Butter, eggs, heavy cream with sherry, and lobster—combined in ramekins and topped with a puff pastry. Like many recipes from Lobster (Storey, May), there is no sparing fat for health concerns. This season’s batch of cookbooks represents an ode to fresh flavor—both traditional and cutting edge.
A nostalgic look at what was once a cooking staple is Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking with Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient (Andrews McMeel, May). Written by the editors of Grit magazine, it celebrates traditional recipes your grandmother (or great-grandmother) would have made.
Nostalgic American recipes are the focus of two new cookbooks that select time-honored dishes from across the country: Martha’s American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation’s Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast by Martha Stewart (Clarkson Potter, Apr. 24) and United States of Pie: Regional Favorites from North to South and East to West by Adrienne Kane (Ecco, May).
But some home cooks will be looking to their own garden, farm, or even cupboard this season, as evidenced by the many cookbooks that focus on home-grown vegetables and money-saving cans and jars of preserves.
“I think there will be more of the old-school skills resurrected, like pickling, canning, and infusing,” says Nathaniel Marunas, executive editor-at-large at Sterling. “The state of the economy is inspiring everyone to apply their gourmet skills to thrift in the kitchen.” From Reader’s Digest is Taste of Home Farm Fresh Favorites: Cook It, Can It, Freeze It by Taste of Home (Apr. 12), and from Ten Speed is The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux by Paul Virant and Kate Leahy (Apr.). In The Farm (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr.), food writer and former editor Ian Knauer offers recipes from his own farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he grows vegetables, raises chickens, and hunts for food.
A cookbook that one might argue celebrates heartiness is A Girl and Her Pig (Ecco, Apr.) by English-born chef April Bloomfield, who owns three of New York City’s pub-influenced restaurants: the Spotted Pig, the Breslin, and the John Dory. She has such recipes as squash and pancetta toasts with fried eggs; veal kidneys with garlic butter; and beef and Bayley Hazen pie, made with short ribs and Bayley Hazen (or Stilton) cheese, baked in a suet pie crust.
The Vegan Way
But you don’t have to eat fat to get flavor these days—or any animal products at all. Vegetarian, even vegan, cookbooks are striving to reach more general audiences. And they are succeeding—in both recipes and design.
Coming out from Chronicle is Pure Vegan by Joseph Shuldiner. “Think visual, gorgeous, and stylish,” says Chronicle’s publicity manager, David Hawkey. “It’s not your typical vegan cookbook.”
Adam Salomone, associate publisher of Harvard Common Press, sees changing trends in vegan and vegetarian cookbooks alike, primarily with Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes by Michael Natkin. “It’s not a book that is just healthy or good for the planet—it’s just good food.”
“It’s a conversation that so many people are having these days,” Salomone continues. “They see that they’ve made a change that, instead of limiting themselves, has opened all kinds of new doors.”
A more overt attempt to reach new home cooks is Vegan Cooking for Carnivores: Over 125 Recipes So Tasty You Won’t Miss the Meat. It’s from Grand Central, and it’s photographed by the aptly named Quentin Bacon and written by Roberto Martin, the personal chef of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
“I think we’ll be seeing more sophisticated chefs doing vegan cookbooks,” says Karen Murgolo, v-p and editorial director of Grand Central Life & Style. “I also think there is a whole generation of new vegan cooks who will try to make every dish they know from their carnivorous days with vegan ingredients.” Indeed, the authors serve up such dishes as shepherd’s pie, pierogis, and chile rellenos with creamy barley.
In other offerings, there is The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry (Da Capo, Feb.), as well as the personality driven YouTube chef Brian L. Patton, who, in The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude (New World Library, Feb.), offers such tongue-in-cheek recipe titles as “The Quote-Unquote Tuna Melt” and the “Eh Tu, Tempeh?”
After dinner, you can indulge in sweets and treats by two vegan bakers—both of whom have appeared and won on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way by Chloe Coscarelli (Free Press, Feb.) offers cupcakes, as well as main courses. And Doron Petersan, owner of the bakery and cafe Sticky Fingers, in Washington, D.C., offers up her famous Little Devils and sticky buns in Sticky Fingers’ Sweets: 100 Super-Secret Vegan Recipes (Avery, Feb.).
