Monday, November 16, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Cookbooks for the Global Gourmand

These unique international cookbooks are sure to please foodies, travelers, and adventurous home chefs alike! Pin to save for your shopping list, and read more details below:

These ten cookbooks span the globe and would be a welcome addition to any kitchen shelf!

Paperback, $19.95

1. The Ghana Cookbook
     Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

“ . . . destined to become an African culinary classic.”
—Jessica B. Harris, author of The Africa Cookbook

Ghana’s cuisine is vibrant, healthful and eminently appealing, with plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options too. Ghana is becoming a popular travel destination and its cuisine has caught the attention of celebrity chefs and food writers from Anthony Bourdain to Tim Carman. These 140 recipes cover the best of Ghana’s culinary offerings—from Jollof Rice to Palm Nut Soup loaded with seafood, meat and vegetables—and feature “African superfoods” such as dried hibiscus flowers, tamarind, red palm oil and egusi melon seeds.

Hardcover, $22.50
2. Latin Twist: 
Traditional & Modern Cocktails
Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Vianney Rodriguez

New from the co-author of Muy Bueno!

For the mixologist or party planner on your list, this is the only cocktail book that celebrates the signature drinks of all 18 Latin American countries and Spain. There is a drink in this book for every occasion--and season! Try holiday favorites like creamy Coquito, Mexican Christmas Punch, or warming Canelazo from Ecuador. Bookmark the luscious Passion Fruit Caipirinha from Brazil, Chile's fruity Borgoña, or a Mezcal Paloma for warm weather. Clear instructions and gorgeous color photos make it easy to mix up a glass or pitcher of crowd-pleasing cocktails.

Paperback, $22.50
3. The Kerala Kitchen
Lathika George

If you’re looking for a different kind of Indian cookbook, this distinctive cookbook-memoir gives you a taste of one of India’s most celebrated cuisines. Once Kerala lured seafarers and spice traders. Today ayurvedic massage resorts and backwater cruises make Kerala a top tourist destination, but spices still draw both travelers and gourmands to its rich culinary heritage. Kerala native Lathika George captures the flavors of the Syrian Christian community in Kerala through 150 delectable recipes and the unforgettable stories that accompany them.

Paperback, $18.95

4. Estonian Tastes and Traditions
Karin Annus Karner

The simple, satisfying cuisine of Estonia, the northernmost of the Baltic nations, is waiting to be discovered. At its heart are staples such as potatoes, pork, preserved fish, and dark bread. Sauces are made from milk, sour cream, or cottage cheese and the main flavorings are salt and pepper, onions, and fresh herbs. Estonians still observe the old culinary traditions. Christmas Eve (Jõululaupäev) is still celebrated with roast pork (seapraad), blood sausage (verivorstid), sweetbreads (magussaiad), and gingersnap cookies (piparkoogid). With numerous recipes for hearty breads, pancakes, sauces and satisfying stews and entrees, this cookbook brings the best of the Baltic to your table!

Hardcover, $35 | Paperback, $22.50

5. Muy Bueno: 
Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor
Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez, Evangelina Soza

Celebrate family and heritage with this bestselling Hippocrene cookbook!

"Siéntate a comer, esta muy bueno! Sit down and eat, it’s very good!"
     This was how Jesusita Mendias-Soza always welcomed guests to her table. The same words served as inspiration for her daughter Evangelina and granddaughters Yvette and Veronica, who wanted to honor her memory and preserve their family's recipes and stories for their children.
Fans of the Muy Bueno Cookbook blog will enjoy this collection of flavorful Mexican recipes, heartwarming family stories, and beautiful photography. Spanning three generations, Muy Bueno offers over 100 recipes: traditional old-world northern Mexican recipes from Jesusita's kitchen; comforting south of the border home-style dishes from Evangelina; and innovative Latin fusion recipes from Yvette and Veronica. Also includes a chile glossary with photos and guide to the Mexican pantry.


Hardcover, $35

6. Healthy South Indian Cooking
Alamelu Vairavan and Particia Marquardt

A must-have for fans of Alamelu's cooking show!

