The Top 10 Cookbooks of 2011: Texas Edition
This is neither a list of the all-time best cookbooks of the year, nor is it a list of the best Texan cookbooks of the year. It's a combination of both. Because odds are that if you're giving a cookbook as a gift this year, it's either going to be to a fellow Texan or because you're a Texan looking to spread the gospel of our own great cooking.
So this list has a little something for everyone on it: Texans, non-Texans and everyone in between (that's you, Oklahoma).
Like another book coming up on this list, Green Beans & Guacamole is just as perfect for the coffee table as the kitchen. Beautiful photos from some of the city's best food photographers -- Shannon O'Hara, Debora Smail and Julie Soefer -- are featured alongside recipes from its favorite chefs. Look for Jamie Zelko, Mark Cox, Philippe Schmit, John Sheely, Richard Knight and Soren Pedersen among others. As an added bonus, 100 percent of the proceeds from every cookbook purchased go to benefit The Arc, an organization dedicated to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This Indian cookbook by local author Shubhra Ramineni technically came out late last year, but we're not sticklers around here. The subtitle of her cookbook is "Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People," so it's perfect for your Indian food lover that's always on the go but still wants to learn to create authentic Indian dishes in what little spare time they have.
8. Houston Classic series
Erin Hicks Miller has released a trifecta of classic Houston cookbooks that capture some of the city's most beloved recipes from favorite restaurants past and present. Houston Classic Mexican Recipes, Houston Classic Desserts and Houston Classic Seafood collect all these recipes together in bright, fun packages with full-color photos and fun anecdotes for each one.
This vegetarian cookbook has been on plenty (pardon the pun) of best cookbook lists this year, and with good reason. Famous Israeli-born London chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi treats vegetables with as much care and curiosity and enthusiasm that it's infectious. Try reading even one chapter -- The Mighty Aubergine, for example -- without wanting to run to the store and get to work in your kitchen immediately after.
Houston's own John DeMers, host of Delicious Mischief and author of more than 30 books, has teamed up with another local hotshot -- photographer Julie Soefer -- to create a coffee table-size cookbook that's both a chronicle of Texas food history and current trends. Intent on dispelling the notion that Texas cuisine is all barbecue and Tex-Mex, DeMers visits with chefs from Fort Worth to Marfa and collects their favorite recipes along the way. Local legends like Robert Del Grande, Monica Pope and Scott Tycer are featured alongside grand Texas chefs like Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles.