Cookbooks

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seeahill
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Cookbooks

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:30 am

I just ordered another one of these sons of bitches. I must have two dozen of them. And I hardly ever use the ones I have, so why do I buy another one? I'm thinking it's a procrastination deal. Like, "I have to sharpen all my pencils before I start writing. Oh, and I better wash the sheets etc."

Oh, I can make things that taste good, mostly on the grill and smoker. But that isn't a year 'round deal here in Montana.

So: the books:
Mark Bittman's "The Basics" is a bit too basic for me.

I have Bayless on Mexican, Hazin on Italian, Jaime Oliver on how he will make me a better cook. I've only made a few from these.

There's this Gordon Ramsay book, Home Cooking, which I now have. I'm sorta semi-retired so I can take some time. I may want to actually work my way through the book, One book.

I know, Ramsay seems like an asshole, but he has had a 3 star Michelin restaurant in London for over ten years. Also, he started off in Scotland as a futbol player. Got injured. Went into hospitality. He brings a jock mentality to the kitchen. (I'm not going to teach you how to cook Michelin starred meal, I will teach you how to cook at home. But, for Christ's sake, there are certain techniques you must master.)

I may work my way through this book just to see.

That's my thinking at this point. I'm suspect I may get some cookbook suggestions here. So fire away,
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:58 am

Jaques Pepin has an encyclopedic book of techniques/dishes you might want to check out, as well multiple straight cookbooks. I very much like his approach to food.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:14 am

New Complete Techniques?
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by JohnDoe » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:40 am

Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is fun and based off McGee's On Food and Cooking, which is lots of science related to cooking, but not necessarily cooking per se. Some bread baking books are fun for a mix of science and recipes. I have Forkish's Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, Robertson's Tartine Bread and Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. Cooking Know-How is very cool. Lots of recipe templates for, say, a braise of chicken thighs, but then as many as eight variations based on subbing ingredients into the basic template (e.g. butter for olive oil, shallots for garlic). My first cookbook was Peterson's Essentials of Cooking, which is loaded with techniques and simple recipes. I love knowing the methods first. All my books go to that and now I feel like I can just cook on my own. Oh, and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Nosrat. Another book that empowers you to cook without it.

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Re: Cookbooks

Post by nafod » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:14 pm

I like cookbooks that are books, and not just collections of recipes. But sometimes a collection of just recipes can be cool too.

Pizza Camp from the owner of the restaurant in Philly is good. Lots of thoughts and good pictures along with his recipes. Quirky too.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Bram » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:21 am

The only cook book I've ever bought was Bobby Flay's "Bold American Cuisine"

His guacamole recipe in this book (he calls it avocado salsa) is the best damn guacamole I've ever had. I've made it regularly for the past 9 years and always get compliments on it.

It goes very well with the triple layer zucchini quesadilla on the adjacent page:

https://www.amazon.com/Bobby-Flays-Bold ... 0446517240
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:14 am

seeahill wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:14 am
New Complete Techniques?
You would not go wrong with that either, what i have is Essential Pepin. 700 recipes plus a DVD of demonstrated techniques.

I will probably buy the other too, though i expect some duplication, just because they have been out long enough to be available quite cheaply now.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:31 am

Jacques Pepin has tons of great videos on YouTube for freeeeeeeee.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:06 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:31 am
Jacques Pepin has tons of great videos on YouTube for freeeeeeeee.
Yes, and he's very watchable. Those months I was pouring dinner into a tube in my stomach I would watch him every day on PBS and imagine eating food again one day.
But I still like to have books.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:05 am

JMO but cooking websites are generally superior to cookbooks at this point. Once Upon a Chef is pretty much excellent across the board. Start with the steakhouse burgers.
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.

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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:34 pm

Schlegel wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:06 am
Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:31 am
Jacques Pepin has tons of great videos on YouTube for freeeeeeeee.
Yes, and he's very watchable. Those months I was pouring dinner into a tube in my stomach I would watch him every day on PBS and imagine eating food again one day.
But I still like to have books.
Yeesh, glad you're better brah. Yeah, I agree about books completely. The one area where video is priceless is technique: I had to watch him bone a chicken whole before I was comfortable making a gallantine. That frog makes it look so easy.

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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:59 pm

His concentration on communication of technique is one of the things that make him such a treasure. He's worth a dozen Food Network "celebrities" put together.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:05 pm

Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:05 am
JMO but cooking websites are generally superior to cookbooks at this point. Once Upon a Chef is pretty much excellent across the board. Start with the steakhouse burgers.
They are useful, we do use the Milk Street Kitchen website (accessible with a magazine subscription) as it's about the only magazine I've seen that consistently has multiple recipes that look interesting every issue. Most cooking mags I rarely see even 1.
But websites can vanish without warning. My books I'll have unless my house burns down.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:18 pm

Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:05 am
JMO but cooking websites are generally superior to cookbooks at this point. Once Upon a Chef is pretty much excellent across the board. Start with the steakhouse burgers.
Thanks for recommending that site, I'm looking at it now! I kinda of agree, but I'm old fashioned and love a good cookbook. Where else can you get something like cooking lessons in Nicoise cooking from the mayor-turned-mob-boss Jacques Médecin, sharing recipes which have been passed to him over generations? You can't find that on YouTube.

