Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Veganomicon Review

Isa Chandra Moskowitz burst onto my cookbook shelf in 2005 with Vegan With a Vengeance, a book filled with wildly tasty recipes and a refreshing Brooklyn attitude that quickly became a favorite both for idle browsing and serious cooking. In 2006 Moslowitz and co-author Terry Hope Romero followed up with Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Now, Moskowitz and Romero have have published the ambitious Veganomicon - which may just deserve its subtitle, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.

The Big M, a.k.a. my personal chef, and I have cooked and sampled our way through several of the recipes, and not a one has been a dud.

My favorite so far is the Vietnamese Seitan Baguette with Savory Broth Dip, which the authors describe as a "whimsical marriage of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi, and the American classic 'French Dip' sandwich." The lively dipping broth - a riot of garlic, ginger, pepper and lime flavors - is a great complement to the savory yet fresh flavors of seitan, red onion, cucumber and cilantro in the sandwich.

A section of color photographs of several recipes offers inspiration, and as usual the author's comments make the book as much fun to read as to cook from. For example, I'm eager to try the broccoli polenta, because the authors promise, "Broccoli gives polenta a great texture. It just makes it, like, 'RAR!' That's the only way we can describe it."

You can get a taste of the book by sampling some of the recipes available at the Post Punk Kitchen here.

There's another reason I like the book - its title. Are any Bruce Campbell or H.P. Lovecraft fans reading this? I’ll explain why I ask in my next post....

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