"Must Have" Cookbooks?

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by tylerm713, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. amdona

    amdona

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    I never liked Joy of Cooking either. I collect cookbooks and just never liked that one!
     
  2. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    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. 
     
  3. halmstad

    halmstad

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    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. 
     
  4. halmstad

    halmstad

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    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.
     
  5. halmstad

    halmstad

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    the encyclopedia of cajun and creole cuisine by john folse is a great introduction to louisiana cuisine
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  6. cinnamongirl

    cinnamongirl

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    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
     
  7. missyjean

    missyjean

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    I am not a fan of that book either. I prefer my books with weight measurements
     
  8. transchef

    transchef

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    Johnny Iuzzini's Dessert Fourplay, the only dessert book I bought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  9. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    I've been looking at that book. Have you tried any of the recipes?
     
  10. transchef

    transchef

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    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.
     
  11. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    It sounds great.  How did it taste?
     
  12. transchef

    transchef

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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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
    sweetie pie likes this.
  13. transchef

    transchef

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    On Joy of Cooking:

    It's a good reference if you want to deconstruct something. hehehehehe
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  14. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    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.
     
  15. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    :D
     
  16. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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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.
     
  17. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    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.
     
  18. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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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.
     
  19. sweetie pie

    sweetie pie

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    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.
     
  20. nlpavalko

    nlpavalko

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    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.