Ready, Set, COOK!

Adler, Karen & Judith Fertig. Red, White, and ‘Que: Farm-Fresh Foods for the American Grill. Running Pr. May 2017. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9780762461295. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780762461301. COOKING
Kansas City–based grilling experts Adler and Fertig (The Gardener & The Grill) pack a wealth of information into an attractive and modestly sized cookbook. In addition to delicious recipes (e.g., burrata-stuffed squash blossoms with tapenade, planked chicken breasts with chile lime sofrito, stars and stripes grilled banana split), the authors include such useful features as technique and equipment guides, meat doneness and fish substitution charts, and a list of recommended American hardwoods. Both novices and experts will appreciate the abundant color photographs of fresh, enticing foods. VERDICT This contemporary grilling collection pays equal attention to produce and proteins. Like Barton Seaver’s Where There’s Smoke, it will inspire cooks to try new techniques and add grilled components to every part of a meal, including the drinks and desserts.

Agrawal, Chitra. Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn. Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2017. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607747345. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607747352. COOKING
Debut cookbook author Agrawal, chef and owner of the Brooklyn-based Brooklyn Delhi, here provides a capable introduction to South Indian cooking. Her vegetarian dishes rely heavily on lentils, rice, coconut, and distinctive spices. Batters for dosas (rice and lentil crepes) and idlis (steamed rice and lentil cakes) will need an overnight soak, but there are speedier recipes for cooking on a whim, including red cabbage and citrus coleslaw, stir-fried corn with basil and leeks, stuffed shishito pepper fritters, and summer peaches in sweetened yogurt. Agrawal’s recipes cover a wide range of courses, including beverages, chutneys, and pickles. A pantry guide and list of flavor sources will help readers locate less familiar ingredients. ­VERDICT For anyone who’d like to attempt South Indian cooking at home, this is an excellent starting point. It’s also a great follow-up to Asha Gomez’s My Two Souths.

Buffett, Lucy Anne. Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life. Grand Central. May 2017. 336p. photos. index. ISBN 9781455566440. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781455566464. COOKING
Restaurateur Lucy Buffett (LuLu’s Kitchen), the sister of “Margaritaville” songster Jimmy Buffett, blends Southern favorites with vacation-worthy coastal fare in a story-filled cookbook that urges readers to share goodness and love life. Beginning with desserts—Buffett’s mother advocated eating dessert first—and ending with party menus, the book covers far more than its titular gumbos. Tempting recipes include honey ale pimento cheese, deep-fried okra, grouper with balsamic butter glaze, and mango margarita. Seafood and shellfish starters, mains, and sandwiches are a particular highlight. VERDICT Delicious Gulf Coast cuisine with a double dose of joie de vivre. Highly recommended.

redstarCayne, Alison. The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration To Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen. Artisan. Apr. 2017. 384p. photos. index. ISBN 9781579656737. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781579657871. COOKING
New York’s Haven’s Kitchen offers recreational cooking classes, a café, catering private events, and other services. In her first cookbook, founder and entrepreneur Cayne strives to reconnect readers with the pleasures of making a meal. In nine chapters of lessons on cooking fundamentals (e.g,. “Vegetables: A Lesson in Seasonality,” “Eggs: A Lesson in Timing and Temperature), she shares 100-plus educational recipes such as mixed vegetable tempura, beef bourguignon, fresh tomato sauce, and lemon curd tart. These and other dishes feature straightforward preparation instructions, stunning photographs (many step-by-step), and a cohesive graphic design that’s easy to navigate. VERDICT Encouraging and accessible, this collection would make a wonderful gift for anyone who’s expressed an interest in learning to cook. Cal Peternell’s Twelve Recipes is another great choice, but this volume is more comprehensive.

America’s Test Kitchen. Food Processor Perfection: 75 Amazing Ways To Use the Most Powerful Tool in Your Kitchen. America’s Test Kitchen. May 2017. 192p. photos. index. ISBN 9781940352909. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781940352916. COOKING
food processor perfection
If your food processor has spent most of its life hidden in a cabinet, America’s Test Kitchen’s latest will convince you to get it out again. This book begins with a detailed buying guide, a critical summary of available sizes and ­attachments, and a list of clever food processor techniques. Easy and versatile dishes follow, including ­herbed spinach dip, shrimp burgers, thin-crust pizza, fresh strawberry mousse, and more. The editors wisely stick to everyday favorites (e.g., spreads, salads, mains, baked goods, desserts), providing food processor-friendly versions of popular recipes that generally call for other appliances (e.g., stand mixer, ice cream maker). VERDICT Both new and veteran food processor owners will love this practical guide. Readers who remember when food processor purchases included free cooking classes may enjoy titles such as Abby Mandel’s Cuisinart Classroom, which is unfortunately out of print.

