For November, you’ll enjoy six reviews of recently published cookbooks covering the world of cookery. Simply must-read books that are perfect for gifting.

JOY OF COOKING: The 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated by John Becker and Megan Scott is a hefty volume (and I mean hefty in weight) of this kitchen bible updated and expanded.  The authors developed more than 600 new thoroughly tested recipes for this edition to reflect the current trends in cooking.  They added a new chapter on streamlined cooking which teaches how to economize time, money, and ingredients, and especially how to avoid waste.  This is the perfect book to gift your favorite foodie.

FORTNUM & MASON Christmas & Other Winter Feasts written by cookbook author, food writer, and broadcaster Tom Parker Bowles, is a perfect holiday book to give to your favorite foodie.   Who wouldn’t want to prepare baked jacket potatoes with lemon crème fraîche and caviar; Welsh rarebit toasties; shortbread dusted with clove sugar; poached pears with stilton and truffle honey; and portobello mushroom Wellington?  This is a very British book and you will have to convert the metrics but it is also a fun read full of interesting culinary history.

SHUK: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking by Einat Admony, chef/owner of popular Israeli restaurants in New York City and Janna Gur, founder of Al Hashulchan, the premiere Israeli food and wine magazine is a compendium of over 140 fabulous and exciting Israeli recipes for home cooks to master.  I discovered that shuk is an open-air marketplace with stalls and stands selling all manner of vegetables and fruits, spices, meats and fish, breads and baked goods, olive and pickles, cheese and yogurts, dried fruit and nuts, and vibrant herbs.  The authors bring the shuk to your kitchen with wonderful recipes such as: saffron-scented chicken and vegetable soup with fresh herb matzo balls; bulgur tabbouleh with raw beets, dill, and walnuts; spicy red shakshuka with charred eggplant; whole grilled fish with za’atar chimichurri; red wine lamb tagine with dried fruit; and creamy Israeli cheesecake with homemade labneh and pistachios.

BAKING WITH KIM-JOY: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile from Great British Baking Show finalist Kim-joy is the perfect book to gift your favorite baker.  The imaginative designs are incredible and done with step-by-step photographs and instructions so that you too can become an artistic cook.  Chapters cover cakes & frosting; cookies & icing; breads; square cakes; and little bakes.  If you want to impress with an amazing dessert, this is the book for you.  Favorite to try include: the orange & amaretto rainbow cake; farmyard animal doughnuts; and whale underwater cake.  I also like the tips and hints to make these confections a success.

SEAN BROCK SOUTH: Essential Recipes and New Explorations by founding chef of the award-winning Husk restaurants Sean Brock, and author of the successful cookbook Heritage, comes this new book that makes Southern food come alive.  This book is the quintessential book on this celebrated style of cooking.   Standouts include: grilled oysters with green garlic butter; summer melon with country ham and gilled honey-black pepper vinaigrette; grilled catfish with barely cooked tomatoes; crowder pa and hominy succotash; grilled okra; pickled green tomatoes; and of course, sweet potato pie.

THE FOOD OF SICHUAN: A New and Updated Edition of the Classic Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop is a revisit to the region where Ms. Dunlop’s culinary journey began with the addition of 70 new recipes.  The Food of Sichuan was named one of the most anticipated cookbooks of the years almost twenty years after the original Land of Plenty was published.  This is the perfect holiday gift for anyone who loves Chinese cuisine including such recipes as Sichuan soup noodles with ground pork topping; red-braised beef with daikon; fish braised in chile bean sauce; stir-fried water spinach with chiles and Sichuan pepper; and Sichuanese stir-fried bacon.

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