book_food

Our 92nd Street Y Talks & Tastes series features some of early 2017′s most exciting authors.

Folks like Samin Nosrat, Melissa Clark, Barbara Lynch, Michael Ruhlman, Jane & Michael Stern

If you’re local, we’d love to see you at the Y. To tempt you, we’re offering 20% off any featured book following the talks.

And if you’re not local, we’re offering the same deal:

Order any of the 13 books below prior to those Y events and you’ll save 20% off the cover price AND we’ll get a copy signed to you—or a friend or a family member. Your book will ship the day following the event. Simple as pie.

Here are the books in the offer:

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat and Wendy McNaughton

At Balthazar by Reggie Nadelson

My Mother’s Kitchen by Peter Gethers

Out of Line by Barbara Lynch

Notes on a Banana by David Leite

Dinner: Changing the Game
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman

Scraps, Wilt, and Weeds by Mads Reflund and Tama Matsuoka Wong

Roadfood by Jane & Michael Stern

Mexican Ice Cream by Fany Gerson

The Joys of Jewish Preserving by Emily Paster

The Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop

Madison
Matt says…
It’s cold. The damp is threatening to drive the cold even deeper into your bones. You want some comfort.

You need soup. Soup that warms and nourishes you. Soup that you make yourself, for yourself, as a kind of “take that!” response to lingering winter weather.

After more than a decade cooking from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, I have reached the point where I think almost any soup I make has come from that book. (Yes, I am revealing that I don’t usually follow recipes for soup anymore.) I improvise based on several models that I learned from Madison, a renowned cook most famous for her vegetarian recipes. I’m not a vegetarian, but this soup book has been so practical, so reliable, that it’s the only soup book I have at home.

The recipe that follows features a couple of ingredients I am not terribly fond of having in soups, mushrooms and tofu. But they work wonderfully in this concoction, picking up the aromatic flavors of a remarkably simple broth. Of course you can leave them out and add noodles, strips of ham, slices of edible pod peas, leftover chicken, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

If you’re not an improviser yet, this soup’s a terrific place to begin. You can follow the recipe and, while it cooks for the last 8-10 minutes, prepare a few add-ins to try once you’ve ladled up a bowl for yourself. At the table, you can stir in pea shoots or bacon or whatever strikes your fancy, and see what you think. If your inspiration doesn’t bear repeating, you’ll still have a lovely pot of soup on the stove to return to.

Green Coriander and Ginger Broth from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen


6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 ½ teaspoons roasted peanut oil, plus extra roasted peanut oil or roasted sesame oil to finish
2 slices fresh ginger, about 1 ½ inches wide, smashed
Sea salt
2 teaspoons finely diced jalapeño chile
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup cilantro stems, chopped
2 bunches of scallions, including 2-3 inches of the greens, finely chopped
1 cup finely diced celery or thinly sliced Chinese celery
½ carton (8 to 10 ounces) soft tofu packed in water, drained and cut into small dice, or 1 aseptic box of tofu, diced
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste, for seasoning

1. Cover the mushrooms with 5 cups boiling water and set aside while you dice and chop the vegetables

2.Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat (I use a flat-bottomed wok-shaped pot here), and add the oil. When it is hot, add the ginger and ½ teaspoon salt, give a stir, then add the chile and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes, adding the cilantro stems during the last 20 seconds or so. Reduce the heat to medium, add the scallions, and cook until bright green, about 3 minutes. Next add the celery, another ¼ teaspoon salt, then the soaking water from the mushrooms poured through a fine strainer, squeezing the mushrooms when you remove them from their water to get every little drop.

3. While the soup is simmering, thinly slice the mushroom caps and add them to the soup. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tofu, give it 2 minutes to heat through, then add the chopped cilantro leaves and the soy sauce.

4. Serve the soup with a few drops of roasted peanut oil or sesame oil in each bowl and extra soy sauce for those who wish.

You can find Deborah Madison’s book here.

Prompted by requests from customers, we took a look at the books which were the biggest successes here in 2016. Many of them will be hard to find anywhere else.

1. 32 Yolks by Eric Ripert
2. La Bonne Table by Ludwig Bemelmans
3. The Wizard’s Cookbook by Ronny Emborg
4. Chocolate: The Reference Standard by Georg Bernardini
5. Small Victories by Julia Turshen
6. Tasting Rome by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill
7. Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
8. The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
9. Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain
10. Caldos/Broths by Ricard Camarena
11. Simple by Diana Henry
12. Far Afield by Shane Mitchell
13. Kokkeriet by David Johansen
14. Italian Liqueurs by Renato Vicario
15. Bowl by Lukas Volger

2016 Bestsellers

These are the books and magazines our customers fell in love with over the 2016 holiday season. They aren’t all cookbooks, and we’re really thrilled to see Shane Mitchell’s Far Afield at the top of the list. We’ll admit that we were talking about it eagerly all season because of how much it combines a sense of adventure and a fascination with everyday cooking all over the world.

1. Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the World by Shane Mitchell
2. Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain
3. Konstantin Filippou by Konstantin Filippou
4. Ten Restaurants that Changed America by Paul Freedman
5. Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
6. Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten
7. Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavors by Diana Henry
8. The Wizard’s Cookbook by Ronnie Emborg
9. The Shanghai Soup Dumpling Index by C St. Cavish and A Cortelletti
9. Cured: The Art of Preservation
10. Sous-Vide at Home: The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals by Lisa Q. Fetterman
10. Dinner at the Long Table by Andrew Tarlow and Anna Dunn
10. Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China by Fuchsia Dunlop
11. The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz
12. Dali: Les Diners de Gala by Salvador Dali
13. Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan by Naomi Duguid
14. Cherry Bombe 8
15. Grape Olive Pig: Deep Travels through Spain’s Food Culture by Matt Goulding

2016Bestsellers

Wint17CompWe’re always excited by and proud of the authors who are participating in our Talks & Tastes series at the 92nd Street Y. This season is no exception and we truly hope you can join us to hear and meet some of the most thoughtful and inspiring food and drink writers around.

As always, event tickets are available via the 92nd Street Y box office.

Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine
Join historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman to explore how eight influential ingredients — black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG and Sriracha — made their way onto our dinner tables.
Tuesday, January 24, 7 PM
Order Tickets

Ina Garten in Conversation with Danny Meyer: Cooking for Jeffrey
Sold Out. Waiting list available.
Ina Garten talks with superstar restaurateur Danny Meyer about her approach for food made with love as she shares her and her husband Jeffrey’s favorite recipes and stories from their life together.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 7 PM
Order Tickets

Food52’s Recipes and Strategies for “A New Way to Dinner”
The founders of Food52 talk with bestselling author and happiness guru Gretchen Rubin about how they plan, shop and cook for the week.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 7 PM
Order Tickets

The London Cookbook: Recipes from the Restaurants, Cafes and Hole-in-the-Wall Gems of a Modern City
Wall Street Journal writer and London native Aleksandra Crapanzano talks with New York magazine’s Adam Platt about London’s food history, the restaurant scene and how it became the new global epicenter of cuisine.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 7 PM
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Best Food Writing 2016
Holly Hughes, the editor of Best Food Writing brings a selection of writers of this year’s tastiest prose.
Thursday, February 9, 2017, 7 PM
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A Cultural History of Dining and Drinking in America
Paul Freedman talks with Robert Simonson about the cultural history of dining and drinking in America.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 7 PM
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The Rye Baker
True rye bread — the kind that stands at the center of northern and eastern European food culture — is something very special. Learn about its history and baking methods with award-winning author Stanley Ginsberg.
Thursday, March 2, 2017, 7 PM
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A Taste of Persia
Naomi Duguid shares stories and recipes from her new book, A Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan.
Monday, March 20, 2017, 7 PM
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King Solomon’s Table: An Around-the-World Collection of Recipes from the Global Jewish Diaspora
James Beard Award-winner Joan Nathan shares the historical details, personal histories and fantastic recipes that showcase the diversity of Jewish cuisine.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 7 PM
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Peter Gethers with Melissa Clark: My Mother’s Kitchen
Just in time for Mother’s Day, bestselling author and film producer Peter Gethers joins the New York Times’ Melissa Clark for a conversation about food, family and the meaning of life.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 7 PM
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HappyHolidays

We’re closed December 25th and 26th, as well as January 1.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful New Year.

Prompted by the folks at EatYourBooks.com, Matt spent some time sorting out his ideas about many of this year’s books written for home cooks. These are definitely adventurous in one way or another—nothing we’d call beginner books—but they all offer big payoffs to people who are ready to spend some time with them.

See the text below the list of books for some additional ruminations.

All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips
All Under Heven

Bowl by Lukas Volger
Bowl

Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
Dorie's Cookies

Far Afield by Shane Mitchell
Far Afield

Land of Fish and Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop
Land of Fish and Rice

Simple by Diana Henry
Simple

The Spice Companion by Lior Lev Sercarz
Spice Companion

Taste & Technique by Naomi Pomeroy
Taste & Technique

Taste of Persia by Naomi Duguid
Taste of Persia

Tasting Rome by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill
Tasting Rome

Matt writes:
At the end of each year, lists of “best” cookbooks abound. I really dislike these lists.

