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  1. I just came across some nice little video with Thomas Keller on the Borders website, they talk about the book and then they cook a couple of the recipes. The reporter is a bit chatty, but I think it's fun to watch and there are a couple fun tricks to learn along the way, like the chives with wet paper towel. I hope the link works: Thomas Keller - Borders books video I also made the cauliflower soup yesterday, it came out fantastic! I think I'll post a thread in the cooking section, as this is more about the cook book, not a cooking with thread, but here's a little preview:
  2. I am a huge fan of asian dumplings. There seems to be a large number of cookbooks out this year either devoted to or at least partially devoted to the topic. I am only going to buy/suggest one or two this holiday season. Which one or two should it be. Here is what I have seen so far Asian Dumplings, The Asian Grandmother's Cookbook, The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide, Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking and the ubiquitous Momofuku. Please feel free to suggest personal favorites that I have overlooked. Thanks in advance, Bob
  3. I just noticed that the book "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts" is up for pre-order on Amazon.com. The publishing date is Nov. 1st 2009, but it's apparently not out just yet. It looks tempting, but I was wondering if any you have looked into the book already? According to the description, the book is based on Jacques Torres' curriculum, taught at the FCI. I'm curious whether this is another book in same style as Gisslen, Friberg and Suas, or whether it brings something new to the table? Cheers!
  4. Since we can finally get a peek at what NathanM and his team have been working on thanks to Docsconz and the NYT: NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/science/17prof.html Docsconz blog http://docsconz.typepad.com/docsconz_the_blog/2009/11/starchefs-2009-day-one-chris-young-nathan-myhrvold-culinary-engineers.html The least we could do is have a thread here about it So enough with the hints about it being published "next year" every year in the Sous Vide thread. Let's just talk about how this is going to be "kind of a big deal" A few of my questions: Will it be a single volume or perhaps serialized? Will it change the way we and the US government look at food safety? What percentage of the book will make it to the pro kitchen/home kitchen, and what percentage will just be too pie in the sky for either? Will it change the way we cook? Any chance we can see an early TOC for the book? How about a review copy I'm sure it will take me some time to digest it all...and I'm perfectly willing to weigh in upon its eventual publication. Barring that, NathanM, mind sharing a few more sneak peeks? Thanks!
  5. Has anyone read 'Formulas for Flavours' by John Campbell, it looks like an interesting read but i suspect it may fail on its promise of teching restaurant style cooking at home. Has anyone read it or is anyone familiar with the author? Link to book on Amazon
  6. The Guardian newspaper published this list of the 30 most influential, innovative and, for want of a better word, best, food books of the last 10 years. Although there is a hefty UK bias, what do people think and what did they miss out on? http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/dec/23/best-food-books-decade I was very pleased to see some of my true favourites there: Essence is a wonderful book the River Cottage Meat Book has been my go-to for all carniverous recipes, Thai Food is the bible of Thai cooking and The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is the most insane but beautiful of all my cookbook purchases. Books that I think they overlooked? The French Laundry, Alinea, Rick Stein's Seafood..... Adam
  7. As someone who is always looking forward to the next cookbook, I'd like to know: what cookbooks coming out in 2010 are you looking forward to? Here are a few of mine: Chocolates and Confections at Home by Peter Greweling. Looks to be filled with wide variety of chocolates and candies and hopefully not as complicated as his earlier book. Paris Patisseries: History, Shops, Recipes (foreward by Pierre Herme -- I thought the author was Julia Hung, but this info seems to have disappeared from Amazon). Not much info on this one, but I ordered it anyway. Tender v. 2: A Cook's Guide to the Fruit Garden by Nigel Slater. Bought v. 1 (vegetables) and have really enjoyed reading it. Chapters are organized by vegetable and includes gardening tips.
  8. Last time I took a trip up to Vancouver BC, I ate at Motomachi Shokudo and tried the ramen in bamboo charcoal broth. It was outrageously delicious, but I don't recall a definitively charcoal flavor. I have never before, nor ever since experienced Japanese cooking with bamboo charcoal and I'm wondering, if this a common tradition? Has anyone experimented with this ingredient and if so, in what form (powder, chips) and how? I researched the topic a bit and found that it's sometimes used when cooking rice. I know that charcoal has purification properties, but is that the sole purpose for cooking with it?
