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Your 10 Favorite Cookbooks


HubUK
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This is by no means the best cookbook ever, but the cookbook that introduced this small town boy to cooking was the Frog-Commissary Cookbook by Steven Poses of Philadelphia. This was the cookbook that introduced me to some basiscs of Thai cooking. It taught me how to make elegant dishes with unusual ingredients. The illustrations always caught my eye, and the recipe introductions were very helpful. The book also threw out a number of different combinations for salads, pastas, appetizers that one could put together on a whim. Ultimately, it taught me how to think and not to use a cookbook as a step by step instruction manual.

The book was out of print from some time, but it's available again through Camino Books in Philly.

Click right here on this spot!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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My favorite, and the most influential for me, was Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.

I must confess, I am still to buy one of his books.. I have heard so much about this man from Nathalie Dupree, I must go buy his books...

She had fascinating stories about him and his cooking. They are really mesmerizing in their details and the fantasy they create in the mind of one that has not been present when those details happened.

Thanks for sharing your favorite.. now I must go buy his books.

What are your favorite recipes from that book?

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I just love Mark Bittman's books, like "how to cook everything", and also the ones he's done with Jean-Georges like "Simple to Spectacular". The recipes are relatively easy to follow and when you taste the results you're wowed. I also love "Naples at Table" by Arthur Schwartz (the radio food show host). It's great, not only for the recipes, but also for the lovely stories about Naples.

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What are your favorite recipes from that book?

The Bread Pudding is fantastic and has become one of my signature dishes, although I change things a bit. Also, the Calas (Rice Cakes) are great and Grillades and Grits as well, which I often Serve together.

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I really like PLEASE TO THE TABLE: The Russian Cookbook

by Anya Von Bremzen. The book features great ancedotes and

earthy recipes from one of the regions trendy cookbooks

rarely cover. The recipes are simple fare that really reminds me

of the warmth that usually comes with American Soul Food. :)

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The only ones I feel I need after a housefire wiped out my old collection of things-I-never-looked-at:

Good Housekeeping red-checkered looseleaf

Southern Living

Raichlen's BBQ one....

The ones I need to re-buy:

Clearly Delicious (preserving and so-forth)

Um - that's about it. The Web is thee place now. The only issue I have is finding that perfect pecan-topped sweet potato baked casserole year after year (and always forget to save to disk).

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Paul Prudhomme's Lousiana Kitchen is my favorite as well. My copy is so worn that it really should be retired. Our favorites include: Big Mamou on Pasta, the Shepherd's Pie, Potato Salad and the Sweet potato Pecan pie as well as the Bread Pudding. The Prudhomme Family Cookbook is also very good.

Stop Family Violence

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  • 4 weeks later...

I really wish this topic could get up and going again, it seems to have died before I even got here. Having lived out of the country for 8 years, my only way of buying cookbooks is through the internet (Thank God for Amazon Japan!). But this means I don't get to spend time looking through them first and usually rely on reviews from the Amazon and other sites.

I would really love to hear what cookbooks you couldn't do with out or the ones you recommend the most to people.

My favorites:

Hot Sour Salty Sweet focuses on Thailand, Vietnam and Laos excellent food from this book. I own all 3 of their books and this is by definitely my favorite.

A spoonful of Ginger I have to admit I really don't care too much for Chinese food, but I think I have made only 1 recipe from this book that was just so-so and everything else has been way above average (atleast 20+ recipes)

Mark Bittman's How to cook everything has been edging me away from The New Basics, but i probably still use them equally as my all purpose cookbooks.

I am new to Jamie Oliver (no FoodTV here!) and have his 2 first books and should be getting his third sometime this week. I like his approach to food and he could be come a favorite soon.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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My very first cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. Also Beat This and Beat That by Ann Hodgman and Helen Gougeon's Good Food.

For Chocolate: Company's Coming Chocolate Everything

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Gosh, there are too many I love...so here's my "Save from a fire list":

"Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse Desserts" -- recipes that really work and are inspiring for their elegant simplicity and variety!

Anything by Donna Hay -- for fantastic, quick, asian-inspired, beautifully presented every day food!

Any of Rozanne Gold's "1-2-3" books -- for evidence of how you can build great recipes using few high-quality ingredients plus great technique.

