Happy Holidays to all of you avid home cooks.
We had a wonderful Christmas and as usual there were many kitchen items exchanged between my wife and me. I hope to tell you about them all in the next couple of weeks and share with you how I've been using them.
My 9 year old daughter using her own savings gave me this wonderful looking, giant cookbook by Aliza Green called Starting with Ingredients - Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Cook.
Looks just like the kind of cookbook I will love to learn from. With over a thousand pages describing over one hundred ingredients, this cookbook focuses on most of the popular ingredients we cook with every day and describes what they are, how to shop for them and most importantly how to cook them.
For example, she looks at Fennel, one of my favorite and in my opinion, under utilized vegetables used in most households. I love to cook with it or eat it raw in salads. Aliza describes the history of fennel, where it is grown and when it is in season, how to choose it, how to use every part of it and then provides a whole bunch of recipes using it in various dishes and cooking methods.
She has recipes for Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel, Chicken Salad with Fennel, Lemon Zest and Currants, Fennel and Tomato Casserole, Braised Fennel with White Wine, Bay and Thyme & Whole Grilled Red Snapper Stuffed with Fennel.
The book is filled with food facts, buying tips, cooking methods and plenty of ideas how to use the ingredient. It's one of those cookbooks you can just sit down with to read and enjoy whether you use her recipes or not.
Besides, just holding this massive book provides a workout to burn off some of the calories you'll gain trying all the recipes in it.
I am still browsing through it and will report back on any of the recipes I try, but from what little I've seen, this one is a must for anyone who really wants to know more about what they are cooking and why.
You can find it at Amazon here.