This past Sunday's New York Times Book section, Holiday Books issue suggests many good books to give (and also treat yourself to a couple); There are several ones that reflect certain cuisines . If your foodie loves the exotic eastern Mediterranean foods then gift them with Zahav:A World Of Israeli Cooking(Rux Martin/Howard Mifflin ) written by chef Michael Solomonov with Stephen Cook. Zahav is one of Philadelphia's hottest restaurants, featuring delicious Israeli food and the cookbook is a reflection of that. Recipes include tahini sauce and harissa, that flavorful blend of spices.If your home chef has a thing for all things Scandinavian , then The Nordic Cookbook
(Phaidon Publishing, $49.95) is for him or her. Author Magnus Nilsson offers traditional and modern recipes from such diverse areas as Finland and Greenland = although your home chef may want to think twice about cooking a cute puffin stuffed with cake recipe. Mexican food buffs will surely enjoy Lesley Teller's Eat Mexico:Recipes From Mexico's City Streets Markets and Fondas (Kyle Publishing $24.95).It has steak flautas along with the recipe for the ultra decadent Mexican hot chocolate, champurrado.
Home chefs who appreciate simple cooking and the chemistry behind it will love unwrapping The Food Lab:Better Home Cooking Through Science (Norton $49.95). It explains everything from temperature to food safety to labeling.The science of browning, rising , emulsifying and marinating is also parsed out There is also The Laws of Cooking And How To Break Them (Flatiron $35) by Justin Warner, a fun books that has laws like law of peanut butter and jelly where fat complements sweet and the law of coffee, cream and sugar - bitter compliments sweet The book also has how to repurpose used marinade into a tasty gravy by boiling it,Mark Bittman fans should appreciate his Mark BIttman's Kitchen Matrix (Pam Kraus/Crown $35) He celebrates chicken done a variety of ways namely using the paillard method of cooking. Women Chefs Of New York (Absolute/Bloomsbury $35) which features the recipes of such chefs as April Bloomfield, Missy Robbins, Sasha Miranda and Sawako Okochi along with Gabriel Hamilton. Her recipe for sardines cornichons and Dijon mustard on Triscuits could work for any holiday party or a snowy night in..California cuisine lovers may appreciate Travis Lett's GJelena Cooking From Venice California (Chronicle $35). Recipes include grilled kabocha squash with mint pomegranate pesto and rye rags(!??) with sausage , mushroom fennel along with rustic corn grits served with mushroom sugo and poached eggs.
A cookbook is a wonderful holiday gift.Home chefs and foodies alike will enjoy the surprise of receiving a book that will educate them as well as expanding their culinary horizons It's a present that keeps on giving,