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  1. I'm a pretty good home baker (both sweets and breads) and I'm seriously considering going to culinary school. I'd like to go through an entire pastry book on my own before I apply though because it's a big decision (big job change for me!). My question is this - if I could choose between the following 3 books (I'm in the limiting goodcook.com club), which one would be best for learning classic French techniques? Lots of pictures would be a huge plus. - Professional Baking, 3rd Edition by Wayne Gisslen (I read in a previous thread that somebody didn't like this book, but I also heard good things too) - The Professional Pastry Chef, 4th edition by Bo Friberg - Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker (not sure if this is a "teaching" book) Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. My sister just discovered cooking last week. So far she has made stir fry and tried her own tomato sauce, which she burned. She has announced to our family that I am allowed to buy her one cookbook for Channukah and that is it. My question is, which book should it be? I am looking for a basic cookbook and am leaning towards Joy of Cooking. She needs a book that has the basics, like how to cook a potato, but has room to expand, should she feel so inclined. Thoughts, suggestions?
  3. I'm looking for recommendations for the best (and also the healthiest) cookbooks which are based on the cuisine of Alsace. Any advice please?
  4. All this talk of farmer's markets and seasonal favorites has me looking to plug a gaping hole in my cookbook shelves. What are your favorite vegetable cookbooks? I'd like to get something relatively comprehensive that deals with seasonal, selection and storage info in addition to recipes. For instance, anyone have any opinions on "Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini: The Essential Reference" by Elizabeth Ann Schneider or James Peterson's "Vegetables"? Farmer's market-type cookbooks? Specialized vegetable cookbooks, e.g., Greens, Salads etc.? (I'm not looking for vegetarian cookbooks. ) Thanks!
  5. I have a couple strictly icecream and gelato books, but was wondering if you had a favorite book of ice cream recipies/combinations that work and taste good. I make icecream in my Cuisinart maker all the time in little batches to try new things (See Leechie and Nutella post). So if you have a book you like or simple combination you would suggest, please post or (sorry) if already done please post a link. Still a newbie to this site and learning more about its features. I heard about the upgrade to this site too and can't wait to see what it can do afterwards.
  6. at one point i heard of a liquor shot recipe that used as one of its ingredients man-seed. i think you know what i am talking about. do you have any what this recip eis?
  7. Does anyone know of cookbooks that cover the cooking of the Indian diaspora? I'm researching some stories on Indian cookbooks, and I thought this would be an interesting angle. The few such cookbooks I've seen are fascinating - familiar Indian recipes, but with differences in ingredients and influences that reflect the histories of these communities. I guess many of these cookbooks are conscious attempts to commemorate these communities, so they all filled with anecdotes and nostalgia that make them really interesting, and often moving, reading. I know the classic South African Indian 'bible' - Zuleikha Mayat's 'Indian Delights'. I have some South African Indian relatives myself, the wives of my Gujarati cousins who now live in India, and make some interesting recipes which they tell me they brought with them from SA. For example, they take kandh - yam with a weirdly blue-purple coloured flesh - and cook it and slice it thinly and use these slices to sandwich a mixture of grated coconut and coriander leaves and some other spices. It looks bizarre: purple sandwiches with a white-green filling, but tastes great. I've just picked up another really interesting book: Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils, edited by Nesa Eliezer and printed by Orient Longman. Since Jaffna is just a strait's distance from Tamil Nadu one wouldn't expect the food to be that different, and much of it is standard Tamil stuff. But there are interesting variations, like a whole section on recipes using the products of the palmyra palm. Also, and I realise this might sound political, but its not meant to be, Tamil Brahmin cuisine and culture seems to have less of a hold in Sri Lanka as it does in India. So while the image of Tamil food in India is dominated by vegetarian Brahmin cooking (at least till the recent rise of 'Chettiar' cooking), the recipes in this book reflect the non-vegetarian cooking that is very much a part of Non-Brahmin Tamil life. A recipe for rasam flavoured with chicken bones for example sounds really surprising to someone used to the common vegetarian only version. Are there other such cookbooks for the desi communities in Trinidad, Mauritius, Fiji and where else? A friend who was coming from Guyana promised to get me a Guyanese-Indian cookbook, though unfortunately he cancelled his trip at the last minute. (But this link has some interesting recipes: http://guyana.gwebworks.com/recipes/recipe...pes_alpha.shtml ) Any names, comments, recipes, suggestions from people with experience of desi diasporic cooking would be welcome. Vikram
