Raghavan Iyer's new cookbook, Indian Cooking Unfolded, is our Top Pick in Cookbooks! Each of these 100 recipes uses 10 ingredients or fewer, all of which you can find at your everyday market. There's no better way to learn to cook Indian food at home!
Makes 12 cakes; serves 6
2. hile the potatoes are cooking, place the onion, cilantro, mint, and chiles in the bowl of a food processor. Using the pulsing action, mince the blend to create an earthy, pungent mix that has a strong minty aroma. Letting the processor run constantly instead of using quick pulses will break down the onion into a watery mess that will create excess liquid.
3. Once the potatoes are fall-apart ten- der, drain them in a colander and place them in a medium-size bowl. Mash them well. Wet the bread slices with warm tap water, then squeeze them tight to remove all excess water. Add the mass to the pota- toes. Scrape the minced onion–mint medley over this mélange and sprinkle the salt and turmeric on top. Using your hand, squeeze the mixture to break apart the damp bread into smaller pieces, making sure you incor- porate all of it into the potatoes to make a bumpy-feeling dough. It will be sun-yellow and speckled with green herbs.
4. Coat the dough with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Form the dough into a thick log. Cut it in half lengthwise and cut each half into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball about the size of a golf ball and press it gently between your palms to flatten it into a patty that is about 3 inches in diameter and 1?2 inch thick.
5. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Pour oil to a depth of 1?8 to 1?4 inch into a large skillet (preferably nonstick or cast iron). Heat the oil over medium heat until it appears to shimmer. Place 6 of the patties in the skillet and panfry until the bottoms are golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. (You are cooking only 6 because you don’t want to overcrowd the skillet and get greasy results.) Turn the patties over and cook them until the second side is nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the patties to the paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining 6 patties.
6. Serve the potato cakes warm.
Our Top Pick in Cookbooks for November is Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well by Sam Sifton, an essential guide whether you're hosting this year or simply wish to bring a flawless dish.
2. Meanwhile, prepare bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add the anchovies, garlic, shallot, and bread crumbs. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until golden.
3. In a large bowl, toss together cauliflower and bread crumbs and serve on a warmed platter.
Our November cooking column is a veritable extravaganza of global cuisine! Maricel E. Presilla’s Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America roams from Mexico to Argentina, from Cuba to Brazil. Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt calls it "a feast and a fiesta."
Here's one of the 500 recipes in Presilla's bountiful cookbook.
In Querétaro, Mexico, next to many old churches you will find women selling crunchy jicama botanas. I never cease to be amazed at their art. They can turn the humblest vegetable or fruit into a magnificent still life, cutting the burly jicamas into perfect long strips and seasoning them lightly with citrus fruit and a sprinkling of hot pepper. Inspired by these Mexican botanas, I like to arrange long strips of jicama in tequila shot glasses and bring them to the table as an amuse-bouche. Jicama is a vine of the legume family that grows a large edible root shaped like a turnip. Beneath the tan skin, the root flesh has a crunchy texture, not unlike that of water chestnuts. Neutral flavored with a touch of sweetness that offsets its subtle starchy quality, jicama absorbs the heat of the chile and the tang of the citrus juice to make for a crisp and refreshing starter.
What to Drink: A shot of an aged tequila, such as Padrón, Herradura Natural, or Corazón, or a Margarita on the Rocks (page 365)
Whenever I hear someone say that their favorite food is Mexican food, the first thing that typically pops in my head is "Well, duh." With bright, familiar ingredients, it's always my go-to easy dinner out. But what about easy dinners in?
The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider is our Cookbook of the Month, and as cooking columnist Sybil Pratt writes, "So much of what we love about the Mexican kitchen are dishes cooked in a simple olla or pot that simmers slowly on the back of the stove. . . Once everything is in the cooker, it will work its magic and all you’ll have to do is accept the 'Olés.'"
