Friday, October 30, 2015

Butterscotch Caramel Blondies


David, 30 Oct 08:15 AM

Butterscotch Caramel BlondiesI’ve been in San Francisco this week, doing some events – which is actually an excuse for eating my way around town. San Francisco is a city that seems to reinvent itself every few years. But what thing that keeps going in the same direction is the quality of the food and the ingredients that are available.

I’ve spent time with a French artisan butcher, met the master of laminated pastries, and gorged in the palace of the reine (queen) of the Kouign Amann, and all I can say is “Wow!”
Butterscotch Caramel Blondies

Like me, a number of people who were influenced by the food culture that’s flourished in the Bay Area have scattered far and wide, and gone off to do our own things. And like me, Claire Ptak of Violet in London seems to be doing the same. I haven’t been to her bakery but she worked at Chez Panisse after I left for a number of years, before heading to England to open a cake shop. I never got to meet her…although I’m sure everyone else in the Chez P. kitchen had a lot to say about me ; )
Continue Reading Butterscotch Caramel Blondies...


Eat Your Books

October, 2015
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Dear BookmanBeattie,

October signals a seasonal shift in the style of cooking in many homes, although you won't necessarily see that in the new releases since the month is dominated by books from famous chefs and restaurants. Of course, that also means there are plenty of swoon-worthy, inspirational books to be added to your shopping cart.

If your upcoming Halloween party has got you spooked, turn to our Halloween Pinterest board for fantastic last-minute ideas to make your celebration memorable. We've got plenty of giveaways and author interviews this month, plus your favorite lists and a few special events. Happy Halloween!

The team at EatYourBooks
The Splendid Table turns 20
The Splendid Table radio broadcast debuted in 1995, and host Lynne Rossetto Kasper has since received numerous accolades, including two James Beard Foundation Awards for Best National Radio Show on Food. EYB has the inside scoop on The Splendid Table's 20th Anniversary Celebration, which featured Kasper as well as frequent Splendid Table contributor Melissa Clark from The New York Times and chefs Enrique Olvera and Francis Mallmann.The Splendid Table
Featured Pinterest board - Halloween
Halloween candy barkNeed a last minute idea for this weekend's Halloween party? Try one of these great recipes from our Halloween Pinterest board:

Chocolate pumpkin ice cream sandwiches from Two Peas and Their Pod
Skinny mummy cake balls from Skinny Taste
Pumpkin cheese ball from Food Network Magazine
Halloween candy bark from Annie's Eats
Spiderweb dip for Halloween from Very Culinary
Bleeding heart martini from Martha Stewart Halloween
Chef & restaurant cookbooks dominate in October
No, it's not your imagination. This month's cookbook roundup (see more information below) is awash in cookbooks from chefs all over the world. Many of the books are lofty tomes filled with the chef's unique perspective on a particular culture's cuisine (like Enrique Olvera's Mexico from the Inside Out) or a particular food genre (like Tal Ronnen's Crossroads). Several of the chefs are James Beard or other award winners, such as Blaine Wetzel (Sea and Smoke). This trend has been building - has it reached its apex or does it still have room to grow?
Author interviews and cookbook excerpts
Maggie BattistaTish Boyle
Maggie Battista is the founder and director of Eat Boutique, an award-winning online boutique and story-driven recipe site. Along with selling an ever-changing collection of food gifts, hosting pop-up boutiques and hand-packing small batch food gifts for private clients, Maggie also wrote her first-ever cookbook, Food Gift Love. We asked Maggie a few questions about her new book.Tish Boyle is the editor of Dessert Professional magazine and the former editor of Chocolatier. She has just released a new cookbook called Flavorful: 150 Irresistable Desserts in All-Time Favorite Flavors.  The book explores recipes based on the nine most popular flavors in desserts. We asked Tish about the inspiration for her new cookbook.
Image from The Silver Spoon Quick & Easy ItalianAnnabel Langbein
The Silver Spoon is the most influential and successful cookbook in Italy. Originally published in 1950, it became an instant classic. Translated and updated in 2005 by Phaidon, it spawned an entire series, the latest of which is The Silver Spoon: Quick and Easy Italian Recipes. In addition to offering a generous discount to EYB Members, Phaidon has provided three recipe excerpts from the book.New Zealand's most popular cookbook author, Annabel Langbein has self-published 18 books which have won numerous international awards. Now she is bringing her acclaimed television program to US audiences through PBS stations across the country. Annabel spoke to us about her US television debut and the companion cookbook to the series, The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Salmon with Caramelised Shallot and Mango Salsa from new recipe book La Latina

