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Sushi: Easy Recipes for Making Sushi at Home
Authors: Emi Kazuko, Fiona Smith, & Elsa Petersen-Schepelern
Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small
This is an introductory guide to making sushi and its accompanying dishes. It’s nothing flash, and being more or less uninitiated when I received it as a gift, this cookbook was my starting point for cooking Japanese food. It includes handy diagrams of standard ingredients and techniques for not only sushi making, but Japanese cooking as a whole. The recipes accommodate both adventurous tastes and the more hesitant, beginning with simple cucumber rolls then moving on to recipes with ingredients such as mackerel, pickled plums, and lotus root. The book even provides a few versions for kids. Accompanying recipes also include miso soup, pickles, fresh wasabi paste, and Japanese omelette—all essential if you want really good Japanese meals. If you’ve been wanting to try making Japanese food, or even just branch out in your cooking, this cookbook is a good one for it.
Author: Mollie Katzen
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Listed as one of the New York Times’ bestselling cookbooks of all time, Moosewood has been at the apex of vegetarian home cooking since 1974, and is as much a part of counter-culture as Woodstock and the Vietnam War protests. It was my Mum’s first cookbook, given to her at the ripe old age of fifteen by my Grandma, who also has a first edition copy. Each recipe is hand lettered and accompanied by kitschy drawings all done by Katzen. The fare is cheap and easy to make; even the staunchest of omnivores will appreciate the Mushroom Moussaka or the Gypsy Soup. Proving its longevity, the 40th anniversary edition is currently available, or you can hunt down a pre-loved copy. Other quirky titles by Katzen include The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes, and Honest Pretzels.
How to Eat: The Pleasures & Principles of Good Food
Author: Nigella Lawson
Publisher: Random House
Before she became famous for her sultry brand of cooking, Nigella Lawson was a food writer. Her first book, How to Eat, has become a classic for its fusion of cookbook and personal homage to food. In her own words from the introduction: “Cooking is not just about joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next. It’s about developing an understanding of food […] about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat.” This intimate and flexible relationship with food is what Nigella is all about, and her relaxed, conversational tone is like receiving advice from a kind aunt. She never insists, only suggests, and doesn’t make you feel bad for using tinned tomatoes rather than fresh. Some of the recipes here will be too pricey for a student budget, but there are some delicious and simple dishes too, such as pea risotto, lemon linguine, and apple and walnut crumble.
Love Your Leftovers: Recipes for the Resourceful Cook
Author: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Ah, lovely Hugh. This latest installment from River Cottage is based around something that should be dear to every savvy student’s heart—leftovers. Leftovers are your friend, especially when it’s exam time and you’ve already spent all your dosh on Domino’s. But I digress. The recipes here range from the “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that,” to the slightly more advanced but still totally achievable. Potato peel soup! Sauteed cucumbers! (Use up that soggy one that’s been sitting the in the fridge for a little too long). Spaghetti bolognese omelette! (Wow, just wow). As if he couldn’t be any more lovely, Hugh has also included some handy tips, such as: how to make stock (both meat and veggie); the best ways to thicken soup; how to structure an excellent salad; and several different salad dressings, from the simple to the slightly more fancy, so you don’t need to keep buying the icky supermarket stuff. We love you, Hugh.