Rounding out the vegan dessert books are 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury (Robert Rose, Feb.); Vegan à la Mode: More Than 100 Ice Creams, Gelatos, Granitas, and Other Frozen Delights by Hannah Kaminsky (Skyhorse, June), and Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes by Peter and Kelly Bronski (The Experiment, June).
Turning Up the Heat
Vegan cooking also appears in books catering mostly to the kind of cooking manly men prefer—outdoor grilling and barbecue. In that vein, Da Capo presents Grilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard BBQ by John Schlimm (Apr. 17). From Karen Adler and Judith Fertig comes a book that offers seasonal recipes and tips, The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill (Running Press, Apr.).
But back to meat. In Charred and Scruffed (Artisan, May), Adam Perry Lang, with Peter Kaminsky, share new grilling techniques like roughing up meat and vegetables—thus the “scruffing” of the title.
Stephane Reynaud (author of Pork & Sons) brings his knowledge of the pig to the grill in Stephane Reynaud’s Barbecue & Grill (Globe Pequot, Apr. 1). Frank Pellegrino, owner of New York City’s famous East Harlem Italian restaurant Rao’s, turns his attention to grilling Italian-style, in Rao’s on the Grill (St. Martin’s, May).
For those who like it slow and hot, there’s no dearth of barbecue books: Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip-Smacking Barbecue by Ray “DR. BBQ” Lampe (Chronicle, Apr.); Wicked Good Barbecue: Fearless Recipes from Two Damn Yankees Who Have Won the Biggest, Baddest BBQ Competitions in the World by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart, with Andrea Pyenson, with a foreword by Steven Raichlen (Fair Winds, Feb. 1); Brother Jimmy’s BBQ: More than 100 Recipes for Pork, Beef, Chicken, and the Essential Southern Sides by Josh Lebowitz with Eva Pesantez and Sean Evans (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, May 9); and America’s Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home by Ardie Davis (Andrews McMeel, May 2). From Square One comes the Complete Wood Pellet Barbecue Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide & Recipe Book for Wood Pellet Grills (Mar.) by Bob Devon.
And for the true outdoors person, there are two books that might make those camping or hunting trips a little more flavorful: Grillin’ Wild Cookbook: Innovative Recipes for Hunters, Fishermen, and Outdoor Enthusiasts by Rick Browne (Globe Pequot, May 1) and Cabin Cooking: Delicious Easy-to-Fix Recipes for Camp, Cabin, or Trail by Kate Fiduccia (Skyhorse, June).
There is little doubt that families greatly benefit, both physically and emotionally, from sitting around the table for mealtime. The number of new cookbooks emphasizing the importance of eating together at home illustrates the interest in this trend.
The Graber family practices what it preaches in The Daily Feast: Everyday Meals We Love to Share by Esther Rose Graber with Ellen, Ann, Sibyl, Susan, Jane, and Yvonne, out in April from Good Books. Family matriarch Rose, her five daughters, and her daughter-in-law, who, while not professionally trained, all love to cook, each share their favorite “Soup Supper,” “Family Supper,” and “Guest Dinner,” as well as their favorite special occasion menus. Each dish has been perfected through years of sharing recipes, cooking, and eating together as a family.
Sterling, in April, publishes Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? by Lisa Caponigri, who puts a Mediterranean spin on togetherness. The author, who spent a lot of time in Italy as a child, learned to cook with her grandmother and grew up with the Italian tradition of big family Sunday dinners. Caponigri offers 52 Italian Sunday dinner menus (one for every week of the year). Each one includes an antipasto, a primo, a secondo, a contorno, and a dessert. The author also gives readers five tips on how to make Sunday dinner a tradition in your own home.
For the rest of the week, lighter family fare is presented in Salad for Dinner: Simple Recipes for Salads That Make a Meal (Taunton, Mar.) by Tasha De Serio, a chef, food writer, and cooking teacher who started her career at Chez Panisse. De Serio offers recipes using meat, fish, dairy, and grains as well as make-ahead tips, information on salad basics, and key information on when produce is in season.
