Friday, September 26, 2014

Cookbook Wishlist

I love cookbooks for all of the wrong reasons. To be honest, I never really follow a recipe unless I absolutely have to (ie, baking one of my grandmothers' recipes).

Before I could even read, I would sit with my mother's massive encyclopedia-sized cookbook (I don't remember what it was, just that it was big and blue and full of pictures) and just look at photos of amazing recipes for ages. My love affair with food porn started at a really young age.

I use cookbooks for inspiration more than the actual recipes. I don't think I ever go to the grocery store with a list of food to buy; I start with whatever looks freshest and best (and isn't ridiculously expensive), and then I come home and browse for my inspiration based on the ingredients I have on hand. My current favorite cookbook is Cicchetti, a beautiful styled cookbook full of simplistic preparations of the freshest veg and seafood in Venetian tapas style. I scored it during a holiday sale at Anthropologie last year (an awesome place to find good cookbooks, by the way) and I've been obsessed with it ever since.

I think the lure of cookbooks is in the beautiful photography, the inspirational nature of all of the varied recipes, and how they motivate me to cook outside of my day-to-day comfort zone. If I'm in a cultural cuisine rut and I've been cooking Italian for a week straight, my cookbooks can switch my mentality and give my food a little Moroccan flare instead.

Here are a few of my favorite wish list wants in the cookbook department:

Plenty - Yotam Ottolenghi
The chef of the wildly successful Ottolenghi restaurants released this beautiful vegetarian homage to the flavorful cuisine of the Meditteranean & Middle East. His restaurant in London is definitely on my bucket list for a special occasion.

Pok Pok  - Andy Ricker
One of my deepest regrets of my time living in New York was that I did not get to eat at the famed Pok Pok. Yet. I will. I will be back, and I will eat there. Until then, I'll be dreaming of this fabulous northern Thai cookbook.

The French Market Cookbook - Cldaotilde Dusoulier
I'd love to get my hands on this book of veg-centric Parisian recipes that rely on seasonal ingredients and working with what's fresh today - much like the way I like to cook. I have a sample of this cookbook on my Kindle, and it's chock full of inspirational flavor combinations like chocolate & zucchini.

The Sriracha Cookbook
This one's just for fun. I don't anticipate anything extraordinarily exciting in this book, but I still might be surprised. My obsession with rooster sauce prompts me to find actual recipes based on my favorite condiment.

So what type of cookbooks do you like? What's your go-to for favorite recipes? Leave a comment below!

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