The Best Cookbooks of 2017

Posted on November 15, 2017 by

Cookbooks hold special places on many of our bookshelves. Whether it’s grandma’s hand-me-down copy of Joy of Cooking or contemporary favorites like The Food Lab, we find ourselves turning to our trusted cookbooks when we need a little mealtime inspiration. But sometimes, we need a little modern flair and a new batch of delicious options! These new books are the best cookbooks 2017 brought us, and they’re destined to become classics, too. Publishers’ descriptions are included below.

 

Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie's Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli

As the current star of her Food Network show, Valerie’s Home Cooking, and co-host of the network’s Kids Baking Championship, as well as having spent years acting on television, Valerie Bertinelli has made a name for herself in households across America. But to really know Valerie is to spend time in her kitchen.

Inspired by her family’s cooking legacy, Valerie specializes in showing fans how to make dishes their own families will love that are for the heart and soul. As she often says, there’s a story behind every recipe and Valerie shares them in this gorgeous cookbook, where home cooks will find more than 100 recipes that are easy to make and innovative — they’re just as fresh, vibrant, and down to earth as Valerie herself. Many of these classic comforting recipes have an original twist like Bloody Mary Tea Sandwiches, Lobster BLTs, Quick Rotisserie Chicken Gumbo, and S’mores Popcorn. These mouthwatering dishes will become your go-tos, whether you’re having breakfast or lunch on your own, friends are joining for last-minute cocktails and small bites, or the whole family is coming together for a hearty dinner and dessert.

 

Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

Deb Perelman, award-winning blogger and New York Times bestselling author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, understands that a happy discovery in the kitchen has the ability to completely change the course of your day. Whether we’re cooking for ourselves, for a date night in, for a Sunday supper with friends, or for family on a busy weeknight, we all want recipes that are unfussy to make with triumphant results.

Deb thinks that cooking should be an escape from drudgery. Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites presents more than one hundred impossible-to-resist recipes — almost all of them brand new, plus a few favorites from her website — that will make you want to stop what you’re doing right now and cook. These are real recipes for real people — people with busy lives who don’t want to sacrifice flavor or quality to eat meals they’re really excited about.

You’ll want to put these recipes in your Forever Files: Sticky Toffee Waffles (sticky toffee pudding you can eat for breakfast), Everything Drop Biscuits with Cream Cheese, and Magical Two-Ingredient Oat Brittle (a happy accident). There’s a (hopelessly, unapologetically inauthentic) Kale Caesar with Broken Eggs and Crushed Croutons, a Mango Apple Ceviche with Sunflower Seeds, and a Grandma-Style Chicken Noodle Soup that fixes everything. You can make Leek, Feta, and Greens Spiral Pie, crunchy Brussels and Three Cheese Pasta Bake that tastes better with brussels sprouts than without, Beefsteak Skirt Steak Salad, and Bacony Baked Pintos with the Works (as in, giant bowls of beans that you can dip into like nachos).

And, of course, no meal is complete without cake (and cookies and pies and puddings): Chocolate Peanut Butter Icebox Cake (the icebox cake to end all icebox cakes), Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel, Strawberry Cloud Cookies, Bake Sale Winning-est Gooey Oat Bars, as well as the ultimate Party Cake Builder—four one-bowl cakes for all occasions with mix-and-match frostings (bonus: less time spent doing dishes means everybody wins).

Written with Deb’s trademark humor and gorgeously illustrated with her own photographs, Smitten Kitchen Every Day is filled with what are sure to be your new favorite things to cook.

 

101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die by Jet Tila

101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die by Jet Tila

Jet Tila knows a thing or two about authentic Asian cuisine. From a kid growing up in LA in a Thai and Chinese family to a prominent chef, restaurant owner and judge on Cutthroat Kitchen, he brings his years of experience and hard-earned knowledge together in this breakthrough book. Step inside Jet’s kitchen and learn the secrets to making your favorite Asian dishes taste better than takeout. Here are some of the recipes you’ll learn to master:

-Korean BBQ Short Ribs on Coke
-Jet’s Famous Drunken Noodles
-Beef Pho
-Miso Roasted Black Cod
-Panang Beef Curry
-Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich
-Sweet Chili Sriracha Hot Wings

And if you haven’t made your own Sriracha yet, Jet’s killer recipe will change your life. All in all, you get Jet’s 101 best Asian recipes to impress your friends and family, not to mention all sorts of chef-y tips on flavor, technique, history, and ingredients that will make you a better cook. Time to kick ass with your wok, Jet Tila-style!

