Fave Books of 2015 (I Actually Cooked From)

This is the first time my Best of list is made only of books I actually cooked from. Just looking at all the covers I understand why.  This year’s cookbook trend was geography.  Most of my favorites were written about the food of a particular culinary culture or place.  This has always been my preference.  When the Time-Life Foods of the World series started arriving at our house when I was fifteen I was smitten with armchair travel via cookbooks and the obsession has never ended.

Here’s a list of what I made from each book and a link to the Good Food interviews with the author, in alphabetical order.

Donabe by Naoko Moore
A beautiful synthesis of cooking vessel and culturally based recipes.  Seductive, informative, engaging.
Recipe:  Orange Butter Rice
Hear Interview Here

Gjelina by Travis Lett
The apotheosis of SoCal farmers market cooking.  The man takes foods we eat all the time and makes them more delicious than it would seem possible.  How?  Get the book. ps. Pie Champion Nicole Rucker’s Dough Recipe is in here.
Recipe:  Wheat Berries with Fennel Broth
No interview yet

Lucky Peach Asian 101 by Peter Meehan
The book on the list most likely to get splattered over time.  I want to make every recipe.
Recipe:  Pumpkin Pancake
Interview not aired yet

Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera
A thinker muses on my favorite food.  Simple sentences illuminate sauces I’ve made for years, forever changing how I see them
Hear Interview Here

The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook by Danny Bowien
A conversation between Danny and compatriots Anthony Myint and Chris Ying weaves through the book and pulls you into Danny’s world of flavors
Recipe: Mapo Tofu
Interview not aired yet

Preserving the Japanese Way by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
Often expats are better at documenting a culinary culture at risk than is a native. Force of nature Hachisu put in the time to record the repetoire of artisan made condiments and pickles that are fundamental to Japanese Cuisine.  With great stories of the makers and a unique modern life.
Recipe:  Cucumbers Soused in Soy
Hear Interview Here

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen by Amelia Saltsman
For me this will become an everyday cookbook.  Amelia is known to everyone who listens to Good Food as one of the recurring recipe voices of the market report.  Here she combines a deep love and knowledge of seasonality with an eclectic mix of family recipes from Romania to Iraq.  Welcome to Jewish Diaspora Cooking from the farmers market.
Recipe: Freekah with Kale, Butternut Squash and Smoked Salt
Hear Interview Here

V Is For Vegetables by Michael Anthony
Recipe:  Celery Root Chestnut Soup
Hear Interview Here

Vegetarian India by Madhur Jaffrey
A cultured gatherer of stories with a keen eye for what will work in our kitchens.  I’ve already read every page twice.
Recipe:  Poha
Interview not aired yet

Zahav by Michael Solomonov
A dysfunctional life is transformed by food memory morphed into robust flavor packed recipes.  The hummus alone is worth it.
Recipe:  Tahini Sauce and Hummus
Hear Interview Here

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