The cookbook: https://www.amazon.com/Cuisine-Ni%C3%A7 ... 1910690163

The man: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ente ... 86011.html
Last edited by Fat Cat on Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by JimZipCode » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:23 pm

Schlegel wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:05 pm
They are useful, we do use the Milk Street Kitchen website (accessible with a magazine subscription) as it's about the only magazine I've seen that consistently has multiple recipes that look interesting every issue.
Every Milk Street recipe I've tried has been RIDICULOUSLY over-seasoned and over-spiced. As if Christopher Kimball had a stroke, and no one can bear to tell him he can't taste anymore.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by seeahill » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:11 pm

I have a couple of shelves of cookbooks I've purchased over the years under the absurd assumption that simply owning the book will make me a better cook. It's time for me to buy one book that's heavy on technique and work my way through it. It looks like the newer version of Pepin's La Technique is what I need.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:12 pm

JimZipCode wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:23 pm
Schlegel wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:05 pm
They are useful, we do use the Milk Street Kitchen website (accessible with a magazine subscription) as it's about the only magazine I've seen that consistently has multiple recipes that look interesting every issue.
Every Milk Street recipe I've tried has been RIDICULOUSLY over-seasoned and over-spiced. As if Christopher Kimball had a stroke, and no one can bear to tell him he can't taste anymore.
Has not been an issue for us. But cutting spice and salt amounts is easy if the underlying idea is good.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:24 pm

seeahill wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:11 pm
I have a couple of shelves of cookbooks I've purchased over the years under the absurd assumption that simply owning the book will make me a better cook. It's time for me to buy one book that's heavy on technique and work my way through it. It looks like the newer version of Pepin's La Technique is what I need.
Another strong one in that category is the OG of them all, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Many recipes are multi-page because she assumes no prior knowledge of French techniques by her mid-century American audience. To this day, my most frequently referred-to cookbook. Only the first volume is necessary, but a nice thing about her recipes is they ALL work and have been vetted over decades.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by seeahill » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:06 pm

FC, thanks. I found my late wife's copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You're right. 30 years ago, I thought it was fussy and time consuming. Now I see the value in it.

A little bittersweet looking at it, though. I see the recipes she checked off, her notes, the pages she dog eared. There are also dinners I recall, and recipes we cooked together on rainy Saturday afternoons. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have been able to look at it. Now, it's a collection of cherished memories.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Schlegel » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:43 pm

Can't get that on a website.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by nafod » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:46 am

As long as we are talking online, this is a great recipe. I have my wife make this for my birthday instead of a cake.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/378 ... plum-torte
Original Plum Torte
MARIAN BURROS

YIELD 8 servings
TIME1 hour 15 minutes

Original Plum Torte
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
The Times published Marian Burros’s recipe for Plum Torte every September from 1983 until 1989, when the editors determined that enough was enough. The recipe was to be printed for the last time that year. “To counter anticipated protests,” Ms. Burros wrote a few years later, “the recipe was printed in larger type than usual with a broken-line border around it to encourage clipping.” It didn’t help. The paper was flooded with angry letters. “The appearance of the recipe, like the torte itself, is bittersweet,” wrote a reader in Tarrytown, N.Y. “Summer is leaving, fall is coming. That's what your annual recipe is all about. Don't be grumpy about it.” We are not! And we pledge that every year, as summer gives way to fall, we will make sure that the recipe is easily available to one and all. The original 1983 recipe called for 1 cup sugar; the 1989 version reduced that to 3/4 cup. We give both options below. Here are five ways to adapt the torte.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Turdacious » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:43 am

For those interested in Iraqi cuisine-- Nasrallah's 'Delights from the Garden of Eden' is very good and includes some interesting food history (it's out of print and expensive now).
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:06 pm

seeahill wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:06 pm
FC, thanks. I found my late wife's copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You're right. 30 years ago, I thought it was fussy and time consuming. Now I see the value in it.

A little bittersweet looking at it, though. I see the recipes she checked off, her notes, the pages she dog eared. There are also dinners I recall, and recipes we cooked together on rainy Saturday afternoons. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have been able to look at it. Now, it's a collection of cherished memories.
That's a bit heavy brah; I cooked dinner for my family last night (rôti de porc grand-mère) from it as a quiet salute.
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by seeahill » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:05 pm

Merci
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Re: Cookbooks

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:45 pm

It does illustrate one of the many ways in which electronic shit can never truly replace books.
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