Oh.My.God!! This has become one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. My fingers are itching to actually try out the recipes. The only reason I am postinOh.My.God!! This has become one of my all-time favorite cookbooks. My fingers are itching to actually try out the recipes. The only reason I am posting before trying the recipes is that I won this as an early birthday present from the Vegan Cookbooks group, and I wanted to post before the publication date of October 30.
It arrived on the 23rd. I have been carting it around with me since then, showing it off to friends. I think the very first recipe I will try is the Ethiopian Chocolate Flourless Torte (p.340), which I hope to make soon to celebrate my past birthday. (If I don't make my own birthday cake, I don't get a homemade one-might get a store-bought one if I am lucky.) I am not one who usually likes cakes so much...they are okay with ice cream (dairy-free, of course!) I much prefer tortes and pie. And I ADORE chocolate!! I am curious about the "smoky berbere spice" that the Ethiopian Torte contains. Sounds delicious! I may have to eat the whole thing myself though--I don't have very many food-adventurous friends! (May not be a bad thing! ;-D )
I really appreciated the way the cookbook was laid out. Contents were listed at the very beginning of the book, with recipes listed as they appear in the book. Also, at the back of the book, the author has listed recipes by icons: Beginner Cooking, Gluten Free, Lower Fat, On a Budget, Quick and Easy, Sit Back and Simmer, and Soy Free, making it easier to find a particular type of recipe. This is something that I have never seen in a cookbook before, although this is the first I have read by Ms. Romero. Also at the back of the book she listed several menu suggestions, including some specifically for parties (I may just have to host a International Super Bowl Party this year!) Others I may have to try are: Ethiopian Mesob Not to Be Missed, Pumpkin Kibbe Surprise Lunch, Homestyle Chinese Takeout Menu, Thali Up! (Mix'n'Match Indian and Sri Lankan Curries), and especially appropriate this time of year:Indian Thanksgiving.
Another feature of the cookbook I really enjoyed was the Kitchen Cartography, where she goes into all the nuts and bolts of cooking: from how to cook efficiently (laying every thing out, how to chop, dice, peel garlic etc.); to what the different ingredients are; to generic shopping lists for different ethnicities; to kitchen equipment. I know how to cook, I mostly enjoy baking more, so the how-to section was helpful to me. I've never been a fan of tofu (when people find out I'm vegetarian, they often remark that they couldn't "do" tofu, and are surprised when I say I don't like it either!) I guess to be more accurate, I don't like the texture of fried tofu that I've gotten in Chinese and Thai restaurants. Other than that, I have nothing against tofu per se. I HAVE enjoyed seitan dishes in restaurants, and am looking forward to try to make seitan myself at home following her directions.
There are very few recipes in this book that don't appeal to me. I don't like savory ingredients mixed with sweet(so I am not a fan of chutney and BBQ or anything with ketchup), and I didn't find many of those in this book. There are too many that I would probably like to list, but a sampling of the ones I most would like to try are: Spice Blends: Sichuan 5-Spice Powder, Toasted Rice Powder, Berbere Spice Blend, Spiced Buttery Oil (Niter Kebbeh) The Three Protein Amigos: Tofu, Seitan, & Tempeh: Seitan Coriander Cutlets, 5-Spice Seitan, Lemon and Olive Chickpea Seitan, and I *may* be brave enough to try Savory Baked Tofu! The one time I tried tempeh, I didn't like it--I probably won't try the tempeh recipes. Pickles, Chutneys, and Saucier Sauces: Cilantro Chutney, Green Tahini Sauce, Toasted Hazelnut Crunch Dip (Dukka), Cashew Yogurt Sauce, Sour Dilly Cream, and I am especially eager to try the recipe for Cucumber Tzatziki! Salads, Spreads, and SandwichesThis section (except for the Soups section) may be my main go-to section. Some of the recipes I plan to try include: Coconut Kale Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce, Greek Village Salad with Cashew Faux Feta (Horiatiki Salad), Bittersweet Apple and Endive Salad, Pistachio Date Quinoa Salad, Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Dukka, Garlicky Potato Dip (Skordalia), Sweet Autumn Toasted Pita and Kale Salad, Seitan Gyro Roll-Ups Soups This is the time of year I especially begin craving soups--when the weather turns chilly.Some I look forward to trying are: Zen Spinach Wonton Soup, Black Bean Soup with Roasted Poblanos (though I would leave off the recommended Pickled Red Onions), Masala Potato Soup, Like an Egyptian Lentil Soup, Sauerkraut Mushroom Soup (ShChi) Curries, Hearty Stews & Beans: Pumpkin Coconut Curry, It's Easy Being Green Curry, Pumpkin Black Bean Posole Stew Dumplings, Breads, & Pancakes: Potato Pierogi with Fried Onions, Afghan Pumpkin Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Turkish Zucchini Pancakes (Mucver), Filo Samosas, Jamaican Curry Seitan Patties Asian Noodles to Mediterranean Pasta: Cuury Noodle Soup with Oyster Mushrooms (Curry Laksa), Pad Kee Mao (Spicy Drunken Noodles), Takeout Stir-Fry Noodles with Mushrooms and Greens, Pad Thai with Avocado and Spicy Greens, Greek Eggplant Lasagna (Pastichio "Vegani") Hearty Entrees: Gyro Roasted Seitan, This is Sparta! Spinach Pie, Moroccan Vegetable Filo Pie (Bisteeya), Ella's Buck Wild Stuffed Cabbage with Sunflower Cream Tomato Sauce, Fluffy Scrambled Chickpea "Eggs" with Shallots (But'echa),Jerk-Roasted Seitan Strips Robust Vegetable Entrees & Sides:Roasted Eggplant Marsala, Lemon Garlic Potatoes, Yu-xiang Eggplant (Sichuan Spicy Eggplant), Luscious White Bean and Celery Root Puree Rice and Whole Grains: One-Pot Meals & Supporting Roles This section includes basics of cooking rice, and some basic rice recipes. Some of the recipes that I'd like to try include: Steamed Sticky Rice (one of the basic recipes that she includes, but that I enjoy and have never tried to make), Lemony Dill Rice, White Rice and Black Beans, Island Brown Rice and Peas, Colombian Coconut Lentil Rice Sweet Beginnings besides the Chocolate Torte mentioned above I'd like to try: Walnut Spice Sticky Cake, Pumpkin Churros (although I don't care much for fried food, these intrigue me!), Carrot Semolina Halva, Vanilla Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango, Italian Cashewcotta Cheesecake
Whew! It might take me over a year to work my way through this! I look forward to the opportunity! Thanks again, Vegan Cookbook Group and Da Capo Press for this book! ...more
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