Four Global Cuisine Cookbooks You Need to Try

Four Global Cuisine Cookbooks You Need to Try

By: Linda Kissam

Two recipes included: ZUCCHINI LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE & Hatch Chile Braciole with Bristol Farms Pasta Sauce

My current travel itinerary is, well, no itinerary at all. Instead of hopping a plane, exploring a new culture or dining in a restaurant, I am staying put in my house, driving through Starbucks or watching my husband prepare our boat to leave the dock one happy day in the future.  As long as I am there, why not cook flavors from around the world?  So for now, let’s swap our passports for these must-have global cookbooks and cook our way through some of the world’s more iconic culinary recipes.

I am sharing four cookbooks, two recipes, and an infinite amount of ways to taste the world, all within the comfort of your kitchen. With an emphasis on taste and technique, these cookbooks are designed to give you a new look at how to prepare and enjoy authentic international dishes.

Capturing the culture of each region, these cookbooks explore the history, techniques and foods of the world. The recipes invite readers to discover the tastes, flavor foundations, signature techniques and signature recipes for a given country. Offering accuracy, authenticity, and adaptability, each of these cookbooks provides an opulent look at international cuisine and it’s most popular and captivating styles.

The Italian Kitchen
Elizabeth Minchilli

A must have for those who love themed parties

The Italian Table delivers a fun and engaging look at Italian meals as they would be eaten at a festive event, at home or another location. Combining menus and recipes with themed pictorial inspiration, insight is shared into the traditions of Italian food and celebrations.  The chapters are broken into “event” gatherings. Each event includes recipes and a game plan on how to set up and run the get-togethers. For those of you who love to entertain – especially with themed parties –  this is the book for you. Seriously.

My favorite menus and recipes include: Sunday Lunch in Emilia Romagna (pg 28); A Table by the Sea in Positano (pg86); Eating at the Market in Florence (pg 164); Last Summer Dinner under a Pergola (pg 182)

You are going to love the resources section for Italian ingredients; history notes, recipe shortcuts, and serving suggestions. The menu introductions detail what to drink, how to set the table, and how to time the preparation and the party.  The delicious and plentiful photos guide you to what success looks like in every aspect of the event.

In a French Kitchen
Susan Herrmann Loomis / $16 Paperback

A celebration of French life and the cooks who turn even the simplest ingredients into an occasion.

This is a different kind of cookbook. It is not straight forward recipes. It does not include photos. Instead, it is a culinary adventure that unfolds via places, people and recipes.

One by one, readers meet the fabulous people of Louviers and surrounding villages and towns of the author’s adopted home. Meet “Edith.  “She is not a gourmet cook, in fact she says she does not like to cook, but she does have an inspiring love of food that moves her to whip up delectable dishes. “Nathalie” honors her beloved deceased mother’s Breton cooking by cooking and sharing it with whoever shows up on her doorstep.  Through friends and neighbors like these, the author learns and shares that delicious, even gourmet meals, don’t have to be complicated reminding readers, “Cook with passion and your heart — and life is good.”

The author Susan Herrmann Loomis is an expat who many years ago traded her American supermarket for a lively French farmer’s market lifestyle. Through this book she weaves a fascinating tale of everyday home cooking in France. Through her culinary adventures you will come to understand the French cook and their innate understanding of food and cooking, their expert understanding of seasonal produce, and how they take simple ingredients to their table from the best of their gardens and local markets.

In a French Kitchen shares the everyday French tips, secrets, and eighty-five recipes that will allow you to turn every meal into a sumptuous occasion.

 Hatch Chile Cookbook
By Sharon Hernandez and Chef Ida Rodriguez /  $19.95 Hardback/ $9.99 PDF

A muy caliente cookbook review with recipe*

There are not many things chile lovers anticipate more than Hatch Green Chile season. In this book, Sharon Hernandez and Chef Ida Rodriguez guide us to the Land of Enchantment and show us how we can have chiles for breakfast or lunch, as appetizers, for dinner and even as desert and drinks. This cookbook is full of easy, straight-forward delicious recipes anyone can make.

Did you know that the best green chile in the world is grown in the rich Hatch and Rio Grande Valleys in New Mexico?   Hatch Chile’s are harvested in New Mexico and sold around the southwestern United States each August and September. New Mexico Chiles are an indispensable ingredient in the state’s most popular culinary dishes.

Aficionados slather their food with these chiles, share recipes and argue over who makes the best Rellenos. Hatch chiles are not as sizzling hot as some California Chiles—not as hot as Jalapeños—they’re just right…and so is this book.  The Hatch Chile Cookbook is a flavorful collection of user friendly and palate pleasing recipes using Hatch Chiles and Hatch Chile Powder. You can easily download a PDF copy for under ten bucks. It also makes a great hostess gift in the hardback format for under $20.

Opa! Healthy Greek Cookbook
By Theo Stephan and Christina Xenos / $11.88.

