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Page D8 — Wednesday, November 7, 2012

FOR THE WORLD TRAVELER Love pho, but want to branch out? Charles Phan, the chef behind San Francisco’s famed restaurant The Slanted Door, offers “Vietnamese Home Cooking” (Ten Speed Press, $35), devoted to bringing tamarind, star anise, fish sauce and lemon grass to a kitchen near you. While many of the recipes are a little too “chefy” — who’s going to fillet their own fish for the “simple fish soup”? — they go a long way to introducing the flavors and techniques of the cuisine. Bite-sized steamed rice cakes promise unusual party snacks, and lemon grass chicken could be a feather in your toque. “The Hakka Cookbook: Chinese Soul Food from Around the World” (University of California Press, $39.95) by Linda Lau Anusasananan captures the flavors and stories of an often overlooked Chinese diaspora. Fried eggs and bitter melon, tangy-sweet raw fish salad and chicken stuffed with preserved mustard greens offer new insights to even the savviest fan of Chinese food. Among the steady supply of books on Latin food, three stand out. “Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor” (Hippocrene Books, $22.50) by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith and Evangelina Soza, preserves recipes spanning old world Mexican dishes like pork tamales to fusion creations like scallop and cucumber cocktail. Charming family stories combined with


richly colorful photos to make this a delightful invitation to cooking. In “The Latin Road Home” (Lake Isle Press, $35), chef Jose Garces traces his culinary journey from his ancestral home of Ecuador through his different influences from Spain to Cuba, Mexico and Peru. Recipes for dishes like red snapper in tomato sauce and his grandmother’s empanadas are woven with thoroughly readable narratives of his life and family, as well as useful information about the regions. “Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America” (W.W. Norton, $45) by Cuban-born chef Maricel Presilla, offers a sweeping, sophisticated history of Latin food that illustrates the diversity of techniques, styles and flavors through 500 recipes. Recipes for foundational adobos and sofritos pave the way for cuitlacoche and jalapeno quesadillas, various pilafs, empanadas and tamales. FOR THE CELEBRITY CHEF JUNKIE Who didn’t love Kevin Gillespie, the tattooed “Top Chef” contestant who worshipped pig and always concocted something homey? His book, “Fire in my Belly” (Andrews McMeel, $40), brings home recipes like Brussels sprouts gratin with heavy cream and mustard and the “one-pot hog supper” with fat back and cracklings. Light it’s not, but delicious? Tickling the other end of the spectrum is “Hero Food” (Andrews McMeel, $35) by New York chef Seamus Mullen. More than 80 recipes

such as caramelized cauliflower with anchovies and duck liver toasts with pickled raisins are part of Mullen’s quest to manage his rheumatoid arthritis with 18 “hero” ingredients like sweet peas, parsley, berries and squash. Despite his motivation, Mullen’s food tastes anything but medicinal. Fans of uber chef Thomas Keller will welcome “Bouchon Bakery” (Artisan Books, $50), featuring 150 recipes from humble shortbread and oatmeal raisin cookies to pistachio madeleines, pain au chocolat, raspberry macaroons and other items from his fabled bakery. FOR THE BAKER Love dessert but hate to fuss? A stout float from “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts” (Artisan Books, $25.95) by Alice Medrich is the treat for you. The float is joined by dozens more recipes such as peanut butter pavlova, honey caramelized figs and food processor chocolate mousse that are just as easy. And easily as tasty. “Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple” (Rizzoli, $29.95) by David Muniz and David Lesniak offers more than 120 recipes for classic American treats — think brownies, peanut butter cookies and blueberry muffins. Black and white cheesecake, an honest-togoodness New York crumb cake and cakes from bundts to babkas join the fun. Home-baked pies are the aspiration of many a cook. “A Year of Pies” (Lark, $19.95) by Ashley English offers strawberry, rhubarb and gin- ≤ The Journal

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The cover of the cookbook, “Bouchon.”

ger hand pies for spring, pumpkin tiramisu pie in fall and pies for all the days in between. Savory pies like curried winter vegetable and galumpkis pie — the pie version of Polish stuffed cabbage — mix things up in the colder months. FOR THE BROWSER Stuff somebody’s stocking with an eight-issue subscription to the just-launched U.S.

