Cool! It’s almost June! That means summer weather in a lot of parts of the country. In Seattle, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. But regardless, we’re almost getting to the best time of the year food-wise: raspberries and cherries will give way to cucumbers and tomatoes and nectarines and zukes and lotsa other things that are but a dream the rest of the year. Here at Cook the Books, we thought we’d ease on into the summer months by having everyone get cooking some street food. The June selection for Cook the Books 2013 is Susan Feniger’s Street Food: Irresistably Crispy, Creamy, Crunchy, Spicy, Sweet Recipes.
I chose this book! For several reasons! One, I like Susan Feniger. Double S and I have watched her on Top Chef Masters, and then ate at one of her restaurants, Border Grill Las Vegas. She’s queer and awesome!
She also owns STREET in LA. Susan knows her street food. You learn in her intro that the recipes in this book come from thirty years of cooking and learning and, “stopping at a little stand on the street for some amazing dish.” That’s what I like to do, too!
Two, street food is just fun. And so is this book. You will like this one, friends. She starts by telling readers a little about the flavors they’ll encounter in this book, and how she uses recipes that will stretch what you think of when you think of that flavor. She starts with The Salts. You’ll encounter salt in this book not just in the form of rock salt, but with fish sauce and miso and capers and so on. The Sours? Well you might find umeboshi plums, tamarind, hibiscus, wine, or vinegars. The Sweets come in the form of sugars, maple syrup, honey, dried fruits, and the like. You like the hot and the spicy? Cool! Here you’ll find chiles, gingers, garlic, black cardamom and more. And then she follows with all the important mellowers and coolers, like yogurts, nuts, avocados and cream. When you think about it, those are the elements of a great and balanced dish. I gotta say, I got excited with just this intro.
So what recipes are in this book and why should you cook the hell out of it this month? Well, as I mentioned, there’s food covering a wide array of the flavor spectrum. There are appetizers and small plates from the likes of the Ukraine, Tunisia, and California. There are salads from Korea and Scandinavia. There are vegetarian dishes from Thailand, India and Egypt. Meat dishes from Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia and Singapore. And that’s just to name a few. There are some fun dishes here, friends. Things you’ve heard of and things you haven’t. Flavors you love and maybe haven’t yet combined. Let’s get cooking!
Wanna join in? Cook up some treats and maybe eat them outside with a beer, chatting with your friends? That’s what street food is all about, right? Go ahead and cook along with us. Send us a link to your post to firstname.lastname@example.org by the last week of June and then see what all your internet friends made. Fun!