cover image hCook This Now

hCook This Now

Melissa Clark. Hyperion, $29.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4013-2398-1

Veteran cookbook author, James Beard recipient, and New York Times food columnist, Clark presents readers with 120 recipes organized by season and month. With a candid opening essay on weekly trips to her local NYC farmers’ market in the dead of winter—think frosty fingers, and ice-topped milk—Clark sets the course for this down-to-earth, realistic guide to cooking throughout the year, finding and highlighting seasonal gems in mains, side dishes, and desserts. Numbered steps guide home cooks through recipes ranging from the simple and quick— August’s A Perfect Tomato Sandwich, June’s Green Peach Salad with Lime and Basil, and March’s Spicy Black Beans with Chorizo and Jalapeños—to simple and slow cooked—September’s Braised Pork Ribs with Green Tomato, Orange, and Thyme, and November’s Ham Bone, Greens and Been Soup. “What Else?” sections feature bulleted tips at the end of recipes such as how to turn a stew into a soup and substituting canned beans for dry, while “A Dish By Another Name” headers lead readers to easy recipe variations. Even with a multitude of cooking-by-season titles in the marketplace, the author’s inspiring use of fresh ingredients and flexible attitude toward cooking make this a solid addition to any kitchen cookbook shelf. (Oct.)