Dinner: A Love Story: It All Begins at the Family Table by Jenny Rosenstrach (Ecco, May) was inspired by Rosenstrach’s blog, dinneralovestory.com, dedicated to helping parents get family dinner on the table. A writer, editor, and mother of two, Rosenstrach emphasizes her strong belief that the family who eats together stays together and combines stories and recipes in this essential collection.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Gourmet Weekday: All-Time Favorite Recipes by Gourmet magazine, out in April, gets down to serious business made easy. Collected from the best in Gourmet magazine’s “Quick Kitchen” column, these fast and simple recipes, from meat, chicken, and fish entrees to delicious desserts, can mostly be made in 30 minutes or less, all the better to spend time around the table.
And forget that excuse about time: Giada De Laurentiis, in her sixth cookbook, Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner (Clarkson Potter, Mar.), was motivated by her desire to sit down to dinner with her husband and four-year-old daughter despite her busy schedule as a bestselling author and Food Network star. De Laurentiis’s goal is tasty recipes that can be made in under an hour. —Ruby Cutolo
More Steamed Broccoli, Mom!
Kids can be fussy eaters at any and every age. But take heart, these new cookbooks offer help for all kinds of little gourmands.
Out in March from Chronicle Books, just in time for spring, there’s At the Farmers’ Market with Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands by Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan, two women who live in the San Francisco Bay area. Jonath has written cookbooks and children’s books; Brennan is a writer who teaches cooking and gardening to children. The book, which introduces kids to the wonders of farmers’ markets and the assortment of fresh, seasonal produce available there, explains how to choose ripe foods and how to properly store them. Recipes include 65 healthy, child-pleasing dishes that work for the whole family.
The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket by Katie Workman (who is the founding editor-in-chief of the recipe Web site Cookstr.com and the mother of two) comes in April from Workman Publishing. The Mom 100 gives five answers each to 20 common predicaments mothers (and fathers) face in the kitchen. Problems solved include children who are phobic about vegetables, salads, and/or fish, kids who don’t eat meat, and uninspired lunches. Workman also gives tips on how kids can help you make each recipe, getting them involved in the cooking process.
Taking an international approach, Morrow, in April, publishes French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters by Karen Le Billon. The author has written a charming memoir that includes simple, delicious recipes. —Ruby Cutolo
No Passport Needed
If you have wanderlust, but don’t have time to trot the globe and eat your way across the continents, these books should tide you over until your schedule frees up.
Chef Jeffrey Saad, whose debut cookbook, Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Recipes Without Borders, comes out in March from Ballantine, knows international cuisine. The star of the show, United Tastes of America, on the Cooking Channel, is a partner and executive chef of the Grove restaurants in San Francisco, and formerly opened the Sweet Heat Mexican restaurant chain and the Pasta Pomodoro Italian restaurants in California. Saad (who is of Lebanese descent) has traveled extensively—to China, Mexico, Spain, France, India, and Italy, to name just some of the countries he’s visited. The author takes readers on a global journey, discussing each region’s spices, while including recipes for everything from soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees to desserts.
Out this month (Tuttle, Feb.) from another avid traveler, teacher, writer, and chef is Robert Danhi’s Easy Thai Cooking: 75 Family-style Dishes You Can Prepare in Minutes. Southeast Asia expert Danhi explains exactly which Thai ingredients you need in your pantry to make such dishes as classic red curry chicken and pineapple fried jasmine rice. Danhi knows his subject—he researched his first cookbook, Southeast Asian Flavors (nominated for a James Beard award), for 20 years.
For an authentic taste of Italy, there’s Hazan Family Favorites: Beloved Italian Recipes by Giuliano Hazan, foreword by Marcella Hazan. A bestselling author and son of the adored and highly esteemed Italian chef, teacher and writer, Marcella Hazan, Giuliano gives readers 85 of the family’s best recipes for soups, pastas, rice, meats, seafood, and desserts. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Apr.).
Mediterranean food expert cookbook writer and photographer Jeff Koehler has a new book, Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora (Chronicle, May). The 80 recipes, including couscous and tagine classics and sweet pastries, are enhanced by historic information and beautiful photos. —Ruby Cutolo