"Must Have" Cookbooks?

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Joined Aug 5, 2010
I never liked Joy of Cooking either. I collect cookbooks and just never liked that one!
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
Me either. I had that book gave it away.  I am starting a cookbook collection but do not feel inspired to include that tittle.  I do like the Cook's Illustrated books, especially the New Best. 
 
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Joined May 17, 2010
Something to seriously consider is not only cookbooks, but reference books. 

Food Lover's Companion

The Flavor Bible-Dornenburg/Page

On Food And Cooking-McGee

Ratio-Ruhlman

Gastronomique

Focusing on specific techniques also helps

All About Braising-Molly Stevens

Roasting-Barbara Kafta

Sauces-Peterson

Baking Illustrated

Cooking Regions:

The Cooking Of Southwest France-Wolfert

Culinaria Series

The Silver Spoon-Italian

!080 Recipes-Spanish

The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

The Heritage Of Southern Cooking--Glenn

The reason for having "must have" cookbooks is personal only to you. What do you want to cook? What are you into cooking right now? I consider my cookbooks my "research library"(200+ cookbooks and another 100 nonfiction books I've read). I'm not looking for specific recipes (unless I'm baking), I'm looking for ideas to tweek and expand on, get ideas from. If you're buying it and it's not functional, it's not a must have. 
 
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Joined May 17, 2010
Joy of Cooking isn't a bad cookbook. I can't say for the actual cooking section, but the baking part of the book is very good. Great recipes that work. It's a standard for a reason.
 
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Joined May 17, 2010
the encyclopedia of cajun and creole cuisine by john folse is a great introduction to louisiana cuisine
 
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Joined Sep 19, 2010
Regarding halmstad comment about reference books, these are the books I keep going back to:

On Food and Cooking - Harold McGee

Food Lover's Companion - Sharon & Ron Herbst

Ratio - Michael Ruhlman

Culinary Artistry - Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2009
Joy of Cooking isn't a bad cookbook. I can't say for the actual cooking section, but the baking part of the book is very good. Great recipes that work. It's a standard for a reason.

I am not a fan of that book either. I prefer my books with weight measurements
 
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Joined Feb 25, 2011
Johnny Iuzzini's Dessert Fourplay, the only dessert book I bought.
 
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Joined Feb 25, 2011
Yes, I have. I transformed strawberry in several ways-- from leather to sauce to powder. The last one I tried was fromage blanc panna cotta. It was easy and looked expensive.
 
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Creamy, cheesy, and a little bit tangy,  but it went well with other components on top-- crispy almond phyllo and candied raspberry. If you buy the book, you can make homemade fromage blanc. I used Emeril Lagasse's recipe.
 
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Joined Feb 25, 2011
On Joy of Cooking:

It's a good reference if you want to deconstruct something. hehehehehe
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
Creamy, cheesy, and a little bit tangy,  but it went well with other components on top-- crispy almond phyllo and candied raspberry. If you buy the book, you can make homemade fromage blanc. I used Emeril Lagasse's recipe.
Oh wow, I can't wait to try. It's a gorgeous book. I thought the recipes were going to be more than I can handle but you make it sound easier than I thought.  Thanks.
 

phatch

Moderator
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I like the Joy of Cooking. I don't know that I cook from it a lot. I find it the sort of book that provides a good baseline for a particular recipe and the required techniques. From there I'lll look at more specific cookbooks and recipes using the JoC as a jumping off point but to sort of keep me on track.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
In my experience with Joy, the thing I disliked is many times I was referred to other recipes to complete the recipe I was making.  When I read a recipe, I don't want to flip through pages to read another recipe, with my wet hands.  Also, the baking section does not include weights.
 

phatch

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That's pretty common in classic cuisine. If you make those required parts first, then proceed, it all works out fine without flipping with wet hands.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
That's a good idea. Never thought to do that.  I do have books which refer to other recipes but they are  usually either pie crusts or sauces.  If I can remember correctly, I think Joy does that more often.  

I have heard good things about the baking section in Joy but I'm put-off by the lack of weight measurements.
 
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Joined Feb 18, 2011
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Alton Brown's series of cook books. Given, they were my first set of books, so maybe I have a soft spot for them, but they are very in depth and organized by procedure rather than food item/ingredient. For my money, they are some of the best around.
 

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