Friday, March 11, 2011

Cookbook giveaway: Cooking From Above: Classics

Do you like pretty pictures? Are you a visual learner? The "Cooking From Above" series may be the cookbooks for you.

The books, published in England by Hamlyn in 2009, were originally $24.99 retail. "Cooking From Above: Classics," the book I'm offering this week, is written by Keda Black, described as "a French home cook and food writer. She was born in Zambia and is of a thoroughly mixed Scottish, Bourguignon, Spanish and Italian descent. Her cooking tends to go beyond the boundaries of traditional French cuisine but is never complicated or labored."

The biggest drawbacks to them is that they are paperbacks, they don't fold flat, and the pages aren't spill-proof. One reviewed also noted that some recipes have ingredients left out, and I noticed that some techniques are not fully explained, especially in the more involved recipes. It would not be a good book for a beginning cook.

If you lean more toward Italian food, I will be offering "Cooking From Above: Italian" at a later date. But this book does have a considerable number of Italian recipes.

Because you are a loyal reader of this blog, I'm offering this book to you, not for sale, but just for shipping and handling, $11.95.

If you want this week's book, "Cooking From Above: Classics," be the first to click the PayPal button (Buy Now) below, follow the directions to deposit a payment to my account, AND leave a comment at the end of this blog item with some way to contact you for your address or in case you were not the first one (I have only one copy of each book). I will send the book by Priority Mail on Monday. Offer good in the United States only at this time. You don't need a PayPal account, but you will need a credit card to pay with the button.

If this isn't the book for you, keep checking back on Fridays. I offer a different cookbook each week. I'll edit the post to indicate when a book is no longer available.

If you live in Charlottesville, you can save the money by coming to pick up the book. Be the first to leave a comment, with a way to contact you.

To give you an idea of the recipes in "Cooking From Above: Classics," here's a sample recipe.

Béarnaise Sauce
Serves 2 * Preparation: 5 minutes * Cooking: 10 minutes

2 small shallots
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar or white wine
4 peppercorns
3 tarragon stalks
2 egg yolks
5 ounces soft butter, cut into cubes

In advance
Peel and finely chop the shallots

Put the shallots in a small pan with the vinegar or wine, peppercorns and tarragon.
Bring to a boil, let it reduce, then remove the peppercorns and herbs.
Put the yolks in a small bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
Add the reduced vinegar and whisk to combine.
Whisk in the butter, one cube at a time. Turn off the heat once half the butter has been added.
Continue to add the butter off the heat. The sauce should become rich and thick. Season with salt.

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