'Around My French Table'
Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table is a wonderfully personal journey though her time spent in France. Greenspan shares recipes adapted from friends, chefs, and bakers she's met over the years, compiling them into an absolutely gorgeous cookbook. These Salted Butter Break-Ups will have you seriously considering relocating to a little apartment in the 5th arrondissement.
'Canal House Cooking Volume N°4'
Quarterly cookbook Canal House Cooking, lovingly self-published by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, is always a favorite around here, but with their summer 2010 edition these ladies really outdid themselves. Simple, elegant recipes like Corn Soup With Lobster And Avocado and Quick Cured Salmon are the kind of fare that keep us going back to Canal House over and over again.
'The Art of Eating In'
While Cathy Erway's The Art of Eating In is more of a memoir with recipes than an actual cookbook, it was way too entertaining of a read (and the recipes were too tasty) not to be included on our best-of list. The Art of Eating In takes you through Erway's year of not eating out in New York, punctuated with an eclectic assortment of recipes including Fresh Basil Panna Cotta and Pomegranate-Braised Beef Cheeks With Butternut Squash Purée.
'The New Brooklyn Cookbook'
As a former Brooklynite, I have a special place in my heart for The New Brooklyn Cookbook. Featuring recipes from Brooklyn favorites like Franny's Chicken Liver Crostini and The Good Fork's Steak and Eggs Korean Style means that even those who don't live in the progressive borough can enjoy the the vibrant dishes that helped shape this new culinary movement.
'Put 'em Up!'
Put 'em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton is by far the most exciting preserving cookbook I saw this year. Along with traditional techniques such as canning and pickling, Vinton expands on the subject with creative ideas for shelf life extension. Take a look at these Dried Mushrooms and Vin d'Orange for some insight into her world of preserving.
When adapting restaurant recipes at home, there's always a chance that some of the authenticity will get lost in translation. But that's not the case at all with Mario Batali and Mark Ladner's Molto Gusto, a book full of recipes adapted from their New York enoteca and pizzeria, Otto. Antipasti like Octopus and Celery and Lentils with Pancetta taste identical to those served in the restaurant and there's even a recipe for replicating Otto's signature Olive Oil Gelato at home.
'In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite'
Melissa Clark's A Good Appetite column in The New York Times is one of my favorites, so when I heard she was releasing a cookbook based on the column, I knew it was destined to become a favorite. Reading about the evolution of the recipes in the book gives the reader-cook an insight into Clark's creative process for coming up with the dishes. The recipes shared within In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite (think Garlicky Steamed Mussels With Corn And Sherry and Roasted Chicken Thighs With Apples, Gin, And Coriander Seeds) are elegant but still homey and comforting—like eating dinner at your best friend's house who just so happens to be an incredible cook.
'The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual'
While we're on the topic of successful restaurant cookbooks, we have to take a minute to talk about The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual from Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo, proprietors of Frankies Spuntino. The Franks' guide to their own unique take on Italian-American cuisine is as great to read as it is to look at, thanks to co-author Peter Meehan and illustrations by former Frankies waitress Sarah Rutherford. Oh, and their Meatball recipe is every bit as delicious as it is in their Brooklyn restaurant.
'Fiesta at Rick's'
One look at Fiesta at Rick's from Rick Bayless and you can't help but be tempted to put together a fiesta of your own. With a calm, knowledgeable, and encouraging tone, Bayless takes the fear out of entertaining with guides to throwing all shapes and sizes of Mexican-themed get-togethers. Champagne Margaritas and Bacon Tomato Guacamole are on the top of our list for favorite fiesta fare.
'Cooking Under Pressure'
Before embarking on a week's worth of pressure cooker recipes from Lorna Sass's Cooking Under Pressure, I have to say that I was a little more than afraid of this stovetop cooker. But after making an incredible Boeuf En Daube Provençal and a potful of the world's quickest Chicken Broth, I was a pressure cooker convert, thanks to Sass's creative and modern pressure cooker cookbook.