Best Cooking, Food & Wine Books of the Month March 2013

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

Book Description
Release date: March 19, 2013
Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley, tequila from agave, rum from sugarcane, bourbon from corn. Thirsty yet? In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart explores the dizzying array of herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that humans have, through ingenuity, inspiration, and sheer desperation, contrived to transform into alcohol over the centuries.

Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.

About the Author
Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including three New York Times bestsellers, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, where she and her husband own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books and tend a flock of unruly hens in their backyard. She has spent the last few years on arduous research trips through the world’s distilleries, wineries, and bars for her latest book, The Drunken Botanist.

She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and–just once–on TLC’s Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society’s Book Award, and a California Horticultural Society Writer’s Award.

 

Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously… by Deborah Madison

Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously... by Deborah Madison

Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening

Book Description
Release date: March 12, 2013
In her latest cookbook, Deborah Madison, America’s leading authority on vegetarian cooking and author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, reveals the surprising relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs within the same botanical families, and how understanding these connections can help home cooks see everyday vegetables in new light.

For over three decades, Deborah Madison has been at the vanguard of the vegetarian cooking movement, authoring classic books on the subject and emboldening millions of readers to cook simple, elegant, plant-based food.

This groundbreaking new cookbook is Madison’s crowning achievement: a celebration of the diversity of the plant kingdom, and an exploration of the fascinating relationships between vegetables, edible flowers, herbs, and familiar wild plants within the same botanical families.

Destined to become the new standard reference for cooking vegetables, Vegetable Literacy shows cooks that, because of their shared characteristics, vegetables within the same family can be used interchangeably in cooking. It presents an entirely new way of looking at vegetables, drawing on Madison’s deep knowledge of cooking, gardening, and botany. For example, knowing that dill, chervil, cumin, parsley, coriander, anise, lovage, and caraway come from the umbellifer family makes it clear why they’re such good matches for carrots, also a member of that family. With more than 300 classic and exquisitely simple recipes, Madison brings this wealth of information together in dishes that highlight a world of complementary flavors. Griddled Artichokes with Tarragon Mayonnaise, Tomato Soup and Cilantro with Black Quinoa, Tuscan Kale Salad with Slivered Brussels Sprouts and Sesame Dressing, Kohlrabi Slaw with Frizzy Mustard Greens, and Fresh Peas with Sage on Baked Ricotta showcase combinations that are simultaneously familiar and revelatory.

Inspiring improvisation in the kitchen and curiosity in the garden, Vegetable Literacy—an unparalleled look at culinary vegetables and plants—will forever change the way we eat and cook.

 

Bake It Like You Mean It: Gorgeous Cakes from Inside Out by Gesine Bullock-Prado and Tina Rupp

Bake It Like You Mean It: Gorgeous Cakes from Inside Out by Gesine Bullock-Prado and Tina Rupp

Bake It Like You Mean It: Gorgeous Cakes

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
Gesine Bullock-Prado says it’s what’s inside that really counts, and in this visually sumptuous book, the author of Sugar Baby and Pie it Forward showcases cakes that are beautiful from the inside out. Each chapter is devoted to a technique of making different types of cake, beginning with the easiest recipe and moving to the more technically difficult as the chapter progresses. When the cakes are cut, they will reveal intricate layers of patterns and designs, such as hearts, checkerboards, helixes, and colorful stripes, that will bring a smile to everyone who enjoys them. This compendium of gorgeous cake recipes and techniques will yield glorious meringues, sponge cakes, pound cakes, cheesecakes, and tarts for all levels of bakers. With her trademark wit and enthusiasm for the world of confections and baking, Gesine’s latest book will delight her fans.

