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Cook with the best books of 2012


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Root vegetables are treated with respect, and photographed to stunning effect. The author spent more than two years researching, writing and developing recipes; her work is our reward. Try her Salsify Provencal.

SLOW COOKING » By Antony Worrall Thompson (Mitchell Beazley)

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A chef’s skill set is applied to the humble appliance, and that means some recipes push beyond the dump-and-wait routine. Most helpful: a chart that converts oven and stove-top cooking times. Check out Spicy Braised Eggplant With Prunes; Pork, Apple and Lemon Thyme Meatballs.

THE SMITTEN KITCHEN COOKBOOK » By Deb Perelman (Knopf)

Here’s another fine example of blog-to-cookbook success. It’s a fun, empowering read with recipes that beckon. Her Linguine With Cauliflower Pesto is a quick and popular meal.

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BAKED ELEMENTS » By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (Stewart Tabori & Chang)

The owners of Brooklyn’s Baked bakery disclose their 10 favorite ingredients - one is caramel - and use them in cookies, pies, puddings, cakes, even milkshakes.

BAREFOOT CONTESSA FOOLPROOF » By Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

Her recipes are reliable and uncomplicated. Don’t miss the Contessa’s Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts and Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad.


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BOUCHON BAKERY » By Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (Artisan)

When a famously exacting chef turns his attention to baking, you expect precision and perfection. This book delivers. Case in point: a four-page pretzel recipe.

BREAD » By Nick Malgieri (Kyle)

The hand of a master baker offers entry points for all skill levels, plus complementary recipes. Cinnamon Knots: Yes, please.

COOKING WITH LOVE » By Carla Hall and Genevieve Ko (Free Press)

This first cookbook from "The Chew" co-host and former "Top Chef" finalist comes across as warm and genuine as Hall is in real life. "Catering Like Carla" tips are savvy.

CRAZY GOOD ITALIAN » By Mike Isabella (Da Capo)

Not all home cooks will want to wrap shrimp in lardo, but most recipes are accessible in this first cookbook from one of Washington’s favorite "Top Chef" alums. We liked his Broccolini With Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Feta, and Nutella Pudding With Hazelnut Crumble and Grappa Cream.

THE FARM » By Ian Knauer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

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