The Cookbooks We Keep Going Back To
Isolation during the current global pandemic has had an interesting effect on people. Some are working on projects that have been pushed aside for too long, some are turning to sources of entertainment and others are creating masterpieces in the kitchen.
We have seen a number of people that have turned to cooking during quarantine, not only because they now have the time, but also because doing some sort of manual work is an excellent way to cope with stress. If there has ever been a time to try something new, it is now.
We at Tatler Dining also love to cook, so we are sharing with you the many styles of cookbooks—from traditional country cooking, innovative recipes, to modern takes on classics—that bring us joy and challenge us, in the hopes that you will feel as accomplished as we do at the end of the meal.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Julia Child brought French cooking into the home of many Americans with her successful cookbook—a result of her years spent living in Paris. While she went on to write a dozen more cookbooks, this one, which she co-authors with Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, captured the hearts of many, as the two-volume masterpiece introduced the basic techniques of French cooking as well as some of the most recognised classics.
Tatler Tip: The Boeuf Bourguignon is one of her critically-acclaimed signature dishes.
Buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking here
Every Grain of Rice
In Every Grain Of Rice, Sichuan cooking school-trained chef Fuchsia Dunlop brings everyday Chinese home cooking to her audience. In this cookbook, which won the 2014 James Beard Award in the International cookbook category, the vegetable is the star although the book still features meat and fish dishes.
Tatler Tip: Dunlop’s Dan dan Noodles is a fantastic recipe that can be a quick noodle fix, with a vegetarian version featured in the book.
Buy Every Grain Of Rice here
The Food of Sichuan
With Fuchsia Dunlop’s latest cookbook, readers will find the taste and aromas of the Sichuan province spicing up their kitchen. It is a revised edition of her original Sichuan Cookery book but with new recipes and a comprehensive knowledge of techniques and styles of the classic cuisine.
Tatler Tip: We loved both the Gong Bao Chicken With Peanuts and Twice Cooked Pork recipes.
Buy The Food of Sichuan here
How To Eat
In 1998, British chambermaid-turned celebrity chef Nigella Lawson wrote How To Eat, her first cookbook. More than twenty years later, the domestic goddess’ culinary volume is still relevant with a strong focus on how a meal comes together with simple recipes that makes cooking at home more of a pleasure and less of a chore. Divided into sections such as Weekend Lunch or Fast Food, Nigella shares her knowledge of food and demonstrates that good cooking needs not be perfect all the time, but that good training is necessary for everyone to trust their instincts in order to become a better cook.
Tatler Tip: Try the Clementine Cake and the Rhubarb, Muscat, And Mascarpone Trifle.
Buy How To Eat here
Restaurateur David Chang’s cookbook chronicles his rise to stardom and features recipes from his popular Momofuku restaurants in New York City. The cookbook, which is divided into three sections highlighting each restaurant and its recipes, celebrates Asian flavours and gives a special spotlight to both the ramen noodle and pork.
Tatler Tip: His celebrated Momofuku Pork Buns are in the cookbook, and the Ginger Scallion Noodles are a must-try.
Buy Momofuku here
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
Bestselling author Yotam Ottolenghi’s debut cookbook features some of the most in-demand dishes of his restaurant of the same name in London. You will find an array of recipes with a less extensive ingredient list than his follow-up cookbooks but where garlic, lemon, olive oil and herbs are still ever-present.
Tatler Tip: The Marinated Aubergine with Tahini takes very little work and makes a great starter.
Buy Ottolenghi: The Cookbook here
French Country Cooking
Hong Kong-born French-Chinese Mimi Thorisson left city life to retreat into the French countryside. It is there, in a charming village in Medoc, that her blog Manger was born. Thorisson’s family life, with her husband, eight children and 14 dogs, is the focal point of all her cooking and her book is filled with slow-cooked classics, gratins and a collection of rustic recipes.
Tatler Tip: Tomates Farcies are a classic and the Mimolette and Comté Mac and Cheese is an ode to French cheese.
