Cookbooks on front burnerThere's a saying among...

Cookbooks on front burner

There's a saying among people who sew: "Whoever dies with the most fabric wins." A corollary might well be true among people who cook: "Whoever collects the most cookbooks in a lifetime wins."


If you're an avid cookbook fan, you might be interested in entering the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Julia Child Cookbook Awards contest. A panel of 33 food and beverage professionals has compiled a list of nominees from last year's crop. There are 30 books on the list, some of them named in more than one of the 11 categories. They include "Fanny at Chez Panisse" by Alice Waters; "Peppers: A Story of Hot Pursuits" by Amal Naj; "Back to Square One: Old-World Food in a New-World Kitchen" by Joyce Goldstein; "The Story of Corn" by Betty Fussell; and "Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook" by Crescent Dragonwagon.

This year, the Cook's Choice Award will be given to the entry that gets the most votes from home cooks. Voters will be eligible to win three prizes consisting of various kitchen devices. To get a list of nominees, prizes and an entry form, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the association at 304 W. Liberty St., Suite 201, Louisville, Ky. 40202; or call (502) 587-7953.


Prepared pasta sauces are among the blessings of the '90s: They're magically fast when you hardly have time to stir up a meal for the family, and the modern crop is far more authentic, and thus much tastier, than some of the bland offerings of old.

One of the latest entries in the category is Classico di Sorrento, another of the regional Classico line of tomato sauces from Borden. Sorrento is a cliff-top city in the south of Italy and legendary home of the Sirens, who lured sailors to their deaths on the rocky coast. The sauce is flavored with onions and garlic and, like other Classico sauces, is made with natural ingredients and contains no preservatives. It retails for about $2.70 for a 26-ounce jar, and is available wherever Classico products are sold.

Surely one of the nicest things about holidays is that they are usually accompanied by familiar and favorite traditional recipes. Passover is a good example, with its special foods and meal celebrations. Lucky folks who have a trove of family recipes to turn to will have no trouble whipping up the bagels, meatballs in cabbage, or desserts like grandmother used to make.

But folks without a recipe file can turn to "The Cook's Book," a new edition of which has just been published by Baltimore's Miriam Lodge, which for 118 years has been dedicated to community service, including feeding and clothing the less fortunate and buying much-needed equipment for hospitals and medical facilities. The lodge is recognized as the oldest independent Jewish women's organization in the state.

Miriam Lodge has been publishing a cookbook as a fund-raiser )) since 1957. Besides scores of recipes, the latest edition includes a calorie chart, tables of equivalents and substitutions, suggestions, carving diagrams, weight charts and first-aid techniques.

The book can be ordered by writing Miriam Lodge, K.S.B., 7310 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21208. Enclose $9 plus $1.50 for postage and handling for each copy.

4( Here are a couple of sample recipes:

Potato kugel


Serves four to six.

4 potatoes, grated and drained in strainer

2 eggs

1 tablespoon chicken fat or oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 to 1/3 cup matzo meal


1 teaspoon Passover baking powder (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8-by-8-inch pan. Mix ingredients in bowl. Put in pan and bake for 1 hour.

Passover rolls

Makes about a dozen rolls.

6 eggs

1/2 cup oil


1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups matzo meal

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with wax paper and oil. Boil oil, water, sugar and salt. Add matzo meal a little at a time. Remove from heat and cool. Beat eggs. Add gradually to matzo meal mixture. Let cool. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and make an X on top of each one with a knife. Bake for 45 minutes.

Mother's makes cholesterol-free matzo balls


New this year and just in time for Passover is Mother's No Cholesterol Matzo Balls in Broth from Rokeach Food of New Jersey. Each jar contains 10 matzo balls in a natural broth that can be added to homemade soup -- or added to Rokeach's Chicken Consomme and simmered for 10 minutes. The matzo balls are made with egg whites, so they contain no cholesterol, and each one contains 40 calories. The 24-ounce jar retails for about $2.29, and it's available where other Rokeach products are sold (including most major supermarkets).