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Thread: Best Cookbooks?
03-18-2012, 09:48 PM #1
With as much food/cooking talk as there is here, I can't be the only person who digs reading cookbooks...
Tonight's dinner came mostly from Michael Ruhlman's "Twenty" (specifically, the Butterflied Chicken with Lemon-Tarragon Butter Baste), which was amazing. It made me wonder if there are other cookbooks/authors I should be looking for. He's kind of one of my favorites (my bacon and bratwurst recipes come from Charcuterie). I like the way he approaches cooking in general, trying to make it a very accessible thing, but also emphasizing the importance of cooking and eating good food . "Twenty" has a lot of great recipes, but like most of his stuff, it seems to aim to be a cookbook that teaches you how to cook in the absence of a specific recipe (like his book "Ratio"), instead of just teaching you recipes.
I have a bazillion cookbooks, but seem that I keep coming back to the same 5 or 6 again and again. Anyone else have favorite/recommended cookbooks?
03-18-2012, 10:22 PM #2
The only true cookbook I own I've had for over 20 years: The New Professional Chef. I remember getting it as my sole Christmas present from my parents when I was just starting my restaurant career. Over the years, I've stuffed into its pages recipes that I've coaxed of people and restaurants.
Last year I picked up one book, for the photos mostly, called Street Food Of India that I enjoy, but cookbooks in general are really expensive, and I tend to fly from the hip way too much for them to be of value.
03-18-2012, 10:27 PM #3
The Weber gas grill cookbook. No cleanup required.We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt...
03-18-2012, 10:32 PM #4
The Silver Spoon - Italian Food
Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan CookingLord King of the Beater-Kooks
03-19-2012, 01:46 AM #5
Either of bittman's "how to cook everything" books as a base...
From there it depends if you want to use it or have pretty pictures. Bourdain's les halls book strikes a decent balance and is funny.
The whole beast is a great meat-centric one...
03-19-2012, 09:26 AM #6
I only own four cookbooks. All four are by Jamie Oliver.
Jamie at Home is by far my favorite. Not just for the recipes, but it's a good read as well.It doesn't matter if you're a king or a little street sweeper...
...sooner or later you'll dance with the reaper
Kaz is my co-pilot
03-19-2012, 09:32 AM #7yelgatgab
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Mastering the Art of French CookingRemind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.
03-19-2012, 11:48 AM #8
Zuni Cafe's cookbook is a classic, better than the actual dining experience they offer, for sure.
"7 Fires" is pretty cool.
Keller's books are beautiful, but the food's pretty stuffy for home-cooking.
Edit: How can we forget the "Joy of Cooking?" Seriously.
03-19-2012, 11:56 AM #9
The "WhiteWater" cook books are good. I also have a few Jamie Oliver books that get some regular use other than that a cheap Thai cook book, the set of "Companies Coming" which are hit and miss and the big win are promotional liquour store magazies, lots of great ideas in 'em.I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.
03-19-2012, 12:41 PM #10
America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
03-19-2012, 12:54 PM #11
Why buy a cook book when you can find 100 different recipes for any type of dish online in a minute? I made Chicken Marsala Saturday for the first time. I found a bunch of different recipes and combined things to make my own. It was awesome.
03-19-2012, 01:12 PM #12Registered User
"Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers
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shroom put it best: "Man, you're one biased motherfucker."
03-19-2012, 01:24 PM #13
Once you have the basics down the rest is art. It's kinda like learning how to write, but you still need inspiration to produce a novel.
03-19-2012, 01:35 PM #14yelgatgab
Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- Shadynasty's Jazz Club
03-19-2012, 01:42 PM #15
(psst: Jacques Pepin taught Julia)
edit: well, not really - just on their show together. His La Technique and La Methode (which are now combined in the single volume I linked above) are pretty much the textbooks of French Cuisine these days since they also have step-by-step pix to help you learn.
Not taking anything away from Ms. Child, but one is a trained chef, the other a glorified hausfrau.
03-19-2012, 03:43 PM #16
03-19-2012, 03:57 PM #17
I know she graduated from Cordon Bleu, but damn I can't get over those dresses and aprons. She was just going with the times I suppose. For me Julia Child was more Pepin's sous-chef on the PBS TV show I grew up with. He cooked, she "helped" (mainly drank the wine.)
I'm a huge Cooks Illustrated fan. I actually use their magazine, books, and website more than anything else when I need inspiration.
03-19-2012, 05:20 PM #18
^^^ Cook's Illustrated is great, especially around the holidays.
03-19-2012, 05:35 PM #19
I like almost everything these guys do.
03-19-2012, 06:10 PM #20
The Silver Palate Cookbook... can't really go wrong.
That being said, there are a number of solid "foundational" cookbooks and then things to tag on after that."Vagenius"
03-19-2012, 07:14 PM #21
Anyone Can Cook- Auguste Gusteau
Al Roker's Big Bad Book of BBQ- from when he was still fat.
03-19-2012, 07:23 PM #22
03-19-2012, 08:09 PM #23
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
03-19-2012, 08:16 PM #24
Hot and Spicy- Unusual, Innovative Recipes From The World's Fiery Cuisines by Marlena Spieler, not so much for the exact recipes, but for stylistic inspiration, and her stories of the different dishes are pretty cool too.Neil Young said Harvest put him right in the middle of the road, so he headed for the nearest ditch. I think we've kind of just gone ditch to ditch to ditch a lot of the time.
Patterson Hood of the DBT's
03-19-2012, 08:30 PM #25
also, if you learned how to make an omelette from that hausfrau mentioned above you'll never, ever go hungry. I make Julia's omelette every saturday morning.