I have an obsession with cook books.
I have been collecting them for about 20+ years now. My very first cookbook was given to me by my Aunt Alma. She is a great cook and I have a couple of her recipes here on my blog like her Candied Yams and her Cornbread Dressing. It was called The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking and she gave one to me, my sister and my mom. I wanted to cook everything in it. It feed my curiosity to be adventurous in the kitchen.
SOUL: A CHEF’S CULINARY EVOLUTION IN 150 RECIPES by TODD RICHARDS
SOUL by Todd Richards is not only a great cook book but also a fascinating read. He takes you through his journey of enjoying good old fashioned southern food as a child and through adulthood. Flaming the fire to become a chef and find his way from classic cooking as a professional chef to finding his own voice through his history and elevating southern food.
He wants to uplift and give southern food value and earn it’s rightful place on upscale restaurant menus.
I must admit that I have also taken southern cooking for granite. Feeling that my families recipes will always be there to comfort me and delight others.
There is a whole section on Collard Greens! It’s also the first section. A pot of greens takes me back. I continue to cook collards, but always felt I needed to cook them for an hour or so so they get tender. You can cook them as you do Kale or even raw! What! Eating collard greens raw felt like eating raw chicken, We now know that these greens can be cooked and eaten in many ways than just with some fat back and hot sauce. Thunk about pickling the stems (page 21) or putting them on a fried egg sandwich! (page26). Love it.
I love Hot Water Corn Bread. I will soon share my Aunts recipe for that but in Todd’s book he has the usual suspects of cornmeal, baking powder, flour, salt and sugar, and adds nutmeg and a handful of popcorn. My mouth started watering when I read it. There’s the elevation (page 150). Serve with honey and butter or dip it in those collard greens with pot liquor.
I’m so looking forward to cooking many things in this book and seeing how I can elevate my own passed down recipes to relive and reinvent all over again.
EAT WELL, LIVE WELL: WHOLE FOOD RECIPES BY COLOR by PAMELA M. SMITH
This cook book is really beautiful. I must admit that the photography determines whether I will buy it or not. But in the end the recipe needs to work or whats the point. I also get inspired by the photos and may use a little improvisation to fit my like and/or dislikes of ingredients or lack there of. With this book, you will want to make special trips to the market to get every ingredient necessary.
I love how this book is sectioned by color as the title says. Your diet should include the entire spectrum of colorful food for the highest density of nutrition. Too often we rely on supplements for these.
I was really intrigued by the “white” section since we only think about cauliflower, rice, or bread. Mushrooms, daikon radishes, tofu, white flesh fish, poached chicken, and pear are all included.
I’m so making this Chocolate & Beet Spiced Mud Cake (page 96). It’s in the Purple section not the Red section BTW. Cudos to the food stylist!
You can buy these cook books and more here!
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