Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Libbie Summers has loved pigs, pork, ham and bacon since she was a young child on her Grandparent’s pig (hog) farm. There she learned a great respect and appreciation for pigs that they raised. Professionally Libbie now works in the kitchens of Paula Deen (and indeed Paula herself writes a foreword for this book). She has a history of food and cooking though, and has many other clients too.
I love the artwork of the hog on the front of the book, and the photography by Chia Chong is also good – styled and pretty, but most definitely real.
We as a family like pork. If I want to get my little one to eat her vegetables adding a little bacon is a winner. Hubby loves pork too. Libbie gives an interesting and wide ranging selection of recipes in the book. There would be something to suit most people I think. Chapters are: *Loin,* Boston Shoulder,* Bacon,* Spare Ribs, *Picnic Shoulder, *Leg, *Offal* and finally *Slices.* This is an American cookbook, and thus some of the cuts are American by name, but it’s easy enough to work out the British equivalents on the web.
Some of the recipes I’ve marked to try are Apple Orchard Stew (with smoked sausages), Sweet Potato Pork Pie, Setsuko’s Ham Fried Rice, Quick Ham Bread with Two Colour Olive Butter, Rosemary Bacon Scones, Sweet Indian Pork Roti, a lovely sounding Clementine Prosecco Marmalade to go with Biscuits and Country Ham and finally there are also some sweet dishes like Bacon, Banana Cookies and Best Ever Family Reunion Chocolate Sheet Cake. I’m not quite ready to try bacon in sweet dishes…. Well not yet anyway!
I would have to say that I think you would know from the title of this book if you’d like it or not, I did and we really enjoyed the dish I tried from it.
Sweet and Sour Pork Loin
Libbie gives this recipe for chops, but says it’s also good with ribs and tenderloin. I love tender loin of pork, it is a bit more expensive, but there is no waste and it cooks like a dream. The sauce that accompanies it has sweetness from honey and sourness from balsamic vinegar. I really thought the sauce was fabulous, a great balance of flavours. I served this with cauliflower cheese, and the pork and sauce went with that very well too. A yummy supper treat indeed.
Next Up: Sweet Paris by Michael Paul
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
New Voices in Food is a series published by Quadrille to give some very passionate foodies a voice in the cookbook foray. I have all four out so far, I bought three myself and thank you to the publishers for my copy of Real Food From Near and Far. I tend to think of them as a set of books, so I thought it’d be good to review them altogether. Though that said they would each stand alone, as they are all very different. The first two here were published in 2010 and the last two in 2011. They all have their own individuality and personality.
Alice’s Cook Book by Alice Hart.
Nicely done, clean layout, and done in an easy going calm way. Some pictures but not one of every dish by any means. Chapters are *Breakfast and Brunch,* Picnics, *Camper Vans and Happy Camping,* Seasonal Sunday Lunch* Supper and Munch to Share* and *Party*. I like how the chapters are done, for example the Seasonal Sunday Lunch chapter has four Sunday lunch menus to cook. Even if I don’t cook a whole menu together I like to see what an author would cook in real time for their family. The whole book feels like food Alice would make for her friends and family.
Stevie’s background in food is as a chef. His food in the book is eclectic and far ranging. Not much in the way of British cooking, but some interesting food and cooking nonetheless. Stevie comes across as quite eccentric in his writing and choice of recipes – well I think so anyhow! Not that that is a criticism, I might be a little bit that way myself!!
Small Adventures in Cooking by James Ramsden
James is a food writer and blogger. He has a straightforward attitude to food, and if there is a message to take from his book I think it would be a warm hearted and encouraging ‘Give it a go!!’ Not every dish is pictured, but nicely done. Chapters are: *Va va Voyages *Exploring the Cheaper Cuts * Corner Shop Capers * Morning Missions *Formal Forays *Feeding the Flocks * Preserves for the Pantry * and * Surfing the Stumbling Blocks*.
This is the last of the four already published. Niamh is a blogger. It is really well named, her recipes are indeed comforting with plenty of spices throughout the book. They also have a real modern day edge to them. For example we all know and love chicken pie, Niamh’s one is Chicken and Chorizo Pie with tomatoes and a spicing of paprika with puff pastry, so a nice little modern spin of a pie we love. A more feminine book with patterns and materials here and there, again not every dish is pictured. Chapters are: *Brunch * Speedy Suppers* Long Weekend* Sugar and Spice * and *Drinks*.
There is a fifth volume due out this year in May, it’s about wine - Drink Me How to Choose, taste and enjoy Wine.
Next Up: The Whole Hog
Next Up: Quadrille’s New Voices in Food – the first four books.