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Mar 30, 2017

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Recent and Decent Cookbooks (Vol. 6.2)
by Laura Holmes Haddad
Magazine Issue: U.S. Vol. 6.2

Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti and Fran Gage
(Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $35)

Uber-baker Gage brings San Fran chocolatier Recchiuti’s creations to food-porn life in this delish tome. Dipped chocolate? Check. Flavored ganache? Check. Rocky Recchiuti Brownies? Say that three times fast. If you’re a closet pastry chef, recipes like the Double Dark Chocolate Souffles will have you running for your Gaggenau. If you’re like us, you might make a cup of his signature cocoa and see if any of the pix are scratch ‘n sniff.

Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America
by Jose Andres with Richard Wolffe
(Clarkson Potter, $35)

Jose Andres, the Washington, D.C., chef who trained with famed Spanish chef-foamarian Ferran Adria, divulges his culinary secrets in this colorful book (rilly, he does). Chapters are divvied up by typical tapas ingredients (i.e., olive oil, potato, fish, citrus). According to Andres, there are no rules to tapas festivals (except having lots of wine on hand). So in theory, you could whip up some Chicken and Mushroom Paella, a pan of Roasted Vidalia Onions with Cabrales Cheese, a few Serrano Ham and Chicken Fritters and throw in a ringer, like mac ‘n cheese, and your friends won’t know the diff. This, we like. Foam, not so much.

Don’t Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World’s Greatest Chefs
Edited by Kimberly Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman
(Bloomsbury, $25)

So you wanna be a chef? Read this. See, what you really wanna be is a mall cop! In order to avoid, in no particular order: flying risotto pans, meringue floods and the occasional pugilistic maitre d’ (and he was BRITISH). This book delineates eff-ups by some marquee names, including Mario Batali (of Babbo restaurant and Food Network fame), Daniel Boulud (of NYC’s Daniel), Claudia Fleming (Gramercy Tavern’s former pastry chef), and Anthony Bourdain (no ‘splanation needed). You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, you’ll pin on that rent-a-cop badge with relief.

The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor
by Jerry Traunfeld
(Morrow, $35)

Traunfeld wants us all to add fresh herbs to everyday dishes. Every. Day. You can’t even buy them. He wants you to grow them. And then use them in the recipes he kindly provides from his kitchen at Seattle’s famed restaurant - drum roll - The Herbfarm. Yes, Roasted Oysters with Sorrel Sauce, Lavender-Rubbed Duck Breast with Apricots and Sweet Onions, Salt-Roasted Potatoes and Strawberry Rose Geranium Ice Cream sound tasty. But you’ve still got chocolate something on the Gagg, remember? So grab a glass ‘o big red and just drool over the herbalicious pictures. It’s not strawberry season in any case.

Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
(Artisan, $45)

Alford and Duguid spent more than 30 years studying the flavors of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, and one thing’s for sheezy - they likes it spicy. We’re all for authenticity, but our delicate Western tongues are still vibrating from the Goan Pork Vindaloo, the Chile-Shrimp Stir-Fry and the other zillions of het-up subcontinental treats. Thank Krishna, Allah and Buddha for the nine varieties of cooling rice. Anyway, it’s all easy to make, ya don’t need a Gagg (are we sounding obsessed?) and there’s a handy chapter on street foods. My editrice says it’s nice to see pictures of exactly what’s gonna give you Delhi belly.

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