotes, and a wealth of expert information on buying, cooking, and serving fish. Featured throughout are vintage images and ephemera, along with gorgeous photos of mouthwatering favorites from raw bar to buffet. With recipes that have stood the test of time, The Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Cookbook is a must-have for seafood lovers and fans of this famous New York City landmark.

The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony and Danny Meyer ($2.99)

Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern is more than just a restaurant. It has become a New York institution earning dozens of accolades, including six James Beard awards. Its impeccable, fiercely seasonal cooking, welcoming atmosphere, and steadfast commitment to hospitality are unparalleled… Restaurateur Danny Meyer’s intimate story of how Gramercy was born sets the stage for executive chef-partner Michael Anthony’s appealing approach to American cooking and recipes that highlight the bounty of the farmer’s market… An insider look into the things that make this establishment unique, from the artists who have shaped its décor and ambience, to the staff members who share what it is like to be a part of this close-knit restaurant family.

Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David ($1.99)

62 articles originally written by Elizabeth David between 1955 and 1984 for numerous publications including The Spectator, Gourmet magazine, Vogue, and The Sunday Times… Her subjects range from the story of how her own cookery writing began to accounts of some restaurants in provincial France, of white truffles in Piedmont, wild risottos on the islands of the Venetian lagoon and odd happenings during rain-drenched seaside holidays in the British Isles. Here we can share her appreciation of books, people who influenced her, places she loved and the delicious meals she enjoyed… Some articles include recipes, but for the most part this is a volume nicely sized to curl up with or to take on a trip.

Lulu’s Provençal Table by Richard Olney ($1.99)

Richard Olney—responsible for the legendary Time-Life cooking series as well as other cooking classics such as his wonderful Simple French Food—moved to Provence in 1961 and had the good fortune to befriend Lulu and Lucien Peyraud, the owners of the noted Domaine Tempier vineyard in Provence, not far from Marseilles. Lulu’s Provençal Table tantalizes the reader with Olney’s descriptions of the regional food served as the vineyard meals at the domaine. Then he lovingly transcribes Lulu’s recipes… Starting with aperitifs and amuse-gueule and finishing up with fruit desserts, hers is classic French country cooking, featuring everyday ingredients cooked with respect for their nature and flavor.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard ($2.99)

A memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs—one with her new beau, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé), and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese—there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti ($1.99)

While proofreading a deli catalog in Michigan, Michael Paterniti is bewitched by a description of cave-aged Spanish cheese. Years later, disillusioned with modern life and his own “computer-soft hands,” he travels to its Spanish back-country source, where he becomes obsessed with its larger-than-life maker and his story of soul-stealing cheese-related betrayal… Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain ($1.99)

Bestselling chef and No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain has never been one to pull punches. In The Nasty Bits, he serves up a well-seasoned hellbroth of candid, often outrageous stories from his worldwide misadventures. Whether scrounging for eel in the backstreets of Hanoi, revealing what you didn’t want to know about the more unglamorous aspects of making television, calling for the head of raw food activist Woody Harrelson, or confessing to lobster-killing guilt, Bourdain is as entertaining as ever. Bringing together the best of his previously uncollected nonfiction—and including new, never-before-published material—The Nasty Bits is a rude, funny, brutal and passionate stew for fans and the uninitiated alike.

Betty Crocker Lost Recipes: Beloved Vintage Recipes for Today’s Kitchen by Betty Crocker ($2.99)

Eighty percent of the book includes tried-and-true recipes that simply aren’t in today’s cooking repertoire—mainly from-scratch recipes that are hard to find. Twenty percent is a fun look back at some of the cooking customs of the past that may not be worth repeating, but are worth remembering. Features include ideas like “How to Throw a Hawaiian Tiki Party,” and the robust introductory pages contain interesting stories, anecdotes, and artwork from Betty Crocker’s history. Recipes are carefully curated to ensure that they are still relevant, achievable, and made with available ingredients—think Beef Stroganoff, Chicken à la King, Waldorf Salad, and Chiffon Cake. These lost recipes are ready to grace the tables of a whole new generation of cooks.

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy ($2.99)

Combining her three bestselling and classic books–The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book— in one volume, Diana Kennedy has refreshed the classics and added more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico. More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy first published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy… Through Diana Kennedy, [home cooks] discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed and she became recognized as the authority on Mexican food.

The Grand Central Market Cookbook: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles by Adele Yellin ($1.99)

2018 IACP Cookbook Award nominee. Founded in 1917, Grand Central Market is a legendary food hall in Downtown Los Angeles that brings together the many traditions and flavors of the city. Now, GCM’s first cookbook puts the spotlight on unique recipes from its diverse vendors, bringing their authentic tastes to your home kitchen… over 85 distinctive recipes, plus spectacular photography that shows off the food, the people, and the daily bustle and buzz. Stories about the Market’s vibrant history and interviews with its prominent customers and vendors dot the pages as well. Whether you’ve visited and want to make your favorite dishes at home, or are simply looking for a cookbook that provides a plethora of multi-national cuisine, The Grand Central Market Cookbook is sure to make your kitchen just a little bit cooler.

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America’s Great Flavors by Bobby Flay ($1.99)

The Food Network celebrity and renowned chef-restaurateur created his Bar Americain restaurants as our country’s answer to French bistros—to celebrate America’s regional flavors and dishes, interpreted as only Bobby Flay can. Now you can rediscover American cuisine at home with the recipes in Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook… Bobby also shares his tips for stocking your pantry with key ingredients for everyday cooking, as well as expert advice on essential kitchen equipment and indispensable techniques. With more than 110 recipes and 110 full-color photographs, Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook shares Bobby’s passion for fantastic American food and will change the way any cook looks at our country’s bounty.

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


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Creative Commons licensed image by Lynnette Jones (squash) via Unsplash.

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

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