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Your 10 Favorite Cookbooks


HubUK
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There are two separate and worthy cookbook series from Time-Life:

The Good Cook

Foods of the World

eBay, thrift shops and garage sales are the best for finding these. Great photos and clear directions. Every one is a masterpiece.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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  • 3 weeks later...

As a Vancouverite, anything Rob Feenie - Lumiere, Lumiere Light and Feenie's.

Jean Georges by Jean George Vongrichten

Marcella Hazan for anything Italian

River Cafe cookbooks

French Laundry/Bouchon for inspiration

anything by Daniel Boulud

I've got a few more, but am mentally going through my 300 or so cookbooks trying to prioritize :smile:

Cheers,

T

"Great women are like fine wine...they only get better with age."
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  • 3 months later...

lately all i do is search for ideas on the internet. i really want a solid collection of go to books that i can use, are user friendly and will stand the test of time.

besides, i have a birthday coming up ;)

any and all suggestions are appreciated

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Well, considering that you're from Yountville...

I'm from Austin: and the Jamisons have written definitive books on our cuisines, Texas Home Cooking especially.

yes, i have bouchon & tfl cookbooks :wink:

but, i don't necessarily cook from them as much as read them...

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Well, considering that you're from Yountville...

I'm from Austin: and the Jamisons have written definitive books on our cuisines, Texas Home Cooking especially.

yes, i have bouchon & tfl cookbooks :wink:

but, i don't necessarily cook from them as much as read them...

Understood. :smile:

It may be a bit usual, but, many of the Williams and Sonoma books do a good service with California inspired cuisine, I use them a lot. This one the most, Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook: The Best of Simple Italian, French & American Cooking (Complete Series)

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Well, considering that you're from Yountville...

I'm from Austin: and the Jamisons have written definitive books on our cuisines, Texas Home Cooking especially.

yes, i have bouchon & tfl cookbooks :wink:

but, i don't necessarily cook from them as much as read them...

Understood. :smile:

It may be a bit usual, but, many of the Williams and Sonoma books do a good service with California inspired cuisine, I use them a lot. This one the most, Williams-Sonoma Simple Classics Cookbook: The Best of Simple Italian, French & American Cooking (Complete Series)

i have saveur's authentic american... are they like that?

i guess i basically looking for THE cookbook. the ONE that will have every dish idea i can think up for every day dinners. as i'm in yountville, if i want fancy, i am more inclined to go out & pay for someone to do it for me...

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Keeping it in your neck of the woods, have you ever checked out the Jimtown Store cookbook? Lots of great casual recipes. I don't know if it could be the *only* cookbook though!!!

Other cookbooks I turn to often for great, dependable recipes:

Patricia Well's "Bistro Cooking",

Chez Panisse Vegetables and Chez Panisse Desserts,

Bill Neal's Southern Cooking and for baking, his "Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie".

For everyday Italian I like Viana La Place and Evan Kleinman's "Cucina Rustica".

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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My "go to" cookbook for everyday cooking is James Beard's "American Cookery". Though I continue to buy new books here and there, this is my "Bible", and I can't recommend it highly enough. His writing style is occasionally laugh out loud funny (to me), and the ground he covers is staggering.

Be forewarned, however, that there are no photos, if that's important to you.

Good Luck!

Steve

"Tell your friends all around the world, ain't no companion like a blue - eyed merle" Robert Plant

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I have piles of cookbooks, that I usually read more for ideas than actual recipes. But when I really need to know how to cook something and want the best recipe, I go to THE BEST RECIPE, the Cook's Illustrated book.

That's the one that has the most grease stains and smudges from actual use. It has by far the best split pea and ham soup recipe ever, and what I like is that it explains why their version was chosen as the best.

Great meatball recipe too, and when I needed a recipe fast for how to make a traditional boiled dinner for St. Patty's day, I was thrilled to find it there.

The other one that I have used almost as often, is a thick paperback called The New Basics, by the authors of the Silver Palate cookbooks. Two former caterers. This book has easy yet modern classics, and the best version of Beef Bourguignon I've had yet. And their recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage is even better than the Cook's Illustrated one.

