Recipes

Kitchen alchemy: Recipes to add to the repertoire – Christian Science Monitor

Summary

At their best, cookbooks can instruct, educate, entertain, and nourish us in surprising ways. This year’s batch emphasizes inclusivity, plant-based foods, and extra-enticing baked goods. Cooking from them has been a good reminder that the kitchen provides lessons in flexibility and adaptability, especially during a period that has required a lot of both. We could have collected a superstar list of baking books alone, from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking With Dorie” to Aran Goyoaga’s “Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple,” but our kitchen collection is about bal…….

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At their best, cookbooks can instruct, educate, entertain, and nourish us in surprising ways. This year’s batch emphasizes inclusivity, plant-based foods, and extra-enticing baked goods. Cooking from them has been a good reminder that the kitchen provides lessons in flexibility and adaptability, especially during a period that has required a lot of both. We could have collected a superstar list of baking books alone, from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking With Dorie” to Aran Goyoaga’s “Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple,” but our kitchen collection is about balance and variety. These are our holiday recommendations.

Updated classic reflects modern concerns

Amanda Hesser makes 150 years of recipes newly relevant in “The Essential New York Times Cookbook,” a massive compilation from the newspaper’s archives. For the 2010 edition, she tested more than 1,400 recipes; for 2021, she decided that the racial justice movement and cultural upheavals in the United States required a “stronger, fairer and more inclusive” update. She trimmed 65 recipes and added 120 more, emphasizing diversity and approachable home cooking. (No fear, it still includes the Times’ most-requested recipe, Marian Burros’ plum torte, originally printed in 1983.) From an 1875 Welsh rarebit to Jamie Oliver’s 2003 braised Ligurian chicken, Hesser provides charming, expert commentary. While not a scholarly work of food history, the book offers a fascinating reminder of changing tastes and priorities. Hesser gives useful context, for example describing an old-school salad from the days when “you didn’t so much as dress a lettuce leaf, you clobbered it.” 

Beautiful baked goods and gifts

Planning seasonal baking with Sarah Kieffer’s “Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season” feels as anticipatory as opening the first holiday cards. Kieffer includes lovely food gifts and special-event treats such as a marshmallow-filled hot chocolate cake and an impressive pear-almond Danish braid, but also offers everyday pleasures that speak to the season, like streusel coffeecake and pretty iced scones. Recipes accommodate a range of skill levels, with variations for beginners or bakers in a hurry. Kieffer is internet famous for her “pan-banging” chocolate chip cookies, but she is also the author of two earlier cookbooks and the “Vanilla Bean Blog.” Recipes here are typically clear and assured and warmly spiced. Old fans and new will welcome this addition, and many will make a tradition of adding vanilla bean sablé shortbreads to holiday gift bags, just as Kieffer does each year. 

Enjoying plant-based meals

In “The Weekday Vegetarians: 100 Recipes and a Real-Life Plan for Eating Less Meat,” Jenny Rosenstrach continues her mission of simplifying dinnertime by offering smart tips and appetizing recipes that maximize flavor and minimize meat. The author of two earlier books on family meals, “Dinner: A Love Story” and “Dinner: The Playbook,” was influenced by the climate crisis …….

Source: https://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Book-Reviews/2021/1116/Kitchen-alchemy-Recipes-to-add-to-the-repertoire