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AZCookbook is 10 + Cuisine and Culture Tour Update

This is Guba-style baklava, one of several baklava varieties known in Azerbaijan. Photo is courtesy of Pierre Cabanettes who traveled to Azerbaijan a few years ago and took beautiful pictures. He kindly let me use this one in my cookbook, “Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan.” In my Cuisine and Culture Tour to Azerbaijan and Georgia, we are going to have exclusive access to a pastry shop in Guba region and witness firsthand how this unique baklava is made.
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The post AZCookbook is 10 + Cuisine and Culture Tour Update appeared first on AZ Cookbook.


Pantry Basics: Best Financiers Ever

Matcha financiers prepared using a recipe from TWG Tea’s executive pastry chef, Philippe Langlois.

TWG Tea‘s matcha financiers are by far my favourite–not because I’ve spent many years working with the brand, but because I adore both matcha and financiers, and have tasted innumerable iterations before returning to TWG Tea’s. I probably first took this recipe for a spin nearly a decade ago, when the luxury tea brand first launched in Singapore. Even back then, their executive pastry chef, Philippe Langlois, had already long established himself as a master of tea gastronomy. I’ve hoarded the Frenchman’s recipe all this while, knowing that whenever I decided to make financiers, this would be my go-to choice.

While Philippe’s matcha financiers recipe is incredibly easy, there must be something in his touch, in the scale of his ingredients, that makes these so darn irresistible. I love how moist they remain even when they’ve sat on the kitchen counter for a couple of days. And the deep, grassy bitterness of matcha is matched with just the right measure of sweetness so that these financiers showcase–rather than mask–the charms of a good powdered green tea. My three-year-old eats two at a go! Frankly, it was her newly-discovered love for green tea that prompted me to revisit this financier recipe.

Matcha financiers fresh out of the oven.

To be honest, TWG Tea’s matcha is so precious that I usually prefer to drink it with my financiers rather than bake with it (I opt for the best matcha I can afford to bake with). However, if your pocket book allows for it, go for it!

Having attempted a wide range of financier recipes over the years, I must point out a few things.

  1. It’s important to seek out finely ground almond flour. At least, I prefer the elegance of its more refined mouthfeel. Some people prefer the rusticity of coarse, home-ground almond meal. I used to rely exclusively on the super-fine almond flour from Bob’s Red Mill, but am happy to report that Sun Lik Trading also carries a fine-ground almond meal in small bags. My reasonably-priced barquette moulds are also from Sun Lik.
  2. Avoid overworking the batter.
  3. Aging the batter for 24 hours really brings the flavours together.
  4. This batter freezes well! Since financiers taste best freshly baked, storing the batter in the freezer makes it so much easier to whip up a batch on the fly.

I’ve also tweaked the recipe below to yield plain financiers, because my son loves their buttery simplicity (it also helps that CH has given them his thumbs-up, too). What I’m dying to do next is attempt a houjicha version! I hope you enjoy this recipe.

N.B. As I usually make two batches of financiers each time (matcha for the daughter, plain for the son), I always end up with 8 egg yolks. I use these in my homemade ice cream bases.

By adding pureed fruit (raspberry or strawberry) to the vanilla ice cream before it’s churned, you’ll get a fruit flavoured ice cream. And I have been refining a chocolate ice cream recipe for my little girl who is a chocoholic.

Again, I prepare a full portion of ice cream base, but will often just churn half, storing the remainder in a vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer for when we next need to churn another batch.

Matcha financiers

Fill 2/3 of each mould with financier batter.

 

The post Pantry Basics: Best Financiers Ever appeared first on Chubby Hubby.


Rosemary Garlic Fried Potatoes by The Pioneer Woman


Top Trends from the Winter Fancy Food Show 2018

I’ve already shared some of my favorite finds from the Winter Fancy Food Show 2018, but another reason I attend the show is to try and identify what’s trending. Here are my topic picks.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms seem to be everywhere and showing up in ways that are a bit unexpected. I first discovered crispy oyster mushroom “chips” in Taiwan, but at the show this year I saw Yuguo shiitake chips from China.They are light and crunchy and supposedly healthy. I like them a lot. There were also two kinds of mushroom jerky, one made from mushroom caps and another made from mushroom stems in “Zesty Thai” flavor, available from Pan’s Mushroom Jerky. Last but not least there were somewhat medicinal elixirs, cocoa and “coffee” made from lion’s mane, chaga and reishi mushrooms by Four Sigmatic. I wasn’t crazy about how they tasted but they are being sold more as a health product than a gourmet one. 

