To live a year in Meike Peters’ life! In “365” (Prestel, $40), Peters, who won a James Beard award for her 2016 book, “Eat in My Kitchen,” offers a meal for every night from January to December. The recipes are largely European in focus (Peters lives in Berlin and Malta), skew seasonal and, rare for a cookbook, tend to serve two. There’s some repetition, but isn’t that real life, where sometimes you’re eating alone, or making variations on a favorite dish? Weekends are earmarked for more time-consuming recipes: cakes and tarts, cookies and jam. Dinner, they’re not. But sustenance for the week ahead? Definitely.
— TEJAL RAO
‘Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen’
What happens when Tex-Mex finds a home in Southern California? In Josef Centeno’s new cookbook, “Amá” (Chronicle, $29.95), the results are sunny and delicious, from a vegan, cashew-based “queso” built on the flavors of charred onion, garlic and green chile, to a simple halved ruby red grapefruit, broiled with a topping of butter and piloncillo sugar, just like his auntie used to do. Centeno, a San Antonio native, and writer Betty Hallock have published a rare cheffy cookbook, with the kind of approachable recipes a home cook might want to try — even if they’ve never had the chance to eat at his excellent restaurants in Los Angeles.
— ALEXA WEIBEL
‘American Sfoglino: A Master Class in Handmade Pasta’
Like any proper sfoglino — the Italian term for a person dedicated to the art of fresh pasta making — Evan Funke has mastered the craft of making fresh pasta to the point at which he can cook by his senses. Thanks to his pasta manual, “American Sfoglino” (Chronicle, $35), written with Katie Parla, you can, too — but first, expect lots of talk about the “ideal gluten network,” “level of salinity” and “pursuit of perfection.” Funke studied in Bologna, Italy, before opening Felix Trattoria in Los Angeles, and while his recipes for handmade pastas are involved, there’s no machine required. The finished dishes are mostly streamlined, in keeping with his observation that “80 percent of Italian cooking is about getting the best ingredients.” The rest revolves around treating them right, which you’ll do with ease thanks to his careful instruction and step-by-step photography.
— ALEXA WEIBEL
‘Canal House: Cook Something’
Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer are home cooks first, even as they run a food magazine (Canal House Cooking), a photography studio and a new restaurant in rural New Jersey. All that experience makes their second book, “Canal House: Cook Something” (Voracious, $35), an ideal manual for modern cooks, often revisiting a basic formula (like deviled eggs or pan-roasted chicken thighs) and amplifying it (with inventive toppings or quick pan sauces). Beyond cooking, the longtime collaborators have worked out how to eat, shop, drink and live in ways that wring the most satisfaction from the least work. Many of the best recipes from the magazine are here, so subscribers won’t need it. But anyone else, especially starter cooks, should gobble it up.
— JULIA MOSKIN
‘Cooking for Good Times: Super Delicious, Super Simple’
When most chefs tell you something is simple, it’s safe to assume the opposite. But Paul Kahan demonstrates uncomplicated cooking at its finest in his new book, “Cooking for Good Times” (Lorena Jones, $35), written with Perry Hendrix and Rachel Holtzman. The chef, whose Chicago restaurant empire includes Avec, the Publican, Big Star and Blackbird, has figured out how to feed guests without fuss, by breaking down flavorful recipes — like Brussels sprouts panzanella with balsamic onions and smoked Gouda, or steak with charred radicchio — into make-ahead components for easy last-minute assembly. When dinner is done, you can dish it up in whatever order works, with whatever wine, and guarantee a good time for the cook and the company.
— ALEXA WEIBEL
‘From the Oven to the Table: Simple Dishes That Look After Themselves’
Diana Henry, the award-winning cookbook author, has the busy but aspirational home cook in mind with her latest, “From the Oven to the Table” (Mitchell Beazley, $29.99). Her aim was to create a collection of recipes that can be quickly prepped and then slid into the oven, so you can get on with other things. While most of the recipes aren’t breezy, many are one-pot, and ideal for a Tuesday night that you want to make more special — like a chicken, black bean and rice wonder, in which the rice soaks up the juices from the chicken thighs as they cook together. Most of the side dishes are meant to cook on the rack beneath a main dish so they emerge simultaneously, and desserts are simple yet sophisticated: A chocolate and red wine cake glossed with ganache looks like far more work than it is.