  8. Has anyone had a look at this book? If so, thumbs up or down ?
  9. So - I recently resigned as Scoutmaster due to health problems and assumed my new post as Assistant Scoutmaster in Charge of Eating. Boy Scouts are 11-17 years old and their tastes are um, different than adults. My statement to them is that they can cook anything they eat at home over a fire. This includes, but is not limited to, open fires, charcoal, backpack stoves and Dutch ovens. They'll also use, on occasion, solar cookers, cardboard-box ovens (ask me some time) and other various weird implements. My first lecture was "40 Ways to Die From Eating". I went over, basically, health and safety. "Though shalt not put chicken in your pack the Thursday before an outing" "Though shalt not eat anything unless it's clean" etc., etc. "If you eat this, you'll go to the hospital, then probably die." "If you eat this, you'll sit on the crapper until you die." "If you put this in a fire, it'll explode and you'll die before anyone can get to you." This is all basically tongue-in-cheek, but I was trying to impress on them the importance of cleanliness. I even made up a song: Salmonella, salmonella, can we all sing Salmonella? (sung to the melody of Cinderella) Anyway - I know that there's a zillion recipes out there on backpack sites, dutch oven sites, etc. But I feel it incumbent upon myself to at least check with the Gulleteers to see what ideas they can come up with. The idea here is that during the winter, we'll stay cold and can pack pretty-much any food we want. Weight is an issue as is water usage. The boys are told that their pack should weigh no more than 1/3 their body weight (which allows yours truly a 200-pound pack...just kidding). Water, at 8 pounds a gallon, is usually limited to 2 quarts. We don't allow water filters (to pull water from a stream) just because I don't want the boys to get into a 'gear race'. When you delve into this area of cooking, things change: We're talking ingredients like Parmalat (sterilized milk), powdered whole eggs, dehydrated fried ground beef, etc. Techniques also: I've got a widget called a Bakepacker that's basically a grid I put into my backpack pot. Using a (I'm lazy) prepackaged muffin/cake recipe, I add dried milk if milk is called for, pack along a couple of packets of olive oil that I swiped from the local sandwich shop, put it in an oven roasting bag (the plastic kind), add water, the oil, smoosh it until it's mixed, then put into the Bakepacker to steam for 25 minutes. Simply grand on a cold winter morning. Tamales can be steamed in an open fire by wrapping them in a wet paper towel and putting in the coals. Awesome onion recipe (though boys don't like onions): Carve out some of the onion, drop a beef bouillion cube and a large pat of butter into the resulting hole, wrap in foil and put in the coals. Did you know a Porterhouse looks great when stuck onto a stick and held over a bed of coals? Or that you can boil Poptarts (leave them in the foil pouch, please). If paid enough money, I'll share the recipe for omelet-in-a-Baggie. Clean-up is an issue - boys don't clean, and with limited water, they have the perfect excuse. So, Gulletanians: Any good ideas? What do boys like? What should I try myself? (hint, hint). Shameless plug: Boy Scouts sell Trail's End popcorn as a fundraiser. It's the best microwave popcorn on the market, but stay away from the bagged stuff. Thanks.......
  10. One of the criticisms of your work has been that it's all about the drunken attitude, not enough about the food. Are you going to show your critics up by doing a cookbook aimed at the home cook?
  11. Well, after three years of careful research, planning and preparation (errr ... procrastination) I am finally going to build my new barbecue tomorrow. Unless some major mental relapse takes place, this will be a brick BBQ with two-level grill trays, an enclosed "oven" below the charcoal tray, and a smoke hood. My past experience of BBQing has been limited to throwing unprepared lamb chops, sausages and home-made burgers onto the grill tray, and removing them when some instinct suggested they were properly cooked. I now would like to be more adventurous with marinaded chicken, steak, kebabs, fish, vegetables and whatever else proper cooks do. I'd also like to experiment with wood briquettes of different kinds. Who knows a really good BBQ cookbook, suitable for a novice ?
  12. Thank you for your fascinating answers so far. I am also amazed by the photos on your website. Do you use/read cookbooks? If yes, which ones do you favor and why?
  13. Does anyone have any recommendations or favorites from this book? It's a seriously huge book, and I'm a little perplexed trying to figure out what to try first. It's checked out through the 23rd, so it's got two weeks to convince me to buy it.
  14. Hello everyone, does anyone have any information on where to purchase the El Bulli cookbook other than the el Bulli website? I've looked around online and found nothing, but I really would to add this book to my collection. Thanks
  15. I was wondering what people think about Donna Hay, the Aussie who has produced beautiful, well-stylized cookbooks built on themes like: "New Food Fast"-cooking from your pantry, divided by how much time a recipe takes "Off the Shelf"-sort of a primer built around cuisines, i.e. Mediterranean, Asian "Flavors"-exactly that I have the first two, and I wish I hadn't bought "Off the Shelf." More style than substance. She doesn't inspire me, but for those desparation dinners when my brain is fried from a long day, I am glad to have her books around.
