Cookbooks

I am a cookbook fanatic… I have far too many… Select a cookbook to view posts which mention these books. Even better, read these wonderful cookbooks.

This amazingly comprehensive work is filled with wonderfully clear illustrations, recipes ranging from simple to complex, and an engaging first-person history by an author who lived in Taiwan. An absolute must.

Of Miss Lewis's classic, Laurie Colwin wrote:
"In addition to the felicity of its prose, it offers numerous perfectly wonderful recipes."

This book-length evocation of a meal is its own course in writing beautifully. Worth it for the prose alone.

Laurie Colwin said it best: You can't run a kitchen without Joy. From cherimoya to zucchini, Joy has it all. I have six editions, including a cherished signed copy. In an American kitchen, if you must have just one cookbook, Joy Of Cooking is it.

A cookbook that changed my thinking while improving my cooking: eat some fresh, preserve some for later, use scraps to make sauces, condiments, infusions: Eugenia Bone creates a "perpetual pantry" that is as delicious as it is frugal.

A cookbook that changed my thinking while improving my cooking: eat some fresh, preserve some for later, use scraps to make sauces, condiments, infusions: Eugenia Bone creates a "perpetual pantry" that is as delicious as it is frugal.

Laurie Colwin's first of two beloved books about food. From the classic "Alone In The Kitchen With An Eggplant" to "Kitchen Horrors", this essay collection is a must for any cook.

Colwin's second essay collection is just as necessary her first. Recipes include boiled beef, gingerbread, and duck. In 1988, Colwin died in her sleep at age 48. Over 20 years later, the loss is still keenly felt.

One of the first real cookbooks I bought, and still use: spiced chicken livers, broiled quail, spiced pork meatballs, Irish Stew, the list is endless. An eclectic, inviting book for serious cooks of all skill levels.

While not quite a money-saver, worthwhile for many excellent braising and one-pot recipes. Many great ways with meat, chicken, and potatoes. Great desserts for avid bakers, fruit recipes, and good ways to think about cooking "something from nothing."

A useful recipe compendium aimed at teaching basics like baking, sauce-making, roasting, holiday meals. Lots of good plain food: ribs, mac n'cheese, rice dishes, stews, easy desserts. In constant use.

This gorgeous introduction to Burma is more than a cookbook: Naomi Duguid explains the country, the culture, the politics, and, of course, the food, with the sensitive kindness that characterized her work with Jeffrey Alford. A lovely, essential work.

Subtitled "a culinary journey through Southeast Asia", Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's capacious travelogue predates the Western craze for these flavors. Comprehensive, easy to use, and gorgeously informative.

A comprehensive view of rice and rice cookery, from risotto to sushi to pilafs. For cooks of all levels. Fascinating reading and great recipes. In constant use in my kitchen.

Naomi Duguid's exploration of Persian life, cuisine, and politics is inviting and accessible; recipes for soups, dumplings, breads, and kebabs are mostly easy; the photography, as always, is gorgeous and eye-opening.

Whether you cook Chinese once yearly or continually, this is your book. Page 106, Beef With Cumin, is badly stained, and Fuchsia's Emergency Midnight Noodles are a 24-hour staple chez IK. See also the many rice and noodle recipes, along with wok care. Buy immediately.

An in-depth look at the cuisine of Southern China by the incomparable Fuchsia Dunlop. Recipes and ingredients aren't for beginners, yet most are doable. All are deliciously rewarding. A gorgeous book.

With her customary tenacity, Fuchsia Dunlop dove deeply into Hunanese cooking to write this. In her memoir, Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper, she describes the emotional toll writing this book took, nowhere evident in its pages.

Native Californian Hachisu has lived in Japan 26 years. An extraordinary inside look into Japanese life and culture. Wonderful for cooks and non-cooks alike.

Hachisu takes readers on an amazing journey into an unknown Japan, demonstrating the details of miso-making, soy-sauce brewing, authentic dashi, paper-making, tea ceremony, and sake. A beautiful, unique book from a rare bi-cultural individual.

A lively collection of chicken recipes ranging from weeknight suppers to special occasions to salads to leftovers, emphasizing uncommon recipes. You'll never wonder what to do with a package of thighs again.

When UK food writer Henry was advised to lose weight, she sought "where healthy meets delicious." Packed with Asian and Mediterranean gems. Delightful to read, delightful to cook from.

Subtitled: good, uncomplicated food for the sustainable kitchen. Written in 2010, intended to address a failing economy, bursting with practical uses for leftovers, inexpensive cuts of meat, thoughtful salads. Lives up to its name.

