Cook the Book: 'The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2'


Anyone with a food obsession who's spent any time on the internet knows the names Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Both women worked independently in food and food writing before joining forces to vet recipes for Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Afterwards, this dynamic duo founded the website Food52 in 2009 as a platform for developing a crowd-sourced cookbook (reviewed here), but what they also created was a dynamic community of home cooks, recipe writers, and food fanatics.

Now they've released a second volume of recipes, culled from their biweekly recipe contests on the website as well as member contributions picked out as "Wildcard Winners."

The only question that arises from an Internet-based cookbook like this one is: Why buy the book when all of the recipes are already online? One flip through the book should answer the question. Not only is it beautifully designed and photographed, but also each recipe has been edited into common kitchen language and is accompanied by carefully chosen comments and suggestions. The appendix also serves as a one-stop party planning guide, with countless menus and entertaining suggestions--a great resource during the holidays.

This week, we'll be tasting five winning recipes perfect for keeping any holiday visitors sated and happy. We'll start off with a celebratory Warm Custard Spoon Bread for breakfast and then nosh on a Not-Too-Virtuous Salad with Caramelized Apple Vinaigrette. Next, we'll prepare a couple winsome side dishes: Roasted Broccoli with Smoked Paprika and Marcona Almonds and Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin. Finally, we'll round out the week with a richly elegant Short Rib Ragu.

Win 'The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2'

Thanks to our friends at William Morrow, we have five (5) copies of The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2 to give away this week. All you need to do is tell us about your signature recipe (or recipes) in the comments below.