Coconut snacks
Coconut is nothing new, but it’s being used as a component in lots of different and frankly delicious snacks.  If you like coconut, you will like these. Some top picks for me were the wafer-like Sejoyia coconut thins, the clusters from Creative Snacks Co with cranberries cashews and almonds, and Cocomos toasted coconut chips with orange and sunflower seeds, which were somewhat in between a cluster and a wafer. 

Vegetable Chips 
Vegetable chips have been in vogue for quite some time, but I’m seeing more and more unusual options like red rice and quinoa crisps from Grounded from Lundberg Family Farms, pea puffs from Peeled cassava crunch and beet snacks from Plant Snacks, carrot and beet chips from HardBite, kumara and parsnip crisps from Proper Crisps.

Legume Snacks
Pea protein is big, and it’s especially evident in snacks. I also saw crispy broad beans and puffs from peanuts. Other products I noticed included colorful “chickbean crisps” from Saffron Road, chickpea snacks from Kay’s Pass the Peas, quinoa and lentil snacks from The Daily Crave but I’m sure there were even more. New guidelines now recommend introducing infants to peanuts to help ward off allergies, so snacks like puffs may prove popular with kids. 


Non-dairy yogurts
Just as non-dairy milks and “cheeses” have become more popular, more non-dairy yogurts are popping up. I particularly liked the coconut yogurt from Anita’s but also the Greek style almond yogurt from Kite Hill

Aloe 
Aloe has been on trend in Japan since the 1990’s but it seems to be gaining in the US as well. I saw it in Alove yogurt from Japanese manufacturer Morinaga as well as in a myriad of drinks. Aloe is hydrating and can help with digestion. 

Cold Vegetable Soups
This is an interesting one I didn’t see coming. Anyone who has been to a supermarket in Spain has been amused by the refrigerated cartons of gazpacho. I saw several lines of cold, ready to drink soups, with unique flavors like cauliflower cashew, pumpkin cinnamon sage and beet orange basil from Zupa and carrot yellow tomato and spicy avocado from gazpacho maker Tio. Most were vegetarian but at least one, Bonafide uses a bone broth base and calls their products “drinkable veggies.” 

Cold Brew
If cold brew coffee is big in coffee shops, it’s perhaps even bigger in retail stores where you can buy it in cans or bottles. I saw so many brands this year it was hard to keep track but they included Jittery John’s, Coffee Blenders, Fog Dog, Peerless and Grady’s. While I mostly saw cold brew coffee, I also saw “ice steeped” cold brew tea from Japanese maker Ito-En

Drinking Vinegars
Drinking vinegars have been gaining momentum and this year I saw more than ever. Some are traditional apple cider vinegar based while others use balsamic or add other ingredients like ginger or fruit juices. There were two I particularly liked, Fire Cider’s apple cider vinegar-based tonics made with horseradish, onions, black pepper, and garlic, organic habañero peppers, turmeric, lemons and oranges. It tasted like it could banish a cold. The other was the deliciously fruit forward one from Olitalia in blueberry, cherry and pomegranate. 

Drip tea and coffee packs
Last year I was excited about a Vietnamese drip coffee as part of the DIY kit trend, from Copper Cow, this year they are introducing Thai ice tea packs. Meanwhile I saw other companies like Vietnamese grocer Lee’s are also selling Vietnaemese drip coffee packets, albeit without the condensed milk. 

Gourmia GSI170 Automatic Ice Cream Maker Frozen Yogurt & Sorbet Maker with Digital Timer, Easy Pour Spout, 3 Pints, with Free Gourmet Recipe Book Included

Bring all of the flavor from your favorite ice cream brands right on home, with Gourmia’s Automatic Ice Cream Maker. This handy appliance will produce fresh, delicious and wholesome frozen treats for you and your family to enjoy like :
• Ice Cream
• Frozen Yogurt
• Sorbet
• & Sherbet!

