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Cookbooks 2021


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4 hours ago, weinoo said:

And - it's everything you need to know!

I took a look at a bookstore and after looking through found it to be a badly written book. His writing style, the focus of the book (not really for beginners but also not for more advanced people) looks very disorganized and not worth buying 

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On 11/19/2021 at 9:32 AM, weinoo said:

Also - I can say for a fact - Katie is way cuter than Nathan M.

 

 

On 11/19/2021 at 12:39 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

But what if "a rim that is crisp, deeply caramelized, and shatters when you bite through it" is not your idea of pizza?

 

 

That's when you turn to MC!

 

23 hours ago, Honkman said:

I took a look at a bookstore and after looking through found it to be a badly written book. His writing style, the focus of the book (not really for beginners but also not for more advanced people) looks very disorganized and not worth buying 

 

I have no room for it myself, and haven't even seen it! 

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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  • 2 weeks later...
57 minutes ago, hotsaucerman said:

Anyone grab Virgilio Martinez's "The Latin Amercian Cookbook"? On paper, sounded good but it has a few really bad review marks on goodreads and I've just come to distrust most Phaidon published cookbooks tbh...

I have not purchased it but it does sound interesting.  I share your wariness with respect to Phaidon books.  Often beautiful to look at but awful to cook from.  

 

This coming Monday, there's an author event with Virgilio Martínez in conversation with Andrew Zimmern that's accessible online.  Jointly hosted by Bold Fork Books, Book Larder, Now Serving LA, Omnivore Books, and Phaidon. Register here.  

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2 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

I have not purchased it but it does sound interesting.  I share your wariness with respect to Phaidon books.  Often beautiful to look at but awful to cook from.  

 

This coming Monday, there's an author event with Virgilio Martínez in conversation with Andrew Zimmern that's accessible online.  Jointly hosted by Bold Fork Books, Book Larder, Now Serving LA, Omnivore Books, and Phaidon. Register here.  

Thank you, I have registered and hopefully will be able to attend.  Dinner at Central in Lima was one of the best meals that I’ve ever had.

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On 11/13/2021 at 3:36 PM, Anna N said:

I accidentally came across Sam Sifton‘s latest offering, No Recipe Recipes. I was quite curious as to how you write a recipe book without writing recipes. Since the Canadian Kindle price was a mere $4.99, I purchased it. How disappointing! It is filled with recipes. :laugh:

Well as if Sam Sifton writing a no-recipe recipe book  isn’t  bad enough, I just discovered that David Chang has done the same thing!

Here.
Does anyone own it? What do you think of it?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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7 hours ago, Anna N said:Does anyone own it? What do you think of it?

Yeah, I had it on preorder. It covers some good fundamentals with a few different techniques thrown in. There’s a lot of microwave usage. I listen to his podcast and since the pandemic/cooking at home and for family he’s been using it a lot. He helped develop a line of microwave dishware (Anyday) that looks good and works pretty well. I threw some of my covid stimulus at a set.

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8 hours ago, Vapre said:

Yeah, I had it on preorder.

Thanks very much for your feedback. I was not aware that he had a line of microwaveable kitchenware.
 

These days instead of looking for cooking challenges I look for kitchen hacks!  Anything to get food on the table quickly so I was quite interested in the promise of more use of the microwave and the incorporation of frozen vegetables into his dishes. 
 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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28 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Chang seems to be morphing into Gen X's Ron Popeil.

 

Microwave dishware?  I mean, aren't those just plates and bowls that most of us already have?

You just have to be my favourite curmudgeon. :smile: 

I watched a video where Chang used a microwaveable bowl to hold some raw chicken which he then stashed in the freezer ready for instant use. I’m sure he’s not the first person to come up with this concept but it was the first time I had ever seen it. It is a bit impractical unless you have unlimited freezer space for all these bpwls. But stuff like that always sets me off on thought experiments about how the idea might be adapted. 
 

 

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I remember the strong ministrations of a cookware store owner re microwave cookware, circa 1975.    She was adamant that you needed special vessels.   Of course, I bought none from her, and have found her warnings paper tigers ever since.    Common sense, not special cookware, is operative.   

eGullet member #80.

