Some of Your Favorite Cookbooks
Right now Philadelphia is hosting the 22nd Book and the Cook event that pairs cookbook authors with local restaurants. In past years, the event has brought Philadelphia such food stars as the late Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, Ming Tsai and many more.
So I thought it would be fun to learn more about YOUR favorite cookbook authors and YOUR favorite cookbooks. I am a big collector of cookbooks but like many home cooks, I don't use them as much as I would like to.
I refer to recipes a lot for ideas, but when it comes time to put together a meal during the week, I usually come up with something on the fly or fall back on one of my old standards. This is something I'm hoping this blog will get me away from doing. By having to attempt and write about new recipes, I'm forcing myself to come up with new ideas and techniques.
What Are Some of My Favorite Cookbooks?
Wow, this is a tough question since I have so many that I love to just read and get ideas from. I do, however, look for certain essentials like:
- Is the book easy to navigate?
- Are the recipes written for a home cook?
- Can I make these recipes by myself or do a need a team of assistants to prep the meal?
- Are the ingredients readily available or am I going to have to go several specialty markets to find what I need?
- Do the recipes appeal to me? By this I mean, would I want to make them for my family and friends?
- How much prep is involved and how long will it take to prep and prepare each recipe?
- Do the recipes make sense? Are the descriptions clear and accurate?
- How are the photos and illustrations?
These are some of the questions I ask myself before spending the bucks on a new cookbook but to be honest, sometimes I just look at the cover and say, "This looks interesting. I just have to have this book."
So to answer my own question, I learned to cook with The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins and still refer back to it from time to time. It is a great reference book when you don't know what to make but you have a bunch of ingredients.
I also refer to any of the Marcella Hazan's Italian cookbooks especially Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. If it's Italian that I'm cooking, I'm sure I can find what I need to know in here.
There's another cookbook that's been around for a while but is still available called Incredible Cuisine by Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier from the PBS cooking series. Every recipe I've made from this cookbook has been great. Simple, easy to follow, available ingredients and something I would be happy with if I were served at a restaurant.
So those are a few of my favorites. What about you?
Who are your favorite cookbook authors?
Which cookbooks did they write that you really like? Why?
What is your favorite recipe from those cookbooks?