This quick and easy to use ice cream maker was designed to practically do all of the work for you. Simply pre-freeze the bowl, throw all the ingredients into the ice cream maker and let this ice cream maker do all the work. In minutes you will have some the most delicious ice cream you have ever tasted!
About This Product:
• Easy Operation
• 3 Pint Capacity
• Digital Timer With LCD Display
• Elegant Round Shape Design
• 120v
• UL Listed

Impress family and friends at parties with customized frozen confections that they won’t find anywhere else. Need a little inspiration? We have included a recipe book to get you started with a variety of delicious flavors like:
• Black Forest Chocolate Cherry
• Blueberry Cheesecake
• Cookies & Cream
• Mint Chocolate Chip
• Mango Sorbet
• & More!
Making ice cream from the comfort of your kitchen counter isn’t only convenient, it’s also a more wholesome way to enjoy a delicious treat! You control all of the ingredients that go into your ice cream maker so you can customize the recipes according to your health and dietary restrictions!
Gourmia’s mission is to make every day cooking easy, healthy and delicious. Our products deliver a higher standard of innovation, performance, and value. Our founders are experts in the world of small appliances and are passionate about providing our customers with dependable, easy to use tools that will make life in the kitchen fun and easy.

Product Features

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  • EASY POUR SPOUT: Features an easy pour spout so you can add sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts and sprinkles or any delicacy of your choice. No need to worry about unhealthy additives or preservatives!
  • RECIPE BOOK INCLUDED: Let your imagination run wild and make your own delicious frozen creations, for any ideas feel free to use our cookbook that is packed with recipes in a variety of flavors.
  • UL LISTED: We, at Gourmia, take the quality of our products very seriously. We are UL certified so you can be confident that you’re receiving nothing but safe, efficient and high quality appliances.


Hamilton Beach 25360 Indoor Flavor/Searing Grill

Dark clouds threatening to ruin your backyard barbecue? Don’t worry – just move the party inside and cook up your hamburgers, hot dogs, and more with the Hamilton Beach Searing Grill. This countertop grill is perfect for all types of meat, vegetables, and more. The non-stick cooking grid quickly gets rocket hot for searing and is removable for easy cleaning. Different heat settings let you tailor the piece to more tender meats, such as tuna. For moist, delicious meals, there’s no better tool than this searing grill. Temperature controlled electric grill. Non-stick surface. Power and pre-heated indicator lights. High temperature sear for locking in flavors. Drip tray included. dishwasher-safe. Dimensions: 16.73W x 12.4D x 6.81H in..

Product Features

  • Indoor Grill that delivers Outdoor Grill Results
  • High Heat Searing Capability
  • Adjustable Temperature Control
  • Non-Stick Plate, Indicator Lights
  • Extra-Large Drip Tray, Removable Hood, Plate and Drip Tray are Dishwasher Safe


Traditional Devil’s Food Cake

This traditional devil’s food cake recipe is easy and super moist. Filled and covered with seven minute frosting, it will quickly become a family favorite!

A slice of four-layer devil's food cake on a plate with a fork.

Hello there, one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I’ve ever baked.

Yesterday when we talked about 7 minute frosting, I told you that I had a fantastic devil’s food cake recipe waiting for you today, and here it is! Truth be told, the only time I had ever made devil’s food cake previously was from a box mix when a recipe (like ho ho cake) called for a box of devil’s food cake mix.

However, once I saw it gracing the cover of Ina Garten’s new book, Cooking for Jeffrey, I couldn’t wait to give a homemade version a try. Always and forever an Ina fan, there was no question that this would be a fantastic cake, and that is a serious understatement.

This is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had. Period.

Devil’s Food Cake!

Devil's food cake on a cake stand with a slice of cake removed.

I’ve always sort of thought of devil’s food cake as the less-rich, slightly-drier, black-sheep-cousin of REAL chocolate cake.

Ummm… I could not have possibly been more wrong. This devil’s food cake is fan-freaking-tastic.

It has an unbelievably rich chocolate flavor and is supremely moist and fluffy. I could have eaten the better part of this cake on my own if I wasn’t already committed to sharing it, which, ultimately, was a good thing, HA.

Ina pairs this cake with a coffee meringue buttercream in her book, but I nix caffeine during pregnancy, so espresso was definitely out. After doing some searching on traditional frostings used on devil’s food cake, I found that 7 minute frosting was a far and away winner, so I went that route. The super light, melt-in-your-mouth frosting that’s a cross between meringue and marshmallows was a perfect companion for this cake.

Devil's food cake on a white serving plate.

