Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lalapalooza Winners And New Cookbooks To Win!

Here are the winners of last week’s Cookbook Lalapalooza!

Chaya is the winner of the Poor Girl Gourmet and Karen is the winner of How to Drink. Congratulations! You’ll love the books, I know. I’ll be in touch for mailing info. Happily for me (because I’ll be keeping it), not one entry came in for The Cocktail Primer, but that’s okay because I’m mixing a pitcher of martinis as I speak. Slurp!

And this week’s books are:

The first one is Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly by Joan E. Aller. This book is a riot of great Southern cooking from Southern Appalachia featuring recipes from Tennessee, Mississippi and all over the Smoky Mountains.

Every page has something that would be utterly delicious at your next barbecue, family gathering or just when folks are coming over for supper. Plus Imperial Crab Balls or Mushrooms Stuffed With Rice And Greens would be fancy enough for your most elite gathering.

Apple Fritters, Indian Pudding, lots of pies…I would make them all. And there are plenty of bread and muffin recipes too. Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread), from immigrants to the South from the Russian region of Caucasus, is really special.

Here’s an easily made, delicious addition to any summer barbecue.

Appalachian Cider Beans (serves 8)

from Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly by Joan E. Aller

Posted with permission

3 cups dried pinto beans

3 cups fresh apple cider

8 ounces salt pork, thickly sliced

2 small yellow onions

6 tablespoons sorghum molasses

1 tablespoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons salt

Pick over the beans and discard any stones and wrinkled beans. Rinse well and place in a large bowl. Add cold water to cover by inches, cover and let soak for 12 hours.

Drain the beans and transfer them to a heavy saucepan. Add the cider and bring the beans slowly to a boil over medium heat. Boil gently, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

Layer half of the salt pork slices on the bottom of a 2 quart ceramic bean pot or other deep baking dish. Spoon the beans into the bean pot, and then bury the onions in the beans.

In a small saucepan, combine the sorghum molasses, dry mustard, and salt and place over medium heat to dissolve the mustard and salt. Pour the hot mixture evenly over the beans, and top with the remaining salt pork sliced. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid and add hot water as needed to cover the beans. Cover the bean pot.

Bake for 4 hours, and then uncover the pot and add more water if the beans seem too dry. Re-cover and continue to bake for 1 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Serve hot directly from the pot.

The next two books are from Andrews McMeel’s series of Sur La Table books, which bodes well for them being eminently usable in the kitchen.

The first one is Tips Cooks Love by Rick Rodgers. It is chock full of tips and techniques about anything you could ever want to know “to make you a better cook”.

Any good tips on ginger? Yup. For a stir fry, “grate it on the medium-size holed of a box grater.” Smart. Plus “use the tip of a dessertspoon to scrape away the peel from fresh ginger. This does a good job of getting into the nooks and crannies that a vegetable peeler might miss.”

Info for eggs? Lots, including one of my favorite tips. Vinegar, added to the poaching water, sets the white immediately. (I also do that when I hard boil eggs. If there’s a crack in the egg, the white will set up quickly.)

There are tips for great grilling and deep-frying, plus some fabulous recipes, including Fleur de Sel Caramels and Salmon With A Sesame Panko Crust.

Eating Local by Janet Fletcher, with a forward by Alice Waters is a stunning book that will help make the most of your farmer’s market purchases. Packed with glorious vegetable recipes – Braised Peas and Fennel with Pecorino, Grilled Pattypan Squash with Chorizo and Cotija Cheese (YUM!), this book will encourage lots of imaginative hours spent with your fresh produce. There are also some wonderful fruit dishes and a handful of recipes for Poultry, Meat and Eggs. I love the profiles of different CSA’s too.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Candied Ginger

(makes two 8-inch loaves)

from Eating Local by Janet Fletcher

Posted with permission


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1⁄2 cup minced candied ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 3⁄4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely grated carrots
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini

1 Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Coat two 8-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2 In a large bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the salt and candied ginger.

3 In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla, whisking vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the carrots and zucchini.

4 Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.

5 Bake until the bread is well risen and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert and finish cooling right side up on a cooling rack.

Rules for Cookbook Lalapalooza

To win Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly, Tip Cooks Love or Eating Local, all you have to do is tell me which one you want - one of three ways:

1) Send a comment to this post. (Include your email address, if your name doesn’t link to it.)

2) Send me an email with Cookbook Lalapalooza in the subject line at

3) Tweet me at

Enter as many times as you wish. ONE ENTRY per comment, email or tweet please. Contest open to US residents 18 years old and above.

This week's giveaway ends on Saturday, July 24th at 11:59 pm eastern time, when winners will be chosen randomly.


Sweet and Savory said...

I would love to win Tips Cooks Love. Sounds like a handy book to have. Thanks for the giveaway.

Sarah said...

Eating Local sounds like the perfect book for me. I am going to study abroad this fall in the UK and unfortunately, we are not able to have a meal plan with the school. I have to cook all of my food for 3 months and have no idea what to do. I'm trying to switch my diet before I go and eat more natural foods and this book would give me a great head start.

Sue said...

Good choices!