Cooking the Books: Better ways to live and eat


  • Food News
  • Saturday, 11 Aug 2018

Pick up your copy of The Sunday Star paper tomorrow (Aug 12) for a 25% discount on these cookbooks. Look for the coupon in Star2.


Eggs

Author: Michel Roux

Publisher: Quadrille

Price: RM99.90

The egg, says Michel Roux, “is an undervalued food, invariably overshadowed by expensive, luxury ingredients”. In writing this book, he shares his secrets on what has become his “most faithful companions” and offers 130 recipes and ideas for using eggs.

Roux devotes the first six chapters of the book to the mastery of key cooking methods – such as boiling, poaching, and scrambling – and the remaining seven chapters to the egg’s “genius in all forms of cooking”. Here, he instructs readers on the important role of eggs in batters, pastries, sauces, ice creams, sponges and more.

Recipes for eggs, Italian food and healthy food in this month's Cooking the BooksIn this new edition (first published in 2005), classic recipes – such as eggs Benedict and boiled eggs with special soldiers – are presented alongside many modern and creative takes on the egg. For example, soft-cooked eggs with vanilla caramel and brioche is made for those with a sweet tooth, while scrambled eggs masala sounds right up our alley.

This is a great book for all its technicalities on preparing eggs, and it can help you take your egg cookery up to pro chef level – but, as with many cookbooks by Michelin-starred chefs, there is that tendency towards some time-consuming recipes using ingredients that are harder to get.

That said, eggs – the most simple and complete food – are easily available, and it’s always good to know as many ways as possible to cook them. – Jane F. Ragavan


Recipes for eggs, Italian food and healthy food in this month's Cooking the BooksGennaro’s Fast Cook Italian

Author: Gennaro Contaldo

Publisher: Pavilion

Price: RM124.90

If you’ve ever watched British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver cooking Italian food on television, there’s a 90% chance you’ve also heard him mentioning his mentor, Gennaro Contaldo. The man is so inexorably intertwined with Oliver that when I went to one of Oliver’s popular Jamie’s Italian outlets in London, the first thing I saw on the specials was Gennaro’s pasta!

His connection to the famed celebrity chef aside, Contaldo is a popular Italian chef and cookbook author who has even nabbed a Guinness World Record for the most ravioli made in two minutes.

In this cookbook, Contaldo highlights easy Italian dishes that require little in the way of elaborate preparation. You’ll discover all sorts of delightful Italian recipes like smoked salmon carbonara, quick fish soup, anchovy-infused lamb cutlets, steaks in a herb-infused tomato sauce, and squid with olives.

The recipes are beautifully photographed (although it would have been nice to have more pictures, as many of the recipes do not have accompanying images) and it is evident that the meals are designed with modern, time-strapped people in mind. Ingredients listed are generally minimal and most of the dishes look like they can be prepared by anyone, from beginners to seasoned cooks.

So if you’re after a range of wholesome Italian dishes to complement your existing stable, you’ll love Contaldo’s easy-peasy, fuss-free recipes. – Abirami Durai


Recipes for eggs, Italian food and healthy food in this month's Cooking the BooksOh She Glows Every Day

Author: Angela Liddon

Publisher: Avery

Price: RM110.50

Following the success of her New York Times bestselling The Oh She Glows Cookbook, food blogger Angela Liddon returns with more plant-based treats for her fans.

This new cookbook contains 100 new recipes that are all vegan and predominantly soy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free. In other words, it caters for every conceivable allergy and dietary restriction imaginable.

The recipes are imaginative interpretations of classic favourites – you’ll find recipes for a stuffed avocado salad, mac and peas (with a cheese-less sauce), fresh cherry tomato salsa, golden French lentil stew and the ultimate flourless brownies.

In many ways, Liddon herself is the perfect advertisement for a plant-based diet – she looks golden and glowing and just radiates good health, which might be the kick in the butt you need to actually try these recipes. Because while many of them look appealing, it is difficult to shake off the idea that they are but poor copycats of the real deal.

But if you’re looking to seriously improve your diet and commit to a drastic lifestyle overhaul, Liddon’s inventive recipes (roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato hummus, anyone?) will strike a chord. – AD


Recipes for eggs, Italian food and healthy food in this month's Cooking the BooksThe How Not To Die Cookbook

Authors: Michael Greger, Gene Stone & Robin Robertson

Publisher: MacMillan

Price: RM104.90

TO be perfectly honest, I wasn’t all that excited when I first saw this book. After all, who wants to read a cookbook that has the word “die” in the title? But as it turns out, while the title may sound ominous, the book is actually a very sensible approach to extending life spans and reversing diseases.

Written by physician Micheal Greger (the author of the bestselling How Not To Die book), with recipes by vegan cookbook author Robin Robertson, the book does an incredible job of drumming in the importance of a plant-based diet in the introductory pages, with comprehensive information from studies, reports and journals thrown in for good measure. – AD

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