This year’s wave of Spring cookbooks is a little disappointing. Spring is when the grilling cookbooks come out, and I usually have a hard time narrowing my list down to five that I really want. This year? I found five…and after that, not much is out there that grabs my attention. There is a distinct “Texas and the American West” theme in this year’s cookbooks; I think the world of American food is waking up to just how fantastic Texas barbecue is, led by (James Beard award winning) Aaron Franklin and his first cookbook…
Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin
I was late. I got to the end of the line at Franklin Barbecue, and found a guy holding a “Last Person Standing” sign. I was warned that meant they might be out of barbecue by the time I got to the store. Luckily, a few people ahead of me gave up on the line; an hour and a half later, I was sitting down to fantastic brisket and sausage, some of the best I’ve ever had. I’m saving this book for my summer vacation - the reviews say it’s not a recipe cookbook, but a meditation on live fire barbecue. I can’t wait to dig in.
More Mexican Everyday: Simple, Seasonal, Celebratory by Rick Bayless
No professional chef has influenced my home cooking more than Mr. Bayless. My kids love Taco Night thanks to Mr. Bayless’s previous “home cook” oriented cookbooks, Salsas that Cook and the original Mexican Everyday. These are not elaborate or professional recipes; these are the recipes that a Mexican home cook would make on a busy Tuesday - so they’re perfect for an American home cook, like me.
Flavorize: Great Marinades, Injections, Brines, Rubs, and Glazes by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe
The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
A pair of barbecue seasoning books by authors I trust - Jamison and Jamison, and Dr. BBQ.
BBQ Bistro: Simple, Sophisticated French Recipes for Your Grill by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig
Speaking of barbecue authors I trust, Fertig and Adler wrote some of my favorite cookbooks over the years - particularly Fish and Shellfish, Grilled & Smoked - so I’m looking forward to their take on French on the grill.
A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail by Kent Rollins
I’ve enjoyed reading about Kent Rollins and his chuck wagon cooking, so his first cookbook is definitely on the list.
What do you think?
Other cookbooks you’re looking forward to? Leave them in the comments section below.
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