Appetizers

A quartet of guides for the curious home cook

In the world of cookbooks, the multi-imprint Hachette Book Group publishes some of the most imaginative and well-designed titles in the industry. The French company opened in 1826, and made its presence known in the U.S. in a big way when it bought Time Warner's book-publishing division in 2013. It’s now headquartered on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

An indicative example of its offerings is the entertaining four-book “40 Mouthwatering Recipes” series (Spruce, $10, 64 pages), with excellent color photographs.

“Pumpkin: Not Just For Halloween and Thanksgiving” takes the bumpkin out of pumpkin with some pretty slick recipes, such as prosciutto-wrapped pumpkin wedges, spicy swordfish with pumpkin penne, and chocolate and pumpkin seed brownies.

“Burgers: The Exciting Varieties Are Endless” isn’t too much of an exaggeration when burgermeisters consider the jerk pork burger with mango salsa, the chicken Caesar burger and the Cajun fish burger.

“Panini: A Taste of Italy” takes the elevated street-food sandwich to new heights with pork tenderloin medallions with apple; cilantro and chile crab; and mango and mint with blackberry coulis.

It seems every upscale restaurant offers vanilla bean creme brulee on its dessert menu. Perhaps the pastry chefs should take some tips from “Creme Brulee: The World’s ‘Most Famous’ Dessert.” Like what? Well, like saffron brulee, lime and papaya brulee, passion fruit brulee, coffee liqueur brulee and — back to where we started — sweet pumpkin brulee.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

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