Welcome to 2016, where the kitchen is every much the man’s place as it is for a woman. No longer can men get by on their ability to pick the restaurant and foot the bill. Men are admired for, no, required to prepare a meal to tantalize the taste buds of those he serves. But where then does he acquire the skills to create such a gourmet masterpiece? Well, like all men, they love good instructions. And there’s no where better than the following cookbooks to find such instructions on how to create the meals that’ll have guests begging for seconds. Which is a great thing if you’re a man on a first date!
If you’re a vegan (or she is), than chef Ottolenghi has the veggie-lovers recipes for you (and her). Plenty has become the go-to book for a generation of vegans, and is even considered by many to be a ‘cultural phenomenon’. If this isn’t beside your spice rack yet, Amazon Prime it today, men.
Roasting: A Simple Art
Men love tasks that produce the most results for the least amount of efforts. And when it comes to cooking, no such task is more bang for your buck than roasting. As Barbara Kafka, author of the book Roasting, puts it: “I roast because I am naturally a hurried person and because I like my meats juicy and rare”. In other words men, pick up her book, then pick up some meat, go home and crank up your oven to 500, and simply watch the magic happen.
Charred & Scruffed
There’s nothing more manly in the culinary arts than grilling. There you are, standing in front of an open flame, big metal tongs in hand (shirt off if you’ve got the body for it), flipping and tossing a juicy piece of meat around. And unless you’ve been properly scoring your meat, pushing it around on the grill while creating what’s called a ‘board dressing’ – you’re gonna needs Adam Perry Lang’s Charred & Scruffed to do it right this BBQ season.
Few chefs have spent more time (professionally) in the kitchen than chef Jacques Pepin. So you can essentially consider Essential Pepin his greatest hits album, which includes his very best 700-plus recipes over his 60-year career. Of course, if you’re not familiar with chef Pepin and are curious what’s so appealing about his recipes, then we have just one word for you: basic. His recipes are as simple, easy, and non-intimidating as they come. After all, if you’re cooking for a special lady, that’s enough intimidation for one night, don’t you think?
Essentials Of Italian Cooking
If it’s one thing Italians are known for, it’s their attention to detail and passion for what they do. And nowhere is this truer than when it comes to their cooking. So if you’re looking for the bible equivalent to Italian cuisine, than Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is a must-own. I mean, just the headnote alone for stewed pork says it all: “The chorus of fragrances from the forest and the herb garden—porcini mushrooms, juniper berries, marjoram, bay—that accompany this stew echoes the flavors that one associates with furred game.” Mamma mia, now that’s passion!
The New Vegetarian
Here’s the reissue of Deborah Madison’s 1997 best-seller, which set the standard for vegetarians by creating a cookbook that was no longer just for hippies, but a cookbook that everyone could love. The best part of Madison’s book is that she groups her recipes into inventively simple categories (like; herb salads, sandwich Rolls, Chilled Soups on Hot Days) that are both delightful and intuitive at the same time. Her book answers fundamental questions such as; “Which Potatoes Are for What” which are key cooking facts every aspiring chef should know.
How To Cook Everything
Those who were overjoyed with the Joy of Cooking, will be equally please with Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. His book has done a phenomenal job of presenting a massive amount of recipes (2,000 in fact) that are too simple and easy to follow. For example, his Chicken in a Pot dish requires just one pot that boils the bird, with the stock served as a soup.
The Gift Of Southern Cooking
The Gift of Southern Cooking is as much a piece of history as it is a cookbook. It’s full of recipes from the late Edna Lewis, who was the granddaughter of a freed slave in Virginia. This book is packed with a lifetime’s worth of Sunday dinners that include such celebrated recipes as Salmon Croquettes, and Jefferson Davis’s gooseberry custard. This book is perfect for the guy who looks to not only satisfy his date’s appetite, but also quench her thirst for history.
Lucky Peach: 101 Asian Recipes
If she loves to travel, then bring her taste buds to the orient with Lucky Peach: 101 Easy Asian Recipes. You can even go the extra mile by printing out a menu for her in Chinese (pictures included of course), with recipes for such tantalizing meals as; Kung Pao shrimp, cumin lamb, dry-fried green beans, and all-time fav – mall chicken. With this book in hand, you’ll never need to order in from your favorite Chinese restaurant again.
Take a tour through Eric Werner and Mya Henry’s recipes to create your own urbane Yucatán restaurant right in your own home. This book is a must because A) The gorgeous photography by Gentl & Hyers makes it an art book as much as it is a cookbook. B) Because with a Whole Foods on every corner, exotic ingredients such as jicama and dragon fruit are just a block away. And best of all C) Because the inventive recipes take “Mexican food” from a just ‘tacos’, to a more distinguished flavor profile like; bright citrus, charred corn, toasted seeds, pickley pickles, and fire-roasted meats, instead.