Book Reviews

Caribbean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots

Caribbean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots

This BBC book is published to go along with the BBC Two series “Caribbean Food Made Easy” it contains over 100 recipes; this is a beautifully illustrated book with pictures of almost every recipe.

It starts with an introduction to the Caribbean Kitchen, describing the important ingredients, and providing alternative suggestions for any of the hard to find items.

Not all the recipes are packed with Chilli, but the Scotch Bonnet makes a good showing, one recipe I really like the look of was the “Martinique coconut chicken curry” and I will be cooking this with my daughter next week, the ingredients are all available from my local supermarket and the instructions are very clear and well written.

None of the recipes where over complicated and it is also not full of the same recipes I have seen in other Caribbean cook books over the years, in fact I think jerk is only mentioned 3 times in the book which must be a record, but when it is you get a very tasty marinade that is simple to make.

I like this book a lot, I have a very large collection of cookery books covering anything chilli and I can see myself borrowing ideas from this often.

The book is priced at £17.99 but is available from all good book shops and online at Amazon at £8.99 or less, click here to order your own copy.

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Chili Madness: A Passionate Cookbook

Chili Madness: A Passionate Cookbook

In the USA they have two rival groups that promote this most America of foods, the chili, “Chili Appreciation Society, International” (CASI) www.chili.org and the” International Chili Society” www.chilicookoff.com both organize chili cook-off’s to raise money for charitable works.

In 1966 the first Chili cook-off was organised by Frank Tolbert, author of “A bowl of Red” between CASI chief cook Wick Fowler and Harry Allen Smith, who had written the article “Nobody Knows More About Chilli than I Do” which can still be read online this first chili cook-off finished in a draw!

Members of these groups are called Chiliheadz and 1000’s of cook-offs are organised around the USA and Canada, there is not fixed recipe, each person having their own idea of what makes a champion “bowl of red” as it has now become know. The origins of today’s chili date back to the 1850, when Texan’s travelling in the Californian gold fields are said to have combined dried beef, fat, pepper and salt with chilli which pounded together and then boiled

If you would like to read more about the history of the chili then we recommend the book Chili Madness: A Passionate Cookbook by Jane Butel, who covers the history ingredients and lots of recipes, Ideal if you wanted to start your own local competition..

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The Great Chile Book by Mark Miller

The Great Chile Book by Mark Miller

I have had this book a long time and still refer to it often as it has some wonderful pictures of each of the chillies it describes.

The book is divided in to four sections starting with a brief introduction to Chiles which covers there history and introduction from the new world with lots of anecdotal tips and information, this is followed by the  Fresh Chiles (Chiles Frescos) section which as you would suspect is an identification guide to over 40 varieties of Fresh chillies, with short descriptions of each and a photograph, then follow a section on Dried Chiles (Chiles Secos) which covers 40 varieties of dried chillies, and finally a short recipe section which provides something for everybody.

Mark Miller is a French Canadian, who has been drawn to the chilli from an early age (8 or 9) he studied at the University of California in Berkeley, discovering the unique mix of ethnic foods San Francisco has to offer, Training as an Anthropologist, led his to travel around Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad, Thailand, Morocco and Hungary (Probably some of the hot spots in the world for the chilli aficionado). Finally settling in New Mexico this book is a homage to a lifetime of fiery experience.

This book that is idea gift for a chilli head, lots of information in a easy to read form, with a quality feel that the publisher, Ten Speed Press, is know for. The only very minor let down is the two page guide to sources, which is a little dated and all US based, anyway we provide that service in the UK. This book was first published in 1991 and is still available which must be a testament to its quality of information.

You can order your own copy from amazon

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the_hot_sauce_bibleThis fantastic book is currently out of print and needs some major updating to the directories, but it is worth searching out a used copy, the guides to sauce types, tastes and the making sauces makes it a must for any serious Hot Sauce cook.

I must thank Stuart from Hot-Headz who first loaned me a copy of this book while I was doing the research for my own book The Hot Book of Chillies

First published in 1996 by The Crossing Press, and written by Dave DeWitt and Chuck Evans

This book can sometimes be found on Amazon – The Hot Sauce Bible I got mine on ebay and it would be one of the things I would save from my office if it caught fire….

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