  9. For various reasons I'm interested in using Protein Isolate for nutrition and potential healthful benefits. I'm looking for some advice from people skilled in food chemistry or just plain well informed . Protein isolate is non-denatured protein. From what I have read through normal web searching I've found that people think it perfectly acceptable to cook with isolate. However, I have to believe that heat will denature the proteins. Does anyone know or have an opinion on whether denaturing the protein would simply have the effect of changing its texture or would it also effect it's nutritional or antioxidant affects? Basically, I wont bother cooking with it if it reduces the value. Otherwise its very inexpensive protein and blends with anything. BTW: I use bulk and NOW brand unflavored Whey Isolate.
  10. We have a number of very active topics here related to charcuterie: to list just a few... Making Bacon Making Sausage Making Guanciale Making Pastrami Meat Grinders Meat Slicers Sausage Stuffers Smokers Cellars and Chambers for Curing and Aging Clearly then, there is a TON of interest in the topic. We have a HUGE cooking topic on Ruhlman and Polcyn's book (two of them, actually!): Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie": 2008-Present Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": 2005-08 But not much else discussing the other books available. In particular, I own Aidells, Bruce Aidells' Complete Sausage Book Child & Beck, Mastering the Art of French Cooking v. 2 CIA, Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen Kutas, Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing Marianski & Marianski, The Art of Making Fermented Sausages Ruhlman & Polcyn, Charcuterie Of these, I think Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie is maybe the best book for beginners. Some of the recipes are not particularly interesting, but the foundations it lays are solid, and it's very approachable. From there, Marianski & Marianski's The Art of Fermented Sausages is a very technical, in-depth treatise on dry-cured sausages and is an excellent reference. The others primarily serve as sources of recipes for me: some good, some not so good. What books am I missing? What are your favorites?
  11. A few months ago, for various reasons not least of which is an impending move, we needed to cut our book collection in half. We put about 2,000 books -- the ones we're keeping -- in storage, which left us with about 2,000 books to unload. Our collection is not 100% food-related but food books are a substantial chunk and happen to be the ones with the most value as used books for sale. So we started looking at ways to sell them. The most convenient thing would have been to sell the whole collection to a used bookseller like the Strand, but we couldn't get anybody to take the collection at a decent price. We heard things like "I'll give you a dollar a book for nonfiction" and "Nice collection but I just don't have room for it." (The realization of how little most used books are worth can be jarring.) Selling the books from a table on the street felt too hardcore for us, and from a pure-finance perspective charitable deductions are only helpful for people with income, so we researched the online mechanisms. Although there are many outlets for used books online, all roads led to Amazon. I had been hoping to do it on eBay so as to be able to participate in the tie-in charitable-donations program with the eGullet Society, and I'm researching how something like that might be possible with Amazon, but the logistics of selling on Amazon just seemed so much better. The mechanisms for listing books on Amazon and managing inventory and orders are superior, and on Amazon you capture the eyes of people who go to Amazon looking for a given book and, when they search, the used options pop up. In short, if you have the opportunity to pick up some extra hours as an assistant manager at McDonald's you can probably make more money per hour than you can make selling books on Amazon. At the same time you do better on Amazon than you can do selling books to a used bookstore for 50 cents each. The first step in the process is setting up a merchant account, which is mostly a matter of filling out lots of online forms -- if you were able to join the eGullet Society you can handle the Amazon merchant registration process. Then you have to list your books. The only reliable way to list a book is to key in its ISBN number, which is kind of a pain. You can search by title but then you're never sure which edition you're dealing with (some books have a dozen or more editions with subtle differences that are hard to identify except by ISBN number). Once you've pulled up the book's information from its ISBN number, you have