Cooking: Sweet, savory, superb
Despite rumors that Brooklyn is “so over,” it remains the hottest borough in New York City. And Ovenly is one of its hottest bakeries. Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin met at a foodie book club, found that their entrepreneurial urges and love of baking meshed, gave up their day jobs and set off on the adventure that led to Ovenly, the uber-successful Greenpoint bakery where customers line up for their Bloody Mary Scones. Now they’re publishing their first cookbook, Ovenly: Sweet and Salty Recipes from New York’s Most Creative Bakery. For a super start to the new year, revitalize your baking repertoire and whip up some of those famous scones, then try Caramel Bacon Hot Tarts; sweet, subtly sharp Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Walnuts; herby Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon; Feta, Basil & Scallion Muffins; and rich, satisfying Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding. The instructions are detailed, easy to follow and often accompanied by step-by-step photos, tips and “get creative” variations.
A DIY NEW YEAR
Cathy Barrow’s passion for preserving is boundless and inspiring. It’s her way of being a true and active locavore, of showing her commitment to our farmers, to our planet and to feeding real food to the people she loves. Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving, her debut cookbook, is her hard-to--resist invitation to make preserving a part of your everyday life and turn the fleeting abundance of each season into a wonderfully stocked pantry that makes your cooking easier, healthier and more sustainable. With the clarity that comes from true expertise and with an evident concern for safety, Barrow covers water-bath canning, pressure canning, curing, brining, smoking and even making simple, fresh cheeses. Among the nearly 140 recipes, you’ll find jams, jellies, pickles, stocks, sauces, fish fumet, candied chilies, smoked oysters, air-cured Bresaola, duck confit and more. Go at your own pace, slip into preserving slowly or go gangbusters—Barrow will be there as your model and mentor.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Michael Pollan, our foremost foodie public intellectual, has had a powerful influence on how we eat, cook and think about food. If you’ve wondered who influenced him, you’ll find the answer in The Pollan Family Table by Corky, Lori, Dana and Tracy Pollan, Michael’s mother and three sisters. With more than 110 Pollan family-tested recipes and their collective “sage advice” on ingredients, techniques and food philosophy, this cookbook is a true home-cooked-dinner-on-the-table-every-night enabler. Corky, while having an impressive career, served up wonderful family dinners regularly, which made a lasting impression on all her kids. Here, two generations of Pollan women, who live the same time-strangled lives we all do, share their recipes and strategies. Each recipe has a “market” list and a “pantry” list that make shopping stress-free. Chatty header notes put every dish in context, cooking times are realistic and, best of all, the food is delicious, doable and often dazzling.