by Sybil PrattMarch 2013
The delicious life of pie
Pies: Sweet and Savory—that’s as straightforward as a title can be, and author Caroline Bretherton, pie practitioner par excellence, offers equally straightforward instructions for a fabulous, international array of more than 230 pies and tarts. An illustrated recipe planner organizes the recipes by pie type—top-crust, double-crust, cobblers and crumbles (yes, there are super savory varieties like Beef and Red Wine Cobbler and Fish Crumble made with salmon and shrimp), individual pies and tarts, en croûtes and layered pies, quiches and more. And the recipes within each chapter are arranged by key ingredient. If you’re a little leery about making pie dough, head for “In Praise of Pie Dough” first, where you’ll be treated to detailed, step-by-step directions for every kind of dough, including quick puff pastry, cookie crust and crumble topping, and shown how to bake blind, line a tart pan and make great decorative edges and tops. From Almond and Peach Tart and Apple and Camembert Tartlets to Venison Wellingtons and Zucchini and Feta Pie, there’s a baked delight for every occasion—and that’s not pie in the sky!
MEALS ON WHEELS
Food trucks are “in” and fast becoming indispensable. The ubiquitous hot dog and pretzel vendors of the recent past have morphed into an American street food phenomenon that rivals the exotic sidewalk fare found in the far-flung corners of the globe. If you’re already an aficionado of this new movable feast, James Cunningham’s Eat St.: Recipes from the Tastiest, Messiest, and Most Irresistible Food Trucks, a tie-in to the Cooking Channel’s popular show “Eat St.,” is a great way to spend more time in this trendy urban foodscape. If you’re not surrounded by vividly painted trucks serving up Korean kolbi, Masala Fish Burgers, Maine Lobster Rolls, Mexican Rajas con Queso, Saigon Shrimp Ceviche, Shashlik with Tzatziki or a creamy, vitamin-packed Strawberry Coconut Smoothie, join the street food revolution by sampling some of the more than 125 recipes included here in the privacy of your own kitchen. That way you can slurp up a Nashville-invented Hot Southern Mess or a fusion-inspired Kimchee Quesadilla with impunity and utter delight.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
Charleston is a top dining destination, but to the Lee brothers, devotees and chroniclers of Charleston’s cuisine, it’s a “food town, pure and simple,” not a “foodie” town. And in their latest culinary collaboration, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, they make that distinction clear. Charleston’s food culture has flourished and evolved for more than two centuries. Good food, even great food, isn’t “trendy” here, it’s an integral and celebrated part of Lowcountry life. The brothers L revel in their town’s food history and its vibrant contemporary food scene, and they celebrate it with a collection of 100 eminently doable recipes, inspired by local fishermen and farmers, by famed Charleston institutions past and present (check out the Cheese Spread from the hallowed Henry’s) and by dishes discovered in old cookbooks and memoirs. Fabulous photos, fascinating intros and header notes, and shared slices of history put Charleston’s culinary charms—from drinks to desserts—in loving context and make the Lee brothers’ homage the next best thing to being there.