October releases worth the excitement - second installment

With so many exciting books being released in October, I thought it best to break up the highlights in installments. After you have finished soaking up this post, be sure to check out my first installment which covered nine other titles that are worthy of our attention.

Food52: A New Way to Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs is a playbook of recipes and strategies for planning menus for the week ahead. Food52 titles have always held a spot on my shelves - I have them all. Originally, I bought these titles because several of my friends had recipes published in them but once I read through the books and used the recipes - I knew they were keepers. Food52: A New Way to Dinner tackles the age-old question: "What's for dinner?" With game plans, shopping lists and recipes for a week's worth of seasonal dinners, this book is a winner. Recipes for Chicken Cutlets with Charmoula and Preserved Lemons, Grilled Shrimp with Arugula and Garlic Scape Pesto and Overnight Roast Pork ensure everyone will be happy once meal time rolls around.

Far Afield written by Shane Mitchell with photographs by James Fisher is simply stunning. Repeatedly I have written that food brings people together and this brilliant work chronicles the different ways people join together and prepare food across the globe. Profiles of farmers, fishermen and herders (the stewards of the world) are shared along with 40 recipes. You will get lost in this lovely book, as I have, and will find yourself longing to wander to far away lands. I am totally in love with Far Afield and I think you will be as well. I plan on reading it with my son in an effort to bring the world a little closer to us.

Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking by Jessica Koslow brings us a taste of the California cooking renaissance in this, her debut cookbook. 100 recipes utilizing fresh ingredients are shared that can be customized for any dietary restrictions. This book focuses on composed dishes that are easily accomplished at home. Charred Tomato Soup with Mint and Croutons, Red Flannel Hash with Horseradish Crème Fraîche and Ramos-style Short Ribs and Vegetables in Beef Consommé are examples of dishes from this modern book.  With a fun layout and beautiful photographs of the food, people, and all that make up the farming landscape that keep our kitchens stocked and our bellies full, this book is enchanting.

Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China by Fuchsia Dunlop is another masterpiece from one of my favorite authors. Dunlop is a gifted writer with intriguing recipes that work. I have every one of her titles and if the woman wrote a book about how to stir a pot of water, I would buy it. Gorgeous photographs, haunting narrative, and recipes you will not find anywhere else: Hangzhou "Blanched Slice" Noodles, Mrs. Song's Thick Fish Soup, and "Toothless" Glutinous Rice Dumplings with Pork and Leafy Greens are all reasons why this author is a treasure. Her glossary of ingredients and advice on planning a cohesive menu are bonuses.

Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking from Breads Bakery and Lehamim Bakery owner, Uri Scheft is another one. You know the one - that book that you absolutely must have. How can there be so many books that we must have? I need to find another word for stunning - but it is, stunning that is - just look at that cover. The information packed into this book along with the beautiful photographs and recipes is astounding. Berry and Ricotta Brioche Buns, Potato Burekas, delicate Cheese and Herb Mutabak and Savory Potato Hamantaschen are just a few of the baked nirvana you will encounter once you open Breaking Breads. Many step-by-step photographs of folding and shaping of the more complicated recipes as well as very detailed instructions, in an approachable tone, makes this a bread book that every baker must own. 

Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh is the popular blogger's debut title sharing recipes and stories from her "unlikely life on a farm". We all dream of having a farm, well I do, and Molly lives the life I dream of - tending chickens and spending her days cooking and baking. I do some of that but there are no chickens here except in the freezer. Molly's book is full of stories, illustrations and photographs with recipes divided into four chapters: Breakfast and Brunch, Mains, Snacks + Celebrations and Desserts. Combining her wit and charm with recipes such as Schnitzel Bao with Sriracha Mayo and Sesame Pickles; Everything Bagel Bourekas with Eggs, Scallions, and Cheese; and Marzipan and Sea Salt Mandel Bread all equate to a wonderful book that needs to be devoured from cover to cover.

Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten - as I have said every time Ina writes a cookbook - "It's Ina, buy it".  This title promises to be Ina's most personal cookbook yet and is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from the couple's many years together. There are traditional dishes that she's updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You'll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there's something everyone will enjoy. I had to borrow this language  to give you some information on the book because those that have early access to this book surely are now in Witness Protection somewhere in the Hamptons. Ina, I love you. I will always buy your books.

Mario Batali Big American Cookbook by Mario Batali with Jim Webster is a culinary travelogue of the food of the United States. With over 250 recipes from across the country, there is something to make everyone happy. This is a big, beautiful book with traditional recipes that are easily replicated. I particularly love the ethnic recipes such as Runzas, Cheese Buttons (or Kase Knoephla) and Lefse (Potato Crepes) that are shared. St. Louis is my home town (even though I consider myself a New Yorker after 15 years there) and I was thrilled to see Gooey Butter Cake, Ozark Pudding and Black Walnut Ice Cream to remind me of my youth. If you love regional American cooking, this is the book for you.

Cook's Science How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of Our Favorite Ingredients by Gus Crosby and Cook's Illustrated Magazine shares 300 plus recipes that are guaranteed to succeed. This book is on my wish list but looking at the list of recipes that are indexed - it sounds wonderful.  

I hope you enjoyed the second installment of book highlights. Look for another post next week with an international selection. Long live Cookbooktober! 


1 Comment

  • FaithB  on  10/6/2016 at 9:24 AM

    Great roundup, one of each please!

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