Schell: Fabulous cookbooks from 2013

I am quite familiar with cooking with duck, although I have never had the opportunity to “cook my own goose."

To continue on from last week’s column, some further thoughts on a few standout cookbooks from 2013.

More on the wild theme, Duck, Duck Goose—Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated by Hank Shaw really inspired me. I am quite familiar with cooking with duck, although I have never had the opportunity to “cook my own goose” (ha). The book refers to duck having a renaissance of sorts as it experiences a return to menus during the “marsh-to-table revolution.”

Recipes like Braised Duck with Leeks and Sauerkraut sound like ideal comfort food and I love the variety of recipes featuring the range of international flavours that duck can so effortlessly embrace.

An amazing culinary reference book and hunter’s guide, Shaw includes lessons on breaking down a whole duck or goose, plucking, hanging, carving and beer and wine pairing notes.

A Duck Camp Survival Kit checklist is included and a wild duck species guide by country for hunters and enthusiasts.

Tara Duggan’s Root to Stalk Cooking—The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable has been called “a love song to vegetables.”

From bulb to stem, from root to shoot and leaf to flower, this cookbook is chockfull of creative and delicious ways to eat your veggies—every bit of them. Just like they used to do in the old country, scraps, trimmings, root tops and peelings are used—nothing is wasted.

I love this philosophy and find it very timely as the modern world begins its migration back to farmers markets and the days of sustainability (or as I dream it to be).

The Scraps Latkes recipe that uses just that—vegetable trimmings and such left over from another recipe.

What to do with your potato peelings? How does Potato Skin Bacon Fat Chips made from potato peelings alone sound?

Your compost pile may not be too happy with the neglect, but Oma will be.

Not just veggie recipes either, there are meat and fish recipes as well.

Exploring China—100 Recipes from Our Journey. Chinese food specialists from the UK, Ken Hom and Ching-He Huang, have been earning rave reviews for their recent collaborative documentary and cookbook effort.

Ken and Ching provide a unique insider perspective on this complicated, intriguing and delicious country and its cuisine. The personal reflective essays from the authors and detailed history of the dishes makes for a unique and interesting read.

Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure is also a four-part British documentary television series that aired on BBC Two.

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