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Historically, cookbooks have been an essential tool for sharing culinary knowledge, traditions and culture. Even if it feels like every possible recipe has already been included, there are new cookbooks out there today that are still changing the game, creating something unique and giving readers the skills they need to feel more confident in the kitchen. Check out these new cookbooks from the past year that will teach you something unexpected and leave an impression on the way you approach food – whether directly through their recipes, through their versatile techniques, or through the stories told in between.
I admit, I have been provoked by online recipes and food blogs in the past. You can find a recipe for almost any dish on the Internet for free, and comment sections can even help you learn from the experience of other home cooks. I’ve always had beautiful, interesting cookbooks on my bookshelf at home, but I’d often flip through the pretty pictures and then turn to the Internet when it came time to prepare a meal. I’ve challenged myself over the years to actually use the recipes and techniques in my cookbooks, and I’m surprised at how much I’ve learned. If you like cookbooks but don’t often find yourself using them in the kitchen, I highly recommend it! And if you’re looking for some fresh culinary inspiration, these new cookbooks are sure to turn up the heat.
Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home by Eric Kim
I first heard about food writer Eric Kim through his New York Times Cooking recipes and videos. His recipes for soft sugar cookies with raspberry glaze and bibimbap from a sheet pan have gone viral and I have tried several of his NYT recipes with great success. So when I saw him working on a cookbook on Instagram last year, I knew it would be good. But I didn’t expect that in addition to delicious food, it would also be a celebration of a beautiful mother-son relationship, a history of Korean food in the US, a guide to Korean ingredients and flavors, and a testament to how food can help us move past. and honor our family’s present. The result is magical, with recipes that seamlessly blend traditional Korean dishes with American comfort food. Korean American will inspire you to think about what our food stands for and how family recipes touch more than just our stomachs.
Recipes to try Korean American:
Aunt Georgia’s Soy Sauce Baked Chicken With Jalapenos
Caramelized Kimchi Baked Potatoes
Gochujang Chocolate Lava Cakes
Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking by Cheryl Day
If you’re looking for a trusted source for all things Southern, look no further! This new cookbook is an absolute treasure trove of deliciousness, featuring hundreds of recipes for beloved classic Southern baked goods. Cheryl Day is the owner of Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Georgia, and co-founder of Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice. She is also the great-great-granddaughter of an enslaved pastry chef known for her biscuits and cakes. Day drew on her vast collection of antique cookbooks and conversations with family and fellow bakers from across the South to create this stunning work that celebrates traditional baking from everything from bread to cake to pies to jams and more. . She also recognizes throughout the book how our idea of American cuisine was shaped by enslaved Africans and black Americans. It’s a beautiful testament to the true history of baking in the south, and it will definitely take your baking skills to the next level.
Recipes to try Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking:
Heavenly Angel Cookies
Salted Caramel Pecan Pie
Savory Chicken Cobbler
My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi
Kwame Onwuachi is one of the biggest names in the culinary world today. He has won the James Beard Rising Chef of the Year award, competed in top chefand opened five restaurants at age 30 — and he’s only just getting started. My America is Onwuachi’s first cookbook, although you may have heard of his acclaimed memoir, Notes of a young black chef. Growing up in New York City, Nigeria and Louisiana, Onwuachi is particularly interested in how the African diaspora shaped global cuisine. His recipes are a celebration of African, Caribbean and American flavors, and in between he includes stories of his personal journeys and musings on the connections between food and sense of place. This cookbook avoids shortcuts in favor of homemade sauces, stocks, and seasonings, so it’s perfect if you really want to take your “from scratch” expertise to the next level.
Recipes to try My America:
Ethiopian braised short ribs
Puerto Rican Red Bean Sofrito
Satsuma Chess Cake
The cook you want to be: everyday recipes to impress by Andy Baraghani
When you’re an aspiring home cook, it sometimes feels like there’s a limit to how much you can achieve in your own kitchen. In this cookbook, food writer, social media chef and former editor of Enjoy your dinner and saveur Andy Baraghani shows that you can create beautiful and complex dishes with the tools you have at home and a little imagination. Baraghani’s recipes are plant-based and deeply shaped by his experiences as a strange, first-generation Iranian American, his travels around the world, and his culinary training at legendary restaurants, including Chez Panisse. The cook you want to be has go-to recipes and inspiration for creating incredibly impressive restaurant-quality dishes in half the time (and without going to culinary school).
