Best cookbooks of 2010

Sorting through the massive flood of cookbooks released in 2010 is no easy task. Most of the biggies came out in the final three months of the year. We looked at them and several dozen others, reading and cooking from most of them, before narrowing it to this select group — some of the best cookbooks of the year.

There's a little bit of everything here, including the irresistibly homey "Southern Pies" and the cosmopolitan "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan.

"Heart of the Artichoke"

By David Tanis, Artisan, 344 pages, $35

Six months of the year, Tanis is downstairs chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., where, he writes, "every day I get to design a menu quite similar to the kind of food I also cook at home — relatively simple dishes, somewhat traditional, fresh, clean, gutsy."

The other half of the year he cooks dinner parties from his tiny Paris kitchen. He draws on both halves of his life in writing this, his second cookbook.

These are not chef-ly recipes that require the help of an assistant to complete. His meals aren't elaborate, but they sure are delicious. I had dinner guests e-mailing me the day after I served his New Mexico-style slow-cooked carne adovada to say they were still dreaming about that pork. The leftovers — yes, there were some — made a terrific taco filling.