Category Archives: Books

Black Bean Chili is Still Good

I recently made the Black Bean Chili from The Greens Cookbook – the first time in many many years. And I’m happy to report that it’s still good and that my husband loved it. I pureed the leftovers and served the resulting “soup” around rice and that was good, too.

I’ve written a lot of bean recipes over the years and they appear throughout my books. Now that my husband likes beans, I am turning to those recipes once again with pleasure. They work!  Give them a try and let me know what you like.

I just planted the last of my many kinds of beans and with this unexpected heat, perhaps they will reward me come fall.  I hope so.

On A Way to Garden

I just received the most wonderful book in the mail, one that is handsome and inspiring and filled with beautiful photographs in a stunning garden.  It is called A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach. Margaret has a somewhat obsessive bent for detail in her own garden, which serves as the subject of this book.  It’s a gorgeous book to look at, and even better to read.  An updated book written 21 years after the first version, she has found that so many things have changed in the world, especially the worlds of plants and climate change that A Way to Garden is really an entirely new book.

I’ve been a fan of Margaret Roach since meeting her on her weekly podcast and web-site by the same name five years ago, when my book Vegetable Literacy came out.  She is bright, hard-working, earnest, erudite and quirky, among a host of other good qualities.  The first book of hers that I read was called Backyard Parables; Lessons on Gardening, and Life. It made me laugh and it made me wince as I travelled with her through a year in her garden. Even though she was hardly just starting out, this new book has stronger legs, shows more maturity, and is based in more experience.  But all of Margaret’s books are wise books.

What pains me about A Way to Garden is that Margaret’s garden is very much an Eastern one. You can just tell that there is plenty of water and acid soil that support many plants that just won’t and don’t care for our highly alkaline New Mexican soil. In a way, it has nothing to do with us—our climate, our aridity, our winds, or the plants that like it here.  Still what I love about this book – really about Margaret— is that she makes room for other forms of life along with the plants in her garden. The book is filled with pictures of the frogs who live there. She can talk about a plant in terms of its ability to attract pollinators. She notices birds and their songs, moths and their patterns, spiders, insects, snakes, and more pesky critters such as squirrels, deer, and a bear. Her garden is far more than plants and this book is, as she says, a blend of horticultural how to and ‘woo-woo” – “the fusion of a science lab with a Buddhist retreat, or a place of non-stop learning and of contemplation, where there is life buzzing to the maximum and also the deepest stillness.” She is such a superb writer I had to use her words.

I encourage you to read this book. It might ignite a sleeping passion that will come to fruition regardless of where you live.

 

Cookbook writing class in September – there’s still room.

 

Some books by Deborah Madison.


This September, as well as last, I’ll be teaching a class at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop called Secret Ingredients for Cookbook Success.  It goes from Sept. l7-20 (not the 21st as given in a previous post) and is not only productive, but a lot of fun.  The class is small and there are still a few places left. It is especially for those who are just writing a first cookbook, and if the class is anything like last year’s, there will be all kinds of cookbooks.

The place is gorgeous (an old Carmelite nunnery) and the food is delicious.  And it is in  Santa Fe.  Come join!

You can learn more at https://santafeworkshops.com/workshop/secret-ingredients-for-cookbook-success.

 

I’m teaching a workshop on how to write a successful cookbook in Santa Fe, Sept. l7-21!

 

Lots of people want to write cookbooks for different reasons, and this is the workshop to address what makes for a successful cookbook.

You can bring a manuscript, an idea, a thought and we’ll work together on crafting it into a book. We will also meet with authors who have approached writing a cookbook in different ways—through mainstream publishers, a university press, and self-publishing. These are very different approaches and it will be helpful to hear from these different authors. We will also talk about working with photographers and stylists.

I hope you’ll join me!  Here is more information:  https://santafeworkshops.com/workshop/secret-ingredients-for-cookbook-success/.

This is a beautiful time of year in Santa Fe.

 

 

My New Book: In My Kitchen

 

A friend pointed out recently that myweb-site had disappeared!  And she was right, but it’s back now, which is good, because I want to tell you about my new book that’s coming out in March.

It’s called In My Kitchen. And that’s just what it is – me in my kitchen cooking favorite recipes, brought right up to date with today’s new ingredients, as well as recipes that are quite new.  It is lavishly illustrated with gorgeous photographs by Erin Scott and all in all I think it’s a handsome, intimate book. (I just got a copy in the mail from my publisher, 10-Speed Press.) It is richer in narrative than most of my books, replete with stories and a close look at how new ingredients have made good food more accessible.

