Books for cooks - From Korea to New Orleans to Provence and back home

In the last post, we looked at an Indian cookbook that specialized in simple recipes (really good for the novice cook). We also had a lovely vegetarian recipe from the book: Potatoes with Cumin Seeds. Spicy, easy, and with potatoes as the main ingredient.

Today, we are moving to new lands, including Korea, New Orleans, Stockholm, and Provence. Just wait until you see the recipe. This features a vegetable my husband just loves.

Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunée (Grand Central Publishing)
The story starts with a three-year-old girl abandoned by her mother in the midst of a lively South Korean marketplace. This girl is eventually adopted by an American couple, growing up as only one of two Asians in New Orleans. Sunée makes her way to Stockholm where she falls in love with
Olivier Baussan, the founder of L’Occitane. Sunée moves into his Provençal farmhouse, but the relationship is not to last with Sunée eventually making her way to Birmingham, Alabama where she becomes food editor of Cottage Living.

Certainly the story is fascinating. But what really grabs the attention are the recipes, nestled like jewels among the prose. Recipes such as Spaghetti with zucchini, mint, and pine nuts and Saffron-almond cake.

Here’s her recipe for spring pea salad. She calls for three slices prosciuto or Canadian bacon. I leave this out.
Vegetarian recipe for Spring pea salad with minted cream
If you make this out of season, frozen peas can be substituted for fresh. I also like to add fresh cooked and peeled fava beans.
2 cups shelled fresh English peas
1 cup fresh snow peas (about 1/4 pound)
1 cup crème fraîche
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Fleur de sel or other sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons julienned fresh mint

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add English peas, and cook 1-2 minutes. Add snow peas, and 1 minute more. Drain peas, submerge in ice water, and drain again.

Combine crème fraîche and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add peas and stir gently to combine. Cover and chill about 1 hour.
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Hey, remember I said I'd been invited to guest blog? After all, the lovely Noel did guest blog for us (remember her amazing post on homemade toddler food?) Well, it looks like the post is going up next week. Details to follow.