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Favorite Cookbook to NOT Cook From


weinoo
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So, I've got a boatload of cookbooks. Some I cook from, some I cook with, some I read, some I don't.

What cookbooks do you have that you won't be using as recipe guides, but that you like to read and/or look at the pictures?

I'll start with a newer addition to my collection:

NOMA Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine. It's a stunning book, but I think I might have trouble finding many of the ingredients being used.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I'd have to say Morimoto's book. It is pure food porn, but the recipes are largely unrealistic for the average home cook.

Dan

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

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I'd love that NOMA book, too....

Two for me, and they're very different: Diana Kennedy's Oaxaca al Gusto and Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook. Ingredient access for Kennedy; time, equipment, ingredients, and a willing audience for Alinea.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The French Laundry Cookbook, since I am sadly lacking a vacuum sealer, immersion circulator, and army of knife wielding sous chefs.

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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The French Laundry Cookbook, since I am sadly lacking a vacuum sealer, immersion circulator, and army of knife wielding sous chefs.

I'm pretty sure there isn't a single recipe in the French Laundry cookbook that calls for a vacuum sealer or an immersion circulator. Are you maybe thinking of Under Pressure?

I second the Noma book, but since the thread title is favorite cookbook, I think I have to go with the Fat Duck Cookbook, for the sheer volume of useful information, as well as context surrounding the individual recipes. I may never cook a full Fat Duck dish, but I've already used the information provided in the book in my own preparations. It stands out as a model of what a modernist cuisine cookbook should look like.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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For me, The French Laundry Cookbook certainly fits that description. I do love looking through it, and reading it, but most of the recipes seem quite complicated and expensive.

I was thinking, however, maybe the croutons...

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I would agree that the French Laundry Cookbook is probably one of my favorite books to look at, yet least favorite to cook from. The photographs are gorgeous and the recipes intriguing, yet I doubt I have the patience to 1) procure the exact products needed, 2) buy any equipment needed for a dish that I don't already own, 3) care to go to the depths and lengths it would take to plate and garnish the dishes.

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Eric Ripert's "On The Line". It was a good read about the inside workings and history of Le Bernardin, and the photography and grapics are stunning. The food *sounds* delicious, but like the Keller books, it's full of multi-step preparations and uncommon ingredients that aren't doable for a home cook. I remember looking a a picture of one of the desserts, and thinking I'd make it for a friend's birthday. Then I read the 5 different sub-recipes (each of which took several hours) to get to the final assembly, and saw the list of ingredients that are probably only available through commercial sources and thought "hmmmmmm, brownies would be good !"

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

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Ad Hoc. I don't have access to a lot of the ingredients required for the recipes; especially the cuts of meat. I hope to cook from it some day, though.

What!! I love Ad Hoc, it's probably my most used cookbok, and I don't have trouble finding most of the ingredients, even in my small city. Try some of the soups or side dishes if you can't find the meats. Honestly, I find some of the meat preparations a bit underwhelming, but side dishes like the scallion potato cakes, the polenta or the Nantes carrot stew undergo a complete transformation.

I'm surprised that people are also offput by the French Laundry cookbook. For those who have the patience, the recipes are thoroughly well written and verryy rewarding. A bunch ingredients may be hard to find, but rarely is an obscure piece of equipment called for. You could also just take components and use them in your own dishes. The 'quick' sauces and the herb oils are amazing.

My favorite cookbook not to cook from: Under Pressure, and Alinea.

Alinea: Crazy imaginative recipes that are fun to read about. I would cook more of them, but the dishes are all so small. I don't have much interest in cooking a recipe that will be finished in two bites. I would also appreciate a lot more detail in the instructions since all the recipes are so obscure and the photographs are not very helpful. Many of the recipes also use equipment and ingredients that I don't have (yet!)

I have made Beef: Elements of Root Beer, and Pork: Sage, Cornbread and Grapefruit.

The elements of root beer dish was absolutely amazing. The pork was also very good, but a little out there for me.

Under Pressure: I can't really figure out the instructions, and my city is too small to have most of the ingredients. There are some good looking poultry dishes in there though that I'll eventually get through. I've made the Squab with Piquillo Peppers and Date Puree (except I used chicken), that was realllllllllllllllly good.

Edited by andrewk512 (log)
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Kitcho - Japan's Ultimate Dining Experience. The only "recipe" is an in-depth description for making dashi. Worth owning if you're into kaiseki cuisine, and a fine companion to Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh.

Monterey Bay area

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The French Laundry Cookbook, since I am sadly lacking a vacuum sealer, immersion circulator, and army of knife wielding sous chefs.

His blini recipe is easy and good if you can find some caviar :wink: And, I have done his skate recipe with a very nice mustard sauce. No special equipment needed.

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I live in Japan in a very isolated village.

I don't have any trouble finding ingredients for washoku in the near by supermarkets.

My biggest challenge is to cook anything else. I remember watching Julie and Julia and thinking that trying to replicate her stunt would be almost impossible.

For the most difficult book, I would vote for the Fat Duck. Beautiful book, but I simply don't have the kitchen or ingredients.

I guess that living in a big city is easier for the cosmopolitan foodie.

My blog about food in Japan

Foodie Topography

www.foodietopography.com

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The other books I look at all the time but haven't baked anything from are "A Modernest View of Plated Desserts" and "A Neoclassical View of Plated Desserts." Everything is sooo pretty, but lots and lots of little fiddly steps...I have used some of the flavor combinations and plating ideas though...

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I would say honestly the only book I own that I own that I haven't made something out of was Susur: a culinary life.

I own that book - it's a wonderful book but I have never cooked from it and doubt if I ever will. Unlike you, Susur has some company in my won't cook list- "Noma" as I said in an earlier thread and Heston Blumenthal's beautiful book.

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