I really enjoyed writing this book and working with everyone who was involved with it. I hope you’ll like it, too!

The Golden Glow of Meyer Lemons

Meyer Lemons in a Bob Brady bowl.

Meyer Lemons in a Bob Brady bowl.

A heavy box arrived just before Christmas, delivered by my trusty UPS man who always has a warm hello for my pesky little dog as he searches the big brown truck for cookies. It was from chef Charlene Badman of FnB, (as in Food and Beverage). Charlene is one of my favorite chefs. Anywhere. In addition to serving up some very good dishes, FnB also has a bodega where some of those good and unusual ingredients used in the restaurant can be bought, and a wine shop to boot. It makes such good sense. FnB happens to be in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Scottsdale is also a place where Meyer lemon trees grow along with other citrus fruits.

I suspected that this large, well-taped box might be filled with Gillfeather rutabagas, a vegetable Charlene and I share something of a passion for. But once I cut though all the tape that held the cardboard together, it was lemons that came tumbling out, lemons of a deep yellow hue, lemons that were exceptionally large and that spewed fragrant oil into the air when nicked with a fingernail or sliced in half. These were the lemons I grew up with in California. Charlene couldn’t have known – or maybe she did – how very happy her citrusy gift made me, especially in winter when I tend to be more homesick than usual for California produce.

Don’t get me wrong – we are grateful to have snow on the ground and we’re happy to have it be cold outside because fruit trees need their chill hours to bear fruit next summer. Nine degree mornings aren’t the easiest for dog walks, but the sunny cheer of these winter fruits seemed to warm up the air with their glow.

First I put them in a bowl –one of my favorites— (see the picture) and it’s made by Robert Brady in Berkeley (www.traxgallery.com) to admire. Nestled there, they lit up the darkness of winter. Even in sunny New Mexico we do have grey, overcast days. I also left some in the refrigerator so that they wouldn’t get slack and soft, and now that the official holidays are nearly over, my lemony lights will join them in the chill. I do treasure them so I know there’s a danger of keeping them far too long instead of using them, but I intend to overcome that, starting now. I know there are many things I can do with Meyer lemons, besides look at them.

There are lemon sorbets and ice creams to make, lemon curd and lemon tarts, which David Lebowitz (www.davidlebowitz.com) has recently written about, or, turning to one of my favorite dessert books, Lindsey Shere’s Chez Panisse Desserts, I’m reminded of how to make a Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie and her Meyer lemon Ice Cream. And of course these fragrant fruits can be used wherever lemons are called for. For the moment, though, I will use at least some my lemons in sauces and vinaigrettes as the holidays have brought a surfeit of sweets and the beginning of the New Year does inspire a break.

So here’s a simple Meyer lemon sauce from Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers Markets, that I’m inclined to spoon over avocado and pomelo salads, toss with shaved fennel, or spoon over poached or roasted fish or use to dress a frikeh and beet salad—on the menu for tomorrow, I think. In short,  you can use this sauce wherever you want a complex tasting but simply made dressing. Now is one time I splurge on buying fresh tarragon, as mine has crisped up and fallen away with winter and its freezing temperatures.

 

Meyer Lemon Sauce with Tarragon

Makes 1/3 to 1/2-cup.

1 large Meyer lemon

1 shallot, finely diced

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more, to taste

2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped

 

Remove the zest, juice the lemon and put both in a small bowl with the shallot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand for several minutes, then whisk in the oil and add the tarragon. Season with a little freshly ground pepper. Taste and add more oil if needed. Meyer lemons are generally sweeter and less acidic than Eurekas so 2 tablespoons might be enough.

Generosity and Gratitude

A recipe from Marie Simmons book, Taste of Honey.

A recipe from Marie Simmons book, Taste of Honey.

 

Having neither parents nor children, and siblings who live 1000 miles away, I am sometimes ambivalent about Thanksgiving; it’s simply not a family event. But I do have a family of friends to celebrate with, and there is much to be thankful for.  It seems important to share a meal with others, to bring something if not many things to the table, and so we do. And it’s a pleasure.

This year I am especially struck by generosity of others, especially farmer and producers.

I just unpacked a large box that arrived from California. It was filled with Satsuma Mandarins, the very first of the season. This friend has sent us mandarins for many years. An email shows up in late November that says expect them in the next few days, and that’s it. They arrive. We eat four or five at a time so they don’t get a chance to spoil, we share them others, and we don’t get colds. They pleasure they give us is enormous.

