Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Canal House Cooking Volume #5 - The Good Life
I've been drooling over the most recent edition of Canal House Cooking, titled "The Good Life," ever since it arrived in the mail. If you haven't checked out the Canal House Cooking books by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton yet, you should check them out. The pictures are gorgeous, and all the recipes have a very no-nonsense approach to them. I love that they start out every edition with a section on cocktails and drinks called "it's always five o'clock somewhere." They put out three editions a year and are up to volume 5, and you can purchase a subscription to have each volume sent as they are published. I've loved every volume and even when they just talk about easy snacky kinds of things they like to eat and throw together, I always think they sound fantastic. The quick and easy recipes that are barely recipes are terrific too - frying eggs in pimenton, or Spanish smoked paprika is delicious and was the first thing I did after receiving this volume.
In "The Good Life," there are lot of just fun special occasion dishes, blinis, fried oysters, holiday roasts, a section on homemade sausages, and even some holiday cookies and treats. I can't wait to try the goose liver and pork terrine, the duck sausage with quatre epices, and the fresh ham with Madeira sauce sounds like something fun to make. And maybe, just maybe, I'll try the broiled pig feet crepes sometime - they sound so interesting and I actually love pig feet, and love that the authors describe this dish by saying "They are gutsy and completely delicious, but you have to love big flavors, like we do, to enjoy them."
This volume also opens with a short piece called "Christmas Eve" by Gabrielle Hamilton, Melissa Hamilton's sister and the owner and chef of Prune in New York - she's coming out with a book this year too, a memoir titled "Blood, Bones and Butter - The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef." In "Christmas Eve," she talks about making grilled cheese sandwiches and serving them with champagne - how fun! She also gives her tip to spread a thin layer of Hellman's mayonnaise on each slice of bread instead of butter as your cooking fat to make your grilled cheese sandwiches - I had never heard that before, and yes, it is amazing so give it a try if you haven't before. Pictured above is a delicious grilled cheese I made with the Hellmann's mayo trick, and filled with grated gouda and cheddar, a little country style dijon mustard, and some caramelized onions - so good!
So, check out these books sometime if you haven't yet, and if you're still looking for holiday gifts, they'd be great for anyone that loves cookbooks.