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Joe Beef and Mission Street: 2 cookbooks as holiday gifts

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef and Mission Street Food

If you’ve been to a dinner party in 2011 and politely asked your (hipster) host about the recipes for a particular fried chicken or ssam course and his answer was a little too earnest chances are it came from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook. Or in some cases the entire point of the party was to serve and eat food from Momofuku. How do I know this? I’ve been that guy; I’ve cooked those meals.

What’s going to replace the yellow book in 2012? Good question.

It’s dessert version, Momofuku Milk Bar is getting the full, giant-stack treatment from bookstores (and will likely sell well) but I didn’t like reading it nearly as much. I found Christina Tosi’s writing style less comfortably enjoyable than Chang’s but I can see that if desserts are your thing–especially ones with classic American flavours–this will be more up your alley. (more…)

Essential Pepin: Tarragon Chicken

In my first post inspired by Jacques Pépin’s new cookbook, Essential Pepin, I said I was more of a Julia fan than a Jacques fan. But really they are two points in the same timeline and were close collaborators and friends. They  both were immensely popular during that age of food television (before sunglasses came in back-of-head models) that was about helping viewers become better home cooks.

The videos attached to this New York Times piece show Jacques Pépin at his best: explaining traditional techniques with much more than just an automatic reliance on dogma. For instance, eggs should be cracked on a flat surface when making an omelet and not on the lip of the bowl so that broken pieces of shell aren’t forced into the egg where they can break the yolk or introduce bacteria.

For my second shot at an Essential Pepin recipe I chose the tarragon chicken. This one used two traditional techniques that are not often found in contemporary recipes but that work excellently here. (more…)

Essential Pepin: Composed Salad

If you know where to look every style of cooking has something to offer the curious cook. The past year or so has really been largely about David Chang-style cooking for me but there is always an attraction to traditional French technique in that lingers somewhere in the back of my head.

I have to admit that I’ve always been a Julia Child kind of guy but was interested to try some of the recipes from Jacques Pépin’s new book, Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food. My friend Bonita from publisher Thomas Allen & Son offered just such an opportunity as part of a contest they’re running.

A recipe for a composed salad seemed like an ideal, easy introduction, and I was not disappointed. (more…)

Hunter Angler Gardener Book

Up there with the Paupered Chef blog Hank Shaw’s Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog is a resource I’ve turned to consistently since I started blogging myself. With two nominations for a James Beard Award for Best Blog and a win from the IACP it only makes sense that Hank now has an excellent book out called Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (Rodale).

Back in May he hit the road is his white Toyota pickup for a an old-school book tour that this week has brought him to Toronto.

I had the chance to drop in on his demo at the Evergreen Brickworks today. For the ebbing and flowing crowd he made a traditional Spanish Chilindron stew with rabbit and other ingredients from the Saturday farmers’ market. (more…)

We Sure Can Launch

The We Sure Can/The Cookbook Store table at the Leslieville Farmers' Market

I know this borders on the oxymoronic for blogging but I try to keep the self-indulgence to a minimum on Food With Legs. Consider this post a partial exception.

In May 2010 Sarah Hood asked if I would contribute a few recipes from this site to her book project on canning and preserving. Needless to say I was honoured and happy to comply.

As I mentioned in an early post I collected three of my favourites (French Cornichons, Cottage Garden Pickle, and Serviceberry Jam) and Sarah after some very rigorous editing made the recipes much more presentable and easier-to-follow for those who don’t live in my head. My only complaint is that all measures had to be changed to volume but as I understand from Sarah, and have posted about before, this is regrettably standard practice for Canadian publishers. (more…)