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On 11/21/2021 at 8:55 PM, FlashJack said:

Although not a cookbook, does anyone have thoughts on Stanley Tucci's Taste: My Life Through Food?

 

The Amazon 'Look Inside' is ridiculously short.


I was given it as a gift, so these comments should be hidden if Mrs.  Dr. Teeth shows up.

 

I was very unimpressed.   It’s a not terribly interesting memoir filled with a number of  basic italian recipes that would have been novel 40 years ago.

 

I’m a big fan of the author, loved both the TV show and Big Night.    There is nothing here for a cook with any experience cooking Italian food.

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On 12/5/2021 at 8:14 AM, weinoo said:

Chang seems to be morphing into Gen X's Ron Popeil.

 


That would be Kenji Lopez-Alt, who has forgotten more about pushing useless kitchen junk than David Chang will ever know.

 

On 12/4/2021 at 4:36 PM, Anna N said:

Well as if Sam Sifton writing a no-recipe recipe book  isn’t  bad enough, I just discovered that David Chang has done the same thing!

Here.
Does anyone own it? What do you think of it?


I have the Chang book.    I like it very much.   It’s an intermediate cookbook occupying the same space as “Think like a Chef,” although Chang markets it as a guide to home cooking, rather than anything chef-like.    It also has an Asian twist not present in Colicchio’s book.
 

It’s a great book for people who can do basic cooking and follow a recipe, but can’t fix something when it comes out wrong or open the fridge and just throw something together.   The average e-Gulleteer who can do all these things and already knows that brisket and chuck are great cuts may find it too basic.   It would have been a super book if I had it 20 years ago, it would have sped my learning up tremendously.   

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1 hour ago, Dr. Teeth said:

I have the Chang book.    I like it very much.

I am glad you like the book. 

 

Without waiting for a response though, I purchased the Kindle edition of the Chang book. I have been thinking about posting a review on here but I couldn’t quite find the words. Let us just say there were no sane adults in the room when this made it through the publishing process.

This is not about misplaced commas or split infinitives. it’s about clear thinking. It’s about logical organization. It’s about fonts in so many sizes and so many colours that you feel as if you are reading in a kindergarten classroom. It’s about photographs that make me look good as a photographer. 
According to Chang, a nonstick wok is a necessary piece of kitchen equipment; three eggs and half a cup of liquid will make a silky custard (for chawanmushi) when cooked in the microwave. Even the photograph of this shows something approaching an over-cooked omelet!
There is so much more that is wrong with this book in my opinion. YMMV. 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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9 hours ago, Anna N said:

I am glad you like the book. 

 

Without waiting for a response though, I purchased the Kindle edition of the Chang book. I have been thinking about posting a review on here but I couldn’t quite find the words. Let us just say there were no sane adults in the room when this made it through the publishing process.

This is not about misplaced commas or split infinitives. it’s about clear thinking. It’s about logical organization. It’s about fonts in so many sizes and so many colours that you feel as if you are reading in a kindergarten classroom. It’s about photographs that make me look good as a photographer. 
According to Chang, a nonstick wok is a necessary piece of kitchen equipment; three eggs and half a cup of liquid will make a silky custard (for chawanmushi) when cooked in the microwave. Even the photograph of this shows something approaching an over-cooked omelet!
There is so much more that is wrong with this book in my opinion. YMMV. 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Did they omit the Momofuku ranch?

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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7 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Did they omit the Momofuku ranch?

I do not remember the details of the ranch dressing from Momofuku. These are the ingredients in this book for a ranch dressing:

 

“In a medium bowl, combine around 12 ounces of grated cheddar cheese (just buy a bag of the pre-grated stuff),combine a couple of spoonfuls of Kewpie mayo, and a little less than that of cream cheese. Add a 4-ounce jar of pimentos, liquid and all, plus a few cracks of black pepper.

….

Add a squeeze of a chile sauce like Sriracha and a little balancing hit of sugar/honey/agave syrup.”

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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17 hours ago, Anna N said:

I am glad you like the book. 

