Bludso's BBQ Cookbook; Fatima Ali Memoir


Howdy cookbook fans!

Hope this Saturday finds you well. First, some business: as this crisis goes on longer and longer, I’m having to address how I want to handle this newsletter. I can’t keep it free for months on end. I will continue to keep it free until things are a little more stable on my end, but once I get this back up to two issues a week, I will be resuming Wednesday free issues/Friday paid subscriber issues. I’ll give you a heads up when that happens.

Anyway, let’s talk cookbooks. Lots of book deals today, plus a recipe for Bacon Kimchi Onion Sauce (BKO!) from chef Hooni Kim’s new book My Korea: Traditional Flavors, Modern Recipes that is good with…everything? I’m gonna go with everything. Let’s do it!

Coming Attractions

  • Not quite a cookbook, but a memoir of sorts from late Top Chef fave Fatima Ali. The book tells Ali’s story in her words, as well as those of her mother, brother, and collaborator Tarajia Morrell. Per publisher’s copy: “The book takes readers from Fatima’s upbringing in a conservative Pakistan where she, along with her mother, struggled to break through traditional barriers for women, to her years in the U.S., where she studied and trained to be a chef.” Ali died of cancer in early 2019. Ballantine, pub date TBD. [PM]

  • Kevin Bludso grew up in Compton, California, but he learned how to smoke proper Texas brisket at his grandmother’s in Corsicana, Texas. And now he will write The Bludso Family Cookbook: BBQ, Sould Food, and Family from Compton to Corsicana, based on the recipes from his restaurants. Per a press release: “Unlike BBQ and grilling books on the market by white men, Kevin’s cooking is influenced by soul food as well as the huge Mexican American population in Compton.” Ten Speed, pub date TBD.

  • Anna Stockwell of Epicurious and Bon Appetit has signed a deal to write a dinner party cookbook for Abrams. Called For the Table, the book will contain “more than 80 recipes and hosting advice, from toasts and prep-ahead strategies to menus that effortlessly accommodate dietary restrictions.” I worked with Anna at Epi and let me tell you, the woman knows how to throw a dinner party. Congrats Anna!!! Fall 2021. [PM]

  • The Jam Lab blogger Amisha Gurbani will write Flavor Jam for Countryman Press. The book will explore much the same territory as her blog, offering 100 vegetarian recipes “inspired by the cuisine of her childhood in India and the produce-forward cooking style of her adopted home in Northern California.” Pub date TBD. [PM]

  • California produce/farmers market expert Karen Beverlin will write The Essential Farmers’ Market Basket: Shop Like a Professional Chef, Support Your Local Farmers, and Learn What Your Palate Loves for Norton in a two-book deal. Beverlin has 22 years of experience connecting restaurants and farmers, so she knows her stuff. Expect gorgeous produce shots; expect to be extremely jealous of California produce. Pub date TBD. [PM]

  • And last but not least, WWE personality Renee Young will write Let’s Get Fancy, a books of recipes and hosting tips for dinner parties. Permuted Press, 2021.

Check this out!

  • Cookbook author and Bon Appetitster Priya Krishna did this week’s Grub Street Diet. [GS]

  • A podcast with Ralph Nader (yes that Ralph Nader) in which he discusses his new cookbook (yes that Ralph Nader wroter a cookbook). [Eat Well Travel Often]

  • NYT Food Editor Sam Sifton was on Fresh Air talking about COVID cooking. [NPR]

  • Cookbook review: Cauliflower Power by Lindsay Grimes Freedman [AJC]

  • Cookbook review: Wise Sons by Evan Bloom and Rachel Levin. [Eater SF]

  • 8 cookbooks for kids. [Daily Mail]

  • Why Grandma’s cookbooks are still relevant. [Economic Times]

  • Exploring recipes from 1970s China. [Post Magazine]

  • You can cook like Miami football coaches! [Fansided]

    BKO (Bacon Kimchi Onion) Sauce

    Photo: Kristin Teig. Recipe used with permission from My Korea by Hooni Kim with Aki Kamozawa. Norton 2020.

    BKO is a condiment that I created at Danji. It has only three ingredients but delivers an exciting kick of flavor: the salty, smoky taste of the bacon; the sweetness of the onion; and the sour, spicy kimchi. It’s a key ingredient in several of my recipes, including Spicy Pork and Gochujang Bolognese Noodles and Golbaengi Muchim (Spicy Whelk Salad with Soba Noodles). It can also be stirred into fried rice or used as a topping on pizza, or even on nachos with melted cheese. A grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with BKO is awesome! I serve it at Danji as a topping on French fries for a kimchi-inspired poutine. We don’t eat bacon in Korea, so obviously BKO is not traditionally Korean, but it is a great example of the philosophy behind Danji, where I use familiar American ingredients to enhance traditional Korean flavors.

    Makes 3 cups

    1 pound bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice

    1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch dice

    1 pound kimchi, cut into ¼-inch dice

    Put the bacon in a medium skillet set over medium heat and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until the fat has rendered and the bacon is just beginning to brown. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until they become tender and translucent. Add the kimchi, increase the heat to high, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is dry. The vegetables should be soft and the consistency should be that of a thick meat ragu or chili. 

    Use immediately, or let cool and store for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

    Okay that’s it. I hope you find some time to relax this weekend. Don’t worry if your bread doesn’t turn out well. Don’t worry if you don’t have it in you to bake bread. Scrolling through Instagram and liking other people’s bread photos counts. See you next week.