Best Cookbooks of 2012

bb-cookbook-lores

I am a cookbook junkie. I have an entire bookcase of cookbooks and food related non-fiction titles. And I have been trying to wean myself from this addiction. Unfortunately, in 2012 there were so many exciting new cookbooks introduced that I couldn’t resist. After reading about so many in my “go-to” food magazines, websites and blogs, I narrowed it down to the top six cookbooks of 2012. These were the most recommended, most blogged about, most inspiring cookbooks of 2012 – and I acquired them all. I simply couldn’t resist and I am glad I didn’t because now I am experimenting with all sorts of cuisines I love but had previously rarely made at home.

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My seafood sausage, an homage to Chanterelle

This past weekend was my brother’s and his wife’s birthdays; they share the same birthday. They also happened to have gotten married on their birthday last year. So, for their first anniversary and combined birthdays, I planned a small feast for them. Continue Reading →

Seasonal simplicity: Lunch at JAAN and a conversation with chef Julien Royer

My girlfriend K has been a wonderful companion on my journey through the restaurant scene here in Singapore as well as in New York, where we lived for close to three years. Pescatarian by choice, she also lived in Paris for a year, and, as a result, never fails to remind me that when it comes to food, the French, quite simply, do it better. It isn’t just about the razor-sharp techniques of the chefs there, she explains, but also about their commitment to fresh and quality produce, which makes something as simple as a summer salad – or even a baguette from a nondescript boulangerie – taste brilliant.

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Facil – when in Berlin, eat French

When in Germany, eat French?  Well, that is exactly what I did.  Berlin is not a big city like Paris.  But it has a nice buzz and I always enjoy my visits there.  The history of the city is overwhelming and increasingly, so is the arts, culture and dining scene.   Continue Reading →

One to share: buttery Broyé du Poitou biscuit

My French family is full of ancestral tradition, and when I visit they always seem to pull out an old recipe that to them seems the epitome of simplicity, and to me seems exquisite and mysterious. The Broyé du Poitou – an old, old recipe for a buttery biscuit coming from the Poitou region of western France – is one such little treasure. Continue Reading →

Ile de Ré: a slice of paradise and a recipe for bar en croûte de sel

ile de re

Ask any foreigner what the best place to visit in France is, and you’ll get a long and varied list peppered with sighs and “oh, but it’s impossible to choose”. Ask a French person what the best place to visit in France is, and you’ll only get one answer – the region that they are from. We are proud, chauvinistic creatures… Continue Reading →

A love for quiche: asparagus quiche with mashed potato crust

Asparagus Quiche

The first time I paid attention to the word ‘quiche’ was way back in the early eighties, and I did not even know how to pronounce it then.  It was from the title of a book, countless copies of which were stacked on a table as I entered a Barnes & Noble store in Fox Hills Mall in Culver City, California.  Continue Reading →

My love for Champagnes, plus a few suggestions

My wife S and I, like so many in our generation, are passionate about wine. That doesn’t make us experts. In fact, I’d say we’re pretty far from being considered experts. But we’ve tasted enough to both know what we like as well as to appreciate something really special. Unfortunately, the kind of wine we both enjoy the most, and drink the most of, is Champagne… I say “unfortunately” because Champagne is far from cheap. Sometimes it feels like we’re constantly stocking up and running out of bubbly, while our other white and red wine supplies stay pretty much constant. Continue Reading →

Rachel Khoo’s Puy lentil salad with goat’s cheese, beetroot and dill vinaigrette: a satisfying alternative to meat

Last year, following a friend’s initiative, in the name of sustainability, I decided to cut down on the amount of meat and fish I consume and try my best not to eat meat during weekdays. I also started looking for recipes and cookbooks that are more vegetable-centric. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: The Ultimate Lemon Curd – Pierre Hermé’s Lemon Cream

Meyer lemons

In all honesty, this post was prompted by the fact that I’ve finally found Meyer lemons in Singapore. For years, the Meyer lemon was one of those elusive culinary treasures that I’d read so much about but never tasted. And I never would’ve recognized the lemons as Meyers (given that they were only labeled with their country of origin, Australia) if I hadn’t happened to taste my first one just weeks before at the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival.

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