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Thread: Your Top 5 Cookbooks

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    A*O
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    Default Your Top 5 Cookbooks

    I'll put this here where the foodies hang out. My criteria for a good cook book are quick(ish), reasonably straightforward, delicious, fail safe. In no particular order:

    An Indian Housewife's Recipe Book - Laxmi Khurana
    Quick, simple authentic curries with no frills or pretention. My copy is almost falling apart with use.

    Essentials Of Classic Italian Cooking - Marcella Hazan
    Throw away all your other Italian recipe books, this is the only one you'll need.

    500 Low Carb Recipes - Dana Carpenter
    Imaginative, cheap and delicious without being preachy or weird.

    Nigella Express - Nigella Lawson of course
    All her books are great but this is the one I use most often. Quick, tasty food.

    The Book Of Jewish Food - Claudia Roden
    Who says kosher food has to be bland and boring. Great recipes from all over the world mixed with fascinating history of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities and their food traditions.

    I've got loads more cook books I love of course, but these 5 would be the ones I'd hate to lose.
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    Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
    Mexican & Latin American Cuisine - various authors
    Food & Wine 2006 Yearbook

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    I really like "Cookwise" by Shirley Corriher. I am not a fine nor knowledgeable cook. About 15 years ago, saw an episode of "Good Eats" on the Food Network in which she was featured, and enjoyed her explanations of the science behind food...e.g., don't beat batter too long or you screw up the gluten and the end product will be tough, etc., and her cookbook was mentioned. I really enjoy reading the hows and whys of ingredients coming together in her recipe explanations.

    This one I love for its comedic value and the stories. There are some good recipes within, surprisingly.

    White Trash Cooking by Ernest M. Mickler | 9780898151893 | Other Format | Barnes & Noble

    ETA, these are good ones too from chefs from my area of the States.

    http://www.amazon.com/Good-Grits-SOU...hern+boy+cooks

    http://www.amazon.com/Frank-Stitts-S...ds=frank+stitt

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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    King Arthur's Flour Cookie cook book
    Martha Stewart Cookies
    Any of the America Test Kitchen cook books
    I am a huge cookbook whore

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    It's funny, I almost never bake so any books covering cakes, cookies, desserts, etc just gather dust in this house at least. I'm a total failure as a competent wife and mother.
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    Elite Member choozen1ne's Avatar
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    The baking and cooking are a stress release for me and I kick everyone out of the kitchen when it's time for me to bake and I love reading cookbooks
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    I have tons of cookbooks. I love them. Don't always use them, but I love pouring through them. One of my favorites, is "One Bite Won't Kill You" by Ann Hodgman. I have actually read the entire book. It is hilarious. It is designed as a cookbook for kids that don't like to eat, but it is filled with yummy recipes. She has some other cookbooks, called "Beat This" and "Beat That" which purportedly have the best recipes in them -- best chocolate chip cookies, best pot roast, best guacamole, etc. They are very good recipes. THey are unexpected gems in my collection. I buy a regional cookbook whenever we take a road trip somewhere. The one I got from our trip to North Carolina -- the Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook is amazing. Yummy new-south cuisine.

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    Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion, or in my house known simply as "Stephanie".
    "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."



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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    I buy a regional cookbook whenever we take a road trip somewhere. The one I got from our trip to North Carolina -- the Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook is amazing. Yummy new-south cuisine.
    i ate so well when i was in north carolina. i didn't think to buy a cookbook though and that's a great idea. i'll look that one up.

    my faves, in no particular order:


    1. "the family meal: home cooking with ferrān adria".
    yes, el bulli/molecular cuisine ferrān adria. but these recipes are based on what he and his staff at the restaurant would cook for themselves. it's my mom's book so i've only made a few of the recipes when i'm home visiting but they've all turned out well, they're easy to play around with and substitute ingredients and he's not a total food nazi who needs to make everything from scratch either and will for instance have recipes that call for teriyaki sauce and include a recipe to make your own but also say that a good store-bought sauce works just as well.

    also, the layout and overall look of the book are gorgeous. so many pictures, every step of every recipe is illustrated, you can almost follow it without reading, like ikea assembly instructions or something.

    2. "Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi". vegetarian cookbook from a chef who's not a vegetarian. great recipes, a lot of them are easy enough to make on a weeknight and has some really good ideas. you can make entire vegetarian meals but it's also full of great ideas for side dishes for when you are having meat or fish.

    3. can't remember which one of her books it was but i first learned to make indian dishes from reading madhur jaffrey. she learned to cook late in life so she doesn't take for granted that everyone's an expert, which is especially good when you're first learning to make indian dishes.

    4. "it must've been something i ate", jeffrey steingarten. a recipe book but mostly it's a book about his love of food and his obsessive quests to find the best ingredients and the best way to make a dish. there are some great recipes but even if you aren't into cooking, as long as you love eating, this is an awesome read because no one out there writes about food and the joy of eating the way jeffrey steingarten does. i love him.

    5. "the art of simple food", alice waters. her writing style is a bit text book-y and dry but she's got some very interesting things to say about how we should eat and some great recipes, ideas and tips.
    Last edited by sputnik; August 19th, 2015 at 12:25 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by faithanne View Post
    Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion, or in my house known simply as "Stephanie".
    This is the Aussie cook's bible. Every home should have one. I agree with sput about Madhur Jaffrey's excellent Indian recipes but still go to my humble Indian Housewife for good, basic curries.

    I admit I'm a stranger to US regional cooking. Maybe I've been put off by all the cliches about cheese spray and marshmallows.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    so was i until moving to the US and experiencing US food again. you could always eat well in new york but anywhere else was a gamble, especially in the south. a lot has changed since the last time i was there as a kid in the late 80s and everything was fried and processed and really really sweet.

    i've never heard of the Indian Housewife! i'll check her out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    It's funny, I almost never bake so any books covering cakes, cookies, desserts, etc just gather dust in this house at least. I'm a total failure as a competent wife and mother.

    Wow from what I gather, looking at the cookbooks, you cook up amazing curries and pastas and your a failure? For not making cakes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    ^^^
    so was i until moving to the US and experiencing US food again. you could always eat well in new york but anywhere else was a gamble, especially in the south. a lot has changed since the last time i was there as a kid in the late 80s and everything was fried and processed and really really sweet.

    i've never heard of the Indian Housewife! i'll check her out.
    you need to go on a food tour of SF/napa. except for pizza and deli food (especially bagels), i would say that SF is at least as good as NY in a lot of ways ....

    my fave cook books -

    Joy of Cooking is my bible

    Enchanted Broccoli Forest - sounds hippy dippy but lots of good recipes

    i don't actually own any ina garten cook books, but i have copied a lot of her recipes from food network and they are quite good.
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    I have Enchanted Broccoli Forest! I love My French Kitchen and My French Market by Joanne Harris.
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    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    you need to go on a food tour of SF/napa. except for pizza and deli food (especially bagels), i would say that SF is at least as good as NY in a lot of ways ....

    my fave cook books -

    Joy of Cooking is my bible

    Enchanted Broccoli Forest - sounds hippy dippy but lots of good recipes

    i don't actually own any ina garten cook books, but i have copied a lot of her recipes from food network and they are quite good.
    oh yeah, i know SF and napa valley have had good food for ages. but since i only ever went for the first time in 2013, i had no experience of it before. just that in terms of food quality, at least the parts of north america that i've always been familiar with have definitely changed for the better in the past 20 years or so. i grew up in canada and i remember food there wasn't great either but by the time i came back for university so much had already changed and people were eating differently and you could find decent coffee and there was way more diversity in terms of restaurants and what people were eating in general.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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