Explore Mexico, Build a Korean-American Food Pantry, and Fight Food Waste with These 5 Spring Cookbooks


Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the release of a bunch of new cookbooks that I’m really looking forward to reading. They cover everything from reduce food wastecreate bodega favorites at home, to make a cheeseburger-kimbap combination. Here are five that I’m most looking to pull off the shelves when they arrive.

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“Mi Cocina”, by Rick Martinez (May 3)

Recipe developer and “Sweet Heat” host Rick Martinez embarks on a 20,000-mile journey through Mexico – and you’re invited to take the tour. It will explore culinary masterpieces found in 156 cities across 32 Mexican states, chronicling its connections to the places and people who cook there.

Expect recipes like Oaxacan Algbóndigas en Chipotle, herb-and-cheese meatballs bathed in a smoky, spicy chipotle sauce; tender tamales topped with shrimp, peppers and roasted tomatoes; and carne asada stuffed in a grilled cheese quesadilla. Woven through all this goodness, poignant essays give cultural context and a personal touch to Mexico’s food diversity.

“Korean American” by Eric Kim (March 29)

Food has always been at the heart of Eric Kim’s story. In his first cookbook, the New York Times writer offers an introduction to what the Korean-American pantry looks like, how Korean cuisine is intertwined throughout America’s history (especially in Atlanta where he grew up) and how he developed his one-person “Korean-ish” — like Gochujang Buttered Radish Toast and Kimchi Caramelized Baked Potatoes.

“Korean American” is defined by Kim’s playful combination of cuisines from both countries, evident in dishes like cheeseburger kimbap and crispy lemon-pepper bulgogi with quick-pickled shallots. Want something sweet? Add gochujang chocolate lava cake to your favorites!

“Until the Last Bite” by Alexis de Bochenek (April 19)

Something that torments me in my own kitchen – especially when trying out new cookbooks and developing my own recipes – is the food waste inherent in buying a specific ingredient, only to use one. portion or a pinch.

In Alexis deBoshnek’s new cookbook, “To The Last Bite,” the Catskill Mountains native shares a lifetime of knowledge about preventing food waste. All of the recipes in this book are designed to use or reuse the entire ingredient, saving you money and that feeling of throwing something away because you just didn’t know how. get out of it before it goes bad.

Buy a whole chicken for Alexis’ delicious and juicy Spatchcock Paprika Chicken with carrots and save the bones for broth, which you can add to braised leeks in white wine and thyme. Her Greens Skillet Pie uses all the herbs you couldn’t find in the crisper drawer (at Salon, we’re also big believers in greens – and beans! – here are some of our favorite recipes here).

“Bagels, Schmears and a Nice Piece of Fish” by Cathy Barrow (March 15)

As Pearse Anderson wrote for Salon, Cathy Barrow’s latest cookbook, “Bagels, Schmears and a Nice Piece of Fish,” delivers on its promise. As the title suggests, there are knead and rise bagels (Montreal, pumpernickel, gluten-free, to name a few); cream cheese to make from scratch or whip with add-ins (cherry cheesecake schmear, anyone?); and, of course, pickles, kippers, carrot salad, capers and more to make up a substantial platter. Barrow even offers platters of bagels on the menu for shiva, Yom Kippur and brunch for two – events perhaps too many of us have attended during the pandemic.

Want to know more? Read Pearse’s interview with Cathy here.

“My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef” by Kwame Onwuachi and Joshua David Stein (May 17)

Many know Kwame Onwauchi from his book “Notes of a Young Black Leader: A Memoir,” which he co-wrote with Joshua David Stein. As Salon’s D. Watkins wrote in 2019, “Since trying his first pair of chef’s whites, Onwuachi, a ‘Top Chef’ nominee and the 2019 winner of the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award from the The James Beard Foundation, which is awarded annually to a chef 30 or younger for exceptional talent and character, has faced racism in the food industry.”

This book chronicles his challenges and his rise to success; this book is a celebration of the food of the African Diaspora, as it has been passed down through Onwuachi’s family history, which stretches from Nigeria to the Caribbean, south to the Bronx and beyond.

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