Cooking Reviews | September 15, 2013

By Lisa Campbell, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor

These cookbooks include exciting fall titles from top chefs Goin (The A.O.C. Cookbook) and Boulud (Daniel) and updated best sellers from Hertzberg and François (The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) and Good (Fix-It and Forget It New Cookbook). Whether you’re an amateur, professional, or noncook, you’ll find something to love.

Boulud, Daniel & others (text) & Thomas Schauer (photos). Daniel: My French Cuisine. Grand Central. Oct. 2013. 416p. photos. index. ISBN 9781455513925. $50; ebk. ISBN 9781455513918. COOKING

Did you know that world-renowned chef Boulud lives above his eponymous New York City restaurant? This and other personal details unfold in Boulud’s massive cookbook, which presents 75 signature recipes from his three-star Michelin restaurant as well as 12 simpler regional French recipes. In a middle section entitled “Iconic Sessions,” author and editor Bill Buford (Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany) recounts working with Boulud to prepare extreme French classics such as canard à la presse (pressed duck) and poulet en vessie (chicken cooked in a pork bladder). VERDICT Only serious foodies and professionals should attempt Boulud’s exacting recipes, but many readers will enjoy his and Buford’s essays, which reveal the creativity and skill that distinguish the world’s best chefs.

redstar Damrosch, Barbara & Eliot Coleman. The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook: From the Garden to the Table in 120 Recipes. Workman. 2013. 496p. illus. index. ISBN 9780761156697. pap. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9780761176817. COOKING

Organic gardening experts Damrosch (The Garden Primer) and Coleman (The New Organic Grower) operate Four Season Farm in Harborside, ME ( In this book’s two sections (The Garden, The Kitchen), they deftly explain how to grow and prepare garden-fresh produce, covering topics such as soil preparation, crop selection, sowing, irrigation, and seed storage. Tasty seasonal recipes such as custard-stuffed baked tomatoes, roasted fennel with apricots, and chilled raspberry pie list variations and practical tips. The authors also include illustrations, charts, step-by-step photographs, and a resources section that addresses, for example, seeds, plants, books, and organizations. VERDICT Highly recommended for DIY-inclined readers who are interested in growing their own food.

Dusoulier, Clotilde. The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen. Clarkson Potter: Crown. 2013. 224p. photos. index. ISBN 9780307984821. pap. $$22.50; ebk. ISBN 9780307984838. COOKING

Award-winning food blogger Dusoulier’s new cookbook defies categorization, in a good way. Her 90 vegetarian recipes—appetizing creations such as tomato mustard tart, leeks vinaigrette, and ratatouille tian—are distinctly French yet light on animal products. Many call for healthful ingredients such as almond butter, chickpea flour, and seaweed flakes but never seem overtly “healthy.” Perhaps even more impressive, the book exudes Parisian charm without relying on stereotypical photographs such as those of baguette-toting beauties on bicycles. VERDICT Organized by season and peppered with tips on how to select and store vegetables, this cookbook will excite readers looking for substantial vegetarian meals they can feel good about eating.

Goin, Suzanne. The A.O.C Cookbook. Knopf. Oct. 2013. 448p. photos. index. ISBN 9780307958235. $35. COOKING

James Beard Award–winning chef and author Goin’s follow-up to Sunday Suppers at Lucques features seasonal dishes from A.O.C., her recently relocated Los Angeles restaurant. Enticing recipes, arranged in categories that mimic the restaurant’s menu (e.g., cheese, meat), are inspiring to read but difficult to prepare. Atlantic sea scallops with saffron potatoes and blood orange-Meyer lemon salsa; slow-roasted lamb sirloin with skordalia, lima puree, and cucumber yogurt; and s’mores with caramel popcorn and chocolate require home cooks to prepare several components, operate multiple appliances, and source premium ingredients. VERDICT Goin’s recipes take time and skill, but her beautiful prose will please anyone who loves gourmet food. Highly recommended for professional cooking collections.