 

Free Ebooks Every Day

Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark

Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark

Inspired by her viral New York Times article “Why Do Cooks Love the Instant Pot®? I Bought One to Find Out,” Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant has all new recipes that bring her signature flavor-forward dishes to everyone’s favorite countertop appliance.

Dinner in an Instant gives home cooks recipes for elevated dinners that never sacrifice convenience. Beloved for her flawless recipes, Melissa Clark turns her imagination to the countertop appliances that have won American hearts from coast to coast. Recipes include Fresh Coconut Yogurt, Japanese Beef Curry, Osso Buco, Smoky Lentils, Green Persian Rice with Tahdig, and Lemon Verbena Crème Brulee.

Dinner in an Instant provides instructions when possible for making the same dish on both the pressure cooker and slow cooker settings, allowing home cooks flexibility. Symbols guide the reader toward paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dinners.

Fresh, approachable, and classic, Dinner in an Instant is Melissa Clark’s most practical book yet.

 

Pok Pok: The Drinking Food of Thailand by Andy Ricker and JJ Goode

Pok Pok the Drinking Food of Thailand by Andy Ricker

A celebration of the thrill and spirit of Thai drinking food, Andy Ricker’s follow-up to Pok Pok brings the same level of authority, with a more laid-back approach. Just as America has salted peanuts, wings, and nachos, Thailand has its own roster of craveable snacks: spicy, salty, and sour, they are perfect accompaniments for a few drinks and the company of good friends. Here, Ricker shares accessible and detailed recipes for his favorites: phat khii mao, a fiery dish known as “Drunkard’s stir-fry”; kai thawt, Thai-style fried chicken; and thua thawt samun phrai, an addictive combination of fried peanuts with makrut lime leaf, garlic, and chiles. Featuring stories and insights from the Thai cooks who taught Ricker along the way, this book is as fun to read as it is to cook from and will become a modern classic for any lover of Thai cuisine.

 

Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

Yotam Ottolenghi is widely beloved in the food world for his beautiful, inspirational, and award-winning cookbooks, as well as his London delis and fine dining restaurant. And while he’s known for his savory and vegetarian dishes, he actually started out his cooking career as a pastry chef. Sweet is entirely filled with delicious baked goods, desserts, and confections starring Ottolenghi’s signature flavor profiles and ingredients including fig, rose petal, saffron, orange blossom, star anise, pistachio, almond, cardamom, and cinnamon. A baker’s dream, Sweet features simple treats such as Chocolate, Banana, and Pecan cookies and Rosemary Olive Oil Orange Cake, alongside recipes for showstopping confections such as Cinnamon Pavlova with Praline Cream and Fresh Figs and Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee, Walnut, and Rosewater.

 

The Perfect Cookie by America’s Test Kitchen

The Perfect Cookie by America's Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen aggregates many years of cookie baking knowledge, breaking down key steps and recipe techniques in this comprehensive cookbook that features recipes for any cookie you can dream up — from favorite cookie jar classics to new and unique cookies, brownies, bars, and candies for any occasion.

 

Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt

Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt

Tartine All Day is Tartine cofounder Elisabeth Prueitt’s gift to home cooks everywhere who crave an all-in-one repertoire of wholesome, straight-forward recipes for the way they want to eat morning, noon, and night. As the family cook in her own household, Prueitt understands the challenge of making daily home cooking healthy, delicious, and enticing for all — without wearing out the cook. Through concise instruction Prueitt translates professional expertise into home cooking that effortlessly adds variety and brings everyone to the table. With 200 recipes for everything from the best-ever salad dressings to genius gluten-free pancakes (and 45 other gluten-free options), the greatest potato gratin, fool-proof salmon and roasted chicken, do-able gathering-size meals, and dreamy desserts, Tartine All Day is the hard-working cookbook that will guide and inspire home cooks in new and enduring ways.

 

Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison

Trim Healthy Mama's Trim Healthy Table by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison

The Trim Healthy Mamas have helped hundreds of thousands of women lose weight and live healthier lives with their bestselling cookbook and eating plan and now they are ready to help the entire family! After experiencing incredible life transformations of their own, readers want to be able to help their families feel better and trim down, too. Trim Healthy Table is just the answer. It bursts with over 300 family friendly, delicious, and trimming recipes, along with practical advice on how to healthfully nourish your family without going insane and chaining yourself to the kitchen.

