The cookbook season isn’t quite to an end yet, but this is the last huge blast of cookbooks. I’m not going to waste your reading time because you’ll want to dig into the plethora of cookbook reviews below. Just know there are some amazing new cookbooks, including my favorite cookbook of the year, Deep Run Roots
, and my first runner-up for favorite, The Red Rooster Cookbook
. Also, here is a shout-out for another fave, the joyful Short Stack Cookbook
Adventures in Chicken: 150 Amazing Recipes From the Creator of AdventuresInCooking.com
by Eva Kosmas Flores
Portlander Eva Kosmas Flores is a food stylist and photographer, and her blog is beautiful. I made her Beet Barbecue Chicken Wings. I often find wings to be too sweet, but her reliance on roasted beets brought a much more subtle sweetness to the dish, not to mention a bang-up deep-red color to the wings.
Appetites: A Cookbook
by Anthony Bourdain
Love him or hate him, you have to respect that Anthony Bourdain knows his way around a kitchen. I’m unable to resist deviled eggs, so with his recipe starting out proclaiming, “I’m an egg slut,” I had to make these. It felt a bit like a cop-out to test a cookbook with such a simple recipe, but the Hot and Spicy Deviled Eggs taught me a new trick: chop the white and light green end of the scallions as a topper. These gave the eggs a welcome crunch and an unexpected freshness. Appetites
is a fun cookbook read with surprising photography, all in wild-man Bourdain style.
The Cast-Iron Baking Book: More Than 175 Delicious Recipes for Your Cast-Iron Collection
by Dominique DeVito
The first in a series on cast-iron baking, The Cast-Iron Baking Book
is available smack-dab in the middle of the current cast-iron craze. Aubrey made Broccoli Swiss Quiche and has this to say: “Feel free to relax on the measurements and put in whatever portions look good to you. I eased off on the cheese and only estimated the amounts of many of the other ingredients, and it still came out one of the best quiches I’ve ever made. Also, arranging the marinated artichoke hearts on top (as the recipe suggests) gives it a nice dimension and flavor, as opposed to using fresh ones or mixing them in with the filling.”
Cook’s Science: How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of Our Favorite Ingredients
by Cook's Illustrated
There’s always room for another cooking technology book, and Cook's Illustrated is among the best to explain how this stuff works. These are well-constructed recipes served with a side of science. Every now and then I have to reduce my cookbook inventory, but I never let go of any Cook's Illustrated books. Every one is a gem and Cook's Science
is another keeper.
Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes From My Corner of the South
by Vivian Howard
Dare I call this a perfect cookbook? I dare. Author Vivian Howard has penned a book that is full of personality, that teaches as well as informs, that is filled with good photography and art, and necessarily, that has great recipes. I made the cheese ball called Party Magnet (blue cheese matched with dates, swimming in goat cheese, cream cheese, and butter). I’m not the type to run around typing “omg,” but: OMG! You could be happy buying Deep Run Roots
for this recipe alone, but there are 563 more pages of eastern North Carolina deliciousness.
The Dude Diet: Clean(ish) Food for People Who Like to Eat Dirty
by Serena Wolf
Think of your classic guy who eats everything like there is no tomorrow. Author Serena Wolf wanted to pull her dude back a notch, to make food that has the full flavor that he loves but just a bit healthier. I made the “Taco Bell” Beef Tacos. I haven’t eaten at a Taco Bell since the ’90s, so I can’t say if they tasted like the “Bell.” But we loved them! This is comfort food for hearty eaters who like big flavors with a trimmer waistline.
Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking
by Jessica Koslow
Review by Rhianna:
"Everything I Want to Eat
features fresh, slightly zany recipes for everything from breakfast toast to dessert. The recipes are flexible enough to accommodate pretty much anyone's dietary needs, without sacrificing fun or flavor, making this a terrific cookbook for adventurous vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. The recipes are a little intricate — the Egg Toasts I made one weekend involved caramelizing onions and creaming fresh kale before even cracking an egg, and the Avocado Toast asks for homemade pickled carrots and whipped garlic crème fraîche — but the end results are out-of-this-world fantastic. It's also a beautiful book, with a bright, Scandi-inspired design and compelling photographs of Sqirl's food and customers."
Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes From the Culinary Heart of China
by Fuchsia Dunlop
Author Fuschia Dunlop, an expert on Chinese cuisine, brings us an in-depth look into the lower Yangtze region of China. Rice has been cultivated there since the fifth millennium BC, so who knows rice better? Land of Fish and Rice
is an extravaganza of regional culture and recipes that seem very local to the area. This is a smart cookbook for the cook who likes to “armchair travel" in their own kitchen.
Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables!: Turbocharged Recipes for Vegetables With Guts
by Peter Meehan and the Editors of Lucky Peach
The awesome modern power that is Lucky Peach strikes again, this time with veggies. I made Hasselback Potatoes, which were both fancy and simple. You may want to make extra; I think I enjoyed them even more the next day for lunch. Kim also made a dish and has this to say: “I made the Roasted Vegetables With Fish Sauce Vinaigrette last night and, wow, was it delicious! I love roasted vegetables in the fall. I added onion to the ingredients because that's what my family loves too, and we were fighting over the last bits of this dish. I'm excited to use this recipe again as a standby for any veggies I have on hand like they do at Momofuku Ssäm Bar because that vinaigrette is amazing, with just the perfect, magic combination of fish sauce, lime, garlic, spicy, and sweet. I could also see substituting soy sauce for the fish sauce for my vegan friends.”
Marbled, Swirled, and Layered: 150 Recipes and Variations for Artful Bars, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, and More
by Irvin Lin
I love a fancy-looking cake, but so often I find the recipe much too complicated to bake. Irvin Lin steps in to give us lovely cakes that are doable by the average home baker. Calling my name is the Eight Layer Orange Scented Smith Island Cake (this thing is half chocolate frosting!) and the lovely Seville Orange Bars With Salted Shortbread and Gin Meringue (and I don’t even like meringue, but these look fantastic!). This is a cookbook filled with beautiful cakes for the fun-loving baker.
A Recipe for Cooking
by Cal Peternell
Like Cal Peternell’s previous IACP Award–winning Twelve Recipes
, this is a warm and charming cookbook. Peternell’s food stories introduce and surround the recipes, entertaining us while at the same time helping us along as we learn a new recipe.
The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem
by Marcus Samuelsson
is by James Beard–award winner Marcus Samuelsson, beloved international chef. Let me say straight up: this is on my list of top five favorite cookbooks of 2016. The recipes are a soul food mélange of American Southern mixed with Samuelsson’s background: Ethiopian by way of Sweden, Switzerland, and Austria. I made the Andouille Bread Pudding, delicious comfort food crunchy with bacon and peanuts. This is not just a collection of recipes; Red Rooster
brings us the soul and beating heart of the Harlem community.
The Short Stack Cookbook: Ingredients That Speak Volumes
by Nick Fauchald and Kaitlyn Goalen
The Short Stack Cookbook
is the cookbook that you didn’t know you needed. It’s perhaps the most colorful cookbook ever written! It’s a joy to flip through the pages just to see their creative plating and style. I made the Kimcheese, a mash-up of Pimento cheese, but starring kimchi. The authors stated their intent was to publish a “keeper” of a cookbook, and I think they have succeeded.
Tina Nordström's Weekend Cooking: Old and New Recipes for Your Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
by Tina Nordström and Charlie Drevstam
Scandinavian cooking is burning hot right now, and Tina Nordström is one of the leading mavens. Following on the heels of her popular Tina Nordström's Scandinavian Cooking: Simple Recipes for Home-Style Scandinavian Cuisine
(paperback due out November 15), Nordstöm categorizes “weekend cooking” into easy recipes for Friday night, more celebratory and involved recipes for Saturday, and the Scandi favorite for Sunday: Brunch! Aubrey made the Banana Yogurt Ice Cream With Toffee Coffee Sauce and has this to say: “While Tina recommends serving the ice cream right away, both the ice cream and the sauce will keep delicious in your freezer and refrigerator for up to a week after they're made.”
World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook
by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel
This is a fun book for WoW folk. Character drawings and skill levels go along with each recipe. You’ll find recipes such as Lukewarm Yak Roast Broth (you can use beef chuck roast if you are out of yak), Tracker Snacks (sugared and spiced bacon), and Sliced Zangar Buttons (mushrooms in a brown sauce). For those who can pull themselves away from WoW long enough to make a meal, these recipes look pretty good!