Monday, March 15, 2004

Going cookbook crazy...

So we picked up three new cookbooks this past weekend. At half-price books, of course ;) Our cheap-selves store of choice.

The first one was 'A Cook's Tour of Mexico' by (no, not Tony Bourdain ;) Nancy Zaslavsky. This one was, of course, my choice. On par with my ongoing Mexican Culinary Obsession (M.C.O.) The book is part cookbook and part travel guide, reviewing various markets and restaurants in Southern Mexico. It starts out by telling you that this is not for those looking to eat at the Holiday Inn in Mexican City, instead, it's meant for the more adventurous palettes. I found the information about the Markets very thorough (even providing directions on how to get there). But, the book was published in 1995 though, so I'd like to see a newer revision before I'd go out of my way to find the restaurants listed, some of which may very well be closed. My only other complaint was that I really didn't feel the b&w picture sprinkled through really did justice to the vibrant colors of the food you see in the all-too-brief color sections throughout the book. By the way, I know I have at least two other food-obsessed folks reading this blog. If either of you have any suggestions for good Mexican cookbooks, particularly (though definitely not necessarily) ones with some good veggie recipes, please post them in the comments section.

The next up was 'Sunday's at Moosewood Restaurant'. The veggies and vegans among this list have, I'm sure, heard the Moosewood name many times. Moosewood is a vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, New York, as well as a publisher of a variety of vegetarian (though, they do consider fish vegetarian) cookbooks. We've had many of their books over the years (sadly, one was lost in a tragic soup accident) and though they're not our favorites,they can be counted on for solid, though not overly awe-invoking recipes. 'Sunday's at Moosewood' is their "ethnic cookbook." A thick tome, it covers a variety of different regional cuisine, from Scandinavian and Indian to Jewish and Southern (United States). Each regional has their own section devoted to it. This is where a bit of a peeve comes in. The Table of Contents at the beginning does not list the individual dishes in it; instead, it only contains a listing of the regions covered. So, you have to pick your region and then pick your meal from that section's TOC. I'm sure this is fine if you're planning a themed dinner, but for everyday cooking, it's a bit annoying. We haven't had a chance to make anything from this book yet. But, if it's like the others in the Moosewood series, I am sure it will find its use.

Lastly, we got 'The Vegetarian Table: Thailand' by Jacki Passmore. Genevieve picked up this one and I honestly have to admit that I haven't had a good chance to really look over it yet. From what I saw, it looked excellent though.

Sadly, this Sunday was not a cooking day. Instead, we enjoyed a lunch at Web of Life (Westlake, Ohio - whose portabella gyro rocks! despite being a bit salty) and had leftover Indian Baked Pudding & Spiced Carrot & Peanut Soup. The latter of which really grew on us, though the original recipe left it none too spicy for our tastes. But, that's what more chili paste is for :)