Bestselling authors and sisters Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett have 18 children between them and their two families have been thriving on the Trim Healthy Mama plan for years. Trim Healthy Table contains all their best tips, tricks, and encouragement for families, whether large or small. Serene and Pearl shamelessly share cunning ways to get picky eaters gobbling down veggies and other healthy foods they usually detest. You will learn how to painlessly use whole, unprocessed foods, including blood-sugar-friendly carbs, fats, proteins, fruits, and vegetables to create meals even the fussiest kids (and husbands) will love. You’ll also learn how one basic meal can make a whole family happy even with different nutritional needs. The quick and easy recipes include lots of one-pot dishes such as skillet meals, slow cooker meals, electric pressure cooker meals, casserole, and soups. With these recipes you can wake up to hearty breakfasts, prepare bars for on-the-go, try a creamy, quick-to-make smoothie, or even indulge yourself with the many trimming desserts…cake for breakfast is celebrated! And, if you’re simply looking for single serve 5 – 10 minute meals, the Hangry Meal chapter has you covered.

In addition to the hundreds of recipes, included is a Simple Start Guide to the Trim Healthy Plan which concisely explains how you can trim down by getting your blood sugar under control and how to, ever so gently, help other members in your family who may be struggling with weight issues. So, gather your family, bring them to the Trim Healthy Table… eat up… and trim down!

 

BraveTart by Stella Parks

Bravetart by Stella Parks

From One-Bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake to a flawless Cherry Pie that’s crisp even on the very bottom, BraveTart is a celebration of classic American desserts. Whether its downhome delights like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies or supermarket mainstays such as Vanilla Wafers and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, your favorites are all here. These meticulously tested recipes bring an award-winning pastry chef’s expertise into your kitchen, along with advice on how to “mix it up” with over 200 customizable variations — in short, exactly what you’d expect from a cookbook penned by a senior editor at Serious Eats. Yet BraveTart is much more than a cookbook, as Stella Parks delves into the surprising stories of how our favorite desserts came to be, from chocolate chip cookies that predate the Tollhouse Inn to the prohibition-era origins of ice cream sodas and floats. With a foreword by The Food Lab’s J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, vintage advertisements for these historical desserts, and breathtaking photography from Penny De Los Santos, BraveTart is sure to become an American classic.

 

Half Baked Harvest Cookbook by Tieghan Gerard

Half Baked Harvest Cookbook by Tieghan Gerard

Tieghan Gerard grew up in the Colorado mountains as one of seven children. When her dad took too long to make dinner every night, she started doing the cooking — at age 15. Ever-determined to reign in the chaos of her big family, Tieghan found her place in the kitchen. She had a knack for creating unique dishes, which led her to launch her blog, Half Baked Harvest. Since then, millions of people have fallen in love with her fresh take on comfort food, stunning photography, and charming life in the mountains.

While it might be a trek to get to Tieghan’s barn-turned-test kitchen, her creativity shines here: dress up that cheese board with a real honeycomb; decorate a standard salad with spicy, crispy sweet potato fries; serve stir fry over forbidden black rice; give French onion soup an Irish kick with Guinness and soda bread; bake a secret ingredient into your apple pie (hint: it’s molasses). And a striking photograph accompanies every recipe, making Half Baked Harvest Cookbook a feast your eyes, too.

 

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters.

In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements — Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food — and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time.

Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes — and dozens of variations — to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs.

Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will be your compass in the kitchen. Destined to be a classic, it just might be the last cookbook you’ll ever need.

 

Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Joshua McFadden, chef and owner of renowned trattoria Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon, is a vegetable whisperer. After years racking up culinary cred at New York City restaurants like Lupa, Momofuku, and Blue Hill, he managed the trailblazing Four Season Farm in coastal Maine, where he developed an appreciation for every part of the plant and learned to coax the best from vegetables at each stage of their lives.

In Six Seasons, McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons — an arc from spring to early summer to midsummer to the bursting harvest of late summer, then ebbing into autumn and, finally, the earthy, mellow sweetness of winter. Each chapter begins with recipes featuring raw vegetables at the start of their season. As weeks progress, McFadden turns up the heat — grilling and steaming, then moving on to sautees, pan roasts, braises, and stews. His ingenuity is on display in 225 revelatory recipes that celebrate flavor at its peak.

