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Pickles, Paleo, Plants: Hot cookbooks for cold winter nights

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

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Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups (and Then Some)
By John Currence
Andrews McMeel | $40 | 288 pp

I first learned of John Currence’s book through our Flavor interview with chef Steve McHugh (“The Up-and-Comer,” Nov 6), who was eagerly anticipating the fall release of the tome. The New Orleans-raised Currence, who’s produced Boure, Big Bad Breakfast, Snackbar and City Grocery, oh, and a James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef South in 2009, spills the deets on dozens of Southern favorites including drool-worthy pork fat beignets with bourbon caramel. I can see why McHugh was so excited for this book. Currence kicks off with a manifesto on cooking, followed by an introductory chapter on cocktails (gotta love that) and nine more chapters on stocks and soups, pickling and canning, “slathering, squirting and smearing,” curing, frying, sautéing, roasting, brining and smoking, and baking. This IS Currence’s ode to cooking and a must-have for any serious lover of food.

Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans
By Lolis Eric Elie
Chronicle Books | $29.95 | 240 pp

As story editor for the HBO quasi-hit by the same name, Elie’s swan song won’t be the last tiny five-episode season–it’ll be this book. With a foreword by chef/food snob Anthony Bourdain (a consultant and writer for the show), the book helps finish the Treme saga with almost as many stories and anecdotes as there are recipes. A coffee table book to be sure, Treme fills its pages with tales and recipes from the show’s characters, along with dishes via famed chefs (including Eric Ripert, David Chang and John Besh) and New Orleans’ staples such as Kermit Ruffins and Austin Leslie.

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