A late freeze decimated my apple crop once again, but yesterday I made applesauce from a gift of apples that came from friends. I have made eight batches of applesauce that are now lying in snug little packets in my freezer, plus I’ve made a few tarts and galettes. A compote of dried plums rests in the refrigerator, a gift from the same couple. In my cupboard stands an elegant bottle of best balsamic vinegar I’ve ever tasted, which they also make and which I use, by the quarter teaspoon, as suggested.

Neighbors are dropping by and I’m serving them paparadelle with a ragout of grass fed beef and wild mushrooms. The beef is a gift from a rancher friend, the mushrooms from neighbors who brought them back from Italy. And, as it turns out, the tomatoes in the dish, red, dried and broken into pieces, are a gift from a friend who farms in upstate New York.  He also supplied the honey that will be used in a dessert of roasted Bosc pears, a recipe of Marie Simmons from her book, A Taste of Honey, that is a great gift indeed as it has become my favored winter dessert.

At breakfast we might have toast with exquisite blackberry jam, a gift from a farmer in California, or perhaps it will be a Yuzu marmelade, an equally exquisite delight from my sister-in-law. My brother’s olive oil graces out salads. And the list goes on, back through the year— cases of endive, packages of Sonoran wheat and Purple Tibetan Barley, a dozen Gillfeather turnips, a bottle of wine. But this isn’t  just about foods being given. I also feel that the foods I buy weekly at the farmers market are also gifts.

The thought of these many presents of food is humbling. The generosity of others is so big, I find myself wishing I had something that I grew enough of to gift others. (This may well become a goal to accomplish in 2015.) In the meantime, I am grateful for my friends and family for their generosity, for the hard-working producers of food and books, for good recipes, for wisdom, for foods born of hard work and sustained passion.

It’s all a gift and I will raise a special glass to all of you, strangers and friends alike, in gratitude on Thursday, this Thanksgiving.

Book Signing at The Real Butcher Shop on Sunday, May 25

I know, a vegetarian author in a butcher shop. Sounds weird. But it doesn’t stop there. I’ll be there with Joseph Shuldiner, the author of “Pure Vegan”, a gorgeous book that came out from Chronicle last year. We both thought, why not mix things up a bit? After all, what we are about in our work is offering Gafas Ray Ban outlet vegetarian and vegan food that’s free of any diet fundamentalism. And we are both about integrity in the foods we cook with, and the same is true of Tom Delehanty, who is the man behind Pollo Real and the owner of the newly opened Real Butcher Shop in Santa Fe.So really, it just made sense.

We all all be there so come join us!

Collected Works will have copies of “The NEW Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” and “Pure Vegan” and there will be tastes from our books to sample.

Sunday, 5-8, May 25, at the Real Butcher Shop in Casa Solana, between the co-op and A Better Day coffee shop.

What’s New about The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Cover of the New VCFE.

The NEW Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is coming out on March 11, and since people are asking how it’s different from the older book, I thought I’d tell you.

For the most part it is the same book you already know. The point wasn’t to write an entirely new book, but to bring its contents up to date. There are 150 new recipes, but there is also a greater emphasis on tempeh (and other fermented soy foods) than tofu, which we now see as being more Ray Ban outlet beneficial than we once thought. There is a designation of those recipes that are vegan and more vegan options as well. Recipes that were especially rich or challenging for other reasons were either eliminated or adapted to reflect today’s tastes. A section on vegetable sautés replaces some of the more complicated stir-fries, and among the breads is now a no-knead recipe with some great variations.

That foods have changed along with our tastes is reflected in this new volume. Ingredients like smoked paprika and smoked salt, shichimi togorashi, rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) and curry leaves are more familiar and available than they once were. We now have coconut oil and a coconut beverage along with almond, rice, hemp and other dairy substitutes.  Shishito, fushimi and padron peppers are as familiar to some as jalapeno and serrano peppers once were. Kale was not eaten as salad when VCFE first appeared. Now it is. We may have cooked wheat http://www.raybanoutletit.com/ berries before, but we didn’t cook “farro” until recently, and so it goes. Forbidden rice, frikeh, cracked, pearled and whole farro, unhomogenized dairy have all arrived and today we know about “tartines” as well as sandwiches. Another thing that has changed are the countless authors who are truly expert in a single area, be it bread, curries, Asian vegetables, which means that this volume doesn’t really have to contain everything—for there are many other books to choose from when our expertise in a particular culinary culture grows.

So while there are many changes (plus a new design within and without), it’s also true that many things have remained the same.  You’ll find your old friends here and hopefully discover some new ones. (I’ll get that cover up as soon as I figure out how to.) Continue reading