Cover to cover: Best in 2012 cookbooks
Favorite cookbooks of 2012 take us down culinary roads less traveled
Culinary journey: Whether destined for loved ones or your own bookshelf, what lies between these covers will make cooking about the journey as much as the destination. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
This book, encyclopedic in scope, covers roots common and rare, from carrots to celery root, potatoes to parsnips, arrowhead to yuca. There are more than 225 root recipes ranging from a pickled crosne martini to sweet potato waffles to stir-fried lotus root with snow peas. There's a bit of history and lore for each root, along with helpful marketing and storage tips. Handsome yet informative photographs aid in identification.
'Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking' Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart
Southern cooking in all its variety — old, new and barbecue — has long been America's hottest food trend. Credit Dupree for fanning the flames nearly 40 years through her teaching, her cookbooks and television shows. This handsome, 720-page book distills all she and co-author Graubart know into a comprehensive guide to Southern cooking even non-Southerners will crave for insightful how-to's on topics ranging from pie crusts to vegetable cookery to organizing one's pantry.
Gibbs Smith, $45
'The Mile End Cookbook' Noah and Rae Bernamoff
Born of homesickness for the taste of smoked meat and a serious love of Nana's cooking, the tiny Brooklyn deli Mile End embodies that borough's food movement — it preserves Old World Jewish deli food with a modern approach. Here the Bernamoffs tell their success story with its from-scratch, do-it-yourself ethic (smoked meats, schmaltz rendered daily, ambitious pickling) and share their flavor-upon-flavor recipes. Their quest to prove deli food can be made deliciously at home has us longing for gribenes (chicken skin cracklings).
Clarkson Potter, $27.50
'Nick Malgieri's Bread' Nick Malgieri
Baking class is open. Starting simply with a one-step, no-knead loaf and progressing through the complex (brioche and baguettes), veteran cookbook author Nick Malgieri instructs in a sure manner that inspires confidence. The best chapter, for our money, teaches how to make better versions of everyday supermarket rolls like kaisers, hamburger and hot dog buns, and English muffins. And in a clever which-comes-first construct, recipes that utilize your finished baked goods in soups, salads, sandwiches and such entice you to make the breads themselves.
'Hiroko's American Kitchen' Hiroko Shimbo
Food authenticity lies in the tongue of the beholder, or so Japanese-born, U.S.-based Hiroko Shimbo would have it in her new book, which combines American ingredients with readily available Japanese seasonings and product. At the book's core: Six easy sauces that give 125 modern recipes authentic taste. Don't balk at making them. These sauces will transform such all-American ingredients as corn on the cob into something more intriguing — and truly Japanese in flavor.
Andrews McMeel, $24.99