Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Hidden Treasures and All Stars in your collection

Recommended Posts

Good evening!

I have a couple of questions for everyone regarding their cookbook collections. What are the hidden treasures and all stars in your collection? The hidden treasures are the small books nobody has ever heard about, but are simply amazing. All stars are the favorites and game changers that have opened your eyes to new possibilities.

For Me

Hidden Treasure:

Three Bowls: Its an interesting book written at a Zen Buddhist monastery. The recipes are an eclectic mix of Japanese and American cuisines. It also has stories and lessons about Zen Buddhism and their philosophy on food.

All Stars

Any book by Denis Cotter of Cafe Paradiso. My wife and I came across Cafe Paradiso by happy accident during a bike trip through Ireland. Denis Cotter shows that vegetarian food does not have to be ruffage and boring. His recipes are sophisticated with layers of flavor and complexity. I always cook from these books when we have company over and always get rave reviews.

King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. This is the book that opened my eyes to the possibilities of using variety grains when I bake. For example, I use a small amount of oat flour whenever I make cookies, scones, and cakes.

What is on your list?


Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Link to post
Share on other sites


I saw a post on another thread about The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Hearnley Whittingstall which got stuck in the back of my mind. Then one day when I was in a book store I saw the book and ended up sitting there for more than an hour reading it. This book is just incredible: so full of food for thought, information, recipes, techniques, philosophy, etc. that it makes your head hurt. I do not think that it would be an exaggeration to say that this book has changed my life.

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee is a book I acquired last summer when I attended an advanced boot camp program at the Culinary Institute of America. This is the book I have longed for many, many years but (foolishly) didn't know was out there. McGee is the number one food chemistry guru who can answer all the questions you can think of - he has influenced the lives and cooking of many a famous chef. For example, Heston Blumenthal gives McGee credit for getting him interested in cooking early on. This is a book you can read from cover to cover and then read or refer to again and again. Thank you Mr. McGee, you too changed my life. :biggrin::biggrin:


Ices: Sorbets, Granitas, Sherbets, and More by Sunil Vijayackar and Richard Jung: if you love concocting wonderful frozen treats all year long, whether for an intermezzo or simply for everyday enjoyment, this is a wonderful little book. I am not much for following recipes - mostly I use them for suggestion and guidance. This little book has tons of great ideas and interesting combos for frozen palate pleazers. :biggrin::biggrin:

I've got one body and one life, I'm going to take care of them.

I'm blogging as the Fabulous Food Fanatic here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By Rushina
      What would you like to be included in a cookbook you classify as a "good cookbook"?
    • By Multiwagon
      Other than the three written by Michael Ruhlman, which I have read and loved, what other books are out there that are about cooking, but not cookbooks?
    • By liuzhou
      Yesterday, an old friend sent me a picture of her family dinner, which she prepared. She was never much of a cook, so I was a bit surprised. It's the first I've seen her cook in 25 years. Here is the spread.

      I immediately zoomed in on one dish - the okra.

      For the first 20-odd years I lived in China, I never saw okra - no one knew what it was. I managed to find its Chinese name ( 秋葵 - qiū kuí) in a scientific dictionary, but that didn't help. I just got the same blank looks.
      Then about 3 years ago, it started to creep into a few supermarkets. At first, they stocked the biggest pods they could find - stringy and inedible - but they worked it out eventually. Now okra is everywhere.

      I cook okra often, but have never seen it served in China before (had it down the road in Vietnam, though) and there are zero recipes in any of my Chinese language cookbooks. So, I did the sensible thing and asked my friend how she prepared it. Here is her method.
      1. First bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the washed okra and boil for two minutes. Drain.

      2. Top and tail the pods. Her technique for that is interesting.

      3. Finely mince garlic, ginger, red chilli and green onion in equal quantities. Heat oil and pour over the prepared garlic mix. Add a little soy sauce.

      4. Place garlic mix over the okra and serve.
      When I heard step one, I thought she was merely blanching the vegetable, but she assures me that is all the cooking it gets or needs, but she did say she doesn't like it too soft.

      Also, I should have mentioned that she is from Hunan province so the red chilli is inevitable.
      Anyway, I plan to make this tomorrow. I'm not convinced, but we'll see.
      to be continued
    • By missdipsy
      Two of my family members are pescetarian, one of whom is my picky daughter who only likes a few types of fish cooked in very specific ways so to all intents and purposes is mostly vegetarian. Many Chinese soup recipes involve meat or fish, or at least meat broth, so I'd love to find a few more recipes that would suit my whole family (I also don't eat much pork as it doesn't always agree with me, and a lot of soups involve pork so this is also for my benefit!). Vegetarian would be best, or pescetarian soups that are not obviously seafood based (I could get away with sneaking a small amount of dried shrimp in, for instance, but not much more than that!).
      Any kind of soup will do, although I'd particularly like some simple recipes that could be served alongside a multi-dish meal. But I'm always interested in new recipes so any good soup recipes would be welcome!
      Any suggestions?
    • By OliverB
      I just received a copy of "The Cook's Book - Concise Edition" edited by Jill Norman, and now I'm curious, what's the difference to the full edition? Supposedly it has 648 pages compared to 496 in this edition, and it appears to be much larger in size if the info on us.dk.com is correct. Other than that I can't find any info what the difference might be. It's a neat book with lots of photos about techniques etc, and lots of recipes. As with any DK book production values are high.
      If the contents are the same, I'm happy with the smaller version, but I'd really like to know what I might be missing on those 150 or so pages. If it's just filler, I don't care. If it's some fantastic recipes, I do care....
      Anybody here know both editions? Google was so far of no help. Lots of the full edition are to be had used as well, I'd be happy giving this one as a gift and ordering the full edition, if it's worth it.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...