April 24, 2019

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The 12 Best Cookbooks of Spring 2019

The 12 Best Cookbooks of Spring 2019
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CreditSonny Figueroa/The New York Times

Not all who wander are lost. Before starting her company, La Grotta Ices, in London, Kitty Travers traveled extensively, apprenticing in kitchens and eventually becoming the pastry chef at Fergus Henderson’s restaurant St. John Bread and Wine. In her joyful, quirky cookbook, “La Grotta” (Clarkson Potter, $25), she pairs simple custards and sorbets with unconventional and sophisticated flavors, like green walnut and blood peach. Others combine common ingredients in uncommon ways, like cucumber and sour cream, uniting fresh and tart. Peach is vibrant (almost loud!) and set in a creamy custard; a mango sorbet crisp, amplified by lime. For less adventurous palates, she includes classic flavors, like pistachio, mint chip and Swiss vanilla. But the world is so large. Why stop there? KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

CreditSonny Figueroa/The New York Times

At her Mexico City restaurant Contramar, the chef Gabriela Cámara serves a dramatic butterflied snapper, a dish originally created to please a variety of tastes at home. One side of the fish is red, stained with a fiery paste of cascabel, ancho and guajillo chiles. The other side is green and mellow, flavored with parsley and garlic. In “My Mexico City Kitchen” (Lorena Jones, $35), written with Malena Watrous, Ms. Cámara is a precise but unfussy teacher, showing readers exactly how to build this pescado a la talla, from the red adobo to the raw salsa verde to the supremely creamy refried beans, and jumping just as easily from the topics of recycling leftovers to general taco theory. In her creative, pleasure-driven kitchen, anything can become a taco. TEJAL RAO

CreditSonny Figueroa/The New York Times

Things in my kitchen have changed since “Ruffage” (Chronicle, $35) arrived. I have become a poacher of radishes and a shaver of cauliflower. I have even considered cooking sunchokes. I credit Abra Berens, a chef at Granor Farm near the Michigan-Indiana border, who built the book she wished she had when she was running a small farm 10 years ago. This organized, easygoing guide to 29 vegetables offers a few cooking methods for each one, supplemented by several variations. Shaved raw cauliflower becomes the base for a salad with whitefish, lemon and radicchio, or one with dates, chile oil and parsley. Toss roasted cauliflower with yogurt, dried cherries and pecans, or purée it with white wine and onion to make a base for a pork cutlet or salmon with orange zest. KIM SEVERSON



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