— MARGAUX LASKEY
‘The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes From a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider’
There are many cookbooks out there that try to fully capture a culture’s cuisine. This is not one of them. “The Gaijin Cookbook” (Rux Martin, $30), by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying, is full of Japanese and Japanese-inspired recipes that reflect what the authors want to cook and eat, and that you’ll want to cook and eat, too. Gaijin (gai-jin) means “foreigner” or “outsider”; although Orkin, the chef and owner of Ivan Ramen in New York, lived in Japan for years, speaks the language fluently, and even opened successful ramen shops in Tokyo, he is still considered an outsider, and so is Ying. Their perspective makes Japanese food feel more attainable than a typical cookbook on the cuisine. With classics like gyoza, and additions like miso mushroom chili, this book is a guide on how to love another culture while respecting it at the same time.
— KIERA WRIGHT-RUIZ
‘Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking’
Toni Tipton-Martin’s cookbook “Jubilee” (Clarkson Potter, $35) is her follow-up to “The Jemima Code,” an annotated bibliography of African American cookbooks. Alongside recipes for pork chops smothered in caper-lemon sauce and hot toddies, Tipton-Martin often provides a vintage version clipped from an old cookbook. Though few writers are better at using recipes as a way to look at the past, “Jubilee” isn’t a history lesson. It’s a celebration of African American cuisine right now, in all of its abundance and variety, and a vital reminder that creative cooks are constantly adapting and updating it.
— TEJAL RAO
‘Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking: From Everyday Meals to Celebration Cuisine’
In “Maangchi’s Big Book of Korean Cooking” (Rux Martin, $35), Emily Kim — the YouTube cooking star known as Maangchi, who wrote this book with Martha Rose Shulman — presents her recipes with encouragement that radiates off the page. Tofu stews are weeknight saviors; dosirak (lunch box meals) are perfect for children; and the section on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine, with recipes learned from nuns at a mountain temple, will delight vegans. Practical tips abound — cleaning shellfish, shelling chestnuts, reusing leftovers — and Maangchi even prepares you for grocery shopping in her upbeat, reassuring way: “The staff may not speak perfect English, but I guarantee they will be happy to see you and will assist you the best they can.”
— MARK JOSEPHSON
‘Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over’
With the first line of her new book — “This is not a book about entertaining” — Alison Roman announces her break with model hostesses like Martha Stewart (whose first book was titled “Entertaining”) and others who keep things pretty and polite. Enemy of the mild, champion of the bold, Roman offers recipes in “Nothing Fancy” (Clarkson Potter, $32.50) that are crunchy, cheesy, tangy, citrusy, fishy, smoky and spicy, just like the ones she regularly contributes to The New York Times. They work, and not only for company: Labneh with sizzled scallions, squash scattered with spiced pistachios or pasta with chorizo breadcrumbs and broccoli raab could appear anytime. For dinner parties, she provides cocktail recipes, extra snacks and pep talks so urgent and encouraging that having people over for leg of lamb and tiramisù suddenly seems like a bucket-list event.
— JULIA MOSKIN
‘Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen’
Sababa, Hebrew slang for “it’s all good” or “everything is awesome,” is an apt title for Adeena Sussman’s new cookbook (Avery, $35). Sussman, an American food writer who moved from New York to Tel Aviv in 2015, adores the cuisine of her adopted city. All 125 of the vegetable-rich, herb-strewn recipes were inspired by her trips to the shuk (market), with its bins of olives, tubs of tahini and bunches of lemon verbena. An experienced cookbook author (including two books with the TV personality and model Chrissy Teigen), Sussman’s recipes are thoughtfully written and thoroughly tested. And dishes like roasted carrots glazed with tahini and date syrup, labneh with caramelized pineapple and sumac, and seared baby lamb chops marinated in shug (green chile, cardamom and cilantro sauce) capture the exuberant spirit of her new home.
