The great folks over at the Hachette Book Group recently contacted us to tell us about two newly published cookbooks and offered us 2 extra sets to give away to our readers. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of each book and by lucky, I mean win the lottery lucky.
The first book is written by Max Brenner and is titled, Chocolate: A Love Story. Even if you don't like chocolate, you will love this book. Each recipe resides on the left page and on the right page is a graphic to go along with it. The graphics are phenomenal and the recipes are simply delicious. You want this book. Trust me.
I don't know a soul who doesn't like chocolate, but the difference in preference seems to be between milk (or sweeter) chocolate and dark chocolate. Which is your favorite?
I personally love milk chocolate with hazelnuts.
If there's one tip that you think anyone who is working with chocolate should adhere to, what would it be?
Enjoy chocolate the way you always wanted to. Lick it, drip it into your hands and have fun with it!
The holidays are upon us - can you share one of your favorite traditions with us?
My wife, daughter and I watch a movie and sip on hot chocolate. Nothing is better in the winter!
I am a woman who loves Greek food but apart from chicken souvlaki and Greek salad, have no idea how to prepare it at home. I obviously haven't had time to try many of the recipes as I only received the cookbooks last week, but I made a few of the dips for a Christmas party and wowed my friends. Based on the photos in the book, I know that this is a cookbook I that will soon be dogeared and splattered with ingredients.
Michael was also gracious enough to answer my questions; here is what he had to say.
I'm a woman who loves to cook and loves to try new dishes, but for some reason lamb seems a little...exotic. I've always been afraid to try it. Is it an easier meat to work with than it appears to be?
No, not at all. Lamb seems exotic because it’s a protein that deviates from our familiar forms of red meat, namely beef. But the great part is that all red meat is cooked in the same way. The question when cooking any type of red meat is which cut are you dealing with? Lamb is no different. The only thing to consider is that it’s a much smaller animal, so the cooking occurs more quickly. I would start with the simplest cuts like a tenderloin, or the rack to get yourself acquainted, and cook them using the same techniques you would if you were cooking beef.
Do you have one favorite lamb recipe that stands out for you, or does it change with the seasons?
I think the best way to cook lamb is to simply grill it any time of year and finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The garnishes will change with the seasons, but I feel that lamb really resonates in the spring time when the animals are older and gamier. Use the grill to develop a good smoky char and combine it with bright spring vegetables. That’s where it’s at.
Will you share one of your holiday traditions with us?
No matter the holiday, my father would also roast a whole animal on a spit –usually a goat or a lamb. My father built a special BBQ pit in our back yard when I was growing up specifically for this purpose. In the Greek culture, family revolves, literally, around food and gathering to eat it and enjoy one another’s company.
Thanks for joining us on Daily Grommet today Michael & Max!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we will be giving away 2 sets of these cookbooks today (that means two lucky winners will receive a copy of each of the books). I am so excited for you guys that it's a little bit ridiculous.
The contest will remain open until 9pm EST and we'll use Random.org to pick a winner. Leave a comment for Max or Michael, or tell us about your favorite holiday traditions to enter.
General contest rules: To enter, you must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the U.S. and you must leave a comment below. No purchase necessary. The winners will be randomly selected by Daily Grommet and we will select two people to win a set of two books (one entry per person). Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 9am through 9pm EST December 22, 2009.