Culinary Creation for the Creative Cook

Bard, Elizabeth. Dinner Chez Moi: 50 French Secrets to Joyful Eating and Entertaining. Little, Brown. Apr. 2017. 208p. illus. index. ISBN 9780316276252. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316276276. COOKING
dinner chez moi
Bard follows her memoirs Lunch in Paris and Picnic in Provence with this cozy collection of recipes such as ham and rosemary cheese puffs, broiled sea bream with lemon and herbs, and classic cherry clafoutis. She pairs these with 50 secrets to living and eating à la française, each of which sheds light on an ingredient (almond flour), tool (crepe pan), or habit (drinking wine) gleaned from her years of living in France. Throughout, Bard compares French and American culture, offering cheery observations that will engage fans of Mireille Guiliano (French Women Don’t Get Fat) and Pamela Druckerman (Bringing Up Bébé). VERDICT Bard’s simple home cooking will tempt your inner Francophile. Readers who expect glossy food photography will prefer titles like Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen and Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.

redstarCaldesi, Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi. Around the World in 120 Salads: Fresh Healthy Delicious. Kyle. May 2017. 208p. photos. index. ISBN 9781909487611. pap. $24.95. COOKING
120 salads
Acclaimed authors Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi (The Gentle Art of Preserving) are UK-based cooking instructors and restaurateurs who have appeared on several BBC television programs. Sharing an impressive range of artfully composed salads from around the world, they deftly explain how to craft an exciting meal from varied ingredients, flavors, and textures. Fresh, vibrant recipes such as ginger and turmeric fruit salad with whipped coconut cream, peach and lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin, and pan-fried halloumi and roasted fennel salad with orange dressing are suitable for many diets and all times of day. They’re grouped in chapters named for different salad types, including breakfasts (“rise & shine”) and desserts (“on the sweet side”). VERDICT This stunning cookbook will entice all salad lovers, even those who think they’ve perfected the art of dressing vegetables and greens.

Crosby, Heather. Yumuniverse Pantry to Plate: Improvise Meals You Love—from What You Have!—Plant-Packed, Gluten-Free, Your Way! Experiment. May 2017. 332p. photos. index. ISBN 9781615193400. pap. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781615193417. COOKING

pantry to plateCrosby, the plant-based diet advocate behind YumUniverse.com, wants her readers to be able to choose between a structured cooking style and a more flexible, real-time approach. To that end, she organizes this cookbook around 30 everyday food categories such as pancakes and waffles, soups, epic salads, and veggie burgers. Each pairs a master recipe template with several exemplars; for instance, you can use the vegan, egg-free “scramble” template to invent a nutritious breakfast from the vegetables and spices you have on hand, or you can prepare one of three complete recipes. Like Woman’s Day magazine’s Recipe Remix and Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix, this title can help cooks to feel more comfortable modifying and improvising variations from recipes. Expect a few hard-to-finds from the whole foods pantry, including coconut aminos and ground psyllium husk. VERDICT A fun, customizable collection of contemporary vegan and gluten-free foods.

DeFehr, Brian. Les Marchés Francais: Four Seasons of French Dishes from the Paris Markets. Running Pr: Perseus. Apr. 2017. 240p. photos by Pauline Boldt . index. ISBN 9780762459155. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780762461110. COOKING

les marches francaisPersonal chef DeFehr and photographer Boldt, both from Manitoba, began working together after a chance reunion in Paris. This treasury of seasonal and gluten-free French recipes is the latest product of their fruitful collaboration. Elegant, unfussy dishes such as coleslaw with shredded cured Savoie ham, whole roasted duck with cabbage and shallots, and crème brûlée with lavender infusion will have home cooks feeling they’ve escaped to the markets of France. Some readers will quibble over the ingredient measurements (given in weights, counts, volumes, or a combination thereof), but they’ll be placated by full-page color photographs and practical extras, including a guide to “learning to cook by feel and instinct.” VERDICT Highly recommended. Paired with Clotilde Dusoulier’s more vegetarian-friendly The French Market Cookbook, home cooks will be well equipped to entertain guests with almost any dietary restriction.

redstarGerson, Fany. Mexican Ice Cream: Beloved Recipes and Stories. Ten Speed: Crown. Jun. 2017. 180p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607747772. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781607747789. COOKING
mexican ice cream
Growing up in Mexico City, pastry chef Gerson (Paletas; My Sweet Mexico) developed a love for handmade Mexican sweets that has arguably defined her career. Her extensive expertise underpins this inspiring cookbook, which collects classic and modern recipes for sorbets, ice creams, and accompaniments. Readers will anticipate popular flavors like Mexican chocolate, rice pudding, and fresh coconut, but they’ll be deliciously caught off guard by such delicacies as avocado-passion fruit, jicama, hibiscus-sangria, and tamarind-chile (with optional fried grasshoppers). Served with toppings such as pineapple-habanero marmalade, goat’s milk caramel, and piloncillo caramelized pecans, these frozen treats will leave a lasting impression. Gerson’s talent for recipe development extends to her writing; her reflections on the history and traditions surrounding her subject are hard to put down. VERDICT A must-have ice cream book for summer.