 

Comfort Food Makeovers by Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

Comfort Food Makeovers by Editors at America's Test Kitchen

Comfort Food Makeovers

Book Description
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
You can find lightened versions of feel-good favorites like mac and cheese, fried chicken, and fudgy brownies anywhere you can find recipes: books, magazines, and all over the Internet. But be honest: Have you ever made one of these so-called makeovers more than once? At America s Test Kitchen, we test recipes over and over long after the other guys have thrown in the towel. Simply put, good enough doesn t cut it with us. In Comfort Food Makeovers, we redesigned the dishes you crave from the ground up, so you can enjoy them again and again. Popular restaurant dishes like loaded nachos and velvety cheesecake from the Factory (you know which one) have been reengineered, too. Fat has been cut in half or more and calories have been reduced by at least one-third in almost every recipe. But just because we trimmed the fat and calories doesn t mean we sacrificed good taste or resorted to teeny portions. How did we do it?
We started with the worst offender of high-fat cooking techniques: deep frying. To revamp mozzarella sticks, eggplant Parmesan, and fried shrimp, we nixed the fryer and turned to the oven instead. Dunking these foods in egg whites and coating them with panko and a thin sheen of vegetable oil spray before baking gave us the same golden, ultra-crisp exterior. Steaming egg rolls, then uncovering the pan so moisture could evaporate, made them light and crispy not heavy and greasy like takeout.
We also ramped up the flavor of our lightened dishes by turning to some well-chosen powerhouse ingredients. Trading ground turkey for the ground beef in our Bolognese sauce was an easy way to cut fat, but to boost its savory richness, we added dried porcini mushrooms, an anchovy, and a bit of pancetta. Rather than loading up our shrimp scampi with lots of butter like so many restaurants do, we reached for light cream cheese, which imparted a rich, silky texture but with far fewer calories.
Most light desserts are worth skipping. Not ours. Just a spoonful of chocolate syrup made our brownies super-fudgy but added surprisingly few calories and no fat. Honey Nut Cheerios (who knew?!) stood in for a portion of the nuts in our lighter, yet ultra-nutty, pecan bars. And special occasion desserts like tiramisù are no longer off-limits. Feel free to dig into our luscious lightened version we swapped out high-fat mascarpone for a lightly sweetened mix of light cottage cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese whipped together in a food processor.
With Comfort Food Makeovers, you ll be able to enjoy the dishes you love more often. We guarantee it.

 

Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking by Pati Jinich

Pati's Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking by Pati Jinich

Pati’s Mexican Table

Book Description
Release date: March 5, 2013
The host of a highly popular PBS series, Pati’s Mexican Table, and a self-described “overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender,” Pati Jinich has a mission. She’s out to prove that Mexican home cooking is quicker and far easier than most Americans think.

Her dishes are not blanketed with cheese, or heavy and fried, or based on complex sauces. Nor are they necessarily highly spicy. Surprising in their simplicity and freshness, they incorporate produce and grains. Most important, they fit perfectly into an everyday family cooking schedule and use just a handful of ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry. Many are homey specialties that Pati learned from her mother and grandmother, some are creative spins on classics, while others are not well known outside of Mexico.

Dishes like Chicken à la Trash (it’s delicious!), a one-pot meal that Pati gleaned from a Mexican restaurant cook; Mexican Meatballs with Mint and Chipotle; Sweet and Salty Salmon; and Mexican-Style Pasta can revitalize your daily repertoire. You’ll find plenty of vegetarian fare, from Classic Avocado Soup, to Divorced Eggs (with red and green salsa), to Oaxaca-Style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas.

Your friends and family will enjoy Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Pickled Ancho Chile Vinaigrette; Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli; and Chicken Tinga — (you can use rotisserie chicken), which makes a tasty filling for tortas and tostadas. Pati also shares exciting dishes for the holidays and other special occasions, including Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey with Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing; Spiral-Cut Beef Tenderloin; and Red Pozole (“a Mexican party in a bowl”), which she served on her wedding day.Desserts like Triple Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies, Scribble Cookies
(sandwich cookies filled with chocolate), and little Apricot-Lime Glazed Mini Pound Cakes are sophisticated yet simple to make.

 

The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods [120 Recipes… by Rebecca Katz, Mat Edelson and Andrew Weil M.D.

The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods [120 Recipes... by Rebecca Katz, Mat Edelson and Andrew Weil M.D.