to assess and describe its condition. There are guidelines for this, and if you stretch the truth then people may return the books, so you have to take the time to do this right. Then you have to figure out a price. You look at what everybody else is charging for the same title in various conditions, and you set a competitive price in the hopes that people will choose yours. This is a process that seems to be without rhyme or reason, but over time you start to see the patterns. It all turns out, not surprisingly, to be a question of supply and demand. Books that have zillions of copies in print being sold used on Amazon tend to list for a low as 1 cent. (It's still possible for aggressive sellers to make a profit this way, because there's also a $3.99 shipping credit -- so if it's a light book and you can ship it for cheap you can still make a few cents.) Meanwhile, books with fewer outstanding copies tend to sell for more. Therefore, ironically and counterintuitively, the books that sold poorly when new often do better than the bestsellers simply because of the smaller number of copies available on the used market. It's fascinating to see what comes up when you price a book. Sometimes we have a big, beautiful hardcover cookbook full of photographs that looks like it will be worth a lot for sure, and it turns out there are 300 different sellers offering it on Amazon for 50 cents. Other times I key in the ISBN number on some small, crummy-seeming book and it turns out people are getting $10 or more for it. So far I've listed about 100 books. It's slow going and I don't list every book we have. I type in the ISBN number and look at how the market has priced the book. I don't sell a book unless we can potentially make a few dollars on the sale, so the ones that are selling for 1 cent or 99 cents go back on the shelf -- those we'll probably donate or something. For every book I've listed I've probably keyed in the ISBN numbers of 4 or 5 books I haven't listed. So it's slow going. We've sold 26 books in our first week of business. The first few times I got an email from Amazon alerting me of a purchase, it was a real thrill. Now it's like, "Oh no, I have to ship five more damn books." Order fulfillment is fairly arduous. It's not as hard as a real job but it's a pain. Especially for books that you've listed in Like New or Very Good condition, you really have to make sure you ship them in such a way that they won't get damaged. The corners and edges, most importantly, need to be well-protected. I did a lot of reading on the Amazon seller forums and around the web to figure out the best way to pack and ship books. The easiest ways are 1- to use fancy padded book mailers, or 2- to use the Amazon fulfillment service. But in both of these cases you incur substantial costs. If you buy book mailers that cost $3 each, and your profit on a book was $4, that's a big sacrifice. Amazon fulfillment can also be quite costly when you add up all the fees. I settled on something called the "book burrito" as the best combination of good packaging and low cost. A book burrito is a corrugated cardboard sleeve folded/wrapped around a book that extends past the ends of the book to protect the corners. You can make them out of pieces of recycled cardboard boxes. Here's an example: What I've been doing is first wrapping the book in brown paper, then making a burrito, then attaching the packing slip to the burrito, then putting all that in a clear plastic mailer. We may acquire some "b-flute" cardboard on rolls if we keep this up, because making burritos out of recycled boxes is time-consuming. It's no big deal to do it once. But if you get a day when you have to ship seven books it's more difficult. When you get the notification to send a book to a buyer, you go into your Amazon seller control panel and the system generates a packing slip for you. You have to print that and include it with the shipment. Once you have a book all packed up, you need to weigh it and put postage on it. The research shows that customers much prefer merchants who ship with tracking, so we've been paying the extra 19 cents for tracking. We do it all with Stamps.com, which is a very good solution for this sort of thing: it allows you to print the postage on your computer printer, which in turn means you can drop the packages in a mailbox instead of needing to make a trip to the post office. It's a small-scale equivalent of an office mailroom's postage metering system. Once you've shipped the book you go back into your control panel to confirm the shipment. You tell it what means of shipping you used (e.g., USPS Media Mail) and you enter the tracking number. Then Amazon's system generates a confirmation email to the purchaser. There is also some follow-up service