A new wave of food inspiration and eating locally has helped transform cookbooks from rote listings of recipes into sumptuous art books. Sure, they are full of recipes and cooking or baking tips, as expected. But this next generation of cookbooks also place a premium on top-notch photography, profiles of local producers, chefs and bakers, nutritional information, sustainability guidelines, geographical depictions and cultural history.
Washington Food Artisans: Farm Stories and Chef Recipes
Leora Y. Bloom (Sasquatch Books)
This cookbook is divided into sections that focus on foods of our region, including Row Crops, Fruit, and Foraged Foods, with each section featuring lively narratives and photographic profiles of select producers like Taylor Shellfish Farms, Bluebird Grain Farms, Tahuya River Apiaries and Loki Fish Co. Its dozens of unique recipes are contributed from local chefs who are passionate about homegrown ingredients and flavors, like a Washington Cherry Gazpacho from Canlis Restaurant, Sockeye Salmon with Chantrelles and Summer Peppers from Tilth, and Ginger Pear Upside-Down Cake from Macrina Bakery. It’s hard to imagine any cookbook doing more than Bloom’s to extol the virtues and delights of preparing and sharing meals born from our Northwest foodshed.
Dishing Up Washington: 50 Recipes That Capture Authentic Regional Flavors
Jess Thompson (Storey)
Another sumptuous volume celebrating the bounty of Washington’s agriculture, this one also collects unusual-but-mouthwatering recipes from area kitchens, like Crisp Spring Chicken with Oysters and Nettles Sauce from the Herbfarm, Summer Cherry Goat’s Milk Frozen Yogurt from Molly Moon’s, and Cocoa Nib Cookies from Edison’s Breadfarm. Illuminating sidebars teach the reader how to be a Super Locavore, with instructions on “DIY: Fresh-Hopped Ale,” “The Art of Eating an Oyster” and tips on cooking salmon steaks, selecting potatoes, wine pairing and more. Very Northwest indeed.
More from Macrina: New Favorites from Seattle’s Popular Neighborhood Bakery
Leslie Mackie (Sasquatch Books)
“The heartbeat of Macrina has always been bread,” writes bakery founder Mackie, and this book goes beyond the typical loaf to include a wide variety of creative and unusual options like Schiacciata, Pugiliese, Hightower Pane Francese, Grilled Pizza Crust, Kugelhopf and Brioche. After patiently explaining how these different kinds of breads are made—tips for getting the dough to raise just right, how to get the perfect crust—Mackie shares dozens of recipes for the sweet treats her bakery is famous for. Also included are fun portraits of the people who make the Macrina yumminess behind the scenes and the customers who eat it.
The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle
Tom Douglas (Morrow)
Legendary Seattle chef Tom Douglas owns more than 10 adventurous restaurants in Seattle including Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, and Etta’s, and his previous cookbooks have won him national awards. In this hefty new volume, he shares all he knows about pastries, tarts, pies, cupcakes, cookies, puddings, ice creams, soup, sandwiches, jams and more staples from his Dahlia Bakery in 125 recipes. Very patient and clear instructions on the secret arts of baking (“how to whip egg whites,” “how to make chocolate curls,” “how to fold with a whisk,” etc.) bring exotic treats within reach of any baker with a sense of adventure, including cornbread bacon muffins, Kentucky bourbon pecan pie, the Dahlia doughnut and chocolate truffle cookies. Also tempting are breakfast recipes like Dungeness crab eggs benedict, English muffin sandwiches, granola and strata with wild mushrooms, sausage and chard: YUM!
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