The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes

Book Description
Release date: February 26, 2013
A collection of 125 delicious whole-foods recipes showcasing 16 antioxidant-rich power foods, developed by wellness authority Rebecca Katz to combat and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis, and other conditions that plague American adults, enabling readers to live longer, healthier lives.

Food is your most powerful tool. You want to make better nutritional choices, but the science of eating has become more complicated than ever. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, are at risk for heart disease, have a family history of high blood pressure, or simply want to eat a healthful diet to promote long life, how do you know which foods will really deliver the greatest benefits?

In this collection of more than 100 recipes that combine smart nutrition and superb flavor, culinary nutrition pioneer Rebecca Katz highlights the top sixteen foods proven to fight the most common chronic conditions. Katz draws on the latest scientific research to explain how super foods such as asparagus, basil, coffee, dark chocolate, kale, olive oil, sweet potatoes, and wild salmon can build immunity, lower cholesterol, enhance memory, strengthen the heart, and reduce your chances of developing diabetes and other diseases.

This practical, flavor-packed guide presents the most effective—and delicious—ways to use food to improve the performance of every system in the body. Katz explains the health advantages of each main ingredient, and includes menu plans to address specific symptoms and detailed nutritional information for each recipe.

Easy-to-find ingredients are incorporated into a powerful arsenal of tantalizing recipes, including:
• Roasted Asparagus Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts
• Costa Rican Black Bean Soup with Sweet Potato
• Black Cod with Miso-Ginger Glaze
• Herby Turkey Sliders
• Thyme Onion Muffins
• Yogurt Berry Brûlée with Almond Brittle

Based on the most up-to-date nutritional research, The Longevity Kitchen helps you feed your family well and live a long and vibrant life.

 

The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

Book Description
Release date: February 26, 2013
Let James Beard Award–winning authors and hometown heroes Matt Lee and Ted Lee be your culinary ambassadors to Charleston, South Carolina, one of America’s most storied and buzzed-about food destinations.

Growing up in the heart of the historic downtown, in a warbler-yellow house on Charleston’s fabled “Rainbow Row,” brothers Matt and Ted knew how to cast for shrimp before they were in middle school, and could catch and pick crabs soon after. They learned to recognize the fruit trees that grew around town and knew to watch for the day in late March when the loquats on the tree on Chalmers Street ripened. Their new cookbook brings the vibrant food culture of this great Southern city to life, giving readers insider access to the best recipes and stories Charleston has to offer.
No cookbook on the region would be complete without the city’s most iconic dishes done right, including She-Crab Soup, Hoppin’ John, and Huguenot Torte, but the Lee brothers also aim to reacquaint home cooks with treasures lost to time, like chewy-crunchy, salty-sweet Groundnut Cakes and Syllabub with Rosemary Glazed Figs. In addition, they masterfully bring the flavors of today’s Charleston to the fore, inviting readers to sip a bright Kumquat Gin Cocktail, nibble chilled Pickled Shrimp with Fennel, and dig into a plate of Smothered Pork Chops, perhaps with a side of Grilled Chainey Briar, foraged from sandy beach paths. The brothers left no stone unturned in their quest for Charleston’s best, interviewing home cooks, chefs, farmers, fishermen, caterers, and funeral directors to create an accurate portrait of the city’s food traditions. Their research led to gems such as Flounder in Parchment with Shaved Vegetables, an homage to the dish that became Edna Lewis’s signature during her tenure at Middleton Place Restaurant, and Cheese Spread à la Henry’s, a peppery dip from the beloved brasserie of the mid-twentieth century. Readers are introduced to the people, past and present, who have left their mark on the food culture of the Holy City and inspired the brothers to become the cookbook authors they are today.
Through 100 recipes, 75 full-color photographs, and numerous personal stories, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen gives readers the most intimate portrayal yet of the cuisine of this exciting Southern city, one that will resonate with food lovers wherever they live. And for visitors to Charleston, indispensible walking and driving tours related to recipes in the book bring this food town to life like never before.

