We've cooked from close to 50 cookbooks so far this year. There were so many excellent books it'd be impossible to rank them, but here are 10 that we loved most. They'd also make great gifts for everyone on your list, from the deli fanatic to the hummus lover, the DIY-er to the globetrotter; we've got all of them covered here.
'cookbooks' on Serious Eats
If I knew that Heaven would be just like Blackberry Farm, I'd pray harder. Blackberry Farm owner Sam Beall's new cookbook, The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm, is a window into his paradise and a guide for cooks looking to replicate his farm-resort's balance of Appalachian terroir and cutting-edge culinary experimentation at home.
Round one of CookFight, the new cookbook from Julia Moskin and Kim Severson that comes out today, took place in 2009 when then New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni gave the two writers, and best friends, a challenge: make a dinner for six people for under $50. Round two was cooking a Thanksgiving dinner. And thus began the conceit for CookFight, a book of kitchen battles. The perfect picnic; the best comfort food; a fantastic children's party.
These 5 cookbooks are treasure troves of fruit-filled desserts, from classic pies and tarts to more unusual options.
It can be so easy to fall into a vegetable rut. I mean, everyone loves a pan of cauliflower or brussels sprouts roasted until caramelized and crispy, but after enough repetition, even that can get old. So we turn to these cookbooks for vegetable inspiration: books which open our eyes to new veggie-prep options, from unusual braised dishes to creative spice combinations. Hey, vegetable lovers, what's your favorite book for vegetable dishes? Which recipes are in your frequent rotation?
Whether you are planning to host a Cinco de Mayo party or simply trying to improve your tamale technique, a great Mexican cookbook can help. And while it's always tough to pick favorites from our massive cookbook collections, today we're sharing 6 of our favorite guides to Mexican cooking: books with photos that get us salivating and recipes that have proven successful. Check out the list and tell us: do you have a Mexican cookbook you love?
Choosing favorites from your cookbook collection is a bit like choosing a favorite child, but here at Serious Eats, we will take just about any opportunity to talk about awesome sources for recipes. Here are 10 of our favorite Italian cookbooks—books that introduced us to some of our favorite dishes to cook at home. (Warning: acquiring these books is likely to increase your pasta cravings.)
The best restaurant cookbooks have the ability to capture a dining experience, not only through its recipes but through tone, design, and the chef's voice. In a way these cheffy cookbooks act as much as actual cookbooks as they do dining mementos, preserving a truly memorable meal after you pay the check.
Whether you've got a confectionary whiz, amateur ice cream maker, aspiring pastry chef, or pal with a serious sweet tooth on your gift list, we hope this list of 6 of our favorite sweets cookbooks of 2011 will help you find the perfect present.
This gift guide has a book for each of the unique cooks on your holiday shopping list. Everyone from the solo eater to the CSA junkie to the science-minded inquisitive cook to the time-pressed weeknight chef to the hardcore griller—they're all covered on this list of our favorite cookbooks of 2011.
For last week's Weekend Cook and Tell we asked all of you to share your Cookbook Keepers, the volumes that have served you best over the years. We're talking about the spatter-stained, dog-eared cookbooks, the ones that are home to the recipes you turn to again and again. So, what are the MVPs of your cookbook shelves? Let's take a look.
Three years later after launching, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is now working on a cookbook to be published in the spring of 2012. Anyone who has been following their tweets might have seen this coming. All those test batches of ice cream? Ah, now it all makes sense. The cookbook will include toppings ideas (like their signature wasabi pea dust) and sauces as well as simple ice cream recipes (definitely one for the Salty Pimp). "Even the hardest recipe in this book isn't that hard," promised owners Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff.
Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook came out back in 2008, but it's getting more attention now with the release of Modernist Cuisine and all of Achatz's new projects (read more about them in our interview). Even if you don't picture yourself making spheres of beet juice or mozzarella balloons every night, it's still a fun book to have on the shelf. Enter to win one of the five copies we're giving away here.
As the "mostly plants" approach edges its way into the popular mindset, it's been a kick to see vegetable-heavy cookbooks by well-known authors springing up from the verdant ground of the major publishing houses. These two new books (one very new, one a rock star from 2010) are among my favorites in this category.
To describe Modernist Cuisine as "a cookbook" is a bit like describing Mount Everest as a hill. With 2,438 pages—3,216 full color photographs and 1.1 million words—Modernist Cuisine will surely be the longest, most thorough examination of food ever published. It hits the market next month with a price tag of $625. The ink alone weighs over 4 pounds—that's about the same as Thomas Keller's entire French Laundry Cookbook.
Judging by the comments in our Best Cookbooks of 2010, it looks like some readers are hankering for a list of our favorite Asian Cookbooks from 2010. Given the wide variety of books that fall under the umbrella category of "Asian," there were quite a few contenders. We were most drawn to the cookbooks that offered both excellent instruction and a distinctive voice, inspiring cooks in the kitchen.
Staring at my towering stacks of cookbooks, I realized that unlike compilers of other top-ten lists, I had the distinct advantage of testing multiple recipes from each and every book we've featured. And for me, when it comes down to judging a cookbook, it's the success (or failure) of the recipes that counts for the most points.
Observer's food magazine, Observer Food Monthly, brought together a panel of cooks and food writers to select the 50 best cookbooks of all time. Of all time! As in, there's one from 1570 (#49 Opera dell'arte del Cucinare by Bartolomeo Scappi—you know, just in case you have some Renaissance popes over for lunch). The list ranged from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking to the Momofuku Cookbook to many British cookbooks, including those by Jamie Oliver, Fergus Henderson, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Do you agree with the list? Have you cooked from many of the books?
In many households there is a venerable old cookbook, worn and brittle, sitting among the newer books and magazines in the kitchen. For a lot of American households this might be Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, or The Joy of Cooking by Irma Baumgarten. Representing as they do the tastes of their period, the recipes in these tomes transcend judgment; besides which, old-school bechamel sauces and old-fashioned meatloafs are good, even if we consider them dated.
The folks at Reddit dig up "the world's saddest cookbook," titled Microwave Cooking for One.