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Off the Shelf: Summer cookbook roundup

Summer has sprung up the last few days. When it’s too hot to cook, I like to grab a quick crockpot, sheet pan, or grilling recipe. Reference Librarian Leasa Sieve purchases most of the library’s non-fiction collection and the new books section in cookery (641) is a treat to browse. 

The tart caught my eye on “Everyday Dorie: the way I cook” by Dorie Greenspan. It’s called the Lower East Side Brunch Tart. It’s hard to tell the difference between a tart and a quiche, I find they’re interchangeable and should probably look up what the difference is. (I don’t follow recipes very well either!) There’s a mushroom and caramelized with lots of dill from my garden that’s been on my mind.  When peaches start coming in at the end of summer, I’m looking forward to giving the tomato and peach panzanella recipe a whirl. The candied cocktail nut appetizer also looks promising. 

I was expecting a little more from “The campfire cookbook” by Viola Lex. (Honestly, I was looking for s’more recipes.)  If you’re camping or spending time around a campfire, these 80 imaginative recipes for outdoor cooking might be for you. Each recipe has a symbol to let you know whether it’s for an open fire, grill or camping stove. The author is a lifelong camper who along with a chef teamed up to create traditional favorites and an eclectic mix of recipes for breads, pancakes, and salads.  The cranberry muesli bars in ‘the mobile pantry’ section and honey roasted peanuts in ‘on the road’ are keepers.

Good Housekeeping’s “Sheet pan cooking” had me at 70 easy recipes especially their feta and mini meatloaves and roast pork and sweet potato with spicy cabbage recipes. 

“Tahini and Turmeric” by Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox is a treat to explore. The spicy tomato and pepper jam might be a keeper if any of the ones I planted decide to sprout. The lentil fattoush with mint and sumac, chickpea and pepper shakshuka, and wild rice mjadra recipes look favorable as well.

My favorite out of this slew of new cookery is “My Mexico City Kitchen” by Gabriela Camara. The cookbook was inspired by the flavors and ingredients of the city and the photos impress as do the recipes. It’s a nice light and airy blue cover though it’s a heavy one with 150 recipes for Basicos (basics), Desayunos (breakfasts), Primeros (starters), Platos Fuertos (mains) and Postres (sweets). One of Camara’s convictions is that everything can be a taco. I’m fond of this one as the recipes look easy. Especially the salsa brava ‘fierce’ salsa, queso fresco (strained fresh cheese), huevos con migas (scrambled eggs with fried tortilla bits), carnitas (slow cooked pork), and tortilla espanola con chile serrano (Spanish egg tortilla with serrano chile). I’ve made a similar frittata of egg and fried potato recipe and it’s a keeper.  The Cochinita Pibil, a slow cooked pork in achiote, has only 5 ingredients and may make an appearance yet this summer. It’s a Yucatecan way of slow cooking after marinating in orange juice. 

Whether you’re grilling, cooking, or enjoying the company of those who are, we wish you a wonderful Fourth of July. The library will be closed on July 4. We will be open on Friday, July 5 and Saturday, July 6. We look forward, as always, to seeing you in the library!

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