Written while Henry was parenting a fussy infant; focuses on food requiring minimal shopping and prep: sausages, chops, easy roasts, simple desserts. The Pacific Lime Chicken is amazing.

A book that fills me with longing. Diana Henry's ode to cold weather food will have you wishing you were tramping through the snowy Alps or pouring maple syrup over clean Vermont snow. In lieu of that, make recipes like Dublin Coddle and Danish Christmas Kringle.

Simple had me baking flourless chocolate cakes successfully. I can't think of a higher recommendation than that. Easy recipes for chops, poultry, vegs, pasta, eggs, and grains. A must-have.

Amanda Hesser updated Craig Claiborne's cookbook, soliciting reader input for favorite recipes from the newspaper's famed Wednesday section. Lively, interesting, amusing, useful.

I think of Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer, the formidable duo behind Canal House, as the East Coast Alice Waters, offering simple, seasonal foods prepared with an elegantly Italian/French sensibility.

Try the ricotta muffins, flatbreads, breakfast mushrooms, Classic Creamed Spinach and American potato cutlets. Realize breakfast may be eaten all day.

Nigella Lawson's first cookbook may shock readers familiar only with her later work. Intelligently written, long on text, it reflects a highly educated woman whose abilities as cook and writer are gravely underestimated.

That rare "quick meal" cookbook whose recipes call for fresh foods rapidly cooked instead of meals made from jars, cans, and bottles. Offering ideas for daily eating and celebratory foods, you'll use it when you aren't hurried.

I love this book, which is a wonderfully personal, sprawling work filled with great recipes for family dinners, special occasion meals, and desserts both basic and fancy. In constant use; I've never had a recipe go wrong.

Chez Panisse alum Lebovitz moved to Paris, where he blogs at Davidlebovitz.com. Here he offers an accessible collection of French classics with his trademark wit and warmth.

The name says it all. I prefer the 1997 version, though the 2014 is also excellent. For eaters of all persuasions. Worth it for "Vegetables: The Heart Of The Matter," a section I consult continually.

An exploration of all things bitter, from fruits to alcohols, arugula to tobacco-infused desserts. McLagan's scientific inquiry is fascinating, the recipes superlative. Exquisite photography by Aya Brackett.

All the humor, perfectionist tendencies, and photography from the popular blog in one great book. Deb Perelman excels at step-by-step instruction. Her exacting recipes for pie crust, sweets, and party snacks always work, instilling confidence in even the most terrified of cooks.

A month-by-month look at traditional foods, foodways, and cooking by Jessica Prentice, a Bay Area chef and teacher who follows Weston Price. More than a cookbook: a cultural examination of food and culture.

Chez Panisse alumna Claire Ptak offers tips, tricks, and explanations that will improve your baking. Emphasis is on quality ingredients and maximizing flavor rather than overly sweet dessert. Quietly classic.

The book that taught me to confit. Rodgers takes readers through techniques like pre-salting proteins, stock-making and the art of braising. A chapter devoted to charcuterie demystifies confit and sausage making. Rodgers died from cancer in 2013 at age 57. Her untimely death remains a blow.

Simple seasonal recipes from an ex-Chez Panisse chef. No special equipment or skills required: simple pastas, easy roasts and braises, tasty vegetable dishes, basic but delicious fruit desserts. A must for every cook's bookshelf. My copy is a mess.

David Tanis's second volume. More simple, seasonal recipes: Asian dishes, chicken, a fantastic focaccia recipe, a simple pork terrine. Photography by Christopher Hirsheimer. Again, a must-have for every cook.

Paul Bertolli's sternly worded work appeared long before cooking became home sport. While some recipes are restaurant-level, the book is worthwhile for the recipe for Cabbage Braised With Reisling And Bacon alone.

Alice Waters returns to basics: I find myself turning to chapters on sauces and "a little something"--pickled vegetables, marinated cheese, stuffed eggs--continually. For cooks of every level.

In this second volume devoted to simple cooking, Alice Waters focuses on organic farming practices and home gardens. An informative compendium of recipes, particularly for heirloom vegetables.

Clay pots aren't crucial for cooking from this, my go-to for delicious inspiration. Will Wolfert make you long for clay pots? Yes. But Chicken With Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato, and Shallots is scrumptious prepared in a cheap frying pan.

Paula Wolfert spent five years researching this book: from Spain to Syria, Israel to France, Turkey to Greece, she offers tempting dishes redolent with garlic, shimmering with olive oil, bursting with beautiful greens. In Diana Henry terms: "accidentally healthy."

An inviting primer on French farmhouse cooking. Armagnac, cassoulet, confits: Wolfert covers Southwest France’s distinctive cuisine with her trademark thorough care.