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Gourmet gifts: Top 12 cookbooks

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Cookbooks Holiday gifts for foodies

Whether you’ve got a long list of foodies on your holiday gift list or perhaps need the perfect gourmet gift for your favorite chef, the following 12 recently released cookbooks will meet your gourmet gift giving needs.

7Radically SimpleRadically Simple

by Rozanne Gold

Author and award-winning chef Rozanne Gold proves that when it comes to cooking, less really is more. Her cookbook Radically Simple (Rodale Books, October 2010) provides 325 extraordinary restaurant-worthy dishes done in as little as five ingredients or a mere three minutes of prep-time! Even Chef Gold's instructions are streamlined – all are conveyed in no more than 140 words. Radically Simple is the perfect cookbook gift for the home cooks that want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time accepting compliments from their dinner guests. Radically simple recipes include Beet Soup with Lemon Crème Fraiche, 3-Minute Wasabi Salmon, Sirloin Steaks with Magic Green Sauce, and The Little Black Dress Chocolate Cake, just to name a fabulous few.

8Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen JourneysHeart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys

by David Tanis

Despite the title, Heart of the Artichoke (Artisan, November 2010) is not an artichoke-only cookbook. It is, in fact, one of the most heart-warming, personable cookbooks written by renowned Chez Panisse chef David Tanis. Not only does Tanis, who is also the author of A Platter of Figs, offer simple yet elegant recipes that inspire people to cook, he emphasizes the significance of cooking and how it brings people together for literal and figurative nourishment. Page through the book and you'll find recipes for the solo cook, menus for feeding small gatherings, to dishes sufficient for grand occasions. Some of Tanis' simple yet satisfying fare: Asparagus Scrambled Eggs, Flat-Roasted Chicken with Rosemary, Chard and Ricotta Tart, and Fresh Peach Ice Cream.

9Cooking for GeeksCooking for Geeks

by Jeff Potter

Cooking for Geeks (O'Reilly Media, August 2010) is ideal for the scientist or engineer or even tech-geek wannabe foodie that doesn't just want to learn how to cook a dish, but also wants to know the science behind the success of a recipe. With firsthand insights from food scientists, researchers, chefs and other experts, author Jeff Potter gives the scientific dish on calibrating kitchen appliances, cooking techniques such as sous vide, and how important reactions during the cooking process specifically affect food. This unique cookbook is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who wants to experiment with cooking, even for those who aren't necessarily a geek.

10The Earthbound CookThe Earthbound Cook

by Myra Goodman

For the eco-conscious foodie – or a loved one you'd like to green – The Earthbound Cook (Workman Publishing, September 2010) features 250 sumptuous, sustainably produced, yet surprisingly easy dishes that are easy on the Earth. Deemed the "Queen of Greens", author Myra Goodman, the co-founder of Earthbound Farm, encourages hungry readers to know where their food comes from and celebrate locally sourced, organic foods. The Earthbound Cook shows that even the busiest of families can incorporate wholesome, eco-friendly foods into their lifestyles. Scrumptious green recipes include Duck Breasts with Dried Cherry Sauce, Coconut Crusted Salmon, Buffalo Burgers, and Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake.

11Blue Jean Chef: Get Comfortable in the KitchenBlue Jean Chef: Get Comfortable in the Kitchen

by Meredith Laurence

With the recent exclusive QVC launch of her new book Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen (Wallah!! LLC, October 2010) and Blue Jean Chef cookware, author Meredith Laurence is aiming to nix kitchen anxieties and make the kitchen as comfortable as a favorite pair of blue jeans. Laurence offers kitchen tips and tricks that she has acquired during years of working in cooking schools, test kitchens, and restaurants all over the world. Blue Jean Chef: Comfortable in the Kitchen is designed to teach basic techniques and then strengthen skills with more elaborate (yet doable) recipes that will inspire foodies to improvise to make their own delicious renditions! For example, master the Basic Roast Chicken, then tackle the Jerk Spiced Roast Chicken, Chipotle Orange Roast Chicken, Summer Ale Chicken with Caramelized Onions, and Five-Spice Roast Chicken.

12The Ultimate Guide to FryingThe Ultimate Guide to Frying

by Rick Browne

If you've got a deep fryer on your holiday gourmet gift list, Rick Browne's The Ultimate Guide to Frying (Skyhorse Publishing, September 2010) is a must-get. This invaluable deep frying resource features knee-weakening recipes such as fried Camembert and pears to fried "lobsta" and fried shark with mango salsa. Browne proves that even corn on the cob and cherries can be transformed into deliciously crispy sensations! Browne doesn't stop at American staples like Buttermilk Fried Chicken or Walla Walla Onion Rings; many of his recipes, accompanied by mouthwatering photographs, are inspired by cultures around the world. Though not exactly the cookbook for your health-conscious loved ones, The Ultimate Guide to Frying is certainly a fun gift for the adventure cook.

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