Newsletter: In the Kitchen: Cooking experiments and fish stories

Peruvian-style roast chicken with jalapeño salsa is one of hundreds of recipes in "The Food Lab."

Peruvian-style roast chicken with jalapeño salsa is one of hundreds of recipes in “The Food Lab.”

(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Fellow Kitchen Adventurers,

No matter how long you’ve been in the kitchen, it seems there is always something new to learn, whether it’s a simple twist on an old technique, a handy tip to save time and energy, or some new technique that changes, well, everything.

This week, Russ Parsons reviews J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's new book, "The Food Lab." If you're a food geek (like me), you're probably familiar with the MIT grad turned food detective and author of the popular Food Lab column on the Serious Eats website. In short, the book is a winner.

Want to become a whiskey expert? S. Irene Virbila reviews the new scratch-and-sniff book (yeah, you read that right) on whiskey by Richard Betts. And with persimmons coming into season, Russ has a handy guide and tips for choosing persimmons, and how to use them. And while trout season may be coming to an end, we share tips for making the most of those fabulous fish you want to bring home, whether you caught them on the river, or at the market. Finally, if you're feeling extra adventurous and want to add a little Jamaican flavor to your dinner tonight, we've found the perfect market to stock up on jerk sauces, curry powders and more.

— Noelle Carter

In 'The Food Lab,' J. Kenji Lopez-Alt turns kitchen scientist

Ever wanted to figure out how things work in the kitchen? Already thinking of holiday gift ideas for the food geek in your life? J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's new book, "The Food Lab" is officially out, and you will want to get it. The lavishly illustrated 950-page, 6 1/2-pound exploration of how science works in cooking is sure to be one of the big books of the fall cookbook season. The book is a compilation of Lopez-Alt's popular Food Lab column on the Serious Eats website, plus lots of new material.

Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Scratch-and-sniff your way to becoming a whiskey expert with this new book

Ever want to become a whiskey expert? Without actually tasting whiskey? Here's a handy scratch-and-sniff primer to help you out. After the success of his scratch-and-sniff wine book, master sommelier Richard Betts is back at it, infusing almost invisible patches with the scents of corn, rye, barley and more. He includes tips for mixing and sipping, along with handy information for making your newfound hobby fit your budget. Cheers!

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Persimmons are hitting the markets. Here's what to do with them when you get them home

You're finding a bunch of great persimmons in the market, and you don't know what to do with them. We're here to help. Russ Parsons explains the differences between Hachiya and Fuyu persimmons, including what to look for and how to use them. And don't worry -- he shares plenty of recipes.

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Do you love to catch trout? You'll love cooking it too with our recipes

It's dawn, and you're camped at a small creek in the Sierra Nevada foothills, just south of Mammoth, a few hours from the chaos of Los Angeles. You grab your lucky wooden creel and stow a cold beer along with your bait and a few extra hooks. Settling in near a dark hole, you've found your first spot, careful to cast no shadow along the water so the fish don't know you're there. After you land one — fighting with the line, slowly tiring the trout as you reel it in — you want to honor it. Cook it right.

Or maybe you saved time and went fishing at your local market. We understand. You still want to cook the fish right. We have plenty of recipes to get you in the mood for fresh trout, whether you prefer pan-fried, smoked or even trout rillettes. In the mood to show your love for trout on the grill? Here are some handy tips for choosing the right wood grilling planks.

Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Need some yams and hot sauce? Head to this Jamaican market in Leimert Park

Looking for a good place to stock up on jerk sauce and Jamaican patties? Right Choice carries an impressive selection of Caribbean spices, produce and frozen and dry goods. You'll find the Jamaican yellow yams you've been searching for, along with an assortment of Caribbean snacks and beverages to get you through the drive home.

Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times

Jonathan Gold's 101

The 101 is coming! The Los Angeles Times will publish Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants, the authoritative annual guide to local dining, on Nov. 4. The print edition will be delivered to The Times’ Saturday subscribers on Nov. 7. And in honor of this year’s best, Mr. Gold will host a 101 launch party at Union Station that evening. For more information go to Official hashtag #JGOLD101

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Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me on Twitter: @noellecarter