It stands to reason that a public relations agency focused on wine, food, and travel would be managed by a group of foodies and die-hard cooks. But we at Parker Sanpei are SO cookbook obsessed you’d think we bought stock in Stewart, Tabori & Chang (or Amazon.com for that matter…). Here, we profile a handful of our favorites, as chosen by members of our team. Buon appetito!
Most of the recipes are really simple, plus the ingredients are easy to find in a normal grocery store or farmer’s market. Everything I’ve made from this book is super tasty, fresh and unique. – Jen Hamm, Account Manager
The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes, edited by Ruth Reichl
This is the classic, most beloved and worn cookbook of my collection. For those of us who still mourn the death of Gourmet Magazine, it is a source of consistently delicious, flavorful, and time-honored recipes culled over the course of Gourmet’s 65 years in print. – Jaime Lewis, Copywriter
From The Gourmet Cookbook
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 (5-oz) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 1/2 English muffins (not sandwich-size)
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and add chicken breasts, tossing to coat well.
Pulse English muffins in a food processor until finely ground. Add cheese, butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pulse until combined well. Transfer to a shallow soup plate or pie plate.
Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, in crumbs, coating completely and pressing gently to help crumbs adhere, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cooks’ note: · Chicken can marinate in mustard mixture, covered and chilled, up to 2 hours before coating.
The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen
If I had to choose a desert-island cookbook, it would be this. I simply love my Moosewood.
– Linda Sanpei, Founder
Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet, Jane Brody
This book is great for hearty, wintry meals – good for harvest time, too. It’s fantastic for basics like stock, and it emphasizes health without resorting to the use of weird “light” ingredients. – Jen Hamm
Southwestern Harvest Soup
from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet
- 1 c dried black beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked 10 hrs or longer in water to cover by at least 4 inches, and drained
- 6 to 7 c chicken broth, divided
- 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, drained with juice reserved and finely chopped
- 2 tbl tomato paste
- 2 C finely chopped onion (2 large), divided
- 1 whole jalapeno
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp oregano, crumbled
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 tbl olive or canola oil
- 3/4 c long-grained brown rice
- 1 large or 2 small zucchini, diced
- 1/2 large or 1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 1/2 tbl chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp dried
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1. Place the beans in a large heavy saucepan. Add 5 cups of broth, tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, 1 c of onion, jalapeno, celery, carrot, 1 tsp of garlic, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, coriander, 1/2 tsp black pepper and cloves. Bring ingredients to boil, reduce heat, cover the pan almost completely and simmer the beans, stirring them occasionally for 2 hrs or until done.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil briefly in a heavy skillet, add rice with the remaining 1 c of onion, 1/2 tsp garlic, zucchini, chopped red pepper and basil (if using dried basil), and saute 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are translucent.
3. Add rice-vegetable mixture and 1 c broth to cooked beans. Bring soup to boil, reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Add more broth if needed.
4. Stir in basil (if using fresh), and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer 10 minutes longer. Remove jalapeno and bay leaf from soup before serving it.
Garnishes: plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt or sour cream, grated Monterey Jack or queso blanco, sliced scallions, minced cilantro.
Prep tips: The soup “sits” well, so can be easily made ahead. Substitute vegetable broth for a completely vegetarian dish.
Roy’s Fish and Seafood: Recipes from the Pacific Rim, Roy Yamaguchi
For anyone who loves seafood or the fresh, bold flavors of the Pacific in unique preparations, this is the cookbook non pareil. It’s also just gorgeous to flip through, even if you’re not planning or cooking a meal. – Linda Sanpei
I have friends who make fun of me for buying into Gwyneth’s cookbook projects, but I have found her recipes to be chock-full of flavor and generally pretty easy. They also emphasize health and simplicity. After the birth of my second child, I needed to clean up my eating, and this book was the impetus. I make something from it at least a couple times per week. – Jaime Lewis