Looking for a new recipe, trying to eat healthy, or surprising your family with a homemade meal? Here are seven Arizona cookbooks to consider adding to your bookshelf — or better yet, your kitchen counter.
100 Years, 100 Chefs, 100 RecipesBy Nikki Buchanan, Michele Laudig, and Dawson Fearnow
If you're a true Arizona foodie, you'll likely find a new favorite recipe by a local chef within the pages of 100 Years, 100 Chefs, 100 Recipes. Try Chris Newstrom's (of Postino and Joyride Taco Shop) famous fondue recipe. Aurore de Beauduy of Vogue Bistro shares her crepe of lamb and vegetable torte technique. Or take on Josh Hebert's (now of Hot Noodles, Cold Sake) chicken terrine. There is also a recipe for Tucson mole and Sedona-style raspberry plum ribs. This Southwestern culinary journey is complete with full color photographs.
Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I LikeBy Chris Bianco
James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Bianco has topped many best lists not only in Arizona, but around the country. In his cookbook, Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like, he shares recipes for his famous pizza pies — like his personal favorite Sonny Boy with tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami, and Gaeta olives. But this cookbook isn't just a love letter to Bianco's pies. It also includes strategies and techniques for the novice cook to make sauce, dough, or homemade pasta at home. Those who like to experiment with Italian food will definitely be highlighting and revisiting the pages of his cookbook for meals to come.
Now Serving: EveryoneBy Christopher Gross, Bernie Kantak, Tandy Peterson, Jeremy Pachecho, and Gio Osso
If you like to think Christmas in July is a thing, or love to plan your holiday menu in advance, check out Now Serving: Everyone. The intent of this e-cookbook is twofold — present the holiday recipes from 15 award-winning chefs (many from Arizona) while donating proceeds to LGBTQ+ youth between 11 and 24. Some of the fun recipes include the famed Original Chopped Salad from Citizen Public House. Most of the recipes are simple so kids, teens, and young home cooks in particular could potentially re-create these chef-inspired entrees at home.
Smoking Meat Made EasyBy Amanda Mason
Former Phoenix New Times contributor Amanda Mason is now a published author. Her 2020 book Smoking Meat Made Easy is like the 101 of backyard meat smoking. Proteins include beef, pork, poultry, lamb, fish, and other seafoods, and recipes work with whatever smoker you’ve got back there. Checklists and instructions are well-organized and clear, while the entire last chapter covers sides, sauces, rubs, and marinades (we see you, smoked cherry tomatoes with basil and goat cheese).
Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern ArizonaBy Jackie Alpers
If you're looking for niche, Arizona-specific cuisine, Jackie Alpers focuses on Tucson-style Mexican favorites in Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Recipes include her chicken mole Amarillo recipe, a less sweet yet nuttier version of the classic Sonoran dish. Also, she includes pantry staples that are a must for this kind of cooking. Think chiltepin peppers, dried Mexican oregano, and masa flour. There are also recipes for tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, huevos rancheros, and of course dessert, meaning her dark chocolate coffee pudding cake.
Phoenix Cooks: Recipes from the City’s Finest ChefsBy Christina Barrueta
Any fan of the current Phoenix food scene would be delighted to flip through all 264 pages of Phoenix Cooks: Recipes from the City’s Finest Chefs. The book catalogs 98 recipes from Valley chefs. Think Korean fried chicken tacos from Chef Richard Hinojosa of CRUjiente Tacos. Or Mesquite Chocolate Chip Cookies from Chef Country Velador of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats. The food-photo-heavy, hyper-local cookbook was written by Christina Barrueta, a.k.a. Write On Rubee, also the author of Arizona Wine: A History of Perseverance and Passion.
The Scarpetta CookbookBy Scott Conant
Chef Scott Conant has a storied career spanning 30 years. He has opened well-known restaurants and has frequently appeared on Food Network's Chopped as well on Bravo's Top Chef. His connection to Phoenix began in 2017 when he opened the modern Italian restaurant Mora. It was then only natural to pen his expertise in a cookbook. The Scarpetta Cookbook is separated by courses, and the instructions are easy to follow (there are even wine pairings for each dish). Recipes include favorites like fennel and citrus-spiced roasted black cod, slow-cooked lobster with ricotta dumplings, Mediterranean octopus with smoked potato crema, and pumpkin pots de creme with preserves and cinnamon froth.
The Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy TogetherBy Kristen Wood
Flagstaff-based food blogger Kristen Wood has recently released The Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy Together. Here’s where you’ll find straightforward recipes (even the kids can help out) using easy-to-find ingredients covering picky eaters to next-level weeknight dinner ideas (hey there, Meatless Monday). Think first-meal recipes like Morning Glory Muffins to invention options like the Rainbow Buddha Bowl.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 10, 2020. It was updated on January 5, 2020.
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