Lately, I've been in a cooking rut...as in, I've been way too languid and overheated and scrambling between bouts of summer travel to actually turn on my stove. So it's been all about crudité platters and dips of various stripes; cheese plates aplenty, and some good, new-fashioned salads.
But I can only eat this way for so long—I yearn to return to the kitchen to make all manner of braises, roasted vegetables, and hearty, creamy pastas. More than that, I'm itching to try new dishes from the treasure trove of forthcoming fall books that cross my desk at this time of year. Here's a list of the 10 new cookbooks I'm most excited to dive into this fall, and beyond. They're organized by publication date, so mark your calendars and get ready to cook up a storm.
Cookbook author Raquel Pelzel is "always interested in ways to make my vegetables taste extra, deeply, boldly, intensely, fantastically, rich-savory-comforting-eyes-roll-back-in-your-head awesome." Yes, please! Because Pelzel doesn't eat much meat (above all for environmental reasons), she explains, she went on a quest to identify as many plant-and dairy-based sources of umami as possible—Parmesan, soy sauce, miso, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and more—and developed 75 unbelievably flavorful recipes to harness these.
Think: Breakfast Pasta with creamy, salty Parmesan and a fried egg on top; Roasted Tomato Butter; Sheet Pan Cauliflower with Crispy Onions and Caper-Parsley Vinaigrette; Grilled Black Bean Veggie Burgers; Chile Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Smoked Salt; and Miso Peanut Butter Cookies.
Their forthcoming masterwork, Cook Something, is meant to be a "helping hand to guide you through the process" of cooking at home, answering questions like "what are we making?", "what should it look and taste like?", and "what is it supposed to be when it's finished?" The book comprises 300 unfussy-yet-extra-special recipes, stories, and tutorials from Hirsheimer and Hamilton's collective century of cooking experience; in it, you'll find how-tos on everything from boiling an egg properly to making fresh pasta and curing salmon—and beyond.
The recipes themselves range from classic (Cheese Soufflé and Waldorf Chicken Salad) to unexpected (A Can of Tuna & Some Lemons and Deconstructed Carbonara), and along the way teach us a heck of a lot about the many different ways to cook and eat.
Leah Koenig, food writer, prolific cookbook author, and Jewish food expert, spent years researching and gathering together a book that would "illuminate as many types of Jewish kitchens and tables around the world as possible," shining light on celebratory and commemorative feasting foods and everyday sustenance, alike. As Julia Turshen, who authored the book's foreword, remarks, "Jewish food is all about the people who cook it and what's been handed down and held onto. In this book, Leah shows us that Jewish food is not defined by place, but by spirit, culture, and faith in so many senses of the world."
And this book amply, and fascinatingly, represents the breadth of the cuisine. Koenig spent time in the kitchens of numerous Jewish home cooks to cover a massive swathe of geographies and nuances, and curated a collection of over 400 recipes that are uniquely and collectively "Jewish food." Because the number of recipes is so vast, and the food so diverse, the book is organized by both occasions (like Breakfast and Main Dishes) and popular traditional dish types (such as Breads; Dumplings, Noodles & Kugels; and Salads, Spreads, Pickles & Starters).
In the book, there are the more commonly known Levantine recipes, like Shakshuka, Falafel, and Ma'amoul, as well as Ashkenazi recipes, like Cheese Blintzes, Gefilte Fish, Matzo Balls, and Hamantaschen. But there's also a deeply comforting Potato and Egg Strata (rakott krumpli) from the Hungarian-Jewish tradition; a Seven-Vegetable Tagine served by Moroccan Jews on Rosh Hashanah; Roman–Jewish Fritters (fritto misto and carciofi alla giudia); Sephardi recipes like Huevos Haminados, a preparation wherein whole, unshelled eggs are slow-cooked with coffee grounds, onion skins, vinegar, and olive oil; and much more—from Iran, Iraq, India, Uganda, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and beyond. Koenig also highlights and offers diverse variations on recipes that are common to Jewish cuisine, irrespective of geographic location, like infinitely flexible and universally beloved stuffed vegetables.
Throughout the book, there are several profiles of and recipes from prominent Jewish cooks and restaurant owners, such as Yotam Ottolenghi, Alon Shaya, and Alex Raij, along with sidebars on geography-specific customs and traditions from different parts of the diaspora.
From the creator of the beloved recipe site and food blog, Cannelle et Vanille, this book of 100 everyday favorites is not only extremely inspiring, it's equally doable. The recipes, all of which are seasonal, produce-forward, and naturally gluten-free, are precisely the kind of meals Aran Goyoaga eats at home with her family: Sourdough Waffles with Lemon and Honey; One-Bowl Apricot and Walnut Cake; Buttermilk-Poached Salmon with Herb, Leek and Caper Dressing; Roasted Cauliflower, Swiss Chard, and Hazelnut Pasta; and a most fitting Vanilla and Cinnamon Burnt Cream.
There are a number of recipes for every occasion: breakfast, weeknight dinners, and gatherings with friends, alike. And we want to join Goyoaga for all of them.
New York Times and Bon Appétit columnist, Alison Roman, is known for her craveworthy, satisfying, and home cook-friendly food (see Exhibit A and Exhibit B). In this follow-up to the award-winning Dining In, she transitions her signature breezy panache to that most fear-inspiring topic: entertaining (or, as Roman likes to call it, "having people over"). But the recipes are just as laid-back and uncomplicated to attempt on an average weeknight, when you're cooking for yourself.
Nothing Fancy is divided up into sections on snacks (Spicy Tomato-Marinated Feta alongside Overnight Focaccia Tonight, anyone?) and salads (like Smashed Cucumbers with Sizzled Turmeric and Garlic); sides (such as Sticky Roasted Carrots with Citrus and Tahini) and mains (Slow-Roasted Oregano Chicken with Buttered Tomatoes, or Spiced and Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Potatoes, or Ricotta-Stuffed Shells with Burrata, Mushrooms, and Herbs); and finally, dishes for after dinner (Torn Plum Browned-Butter Cake, or Tiny, Salty, Chocolatey Cookies, please).
Along the way, Roman gives us mini-cooking lessons and little reinforcements—for instance, on how to make a better cheese plate (use three, and no more, very good cheeses; relax a little bit), how to cope when things don't go well (order a few pizzas; relax a little bit), and how to clean up once everyone's eaten (get your friends to help you or leave some for the next morning; relax a little bit). Good advice whether you're inviting 12 people for dinner, or two.
At long last, third-generation "bread royalty," Apollonia Poilâne, of the beloved Parisian Bakery, is releasing a cookbook compiling her family's famed bread recipes. To Lionel Poilâne, Apollonia's late father and previous steward of the bakery, bread was a "main ingredient in the culture, politics, philosophy, and sensual experience of any civilized society"; foreword author Alice Waters attributes this very bread (specifically, Poilane's "beautiful miche") as the real reason for all the "good bread we now have in the United States"
The Poilâne book, fittingly, is as much a celebration of these bakery traditions (many of which have been part of the shop's history, since it opened in 1932) as it is an innovative musing on the future of breadmaking. In three chapters, delineated by times of day, you'll find detailed instructions on how to make the famous Poilâne-style sourdough (paramount to this recipe is using good-quality ingredients; investing in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven in which to bake it; and trusting your instinct but taking careful notes throughout the process). You'll also learn to make satisfying, bread-based lunches and dinners, like a vegetable-and ham-filled, fried egg-topped Croque "Mademoiselle" and Walnut Bread–Parsley Pesto. And last, you'll encounter newfangled sweets for nighttime "dreams and explorations," such as Sweet Corn Brioche and Chocolate, Pear, and Oat Cream Charlotte.
Even if you don't think of yourself as a breadmaker, this book will patiently walk you through tried-and-true basics; if you already regularly bake at home, this book will inspire you to try bolder, more adventurous bread projects.
Food writer and cookbook author Niki Segnit is no stranger to culinary deep-dives; her first book, The Flavor Thesaurus—a hulking tome, in the best possible—teaches cooks how to make basically every recipe in existence, by exploring the essential underpinnings of flavor combinations. Its companion volume on fundamental cooking methods, Lateral Cooking, came out in late 2018 in the UK, and luckily for us readers stateside, the US edition will appear on bookstore shelves in November.
In the book's twelve chapters, which comprise vast continuums of recipes, Segnit explains how all of the recipes in each chapter are connected by basic methods and cooking principles; if you begin with the "starting point" recipe, and continue on with the "leeway" riffs also provided, you're equipped to move on to adjacent (or "lateral") recipes which share the same underlying principle of the original dish.
For example, in the case of soup: pureed soup gives way to chowder, which gives way to chunky stew, which gives way to bean stew, dal, rice porridge, and so on. And for bread: once you can make unleavened or lightly leavened flatbread and crackers, you can move on to soda bread, scones, and cobblers, then simple yeast-risen bread, slightly more complicated buns and brioche, and eventually, delicate and technical babas and savarins.
Segnit's book is wonderful, of course, because of the clear interconnectedness of food that it demonstrates, and the fundamental cooking techniques that it teaches brilliantly. But the coolest part is that Segnit makes a point of relating ingredients, flavors, and dishes from various cuisines around the world, transforming this volume into a sort of culinary anthropology. This, thusly, enables home cooks from just about anywhere to make just about anything.
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; out on November 5, 2019)
Hailed as chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Joanne Chang's "most personal and comprehensive book yet," this collection of 125 recipes more than anything demonstrates Chang's inspiring passion for "baking and sharing with others"—her way of connecting with the community around her. For starters, among the book's eight chapters is an entire section on gifting with sweets, aptly titled "I Made This for You."
While the book is undoubtedly warm and approachable, it's also technical and exacting, to ensure a solid foundation in baking; preceding the recipes are a "baker's dozen" tips to become a better baker, and a host of "Master Techniques" (think: blind baking, piping, and the French butter-spreading technique of fraisage) as well as a list of essential equipment and ingredients to buy (did you know using superfine sugar creates a more tender and finer-crumbed product?). And to conclude, a chapter on mastering pastry basics like ganache, lemon curd, shortbread, puff pastry dough, and more.
The recipes themselves, many of them gluten-free and made with moderate amounts of sugar, are as appealing and unique as you'd expect: Tahini Black Sesame Spiral Shortbreads, Bittersweet Chocolate Orange Truffle Tart, Garlicky Cheesy Monkey Bread, Vietnamese Espresso Profiteroles, and many more.
Noticing that her own "culinary heritage—and the larger story of African American food" was sweepingly "confined to...poverty, survival, and soul food," or even lost altogether, food and nutrition journalist Toni Tipton-Martin set out to provide a "blueprint of black culinary history." In the journey to writing both her first cookbook, The Jemima Code, and her forthcoming follow-up, Jubilee, Tipton-Martin researched over 400 classic cookbooks—some dating to as early as 1827—from black American cooks who pioneered the cuisine and its masterful cooking traditions.
The 125 recipes in Jubilee have been collected from primarily the black professional culinary class, and adapted by Tipton-Martin for modern cooks; they also display the diasporic influences fundamental to African American cuisine, and embody the idea of "fusion" cooking. The book is grouped by type of dish, sometimes showcasing variations on a common theme or demonstrating how the recipe has evolved over time. Accordingly, Tipton-Martin invites sensory cooking and personalized adjustments to the food, based on the home cook who's now preparing it.
And the food itself is classic and cohesive, but mightily nuanced: For example, a flight of cornbreads, or "soul bread," ranging from griddled Hot Water Cornbread to chile-and cheese-inflected Spanish Cornbread to puddinglike Spoonbread. There are Black-Eyed Peas and Rice, and Creole Jambalaya, and Jamaican Rice and Peas with Coconut. Stewed chicken, which descends from French fricassee, is the basis for a number of related dishes: Chicken and Dumplings, Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie, and chicken with rice, and more, as is gamey roast turkey, in a chile-pecan stew and in a giblet gravy, to name two. And a host of desserts we've come to know and love, from Caramel Cake to Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to spicy, earthy Gingerbread, are contextualized in black American history, where they originated or significantly evolved.
Jubilee is part-essential history lesson, part-brilliantly researched culinary artifact, and wholly functional, not to mention deeply delicious.
We're jumping for joy (pun very much intended)—one of the most trusted, comprehensive resources for home cooks across the country has been refitted with 600 new recipes. 600! 4,000 existing recipes have also been updated. This is all thanks to the family of Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, the original authors of the book, who've continued to expand the book, test and vet new recipes, and overall bring it up to date for modern-day cooking at home.
In addition to new information about food safety, cooking techniques using the Instant Pot and sous vide machine, and an entire chapter on streamlining (and enjoying!) your daily cooking routine, there's also material on how to navigate the farmers markets and successfully, efficiently shop at your local grocery store.
And as for the recipes, fundamentals like Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pommes Anna, Omelets, and Roast Chicken, of course, remain. But they're joined by Spicy Chickpea Soup, Mushroom Bacon, Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu, Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese, and many, many more. Bakers will enjoy extra-precise gram measurements for all of the baking recipes, along with foolproof recipes for Rustic No-Knead Sourdough, Fig and Brown Butter Spice Cake, Chocolate–Banana Bread Pudding, and Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream.
(Food52 Works/Ten Speed Press; out on October 8, 2019)
We'd be remiss not to include our newest book in this lineup—though we've been cooking from it for a hot minute as we put it together, we can't wait for you to dive in this October.
If you're anything like us, chicken is most likely the MVP of your regular rotation. But it can get a little humdrum from time to time, and some lively new recipe ideas are almost always welcome. Chef (and chicken aficionado) Tyler Kord, of Brooklyn's No. 7 Restaurant), has come up with just that: 60+ totally not-boring ways to cook chicken, with something for just about everyone.
There's a chapter for streamlined weeknight dinners (like this speedy, saucy broiled number, all-day weekend projects (Spicy Parmesan Chicken Potpie, for example), cooking for kids (spaghetti with chicken nuggets? Yes, please) and for company (like Tangy Rose's Lime–Glazed Wings), and chicken to eat when you're sad (such as Tyler's grandmother's chicken noodle soup recipe, with tweaks made by Tyler's mother and Tyler himself over the years).
Beyond that, Tyler gives easy-to-understand instructions (with step-by-step images!) on how to properly break down a whole chicken into parts, and spatchcock it for quicker roasting and grilling; how to make an extremely simple and flavorful homemade chicken stock; and how to mix and match your way to funner, better Tuesday-night dinners with a handy Weeknight Chicken Dinner Matrix.
This post contains products that are independently selected by our editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission. What books are you most looking forward to this fall? Let us know in the comments.
Brinda is the Director of Content at Food52, where she oversees all site content across Food52 and Home52. She likes chewy Neapolitan pizza, stinky cheese of all sorts, and tahini-flavored anything. Brinda lives in Brooklyn with 18 plants and at least one foster pup (sometimes more). Find her at @brindayesterday on Twitter and Instagram.
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