:) Pam

Edited by pam claughton (log)
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I just turned to look at my cookbook section in the library here behind me when I read your post.

The three books that stand out in there that I think I "go to" most are

Simple Italian Cooking by Mario

Italy al Dente by Biba Cagganio

The Dean and Delucca Cookbook by David Rosengarten

None are all encompassing, but are the ones I seem to pull out first.

Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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I'll add to the contingent supporting Cook's Illustrated's The Best Recipe (now The New Best Recipe). The recipes are basically good, some are great, and I haven't yet tried one that completely failed. It's where I start for basic American-style cooking, and it has loads of useful information that can often help you improve other recipes that you come across. I've learned a lot from this book.

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Here are two topics -- click and clack -- that have a wealth of information!

click & clack are my favorite!!! and i have a question for them... but i guess this would be the wrong forum...

thanks for all the suggestions folks!! i think the simple italian by mario and the Best Recipe books sound best for me...

i am curious about the james beard book though. of its kind, should i really have it in my collection (limited as it may be <my collection that is>)?

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I have piles of cookbooks, that I usually read more for ideas than actual recipes. But when I really need to know how to cook something and want the best recipe, I go to THE BEST RECIPE, the Cook's Illustrated book.
The Dean and Delucca Cookbook by David Rosengarten

These books are MY go-to-books, too. Both have excellent recipes and are fun to read.

Edited by shelly59 (log)
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For everyday cooking, faithful Betty Crocker! (my Mom's old copy)

For fancier fare, Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home

For baking, The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook

For "technical" matters, Shirley Corriher's Cookwise

SB (for inspiration, anything by MFK Fisher) :smile:

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Here's a link to James Beard's "American Cookery":

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031608566...5Fencoding=UTF8

If you read the introduction, you'll get a good sense of the writing style of the book. It has over 1500 recipes, and lots of great storytelling (probably my favorite part).

The amazon reviews are spot on, as well, and with the price I'd certainly consider it a "must have".

Here are a couple of classic "Beardisms":

Creamed asparagus:

"For some reason this used to be considered a rather dressy dish. Actually it is a waste of asparagus. Nevertheless, if it is to your taste, here is how to prepare it."

Carrots and Peas:

"This is to be feared. It can be delicious only if the carrots are young, well drained and nicely buttered, and the peas are fresh and perfectly cooked."

Supermarket chickens:

"Today's chickens are "design bred." They are taken from hatcheries to growing farms, where for nine weeks they are fed scientificallyand watched carefully so they all develop in exactly the sane way. They come to market uniform in size, uniform in color, and uniform in lack of real flavor."

Don't for a moment, however, think that there is a negative tone to the book. He is just not afraid to offer his opinions, which I find very refreshing.

Check it out!

Edited by steverino (log)

"Tell your friends all around the world, ain't no companion like a blue - eyed merle" Robert Plant

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Though I have a cookbook library of nearly 300 books, I use "Jacque and Julia Cooking at Home" and "The Best Recipe" from Cooks Illustrated very frequently. Jacque and Julia make a fantastic standing rib roast...couldn't get through Christmas without that recipe :smile:

Just a simple southern lady lost out west...

"Leave Mother in the fridge in a covered jar between bakes. No need to feed her." Jackal10

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This sort of question comes up from time to time on the Internet. Because of the birthday connection, I'll cite something I posted in 1992 about Morrison Wood's cookbooks. (It was posted to what was for many years the sole wine forum on the Internet, though more of them now exist.) The book titled With a Jug of Wine actually continues to get use in my house despite its age (Morrison Wood was a sort of cult eclectic US food writer in the 1940s and 1950s, and this particular book stayed in print for a good thirty years. Today you can get it easily on the used market, because it was so popular.) I got it as a birthday gift once from a stepmother who was a cooking professional. It also represents a useful corner of US cookbook history.

With A Jug of Wine

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