I always enjoy seeing Joan Nathan appear in Martha Stewart cooking segments, and during a show last spring she prepared a delicious-looking chicken pandora with sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Joan has authored ten cookbooks including the James Beard and IACP/Julia Child Cookbook of the Year award-winning Jewish Cooking in America. She is also a regular contributor to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine. Her most recent book is Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France. I received a review copy of this book which tells the story of how Jewish cooking is thriving in France with both traditional dishes and new, contemporary approaches. Quiches, Kugels and Couscous was recently the pick of the week of all books reviewed by Publishers Weekly. Joan will be in Austin, Texas on November 14 for a brunch event as part of the Austin Jewish Book Fair 2010. Although she's been busy with her new book, I knew she would have an interesting answer when I asked what are you reading?
Just recently I was revisiting Lynne Rossetto Kasper's extraordinary book the The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food in which she discusses the role of doctors in Bologna introducing foods in the Middle Ages. This book is a real masterpiece of writing, researching, and recipes.
I’ve also spent time with Amanda Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook in which she carefully scrutinized the past to get to the present.
Another book I looked at recently was the Community Cookbook from Woonsocket, RI. Written during the second World War by older women when all the men were at war, it is my go to book for old Jewish recipes. In this case I was looking for old cholent (the sabbath covered stew) recipes.
Thank you for participating, Joan. Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.
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