Top 5 Cookbooks For This Holiday Season

Now that it's after Thanksgiving, you may be starting to think about what to give your loved ones for the upcoming holidays.  Here are my five top picks for cookbooks to give this holiday season.

Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France

Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan's cookbook about finding Jewish Cooking in France is an amazing read.  She is a culinary anthropologist in her own right, and here she has documented the history of Jewish cooking as far back as 2,000 years.  The intersection of Jewish and French cuisine is fascinating, and I particularly love the story of food as connection and remembrance in French-Jewish culture.

Recommended recipes: Friday Night Algerian Chicken Fricasee, Pignolats de Nostredam.

Click here to find the book.

At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka

Madhur Jaffrey

Prolific cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey makes the cooking of Southeast Asia alluring and accessible.  I'm super excited about trying out more of these dishes for a trip around the world from my kitchen.  This cookbook is a great gift for a friend or family member who would love to start cooking dishes from this region of the world, as her recipes are great for beginners with spices and Southeast Asian flavors.

Recommended recipes: Stir-Fried Spicy Mushrooms, Chicken Mulligatawny Soup

Click here to find the book.

My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats

Fany Gerson

Mexican-born pastry chef Fany Gerson has experience in the kitchens of Eleven Madison Park and Rosa Mexicano.  She now brings that expertise to the pages of her cookbook, My Sweet Mexico.  She catalogues the extensive dessert culture of her native country, giving a survey of the rich culture of sweets many might not know about.  There's even a chapter focusing on the sweets made in convents.

Recommended recipes: Chocolate Milk Fudge, Guava Caramel Pecan Rolls

Click here to find the book.

Thai Street Food

David Thompson

I think street food can be some of the most exciting food I eat when I'm travelling.  David Thompson has brought the food from Thailand's streets together in this awesome compendium.   He delves into history, culture and cuisine in this beautiful cookbook, making you hungry for travel and for a meal!

Recommended recipes: Deep-Fried Soft-Shell Crabs with Garlic and Black Pepper, White Sticky Rice with Mango

Click here to find the book.

Forgotten Skills of Cooking: The Time-Honored Ways are the Best - Over 700 Recipes Show You Why

Darina Allen

Darina Allen is an authority on DIY and homemade food and cooking in Ireland.  Her book on the skills of foraging, bread making, preserving, and many other skills that have been left behind in contemporary life is a must have for those who wish to do it themselves.  Her Ballymaloe Cookery School in West Cork has many classes, but for those who can't make it there, a gift of this book should do the trick.

Recommended recipes: Cottage Pie with Garlic Butter, Ballymaloe Praline Ice Cream

Click here to find the book.