Ten best cookbooks of 2010

  • By
    Emily Boyce

Looking for last-minute Christmas presents? The Good Food team recommend their favourite cookbooks of 2010.

Cookbook

Cookbooks - can you ever have too many? Definitely not! But seeing as we can't buy them all (boo hoo) we asked members of the Good Food team to tell us which of this year's hundreds of cookery books were not to be missed. Take a look at our top ten...

Bill's basics

1. Shopping coordinator Sarah loves Bill's Basics by Bill Granger. "It's not fussy or pretentious, just good, accessible food cooked with great ingredients, presented in a clear andstraightforward way. Familiar things are often given a new low-fat twist: once you've made his baked porridge you'll never use the microwave again and his buttermilk 'fried' chicken spelt the end of my sneaky takeaway habit!"
Bill's Basics by Bill Granger (Quadrille)

 

Curry made easy2. Deputy editor Elaine is mad about Madhur Jaffrey's latest book, "I love everything about Curry Easy - the vibrant cover, the stunning photographs, but best of all the recipes. Indian food can often seem daunting, but Madhur really does make it easy - simplifying the ingredients and method, but without sacrificing flavour. The fragrance of spices as you cook the Kerala-style chicken curry or the very moreish Moong dal is the perfect way to warm up winter."
Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey (Ebury Press)

 

Food plenty

3. "Diana Henry's Food from Plenty has a really great ethos; it's all about plentiful and satisfying food that doesn't drain your pocket or the environment",says Caroline, bbcgoodfood.com's Food editor. "There's a lot of useful information about shopping smart, from the cheapest and tastiest cuts of meat to which fish are sustainable. I really liked the ideas for leftovers and alternative ways of cooking the same recipe so you can make the most of what you have. The Moroccan lentil soup was quick, cheap and delicious - I'll definitely be making that again".
Food from Plenty by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley) 

 

Biscuiteers4. "The other book that caught my eye this year was The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits - I had a lot of fun making pretty iced teddies and prams for Editorial assistant Lily's baby shower. There are lots of decoration and flavour variations - the peanut butter cookies never got a chance to get iced!"
The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits by Sarah Moore and Harriet Hastings (Kyle Cathie)

 

Thai street food

5. Barney, our esteemed magazine Food editor, loved Thai Street Food, "David Thompson is a leading authority on Thai food and this beautifullyphotographed book is not only filled with some of the most authentic street food recipes you'll find but images that evoke street life and really help to set the scene."
Thai Street Food by David Thompson (Conran Octopus)


 

6. Barney also loved ex-colleague Jane Hornby's book. "I couldn't think of a better first cookbook. Having worked for Good Food for over five years, Jane knows all about the importance of a clearly explained recipe. In her new book, every recipe has been meticulously photographed in steps, which leaves no stone unturned whether you're a beginner attempting an old favourite like macaroni cheese or if you just fancy trying something different like Prawn and mushroom laksa."
What to Cook and How to Cook it" by Jane Hornby (Phaidon)

 

Tapas

7. Web editor Andrea's favourite book of the year was the perfect one to try out on a group of friends. "The Spanish have known it forever, and now the rest of the world is cottoning on - sharing small plates with a bunch of mates and perhaps a jug or two of Sangria is one of life's great pleasures. Simone and Inés Ortega have captured the spirit of tapas perfectly in their wonderful new book. Some may bemoan the lack of pictures (about half the recipes are illustrated) but with its easy-to-follow recipes and go-with-the-flow style, it's hardly worth worrying about. A classic in the making."
The Book of Tapas by Simone and Inés Ortega (Phaidon)

 

Italian summer8. Another favourite of Andrea's came from the pair behind Silver Spoon. "The authors of the legendary Italian cookery bible have returned, this time with Recipes from an Italian Summer, bursting with 380 colourful recipes suitable for all summery occasions, from family barbecues to picnics and parties. Just the thing to dig you out of the winter doldrums - its easygoing style, light luscious recipes and evocative imagery instantly transport you to eating al fresco on a warm sunny day - always a good thing in my book!"
Recipes from an Italian Summer (Phaidon)

 

Entertaining at home

9. "I'm enjoying Rachel Allen's latest, Entertaining at Home, for its modern, relaxed approach to entertaining", says Sub-editor Emily. "Alongsideimpressive dinner party menu ideas for small, medium and large groups, and smart party canapés, there are more casual suggestions, which fit more with the way I cook for friends. There are brunch and lunch dishes, as well as curries, fish tacos for everyone to put together at the table, big pasta dishes and a very hearty Cassoulet."
Entertaining at Home by Rachel Allen (Collins)

 

Plenty10. The latest book from Ottolenghi was also on Emily's hitlist, "My friends over on the BBC Food website had raved about Ottolenghi's recipes, and had followed them to prepare a fantastic Middle Eastern spread including divine sweet potato falafels and salads for a memorable dinner party. I wanted in on the act, so I asked for his latest book, Plenty, for my birthday. It's divided into chapters by vegetable, so you can get ideas for how to use whatever seasonal produce you've got hold of. It's really handy for cooking for my vegetarian relatives."
Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Press)

 

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