29 October

This week, Claire Aldous has created a simple version of a favourite treat with her Lamington Cake, while Sarah Tuck's zesty Lemon Cheesecake Tart provides a bit more of a challenge, which is worth every second spent making it. Both recipes are below, along with an interview with an ambitious director bringing back iconic television show Hudson & Halls to the stage (just in time for Christmas) and a look at Auckland's newest all-day eatery, Cali (just in time for summer).
Online Editor,

Lamington Cake

Individual lamingtons are lovely to make but they're quite time-consuming to assemble. An easier but equally delicious option is a generous slice of this beautiful, moist Lamington Cake.

View Recipe

Sarah Tuck's Lemon Cheesecake Tart with Lemon Curd

This is my latest incarnation of a lemon tart – a combination with lemon cheesecake/tart filling topped with extra zingy home-made lemon curd.

View Recipe

Coconut Turmeric Lentils with Cauli Rice and Lemon Cucumber Yoghurt

This warming, comforting dish is an absolute favourite in my house. I love serving it with cauliflower ‘rice’ to create a less heavy meal. Leftovers freeze brilliantly.

View Recipe

Salmon with Caramelised Shallot and Mango Salsa

In new recipe book La Latina, Miami-born, Venezuela-raised, New Zealand-based chef Grace Ramirez shares her interpretation of traditional recipes from throughout Latin America.

View Recipe

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food by Nigella Lawson

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food by Nigella Lawson
Published 2 November 2015; Hardback - $65.00; Chatto & Windus

‘What and how we cook can make our lives easier, make us feel better and more alive’

Whatever the occasion, food – in the making and the eating – should always be pleasurable. Simply Nigella taps into the rhythms of our cooking lives, with recipes that are uncomplicated, relaxed and yet always satisfying.

The beautifully produced, wonderfully filled cookbooks just keep rolling and this one is another stunner just in time for Christmas,with glorious food Keiko Oikawa.........

From quick and calm suppers (Miso Salmon, Cauliflower & Cashew Nut Curry) to stress-free ideas when catering for a crowd (Chicken Traybake with Bitter Orange & Fennel), or the instant joy of bowlfood for cosy nights on the sofa (Thai Noodles with Cinnamon and Prawns), here is food guaranteed to make everyone feel good.

Whether you need to create some breathing space at the end of a long week (Asian-Flavoured Short Ribs), indulge in a sweet treat (Lemon Pavlova, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pots) or wake up to a strength-giving breakfast (Toasty Olive Oil Granola), Nigella’s new cookbook is filled with recipes destined to become firm favourites.

I recommend her Chicken traybake with bitter orange & fennel and also the Criss-cross potatoes, the two recipes I have tried so far.

482 093

La Latina - A cook’s journey through Latin America

La Latina
A cook’s journey through Latin America
Grace Ramirez

Mexican, Central and South American cuisine is the hottest food trend worldwide. Welcome to La Latina, a sparkling gem of a cookbook by Grace Ramirez, a North American-raised chef of Venezuelan descent, now dividing her time between New Zealand and New York.
Grace introduces us to terrific, authentic Latin American food, which is healthy, flavoursome, easy, economical and perfect to share with family and friends.
With extensive text on the rich and fascinating history of the cuisine of each country, and lots of handy hints and tips, Grace’s book provides an expert guide to creating fabulous Latin American feasts.

Grace is once again a judge in the knockout rounds of the popular New Zealand series, My Kitchen Rules, screening later this year on TV2. A former producer with The Food Network in the US and contestant on US MasterChef, Grace is in demand from TV production companies worldwide thanks to her delightful personality and infectious laugh.

In La Latina she gathers together mouth-watering recipes for every meal, with soups, seafood, eggs and poultry, rice, salads and vegetables, sauces and condiments, sweets and, of course, drinks. Think Salmon with Caramelised Shallot and Mango Salsa, Steamed Corn Parcels, Black Ink Rice, Tortillas, Empanadas and Spiced Brittle. There are old favourites with new twists, too, including Guacamole, Salsa Verde, Chimichurri and Pina Colada.

With its energetic design, high production values, stunning photographs and more than 100 recipes, La Latina is a must-have for foodies and a great gift.