 

Without waiting for a response though, I purchased the Kindle edition of the Chang book. I have been thinking about posting a review on here but I couldn’t quite find the words. Let us just say there were no sane adults in the room when this made it through the publishing process.

This is not about misplaced commas or split infinitives. it’s about clear thinking. It’s about logical organization. It’s about fonts in so many sizes and so many colours that you feel as if you are reading in a kindergarten classroom. It’s about photographs that make me look good as a photographer. 
According to Chang, a nonstick wok is a necessary piece of kitchen equipment; three eggs and half a cup of liquid will make a silky custard (for chawanmushi) when cooked in the microwave. Even the photograph of this shows something approaching an over-cooked omelet!
There is so much more that is wrong with this book in my opinion. YMMV. 

 
 

I’m a little over a third of the way through the Kindle version and I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. I had read, and deleted, the Kindle sample primarily because of the organizational and formatting issues you mention. I bought it anyway because I hoped the content would overcome that, but it just hasn’t clicked with me. 

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6 hours ago, Anna N said:

I do not remember the details of the ranch dressing from Momofuku. These are the ingredients in this book for a ranch dressing:

 

“In a medium bowl, combine around 12 ounces of grated cheddar cheese (just buy a bag of the pre-grated stuff),combine a couple of spoonfuls of Kewpie mayo, and a little less than that of cream cheese. Add a 4-ounce jar of pimentos, liquid and all, plus a few cracks of black pepper.

….

Add a squeeze of a chile sauce like Sriracha and a little balancing hit of sugar/honey/agave syrup.”

 

Sad.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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7 hours ago, Anna N said:

I do not remember the details of the ranch dressing from Momofuku. These are the ingredients in this book for a ranch dressing:

 

“In a medium bowl, combine around 12 ounces of grated cheddar cheese (just buy a bag of the pre-grated stuff),combine a couple of spoonfuls of Kewpie mayo, and a little less than that of cream cheese. Add a 4-ounce jar of pimentos, liquid and all, plus a few cracks of black pepper.

….

Add a squeeze of a chile sauce like Sriracha and a little balancing hit of sugar/honey/agave syrup.”

The ubiquitous Momofuku Ranch Dressing is all over the net. It does not include cheddar cheese, which seems like a weird ingredient for ranch. It does use Kewpie, and it also calls for pickled ramps, which sounds great but certainly isn't common on grocery store shelves here in CA if anywhere. Maybe you are supposed to make your own, also easier said than done here where ramps do not grow. Ranch dressing isn't in my DNA, and I can't abide Kewpie mayo, so I can't vouch for Chang's recipe. The book sounds a mess.

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I haven't bought a cookbook in years, even though I had a large collection. When we moved from Colorado to México I culled the collection down to the absolute faves. So when a friend, whose cooking abilities I respect, recommended a book I bought it. Cookwise: Throw it Together, by Christopher Kimball. I know a lot of people have had "issues" with him, and I admit I've been one of them at times, but this cookbook is worth looking at. The concept is to use a minimum of ingredients (and how many of us are fed up with the "5 ingredients or less" recipes) which are high flavor and contribute intensity to an otherwise simple recipe. Capers, anchovies, fish sauce, garlic (lots), red pepper flakes, oyster sauce, chile garlic sauce--a lot of bang for the buck, the point being that if you're only using a few ingredients they have to pull their weight. The recipes I've made have been tasty and straightforward, well flavored and surprisingly good. Not all of them, of course, but of the ones I've tried only one was underwhelming. The sections, Chicken, Pasta, Seafood, etc., are divided by technique--steamed, charred and boiled (green beans--wonderful), seasoned under the skin (whole chicken), tray bake (aka sheet pan dinner). None of them require long cooking times. I've been impressed. All recipes make 4 servings, except for some of the pastas which serve 4-6. 

 

As usual, your mileage may vary. But it works for me. Doesn't mean I also don't want to make more labor-intensive meals, but sometimes I follow the advice of the book--throw it together.
 

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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37 minutes ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

As usual, your mileage may vary.

Thanks. I am not a fan either but you did pique my curiosity. I was astounded at how much of the book is available in the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. For a time I thought I was going to be able to read the whole book!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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