 

Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Book Description
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Your family has a hankering–a yen for chicken tikka masala or queso fundido, for shrimp pad thai or a Philly cheesesteak–and they want it bad. So you decide to eat out at a local ethnic or roadside restaurant, or do take-out. It’s expedient, but is the food really that good? Really really good? Because Lucinda Scala Quinn’s versions of all those dishes families crave will knock your socks off and prove beyond a doubt that the foods you love can be made better, faster, tastier, cheaper, and more healthfully at home.

Lucinda Scala Quinn is all about smart strategies that simplify and make for great taste, so why outsource feeding our families when it takes less time, money, and effort to cook these favorite comfort foods ourselves? And why miss out on the untold gifts of sitting at home with your family around the dining room table? So next time there’s a request for pulled pork or deep-dish pizza or chicken fettuccine Alfredo, or cold soba noodles or fried rice, forget about soggy takeout and overpriced restaurants–just crack open this book and you’ll find simple recipes for all those dishes your family wants to eat, right now.

 

Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes by Julie Languille

Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes by Julie Languille

Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes

Book Description
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
STOCK YOU PANTRY WITH HOMEMADE MEALS
Pull it off the shelf. Mix with water. Cook. Serve.
It’s as quick and easy as preparing a box of mac and cheese—but it’s not store-bought junk, it’s your favorite dishes made from scratch. With Meals in a Jar and a little planning, you’ll have your pantry stocked with healthy, delicious ready-to-cook meals, like:
• Tomato Soup with Cheese
• Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
• Cornmeal Pancakes with Syrup
• Breakfast Burritos
• Chicken Chipotle Soup
• Carnitas
• Braised Short Ribs
• Turkey Pot Pie
• Coq Au Vin
• Rustic Fruit Pie
Meals in a Jar is packed with step-by-step instructions for natural breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts that allow even the most inexperienced chefs to make scrumptious, nutritious dishes. Not only are the recipes in this book perfect for carry-along camping fare, rushed weeknight dinners and meals for Dad (or even a teenager) to prepare, they can also be life-savers in times of disasters like fires, blackouts or hurricanes.

 

50 Best Plants on the Planet: The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes by Cathy Thomas, Angie Cao and Cheryl Forberg

50 Best Plants on the Planet: The Most Nutrient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes by Cathy Thomas, Angie Cao and Cheryl Forberg

50 Best Plants on the Planet

Book Description
Release date: March 12, 2013
This encyclopedic guide to cooking the 50 most nutritious fruits and vegetables in the world comes from Melissa’s Produce, the largest supplier of specialty produce in the United States. Cooks of all skill levels will love these 150 recipes for simple sides, breakfasts, dinners, and healthful desserts that make the most of fresh, accessible produce, from memory-boosting blackberries to antimicrobial chili peppers to vitamin A–rich watermelon. Featuring health and nutritional information, tips for buying and storage, quick recipe riffs, and gorgeous shots of finished dishes as well as photographs of individual fruits and vegetables, this impressive package is an indispensable resource for home cooks looking to put more fruits and vegetables on the table every day.

 

 

More About Amazon.com’s Best Books of the Month
Each month, Amazon.com’s editorial team reads scores of books in search of those we consider the Best Books of the Month. We also seek and select the best books in popular categories like Cooking, Food & Wine books, Literature & Fiction, Children’s books, Mystery & Thrillers, Comics & Graphic Novels, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, and the best books for kids and teens. We scour reviews and book news, we swap books amongst ourselves, and spend our nights and weekends tearing through as many of the best books as possible. Then we face off in a monthly Best Books showdown meeting to champion the books we think will resonate most with their readership.

The titles that make our Best Books of Month lists are the keepers, the ones we couldn’t forget. Many of our editorial picks for the best books are also customer favorites and bestsellers, but we strive to spotlight the best books you might not otherwise hear about. Each month we also pick “Spotlight” book (the #1 Editors’ Pick) and a “Debut Spotlight” (the best new book by a debut author).

The books included in Amazon’s Best Books of the Month program are entirely editorial selections. We have great passion for uniting readers of all ages and tastes with their next favorite read, helping our customers find terrific gifts, and drawing more attention to great books by exceptional authors.