"Culinary Artistry" -- for brainstorming (though not really a "cookbook")

Anything by Charlie Trotter -- because I like drooling over "food porn"!

Favorite Out-of-Prints:

"Victorian Cakes" by Caroline King -- stories of cake baking in an 1880s family with wonderful descriptions of life in a victorian kitchen, and lots of old-fashioned cake recipes.

"Saucepans and the Single Girl" by Jinx Kragen and Judy Perry -- all those cholesterol-laden foods Mom used in the 60's to "catch" Dad! Quite a riot!!

Luscious smell like love

Essential black milk worship

It whispers to me...

...Chocolate

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This is, of course, my favorite topic. I think I change the list every time we discuss cookbooks. I refuse to even think about a fire, but I have used the moving test and parted with a few. Mostly, I just keep adding new favorites. They fall into categories including collectibles, old standbys, new and cooked from, and new and just read. So, today's list includes:

Great Dinners From Life which I cooked my way through as a newlywed

Balanced Recipes from Pillsbury because it is unique in format

Ruth Wakefield's Toll House Tried and True Recipes because it was my Mom's.

Grandma Rose's Book of Sinfully Delicious Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Cheesecakes, Cake Rolls and Pastries by Rose Naftalin which I think tells its own story

All the Cooks Illustrated Annuals with separate index

Sunset Kitchen Cabinet because it is a compact history of 20th century western cooking by decade

The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook(1963) because it has always been my go to for basics

All of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg's books. Just good reads

Cucina Simpatica by Killeen and Germon because it has perfect recipes

The Elements of Taste by Gray Kunz

Babbo

One Potato Two Potato These are 3 of my favorite recently published CBs

And always Pepin, Child and Heatter whatever they do. More than cooks or writers, they are heroes.

Judy Amster

Cookbook Specialist and Consultant

amsterjudy@gmail.com

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The 4 books that had the most impact on me:

Gourmet's Basic French Cookbook...Techniques of French Cuisine

By Louis Diat

The Key to Chinese Cooking...by Irene Kuo

The Professional Pastry Chef...by Bo Friberg

Larouousse Gastronomique

And my other cookbooks by....Susanna Foo,Marco Pierre White,Nico,Bocuse,Robuchon,Trotter,Keller,Soultner,

Kennedy,Childs.

Chef cookbooks are getting prettier all the time.I just picked up the French

Laundry Cookbook...nice glossy pictures...pretty.That reminds me

I have to buy a bigger coffee table.

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I have a copy of the 1927 "Cookbook for the United States Navy." However, because I rarely cook for over 100 people, or stock a destroyer for 30 days at sea (which, in 1927, could be done for about $1200), I haven't had much chance to use it. But it's still my favorite.

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Baking with Julia - Julia Childs and Dorie Greenspan: foolproof and delicious recipes

Desserts - Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan: beautiful and inspiring

Blue Ginger - Ming Tsai: tasty fusion cuisine

Complete Asian Cookbook - Charmaine Solomon: not always authentic but covers most Asian cuisines

Bread Baker's Apprentice - Peter Reinhart: highly informative

How To Eat - Nigella Lawson: fun read and recipes that fit a busy lifestyle

I also like Louisiana Kitchen, but I always feel guilty serving food with all that butter. I have no problems eating fat-laden foods myself, but serving it to other people is something else.

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chefb, for many of us, these were our introduction to cooking other than what we'd grown up with. Time-Life's Good Cook series is, if possible, even better. Check out the bibliographies.

Judy Amster

Cookbook Specialist and Consultant

amsterjudy@gmail.com

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Four standbys here:

Michael Field's Cooking School. Great for technique.

Barbara Tropp's "The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking." This one is a real gem, and her intros to the recipes are great. I think my kids' first foods were cooked using these recipes (who needs Gerber baby food when one can have pot stickers?).

A church cookbook, which my mother received when she got married in 1955, featuring mainly Swedish and German recipes. Wonderful comfort food; even has recipes for making soap, cottage cheese and other oddities.

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies. She actually tells you what the texture of the cookies should be like. The Sour Cream Pecan Dreams are a regular in our house (another first food for the kids).

All of these have been so often used they are now held together with duct tape.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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