  16. As my husband and I were careening through Selfridges yesterday (trying to run our errands) I was waylaid by a new Japanese Cookbook. I didn't really get a chance to give it a thorough lookover but I did flip through it and it looks like it may be a good one. It's a Masterclass.... the author is Japanese but now lives in England... and I can't remember what its called, something very original, like japanese cooking! Has anyone else seen this? Or have old standards that they would like to recommend? Bad Japanese daughter that I am, I can recreate many of my mother's standby dishes but have never bought a japanese cookbook.... I'd like to educate myself in the basics. I also love those moments when you read a technique that you've been doing forever just because this is what you mom did and get to hear the bell in your head go off as you realize, "Oh, so that's what that is called." Okay, I do own the Nobu cookbook and a Madhur Jaffrey that spans all of Asia, but you can't really call those Japanese cookbooks.
  17. I had to get into the office early this morning, so I scarfed down a quick bowl of raisin bran. As I was eating, I started to wonder whether any breakfast cereals could be used in cooking high-end meals. Now I'm not talking about corn flake crusted fried chicken or rice krispie treats. I'm wondering, how Grant Achatz would used puffed rice or shredded wheat?? Could Steve Klc make something interesting with Cap'n Crunch or Apple Jacks? There's got to be tons of possibilities out there (perhaps none of them worthwhile), but if chefs can do something creative with the concept of caramel corn, why not with Honey Nut Cheerios??
  18. Helena - I have cooked with tea to make a (reputed) Georgian recipe for braised and roasted phesant and a Japanese rice and salmon that contains green tea as a base, not stock.
  19. I'm interested in what cook books members like for photography and design - for instance, I just fell for the simple design of the Michel Bras book which has most items shot over semi-milk glass, without plates or distractions. Are there books that members prefer to just look at?
  20. After reading your piece (as reprinted in Best Food Writing 2002) "The Reviewer and the Recipe," I was struck that I view cookbooks in much the same way that you seem to; that is, I use them for inspiration rather than for the actual recipes. So I'm wondering if you have a suggestion for an Italian cookbook that someone (like me) with the same approach to cookbooks might enjoy. And more generally, aside from the books you mentioned in your "Annual Food Book Review" newsletter, what are some of your favorites (current or "classic")? And why? Thanks.
  21. Every year, I tell myself the same thing right before Christmas "I don't need another cookbook." This is true. I don't need another cookbook, but there's always that one book I really, really want -- no matter how many I already have. Sometimes, I think all the fun is in finding an out-of-print book (we've all got stories) or tracking down the perfect recipe in some obscure book. What's on your Wish List this year?
  22. I am interested in your comments on cookbooks and books of food essays on fish & game that you have found helpful, interesting...or on the other hand, a waste of time. I like the work of Jim Harrison, A.D. Livingston, and Rebecca Gray, among others.
  23. What Chinese cookbooks are your favorites? Most helpful? Least helpful? Why?
  24. I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
  25. On Nov. 7, 2017, Modernist Bread will finally arrive on my doorstep. Having preordered it literally the first day it was available, to say I'm excited about this book is a bit of an understatement. The team at The Cooking Lab have been gracious enough to give @Dave the Cook and me early electronic access to the book and so I've spent the last week pouring over it. I'm just going to start with a few initial comments here (it's 2600 pages long, so a full review is going to take some time, and require a bunch of baking!). Dave and I would also be happy to answer any questions you've got. One of the main things I've noticed about this book is a change in tone from the original Modernist Cuisine. It comes across as less "everything you know is wrong" and more "eighty bazillion other bakers have contributed to this knowledge and here's our synthesis of it." I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Myhrvold and company are now the most experienced bread-bakers in the world. Not necessarily in terms of the number of identical loaves they've produced, but in the shear number of different recipes and techniques they've tried and the care with which they've analyzed the results. These volumes are a distillation of 100,000 years of human breadmaking experience, topped off with a dose of the Modernist ethos of taking what we know to the next level. The recipes include weight, volume, and baker's percentages, and almost all of them can be made by both a home baker and someone baking in a commercial facility. The home baker might need to compromise on shape (e.g. you can't fit a full-length baguette in most home ovens) but the book provides clear instructions for both the amateur and professional. The recipes are almost entirely concentrated in volumes 4 and 5, with very few in the other volumes (in contrast to Modernist Cuisine, where there were many recipes scattered throughout). I can't wait for the physical volumes to arrive so that I can have multiple volumes open at once, the recipes cross-reference techniques taught earlier quite frequently.
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