edition of Jamie Oliver’s magazine, “Jamie Magazine.” With the motto “Making You a Better Cook,” each issue is jammed with recipes, as well as travel and food stories and stunning photography. Appropriately enough, the magazine’s first U.S. issue is the holiday edition. Subscriptions for $32.95 at Are your loved ones more

the digital sort? Help them bridge the digital divide into the kitchen with “The Epicurious Cookbook” (Clarkson Potter, $27.99), a collection of more than 250 of the topranked recipes from the ubiquitous recipe search site. The recipes are easy, reliable and vetted by the many, many users who have turned the site into an invaluable kitchen reference.

Flaxseed Pancakes Start to finish: 10 minutes Makes 4 cups of mix 2 cups whole-wheat flour 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup flax meal

The Mix

2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon table salt Into a medium bowl, sift together all of the ingredients.

Making the Pancakes

Give the gift of a healthy breakfast Flaxseed pancake and waffle mix and healthy pancakes are shown.


As far as I’m concerned, the best holiday gift is one that’s handmade and edible. And if you can make it in big batches on a budget — and have it be healthy — even better. That’s the thinking behind this delicious pancake and waffle mix. Face-to-face with a whiny child on a Sunday morning, too many otherwise accomplished and adventurous home cooks reach for a box of pre-fab pancake mix. That’s a shame, not least because it’s easy to make your own mix, using ingredients of your choice, and to do so in — you guessed it — a jiffy. The food police love to vilify pancakes and waffles as nothing more than carbs and sugar, but these guilty pleasures can be nobler than that. At their base, pancakes and waffles depend on a few key ingredients: flour, salt,


some that you’re just stunned, stunned, stunned, stunned that they don’t respond. Where is the leadership at these companies?” Mostly, however, she has been impressed by how people have pulled together. “We’re all going to be hit by a disaster and a storm and something in our area. It’s just a matter of time. You saw it in New Orleans. You’re seeing it here,” Lee said. “We all have to help one another when that happens. And that is one of the things you’re seeing. Right now it’s our turn and we’re the ones in need. Next time, it will be our turn to help.”

sugar and leavener. If you swap in whole-wheat flour for at least some of the white flour, add a little flaxseed, slash some of the sugar and top off the finished product with fresh fruit, you’re suddenly looking at a very respectable breakfast. Heck, you even could drizzle a little Grade B maple syrup (my favorite) on top, and it still would be a healthy choice. Using whole-wheat flour in the mix should not be terribly objectionable. Though there are some folks who insist their bread be white because “brown bread tastes yucky,” no one feels that way about pancakes and waffles. And when you toss in some flaxseed, you really amp the recipe’s nutritional value even as you add a subtle but distinctive nuttiness. Flaxseed is showing up more and more frequently on supermarket shelves these days, and you can always find it online. I often add a tablespoon or two of it to my

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breakfast cereal in the morning. Just keep in mind that flaxseed isn’t properly digested unless it is ground. You can buy it pre-ground or grind it yourself in a spice grinder. After you open the package, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer; it tends to go rancid quickly. At holiday time, you can measure the batch into pretty containers — old canning jars are perfect for this purpose — attach a nice handwritten label and recipe with a ribbon and consider it done. The deluxe version? Just add a little package of dried fruit or a tiny bottle of maple syrup. EDITOR’S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

Start to finish: 10 to 15 minutes Makes 6 large (3 1/2- to 4-inch) or 12 small (1 1/2- to 2-inch) pancakes 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup milk 1 large egg 1 1/2 cups flaxseed pancake mix Freshly cut fruit or berries and pure maple syrup, to serve If using butter, in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it is light brown in color and has a nutty aroma. If using oil, skip to the next step of the recipe. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and egg. Add the pancake mix, then mix with

a spoon, stirring just until the ingredients are combined. Stir in the browned butter or oil. Heat a large nonstick skillet brushed with oil or coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and ladle either 1/4-cup or 1/8-cup portions of the batter into the pan (depending on whether you want large or small pancakes). Let the pancakes cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until small bubbles appear on the surface. Flip, then cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden on the second side. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 200 F oven while remaining batter is cooked. Serve with fruit and maple syrup.


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