Saturday, February 7, 2009

amuse bouche

on my first trip to the LA library, i spent about 45 minutes trying to find the cookbooks. 6 floors?! apparently, cooking is filed under "science and history." i guess that makes sense. every book i had planned to look for was already checked out, so i reached a little - after all, there are entire books devoted to garlic, to stone fruits, to booze.

i like to read cookbooks like storybooks. i like to hear the author as a writer, as a personality, i read them cover to cover. as previously stated, i'm no chef - more an appreciator of food!

w was so sweet to gift me a copy of the produce bible by leanne kitchen, my favorite of the library's offerings. can i tell you how much i love this book? the bitch breaks down every fruit, vegetable, nut and herb known to woman. divided by type, she explains how to source, choose, store, compliment and prepare all of the classics, along with every oblong green spotted thing at the bodega that's never labeled but's always 2 for $1. plus, she includes a brief history for each item. seasonality, nutrition information and the fruit/veg/nut/herbs history is also addressed.

i do have one criticism of the book, and this isn't veganaziism: some of the recipes she included stray too far from the star ingredient. it makes sense to include spaghetti with arugula and chili in the arugula section - the arugula shines, is complimented. bacon breakfast muffins, however, are not the best use of shallots. seriously, do you know how much better one could honor the shallot?

while the recipes are not particularly useful to me, the wealth of other information in the book makes it one of my favorites.

consider endive. have you ever braised or fried these babies?

and the humble potato. i've made homemade pierogies before, but never thought to accent them with various mustards, lemon and dill.

other cookbooks were never able to make me actually prepare squash. when i read their history, i simply had to eat one.

besides, ain't vegetables pretty? no need to over cook, over season, over think.

just amuse your mouth . . .