Free Range on Food cooking Q&A: Readers’ favorite essential cookbooks

Do you have favorite cookbooks? Is there one that is stained and dog-eared with little notes scribbled in the margins? Did you just get a new one that you’re cooking your way through?

Food writer Charlotte Druckman recently selected the 10 cookbooks all home cooks should have on their shelves. (Her list was the framework for a free, 10-week newsletter she wrote for The Post. Missed it? Sign up here and it will arrive in your email in-box soon.) 

If you did get it, you know the newsletter featured 20 killer recipes to try.

Charlotte joins us today for the Free Range chat to answer questions about her favorite cookbooks, the recipes she featured as well as any other cooking questions you might have.  

As she noted: “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what “essential” means. In the history of culling cookbook lists, the “classic canon” has always implied a de facto white, Eurocentric bias. That has left us with a shortsighted recipe bank and omitted the cuisines of entire regions and cultures….

“Let’s change that, starting now.”

She followed through delivering recipes that ranged from Johnny Cakes and Salsa Verde Cocida to Moong Dal and Ghalieh Mahi. 

Cookbooks inspire many of the stories we write at The Post. We pull from trusted favorites when testing recipes what we consider essential dishes everyone should master.

We also draw from cookbooks to ensure that we are traveling the world in our cooking. 

In recent weeks, for example, Joe Yonan featured Dahi Toast, or grilled yogurt sandwiches, from “Chetna’s Healthy Indian Vegetarian” by Chetna Makan in his Weeknight Vegetarian column; and I wrote about a Seafood Guacamole from Robert Santibanez’s “Truly Mexican” in Dinner in Minutes.

Both of those dishes are summery as are most of the recipes we’ve published in the last month or so — from sweet things like Jessie Sheehan’s No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie and Shadi HasanzadeNemati’s  No-Churn Saffron and Pistachio Ice Cream to savory dishes, such as Ellie Krieger’s Ceviche-Style Shrimp Cocktail and  Ali Slagle Corn and Chorizo Tacos.

We’re here to talk about all of this today or any other food-related topics you’d like to discuss.  

Please note: We will give away a free, 30-day subscription to The Washington Post to the person who sends in our favorite comment of the week! (Already a subscriber? You can give the free month to a friend.)

Let’s chat.

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