I’m in the Kitchen: 8 New and Tasty Cookbooks

Chapman, Emma & Elsie Larson. A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend: How To Live a Healthy Veggie Life…and Still Eat Treats. Chronicle. Nov. 2017. 208p. photos. index. ISBN 9781452154718. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781452155760. COOKING
Sisters Chapman and Larson are the co-creators of A Beautiful Mess, a popular blog and women’s lifestyle company. Their colorful first cookbook promotes a “weekday/weekend” style of eating, which involves following simple rules during the week (eating a variety of foods and avoiding refined or artificial sugars or sweeteners as well as refined white flour or white rice, dairy, and alcohol) and indulging on weekends. The 75 vegetarian recipes (e.g., spelt-zucchini-carob waffles, chipotle-black bean burgers, double-chocolate surprise brownies, and blended watermelon mojitos) touch on fashionable food trends. Commentary from two registered dietitian nutritionists gives the text some credibility but should not be mistaken for hard and fast advice. VERDICT For readers seeking to jump-start a lifestyle change, this cookbook offers an easy-to-remember, unintimidating approach. Although it studiously avoids diet language, it is at heart a diet program.

redstarEmberling, Amy & Frank Carollo. Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Chronicle. Oct. 2017. 240p. photos. ISBN 9781452156583. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781452157009. COOKING
Founded in 1982, Zingerman’s—a household name in Ann Arbor, MI—has grown from a single delicatessen to a thriving community of food-related businesses. One of these is Zingerman’s Bakehouse, a bakery specializing in artisanal breads and pastries. To coincide with its 25th anniversary, Bakehouse co-owners Emberling and Carollo have crafted a cookbook that intimately blends the business’s unique history and philosophy of service with never-before-published recipes for its best-loved baked goods. All home bakers will recognize its merit, made visible in precise recipes (e.g., Detroit-style pizza, coconut cream pie, chestnut baguettes, pecan sandies with bacon), stunning photographs, and deeply reflective storytelling. Notably, the book includes a wealth of traditional Hungarian and Jewish foods. VERDICT A stellar all-purpose baking collection for every skill level.

Erickson, Meredith & Martyn Nail. Claridges: The Cookbook. Mitchell Beazley: Octopus. Nov. 2017. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9781784723293. $40. COOKING
Claridge’s is a storied London hotel that has played host to royalty, heads of state, and countless stars of film and fashion. Executive chef Nail and coauthor Erickson (The Art of Living According to Joe Beef) delve into the hotel’s 200-year history, divulging tantalizing tidbits about its guests and operations (Claridge’s opens 43,983 bottles of Champagne per year, for example). Elegant food and beverage recipes abound, many aspirational (venison wellington, salmon en croute), some accessible (Claridge’s scones, gougeres). Likewise, there are plenty of useful tips, such as how to assemble the perfect afternoon tea sandwich. Plan to have a kitchen scale handy for weight-based measurements. VERDICT This cookbook is unlikely to end up splattered and dog-eared from heavy use, but it’s gorgeous. Highly recommended for readers looking to fuel their Grand Budapest Hotel, Great British Baking Show, and Eloise fantasies.

Flay, Bobby with others. Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle. Clarkson Potter: Crown. Dec. 2017. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9780385345934. $32.50; ebk. ISBN 9780385345941. COOKING
Flay, owner of several restaurants and founder of Bobby’s Burger Palace presents recipes and fitness tips that have helped him sustain a healthier lifestyle for nearly ten years. Writing with longtime coauthors Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson, he targets health-conscious and diet-averse readers who expect food to taste great, even when it’s wholesome. The book does an excellent job of addressing different dining styles—it’s easy to pick full breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from dedicated chapters, or to assemble a meal-sized assortment of snacks, sides, and small plates. VERDICT Emphasizing flavorful, nutrient-dense foods made from scratch, Flay’s latest is a good choice for anyone trying to count calories and eat more vegetables and protein. Note that this isn’t a light or low-fat cookbook.

Lemke, Lisa. The Winter Table: Fireside Feasts for Family and Friends. Sterling. Nov. 2017. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9781454922544. $24.95. COOKING
Swedish chef and food consultant Lemke follows up her debut, The Summer Table, with a new collection of dishes for colder months. She takes an all-embracing approach, deftly bringing together 75 kindred comfort foods from throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Recipes include a one-pot lamb tagine warmed with coriander and harissa, a rib-sticking fish casserole, and a chocolatey take on Eton mess that swaps meringues for brownie chunks. Diverging from its predecessor, this book groups foods by category (cold-weather soups, rice and pasta specials, eggs) rather than by menu. VERDICT With its easygoing charm and inviting photographs, this title will draw lovers of simple, hearty home cooking.

Mistry, Preeti & Sarah Henry. The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook: Indian Spice, Oakland Soul. Running Pr: Perseus. Oct. 2017. 288p. photos. index. ISBN 9780762462452. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780762462469. COOKING
Mistry, a Top Chef alumna and former executive chef at Google, co-owns Juhu Beach Club, a restaurant in Oakland that serves what she affectionately calls “the hot dogs and funnel cakes of Indian cuisine.” With coauthor Henry (Farmsteads of the California Coast), she provides recipes for vibrant street cuisine, comfort foods, and signature dishes, including ginger chile dungeness crab, masala fries, Manchurian cauliflower, and coconut tamarind curry. Inventive slider sandwiches and fusion dishes (e.g., “doswaffles,” a South Indian dosa and Belgian waffle hybrid) are particularly inspired, and they’ll tempt adventurous home cooks. VERDICT Mistry’s debut skillfully blends knockout recipes and career-spanning reflections. Highly recommended.

redstarRoman, Alison. Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes. Clarkson Potter: Crown. Oct. 2017. 304p. photos. index. ISBN 9780451496997. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780451497000. COOKING
While reading the introduction to freelance food writer Roman’s joyous first book, you’ll want to cheer. “I would never ask you to toast nine different hard-to-locate spices on a Monday after work,” she reassures, right before unveiling an abundance of craveable cuisine. Even gourmets and frequent restaurant-goers will want to stay home for recipes such as butter-tossed radishes with fresh za’atar, clam pasta with chorizo and walnuts, fennel-rubbed pork chops for two, and sorbet in grapefruit cups. These varied recipes are relaxed, doable, and anything but pedestrian. Striking color photographs and punchy writing further heighten the book’s appeal. VERDICT Filled with page after page of delights, this work is as much fun to read as it is to cook from.

Shumski, Daniel. How to Instant Pot: Mastering All the Functions of the One Pot That Will Change the Way You Cook. Workman. Oct. 2017. 288p. photos. index. ISBN . $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781523502097. COOKING
In his finest cookbook to date, Shumski (Will It Skillet?) demystifies the Instant Pot, a multifunction electric appliance that can act as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and more. He thoroughly explains how to operate, clean, and troubleshoot the machine, and then shares 100-plus recipes showcasing its versatility. The prospect of being able to cook dried beans and tough cuts of meat in mere minutes will prove irresistible to many readers. Dishes such as no-stir risotto, Korean-style short ribs with garlic and ginger, split pea soup, and creme fraiche were developed for six-quart models, specifically IP-DUO60 and IP-DUO Plus60. VERDICT This approachable title reveals a path to faster, less laborious meals. Highly recommended for students, small apartment dwellers, busy professionals, and anyone interested in fast, mostly hands-free cooking.

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