It may seem an ironic position for someone who’s done a great deal of work with the James Beard book awards, and who is frequently asked variations on “what’s the best book on Tuscan pickling?” But when I am here in the store working with customers, I almost never answer “best book” questions without learning about who the user will be. A home cook will very often want something completely different from what a restaurant chef needs. And even setting that consideration aside, getting the right book into someone’s hands has a great deal to do with other things as well. For instance, does the cook follow recipes, or just read them for guidance?

In choosing the books above, I favored books that offer readers a conversation with an author who has knowledge and a distinctive point of view. In an era when recipes are free all over the internet, people paying for books deserve an extra level of engagement from an author. These are the books of 2016 that I think do that best for home cooks.

And yeah, the recipes work too!

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WhyLocalFirstGraphicNew_J3

At the threshold of the busy holiday season, we’d like to put out a plea to our followers to keep their local stores and other small businesses in mind.

You’ll see lots and lots of social media posts and articles on sites like Buzzfeed and Eater that link you to sources like Amazon. There are all kinds of reasons for this, including the fact that everyone knows Amazon and that, like Walmart or other big box retailers, they have the wherewithal to undercut other merchants on price. Who doesn’t like a great deal?

But as you’ll see in this graphic borrowed from bealocalist.org, a great deal doesn’t always stay a great deal when you consider its full economic impact.

It’s also true that most people who open small shops actually like dealing with other people. They like answering questions about what they sell, making suggestions for great gifts, and getting to know the folks who walk in the door or call on the phone.

We’d certainly describe ourselves that way. And we hope to earn your business this season.

Shopping for staff gifts can feel like a daunting task in the end-of-year crush of things that must be done. Let us help you choose the right gift for the folks on your line, for the talented server you want to encourage, or for anyone else on your crew.

Our experienced staff is here to assist you, in the store or on the phone. We can match the right book—be it a new release or a venerable classic—to each of your people.

And to make things even better, we want to make sure that after the holidays are over and you have some time to relax, you can treat yourself to those books you wish you had bought yourself.

Spend $200 or more before December 31, 2016.
Get 15% back to use off your next purchase.


Bonus: buy 5 or more gift certificates—
in any amount—
and get the same deal!



Treat your staff.
Treat yourself!


Free giftwrapping!

A few reasonable restrictions apply. Most people will never even need to know they exist. We can explain them to you and we trust you’ll say, “Yeah, that is completely reasonable.”

Do your holidays have an extra magic because you bake a special cookie?
Are you ready to pit your favorite against the best other New Yorkers have to offer?
Enter the Kitchen Arts & Letters Holiday Cookie Contest!

Judging takes place at the store on Sunday, December 4 (National Cookie Day!)

Impartial decisions from our august panel of judges, including:

Chef Johnny Iuzzini
Deb Perelman of Smittenkitchen.com
Katherine Yang of Gigi Blue

RULES

1. Enter by December 1.

Send an email to cookiecontest @ kitchenartsandletters.com (you will need to close up the spaces in that address). Give us your name and phone number and let us know if you’re a professional or amateur, and whether you’re over or under 18 years old. There is no entry fee.

2. Deliver 2 dozen cookies by noon on December 4.

You can also drop them off on December 3 between noon and six. Include a note telling us your name, whatever it is you call your cookie, and where the recipe came from. It’s cool to use a recipe from a recent book or one your grandmother gave you forty years ago. Just credit your source. If you made up the recipe yourself, that’s also cool.

3. Enter only cookies which you mixed and baked yourself!

Yeah, we know that seems obvious but someone out there will try something shifty otherwise. And they have to be cookies! Not candies, fruitcakes (yum!), or cute little pies. We get to decide if something is not a cookie.

4. Anyone can enter!

Except current employees of the bookstore. You don’t have to be on-premises when judging concludes at 1:30, but if you aren’t, you can’t sample all the other entries.

5. WIN!
We’ll divide the entries into three different categories on the day of the contest. Maybe something like Pros, Amateurs, and Young Adults. Or Traditional, Modern, and Best Decoration. It will depend on the entries.

Each category winner will get:
Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan
Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini
$100 Kitchen Arts & Letters Gift Certificate

Questions? Email us at cookiecontest@kitchenartsandletters.com