Want to cook Indian food at home, but feel overwhelmed by the spices and ingredients? Fans of Alamelu Vairavan’s PBS cooking show “Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu” have already discovered that Indian recipes are healthier and easier to prepare than they ever dreamed. And in her signature cookbook, Alamelu breaks it down for beginners—demystifying ingredients and offering simple recipes for delicious, flavorful and nutritious Indian foods, including plenty of vegetables, dals (legumes), and rice dishes from her native South India. This is the perfect book to begin your Indian cooking journey!

Hardcover, $24.95
7. Sicilian Feasts: Expanded Edition
Giovann Bella La Marca

Giovanna La Marca is everyone’s favorite Sicilian grandmother, passing down classic recipes from her family to yours!

Sicilian Feasts was born out of her love for her native Sicily. La Marca uses simple methods and readily available ingredients to teach the straightforward and delectable everyday cooking of Sicily. The history, customs, and folklore, as well as the flavorful and varied cuisine of her beautiful Mediterranean island are well represented in these recipes and stories.

Hardcover, $35
8. Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors
Rinku Bhattacharya

For the gardener or farmer’s market enthusiast on your list!

Author Rinku Bhattacharya combines her two great loves-- Indian cooking and sustainable living--to give readers a simple, accessible way to cook seasonally, locally, and flavorfully. Inspired by the bounty of local produce, mostly from her own backyard, Rinku set out to create recipes for busy, time-strapped home cooks who want to blend Indian flavors into nutritious family meals. Arranged in chapters from appetizers through desserts, the cookbook includes everything from small bites, soups, seafood, meat and poultry, and vegetables, to condiments, breads, and sweets. You'll find recipes for tempting fare like Mango and Goat Cheese Mini Crisps, Roasted Red Pepper Chutney, Crisped Okra with Dry Spice Rub, Smoky Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Puree, and Red Harvest Masala Cornish Hens, to name a few.

Hardcover, $29.95
9. The New Ukrainian Cookbook
Annette Ogrodnik Corona

Hearty, satisfying classics with a few modern twists!

This Gourmand Award-winning cookbook introduces readers to the fresh foods, exquisite tastes, hospitality and generous spirit of the Ukrainian table. From classics like regional varieties of Ukrainian Borshch (red beet soup), Chicken Kyiv, and Holubtsi (stuffed cabbage rolls), to lesser-known specialties like Crispy-Fried Quail with Orange Rind and Honey, and Crimean Fish Cakes, there is something for every palate. The author explores the cuisine of her ancestors, delving into its origins and history and continuing the story into present-day Ukraine. Scattered amongst the recipes are quotes, poems, historical facts, folklore, and illustrations, creating a unique culinary exploration.

Paperback, $19.95
10. Sweet Hands: 
Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago
Ramin Ganeshram

Callalloo and Buss Up Shut, Mother-in-Law and Kuchela, Chip Chip and Doubles. The verbiage of Trinidad's cuisine is both lyrical and mysterious. The variety of foods from this Caribbean nation and their fanciful names tell the story of a rich and eclectic cultural heritage. A British colony from 1779 until 1962, during those years Trinidad & Tobago's population grew to include East Indian and Chinese indentured servants who worked in the sugar plantations alongside former slaves. Trinidadian food is marked by the blending of these cultures. As such, curry, Indian breads, callalloo (a soup of West African origin), and fried rice are all among the national dishes. Recipes for these dishes can be found, along with many others, such as Shrimp Creole, Beef Stew with Dumplings, and Ginger Beer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Latin Twist Book Tour + News

Vianney and Yvette having fun before their first signing. Photo: @sweetlifebake/instagram

Thanks to everyone in San Antonio and Houston for showing your support and of course love of cocktails! 

Photo courtesy of Herdez Traditions/Instagram 

Here's a behind the scenes look at a private party sponsored by Imperial Sugar at Paloma Blanca. With fresh and delicious cocktails in hand the ladies mingled with readers, foodies, reviewers, and friends.    

at Melissa Guerra Latin Kitchen Market
Photo courtesy of @ediblesa/Instagram 

On Saturday morning Yvette and Vianney went over to the historic Pearl Brewery Center. Farmers and vendors were there in the early hours setting up for the Pearl Farmers Market and our authors set up for their book signing. Fellow Latin Kitchen contributor Melissa Guerra hosted Vianney and Yvette at her store, Latin Kitchen Market, where they enjoyed meeting their fans and signing books.

