Cooking: Lessons learned
Jacques Pépin, the consummate charming chef, has taught us to cook everything from the most complex to the simplest dishes. Now, with A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey, it’s time for us to meet the next generation in the Pépin clan and share in the master chef’s essential kitchen wisdom alongside his 12-year-old granddaughter, Shorey. In this book, Pépin features dishes that are fun to make and place more emphasis on taste than on presentation. Pépin’s affection for his granddaughter, as abundant as his love of food, is evident in each of these recipes, ranging from hors d’oeuvres to desserts, all introduced with warm, personal header notes. There are cooking lessons embedded in this mix of classic French and family-friendly dishes as well: Soup with Vermicelle uses up all your leftover vegetable bits and salad greens; Arctic Char with Tomato can be cooked by simply covering the pan and allowing steam to do the work; garlic added to the cooking water for mashed potatoes adds flavor; and strawberries and mushrooms can be cut with an egg slicer.
YES, YOU CAN CAN
In our new DIY world, easy, time-tested water bath canning should be on everyone’s end-of-summer to-do list. September is the perfect time to capture the sun-drenched glory of the summer’s last fruit and vegetables. And who better than the makers of Ball canning products to show us how to do it? If you’re new to home canning, Ball Canning Back to Basics is the perfect practical guide, and even if you canned with Mom and Grandma, it’s a great refresher course. Before you slice that peach or pit that cherry, Ball Canning Back to Basics gives you an understanding of how canning actually works, the gear you’ll need and how to get started. Pick from 100 classic recipes for jams, jellies, marmalades, fruit butters, tomato treats from sauces to salsas and chutneys, and crunchy brined and fresh-pack pickles. If you can boil water and follow foolproof recipes, you really can can.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Getting dinner on the table at a decent hour was a motivating concern for Tieghan Gerard as a teenager. One of seven children in a happily chaotic family, she hoped that if she took on preparing dinner, they might eat before 9 p.m. Luckily for us, this led Gerard to become a recipe developer and award-winning food blogger. Named for her blog, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains (Potter, $29.99, 304 pages, ISBN 9780553496390) is her debut foray into print, with 125 delicious recipes, each served up with one of her stunning photographs. Gerard says she tends to take everything up a notch and enjoys adding her own twists to classics: Bacon Butter tops fluffy Apple Ricotta Pancakes; the Cuban Mojo sauce with mango for Pulled Pork Tacos is topped with a fried egg; Irish French Onion Soup is given an extra zing with Guinness; and a Chocolate Banana Cream Pie is made with coconut milk. Gerard’s collection of recipes is filled with delights for weekday nights and weekend revels.