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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

The latest in a number of food-related books I’ve been reading, “The Man Who Ate Everything” is really more of a compendium than a narrative. Steingarten is the food writer for Vogue magazine, and this book consists of selected essays he’s written over the years.

Each piece tackles a specific type or aspect or culture of food. Japanese food, Acme Bread, the perfect American-style pie crust, Choucrute Alsacienne, and the origin of “back of the box” recipes are all fair game.

A wonderful thing about Steingarten’s writing style is that he does quite a lot of research into the origins of things and how cooking techniques work. This results in myriad interesting factoids scattered throughout.

Many chapters include a recipe or two, although it would have been helpful if there was an index to them in either end of the book. There is a general index, however.

From the first chapter, which describes how he systematically set out to overcome his food phobias (try everything ten times) to the last (the search for the perfect American pie crust recipe) , I enjoyed this book immensely.

I now have a newfound respect for Steingarten, who I knew previously only from his stint as a judge on the Iron Chef America TV show. He clearly loves food and writes clearly and engagingly. I look forward to reading his other works.


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“Garlic & Sapphires” by Ruth Reichl

Reichl’s 2005 NY Times bestseller about her career as the food critic for the NY Times is an engaging read, entertainingly-written and seasoned with 17 recipes, conveniently indexed at the end of the book. There is nearly no background information about her – this focuses almost exclusively on her stint at the Times.

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Mmmm, salsa….

I’ve been on something of a salsa kick the past week, and after making a tasty, but piquant, salsa fresca from Jacques Pepin’s “Shortcut Cook,” and a basic, but incredibly easy chipotle salsa from “Hot Peppers,” I came across this recipe on Epicurious for a proper roasted salsa.

I made the recipe this evening, and in a word – WOW! Deep smoky flavor, and quite a bit of heat. I’m sure it’ll get better over the next day or so in the fridge. Anyhow if you’re into making salsa, I highly recommend this recipe. The only cooking skill it requires is basic knowledge of roasting veggies.

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