Then, our dedicated authors hopped in the car and headed to Houston for their next stops: Thinking Girls Boutique and Sweets by Belen. Thank you to host Alicia at Thinking Girls Boutique, Sweets by Belen, Juan from Juan of Words, and everyone who came by.

Subscribe to Vianny's blog, Sweet Life, for lively recipes and follow her Instagram for more behind the scenes insights. Keep up with Yvette by subscribing to her blog, Muy Bueno, and learn about traditional Mexican cuisine. Also, check out her YouTube channel for great how-to videos.    

Latin Twist  is the first book to celebrate signature cocktails of 18 Latin American countries and Spain in one volume.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrate Easter Sicilian-Style on Pasquetta

Author Giovanna with her finished scaccia.

This year, take a Sicilian approach to your spring or Easter celebrations with a recipe by Sicilian Feasts author, Giovanna Bellia La Marca. Her Sausage and Ricotta Roll is certain to satisfy appetites after a day filled with Easter egg hunting!

Pasquetta ("little Easter") is celebrated on the Monday after Easter which extends the Easter holiday in Italy. This Sausage and Ricotta Roll is a filled bread recipe made for Pasquetta,  a special day when families and friends gather in their summer houses or plan a picnic to share delicious food that everybody prepares and brings for the occasion. Slices of this scaccia are filling finger food, and equally delicious hot or cold.

This is admittedly a rich dish and is traditionally made with lard in the dough and filling, as a sort of reward after weeks of fasting during the Lenten period. Although Crisco is used here you can choose the more traditional method if you celebrated Lent, or if you just want to enjoy a very hearty meal! 

Sausage and Ricotta Roll
Scaccia cu' ricotta e sausizza 

Prepare the dough:

4 cups flour
1 tbsp SAF Instant Yeast
4 tsps KA Bread Improver
2 ozs Butter Flavored Crisco
1 cup warm water

Assemble the roll:

Risen dough (above)
1 1/2 lbs fresh Italian Deli ricotta
1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage
2 ozs lard at room temperature,
1 egg, beaten for glazing

Giovanna rolls out the dough.

Place a tsp of King Arthur bread improver in each measuring cup, fill with flour, even out the top and place in the food processor. Add the yeast, salt, and shortening, and process until the shortening breaks down and mixes into the flour. Add the water and process until the dough forms. Remove to a counter, shape into a ball, coat with a few drops of olive oil, cover with an inverted bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Roll out the dough into a long rectangle. Spread the lard on the surface, dot with ricotta and sausage in a checker board pattern along the center length of the rectangle.
Filled and ready to start folding!

Fold the two short ends over the filling, then fold one of the long sides towards the center, brush with beaten egg, and fold the second side over the first.

Cover the filling with one side, brush with egg, fold the other side over the first. Shape into a horse shoe, place in a baking pan seam side down. Then brush with beaten egg, prick the surface with a fork along the two sides, and bake in a preheated 375º oven for 50 minutes, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cover with a towel and let cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Buona Pasqua!

For more recipes like this one, purchase Sicilian Feasts on our website, or your local bookstore. For updates on upcoming cookbook releases, as well as recipes and information on our current catalog connect with Hippocrene Books on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest

Giovanna Bellia La Marca was born in Ragusa, Sicily. She came to the United States at the age of 10, and has since then kept alive her love of the island with frequent trips there. Retired after a career as an art and Italian teacher, she now teaches cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and leads culinary tours of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. La Marca is author of Language and Travel Guide to Sicily and The Cooking of Emilia-Romagna, both published by Hippocrene Books. She resides in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.  

For a Sicilian dessert for your Easter or spring celebrations, find Giovanna's recipe for a sweet and colorful Cassata Siciliana. 

Learn Sicilian!
Here are a few terms in the Sicilian dialect. 

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!
formaggio cheese
pane bread
pasta ri pani bread dough
Pasquetta little Easter
primavera spring
sausizza sausage

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Giveaway with a Latin Twist!

