If you grew up consulting the "Joy of Cooking," revisions over the past many years may have left you with mixed feelings. But the newest edition, due Nov. 12 from Scribner, will delight you. And if you're not familiar with the "Joy of Cooking," the new edition will become your go-to resource.
First, it's a whopper of a book, with more than a thousand pages. It features more than 600 new recipes, as well as more than 4,000 favorites that have been revised and updated. At $40, it may be an investment — but it's one I think you'll be willing to make.
Second, the newest edition accurately reflects the way we eat today. While Irma Rombauer's original book featured mostly American favorites, the new edition includes a wealth of international recipes — reflecting our more culturally influenced palates.
In this way, I think the newest revision would delight Mrs. Rombauer, as my mother used to call her. (Any cooking question? "Let's see what Mrs. Rombauer has to say," mom would mutter, picking up her well-thumbed 1943 edition.) Mrs. Rombauer's goal, as far back as the original 1931 edition, was to fortify cooks with confidence and knowledge. This new edition stays true to that mission.
With tons of new information — there's a chapter on fermentation, much-expanded food safety knowledge, tips on how to streamline cooking and economize, instructions on making stock and other dishes in the Instant Pot, and more — the newest edition will give both beginning and experienced cooks a great deal to work with.
As it has since the 1936 edition, the new "Joy of Cooking" features the "action method," in which the recipes are written with ingredients placed in the instructional text at the time of their use.
All in all, this new edition of the "Joy of Cooking" is a masterwork.
1 recipe Cream Cheese pastry dough (follows)
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Generously butter a baking dish large enough to hold the dumplings with 1 to 2 inches between each one, such as an 11-by-7-inch dish or a 12-inch oval gratin dish. Peel and core (leaving them whole):
6 small apples (about 4 ounces each)
Or peel, halve lengthwise, and core:
3 large apples (about 8 ounces each)
Mix with a fork in a small bowl until blended:
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt Add and mix well:
4 tablespoons butter, softened Fill the whole apples with the mixture and pat any remaining mixture on top of the fruit, or, if using apple halves, fill the hollows with the mixture and reserve any remaining. Set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18-by-12-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into six 6-inch squares, then roll each square a little larger, into a 7-inch square. Lightly brush with:
1 large egg, lightly beaten Place an apple in the middle of each square. If using apple halves, place cut side down and spread the remaining sugar mixture on the rounded tops of the apples. For each square, bring the 4 corners of the dough up around the apple and pinch the corners and sides of the dough together. Prick the top of each pastry several times with a fork. Place the dumplings in the baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. While the dumplings bake, make the syrup. Combine in a small saucepan:
1 cup water
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 small lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Stir until the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling syrup over the dumplings when they begin to color, 10 minutes into the cooking time. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a small knife, 30 to 35 minutes more. Baste the apples with the syrup every 10 minutes or so to form a glaze and flavor the crust. If the dumplings start to brown too quickly, loosely cover with foil. Let cool slightly. Serve warm with: eavy cream (softly whipped, if desired) or vanilla ice cream
Cream cheese pastry dough
Makes one 9-inch single pie crust or eight 3-inch tart or individual pie shells Whisk together in a medium bowl: 1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt Cut in until well blended:
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into cubes
Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.
This slightly tangy doughmakes excellent tart shells or turnovers.
Kimchi Jjigaw Kimchi-tofu stew)
About 8 cups, or 4 servings
Heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil When the oil shimmers, add:
2 tablespoons gochujang
3 garlic cloves, minced
Allow the gochujang to fry until the oil is bright red, about 1 minute. Stir in:
2 cups drained and chopped kimchi
½ pound pork shoulder, country ribs or pork belly, trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tablespoon gochugaru, or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes Cook, stirring, until the gochujang starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in:
6 cups water, vegetable broth or chicken stock (up to ½ cup kimchi brine)
Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add:
12 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes, or crumbled soft or silken tofu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil Cook 5 minutes more. Once the mixture has come back to a simmer, if desired, make four depressions in the soup and add:
4 large eggs
Cover and cook for 6 to 10 minutes more, depending on how done you want your eggs. Remove from the heat. If using eggs, transfer an egg to each of four serving bowls. Stir into the broth:
4 green onions, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
Soy sauce or fish sauce to taste Ladle the soup into the bowls and serve piping hot with: Cooked short-grain white rice.
If you make your own kimchi, this stew is a great way to use up the last of a batch. A combination of pork and tofu is traditional, but this is easily made vegetarian by omitting the pork, or replacing it with 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms.