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Soul Food

Our dining editor, Penny Pollack, dishes on her favorite cookbooks from 2008

THE ART & SOUL OF BAKING
by Cindy Mushet for Sur la Table (Andrews McMeel; $40)
Why she likes it “Bingo! Four pictures of how my pie crust should look from crumble stage to rolling dough. That did it for me.” Ideal for Comfort foodies Quintessential recipe Herbed chicken pot pie

THE BOOK OF NEW ISRAELI FOOD
by Janna Gur (Schocken; $35)
Why she likes it “Mazel tov to the author who recognized that Israel has a cuisine of its own—although it also helps to like eggplant.” Ideal for Anyone hosting a Hanukkah party Quintessential recipe Potato pancakes

FAT
by Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed; $32.50)
Why she likes it “I’ve always said the flavor is in the fat. I know how to make schmaltz. My recipe for chicken Kiev uses a ton of butter. Why didn’t I write this book?” Ideal for Carnivores with drippings jars Quintessential recipe Bacon baklava

THE FLAVOR BIBLE
by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown; $35)
Why she likes it “A what-goes-with-what book. No recipes, just tons of fun and useful info.” Ideal for The adventurous home cook

WINE BAR FOOD
by Cathy Mantuano and Tony Mantuano (Clarkson Potter; $27.50)
Why she likes it “I will never again have to sit around a hipster lounge and wonder why I don’t serve cool ‘small plates’ at home.” Ideal for Oenophiles Quintessential recipe Pea, bacon, and pecorino salad

Photograph: Michael Boone Photography

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