Spring is finally in the air, and warm weather means cool drinks. We are very excited that Latin Twist, our first ever cocktail book, is available for pre-order! Latin Twist: Traditional & Modern Cocktails was written by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack (who co-authored our delicious Mexican cookbook Muy Bueno) and Vianney Rodriguez of the Sweet Life blog. It explores the national drinks of 18 Latin American countries and Spain, from beloved classics like the Mojito and Sangria to exotic specialties like Passion Fruit Caipirinha and Rosa de Jamaica Cooler.

As a thank you for preordering Latin Twist, you'll be entered to win a prize pack filled with goodies perfect for your next event! We'll also send you a special "sneak peek" including four recipes to keep your thirst quenched and your taste buds refreshed until your beautiful hard copy of Latin Twist arrives! The prize pack includes:
  • Le Creuset 8-Quart Stock Pot in your choice of color
  • Princess House Beverage Dispenser with Stand
    • Plus Matching Set of 8 Footed Glasses
Fill the infuser center with ice or colorful fresh fruit.

A Le Creuset stock pot can be used for hot punches and homemade infusions.

Preorder Latin Twist on before midnight March 22nd. If the price drops between now and publication, you'll receive the lowest price. Save your order number to enter the giveaway.

Already ordered? Enter the giveaway!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Brazilian Game Day Bites

We are still reeling from last night's down-to-the-wire play and subsequent tie score (USAvPOR, 2-2)! Inspired by the FIFA World Cup, our intern, Tayler, has provided us with three delicious hand-held bites that offer a sampling of Brazilian cuisine. Here’s Tayler on how to make them:

The World Cup is an immensely diverse sporting competition that encourages viewers to learn about cultures that are generally unfamiliar or different from their own. The best way to do that is, of course, through food! Brazil is this year’s host country of the World Cup and the buzz is on them as many people are getting the opportunity to learn traditions and customs about this unique country, and you can too. Foodies and sports fanatics alike, get cultured this Thursday while watching USA vs. Germany and bite down on some seriously savory and sweet Brazilian treats that are perfect for game day!

Cheese Pastel  

1 pack Goya frozen dough discs
1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
Canola oil

1. Defrost dough. Once defrosted, coat dough lightly in flour.
2. Place mozzarella in one half of the inside of the dough. Fold dough over like a half moon and close tightly with fingers. Then, press down the edges to seal the dough.
3. Fill a deep pan with canola oil halfway and heat until it bubbles lightly.
4. Fry pastels on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Note: Brazilian pastels can contain a variety of other fillings, including minced meat, chicken, or shrimp.

Coxinhas (co - shin - yas)

1 cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into strips or cubes
4-5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. paprika
6 black olives, diced

1. Boil potatoes in pot of salted water on high heat (about 30 minutes or until soft). Drain water and mash potatoes in a ricer.
2. Fry the diced onions in a pan with oil until light brown. Add salt, pepper, paprika and olives. Pour onion mix on the mashed potatoes and combine the two.
3. Get a spoonful of the mashed potato and place a bit of chicken inside the spoonful. Close up into a crescent-like shape (as large as desired).
4. Dip in flour, egg and breadcrumb, and then fry until golden brown.
5. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note: Coxinha translates to "little chicken thigh," which is why they are commonly molded into a shape that resembles the leg of a chicken.

Brigadeiros (bri - ga - der - oos)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Chocolate sprinkles
1 pack of mini cupcake cups (optional)

1. Melt contents of condensed milk, butter and cocoa on low to medium flame. Stir constantly until mixture thickens; approximately 25 minutes.
2. Let cool and place in fridge overnight.
3. Roll a spoonful of the cold, hardened mixture into a ball, then roll the balls on to a plate full of sprinkles.
4. Once fully coated, place the balls into mini cupcake cups for decoration and serve.

Note: Brigadeiros are a popular dessert at birthday parties. They are commonly served cold or room temperature when eaten by hand, however you can serve them warm and eat them with a spoon if desired.

If you'd like to discover more about Brazilian culture, check out our post on our Language & Travel blog on how to learn Brazilian Portuguese!