Good, Phyllis. Fix-It and Forget-It New Cookbook: 250 New Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes! Good Bks. (Fix-It & Forget-It). Oct. 2013. 384p. photos. index. ISBN 9781561488001. pap. $19.95. COOKING

The latest in Good’s acclaimed series, this slow cooker cookbook features new recipes, a revitalized new design, color photographs, and excellent advice (e.g., approximate temperatures for slow cooker settings). All courses—including beverages, breads, and desserts—are covered, with each recipe listing prep and cooking times and yield. Good, the executive editor at Good Books, is rebooting her brand, and this release ties in with her updated website and new weekly cooking show. VERDICT Compared with recent ethnic and gourmet slow cooker titles, Good’s latest is a workhorse. Filled with unintimidating, pantry-friendly dishes, this volume will please busy cooks, new slow cooker owners, and party givers. Highly recommended.

redstar Goodman, Clio with Adeena Sussman. Puddin’: Luscious and Unforgettable Puddings, Parfaits, Pudding Cakes, Pies, and Pops. Spiegel & Grau. Oct. 2013. c.160p. photos. index. ISBN 9780812994193. $25. COOKING

After training at the Culinary Institute of America and at several well-known New York City restaurants, chef Goodman opened Puddin’, a sweet shop specializing in decadent pudding desserts. Written with recipe developer Sussman (who worked on Ellie Krieger’s best seller The Foods You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life), her debut cookbook is remarkably versatile. For example, Desperate Measures Mint Chip Pudding, thickened with cornstarch and egg yolks, can be served plain or frozen into pudding pops. Other flavors (e.g., tapioca, Nutella, vegan peanut butter) can be paired with one of many homemade toppings and easily scaled to feed a crowd. VERDICT Some of these recipes require patience, but they’re worth it. A superb single-subject dessert cookbook.

Hertzberg, Jeff & Zoë François (text) & Stephen Scott Gross (photos). The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. rev. ed. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 400p. photos. index. ISBN 9781250018281. $29.99. COOKING

First published in 2007, this work has become one of the best-selling bread cookbooks of all time. Responding to years of feedback from readers, fans, and the online community, the authors have updated the original to include new recipes and photos, weight measurements, a better index, and a gluten-free chapter. They’ve also improved introductory chapters (“Ingredients,” “Equipment,” “Tips and Techniques”) to address seemingly every question readers may have. VERDICT With this revised edition, Hertzberg and François continue to perfect their already easy and immensely popular bread-baking method. Essential for public libraries.

Jordan, Christy. Come Home to Supper: Over 200 Casseroles, Skillets, and Sides (Desserts, Too!) To Feed Your Family with Love. Workman. Nov. 2013. 320p. photos. index. ISBN 9780761174905. pap. $17.95; ebk. ISBN 9780761178644. COOKING

Like Lisa Caponigri’s Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? A Year of Italian Menus with 250 Recipes That Celebrate Family and Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry Cravings, Jordan’s follow-up to Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family seeks to reconnect families at the table. Written with busy, practical home cooks in mind, her recipes (e.g., Coca-Cola pork chops, oven-baked sloppy joes) emphasize time and money-saving solutions. Store-bought ingredients such as canned soup and frozen vegetables reduce prep time and cleanup, and appliances that include slow cookers and microwaves minimize labor. Optimistic vignettes (e.g., “Your Life Through Rainbow-Colored Glasses”) encourage readers to be good parents and to live happy, meaningful lives. VERDICT Unpretentious Southern comfort foods dominate this family-friendly collection. Not recommended for readers avoiding meat or dairy.

Seinfeld, Jessica. The Can’t Cook! Book: 100+ Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified. Atria: S. & S. Oct. 2013. 256p. photos. index. ISBN 9781451662252. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451666328. COOKING

Seinfeld (Deceptively Delicious) has written this guide for “Can’t Cooks,” or readers whose limited cooking experiences have yielded inedible (not to mention embarrassing) results. To help them become proficient and empowered home cooks, she offers step-by-step how-to’s (often supplemented with online videos), clear instructions, and constant encouragement (“Look at you! You’re holding a cookbook!”). Fresh and mostly from scratch recipes such as herb-roasted beef with potatoes and carrots, slow cooker lasagna, Your First Chili, and broiled honey-nut bananas emphasize straightforward preparations. VERDICT This nonjudgmental beginners’ cookbook is a great choice for teens, college students, and young professionals and families. Highly recommended.

redstar Shaw, Hank. Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Duck and Geese, Both Wild and Domesticated. Ten Speed: Crown. Oct. 2013. 240p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781607745297. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607745303. COOKING

Shaw, author of the James Beard and International Association of Culinary Professionals Award–winning blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, has worked as a line cook, clam digger, and political reporter. Shaw’s extensive journalistic experience is one of many reasons his boldly titled second cookbook, a “bill to feet” guide to preparing farmed and wild waterfowl, is so successful. Shaw consulted numerous sources to compile information he keenly relates to readers, such as how to hunt the tastiest wild species and how to hang, pluck, gut, and butcher a bird. Duck fat (“God’s gift to potatoes”) is an ingredient in nearly all these recipes, which range from quick and simple to extremely difficult. VERDICT A masterpiece. Even if you never plan to cook a goose, this enlightening guide is a fascinating read.