Cooking the Books
Our bookshelves are starting to fill up—and we like it that way.
We already brought you a taste of some of the fall 2014 cookbooks we can't wait to put to use in our kitchens. Here's an entirely new chapter of titles—10 more, to be exact—that we've got bookmarked:
Tacolicious, by Sara Deseran (Ten Speed Press, September 2, $22)
There's a reason why Tacolicious, started by food writer Deseran and husband Joe Hargrave, has taken the Bay Area by storm: The restaurants (there are now four of them) use high-quality ingredients to make Mexican classics, the cocktails are strong and tasty, and they're just plain fun. In this cookbook, her fourth, Deseran channels that not-too-serious vibe with recipes for everything from "lazy" salsa to Mexican party mix. And of course, there is the taco section, which includes a guide on how to best build them and a recipe for a personal favorite: the famous shot-and-a-beer chicken taco.
Mallman on Fire, by Francis Mallman (Artisan, September 23, $40)
Combine fire, wanderlust and Argentine grilling maestro Mallman, and you've got a book that's sweepingly beautiful, transporting and inspiring. Mallman travels from Patagonia to backyard Brooklyn, with his portable grill in tow, making dishes like cowboy steak a la plancha with crispy brioche salad and grilled giant flatfish stuffed with peppers, onions and herbs. You can practically smell the embers burning off the lushly photographed pages.
A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, by Renee Erickson (Sasquatch Books, September 30, $40)
Few do Pacific Northwest cool like Seattle's Renee Erickson, owner of The Boat Street Café and The Whale Wins among others. Here she organizes her recipes (not just for seafood, mind you) into menus such as Renee's Fourth of July Crab Boil and a Wild Foods Dinner. Follow her effortless lead for those "Oh, I just pulled this together from what I caught this morning" dinner parties we all aspire to.
Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef, by Massimo Bottura (Phaidon, October 6, $59.95)
"Eating is what we did best," writes Massimo Bottura of growing up in Modena. Today, the bespectacled (and quite skinny) Bottura is chef of Michelin three-star Osteria Francescana in Modena, and is one of Italy's most celebrated culinary modernists. As his first cookbook makes clear, he's also a first-rate surrealist with an irreverent sense of humor. Get a peek inside the mind of the master with recipes for Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart and Memory of a Mortadella Sandwich, an inspired deconstruction of a classic dish.
The Slanted Door, by Charles Phan (Ten Speed Press, October 7, $40)
When it opened in 1995 on Valencia Street in San Francisco's Mission District, The Slanted Door was an anomaly in a neighborhood now filled with bougie restaurants. It's since moved to the more touristy Ferry Building, but the spirit of Phan's cooking remains the same: classic Vietnamese cuisine made with the best ingredients. In this book, his second, the chef shares the secrets behind now-iconic dishes like shaking beef.
A New Napa Cuisine, by Christopher Kostow (Ten Speed Press, October 14, $50)
Chef Kostow has made The Restaurant at Meadowood one of Northern California's absolutely-must-visit culinary destinations and his first book is both a snapshot of a chef at his prime, as well as a visual homage to the beauty and bounty of wine country. More coffee table book than cookbook (the recipes are quite complex), A New Napa Cuisine is interwoven with Kostow's personal stories of discovery and portraits of the artisans that also call Napa home.
Mexico: The Cookbook, by Margarita Carrillo Arronte (Phaidon, October 27, $49.95)
This may become your (and our) go-to guide to Mexican home cooking, with more than 700 recipes and 200 vibrant photos that capture the brightness and spirit of a 9,000 year-old cuisine. Carrillo Arronte's recipes range from basic guacamole to blue crab soup, each one calling out the region from which the dish hails. Some of the world's most famous Mexican chefs also contributed signature dishes to the book.
Baking Chez Moi, by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 28, $40)
One of our favorite Francophiles returns with a sweet ode to Parisian desserts. Rather than the fussy, architectural compositions you might find in restaurants, Greenspan canvassed some of her favorite French chefs and home cooks and came up with a collection of recipes that are beautiful in their simplicity: a fresh orange cake soaked in syrup, a classic cream-filled Tarte Tropizienne and buttery palmiers among many others.
Relæ: A Book of Ideas, by Christian Puglisi (Ten Speed Press, November 11, $50)
More essay than recipe collection, Relæ is a glimpse into the mind of Puglisi, an Italian living and cooking in Copenhagen. The Noma graduate and chef of Relæ and Manfred's wine bar expounds on everything from savory desserts (the key: enhancing savory ingredients' sweet quality) to acidity (the "under surface" of good dishes) to his time staging at elBulli (a turning point in his gastronomical outlook). Recipes are more like broad, inspirational sketches than exacting lists of ingredients.
A Good Food Day, by Marco Canora (Clarkson Potter, December 30, $30)
We know and love Canora for his indulgent Italian home cooking at Hearth, as well as his mini empire of Terroir wine bars around NYC. Now, after years in the industry (read: eating too much good stuff), the chef-restaurateur has cleaned up his act. Most of the 125 recipes in A Good Food Day have his signature Italian-Mediterranean influence: whole-wheat orecchiette with peas and onions, halibut Livornese. If this is healthy eating, sign us up.