— MELISSA CLARK
‘South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations’
The Southern chef Sean Brock is prone to diving deep into culinary rabbit holes, and thank God. His latest cookbook, “South” (Artisan, $40), written with Lucas Weir and Marion Sullivan, builds on the intellectual, culinary and historical work of his 2014 book, “Heritage,” but widens the lens from the Lowcountry to the Appalachian Mountains, where he grew up. Some of the recipes, like a pan-seared chicken breast with black pepper and peanut butter gravy, are a snap to make but deliver outsized results. Others, like tomato-okra stew and sour corn chowchow, sound simple enough but require making other recipes or investing weeks of time. Even banana pudding, with its roasted banana milk, pawpaws and homemade Cool Whip, is not safe in his hands. Still, I will keep this book forever in my collection because no one cooking today is doing more to help the Southern culinary flame burn brighter.
— KIM SEVERSON
‘Tartine: A Classic Revisited’
Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine have grown their famed San Francisco bakery into a small empire, with branches in Los Angeles and Seoul, South Korea, and have written four cookbooks between them. Now, 13 years after the release of their celebrated first book, “Tartine,” they’ve gone back to their roots with “Tartine: A Classic Revisited” (Chronicle, $40). It features 68 new recipes, including their beloved morning buns (a sweet roll made with croissant dough and filled with orange-scented cinnamon sugar), as well as updates to older ones to reflect current tastes. Alternative flours abound (Prueitt is gluten intolerant), and more modern flavors run through traditional pastries. The recipes can be involved, and produce absolute showstoppers, but the book is also full of more accessible classics like shortbread and brownies.
— KRYSTEN CHAMBROT
By Tejal Rao
Yield: 2 cups
For the tomatillo salsa:
6 ounces tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 serrano chile
3 garlic cloves
Fine sea salt
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
For the cashew “queso”:
1 cup raw cashews
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion, for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Make the salsa: Put the tomatillos, chile, shallot and garlic on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Broil until the vegetables are charred and soft, turning halfway through, about 10 minutes. Once slightly cooled, transfer to a blender or food processor, add the cilantro and purée until smooth. (Reserve a few tablespoons salsa for garnish and leave the remaining salsa in the blender, as you’ll add more queso ingredients to it in a few minutes.)
2. Make the queso: Toast the cashews in a large skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the cashews are a light golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
3. Once cooled, add the cashews, chipotle pepper, ¾ cup almond milk, turmeric and salt to the tomatillo mixture in the blender, and purée until smooth.
Add more almond milk as needed to get a smooth consistency, but be careful not to add too much or the dip will be too thin. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, if needed.
4. Transfer the cashew queso to a bowl, drizzle with the reserved tomatillo salsa and garnish with chopped onion and cilantro. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Tagliatelle With Prosciutto and Butter
By Alexa Weibel
Yield: 2 servings
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounces prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 pound handmade fresh tagliatelle or store-bought tagliatelle
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for garnish if desired
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat until frothy and golden, about 1 minute. Add half the prosciutto in one flat layer. Cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer cooked prosciutto to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining prosciutto, leaving it in the skillet, and remove skillet from heat.
3. Season the boiling water lightly with salt. When the salt dissolves, add the tagliatelle and cook until toothsome and slightly undercooked, 2 to 4 minutes or according to package instructions.
4. Just before your pasta is ready, return the skillet to the heat and warm over medium. Do not drain the pasta, but use a slotted pasta fork or tongs and transfer the cooked pasta directly to the skillet. Working quickly, add ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and about ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and swirl vigorously to emulsify, jostling the pan at the same time, and cook just until sauce is silky, about 1 minute.
5. Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, sprinkle with pepper and remaining prosciutto and serve immediately, along with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired.