 

Add a Pinch by Robyn Stone

Add a Pinch by Robyn Stone

A generation ago, home cooks may have had all day to prepare dinner, but most folks now want convenient, fast recipes that don’t rely on canned soups or other processed products. Here, fresh ingredients take center stage in slow cooker meals, casseroles, and one-dish suppers, salads, soups, and desserts that have deep, satisfying flavors but are a cinch to make. Smart swaps like Greek yogurt for mayo in pimento cheese and cauliflower “rice” put a modern spin on these dishes. With 75 color photographs and lots of sidebars, this is the new Southern cooking handbook.

 

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry — both black and white — through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who “owns” it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep — the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

 

Sally’s Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney

Sally's Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney

Baking addict and food blogger, Sally McKenney blew our culinary minds with her debut cookbook, Sally’s Baking Addiction, and she indulged our confection fantasies with Sally’s Candy Addiction. Now she’s back with the book that fans have been asking for.

Sally loves cookies. Simple fact. Her award-winning salted caramel dark chocolate cookies turned into an online sensation, and she can’t wait to share over 75 brand-new cookie recipes with you!

Featuring a selection of cookies, cookie bars, macaroons, and more, Sally’s Cookie Addiction is fully illustrated and features dozens of exciting cookie flavors like butterscotch, peanut butter, s’mores, coconut, lemon, chocolate, and loads more.

And with Sally’s simple, easy-to-follow recipes and mouthwatering photography, you can be sure you’re getting more of the sweet with none of the fuss!

 

Dining In by Alison Roman

Dining In by Alison Roman

Alison Roman is known as much for her keeper recipes as her wry Instagram voice and effortless style. Her debut cookbook features 125 recipes for simple, of-the-moment dishes that are full of quickie techniques (think slathering roast chicken in anchovy butter, roasting citrus to bring out new flavors, and keeping boiled potatoes in your fridge for instant crispy smashed potatoes). Roman’s recipes set today’s trends and will show up as tomorrow’s classics: vegetable-forward with quality ingredients, punctuated by standout flavors like hot honey browned butter, preserved lemon, za’atar, and garlicky walnuts. Her ingenuity will seduce seasoned cooks, while her warm, edgy writing makes these recipes practical enough for the novice. Cooking through Dining In will be like having Alison right there with you in the kitchen: brash, funny, and full of opinions.

 

Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker by Editors of Martha Stewart Living

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker

Leave it to the experts at Martha Stewart to figure out the best ways to use this favorite appliance. The 110 recipes in this book make the most of the slow cooker’s assets (low heat, hands-off cooking), while also uncovering its hidden potential. Readers will find that they can not only braise cuts of meat until meltingly tender and let soups and stews simmer away untended, but also gently poach fish, cook up creamy scalloped potatoes, and bake a perfect cheesecake. This book has everything home cooks need to maximize flavor and make life a whole lot easier.

 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! by Ree Drummond

The Pioneer Woman Cooks Come and Get It by Ree Drummond

For home cooks, nothing beats preparing a long, leisurely dinner for your family, stirring slowly, seasoning gradually, and savoring every flavorful step.

Screeeeeech! Reality check! Okay, let’s face it: With school, sports, work, obligations, and activities pulling us in a million directions, not many of us can spend that amount of time in the kitchen anymore! What we really need are simple, scrumptious, doable recipes that solve the challenge of serving up hearty, satisfying food (that tastes amazing!) day after day, week after week without falling into a rut and relying on the same old rotation of meals. Cooking should be fun, rewarding, and it definitely should feed your soul (and feed the people in your household in the process)!

Here are some of my favorite make-it-happen dishes, pulled from my nonstop life as a busy wife, mother of four, and lifelong lover of food! The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! includes more than 120 of my best solutions for tasty, wholesome meals (with minimal fuss!) for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. (And let’s not forget the glue that holds it all together: desserts! There are some dandies in here, friends.)

With a mix of categories and flavors that will please everyone, this book has everything you need to whip up delicious, downhome recipes that you can get on the table without a lot of stress. Now that’s something to get excited about!

 

 

What’s your all-time favorite cookbook? Let us know in the comments below!

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