About the author:
Grace Ramirez is a former TV producer and director, first at children’s channel Nickelodeon, then MTV and finally, the Food Network. There she directed and produced one of the biggest-ever US food shows, Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She was later selected from more than 60,000 people to appear as a contestant on the US series of MasterChef, hosted by Gordon Ramsay. Shortly afterwards Grace was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious French Culinary Institute in New York City and worked at the restaurant Eataly under chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich.
She is an ambassador for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, a non-profit organisation that helps orphaned, abandoned and at-risk children in South America and locally she volunteers for the Garden to Table programme.

Grace says she owes her love of food to her grandmother, who cooked Venezuelan specialities for the 50 or so family members who often gathered for meals. Grace has lived in a host of Latin American countries, but now divides her time between Auckland and New York, where her husband is a senior executive with Saatchi & Saatchi.

La Latina by Grace Ramirez | Penguin Random House | 23 October 2016 | rrp. $60 

Top 10 memorable meals in literature

Ten classic tales served by literary masters ranging from Dickens, Chekhov and Zola to Shirley Jackson and Jim Crace

Hot stuff … Babette in her Kitchen from the 1987 film.
Hot stuff … Babette in her Kitchen from the 1987 film. Photograph: Alamy
Alexandre Dumas, in his Grand Dictionary of Cuisine, defined dinner as “a major daily activity, which can be accomplished in worthy fashion only by intelligent people. It is not enough to eat. To dine, there must be diversified, calm conversation. It should sparkle with the rubies of the wine between the courses, be deliciously suave with the sweetness of dessert, and acquire true profundity with the coffee.”

Dumas may have set the bar rather high for ordinary mortals at their daily bread but, in literature, meals are often an occasion for transcendence. While researching my anthology, Stories from the Kitchen, I sampled scores of literary works in which food plays a starring role. Immersing myself in so many tantalising fictional feasts was hungry work. 
But in narrowing it down, I found that the most memorable meals are those in which much more than food is at stake. Taste, according to Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, is “that one of our senses which gives us the greatest joy … because it can mingle with all other pleasures, and even console us for their absence.” When exceptional culinary and literary artistry combine, the results are satisfying in more ways than one.

Below is a tasting menu of 10 delectable literary meals, a balanced mix of savoury and of sweet, of the humorous, the poignant, and the profound.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Julie Biuso reporting from London & Waiheke !

London calling ...
One week in paradise …

My Waiheke ways have started already. I’m conserving water, turning appliances off when not in use, planting vegetables and changing over to non-chemical cleaners, and when driving, I’m sticking to the speed limit because there’s no point going hell-for-leather when there’s no traffic to beat.
Waiheke Island is a mere 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland city, but you could be a million miles away. I look out onto a dense rise of protected native bush and the ever-changing sea. It’s inspirational for a writer, except you do have to stop looking and start writing! No internet yet is my excuse. I’ll get hooked up sometime soon, I hope. Vodafone? Ya listening?
Ilaria’s life couldn’t be more different. She’s posted a chatty update of her comings and goings in London. She’ll soon be feeling the bite of winter and will have to rug up. If you live in the UK, Europe or the US, follow her adventures here and on Instagram as her food will be more in line with your seasons, but wherever you are, have a great foodie week.
PS Last week I had a fantastic result for my books:
Julie Biuso At Home published 2013 by New Holland (NZ) got an honourable mention in the NZ Guild of Foodwriters' Awards, AND Sizzle Sensational Barbecue Foods published 2006 by New Holland (NZ) and 2008 in the US by JB Publications, was voted 2nd place in the Best Barbecue Books in the World from the past 20 years in the 'Best of the Best' Gourmand Cookbook Awards held in Frankfurt last week. Yippee!

This week's gastronomy news

This week's gastronomy news
She's back and better than ever! One of our city's finest restaurants has relaunched with a new look and talented chef
She's back and better than ever! One of our city's finest restaurants has relaunched with a new look and talented chef
Read more
She's back and better than ever! One of our city's finest restaurants has relaunched with a new look and talented chef
Win: Surrender your tastebuds to the chef  at this inner city hotspot
Win: Surrender your tastebuds to the chef at this inner city hotspot
Read more
Win: Surrender your tastebuds to the chef  at this inner city hotspot
Breeze on in and claim your spot at this vibrant new waterfront eatery
Breeze on in and claim your spot at this vibrant new waterfront eatery
Read more
Breeze on in and claim your spot at this vibrant new waterfront eatery