Whether firing up the backyard grill or heading out on a picnic, the warmer weather offers up countless reasons to dive back into cooking. And, as we collectively crawl out of hibernation, new cookbooks are appearing too. From bite-sized cannabis-infused party treats to inventive breakfasts, contemporary takes on traditional cuisines, and lessons on how to prepare the perfect steak, these seven titles offer diverse and delectable dishes that will coax you into the kitchen and on new culinary adventures.
My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions
Restaurateur and chef at the beloved Contramar, Gabriela Cámara provides 150 recipes in My Mexico City Kitchen ($23), a bright, beautifully designed cookbook that features engaging photography. With plenty of classics (including tacos and tamales, and her famous tuna tostadas), the book offers a contemporary take on Mexican food, with lots of vegetable- and seafood-focused dishes—from cold avocado soup to prawns with green rice.
Breakfast: The Cookbook
If your breakfast vocabulary subsists on cereal, toast and eggs, this new cookbook from Phaidon bolsters fluency in just a few bites. A compendium of recipes from around the world, Breakfast ($32) reminds us of the intimate rituals as well as the cultural history behind traditional morning meals—and it encourages the reader to take the time to enjoy them. Featuring Mexican chilaquiles, Korean hangover stew, Singaporean “carrot cake,” Hawaiian loco moco, Chinese “pineapple” buns (plus countless takes on pastries, fritters, rice, eggs and porridges) and coffee, Breakfast offers hundreds of ideas to kickstart the day.
By chef and former farmer Abra Berens, Ruffage ($23) is a cookbook dedicated to vegetables. With a personal tone and a practical approach, the book contains 100+ recipes for everything from beets to turnips, sunchokes, peas and beyond. With an introduction including a glossary and a guide to a strong pantry, it’s a cookbook that’s pragmatic and approachable, but the dishes themselves are at times decadent and always appealing.
Vietnamese Food Any Day
Andrea Nguyen’s latest book is a how-to guide to Vietnamese food for home cooks utilizing ingredients that are readily available. In Vietnamese Food Any Day ($19) Nguyen converts intimidating dishes—including pho and rice paper rolls—into foolproof recipes, making them approachable and enticing. But she does so without sacrificing flavor or authenticity. There are even recipes for the perfect rice, dipping sauces, broth and Vietnamese coffee, as well as tips for shopping and equipment.
Perfect for rookie cannabis cooks, Edibles ($18) is 130+ pages of low-dose sweet and savory snacks that are perfect for sharing. Beyond the classic pot brownie (which is included), there are mac-n-cheese bites, sliders, tea sandwiches, cheesecakes, apple crumble and more. The introduction explains all the vital details—from strains to potency, odors and terpenes, to the benefits of various cannabinoids, to dosage and equipment. Of course, there are plenty of dairy- and gluten-free recipes too.
Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef.
Written by James Beard Award-winners, Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay, Franklin Steak: Dry-Aged. Live-Fired. Pure Beef. ($20) is the ultimate guide to assessing, preparing and cooking steak. Complete with variations for every single cut and plenty of tips on how to build your fire (whether that be on a grill, in a pit, or on the stove), everything is covered. In just over 200 pages, Franklin and Mackay answer just about every question that could be asked about steak—whether it’s cattle’s history, mysteries around dry-aging or how to buy and season the best cuts.
The Turkish Cookbook
Musa Dağdeviren’s The Turkish Cookbook ($45) is a sprawling how-to on the country’s cuisine. It features a whopping 500+ recipes, ranging from classics like bulgur, kebabs and baklava to lesser-known regional treats like milk-poached fish and stuffed quince. With a somewhat old-world vibe, the book is rich and vibrant—much like the cuisine. Istanbul-based, Nizip-born chef Dağdeviren focuses on history and culture, and this book adds to his ongoing bid to keep his country’s culinary traditions alive.
Images courtesy of respective publishers, hero image from My Mexico City Kitchen