90 Recipes for popular Greek dishes

The best way to travel throughout Greece –without using one the scenic ferries – is via the recipes in this book. Each dish is true to its roots of healthy, fresh, and flavorful dishes. Olive oil is the backbone of the many recipes that feature crisp vegetables, luscious fruits, hearty whole grains, fish, and legumes.

Greek food by its nature is a guilt-free way to gratify taste buds. It also is fairly easy to make.  I can sense some doubters out there. I am guessing you’re thinking about the hard-to-find ingredients and complicated recipes associated with delicious Greek dishes. With Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook you don’t have to dine out to get those memorable Mediterranean flavor sets or struggle at home to make the Mediterranean meals you crave. Featuring everyday ingredients, simple recipes, and a tempting introduction to Greece’s naturally nutritious cuisine, this cookbook makes eating rich and being healthy a Mediterranean breeze. The colorful photos lead you to what success looks like.

Impressive recipes in this Greek cookbook include: Tomato Foldover, Greek Gazpacho, Grape Leaves Studded with Currants and Pine Nuts and Zucchini Lemon Olive Oil Cake (recipe included below).

Recipe 1

Enjoy this recipe courtesy of Melissa’s/World Variety Produce.

Hatch Chile Braciole with Bristol Farms Pasta Sauce

By Chef Tom Fraker

Ingredients

1 2 lbs. Flank Steak – trimmed to taste

Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs

1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese — finely grated

1/2 cup Fresh Mozzarella Cheese — finely grated

1 fresh Egg — slightly beaten

3 Melissa’s New Mexico Hatch Chiles — roasted; peeled; seeded

5 fresh Basil Leaves

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Your Favorite Bristol Farm’s Pasta Sauce

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Using a mallet, pound the flank steak to about 1/4-inch thickness. Season with the salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheeses and the egg. Spread the mixture over the bottom 1/3 of the flank steak and top that with the Hatch chile and basil leaves. Roll the steak up tightly and secure it with butcher’s twine. In a large oven proof pan, heat the olive oil.

Place the steak in the hot pan, season with the salt and pepper and sear it on all sides. Next, pour the pasta sauce over the top and cover with foil. Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until desired doneness. Makes about 4-6 servings.

Notes: Pounding the flank steak makes it rollable and tenderizes it.

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Recipe 2

Opa! Healthy Greek Cookbook

Kolokithakia Lemoni Keik Elaioladou

ZUCCHINI LEMON OLIVE OIL CAKE

NUT-FREEVEGETARIAN
SERVES 16
PREP TIME:  40 minutes
COOK TIME:  30 minutes
TOTAL TIME:2 hours

Modern-style cakes call for triple layers and a “naked siding” approach to the frosting. With bushels of zucchini coming out of every angle of Theo’s farm stand garden, she had to develop her own zucchini cake recipe. Many of us desperately look for solutions to our zucchini bonan-zas, but we promise this light summer cake will become a year-round favorite for all occasions. It tastes as pretty as it looks.

For the frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons extra-virgin lemon olive oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

For the cake

2 ½ cups sugar

  • cup extra-virgin lemon olive oil

4 eggs, beaten

⅔ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups cake flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon sea salt

2 ½ cups coarsely shredded zucchini, excess moisture removed by blotting with paper towels

1 tablespoon slivered lemon zest, for garnishing

To make the frosting

1.  In a large bowl, with an electric handheld mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, olive oil, vanilla, and grated lemon zest until light and fluffy.

2.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until well combined. You will have about 2 cups of frosting.

To make the cake

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2.  Prepare 3 (8-inch) round cake pans: Trace the bottom of the pan’s shape on parchment paper. Cut out the circles and place them on the bottoms of the pans.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and olive oil.

4.  Add the eggs, almond milk, and vanilla and whisk to combine.

5.  Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Mix thoroughly to make a smooth batter.

6.  Stir in the zucchini.

7.  Pour 2 cups of batter into each pre-pared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

8.  Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks for 15 minutes.

9.  Invert the pans: Working over wire racks or your prep table, place your thumbs on the bottom of the pan and your fingers over the cake, slipping the cake from the pan.

10.  When completely cooled, place 1 cake layer on a serving dish. Spread it lightly with frosting. Repeat with the 2 remaining cake layers.

11.  Frost the top with a ½-inch-thick layer of frosting.

12.  Frost the sides minimally with the remaining frosting, allowing the cake to show through.

13.  Garnish the top of the cake with ­slivered lemon zest.

Substitution tip: Use orange olive oil, swapping out the grated zest and zest slivers for orange also. You can also use real milk instead of almond milk, but almond milk gives the cake a unique flavor. Last, you may use regular olive oil if you don’t have lemon or orange olive oil, but the character of the cake’s flavor will change.

PER SERVING: Calories: 431; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 5g;

Protein: 5g; Total Carbs: 65g; Fiber: 1g; Sodium: 174mg

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Note: I only review books that I find have value for my readers. This article is not an endorsement, but a professional review. The author of this book provided a free copy for review purposes. No fee was paid by the author for this review.