It’s fall and your local bookstore is rearranging the shelves in the cookbook section. The rollout of fall cookbooks, the highlight of the cookbook year, is underway. That means less space for those barbeque books.
I just want to say that I don’t disrespect barbeque. It’s great food, but it’s almost too robust. When you grill, too much salt, too little tomato sauce , or minutes more or less cooking time does not matter all that much. Yes, you purists will be screaming now, but barbequeing is just less demanding and more tolerant of proportions and time. Look, that’s how we got to fine cuisine. It had to start somewhere, and it did, with some guys in caves over a wood fire.
But some things never occurred in those caves. You never had a scene where the guy roasting the mammoth steaks looked around and said, “Would anyone like hollandaise with this? Oh, and if you want an soufflé for dessert, you need to let me know now.”
Never happened. But it started us down the road to hollandaise and soufflés and more. So I do have full respect and gratitude towards a grill and blackened meat. Really, I do.
Each year we all just move further down that culinary road of civilization. This fall there are several new outstanding books to look at and choose from. Here are my “Five for Fall” books that you really need to look at. These are wonderful books and in the coming months I’ll be featuring ideas and recipes from them.
When you can, go find these in your local bookstore, spend some time browsing, and you’ll find yourself agreeing that these five books are very, very special.
In alphabetical order we have:
Around My French Table by Dori Greenspan
Dori is known as a baking maven, but her time France is spent learning and testing all the culinary delights. Suzen has done three of these recipes [blogs to follow] and the food is French and flawless. This is a substantial book.
The Book of Tapas by Simon and Ines Ortega
Yes, this gem was published earlier this year, but the tapas recipes here are universal and year round. This book features a bounty of clever, inspiring dishes. It’s perfect for early fall picnics and football game snacking. As tapas becomes an integral part of our American food scene, this is the leading book to learn from and follow.
The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders
Jam? Oh, yes. There is a renaissance in jam making, one you see at your local farmers’ markets. But this may be the best jam cookbook ever written, and its sweet treats are waiting for you now. This book gives you jam making ideas for year round and gives you the skills to put fantasies into glass jars.
Fresh from the Market by Laurent Tourondel
A master chef has created a master book. Fresh from the Market will become a classic and reward you wonderful meals for decades. The seasonal recipes, and menu ideas for each holiday, are captivating.
Left Coast Libations by Ted Munat
This is THE cocktail book of the year. Inspiring, thoughtful, over the top, and incredibly challenging. This work sets a new level cocktail books. If you pick it up, you won’t put it down.
Tomorrow’s post will feature one of Ted’s wonderful beverage concoctions.
Ah, having read this post, you may be wondering how I could possibly not have one baking book listed. Fear not. I simply separate savory from sweet. The list of baking books comes in a week.