While the chicken cooks, make the salsa. In a 2-quart saucepan combine the tomatoes, tomatillos, and jalapeño. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the tomatillos are barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables well and transfer them to a blender along with the garlic, chipotles, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until fairly smooth and refrigerate the salsa until needed.
Peel the onions and cut 1/2 inch off the stem and root ends. Cut each onion in half vertically. Set one onion half on the root end and cut from top to bottom to create 1/4-inch slices. Repeat with the remaining onion halves.
When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and break it into large pieces. Strain the cooking liquid, discarding the solids, and reserve for another use.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and oregano and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the salsa and chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, or until heated through.
Note: Available in all Mexican markets, tostadas are 4- or 5-inch round corn tortillas that are fried until crisp. They are often sold in stacks labeled as tostadas caseras.
Paul Virant is committed to "preserving nature's bounty," and you can learn the tricks of canning and preserving with his debut cookbook (and our Cookbook of the Month!), The Preservation Kitchen. Writes cooking columnist Sybil Pratt, "The book follows the cycle of the year, starring relishes, jams, marmalades, mostardas, sweet-sour condiments, sauerkrauts (cabbage and beyond) and preserved citrus you can make yourself. Yes, you can can—and this beautiful book proves it."
How much fun would it be to spread your own homemade jam?
|Blackberries, hulled if necessary||6 cups||2 pounds||907 grams||89%|
|Sugar||1/2 cup||31/4 ounces||91 grams||10%|
|Lemon juice||1 tablespoon||1/2 ounce||14 grams||1%|
Pour the blackberries into a wide, heavy-bottomed pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Once the juices are boiling, uncover the jam and continue to cook briskly until the mixture hits 212?F and sets up softly when tested on a chilled plate (see page 57), about 15 minutes. While the jam is cooking, use a ladle to skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
Scald 3 half-pint jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack—you will use this pot to process the jars. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. Meanwhile, soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.
Transfer the blackberry jam to a heat-proof pitcher and pour into the jars, leaving about a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug but not tight.
Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes (start the timer when the water reaches a boil). Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.
At the Table: bittersweet chocolate marquise with summer berry jam (page 288)
What I love most about Judith Fertig and Karen Adler's new cookbook, The Gardener & the Grill, is that takes something so simple—like grilling up a pork tenderloin—and makes it divine.
If you're lucky enough to find fresh figs at your local market, you're in for a treat.
Remove the skewers from the water. Pierce the figs through the middle with a metal skewer or ice pick to make a hole. Then thread 3 figs onto each rosemary or wooden skewer. Lightly brush the figs with olive oil.
Place the pork tenderloin directly over the fire. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side (the center-cut pork loin filet for 5 to 7 minutes per side), turning a quarter turn at a time, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140°F for medium and the meat is juicy and slightly pink in the center.
At the same time, place the skewered figs over the fire, turning several times and cooking for about 5 to 6 minutes until they are heated through. When they’re caramelized and soft, remove the skewers from the heat and keep warm.
To serve, arrange 3 slices of pork with a skewer of figs on each plate, all topped with crumbled goat cheese, drizzled with 1/2 teaspoon honey, and a sprinkled with chopped rosemary.
Our August Cookbook of the Month is The Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant, the food genius behind Michelin starred restaurant Vie. This is Virant's debut cookbook, and for cooks looking to create a "flavor arsenal," his canning guide (with recipes!) is a kitchen must-have. Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt promises this book "prolongs the seasons and adds unexpected delights to weekday and celebratory meals."
How gorgeous are these tomatoes?
|Dill seeds||5 teaspoons||—||—||—|
|Black peppercorns||21/2 teaspoons||—||—||—|
|Garlic cloves||5||3/4 ounce||20 grams||.7%|
|Cherry tomatoes, hulled and pricked||8 cups||3 pounds||1361 grams||49.5%|
|Champagne vinegar||4 cups||32 ounces||907 grams||33%|
|Water||11/4 cups||10 ounces||284 grams||10.5%|
|Sugar||3/4 cup||6 ounces||170 grams||6%|
|Kosher salt||1 tablespoon||1/3 ounce||9 grams||.3%|
In a pot, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Transfer the brine to a heat-proof pitcher and pour over the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar. Check the jars for air pockets, adding more brine if necessary to fill in gaps. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug but not tight.
Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 15 minutes (start the timer when the water reaches a boil). Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let cool completely.
At the Table: pickled and fresh summer bean salad with preserved tomato vinaigrette (page 185)
The BBQ Queens are back, and this time, they're going straight from the garden to the grill. Judith Fertig and Karen Adler's The Gardener & the Grill shows that "grilling gives foods (even a head of romaine) that special super-concentrated flavor you just can’t get in the kitchen."
And with this recipe, the Queens prove that grilling can be gourmet.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
To serve, place 2 pear halves in each bowl and spoon the crème fraîche on top. Serve warm.
Ree Drummond's second cookbook The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier is our June Cookbook of the Month! Aren't we glad the accidental country girl "traded her black heels for tractor wheels and found love, family and fame"? Save this one for the 4th of July next week!
A dish with "cake" repeated twice in its title probably belongs on my plate immediately.
I made this cake a few years ago on a whim . . . and what a delightful whim it turned out to be. It’s a spin on strawberry shortcake, but the cake is, well, cake—not the biscuit-like disc in the classic strawberry shortcake recipe. I added cream cheese frosting instead of whipped cream, just for kicks, and it turned out to be just what the whole mess of deliciousness needed.
This is one of my father-in-law’s three favorite desserts. He likes to eat it for breakfast.
I do too, now that I think about it!
2. To make the cake batter, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Add the sour cream and vanilla, then mix until just combined.
4. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda and add it to the bowl.
5. Mix it together until just combined.
6. Spread it in the pan or pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is no longer jiggly like my bottom.
7. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool completely.
8. Next, mash the strawberries with a potato masher or a fork (reserve a few for garnish if you like).
9. Sprinkle the strawberries with the sugar. Toss them around and allow them to sit for a little while.
10. They’ll give off this beautiful liquid after several minutes. Try not to drink it with a straw.
11. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a mixing bowl.
12. Mix until very light and fluffy. Warning: You’ll feel like eating this bowl of icing before you even get it on the cake.
13. To assemble the cake, use a sharp knife to cut it in half through the middle. It’s easier if you go all around the perimeter of the cake, slicing only halfway through the circle the whole way.
14. Lay the two halves cut side up.
15. And cover both halves with an equal amount of strawberries. Then—this is an important step!—place the cake halves in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. This’ll firm up the surface of the strawberries just a bit so that it’s easier to spread on the icing.
16. Remove the cakes from the freezer and place one layer on a cake stand or platter. Cover with a little less than a third of the icing.
17. Place the second layer on top, then spread the top with icing.
18. Carefully ice the outside of the cake with the remaining icing.
But I’m hungry and want to eat, so I’ll skip that part.
Store leftovers in the fridge. The cake can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
Martha Stewart has collected some of the best traditional dishes from all corners of the country in her new cookbook, Martha's American Food. It's packed with 190 of the best meals from five distinct American regions, and as cooking columnist Sybil Pratt writes, "the indomitable Ms. Stewart offers her classic take, tweaked in Martha-esque style, on the American classics that define our cuisine as a whole and that celebrate our regional diversity."
Potato salad is a dish served 'round the world—but doesn't it just feel truly American?
2. Place eggs in a small saucepan; fill with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil; turn off heat. Cover; let stand 11 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cold water; let cool and peel. Cut 2 eggs into ¼-inch dice. Slice remaining egg into ¼-inch- thick rounds; reserve for garnish.
3. Combine diced eggs, mayonnaise, celery seeds, and dry mustard in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion, cornichons, scallions, and parsley. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Just before serving, garnish with paprika and egg rounds.
Serves 10 to 12