Devil’s Food Cake vs. Chocolate Cake

So, what makes devil’s food cake different than traditional chocolate cake?

Apparently the differences used to be more clear-cut, but as ingredients and availability have changed over the years, the waters have muddled and there are more similarities between the different varieties of chocolate-based cakes. However, there are a few primary differences in ingredients and how the cake is prepared…

  • Unsweetened cocoa is used for a more intense chocolate flavor vs. melted chocolate.
  • Hot coffee is frequently used to enhance the chocolate flavor and keep the cake moist (regular chocolate cake often uses milk as the primary liquid).
  • Devil’s food cake typically uses butter creamed with sugar as its fat, while most other chocolate cakes use oil for the fat.
  • Using the combination of cocoa powder and baking soda makes devil’s food cake a lighter and fluffier texture than it’s traditional chocolate cake counterpart, which can be denser.

A side view of a slice of devil's food cake with 7 minute frosting.

Why Does Devil’s Food Cake Have a Reddish Color?

Most devil’s food cakes have a hint of reddish color, so what gives?

The answer is that most devil’s food cake recipes include additional baking soda, which raises the pH level and gives the cake a deep mahogany color. So pretty, right?!

A head-on picture of a slice of devil's food cake.

I love how grand this cake looks split into four layers, but you could totally just leave it in two layers, with one layer of filling in the middle. Likewise, feel free to use whatever your favorite frosting is (if you want to use Ina’s coffee meringue buttercream, you can find the full recipe here)!

If you ever found yourself under the same misconception that devil’s food cake was inferior to more traditional chocolate cakes, please, please, PLEASE make this cake! You will be so thrilled, I promise.

An overhead shot of a slice of devil's food cake.

One year ago: Top 10 List: Best Cupcake Recipes
Six years ago: Nutella-Hazelnut Cookies
Ten years ago: Homemade Granola

Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review »

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Traditional Devil's Food Cake

This traditional devil’s food cake recipe is easy and super moist. Filled and frosted with seven minute frosting, it will quickly become a family favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2¼ cups (447 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (64 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups (425 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
  • 7 Minute Frosting (double batch), or your favorite frosting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9×2-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, grease the parchment and flour the pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. On low speed, add the eggs, on at a time. Add the vanilla and beat until well mixed, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot coffee until smooth.
  5. With the mixer on low, add the chocolate mixture to the batter.
  6. Still with the mixer on low, slowly add half of the flour mixture to the batter, then all of the sour cream, then the remaining flour mixture, mixing each addition until combined. With a rubber spatula, fold the batter until it is well mixed.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Col in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  8. Slice each cake layer in half horizontally. Place the bottom of the first cake, cut side up, on a flat serving plate and spread 1 cup of frosting on the top. Place the top of the first cake, cut side down, on top and spread another 1 cup of frosting on top. Next, place the top layer of the second cake on top, cut side up, and frost with another 1 cup of frosting. Finally, place the bottom layer of the second cake, bottom side up (so the top of the cake is flat). Frost the top and sides of the cake. The cake can be stored, covered, for up to 3 days. If you use the 7 Minute Frosting or a meringue buttercream, the cake should be refrigerated; bring to room temperature prior to serving. If you use any other type of frosting (a traditional vanilla, chocolate, cream cheese, etc.), the cake can be stored at room temperature.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

(Recipe from Cooking for Jeffrey)

All images and text ©Brown Eyed Baker, LLC.

The post Traditional Devil’s Food Cake appeared first on Brown Eyed Baker.


Chocolate Chip Cherry Cobbler

Chocolate and cherries is a classic combination, but I’m giving it a twist in this Chocolate Chip Cherry Cobbler. Fruit cobblers don’t typically include chocolate, which ensures that the fruit is the star of the show. Here, chocolate is added to the filling and the cobbler topping to create a dessert that delivers just the right amount of chocolate with its cherries.

Every cobbler starts with a good fruit filling. This one is extremely simple and is made with lots of cherries, some sugar and a bit of cornstarch that helps the fruit juices thicken nicely while the cobbler bakes. I added a splash of kirsch, a cherry liqueur, to the filling to amp up the cherry flavor. I recommend picking up a mini-sized bottle for recipes like this one (and other baked goods!) because a little goes a long way and you won’t use it that often unless you bake a lot of black forest cakes. I recommend using jarred (and drained) or frozen cherries because they’re easy to work with, but fresh cherries can be used if they are in season and you don’t mind pitting them before you start.

