I get asked quite often about what my latest favorite cookbooks are since as much as I love developing recipes, that sometimes feels like a job to me. What I really love is paging through a wonderful cookbook, stumbling across something that sounds amazing and whipping it up for my family! That’s how I actually destress. I have a LOT of cookbooks. I feel like I’ve been collecting them for at least fifteen years now, and I keep them all out in a big bookshelf in our living room where I can see them all!
My “favorites” list is constantly changing, but since you asked, here are a few of my most used cookbooks. The ones I come back to time and time again, whose pages are dogeared and stained. I hope you can find some inspiration from this post. Food blogs are truly wonderful, but at the end of the day I am such a tactile person that I prefer cooking from a book rather than a blog (maybe I shouldn’t say that because you’ll stop reading my blog? haha).
I love this book! I don’t follow it to a T (as in, I don’t prep all our meals on Sunday for the entire week like the book recommends) but I have really loved all of the recipes that I’ve tried and it’s actually made me more into leftovers! I love how the recipes use leftovers in creative ways. There are so many winners: chicken with chermoula sauce, rosy chicken, fish tacos, thai steak salad….I would buy this book just for the baked rice recipe because it’s literally changed my life and it’s the ONLY rice that I will make now.
I just love the way Alison (the author) writes! I laugh out loud while reading this and her lemon shaker tart is THE BEST LEMON DESSERT IN THE WORLD. Seriously though. I’ve made it a few times and even my husband who claims to not “like” lemon desserts goes crazy over it. Oh, and the chocolate chip cookies, which are actually more like chocolate chunk shortbread, are divine…as is the bucatini with roasted tomatoes and anchovies (and I never thought I liked anchovies?). I made her buttermilk biscuits last night and they are gigantic and incredible. Oh, and the citrus olive oil poached salmon!! Basically, you can’t go wrong. I cook from this book so much for our family.
I love the author’s show on PBS (Chef’s Life) and love this book, too. Let’s just say after trying her method for brining pork chops I could never NOT brine chops again. Incredible. I also adore her tomato pie recipe. A few months back, I ponied up and made her eastern carolina biscuits with lard and woahhhhhhh nelly. This is a huge book and obviously was a big labor of love to make. The photos are stunning and I love all of the little bits of her life that she writes about as well.
Well, you guys probably know my love for Ottolenghi by now! I call him my British boyfriend. I love that man. Yes, his recipes are all a little involved (and all involve boatloads of either cilantro or lemon) but I love them all the same. Everything I have ever made from this book has been jaw dropping incredible. The very full vegetable tart is one of my favorite recipes in the entire world. I catered a baby shower once using recipes from this book and had such good response. Those little green pancakes with the lime butter! Drool.
Just an extension of the first book! This book is worth it alone for the tagliatelle recipe with walnuts and lemon. I also made his version of Ash-e reshteh (sort of like a thick, wonderful Persian minestrone soup) and crave it all the time now. I can’t wait to make it again once the weather gets a little cooler. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, I will probably make it and freeze it sans noodles because it would be wonderful postpartum.
This is the most beautiful cookbook. I take it to bed sometimes and just read it over a cup of tea. I’ve made many things from it, but I think my favorite is the roast chicken with clementines, which I basically make all winter long. I also love the chicken and rice recipe (one of my family’s favorites), the burnt eggplant recipe and his method for hummus. Did I mention how obsessed I am with Ottolenghi?? It’s on my life bucket list to go to London and eat at one of his restaurants.
Speaking of taking books to bed with you, this is my favorite bedtime read. Oh, Ruth! The prose are beautiful and the accompanying recipes are delicious. My favorite recipe so far is the pork and tomatillo stew (another great meal to make a freeze!). Just the way that she writes….I love it. I have heard that her recipe for grilled cheese is life changing but haven’t made it yet so if you make it, let me know!
So I JUST got this but I already know I’m going to love it because FRIED CHICKEN. Omg. Her fried chicken is so darn good. I have many recipes flagged that I want to make – especially the snow day udon soup and the chocolate cake. I love the way she writes and have been a fan of Julia’s for some time now (she co-wrote Gwyneth Paltrow’s book, It’s all Good, which I love).
A beautiful, cozy book to curl up with! Make the pan fried sole! It could be one of the best fish dishes I have ever made in my kitchen. So delicious. We also love her banana bread and her apple bread. This book is full of simple Italian influenced recipes, and I can’t get enough of the way she writes.
I absolutely adore Nigella Lawson. I have clung to this book for ten years now and it’s been such a lifeline to me. I can’t believe I JUST made her garlic chicken wings because woah…incredible. This is probably my most dogeared and stained book in my collection and it’s been a good friend to me through it all. If you have to pick one book…gosh, get this. You won’t regret it. It’s very special.
Worth it for the pork chops with cider recipe! It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and I always serve it over gnocchi. I am starving now just thinking about it. My mom has made her chicken and ribs tray back and said it was absolutely incredible. If I am ever lacking dinner inspiration, I go here first.