The Bookshelf: Canal House Cooking

Anna Mowry reports on the debut of the Canal House Cooking series

As we first turned the pages of the winter and holiday issue of Canal House Cooking—the second volume by former Saveur staffers Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer—we were struck by its approachability: an apple pie with an eroding crust, basking in mellow, natural light; red peppers blackening on a flecked and splattered stove top. As the authors write in their introduction, Canal House Cooking is “home cooking by home cooks for home cooks.”

“We are used to styling and shooting food for cookbooks, but when we shoot for ourselves we are quite loose about it,” said Hirsheimer via email. “There is an authenticity about the images because that is what is going on—you are seeing things in real time.”

There is an intimacy to the book as

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Recipe: Cheese Latkes

cheese latkes Though it may sound like latke blasphemy, according to Mitchell Davis, JBF vice president and resident latke expert, the first latkes may actually have been made from cheese, not potato. This recipe yields sweet, breakfast-like pancakes that bear little resemblance to the usual Hannukah fare. Try them sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or doused in maple syrup.

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Latkes

sweet potato latkes Though we've never met a person who didn't like latkes, this version could convert even the staunchest holdout. With their deep orange color and addictive, sweet-and-savory crunch, sweet potato pancakes just might give your grandmother's recipe a run for its gelt.

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Recipe: Sonny's Special Potato Latkes

potato latkes Hannukah starts next week, which means it's time to get out your grater and cast-iron pans and start frying up some latkes. We think this is the recipe to beat, the one that took JBF vice president Mitchell Davis "to the top of the latke world," as he wrote in his 2002 book, The Mensch Chef. In 1995, Davis won the Foundation's latke cook-off with this version, which uses his mother's formula of one onion for every two potatoes.

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Recipe: Sonny's Special Potato Latkes

potato latkes Hannukah starts next week, which means it's time to get out your grater and cast-iron pans and start frying up some latkes. We think this is the recipe to beat, the one that took JBF vice president Mitchell Davis "to the top of the latke world," as he wrote in his 2002 book, The Mensch Chef. In 1995, Davis won the Foundation's latke cook-off with this version, which uses his mother's formula of one onion for every two potatoes.

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The Bookshelf: Everyday Harumi

Everyday HarumiHarumi Kurihara wants Japanese cooking to come naturally. In her introduction of her new cookbook, Everyday Harumi, she writes, "I would like to see people around the world...being able to say, 'I feel like eating Japanese food. What shall I make?'" For those of us who have trouble making the food reach our mouths when using chopsticks, Harumi's mission may sound like a pipe dream. But she tries her best to keep things simple: while her list of pantry essentials adds up to 16 items, almost all of them can be found at upscale grocers like Whole Foods. And true to the book's title, the light soups, salads, and mains are largely uncomplicated—once you've made them, they can easily join your weeknight repertoire. When we spoke with Harumi, she revealed that her favorite Japanese staples include

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Recipe: Creamy Beer Soup

soup As much as we love Thanksgiving, we know that the ensuing days of picking through your leftovers can get a little wearying. Take a break from the turkey sandwiches with this unusual beer soup, which comes from Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette of Our Lady of the Resurrection monastery in upstate New York. It's made with a classic Trappist beer called Achel, which can be found in specialty beer shops and upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods. You can also visit www.sheltonbrothers.com for a distributor near you.

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