redstarGarutti, Randy. Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories. Clarkson Potter: Crown. May 2017. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9780553459814. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780553459821. COOKING
Restaurant cookbooks often include an origin story, but rarely one so compelling as Shake Shack’s. In this fascinating account of the wildly popular fast casual restaurant chain, a host of contributors—CEO Garutti, culinary director Mark Rosati, Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer, and many others—reflect on the ideas and actions that led to the company’s success. Burgerphiles will drool over signature recipes for burgers, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, fried chicken sandwiches, shakes, and more (even dog biscuits). Though some recipes, such as those for frozen custards, have been tweaked for home kitchens, most include plenty of technical tips and step-by-step photographs to inspire confidence. VERDICT Essential for most collections, this cookbook features American favorites and a must-read restaurant retrospective. If the latter captivates you, try Alice Waters’s 40 Years of Chez Panisse.

Gellar, Sarah & Michelle Gia Russo. Stirring Up Fun with Food: Over 115 Simple, Delicious Ways To Be Creative in the Kitchen. Grand Central. Apr. 2017. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9781538760604. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455538737. COOKING
Actress Gellar and former Martha Stewart Living editor Russo are the cofounders of Foodstirs (, a culinary lifestyle brand and e-commerce website that offers baking kits by subscription. In this family-friendly cookbook, they bring together a year’s worth of recipes and food crafts, including shrimp lo-mein “cupcakes,” sweet pizza with fruit toppings, mini turkey potpies, and s’mores parfait. Some recipes, such as mummy dogs and cake pops, will be familiar to social media savvy foodies, but all will motivate kids to get creative in the kitchen, especially around holidays. Expect plenty of charming bites served in cupcake cups, in jars, or on a stick. VERDICT A fun introduction to food crafting for families with young children. Older and more skilled cooks will also enjoy Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s Hello, Cupcake!

Guzmán, Gonzalo & Stacy Adimando. Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen. Ten Speed: Crown. Apr. 2017. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9780399578281. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780399578298. COOKING
Guzmán is the chef and co-owner of Nopalito, a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco. Writing with Saveur test kitchen director Adimando (The Cookiepedia), he shares 100 recipes for traditional Mexican foods, including shrimp ceviche from Mayarit, stewed pork ribs and cactus with salsa verde, sweet potato tamales with mole amarillo, and coffee and milk popsicles. For intermediate to advanced cooks who aspire to make everything from scratch, there are instructions for preparing homemade masa, tortillas, chips, salsas, breads, and pickles. Beautiful, rustic photographs appear throughout. VERDICT More challenging than low-effort or quick-and-easy offerings, Guzmán’s compelling debut will appeal to foodies and Mexican food lovers who enjoy leisurely cooking.

Raichlen, Steven. Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades: Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too. Workman. 2d ed. May 2017. 352p. photos. index. ISBN 9781523500819. pap. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9781523502189. COOKING
This revised second edition of grillmaster Raichlen’s best-selling sauce and seasoning book boasts seven chapters of barbecue flavor-enhancers, including seasoned salts, rubs, marinades, brines, salsas, and more. Raichlen deftly explains how each of these should be used, and he peppers more than 200 individual recipes (e.g., Jamaican jerk seasoning, yakitori sauce, mango-mint ketchup, saffron butter baste) with informative headnotes and serving suggestions. ­Novices should give this a closer read than experts, as important technical tips (e.g., how to maximize your rub’s performance) are sporadically interspersed among the recipes. VERDICT A useful companion cookbook for creative barbecue enthusiasts. Readers who want more guidance on what cut of meat to pair with each seasoning may prefer Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces.

redstarValladolid, Marcela. Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias. Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2017. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9780544808553. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780544808577. COOKING
Celebrity chef Valladolid (Fresh Mexico) hosted the popular Food Network series Mexican Made Easy and currently appears on the cooking-themed talk show The Kitchen. Here, she presents flavorful recipes drawn from her life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, including crispy potato and poblano tacos, roasted cauliflower steaks with pickled jalapeno vinaigrette, red chile lamb stew, and strawberry layered tres leches cake. These dishes are more elegant than those in her previous cookbooks, perfect for cooks who enjoy entertaining. Throughout, Valladolid shares interesting stories (who knew she competed on The Apprentice), which touch on the joys and challenges of balancing career, family, and home ownership. VERDICT This personal collection of vibrant and varied foods will satisfy many readers. Valladolid’s fans will hunger for more.

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