Buy French Country Cooking here
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
The late Marcella Hazan single-handedly introduced authentic Italian cooking into American and British homes. Her cookbook combines her books The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking into a single volume. The groundbreaking book is filled with Hazan’s observations and techniques that will stay with you as you continue your culinary journey.
Tatler Tip: Her acclaimed Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion is one for the books.
Buy Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking here
Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
The 2018 Beard Award–winning cookbook by Joshua McFadden revolutionised our way of cooking vegetables. By dividing his cookbook into six sections, one for each season and one for early-summer and late summer, McFadden demonstrates how to use seasonal ingredients in the most creative ways possible, often adding an unexpected touch of umami in his dishes. His recipes use the entire vegetable and the herbs (you’ll discover his penchant for green onion) can be used in multiple recipes so that nothing goes to waste.
Tatler Tip: The Raw Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Anchovy, Walnuts & Pecorino is a crowd-pleaser.
Buy Six Seasons here
Chinatown Kitchen: Delicious Dishes from Southeast Asian Ingredients
In her Chinatown Kitchen cookbook, Anglo-Chinese Lizzie Mabbot demystifies Southeast Asian food for those who are unfamiliar with the cuisine. Throughout the book, the London-based author walks the reader through the grocery aisle, pointing out key ingredients, the many different types of noodles and offers simple recipes to recreate at home.
Tatler Tip: Scrambled Egg, Tomato and Pickled Vegetable Noodles is one not to be missed.
Buy Chinatown Kitchen here
Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes: A Cookbook
New York Times food writer and author Alison Roman is all about unfussy food. Filled with one-pot dinners and shareable platters, her debut cookbook gives modern cooks the tools they need to create foolproof meals with limited counter space and the right techniques without fancy gadgets.
Tatler Tip: The Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread recipe is a winner, with Roman’s Four Bean Salad with Green Romesco sauce coming to a close second.
Buy Dining In here
Plenty:Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi
Celebrity chef Ottolenghi’s sophomore cookbook, featuring vegetarian recipes with Middle Eastern and Jewish roots and heavy international influences, highlights the many ways of cooking vibrant vegetables while offering brilliant flavour combinations. In this book, the readers will be able to challenge their cooking knowledge with new techniques and new ingredients.
Tatler Tip: The Baked Eggs with Greens and Chile and Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango will blow you away.
Buy Plenty here
On The Side: A Sourcebook of Inspiring Side Dishes
Rocket & Squash Blogger Ed Smith noticed that side dishes were being put on the sideline when it came to cooking meals, so he dedicated an entire cookbook to them. With many recipes that are vegetarian-friendly, for all skill levels and that feature many styles of cuisine, Smith has managed to offer both achievable and tasty side dishes that can be used over and over again.
Tatler Tip: A twist on the vitello tonnato, Smith’s Tomato Tonnato makes for a great starter.
Buy On The Side here
My Paris Kitchen
In his cookbook, writer David Leibovitz delights all Francophiles with tales of his move to Paris, his observations on how the culinary culture has shifted and recipes reflected the way people eat in modern-day Paris. With updated takes on classics and a variety of lesser-known specialities, this cookbook is a love letter to the city of lights.
Tatler Tip: Both the Leeks With Mustard Bacon Vinaigrette and the Individual Chocolate Cakes with Dulce de Leche and Fleur de Sel will earn you praises.
Buy My Paris Kitchen here
Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts
The winner of the 2018 James Beard Awards, Stella Parks’ Bravetart is a celebration of the all-American desserts. From blueberry muffins to fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookies, her recipes have undergone rigorous testing and readers can gain knowledge of the history and science background of the desserts. Parks also encourages flexibility and creativity by offering variations to her desserts.
Tatler Tip: The Confetti Cake is perfect for a birthday.
Buy Bravetart here
Dorie ‘s Cookies
Who doesn’t love cookies? In baking guru Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook, dessert-inspired cookies take centre stage to shine. Greenspan’s maple star anise cookies and sugar and spice galettes are among 170 treats featured that will satisfy any sweet tooth. In her book, Greenspan also highlights the importance of prepping and having the right equipment in order to ensure top notch quality and taste.
Tatler Tip: We would never say no to her Peanut Brownie Sables.
Buy Dorie's Cookies here