Happy Tuesday, cookbook fans. Thanks for joining me for another issue of Stained Page News. As usual, there's a lot of cookbook news to get to, but first the standard reminders.
- Send tips, cookbook-related or otherwise, to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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- Check out my book, The Austin Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from Deep in the Heart of Texas [Abrams]!
Joanna Gaines does huge numbers.
Congrats to Waco shiplap hustler Joanna Gaines on the first week of sales for her new cookbook, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering [William Morrow]. Publishers Weekly reports that the HGTV star sold over 169,000 copies of her debut cookbook in its first week out: "For comparison, the bestselling cookbooks of the last two years, 2017’s Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It by Ree Drummond, and Ina Garten’s 2016 book Cooking for Jeffrey, sold 100,000 and 110,000 copies, respectively, in their first weeks on sale."
Those are just gonzo, insane numbers. Seems like Gaines is doing just fine in her post-Fixer Upper career. All hail the new cookbook queen.
Out this week.
It's summertime here in Central Texas and the cookbook releases are slowing down for the season. Not as slow as most years, though. There are still some big releases on their way before fall—hello, Superiority Burger [Norton], out June 5.
But for now, things are pretty chill. Just six titles to tell you about this week. First, fellow Austinites/brothers Chad and Derek Sarno are out with their new vegan cookbook, The Wicked Healthy Cookbook [Grand Central]. Check out that cover! There's A Taste of Cuba [Apollo] by photographer Cynthia Carris Alonso, which is obviously gorgeous and also packed with 75+ Cuban recipes.
In the booze department, there's The Bourbon Country Cookbook [Agate Surrey] by Churchill Downs executive chef David Danielson and spirits expert Tim Laird, as well as Texas Cocktails [Cider Mill] by Nico Martini, which explores the modern day drinking culture of good ol' Texas.
Homefront Cooking [Skyhorse] by Tracey Enerson Wood, Beth Guidry Riffle, and Carol Van Drie shares the cherished recipes of US veterans and their families. And here's The Camp & Cabin Cookbook [Countryman] by blogger Laura Bashar. 'Tis the season for campfires!
Check this out.
- Hey look at that Estela [Artisan] cover! Very excited for this one—by NYC chef Ignacio Mattos, his partner/wine director Thomas Carter, and friend of Stained Page News Gabe Ulla (HI GABE)—coming October 2. What lies beneath the endive?! We shall find out. ~Insta
- EVOOster Rachael Ray "is writing a new book that is neither a memoir nor a cookbook, but has elements of both," reports The New York Times.
- Milk Street's Christopher Kimball dives into The Graham Kerr Cookbook [Rizzoli]. ~WSJ
- Did you watch Wild, Wild Country? Bon Appetit found a sanyassin cookbook called Zorba the Buddha: Rajneesh Cookbook. Think nut loaf. Lots of nut loaf. ~BA
- Celia Sack, owner of Omnivore Books in San Francisco, ponders what constitutes an "American cookbook." ~Edible San Francisco
- This teen just published her second cookbook and I...have some catching up to do. ~Tulsa World
- Cookbook author Diana Henry, menus, and how to eat a peach. ~New Yorker
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Oignons Salées / Salted Onions
From Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault. Reprinted with permission from Nimbus Publishing.
Found throughout southwestern Nova Scotia and in many other Acadian communities, the briny onion kick provided by this pantry staple is often the base note in foods such as rappie pie, fricot, and many more recipes. Although you could simply substitute salt and fresh onions when cooking, the alchemy that is created when these two ingredients are left to their own devices to merge together is unforgettable and nearly irreplaceable.
The practice of salting green onions/scallions—as well as other herbs—is also known throughout most of French-speaking Canada. In parts of New Brunswick and way into rural Québec, salted herbs such as summer savoury, wild thyme, and various other wild plants were used as a way of keeping dishes fresh and bright-tasting, especially when greenery was in short supply during long winters.
Green onions (scallions)
Large-grained salt/kosher salt
Start by chopping off the roots of your green onions. Roughly chop green onions from base to tip and place them in a large glass or plastic bowl. Add enough salt so that green onions look like they are covered in small crystals. Mix them together. And then add the same amount of salt as you did the first time. Mix it all together again, and then let it sit overnight, preferably in a cool place.
The next day you’ll notice the volume of green onions has decreased slightly and you may have a bit of brine in the bottom. What you want to do is add more salt (crazy, I know), until green onions look somewhat like they did when you first added salt. Think about it. You’re trying to inhibit any microbacterial activity for a year. That’s a lot of salt. “Sale à la vielle façon,” said my dad. “Salt it in the old way.”
Pack green onions tightly into Mason jars and close the lid. They will last for up to a year. If you want them to keep their colour, feel free to place them in the freezer. Use in soups, stews, dumplings, rappie pies, fricot, or anywhere else you need a salty and oniony kick. A little goes a long way.