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Best Cookbooks I've tried this year...

  • Nov 21, 2009
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I've been reading a lot of cookbooks lately, sampling different cuisines, and try to amp up my recipe portfolio. Here are a few of my favorites so far based on presentation, recipes and inspiring culinary stories.
660 Curries
Let's see...have I mentioned I LOVE Indian food. This book makes home-cooked Indian accessible and easy. Iyer, the Chef, works his way through the different regions and cultures of India and share recipes from each. I've found the preparation tips and ingredient glossary extremely helpful.
il Viaggio
This is an amazing cookbook and story! Chef Marc Vetri details his amazing culinary journey and the evolution of his restaurant. Each chapter is prefaced with a memoir style essay detailing Vetri's experience and culinary learning's from his travels. Most recipes include beautiful photos and wine pairing recommendations.
A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
This is a visually simple and beautiful book. Chapters are divided by season, encouraging fresh ingredients and timely flavorful dishes. Inserted in the chapters are tips from the chef including  the importance of olive oil and how to properly wash greens. The dishes are gourmet and slightly complicated, but there is a wide variety of cuisine types to choose from and the directions are easy to follow.  
Bobby Flay's Grill It!
I think a grilling book is a must-have! This book is nice mix of meats, fish, veggies and even fruit recipes (which results in somewhat healthy and creative desserts). Flay's sauces and seasonings are always mouth watering and full of flavor. I really like his salmon with honey-mustard-mint sauce.
A16: Food + Wine
Yum. This cookbook is based off the San Fran restaurant A16, which is devoted to Italian rustic cuisine and full bodied wines. I really enjoyed the history and detailed essays on the varieties of red and white wines produced in Southern Italian. The author also includes food pairing tips, which is especially helpful when entertaining. The second half of the book is dedicated to food. Some of the recipes are a tad complicated, but delicious all the same.
The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever
Casserole dishes always remind me of home and the holidays. Through this cookbook I've found the there are hundreds (more than 500 recipes in this book!) of amazing appetizers, breakfast, brunch, vegetarian and dessert casseroles. These dishes are quick and easy to prepare and range from casual to elegant. These recipes create perfect dinners for the fam or elegant meals for entertaining.
Giada's Kitchen
I really enjoy Giada's cooking shows and I find her cookbooks equally enjoyable. This book is straight forward with fresh ingredients, easy preparation, and lots of flavor. I like that she creates dishes that are hearty but still healthy.
Secrets of the Red Latern
The author and restaurateur details the true story of her family's immigrant experience through powerful story telling and family photographs. This is an exceptional book filled with over 275 Vietnamese recipes that are straight forward and simple to prepare. My only issue is that some of the ingredients are not the easiest to find and you'll have to be a bit more resourceful in your shopping expeditions.
Italian Grill
This cookbook is interesting, because I don't usually thinking of Italian when I think of grilling. I enjoy the light marinades and clean presentation. The book has tons of colorful photos and a great ingredients sections. This is a nice twist on traditional grilling. I also think this would make a great gift for a passionate griller!
Urban Italian
Critics have called this book, "Creative yet accessible" and I would agree. A lot of the recipes are traditional with a modern twist. The cookbook arrangement goes from antipasti to dolci, very straight forward. The recipe steps are comprehensive and easy to follow making this a cookbook that anyone one can use and enjoy.

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November 21, 2009
Bethany, I love this!  I'm super intrigued by #2 and #8, will have to check those out!  If you haven't already, you should check out a few Thomas Keller cookbooks, including The French Laundry Cookbook, it's pretty amazing stuff.  Thanks for this awesome list! :)
About the list creator
Bethany ()
Ranked #19
Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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