that you need to be prepared for. So far out of 26 books we've had one complaint, and it was a valid one (my mistake on the listing, which is why I now only do it by ISBN number), so we basically wound up giving that book away for free. Even with invalid complaints, sometimes it's not worth fighting them I hear. We'll see how much of a challenge customer service becomes. You have to handle that part of it well, though, in order to get good buyer feedback. So how much money can you make from this? Let's break it down with an $8 book as an example. That's how much we sold our excellent-condition copy of Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" for. Buyer's Price: $8.00. Amazon Commission: $-3.54. Yikes, that's a lot of money. Amazon gets 15% plus 99 cents plus $1.35 per book. You can get out of the 99 cent charge if you become a pro seller, which costs $40 a month and is therefore worth it if you're going to sell more than 40 books a month. After I sold my first few books I upgraded to pro seller. So the commission on this book would have been $2.55 for a pro seller, but you have to factor in the share of that $40-a-month charge attributable to one book. Shipping Credit: $3.99. The buyer pays $3.99 for shipping and handling, regardless of the size and weight of the book. This is passed through to the seller. Most cookbooks weigh in at 2, 3 or 4 pounds once you include the packing material. If you use USPS Media Mail with tracking it costs $2.96 to mail a 2-pound book, $3.35 to mail a 3-pound book, and $3.74 to mail a 4-pound book -- a 3-pound book for example being defined as a book that weighs between 2.1 and 3 pounds; if you go up to 3.1 pounds you're talking about a 4-pound book. Then you have to consider the cost of your packing materials, which is why it pays to use recycled cardboard and such. Although, you have to be careful with recycled stuff because you don't want your shipments to look like they come from a terrorist or kidnapper. That's not likely to be good for customer feedback. Also, if you're using a service like Stamps.com there are some monthly fees as well as the cost of labels. All that has to be factored in. Earnings Before Shipping: $8.45. That's the after-commission amount plus the shipping credit. Shipping Cost: $3.35. That's the postage cost. I'm actually not sure what the materials and other costs come to. A few cents for tape, the bag, the label -- I haven't done the spreadsheet that thoroughly but you can be sure that the real cost to me is more than just the $3.35 postage. Let's call all those costs 50 cents. Total Earnings: $4.60. If all my other computations are correct, that's what we take away on this $8 book sale. This assumes no value to the 20 minutes it took to deal with the listing, packing, shipping, confirmation, etc. But if you assume my time has no value -- which it probably doesn't -- then we made $4.60 on the transaction. It's also not like they just magically send you the $4.60. There's a whole process to get the money into your bank account, and they won't give you all your money -- there's a reserve amount they hold on to to cover customer disputes and such. We've sold books for as little as $4 and as much as $34 (the professional cooking and foodservice-management titles tend to get the most) -- mostly at the lower end of that range. Needless to say, you have to sell a lot of books before selling used books on Amazon becomes a financially useful venture. But if you have a big collection like mine and a lot of spare time (as most freelance writers do these days) then it's probably worth it. Either way, I'd rather have $4.60 than "Deceptively Delicious."
  12. Tender is my most recent cookbook acquisition and I'm really enjoying both cooking and reading from it. Tender - Volume 1 addresses vegetables both from the gardening and cooking standpoint - I believe Volume 2 will be about fruits. I made the "Stew of Oxtails & Onions for a Cold Night" and got a round of applause from my guests. This version contains no stock, tomatoes or garlic; it relies on some white wine, bay leaves and both smooth and grainy Dijon mustards to finish with some heavy cream. A real departure from my standard and it was really delicious. I'm finding the chapter on onions particularly enjoyable. I've been a fan of Nigel Slater's writing for quite a while and this book appeals to both the gardener and cook in me. Rover
  13. She's actually in the Top 5 in two other categories, as well: NY Times Best Sellers Does this set kind of record for a cookbook (in hardback, yet) to reach number 1 so many years after originally being published? I'd like to think she'd be thrilled with the resurgent interest not just in her but in cooking, as well. A tip of the chef's toque to Saint Julia.
