Fall Essentials for the Pantry


This fall season unveiled a cookbook collection tailored to the eclectic chef who likes to accessorize as well as dress down. Cookbooks are a dime a dozen these days, but these stood above the rest with artful presentation and versatile recipes for both the professional cook and the ravenous food lover.

Alfred Portale and Andrew Friedman’s 12 Seasons Cookbook and Todd English’s The Olives Dessert Table recipes are presented in separate pieces. The cook can choose to make one part of the dish alone or with one or several of its accessories. Meanwhile, Jean-Georges and Mark Bittman in Simple to Spectacular break it down by offering 5 ways to prepare an ingredient, from basic to glamorous.

Themed books like Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby’s How to Cook Meat, James Peterson’s Splendid Soups and Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking are odes to meat, soup and bread. They pinpoint their passion for food on one basic element, helping us recognize that filet mignon is not the king of meat, that any group of ingredients can be made into soup, and that baking is not scary, after all it’s "only flour, water and time."

Every recipe is one you want to make; our final selections give an idea of the vast culinary possibilities these books have to offer. Feel free to mix and match!.

Simple to Spectacular
Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman

Best Scrambled Eggs
Oeufs au Caviar
Splendid Soups
James Peterson

Purée of Squash or Pumpkin
Hearty fish soup with cider, leeks and mushrooms
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The Olives Dessert Table
Todd English and Sally Sampson

Pumpkin Ginger Crème Caramel
Apple-Topped Gingerbread
 
Artisan Baking
Maggie Glezer

Hi-Rise's Boston Brown Bread
Acme’s Herb Slabs