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11 New Cookbooks Worth Buying, Even in Quarantine


Recipe: Mac and Queso Fundido

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Dimes is an all-day cafe on the Lower East Side of Manhattan known for big grain bowls and vivid smoothies that feel more California than New York. Its first cookbook, “Dimes Times: Emotional Eating” (Karma Books, $40), leans into that reputation with trippy, brightly colored illustrations and charts, like “The Five Elements for a Cosmic Salad Creation.” The cafe’s founders, Alissa Wagner and Sabrina De Sousa, organized the book, written with Toniann Fernandez, by hour and emotion (8 a.m. Determined, 6 p.m. Homesick) and offer a multitude of solid, simple recipes — an endlessly adaptable lemony kale-almond pesto, a zippy green smoothie — that will subtly elevate your everyday cooking. SARA BONISTEEL

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This is not a book that will teach you how to make a Cronut, and really, why would you? It is a book that will help you take next steps as a baker when you’re tired of banana bread and chocolate-chip cookies. (It could happen.) The thesis of “Everyone Can Bake” (Simon & Schuster, $37.50) by Dominique Ansel, creator of the Cronut, is that most desserts can be broken down into elements: bases (like vanilla shortbread or almond cake), fillings (like lemon curd or soft caramel) and finishings (like chocolate glaze or caramelized bananas). Choose your own adventure, guided by Mr. Ansel’s experience and lively voice, and you might arrive at a basic chocolate layer cake, or at a passion-fruit tart on a puffed-rice crust with matcha cream. For hand-holding, there is detailed photography showing how to put the elements together. JULIA MOSKIN

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Even if you love to cook, doing so night after night can be a drag. Cleanup alone is reason to grow weary. With “Keeping It Simple” (Hardie Grant, $24.99), Yasmin Fahr has dedicated an entire book to the one-pot meal, so you can enjoy a well-rounded dinner without having to pull out every cooking vessel in your kitchen. Her miso-ghee roast chicken with radishes is a sophisticated take on the sheet-pan meal, and her baked eggs with barley, peppers and goat cheese is a hearty twist on shakshuka that would make an equally great weekend breakfast or weeknight dinner. MARGAUX LASKEY

Recipe: Sheet-Pan Miso Chicken With Radishes and Lime

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A classically trained opera singer and chef, Alexander Smalls describes his “Meals, Music and Muses: Recipes From My African-American Kitchen” (Flatiron Books, $35) as a playlist of African-American dishes. Chapters are loosely grouped by musical genre, to varying success: I’m not quite sure how deviled eggs are jazz, but I love that large-format, showstopping dishes are divas. Along with his co-author, Veronica Chambers, an editor at The Times, Mr. Smalls, of the Cecil and Minton’s restaurants in New York, presents recipes that are approachable and flavorful. The Gullah dirty rice is spicy and layered, rich and earthy; a chess pie perfectly sweet-tart and tender on the tongue. Mr. Smalls notes that, where he’s from (South Carolina), a cook is judged not by soufflés, but by potato salad. His version, full of sweet pickle relish, is just five ingredients, plus salt and pepper. I ate it over a few days early on in my quarantine, and missed it for much longer when it was gone. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT



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