  14. I'm a moderately decent cook who's cookbook so far is picking my mother's brain about different meals she made as we grew up, and then running variations off of them. I think I can count by hand the number of times I have followed a non-baking recipe out of a book from top to bottom, it's just not my nature. I'd like to branch out in all honesty, as I tend to cook the same things again and again with small changes here and there, which is easy to do since I only cook for myself. Being cheap, I usually build my recipes at the grocery store/farmer's market/etc based on what is available, cheap, and thus, in season. I'd love to grow a wider repetoir of sauces, dressings, seasonings, outright cooking techniques, flavor combinations. Thus, I'm looking for a book that is heavy on very basic preparations done excellently which leaves room for seasonal variations and that goes through the logic of why things are done the way they are. Something that I can perhaps do a recipe once in a while to get a feel for what the author presents, and then steal ideas from it to move forward. I tend to stay with western European mostly, as my style tends towards simple Mediterranean meals where the ingredients show for themselves, but a book with a bit of diversity would suit me just as well. From my basic perusal, something like Bouchon from TK seems good, but I can't seem to find it in my local library. I'm actively seeking a book that pushes my boundaries and comfort level in the kitchen. Thanks! Daniel
  15. It's a new year, so it's a good time to put together a list of the must-have books for 2009. Anything that's already been released this year or is expected to be released before January 1, 2010 can go on the list. What's on your list?
  16. I'm planning on going to a Chinese supermarket later today to pick up the basic staples I'll need for cooking from this cookbook. However, I left my copy at work and won't have access to it until Monday. If you own it, could you please reply (or PM me) with a list of the basic ingredients needed? She has a page toward the front of her ingredient guide that says something like, "these are the basic ingredients needed for the recipes in this book," and then lists about 8-10 things. Please save me an extra trip to the bookstore! Thanks!
  17. Has anyone had a look at his new book? Also does anyone know who to contact to find out if an English edition is in the pipeline? Cheers
  18. I have been trying to locate a copy of the Noma cookbook in English for a while now. Every time I think I have got a copy in my grasp, it slips away. I have recently been told that it was a limited run and that no more copies in English will be printed. Can someone help me locate a copy? Please....
  19. Do the recipes actually work if you follow them, and how do they end up tasting?
  20. Fine Cooking is a cooking magazine published bimonthly by The Taunton Press. It generally features articles written by guest writers who are experts in whatever topic they happen to be discussing: for example, in the issue I have in front of me right now, Peter Reinhart has an article on pizza (he is perhaps best known for his book The Bread Baker's Apprentice but has also authored a book on pizza, American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza). In addition to the food articles and accompanying recipes, the magazine also features equipment and ingredient reviews (these don't appear to be as thorough as those in Cook's Illustrated, for example, but they are at least moderately useful when it comes to narrowing the field). I started subscribing to FC in a few months ago, and so far I have been very pleased with the quality of the recipes. In particular, I love the "Quick and Delicious" section at the back of every issue. Even though the recipes are very fast to make, they don't seem to sacrifice flavor or ingredient choices (that is, they are still basically "made from scratch" dinners, and sometime are quite sophisticated: "30 minute meals" they are not ). So, to start of our discussion and analysis of the recipes in FC, I present: Vietnamese-Style Caramel-Braised Chicken (May 2008, No. 92) Recipe here if you have online access This recipe actually had me a little worried: didn't quite know what to expect. The gist of it is that you make a caramel, then add fish sauce. To me, the quantity of fish sauce called for seemed very high, and the idea of literally making a caramel as the basis of a savory dish was something I had never tried. It also added an element of challenge to the dish: this recipe is in the "Quick and Delicious" section at the back of the issue, but "Q&D" does not imply "easy"---the recipe basically says "make a caramel: cook to deep amber over medium-high heat." Well, in a large saute pan over medium high, the difference between "medium amber" and "charcoal" is not very large. Keep your eye on the pan!! Well, I managed that OK, and then added the fish sauce and "WHOOSH" I am inundated with a cloud of fish-sauce vapors , since of course the caramel was very hot. I gotta tell you, that is not my favorite smell ever. But I soldiered on, added the last couple ingredients, tossed in the chicken and finished the dish (which takes about 15 minutes total). I also sautéed some baby bok choy (as directed in this topic) and made made some sticky rice. The real surprise of the evening was how tasty the final product was: I really had no idea what to expect from this ingredient combination, and it actually turned out very well. The sauce was very flavorful (careful how much you ladle on!) and not nearly as sweet as I was expecting. I think the final result probably depends a great deal on just how "medium amber" you make your caramel, and mine was a little on the dark side of "medium," but for a first shot, not too shabby. I don't know that the flavor said "Vietnamese" to me, and my wife thought it tasted mostly like a soy sauce base, but overall considering the time investment, this recipe is a keeper for nights when I'm in a hurry. Has anyone else tried this one, or have any other FC recipes they want to discuss here? I'll try to get caught up on posting the few things I've tried so far. Edited to add: the recipe calls for chicken thighs, but as you can see from the photo, I used breasts. I think it would be better with thighs, but my better half disagrees.
