What a year for cookbooks! I had a hard time settling on just 10, but the following, in no particular order are my choices for this year.
- “A New Turn In The South,” by Hugh Acheson
This is new Southern food at its finest. Regional favorites like country ham, sparkle when paired with chilied mango. And while I do love shrimp and grits, scallops served with collards and crisp grit discs just might be a new contender.
- “Cook This Now,” by Melissa Clark
If you want to add a little pizzazz to your meals without going too far out into left field, this is the book for you. Clark has a way of taking the ordinary; giving it a little tweak and making it into something you want to eat again, and again.
- “Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals,” by Pam Anderson
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these recipes. Designed to empower the cook, there are master formulas with options for add-ins and flavor variations turning one recipe into so much more. I guarantee you won't miss the meat.
- “Homemade,” by Yvette Van Boven
The title says it all; this is the perfect DIY book, chock full of recipes for making cheese, jams, ice creams, and all manner of homemade dishes; both sweet and savory. All of this, plus easy to follow directions and fun illustrations.
- “The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook,” by Diane Phillips
It’s no secret that I’m in love with my pressure cooker. Who wouldn’t be when it takes about 15 minutes to make a creamy risotto. And thanks to Phillips, I’m now cooking pasta, along with its sauce in the cooker. One pot to clean and dinner in 15 minutes-works for me!
- “The Fearless Baker,” by Emily Luchetti and Lisa Weiss
This takes the novice into the kitchen, literally, as Luchetti bakes alongside students instructing them on the hows and why’s along the way. For novices and old hands alike-try the ginger cookies, or pecan sandies and you’ll see why.
- “The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes From Exceptional Home Cooks,” by Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs
This interesting mix of recipes comes from home cooks/avid readers and users of the food52 website. This is truly a community cookbook. Hesser, Stubbs, and a group of others tested the recipes to make sure they worked, the community voted and here they are in a beautiful, thoughtful book.
- “The Glorious Pasta of Italy,” by Domenica Marchetti
This pick is like strolling down the streets of so many Italian cities sampling the best pasta dish each has to offer. Fresh or dried, tossed with any number of sauces; this is truly an ode to pasta in all of its wonderful guises.
- “The Homesick Texan,” by Lisa Fain
A cookbook that will have you wanting to hop in the car to take a road trip for some great Lone Star cuisine. Short of that, pick up the book and you’ll find recipes for all sorts of favorites, including smoky corn chowder and Fain’s grandma’s chocolate pie.
- Mourad “New Moroccan,” by Mourad Lahlou is inspirational.
And while it is a chef’s book, the recipes are approachable, the descriptions are mouth-watering, and for the most part, the ingredients are readily available. Several of the dishes in the book, including a vibrant hot and sweet sauce called harissa made their way to my Thanksgiving table.