The Best American Cookbooks

Find our top 7 picks for the best American cookbooks of the past 25 years.

Cooking My Way Back Home
Photo: Randy Mayor

Cooking My Way Back Home

Cooking My Way Back Home By Mitchell Rosenthal, Ten Speed Press, 2011. Hardcover. $35; 263 pages

This is a charming and personal restaurant book sincerely aimed at home cooks. Rosenthal pulled recipes from the menus of his popular West Coast restaurants (Postrio, Town Hall, Salt House) and took them to his small kitchen where he and his wife adapted each one—an interesting process for Rosenthal because "I had never really cooked at home until recently."

Recipes reflect this chef's wide-ranging experiences with the likes of Paul Prudhomme and Wolfgang Puck, tending toward the comforting and exuberant over the refined, even when pro-level restaurant techniques are deployed (a duck is deboned and served with spicy fig jus). Simpler dishes range from Tabasco-Spiked Slow-Cooked Fried Chicken to Semolina Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Ragout and BBQ Shrimp with Toasted Garlic Bread.

GIVE THIS TO: Just about anyone who loves to cook, likes surprises, and appreciates a strong voice ringing through the book. —Mary Goodbody

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