"The fine arts are five in number," wrote the chef Marie-Antoine Carême, "painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture—whereof the principle branch is confectionery." He knew what he was talking about. After all, he created croquembouche, a spire of caramelized cream puffs.
For the cookbook fanatic, the nightstand reader, or the hardcore food-writing fan, a book (or two or three) is the greatest of gifts. Our picks range from coffee-table-worthy restaurant cookbooks to an eighteenth-century household guide—there's sure to be something here to suit any library.
Preparing a Thanksgiving feast calls for a lot of time and energy, which is why we like to have snacks on hand for all the hard-working cooks in the kitchen. These 12 super-simple recipes—for herbed olives, gouda and apple butter sandwiches, ricotta crostini, and more—will nourish and delight as you spend the day cooking, while still being light enough not to spoil anyone's appetite.
A plate of fluffy couscous is lavished with meatballs, lamb chops, chicken skewers, merguez sausage, and a saffron-scented chickpea stew in this celebratory dish, a staple at Moroccan restaurants in Paris.
Some time-honored dishes are also some of the most time-consuming and difficult to make. Every culture has its fair share, but the French are particularly adept at creating deceptively simple but impossibly difficult fare. The payoff, however, is typically a masterpiece of flavor.
A hard-boiled egg encased in sausage and bread crumbs and then deep-fried may seem like a product of modern pub culture, but the Scotch egg was invented by London department store Fortnum & Mason in 1738.