Cooking: Holiday treats
Is there any time of the year more associated with food than the holidays? We think not. These books will help you fill the table for your seasonal gatherings. We start things off with dessert and the master maven of all kinds of cooking, Dorie Greenspan. Cookie craving and creating seem to be part of her DNA; she even dreams of cookies and gets up at any hour to make those dreams into reality. With Dorie’s Cookies, we enter Greenspan’s lusciously illustrated “Cookie Verse,” filled with her fabulous recipes for turning “little lumps of dough” into sweet and savory wonders. Some are easy, like Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprints, and some need more time, like her Brown Butter Madeleines. Meringue Snowballs and Matzo Morsels are perfect for the holidays, while Classic Brownies are picnic perfect. For cocktails and company, there’s Strawberry Shortcake Cookies and Parmesan Galettes. So many cookies, so little time, and every bite is divine.
Anthony Bourdain, gonzo gastronome and former bawdy bad boy of the foodie scene, has entertained us as a chef, writer and global chronicler of daring dining for years. But he’s taken on a new role as a doting dad who delights in cooking for his 8-year-old daughter. Appetites, Bourdain’s first cookbook in a decade, is his ode to feeding his family and friends, a collection of his “imperfect memories” of childhood favorites and some of the greatest hits from his travels, peppered with off-color language and wildly offbeat, entertaining photos.
With 26 restaurants, 10 cookbooks and TV shows galore, it’s apparent that Mario Batali doesn’t do things in a small way. Mario Batali—Big American Cookbook is a big-hearted doozy with over 250 recipes, from Yankee Pot Roast to Texas Caviar. Avoiding the trendy takes, these dishes reflect their cultural and culinary heritage. Divided by American region, you’ll find breakfast specials, preserves, mains, sides and more. Molto Mario, molto Americano.
TOP PICK IN COOKING
Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner is instantly inviting and down-home delicious. It’s filled with recipes inspired by Ashley Christensen’s Southern roots and the meals her diner-dining dad cooked, now made with local ingredients at Poole’s Diner, her restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina. Christensen doesn’t indulge in theatrics; the food she serves at Poole’s is familiar and straightforward, but meticulously thought-through and balanced. Her header notes are wonderfully chatty, sharing bits of her background and food philosophy as she guides us from her fabulous take on Pimento Cheese to Oysters Rock-a-Billy, Braised Pork Shanks and Sweet Potato Hummingbird Cake. This is comfort food at its best, then elevated a notch or two.
This article was originally published in the December 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.