Blais, Richard. So Good: 100 Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9780544663312. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780544663091. COOKING
Since winning Top Chef All-Stars, chef and restaurateur Blais (Try This at Home) has appeared as a host and judge on Top Chef, MasterChef, and Iron Chef America. Here, he shares the Southern and internationally influenced foods he enjoys with his wife and two daughters. Recipes for onion rings, vegetarian beet loaf, short ribs with lemongrass, and almost-cured salmon with horseradish may call for unusual ingredients (e.g., liquid nitrogen), but Blais always provides conventional alternatives. Adventurous meat lovers will enjoy tempting preparations for pork cheeks, trotters, oxtails, and a lamb’s head. More approachable dishes include gnudi and brown butter, pickle juice-brined fried chicken, and Nutella ice cream. VERDICT Blais’s latest is more accessible than its predecessor but no less creative. Expect demand from Top Chef and Food Network fans.
Food52 Eds. Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways To Turn Salad into Dinner—And Make-Ahead Lunches, Too. Ten Speed: Crown. Apr. 2017. 160p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399578045. $22.99; ebk. ISBN 9780399578052. COOKING
The lackluster side salad gets a meal-worthy makeover in this new collection from the editors of Food52.com. Like Mindy Fox’s Salads: Beyond the Bowl and Jane Baxter and John Vincent’s LEON Happy Salads, this book contains multiple categories of salad (e.g., grain and bean, fish and seafood, meat) to suit all tastes and occasions. Sixty recipes—including roasted potato salad with mustard-walnut vinaigrette, lemony Greek pasta salad, and grilled lobster salad with lemon-thyme butter—emphasize variety, drawing on flavorful components such as fresh herbs and toasted nuts for vibrancy and zest. Half are new; the rest are “greatest hits” from the Food52 community. VERDICT Use this cookbook to revive sad salads and workplace lunches. If salads are your preferred meal, consider adding it to your personal collection.
Haedrich, Ken. The Harvest Baker: 150 Sweet & Savory Recipes Celebrating the Fresh-Picked Flavors of Fruits, Herbs & Vegetables. Storey. Jun. 2017. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9781612127675. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781612127682. COOKING
If you’re trying to eat more vegetables, why not bake them into cakes and pies? Renowned author and teacher Haedrich (Dinner Pies) returns with a new collection of hearty baked goods featuring garden and farm fresh produce. There are many excellent recipes to choose from, including butternut squash crumb muffins, tomato slab pie, cauliflower Parmesan pizza, and apple pecan pound cake with maple syrup glaze. Most can be made by hand using conventional equipment—ready some elbow grease for a few directions such as “stir vigorously for 100 strokes.” VERDICT Bakers will want to have this book on hand during summer and fall, when they’re facing surplus squash or a glut of other fruits and vegetables. Highly recommended.
Louis, Jenn & Kathleen Squires. The Book of Greens: A Cook’s Compendium of 40 Varieties, from Arugula to Watercress, with More Than 175 Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown. Apr. 2017. 328p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607749844. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781607749851. COOKING
This informative guide to greens from chef Louis (Pasta by Hand) and freelance writer Squires (Coolhaus Ice Cream Book) has a kinship with excellent titles such as Jennifer McLagan’s Bitter, Diane Morgan’s Roots, and Michelle McKenzie’s Dandelion and Quince. These 150 recipes (e.g., radicchio hand pies with quince paste and blue cheese, sake-braised Chinese celery, and deviled eggs with dandelion greens and cornichon) showcase dozens of plants and herbs, including lesser-known varieties of celtuce, nettles, spigarello (leaf broccoli), and water spinach. This volume is arranged alphabetically by ingredient, and a handy list near the front makes it easy to browse for individual courses, vegetarian dishes, and even butter lettuce panna cotta. VERDICT Recommended for anyone who wants to explore unfamiliar greens from grocery stores and farmers markets.
Prescott, Dennis. Eat Delicious: 125 Recipes for Your Daily Dose of Awesome. Morrow. Apr. 2017. 368p. photos. index. ISBN 9780062456038. $27.50; ebk. ISBN 9780062456052. COOKING
Fed up with cereal for dinner, former touring musician Prescott borrowed cookbooks from the Nashville Public Library and began teaching himself to cook. Now a Food & Wine columnist and admired Instagrammer (instagram.com/dennistheprescott), he’s authored a heartfelt debut filled with bold recipes, vibrant photographs, and gentle advice on how to be your best self. The 125 dishes featured here include internationally influenced comfort foods such as salmon banh mi sandwiches, paprika-coriander chicken with apricot cous cous, Mexican-style grilled corn, and lemon-ricotta mini doughnuts with chocolate sauce. In a nod to Prescott’s roots, there are also many Canadian foods, including poutine, Caesar cocktails, and many things maple-flavored. VERDICT Prescott’s laid-back approach to cooking will entice readers who want to eat well and have fun in the kitchen. Try this if you enjoyed Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings.
Punyaratabandhu, Leela. Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand. Ten Speed: Crown. May 2017. 368p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399578311. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780399578328. COOKING
Punyaratabandhu (Simple Thai Food) is the creator of the award-winning Thai food blog SheSimmers.com. Her second cookbook blends vivid memories of family and travel with recipes for iconic foods from the city of Bangkok. Fragrant dishes such as watermelon with fish dip, slow-cooked chicken in coconut-galangal cream sauce, and lychee in iced syrup with young ginger and green mango invite leisurely cooking and will draw home cooks who want to advance beyond quick and easy Thai recipes. Access to an Asian grocery store is a must—otherwise, it will be challenging to obtain ingredients such as pandan leaves, durian pulp, fried tofu puffs, and pork blood cake. VERDICT Let this stunning, transporting cuisine carry you away.
Purviance, Jamie. Weber’s Greatest Hits: 125 Classic Recipes for Every Grill. Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2017. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9780544952379. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780544951631. COOKING
Grill manufacturer Weber has been publishing cookbooks since the 1950s. For this new collection, grilling guru and best-selling author Purviance (Weber’s New American Barbecue) narrowed more than 2,500 Weber recipes to 125 of the best. In course- and ingredient-based chapters (e.g., starters, beef and lamb, pork, desserts), the author collects foolproof favorites such as grilled oysters with four sauces, easy roasted rosemary chicken, new potato salad with bacon and onions, and skillet blueberry cobbler. Accompanied by all-new photographs and practical tips, these easy dishes will interest just about everyone. VERDICT A solid selection of everyday and classic grilling recipes with an occasional twist. Highly recommended.
Viviani, Fabio. Fabio’s 30-Minute Italian: Over 100 Fabulous, Quick and Easy Recipes. St. Martin’s. May 2017. 288p. photos by Matt Armendariz. index. ISBN 9781250109958. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250109965. COOKING
Chef Viviani is an author, television host, and restaurateur who is well known for his appearances on Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. His follow-up to Fabio’s American Home Kitchen aims to simplify Italian cooking, offering takes on small plates, mains, and desserts that can be whipped up in half an hour or less. Recipes such as skillet orecchiette with tarragon and lump crab, prosecco braised chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and leeks, and spiced chocolate pudding with toasted rice crisps are speedy yet sophisticated, ideal for cooks who’d rather spend more time at the table than in the kitchen. Throughout, Viviani chimes in charmingly with tips, techniques, and personal anecdotes. VERDICT Featuring satisfying recipes from a popular personality and gorgeous photographs from noted blogger Armendariz, this title is sure to be in demand.