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Mar 23, 2017

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Recent and Decent Cookbooks (Vol. 6.1)
by Laura Holmes
Magazine Issue: U.S. Vol. 6.1

Marcella Says: Italian Cooking Wisdom from the Legendary Teacher’s Master Classes, with 120 of Her Irresistible New Recipes
by Marcella Hazan
(HarperCollins, $30)

When the maven of Italian cooking writes another cookbook, you best pay attention. This isn’t a spaghetti and meatballs book - this is Italian cooking from Italy, with Italian ingredients and a whole lotta straightforward Italian advice from Ms. Hazan. (You did see the word “Master” in the title, didn’t you?) Be sure to try Baked Mozzarella, Tomato, Capers and Parmesan Crostini; Fennel and Goat Cheese Salad; Veal Shanks with Lemon; and Spaghetti “Rotolo” with Zucchini and Bacon. It’s almost like graduate school for foodies. C’mon, you know you wanna bust Iron Chef Italian on home culinary turf. So don’t cut class.

Inspired by Ingredients
by Bill Telepan
(Simon & Schuster, $35)

New York City chef Bill Telepan loves fresh ingredients - so much so that he dedicated an entire book to cooking (and eating) seasonally. Telepan comes across as an enthusiastic guy who must have been a farmer in a past life. (Maybe even a Master Farmer.) Recipes range from easy to complicated, but there’s something for everyone - from Pan-Fried Summer Jersey Vegetables and a delectable Pea Soup, to Chilled Shrimp with an Autumn Slaw, to Grilled Dry-Aged Rib-Eye Steak with a Red Onion Cipollata and Herbed White Beans. Head to your local farmer’s market, grab some of-the-moment veggies and get Berkeley on everyone’s ass.

Off the Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry
by Donna Hay
(Morrow, $25)

Reasons why we love Donna Hay: the recipes are easy, the food’s tasty, and the books are paperback (read: lightweight) yet full of pretty pictures. This Aussie chef has come out with another must-have cookbook, and the only shopping involved serves to stock the pantry. For those nights when unexpected (read: uninvited) guests drop by, rest easy that you can now step into the kitchen and whip up dishes like Stir-Fried Prawns and Noodles; Baked Chicken, Lemon and Pea Risotto; and Pasta with Buttered Broccoli. She even throws in recipes for quick sweets like a Peach and Raspberry Tart; Honey Cakes; and Raspberry Sorbet. Off the Shelf will rescue even the most novice cook from take-out menus.

Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Really Make at Home
by Ina Garten
(Clarkson Potter, $35)

I love Paris… and I especially love it a la the Barefoot Contessa, otherwise known as Ina Garten. Ms. Garten manages to transform fussy French recipes into easy, do-it-at-home-in-under-one-week dishes. Her simple recipes include classics like Boeuf Bourguignon; Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic; Zucchini Vichyssoise; Loin of Pork with Green Peppercorns; and Blue Cheese Souffle. (And the Creme Brulee - ready to bake in 10 minutes, I swear - is a godsend.) Her conversational tone will ease any kitchen anxiety, and before you know it you’ve made an entire meal. Buy this book, kick off your Jimmy Choos, pour yourself a Kir Royale and browse through the glossy photos. It’s like Paris without the long flight and snooty customs officials.

Feast: Food to Celebrate Life
by Nigella Lawson
(Hyperion, $35)

Nigella, the British icon known for her sensual finger-licking television show and cleavage as much as for her culinary skills, is back with a book dedicated to holiday feasts. Impress your beloved with a dozen Love Buns or a Chocolate Raspberry Heart on Valentine’s Day, or liven up Halloween with Blood and Guts Potatoes and Ghoul-Graveyard Cake. For lesser-known holidays (like my-in-laws-are-coming-for-brunch-so-help-me-God), whip up Ms. Lawson’s tasty Banana Buttermilk Pancakes or a batch of Andy’s Fairfield Granola. New Year’s, Midnight Feast, Wedding Fest, Festival of Lights, Rosh Hashanah - they’re all here and they’re all fabulous. (There’s even a “Meatless Feast” section for you veg-heads.) Start celebrating. Burning Man is just around the corner.

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