Lots of cookbooks tell you which wine to pair with your pork ragout or pot-au-feu de poisson, but with Wine Food: New Adventures in Drinking and Cooking, sommelier Dana Frank and cookbook author Andrea Slonecker have turned that standard upside down. Here, the wine inspires the recipe: Each of these 75 recipes was chosen to go with a specific wine or wine style, and each wine is introduced with information on where it comes from, its recommended producers and why it works so well with the flavors of the food. Some of the wines are old friends: Zinfandel goes with Roots Tagine and Cauliflower “Couscous,” while barbera wine is paired with ruby-red Borscht Risotto. Some are welcome oeno-revelations: rosé of pinot noir with creamy Burrata and Strawberry Salad, a carignan red wine with an herb-perfumed, Parmesan-topped Ratatouille. Frank and Slonecker are a perfect pairing themselves, providing a savvy wine seminar partnered with inventive dishes that invite you to pop a cork and cook something wonderful every day.
FOOD IN A FLASH
As made clear by the title of his latest cookbook, Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, Christopher Kimball and his test-cook minions have been thinking about weeknight dinners that are quick, easy and vibrantly flavored. Kimball, one of the most trusted names in home cooking, shares that the secret to culinary success is combining familiar ingredients with spices, herbs, chiles, sauces, salsas and pungent pastes from around the world. Pork tenderloin combines with kimchi, fresh shiitake mushrooms and scallions for an umami- rich stir-fry; avocado puree and fresh tomato-cilantro salsa create a speedy, no-cook topping for seared salmon. Super sides include bright salads, pizzas and roasts, and there are also recipes for sweets to top off your dinner delights. Detailed instructions, with Kimball’s all-important “Don’ts,” and full-page color photos for each recipe make the making foolproof.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
“Simple” is not an adjective you’d ever think of when describing award-winning cookbook author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking. But the latest addition to his growing list of gastro bestsellers is titled Ottolenghi Simple, and it’s definitely not an oxymoron. Here, the brilliant chef who has lured us into new realms of flavor and spicing is determined to give us dishes from brunch through dessert that are streamlined yet “still distinctly Ottolenghi.” Home cooks have very different ideas about what constitutes simple, so each of the 130 recipes is plainly marked with a degree of simplicity. I’m a make-ahead maven, big on long-simmering stews and one-dish wonders; you might be short on time and looking for recipes with fewer than 10 ingredients or a dinner that can be put together with pantry items. Now you can pick and choose according to your needs and the occasion, knowing that for Ottolenghi, simple equals sensational. His latest is guaranteed to excite and delight.