Ina Garten is back and better than ever. Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks is Garten’s 11th cookbook and a super seminar on how to incorporate the time-tested kitchen tricks she’s come to rely on into your own cooking. Though she’s a true self-taught cook, Garten’s years as a caterer and specialty food-store owner and her close association with professional chefs and bakers have taught her how to make “flavors sing and presentations pop.” Now she shares her pro tips with us, along with a carefully curated collection of recipes, from cocktails, appetizers (Sausage & Mushroom Strudels) and breakfast delights to soups, salads and dinner (flaky Flounder Milanese topped with Arugula Salad), finished off with veggies, sides and desserts (Fresh Fig & Ricotta Cake). Sprinkled throughout this comestible cache, like informative amuse-bouches, are short essays on measuring, prepping, baking and testing for doneness like a pro. This is bound to be one of the season’s go-to gourmet gifts.
TESTED AND TRUSTED
Cook’s Illustrated magazine, champion of a thoughtful and no-nonsense approach to home cooking, is celebrating its 25th anniversary by giving us a present—Cook’s Illustrated Revolutionary Recipes. The “revolution” here is not exotic ingredients or wild flavor combos; it’s an insistent pursuit of perfect recipes and the foolproof way to make everything from poached eggs and the crispiest of Crispy Fried Chicken to rich Ragù alla Bolognese or a No-Knead Brioche. Each of these 180 recipes is a master class, starting with an essay that breaks the dish apart and explores how and why it works. Included along with the carefully detailed cooking directions, black-and-white photos and line drawings are tips on techniques and prep, what to look for when buying ingredients and intriguing variations to extend your repertoire.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
I read a lot of cookbooks, and it’s rare when I want to make—and eat—almost every recipe. But that’s what happened when I went through Dorie Greenspan’s latest, Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook. She’s out-“Doried” herself this time: The 150 recipes included here are fabulous and introduced with wonderfully written and informative header notes. Greenspan’s impeccable instructions, make-ahead advice and ideas for swapping out major ingredients are all seasoned with her casual, practical ease, culinary savvy and style. There are dishes for every occasion, with innovative riffs like Gougères with a zippy addition of Dijon mustard; classic Flounder Meunière with an added pizazz of Onion-Walnut Relish; a hot, spicy, slightly sweet Beef Stew with a handful of cranberries; Clam Chowder made with lemongrass, coconut milk and ginger; and of course, Greenspan’s ever-splendid desserts (check out her Apple Custard Crisp). Dining with Dorie never disappoints.