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Cookbooks for Under the Christmas Tree

If you have someone who loves cooking on your Christmas list, then consider one of the 2014 cookbooks as a present for under the tree. The fall season, leading up to Christmas, is the big time of the year for cookbook releases. This year is no exception. Any of these would make great presents under the tree.

The first two are new baking books from two of my favorite authors – Dorie Greenspan and Rose Levy Beranbaum. I have had a chance to meet both Dorie and Rose through the IACP Annual Conferences. Not only are these two great authors, they are also very nice people as well. Dorie’s new book is Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere. If you don’t have any of Dorie’s books, put together a collection of the new one and any of her previous books – check out Around My French Table: More than 300 recipes from My Home to Yours. Dorie’s recipes are meticulously tested and her books are always well written. You won’t go wrong with anything from Dorie. (To see all of Dorie’s books, click here.)

Likewise, Rose’s book are also very well written and tested throughly. The book she just released is The Baking Bible. Rose is an expert on baking and I have used her Cake Bible as a reference when I am working on new recipes. (I have information on the Cake Bible and others on the Baking Cookbook Reference page.)

If you are interested in something more substantial, then there are two books just released dedicated to Meat. One comes from Cook’s Illustrated and the other from Pat Lafrieda.

Let’s start with the Cook’s Illustrated Book – The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide that Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 bulletproof recipes. I love the Cook’s Illustrated magazine and have subscribed for many years. They do an excellent job of understanding all of the elements when developing recipes. They bring more than 20 years of experience of cooking many different kinds and cuts of meats in many different recipes to the topic of this book. I just bought this book, but haven’t been able to read much of it yet…..thumbing through the book, the information looks very complete and they have some recipes that look really good.

Pat Lafrieda comes from a long line of meat purveyors. He started learning the meat business at the age of 10 working in the family business. New York Magazine called Pat the “King of Meat” and he has created many, many custom burger blends for many of the top New York Restaurants. From Pat’s website: “In Meat, Pat introduces you to cuts beyond chops and tenderloins, including inexpensive and unusual cuts, so you can venture outside your everyday selections. Through heartwarming reminiscences and personal memories, you’ll learn of the history of the LaFrieda family’s great American success story and how they created a business that’s lasted over one hundred years, becoming a New York City landmark along the way. The city even named a street after them in the meatpacking district, Pat LaFrieda Lane.” In the book, Pat reveals how to create the perfect burger with some of his burger blend recipes. I haven’t bought this book yet, but it is on my shortlist for the after Christmas sales. (Hint Hint anyone……)

Another compilation cookbook comes from the publishers of Saveur Magazine. Saveur is another magazine that I subscribe to. Over the twenty  years they have been publishing, they have developed and tested 1000’s of recipes from many cuisines from around the world. They took this extensive history and put together Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook: More than 1,000 of the world’s best recipes for today’s kitchen. Consider this one a “best of” book and you can access their vast library through this book. (Note: I found both this book and the Cook’s Illustrated Meat book at Costco – not sure if they still have them in stock.)

If you are interested in Ethnic food, The Slanted Door is one of the most well known restaurants in San Francisco. With a number of James Beard awards, Charles Phan is known as one of the leading chefs on the West Coast. His family left Viet Nam just after the end of the war in 1975 and ended up in San Francisco in 1977. The Slanted Door restaurant specializes in “modern Vietnamese” cooking. For the first time, Chef Phan is sharing the recipes from the restaurant. If you like top restaurant cookbooks, then this one is the one for 2014.

There are many more wonderful books that were released in 2014 – Amazon editors have created a list of their top 20 cookbooks of 2014. If none of these sound good, then check out the Amazon list.

If you have a favorite or any questions, please send me an email or leave a comment on this post.

Disclaimer: The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

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