Librarians get all kinds of interesting questions. One time a librarian got a reference call from a man who said he had 5 pounds of asparagus and wondered if there were any cookbooks that would help him turn his vegetable bounty into something delicious. So, with culinary solutions in mind, let’s look at new cookbooks on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library.
A judge on the popular television cooking contest Chopped, Chef Marcus Samuelsson has a singular background. Born in Ethiopia, adopted into a Swedish family, taught to cook by his Swedish grandmother and trained at the best restaurants in Europe, he has taken time out from his Harlem, New York restaurant to write Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. Combining his interest in international food with an interest in simple entertaining, his recipes here are neither complicated nor oriented to foodies. With its colorful photographs and commentary from a variety of people who love Samuelsson’s food, this cookbook would be fun to just sit and read.
Anyone who has had cooking accidents will enjoy Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen by Dana Cowin. This magazine editor from Food and Wine magazine presents 100 popular recipes and notes what home cooks can do to defeat possible errors. The book is not only hilarious, but also eliminates the fear factor for those afraid of trying new dishes. This is a very accessible cookbook.
So you have picked out your main dish, but what else are you going to make? The Big Book of Sides: More than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces and More by Rick Rodgers will take the misery out of meal planning. The information on cooking methods and times, as well as recipes for standard dishes and some that are more adventuresome, make this book a go-to resource.