The topping is a buttery biscuit-like dough that is studded with chocolate chips. Butter is cut into the dry ingredients, then buttermilk and vanilla are added before bringing the dough together. Once you’ve made the dough, it should be broken up into little chunks and dropped onto the filling, giving the dessert a “cobbled together” look that fits its name. You want to cover most of the filling, but should be able to see some of the cherries and juice between the cracks.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Cobbler

The cobbler topping isn’t overly sweet on its own, but it’s perfect when combined with the cherries and chocolate. Serve this dessert warm and pair it with ice cream or whipped cream for a dessert that is even more decadent.

Chocolate Chip Cherry Cobbler
Filling
36-40-oz cherries (jarred, frozen or fresh)
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp kirsch, optional
2-3 tbsp chocolate chips

Topping
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, cold and cut into 4-5 pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375F. Take out an 8×8-inch square baking dish.
Make the Filling: In a large bowl, stir together all filling ingredients except the chocolate chips. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes, then pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Set aside while you make the topping.
Make the Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add in butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your fingertips, making sure no piece of butter is larger than a big pea.
Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup and pour into dry ingredients. Add in chocolate chips. Bring dough together using a spatula, folding gently to ensure that dough is uniform and no clumps of dry ingredients remain.
Break dough into 1 or 2-inch pieces and arrange over the top of the filling, covering most of the cherries. Sprinkle topping with coarse sugar.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until cherry filling is bubbling thickly and topping is golden brown. Allow cobbler to cool slightly before serving.

Serves 6-8

The post Chocolate Chip Cherry Cobbler appeared first on Baking Bites.


Ramen Heads – Movie Review

Ramen Heads is a documentary about ramen in Japan. As the name implies, it’s about the obsession of both ramen makers and ramen eaters and dives deep into more bowls in more styles than you can possibly imagine. The film focuses on Japan’s number-one ramen master Osamu Tomita, who has won the highest ramen honors 4 years in a row. Unlike other ramen masters, Tomita is happy to expose every part of his process. He reveals the highest-quality ingredients and his constantly evolving approach to cooking the perfect bowl with equal attention to both noodles and broth. Surrounded by apprentices there is still much he insists on doing himself. His shop is so popular he sells tickets ahead of time to decrease the long wait for seats. 

Tomita proclaims, “if you’re not a ramen head yourself, you can’t possibly satisfy other ramen heads.”  and so perhaps not surprisingly, he spends his one day off a week eating ramen on his own and with his familly; next to his bed are ramen magazines and recipes. He’s singularly focused on ramen, not just for his customers but for himself and for his appreciation of ramen in Japanese culture. It is and has been his calling since he had a bowl of ramen that changed his life. After that he became an apprentice to a top ramen master before opening his own shop. Ramen it seems, is so much more than just noodles and broth, it’s truly a way of life. 
As you probably already know, ramen is a big deal in Japan. There are magazines, guidebooks and websites devoted to it. As the films narrator explains, ramen is “cheap, immediate and deeply satisfying”, and in Japan, unlike many other iconic dishes, it allows for great creativity.The film introduces viewers to some of the other top ramen masters in Japan and their individual styles of ramen, briefly explores a ramen festival and offers a quick timeline of the rise of ramen in Japan. All along the way the cinematography will make your mouth water. The soaring and majestic music can seem cheesy at times, but it is the cinematography that cements this film as the ultimate ramen food porn and I warn you, if you decide to see this movie you better make plans to eat ramen afterwards because you will seriously crave it. Check out the trailer below and you’ll see for yourself. 

Ramen Heads plays at the Roxie as part of the SF Indie Film Festival on February 10th and 13th, 2018 in San Francisco. Learn more or buy tickets.


Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

New York Times Bestseller

Named one of the Best Books of 2017 by NPR, Buzzfeed, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Rachel Ray Every Day, San Francisco Chronicle, Vice Munchies, Elle.com, Glamour, Eater, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Seattle Times, Tampa Bay Times, Tasting Table, Modern Farmer, Publishers Weekly, and more.

A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.

In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes—and dozens of variations—to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs.

Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will be your compass in the kitchen. Destined to be a classic, it just might be the last cookbook you’ll ever need.

With a foreword by Michael Pollan.

Product Features

  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat Samin Nosrat