Not for the first time, I’m a little behind on my New Year’s resolutions. But here I am, about to get started on the main one: Cook more at home.
And so, with help from my F&W co-workers, I’ve compiled a list of some excellent new cookbooks out this spring that will help me make everything from Black Pepper Biscuits to a gorgeous appetizer titled El Bulli’s Water Lilies that’s got more than 50 steps, as well as a perfect Negroni, which, of course, I’ll need after I try, and fail, to make that water lily dish.
Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything, by Donald Link & Paula Disbrowe
Epic chef Donald Link focuses on true down-home Southern cooking, from Memphis to New Orleans, with sensational recipes like Beer-Smoked Beef Short Ribs and Black Pepper Biscuits.
Vibrant Food, by Kimberley Hasselbrink
Hasselbrink is an acclaimed food blogger and her first cookbook comes out this June. Her recipes are simple and seasonal; they’re also invariably gorgeous and colorful. You can check out sample dishes like Baked Almond Pancake with Strawberries on her blog, The Year in Food, where you can preorder the book, as well.
The Nourished Kitchen, by Jennifer McGruther
Another food blogger with a great cookbook, McGruther looks to the past for inspiration for her recipes. And looking to the past means appreciating ingredients like butter and lard, as well as heirloom vegetables, meat and grains. Her recipes range from Simple Green Salad with Buttermilk Dressing to Cider-Brined Slow-Roasted Chicken and Spiced Pot Roast. You can order the book, and find her recipes, at Nourished Kitchen.
Eating with the Chefs, by Per-Anders Jörgensen
The editor-in-chief and head photographer of Sweden’s drop-dead gorgeous Fool magazine visited 18 of the world’s top restaurants (including Chez Panisse, the French Laundry and Noma) to discover what they eat for their staff family meal before service. Jörgensen’s pictures are incredible, and it’s awesome to see what the staffs are making for their own dinners. At Chez Panisse, it’s Summer Vegetable Soup with Pesto; at Noma it’s Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies, which is one reason I want to go work at Noma now.
ElBulli 2005-2011, by Ferran Adrià, Albert Adrià and Juli Soler
Speaking of eating with the chefs: The world’s most famous chef, Ferran Adrià, has released a seven-volume catalog with more than 750 recipes from the world’s most famous restaurant, El Bulli. One of the volumes, called “Evolutionary Analysis,” tells the El Bulli story and chronicles the mind-blowing process of creating dishes there. It’s $625 for the set, and recipes average several dozen steps each. But it’s extraordinary.
Food & Wine Cocktails 2014
It’s the 10-year anniversary of the F&W cocktail book! Cheers! This edition features 150 of our very favorite cocktails from the past decade, including classics (the Sidecar and Mint Julep) and new innovations (like the Avocado Daiquiri, which is delicious, I promise, and the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned, spiked with mezcal). We’ve also got some killer bar food recipes, like Danger Tots—Tater Tots served nacho-style with melted cheese, bacon, guacamole and sour cream; and info on the 100 Best Bars from all over the country.