Korbee, Nick. Egg Shop. Morrow. Mar. 2017. 352p. photos. index. ISBN 9780062476616. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780062476630. COOKING
egg shop
If your passion is breakfast perfection, check out this meticulous cookbook from New York City restaurant Egg Shop. Chef Korbee approaches wide-ranging dishes, drinks, and accompaniments with a ­precision that recalls J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab. Recipes such as panini rolls, tamagoyaki (a folded and pressed Japanese omelet), and manchego and jamón eggs with fried guava jelly can veer into cheffy territory, requiring specialty tools and a food scale accurate to the gram, but there are plenty of approachable choices, such as chorizo and eggs, Egg Shop egg salad, and buttermilk biscuits. Cocktails and desserts as alluring as the entrées conclude the book. VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone seeking to reinvigorate breakfast and brunch. For another bold, entertaining take on ­morning meals, try John Currence’s Big Bad Breakfast.

redstarMcFadden, Joshua with Martha Holmberg. Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables. Artisan. May 2017. 384p. photos. index. ISBN 9781579656317. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781579657789. COOKING
six seasons
McFadden is the executive chef-owner of Ava Gene’s, a trattoria-inspired restaurant in Portland, OR. After a glowing foreword by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman (The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook), who employed McFadden at their farm in coastal Maine, the author begins this cookbook with pantry and pickling guides, go-to recipes (e.g., compound butters, breads, dips, dressings, fry batter), and essential techniques that can help cooks become better at preparing seasonal and local vegetables. He follows these basics with a year’s worth of recipes grouped into six “microseasons.” Attractive vegetable recipes, written with Holmberg (Modern Sauces), range from brightly colored raw and cooked salads to indulgent appetizers, pastas, and baked goods. VERDICT Under McFadden’s tutelage, cooks will learn how to bring out the best in every humble vegetable.

Moore, Matt. The South’s Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection. Oxmoor House. Apr. 2017. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9780848751852. pap. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780848753467. COOKING
the south's best butts
For chef and food writer Moore (A Southern Gentleman’s Kitchen), pork butt is the cornerstone of good barbecue. To collect the stories and recipes that fill this evocative cookbook, he traveled throughout the American South visiting acclaimed eateries Burn Co. Barbecue, Tulsa, OK; Wilber’s Barbecue, Goldsboro, NC; and Big Butts BBQ, Leachville, AR. Readers will need to know how to use a smoker before tackling regional specialties such as Bogart’s pork butt, spicy Korean pork, and Peak Brothers chipped mutton. In the hours it will take for the meat to become meltingly tender, they can sample quicker recipes for unique sauces (mustard bbq sauce), sides (B-Daddy’s jalapeno creamed corn), and desserts (caramel apple blondie pie). Also included is a sizeable selection of leftover-friendly recipes, such as smoked brisket pho and barbecue pot pie with cheese grits crust. ­VERDICT The breadth of recipes here will satisfy both barbecue traditionalists and trailblazers. Highly ­recommended.

Seinfeld, Jessica. Food Swings: 125+ Recipes To Enjoy Your Life of Virtue & Vice. Ballantine. Apr. 2017. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9781101967140. $32; ebk. ISBN 9781101967157. COOKING
Food swings
Recent cookbooks tend to be ascetic or excessive—this one’s a little of both. Best-selling author Seinfeld (The Can’t Cook Book), wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, has assembled 125 recipes that allow readers to eat as healthfully or indulgently as their mood dictates. The first half of the book is devoted to virtuous dishes (e.g., chia bowl with peaches, blueberries, and toasted almonds; oven “fried” chicken), while the second focuses on more indulgent fare (e.g., lasagna Bolognese, creamiest cheesecake with graham cracker crust). Both halves include breakfasts, mains, and desserts, many of which are labeled gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan. VERDICT Readers can have the cake and quinoa, too, with Seinfeld’s latest, which strikes an effective balance between two popular eating styles.

Tan, Desmond & Kate Leahy. Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes from the Crossroads of Southeast Asia. Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2017. 272p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607749509. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607749516. COOKING

burma superstarBurma Superstar is a popular Northern California restaurant known for its flavorful Burmese cuisine. Writing with veteran author Leahy (A16 Food + Wine; The ­Preservation Kitchen), owner Tan recounts the restaurant’s 25-year history and the circumstances that led to his purchasing it in 2000. The 80 recipes—some from the eatery and others from Tan’s travels and home cook acquaintances—include such captivating dishes as egg and okra curry, superstar vegetarian noodles, tea leaf salad, and black rice pudding. A few ingredients will require some sleuthing, but overall this volume is accessible for novice home cooks. VERDICT Burmese cooking is an area of renewed interest, making this a solid addition for most Southeast Asian cooking collections, along with Naomi ­Duguid’s award-winning Burma: Rivers of Flavor.

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