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TDG: The Babbo Cookbook


Liza
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Of the 35 cookbooks I picked up on my month long trip to the US, Babbo is by far the most gorgeous and I want to make practically everything in the book!

The problem I have is almost none of the recipes can be made with out a trip to grocery and sometimes more than one. Most of the meats and even some of the fish I have no access to here in Japan and honestly I would have a hard time finding back in Cleveland as well.

This isn't going to stop me from trying it though, I will just have to come up good susbstitutions.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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It is a very good book and truely does inspire, but it is not without its faults. I'll list some problems with specific recipes when I'm near my copy. Also, I do not care for reviews that are so closely coupled with invitations to buy the reviewed item. This can predispose the reviewer to write positively if they are not independent, or it can lead to editorial adverse selection.

http://www.timeoutny.com/eatout/349/349.eat.feat.html

edit: typo

Edited by Orik (log)
M
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I do have to agree that, compared to other FN "star" chefs, Mario does get it onto the plate and in "real time". I guess I'm just a bit gun-shy of the applause that is metted out for every hiccup made by some of these "stars" and another cookbook by one doesn't quite make me want to run out to Barnes & Noble.

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Also, I do not care for reviews that are so closely coupled with invitations to buy the reviewed item. This can predispose the reviewer to write positively if they are not independent, or it can lead to editorial adverse selection. 

http://www.timeoutny.com/eatout/349/349.eat.feat.html

edit: typo

Good point, although I would point out that I wrote this review for my own site but felt it might be suitable for TDG so offered it for publication here first.

The review reflects my genuine enthusiasm for the book. I am more motivated to write about something I like than dislike, so you should expect more positive stuff from me in the future, appearing either on TDG or my own site ("A Return To Cooking" coming soon).

However, as eGullet.com (not me) gets some money each time someone clicks through to Amazon and buys something, there is certainly a potential conflict of interest for the site at least. All I would say is that in my opinion it would not be worth the longterm loss of credibility for the small amount of revenue it might generate in the shorterm.

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The review reflects my genuine enthusiasm for the book. I am more motivated to write about something I like than dislike, so you should expect more positive stuff from me in the future, appearing either on TDG or my own site ("A Return To Cooking" coming soon).

However, as eGullet.com (not me) gets some money each time someone clicks through to Amazon and buys something, there is certainly a potential conflict of interest for the site at least.  All I would say is that in my opinion it would not be worth the longterm loss of credibility for the small amount of revenue it might generate in the shorterm.

Andy, I did not mean to doubt your honesty or impartiality in any way, nor do I think the principals of this site would knowingly skew results for their own benefit. However, in similar settings that I've had the chance to analyze in the past, adverse selection comes about almost unknowingly.

M
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Thanks for the comments Orik. Can you clarify what you mean by "adverse selection" ?

Examples of adverse selection:

- A newspaper article tells you that 5% of 1999 Sumaru SUVs are lemons. You buy 20 of them from current owners and it turns out that 15% are actually lemons. [1]

- People who face greater risks are more likely to buy life insurance.

- Positive reviews are likely to increase sales, therefore making the reviewed item more popular, causing more people to read the reviews, making the reviewer more popular.

[1] This also has an element of moral hazard, as some owners may knowingly hide facts known to them, rather than just being predisposed their under-performing veichle without knowing it has serious problems.

M
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  • 5 weeks later...

Made the Braised Short Ribs along with some basic polenta last night. The short ribs took about 20 minutes of attention, then 2 hours in the oven. Perfect for a cold winter night.

Also made the cocoa/chocolate/hazelnut cookies (crisp, yet meltingly tender) and the fig/walnut biscotti (adult fig newtons?). About 13 happy recipients!

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  • 4 years later...
Great review. I do think this is one of the most appealing books that I have both aesthetically and culinarily. There is a beautiful glossy picture for almost every recipe in the book. It is an enjoyable read (even my wife couldn't help but flip through it) and as Andy said you could absolutely feel how much Batali loves what he does and how much passion he has for it. Recipes I've tried so far include beef cheek ravioli, black pepper pasta, gnochi with ox tail ragu, Pappardelle bolognese, potato encrusted tuna steak, polenta short-bred cookies, walnut cookies-- I think that's all so far. Each and every recipe worked perfectly and I am looking forward to trying more "adventurous" ones such as the lamb tartar with quail egg and to make my own duck brasiole (sp?) or Guanciale. what did anyone else try (especially some of the more exotic ones)?

Keep in mind that the recipes in the cookbook are not the same as what you'd get from the restaurant. Like most chef books, this book was mainly written and produced by the publishing company. The publishing company sent in people who tasted and observed the dishes, and then went back to their HQ to try to recreate the dish for the home kitchen. So, some of the proportions are off and ingredients are missing.

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  • 1 month later...

I have only recently begun to amass a decent collection of cookbooks, and I have to say that after owning it for only ten hours or so, the Babbo cookbook is a real page-turner. I spent most of the afternoon reading it like I would read a novel...there is a lot of exciting content and I think the thing I appreciate about it most are the little sections on infusing oils, pastes, etc. It will definitely inspire a themed dinner at my house in the near future. Also, I'm just really, really glad that my gastric bypass gives me some level of "protection", because this would normally be one very dangerous resource for me. :biggrin:

Not sure what I'll try first, but as much as I enjoyed the sweetbreads when I dined at Babbo, that seems like a logical beginning....

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read the Babbo book (quite good) and made the oxtail ragu, it was smashing. I served it with pasta instead of gnocchi for my kids at home.

I don't care for FN to much anymore. But, Mario to me still has chops.

-Jimmy

Typos are Copyrighted @

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i bought my first cookbook today (les halles cookbook) and i am really excited with it.

is the babbo cookbook a good next purchase?

Well, obviously a few questions are necessary... How experienced are you? I would say that there are a lot of fairly simple recipes in Babbo, but a lot of them depend on your willingness to seek out tough ingredients and prepare pasta.

Edited by MikeHartnett (log)
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i bought my first cookbook today (les halles cookbook) and i am really excited with it.

is the babbo cookbook a good next purchase?

If you are collecting restaurant cookbooks, not a bad choice. If you are creating a library, or just starting to cook, a more comprehensive book is in order. There are some threads on this subject.

here is one

Good luck - and wait until they number in the 100's (or 1000's!)

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i know my way in the kitchen, i can cook almost everything if i see someone doing it, and have the right equipment.

i can outcook anyone that i know, and i on thursday i have my first trial run in a restaurant. along with my hospitality management degree, i am doing some kitchen work in the uni to get a qualification in cooking, teachers-chefs there say that i dont need it, as i am really good.

the reason that i asked if babbo is a good book, is that the restaurant i am hopefully going to be working is an italian one (even though they dont just stick to italian, but you get my drift).

i already got hestons in search of perfection books, as i am a big fan on his cooking.

i bought bourdain's book as i am a fan of....his personality from what i can see on his tvshows(and i got it for dead cheap as well)

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As a home cook I find most of the recipes to be very approachable. The one thing that has become as common in my fridge as ketchup or pickle relish is the chickpea topping for Mario's "Ceci Bruschetta". It is undoubtedly the "undisputed king" of tasty veggie snacks.

Then yesterday I got Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast in the mail, but that is a whole other topic....... :smile:

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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