Culinary celebrities have been producing high-profile cookbooks with collections of recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts.
Whether you're well-traveled in restaurant circles nationwide or you prefer television cooking shows, these books will inspire you.
Chicago's Rick Tramonto, executive chef/partner of Tru, brings Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites of Delight Before the Meal Begins (Random House, $35). The pastel Striped Farfalle Pasta Salad is garnished with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and tender greens. Asian Soba Noodle Fork with Water Chestnuts is a mouthful. Truffled Lentil Spoon with Bacon Vinaigrette is served in a flat Asian porcelain spoon. You get the picture: Amuse is a spoonful or forkful.
Happy Days with the Naked Chef is Jamie Oliver's third cookbook (Hyperion, $34.95). The Food Network star includes Midwest favorites such as Medallions of Beef with Morels and Marsala and Cr me Fraiche Sauce and Marinated Pork Fillet Roasted on Rhubarb. Comfort foods associated with the native of Essex, England, include Toad in the Hole (sausages baked in a batter) and Good Old Steak and Guinness Pie.
Martin Yan's Chinatown Cooking is a companion to the chef's public television series (Morrow, $34.95). There's a chapter on Dim Sum, which includes Jade Scallop Dumplings, Steamed Buns, and Golden Baked Buns. The Sweet and Tangy Lotus Root Salad has a crisp texture like jicama or raw potato. Learn how to make Kung Pao Chicken and Mongolian Beef.
Sandwich Night at Campanile is a Thursday tradition at the popular Los Angeles restaurant. From such comes Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book by Nancy Silverton with Teri Gelber (Knopf, $24.95). The sandwiches are incredible, from open-faced Piled High Pork Sandwich to a closed Reuben with a “secret sauce” and a Monte Cristo. The how-to of tea sandwiches and dessert sandwiches is included. Imagine a Chocolate Brioche Club Sandwich.
A true daughter of Acadiana, Eula Mae Dore has been cooking classic Cajun food on Avery Island, home of the McIlhenny family, the maker of Tabasco sauce. Thus Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen by Eula Mae Dore and Marcelle R. Bienvenu (Harvard Common Press, $22.95) will delight cooks with recipes such as Country Crawfish Etouffee, Mini Oyster Tarts, and Good Luck Black-eyed Peas.
The guru of ganache, Marcel Desaulniers, chef-owner of the Trellis in Williamsburg, Va., has a new collection of recipes, Celebrate with Chocolate (Morrow, $24.95). In his ninth cookbook, over-the-top recipes include Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree Stump, Chocolate “Just the Two of Us” Birthday Cake, and Pretty In Pink Cake. Double Down Domino Cakes are the perfect dessert to serve when playing dominoes.
Renown baking teacher Nick Malgieri brings us Perfect Cakes (HarperCollins, $37.50). He includes classic pound cakes, cheesecakes, sponge and foam cakes such as angel food cake, nut cakes such as hazelnut cake from Verona, and amazing chocolate cakes. Coconut Raspberry Layer Cake is to die for.