New Cookbooks Offer Simple but Flavorful Recipes

The superslouching economy is spurring everyone to return to basics—including some of the world's best-known chefs, who are flooding the market with new cookbooks preaching the simple-is-better mantra. Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavors From Simple Ingredients" (crownpublishing.com) gives nearly 100 entertainment-ready recipes that never require a trip to the specialty food market. Dishes include classic coq au vin; mustard-roasted fish, made flavorful with capers, shallots and whole-grain mustard; and a pot roast smothered in gravy enriched by a purée of root vegetables from the pot. Garten's recipes are idiotproof, though they never look quite as good as the book's photos suggest.

Giada de Laurentiis's "Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites" (clarksonpotter.com) is packed with single-page recipes, eye-candy photos and ultrasimple preparations. The curried chicken sandwich is served with radicchio and pancetta—a crazy combo that turns out to be insanely tasty. "The Simple Art of Food" by Alice Waters (randomhouse.com) espouses the Berkeley, California, chef's belief that cooks use only locally and sustainably produced seasonal food. Dishes include a simple onion tart and sirloin steak with herbs.

But nothing promises more simplicity than Beatrice Ojakangas's "Best Casserole Book Ever" (chroniclebooks.com), which presents more than 500 recipes for quick, easy clean-up comfort food, including chicken breast with morel mushrooms and Parmesan and sun-dried-tomato quiche. Who needs to go out?

New Cookbooks Offer Simple but Flavorful Recipes | World