Posts Tagged ‘How To Cook Everything Vegetarian’

Unintentional Blasphemy

Wee Loaves

A little over a week ago, Larbo over at This Little Piggy posted about his discovery of Fergus Henderson’s trotter gear (a gelatinous porky broth made with (what else?) braised trotters.

Until I read Larbo’s post, I’d never heard of this magical liquid before, but had often contemplated the versatility of a pork-based stock.

There are plenty of recipes out there for beef, chicken, veal and vegetable variations, so why not a similar frenzy for pork, I wondered.

After ruminating on Larbo’s post for a little bit, I started to consider the possible uses for trotter gear.

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Comfort Food Times Two

Soup And A Bun

As I mentioned to DMSinTexas the other day, I spent the better part of an afternoon this weekend flipping through How To Cook Everything Vegetarian in an effort to get inspired.

After a bit of random perusal I gravitated towards the soup chapter, which coincidentally is one of my most favourite kinds of vegetarian meals. As much as I generally love poring over a good cookbook and becoming immersed in it, I’ve come to realize that the only time I cook from a recipe is when baking is involved, and even then I’ve taken to winging it more often than not. Of course, since I have such difficulty following a recipe, I didn’t make anything from the book that day, but it did set a few ideas whirring around my brain.

So, it should come as no surprise to my readers that the first recipe I did make was not technically a vegetarian recipe at all (if only because it contained no vegetables) but rather a bread recipe.  With the aid of a little advanced planning, I managed to turn out a fairly decent version of Bittman’s overnight French baguettes.

But, before any of you start getting indignant and accusing me of copping out and picking something that is only inherently vegetarian, allow me to explain;

I picked the baguettes because a) they’re a pretty decent litmus test for the general usability of a cookbook’s recipes and b) I needed something to mop up the vegetarian soup I decided to invent.

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Making A Case For Vegetables

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

I’ve long been a fan of Mark Bittman’s gregariously engaging style and presentation.

Anyone who has watched more than a few minutes of his vast library of podcasts knows that the man is a serious ham (oh the irony!).

At times I’ve found myself transfixed, watching entire episodes on preparations of foods that I don’t even like, just because he’s so darned entertaining and fun.

I’ve owned How To Cook Everything for years, and though I don’t often cook whole recipes from it (in general because I don’t like the limitations that a recipe puts on my creative intentions) it sits right there on the easy-to-reach shelf alongside The Joy (Of Cooking) and various other handy encyclopedic references, like my 27 volume Time Life Cooking set from the 70′s.  I own a few other Bittman tomes too, like Food Matters, Quick And Easy Recipes From The NY Times, and I’m sure there’s another one or two in there somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I could tell you which ones, which I suppose points out how often I use them.

And after what seemed like a ridiculously long time, I finally managed to get a copy of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian recently.  Ever since I read Food Matters, I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy, but every time I went to one of my local book shops, it’s always the one book in his massive repertoire that’s consistently absent.  For a bit I began to wonder whether that was because it was so incredibly popular that nobody could keep it in stock, or because it was so unpopular nobody wanted it.

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