Recipes to try The cook you want to be:
Caramelized sweet potatoes with browned butter Harissa
Spicy Cauliflower Ragú with Lemony Breadcrumbs
Spicy Pomegranate Chicken
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen: An Introduction To The New African Cuisine – From Ghana With Love by Zoe Adjonyoh
Chef and entrepreneur Zoe Adjonyoh is one of the leaders of the New African Cuisine movement and she is passionate about making African gastronomy accessible to the masses. Adjonyoh has left its mark on the culinary scene for ten years through a restaurant, kitchen resorts, supper clubs and mobile catering. Now she brings her vast knowledge of Ghanaian cuisine to the bookshelves in her cookbook Zoe’s New Ghana Kitchen. This cookbook updates traditional West African dishes for modern kitchens and explores ways to combine African flavors and ingredients with internationally popular dishes. But it does so much more than that: it explores Adjonyoh’s family history, introduces readers to Ghanaian traditions, offers cheat sheets and glossaries, and even includes a Spotify playlist to get you in the cooking mood. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is a love letter to Ghana that shows you how wonderfully versatile West African flavors can be.
Recipes to try Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen:
Red Snapper and Yam Croquettes
Pork Ribs in Sticky Plantain Sauce
Jollof Seasoned Chicken Skewers
Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from my kitchen in Mexico by Rick Martinez
You can take a 20,000-mile journey through Mexican cuisine, including 32 states and 156 cities, in Mi cocina by Rick Martinez. Martínez hosts multiple food-focused YouTube series and a podcast, and you can find some of his mouthwatering recipes on New York Times Cooking and Food52. In traveling, researching and writing this cookbook, Martínez was determined to showcase the great diversity and depth of Mexican food from coast to coast. These recipes recreate some of the flavor memories from his journey, and even more, providing readers with helpful techniques and lists of essential tools and ingredients for Mexican cuisine. The cookbook is divided into seven Mexican regions and contains beautiful photos that take you on a trip to Mexico from your own kitchen.
Recipes to try Mi cocina:
Torta De Lechon
Life is what you bake: recipes, stories and inspiration to bake your way to the top by Vallery Lomas
Vallery Lomas should definitely be a household name. She was the winner of season four of The Great American Baking Show — and the first black winner of the set Great British Baking Show franchise – but her season was abruptly canceled right after its debut due to allegations of sexual harassment against one of the hosts. After this whirlwind of success and disappointment, Lomas set out to create her own bakery heritage. She now makes cooking videos and shares recipes on the New York Times Cooking and Food Network. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lomas lived in Los Angeles, DC and Paris before settling in Harlem, where she imparted her Southern cooking with worldly sensibilities. In her cookbook Life is what you bake it, Lomas shows the immense perseverance and optimism that helped her succeed after her television fame faded so quickly. It is a wonderful combination of family recipes, flavors inspired by her travels and unique dishes that demonstrate Lomas’ determination to live her best life.
Recipes to try Life is what you bake it:
Blackberry Lemon King Cake
Until the last bite: recipes and ideas to get the most out of your ingredients by Alexis deBoschnek
“Don’t waste, don’t want” has long been a useful proverb, but with the massive impacts of climate change looming, it has also become a motto for many environmentally conscious chefs and foodies. In this cookbook, recipe developer and former Tasty by Buzzfeed test kitchen manager Alexis deBoschnek has created delicious plant-based dishes that use all your ingredients to reduce food waste. From the tops of leeks to chicken carcasses to the rinds of Parmesan cheese, deBoschnek finds a useful purpose for things that would otherwise go in the trash, and many recipes are versatile enough to use all the ingredients already in your fridge. Additionally, Until the last bite includes tips for eco-friendly shopping and cooking, prioritizes local produce, and shares advice for eating from your own garden. It is true proof that ecologically responsible cooking can also be beautiful and tasty.
Recipes to try Until the last bite:
Mixed Olive Tapenade
Pasta with tomato confit and ricotta
Black Garlic Butter Salmon With Scallions