  21. [Moderator note: The original Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 5)] As all readers of the massive Charcuterie topic topic know, it has become unwieldy. Thus we offer this new index, to aid readers in finding all of the information our members have contributed over the years. We ask that, as discussion continues in this new topic/section, posters keep their posts focused on recipes and techniques from the book itself, and small modifications to those recipes. For general charcuterie discussions that are not focused on recipes from this book, you will find many other topics devoted to them. Thank you for participating! We look forward to more great contributions in this topic!
  22. Has anyone seen or bought Stephane Glacier's new book on macaroons? The ingredients page says: "Powdered sugar, also called granulated sugar", otherwise it looks OK. Way too big, though. It has 3 or 4 non-Parisian macaroon recipes. I was hoping for more. Anyone bake from it?
  23. by james hamilton-paterson. sorry if this has been discussed--did a search and couldn't find a previous thread on this book. Just finished it--it's pretty funny--a satire of all the Tuscany Year type books. But the funniest thing is that one of the protagonists is a kind of anti-cook. He considers himself a food adventurer--and develops insane food combinations--some of them not too distant from some of our more avant garde chefs, actually. Recipes are provided. One of the less disgusting is Otter with Lobster Sauce--to give you a general idea. Pets are not spared. It's in the tradition of the recipe as idea--here it's very bad idea. I can't get Udder with Butterscotch Sauce out of my head Fernet Branca is in almost every recipe, as well as almost every page as that's what the two main characters guzzle constantly. There's a very silly plot--brings Wodehouse to mind. Altogether entertaining. Zoe
  24. I just picked up a copy of it after thumbing through it at the bookstore. It was appealing to me because the food is good food that yes you can make quickly without sacrificing alot. It is going to be a good cookbook for coming home at night after work and almost being too tired to cook. He gives you a list of what your pantry should have in it at all times, nothing out of the ordinary and he mentions what fresh standbys you should have in your freezer, vegetable bin and refrigerator as well as other essentials. I have to admit even the deserts look easy enough for me, a person with limited baking skills to do. I find it more straightforward without an agenda than say Rachel Ray. ( and yes I have one of her cookbooks too, so that I can speak to experience rather than sheer dislike and vitrol.) BTW, there is a recipe for baked pork chops with piquant sauce that I am doing tonight for dinner.
  25. Just wondering - of the "celebrity chef" crowd, are there any that people actually really rate here? We've shot a short series over at Kamikaze Cookery where we get "normal people" to test celebrity chef recipes - we did one with Jamie Oliver's Pici Con Ragu (which is available now at http://www.kamikazecookery.com/films/5 ), one with a Gordon Ramsey souffle, and one with a Delia Smith pie. (If you're wondering, one came out great, one was ok-ish, and one failed utterly and spectacularly. You'll have to watch to see which one is which!). But the thing we found was that there was virtually no relation between the expectations we had of the cook and the quality of the recipe. Some of them were really badly written from a technical standpoint - it was fascinating to watch people who aren't as foodie as us trying to follow what we suddenly realised were jargon-filled, poorly-worded recipes. So - are there any "celebrity" chef cookbooks that you think avoid this? There are certainly some great, well-written cookbooks around, but I can't think of any that combine that feature with the "give it to your Gran and she'll have heard of the guy cooking" nature of someone like Jamie or Delia. Of course, we're UK-centric - is it better or worse in the US? Alton Brown's shows are pretty good - does he give good cookbook too?
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