One-Pot Chicken Thighs With Black Beans, Rice and Chiles
By Margaux Laskey
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 5 pounds)
Flaky sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or peanut oil
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
2 green or red bell peppers, halved, seeded and sliced
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 red Fresno chiles or jalapeños, halved, seeded and chopped
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1/3 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed in a sieve until the water runs clear
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, pickled chiles, sliced fresh chiles, sour cream and sliced avocado, for serving
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (the pan size is very important) over medium-high. Brown the chicken on both sides to give it good color, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and bell peppers to the pan and sauté until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Meanwhile, add the Fresno chiles or jalapeños, cinnamon, garlic and cumin to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the black beans and cherry tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the rice on top in an even layer. (It’s important that the black beans are beneath the rice and chicken. The rice will burn otherwise.) Add the stock and return the chicken to the pan, skin-side up.
3. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. The chicken should be lovely and golden, the stock should be absorbed and the rice should be tender. Sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, pickled chiles, sliced fresh chiles, sour cream and avocado (squeeze some lime juice over the avocados in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper).
By Kiera Wright-Ruiz
Yield: 60 gyoza (4 to 6 servings)
For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons Japanese chile oil (rayu) or Chinese chile oil (optional), or to taste
For the gyoza:
1 pound green cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped garlic chives (nira) or regular chives
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Cornstarch or potato starch, for sprinkling
60 gyoza wrappers (about 12 ounces)
Neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola oil), for frying
1. Prepare the gyoza dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and rice vinegar, plus chile oil, if using. Set aside (makes a generous ½ cup).
2. Finely chop the cabbage or process it in a food processor into confetti-size bits, then transfer it to a sieve set over a large bowl. Toss with 2 teaspoons of the salt and let sit for 20 minutes in the sink. Gently press the cabbage to squeeze out as much water as you can.
3. Combine the drained cabbage, pork, ginger, garlic, chives, soy sauce, sesame oil and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly just until everything is evenly distributed. (Don’t overdo it: Too much handling and the fat in the pork will begin to melt.)
4. Here’s where you want to employ some extra hands to help you: Fill a small bowl with water. Sprinkle a rimmed sheet pan or two with cornstarch or potato starch to prevent the finished gyoza from sticking. For each gyoza, place a wrapper in the palm of your hand and spoon about 1½ teaspoons of the filling into the center. Use the back of the spoon to smoosh it lightly (it should fill about half the wrapper). You don’t want the filling to run to the edges, but you also don’t want it sitting in a fat clump in the middle. Dip your finger into the water and run it along the perimeter of one half of the wrapper. Now fold the wet edge of the wrapper over to meet the dry edge. Crimp the edges together at one corner, then proceed around the dumpling, using your finger to push the dough into little pleats on one side and pressing them against the other side to seal it. (If you need more guidance, there are hundreds of gyoza-folding videos online.) Place the gyoza on the sheet pan as you finish them. If your gyoza seem to be sticking to one another, sprinkle each layer of gyozas with potato or cornstarch.
5. To pan-fry the gyoza, you will need a lidded 10-inch nonstick pan or a well-seasoned carbon steel pan. (You could also use whatever skillet you have, but increase the oil and keep a close eye on the gyoza.) Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in the pan over medium heat. When hot, add 10 to 15 gyoza, flat-side down, and cook until browned on the bottoms, 2 to 3 minutes. Add enough water to come just under a quarter of the way up the gyoza (about ½cup, depending on how many gyoza you have in the pan), cover, and let the water cook away until the pan is dry and the gyoza wrappers have softened completely, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and let the gyoza crisp up on the bottoms for another minute or two, depending on how crisp you like them. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce and additional chile oil. Wipe the pan clean and cook the remaining gyoza.
By Melissa Clark
Yield: 4 servings
For the carrots:
1 1/2 pounds slender carrots (or thick carrots, halved lengthwise), peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
For the tahini glaze:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
3 tablespoons silan (date syrup), or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil, salt and cumin. Roast carrots for 15 minutes, then turn them and continue roasting until they are golden at the edges and tender, 12 to 15 minutes longer.
2. While the carrots are roasting, make the tahini glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, silan, cayenne, salt and 1 tablespoon water until smooth. Whisk in 1 to 2 more tablespoons water until you have a thick but pourable sauce. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice, or both, if you like.
3. Transfer the carrots to a platter and drizzle with the tahini glaze, tossing the carrots to coat.