Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The 10 best cookbooks of 2009

T. Susan Chang is a New England-based freelance writer and a Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow. She also is the Boston Globe's regular cookbook reviewer, and her articles on cooking, gardening and nutrition appear in a variety of national and regional publications. For NPR, she came up with a ten best list of 2009 cookbooks.

One title on the list:
The Pleasures of Cooking for One, by Judith Jones, hardcover, 288 pages, Knopf, list price: $27.95

Cooking when you're on your own can be a challenge. Who wants to slave over a single serving? And guess who's going to do the dishes? Often we just solve the problem with takeout or pizza. Thank goodness for Judith Jones! Widowed 13 years ago, the redoubtable magazine editor conclusively demonstrates that the joie de manger belongs to everyone, not just breeders, honeymooners and clans.

There are easy recipes, like Linguine with Smoked Salmon Sauce for nights when you come home late to a dark apartment and a howling cat. And there are slower recipes — even "A Small Cassoulet" — for lazy Saturdays when you are the envy of soccer moms everywhere and have all the time in the world to browse at the farmers market. Jones has a sure sense of portioning, and she provides recipes for leftovers. She labels them "Second Round" or even "Third Round" — mashups that can make too much of a good thing, well, still a good thing. Warning: Jones' lovingly photographed collection of single-serving gratin dishes and adorable lidded casseroles will have you nursing a cookware jones even if you're feeding a family of five. Ask me how I know.
Read about the other books on Chang's list.

--Marshal Zeringue