One of the best things for home cooks about heading into the holidays is the annual release of new cookbooks. This year, publishers have released dozens of titles about nearly every imaginable cuisine and cooking specialty.
We found ten titles from familiar and new authors that stood out for their originality, uniqueness, or beauty. (Whether you give these as a gift to someone else or yourself is up to you!)
Appetites, Anthony Bourdain ($37.50)
In his first cookbook in ten years, the CNN Parts Unknown chef and traveler provides his personal favorite recipes. Comfort foods like scrambled eggs and tuna salad are included alongside more adventurous creations such as chicken satay with peanut sauce. The common theme: simple cooking. Of course, anticipate Bourdain’s blunt opinions and frank talk.
Big American Cookbook, Mario Batali ($40)
Batali, noted for the orange Crocs he wears on his ABC Daytime show, The Chew, owns a string of New York restaurants—plus others in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Hong Kong—that testify to his culinary expertise. However, in these 250 recipes, he celebrates regional U.S. dishes. Black walnut ice cream, Ozark pudding, and—of course—gooey butter cake and toasted ravioli represent Missouri.
Danielle Walker’s Against All Grains Celebrations, Danielle Walker ($35)
Walker, a bestselling cookbook author with two previous titles, drew on her experience with gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free cooking to compile 125 comfort food recipes to take the anxiety out of the holiday and special occasion cooking, such as New Year’s Eve, birthday parties, barbecues and wedding and baby showers.
Deep Run Roots, Vivian Howard ($40)
The star of PBS’ A Chef’s Life weaves Southern-inspired recipes around cooking histories and stories. Howard’s recipe mash-ups take familiar Dixie ingredients in new directions: creamed collards in baked potatoes, blueberry BBQ chicken, ranch ice cream, and tempura-fried okra. Every recipe—whether for beginning or experienced cooks—is beautifully photographed. Unique aspect: The recipes are organized by ingredients.
How to Bake Everything, Mark Bittman ($35)
Since How to Cook Everything debuted in 1998 Bittman has been revered by home cooks for his simple, gourmet-inspired recipes that include variations on a theme. How to Bake Everything is the latest in his How to Cook series. With over 2,000 recipes it’s hard to believe this thick book leaves anything out. There are 15 pages just on pancakes!
Martha Stewart’s Vegetables, by editors of Martha Stewart Living ($29.50)
Stewart’s creativity in this collection of healthy and very user-friendly vegetable dishes balances recipes using common ingredients (carrots) with more exotic items (pea shoots). You’ll have to know your veggies, though, because recipes are grouped by plant parts: stems and stalks, bulbs, leaves, pods, roots, etc. Beautifully photographed.
Molly On the Range, Molly Yeh ($32.50)
This food bloggers’ part humorous memoir, part cooking guide chronicles her move from Brooklyn to life on the North Dakota/Minnesota border with a sugar beet farmer. Interspersed in Yeh’s first cookbook are more than 100 recipes from her Jewish/Chinese heritage, a well as Scandinavian dishes picked up from the locals.
Oh She Glows Every Day, Angela Liddon ($27)
Following Liddon’s bestselling debut, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, is a compilation of 100+ recipes you wouldn’t know were vegan unless you were told. Her quick and easy recipes benefit not just healthy lifestyles, but hectic ones too. Liddon also covers special issues like holiday cooking, recipes for allergy conditions, and straight-to-freezer dishes.
The Seasoned Life, Ayesha Curry ($27)
Curry, a nearly 30-year-old author/TV chef/model/actress/celebrity wife, knows what it is to be busy. Her cooking career began on YouTube, but The Food Network just began airing Ayesha’s Homemade, and she’s bound to become a household name soon. Her debut cookbook includes easy, inventive recipes for homemade comfort foods. Try the Apricot Glazed Salmon recipe.
Taste & Technique, Naomi Pomeroy ($40)
You’ve mastered cooking basics and are now ready to really impress at the table: Pomeroy knows you. This James Beard Award-winning chef with four restaurants is self-taught…from cookbooks! In her first cooking guide, Pomeroy offers 140 recipes that simplify complex meals and includes techniques that pros use to create stunning appetizers, soups, entrees, and desserts.