Cookbook thread? Anything you've found particularly interesting that isn't just recipes slapped on a page with cutesy words? Informative works that really helped you improve?
Just got these and I'm really excited.
Older cookbooks really do the trick. I also kind of prefer those to ones with photos. They're literally food porn to market them better. Joy of Cooking is really great as well as The Silver Spoon and Julia Child's books on French cooking. You know you find a good book when you find drawings of techniques.
Cookbooks are really just a reference. You can aimlessly follow recipes from any cookbook and not learn anything. It mainly depends on you to keep track of spices, techniques and ingredients to become a better cook.
This one has a lot of good practical advice on techniques, equipment, selecting ingredients, etc. and a bunch of good recipes. I also like how the recipes include a lot of explanation of why they do things certain ways, especially since these recipes (like anything from Cook's Illustrated/ATK) are generally not quick/easy.
The Joy of Cooking
How to Cook Everything
The Bread Baker's Apprentice
Ivan Ramen (his chicken stock recipe is based af)
The Food of Vietnam
There's a ton more, but those cover a lot of my bases if I don't want to scour the internet
It's pretty good, some recipes are questionable, like the chili recipe. But overall, this can teach you a lot.
Flavor Bible has been a good reference
Like a thesaurus for spices
Own it, love it.
It's a fun read and the recipes are pretty good desu. Nothing too fancy, but still really french and somewhat uncommon, except for the "the big classics" part.
The Professional Chef helped me out a lot with basic shit. It's a text book, but it's really good. The recipes in it are often for servings of ten or more, but it's pretty easy to reduce it down to 2-3 if you need to.
The 3 I have probably learned the most from:
Pic related - Best cooking textbook in English, though mine is an earlier edition.
Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the fine art of Cookery
Charcuterie the Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing - Not exactly hard to obtain knowledge, and mostly in the form of recipes, but it is well organized, wonderfully simple, and extensive on the subject.
I have a question for you, is there a way to follow the book in term of technique/recipe?
Say I read a chapter that works on Grilling, will it direct me to interesting related recipes?
Yes. When it introduces a concept (take Grilling like you mentioned) there will then follow several related recipes that rely on grilling. However, the majority of the recipes are towards the end of the book and are separate from the instructional sections.
Frankly I don't think that book is all that good for new-and-interesting inspriation. IMHO it's strengths are:
1) It teaches techniques & fundamentals very well.
2) It's a great reference for classic/standard recipes.
It's a textbook, it's not avant-garde. That said, it's fantastic value for money since you can buy earlier editions for pennies on the dollar. I have bought several copies for gifts and they have all been under $20, shipping included.
There are a few books that I consider non-negotiables for people starting a cookbook library.
The Joy of Cooking
The Silver Spoon
The Bread Bible
Books that I highly recommend but don't consider core books include I Know How to Cook, Pork & Sons, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, Tartine Bread, and River Cottage Meat and Fish books.
If you want to explore a little further, then Ad Hoc at Home, The Slanted Door, and Faviken have a lot of interesting stuff in them. The Pok Pok cookbook is good, as well. Andy Ricker does a pretty good job of replicating some very authentic Thai food, but a lot of the recipes are out of reach for people who don't live near a Thai or Asian grocer.
It gave me some shitty error message (I'm at work with nothing to do) so I'm putting it here.
http://www megafileupload com/ai5h/A_Treasury_of_Great_Recipes_-_Mary_and_Vincent_Price.pdf
the key to chinese cooking is great if you want to make some pretty awesome chinese food. classic indian cooking by julia sahni is great if you want to learn some pretty awesome indian techniques. both are very informative and well illustrated.
find some books from the 60s/70s where they actually want to teach you how to cook
rather than 75% drivel about lifestyle and "their" version of something basic which is all cook books are now
i found Elizabeth David to be genuinely interesting with really reliable recipes, Marguerite Patten too works on the basis of helping you learn the basic techniques and then varying it across different dishes, and you'll learn more from watching 10mins of Julia Child than watching Food Shitwork for a month
The first one is him working, and scratching his way through the industry telling his life story with a sort of gritty realness. The rest is him not even a chef anymore trying to keep that money train rolling, with the same smug snarkiness, but none of the real-life grittiness that comes from actual content.
Bought a Cook's Travel's because I liked Kitchen Confidential so much, and stopped reading after slogging through about 3 or 4 chapters.
Good to know. Thanks, anon.
Waiting on the second volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Hazan. How did I do /ck/? Anybody got a good spanish food reference? Or greek for that matter.