11 Jun Special of the Day: Foodie Beach Books for Summer!
One of summer’s simple pleasures for me is sitting in the sun, sipping on something cool and diving into a great book, preferably a foodie memoir. As luck would have it, two of my favorite authors published new books this spring which made filling the summer beach bag a snap!
If you’ve read anything by Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and bestselling author of several funny foodie memoirs, you know she is an entertaining storyteller. She surely does not disappoint in her debut as novelist. A dash of historical fiction, an underlying mystery to be solved, a sprinkling of fun foodie facts, interesting characters and a love story all rolled into one, Delicious: A Novel is surely something satisfying to savor in the sun this summer.
Molly Wizenberg has been a favorite author of mine from the time I read her first book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table and looked forward to her monthly cooking columns in Bon Appetit magazine a few years ago. I followed her adventures on her blog, Orangette, and anxiously awaited the publication of Delancey: A Man, A Woman, A Marriage (memoir) still hot off the press, published in early May 2014. Peppered with gorgeous black and white photographs and a simple, delicious recipe to accompany each chapter, Wizenberg tells a candid, sometimes humorous, other times sad, tale of building Delancey, the wood fire pizza restaurant creating amazing artisan pizzas using fresh, local ingredients in Ballard, Washington, with her husband Brandon.
Holly Hughes’ Best Food Writing series has been offering up a smorgasbord of fine food writing since 2000. A must-read for literary food enthusiasts, Hughes curates a collection of dozens of well-crafted culinary essays on topics often worthy of further digestion. Best Food Writing 2013’s menu of superior selections includes essays grouped into: The Way We Eat Now, A Critical Palate, Farm to Table, The Meat of the Matter, Home Cooking, To Be a Chef and Personal Tastes. An added bonus of tucking this book into your beach bag is that it is a collection of essays that can be enjoyed either all at once, as a fabulously filling feast, or one beautiful bite at a time.
Devouring Delicious last week while cooking up a column on foodie beach reads had me dreaming of light and luscious cheese soufflés mentioned twice in Reichl’s novel. Before you shudder at the thought of tackling a soufflé, let me assure you this version is super simple and just keep in mind that, as James Beard said “The only thing that will make a soufflé fall is that if it knows you’re afraid of it.”
Hungry for more summer beach books? Check out these titles by a few of my favorite authors.
Also by Ruth Reichl:
Tender at the Bone
Garlic and Sapphires
Comfort Me with Apples
For You, Mom, Finally
Also by Molly Wizenberg:
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
1413 NW 70th Street
Also by Holly Hughes:
Best Food Writing 2012
Best Food Writing 2011
Best Food Writing 2010
Best Food Writing 2009
Best Food Writing 2008
Best Food Writing 2007
Best Food Writing 2006
Best Food Writing 2005
Best Food Writing 2004
Best Food Writing 2003
Best Food Writing 2002
Best Food Writing 2001
Best Food Writing 2000
Serving up three satisfying summer reads and a super simple recipe for Parmesan Chive Soufflés (inspired by Delicious) in this week’s Special of the Day: Foodie Beach Books for Summer. Happy summer!
Parmesan Chive Soufflés
Recipe by Sydne George
(makes two small soufflés)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
½ cup half and half
½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 eggs, separated
½ tsp. finely chopped chives
Fresh chive blossoms for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter insides of two small single-serving (about 3 ½ inch in diameter) ramekins.
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour. Add half and half, whisking constantly until combined. Stir in cheese. Beat egg yolks in small bowl. Add a small amount of hot mixture to beaten egg yolks and stir to incorporate. Stir egg yolk mixture into hot mixture to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
Beat egg whites with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
Carefully fold egg whites into cooled cheese mixture just until incorporated. Do not over stir.
Divide cheese soufflé mixture between buttered ramekins, being careful not to overfill. (Ramekins should be about 2/3 full.) Sprinkle with chopped chives.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown on edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Garnish with fresh chive blossoms.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.