Cook books.

Cook books.

Postby Wohoki » Wed May 31, 2006 1:44 pm

I have a nasty habit of buying cook-books. I wondered if it would interest anyone to post a top five recommendations, and one "don't waste your cash". I'll post mine sometime this afternoon, when I've had a look at my book shelf and a glass or two.


(The winner gets a copy of "Why men with beards should be locked out of the kitchen", by AWT.)

PS. I have a beard myself, I just fancy getting locked out of the kitchen every once in a while.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Wed May 31, 2006 2:21 pm

Good idea Wohoki,

I've taken five that I use more than most, but I use them all so I cant post one to avoid.

Prue Leith's Cookery bible
Elizabeth David Classics
Anything by HFW
Ishmail Merchant's Indian Cuisine (the film producer of Merchant Ivory fame) he gives a different slant to Indian cooking.
Good Housekeeping Cookery Book (had my copy over 40 years, it has a great game pie recipe)

Jen
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Postby Rik vonTrense » Wed May 31, 2006 3:03 pm

When I was growing up we only had two pemanent books in the house...

The family bible and a huge copy of Mrs. Beetons which was bigger than the bible.

By the time I was seven I knew how to lay a silver service for a table of 12.


.
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Postby moggy » Wed May 31, 2006 3:06 pm

Bero Baking Book (cost a grand total of �1.50 get it from their website)
River Cottage Meat Book
Indian Vegetarian Cooking Sumana Ray - Loads of dishes you aren't likely to find in the local takeaway
A new one that I have just got is
Preserved : Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Foreword), Nick Sandler, Johnny Acton
Oh and dare I mention another Hugh book - a cook on the wild side

As for one not to bother with, I tend to get rid of those to charity shops or car boot sales, so difficult to say
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Postby vinner » Wed May 31, 2006 3:09 pm

Wow, this is a tough one. I colllect cookbooks as well, some signed by the author/chef. If you asked for 15 top books, it would have been easier.

Here's my attempt to cull the pack

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child (and signed by the late great lady)

The French Laundry Cookbook, by Thomas Keller (his veal stock reduction is the end-all be-all.)

Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Cooking (before he got thin)

Texas on the Halfshell, by Paul Brittain ( a collection of classics)

Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen, by Rick Bayless (who would've thunk a Chicago resaurant would be my favorite for Mexican food?)

and, as my kitchen bible, The Professional Chef, byt the Culinary Institute of America
" To be the stewards of what we have been given, to reap what we sow, to enjoy the harmony of it all.

me
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Postby moggy » Wed May 31, 2006 3:30 pm

vinner wrote:and, as my kitchen bible, The Professional Chef, byt the Culinary Institute of America


Ah, yes I can second that one, my only complaint is that it is a bit to big an heavy for using in the kitchen, great for reading up on techniques though
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Postby moggy » Wed May 31, 2006 3:41 pm

there is an interesting site here http://www.free-recipes.co.uk/
which has loads of complete cookery books to download for free, some of them are electronic versions of classics. I've not looked at that many, but for those addicts you may want to take a peek
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Postby Wohoki » Wed May 31, 2006 4:08 pm

Mine, having had a glass or two :D

Tom Keller: The French Laundry Cook Book. Read this and die of shame, anything you do in the kitchen will always be second best after this, but read it all the same. I take it to bed some nights, not to read, but just to hold. (Bouchon is as good, but not as original or cuddly, see below)

Anthony Bourdain: The Les Halles Cookbook. Good, solid French Bistro food, fun to read and easy to follow (if you don't mind the author calling you a dipsh#t.) Anyone can cook the recipes in this book, and they will work. Great book, and very impressive food that will scare your family and friends when you serve it.

Madhur Jaffrey: Indian Vegetarian Cookery. Cook better take-away food than the take-away, just learn how to do a bit of tandoori to serve on the side.

Joint fourth are HFW and Nigel Slater, both inspirational in their own way, but neither better than the other. Appetite and the River Cottage Cook Book are essential.

Elizabeth David, because I love her, and I wouldn't know anything if I hadn't read her first.



No-one else has stated a "don't buy", but I will:

DELIA SMITH.

Dull, recycled Marks-and-Spencer cooking for the numb-brained.
Last edited by Wohoki on Wed May 31, 2006 4:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Wed May 31, 2006 4:09 pm

I suppose, in truth, my number one cook book these days is the web. I had a hankering to make King Ranch chicken and green rice the other day, a dish I ate decades ago just once and never forgot it. Lo and behold, there it is on the net and a well remembered taste was recaptured. Didn't realize there really is a King Ranch

Jen

Poor Delia, how could you.........!
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Postby Wohoki » Wed May 31, 2006 4:29 pm

Easily. Dreadful woman.



And I forgot Keith Floyd, the man who first inspired me to pick up a pan.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Wed May 31, 2006 5:07 pm

Yes I'd forgotten Keith, great French country recipes, green lentil soup to die for.

The Russian cook book was one I gave to the village fete. As if they hadn't had enough to contend with throughout their history and they have to eat like this! Emigrate emigrate!
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Postby Wohoki » Wed May 31, 2006 5:09 pm

:lol:


Keith Floyd was the first person I heard say "Buy what looks best, cook it as simply as possible, and appologise if it tastes like sh#t." A great man.
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Postby Wohoki » Wed May 31, 2006 6:03 pm

And Jenny, you are right to mention Prue, I consult the Bible several times a week. It's a great work, but it's so much a part of my kitchen that I'd forgotten.
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Postby vinner » Wed May 31, 2006 6:19 pm

Jen, ironic that you mention King Ranch Chicken. It was the rave here in Texas at pot luck dinners in the 60's (I was a kid then). Now I hunt on the King Ranch (the original one in Texas.... they now have holdings all over South America as well.)
" To be the stewards of what we have been given, to reap what we sow, to enjoy the harmony of it all.

me
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Postby jenny_haddow » Wed May 31, 2006 6:27 pm

Vinner
It was in the 60's that I ate it when Britain was emerging from the dark ages of post war privation and Chicken Supreme etc hit the kitchen front. At the time I thought K Ranch chicken was the best thing I'd ever tasted, it probably was then, very different and a total comfort food. When I cooked it again 4 decades later it brought it all back. It's still good and will feed the 5000.

Jen

Pru is a winner for me, whatever I want it's usually there. Her recipe for waffles, magic. Reminiscent of Murtabak
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