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Posted: 10 March 2012 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]
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BourbonSamurai is not Fausto Carmona - 09 March 2012 02:12 PM

I like that it has a nice big drinks section. We should do a cookbooks thread.

Well here it is, you sonsabitches!

Posted: 10 March 2012 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Some favorite cookbooks: 

the aforementioned “Frank Stitt’s Southern Table”.  Aside from the great recipes, this is one of the most readable cookbooks I have ever encountered.  There’s family history, stories about spending time in France with Richard Olney, and lots about wines.  As BS mentioned, there’s a big drinks section.  And for a fancy cookbook, there are a lot of not-fancy recipes, like Lowcountry red rice, pimento cheese, lemonade, and the like.  There are lots of relishes and vinaigrettes that go well with several dishes (charred corn relish and green tomato and peach relish being two in particular).  There’s lots of fish and seafood recipes, and a wide variety of meat ones (braised rabbit is wonderful), but it also treats vegetables really well.  There are probably five asparagus recipes, and I really like his treatment of southern greens (instead of cooking them for a long time, he shreds them, blanches and shocks them, and then does a quick sauté with bacon). 

Posted: 10 March 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Suzanne Goin’s “Sunday Suppers at Lucques”.  It’s a great “California cuisine” cookbook.  So lots of produce and citrus, but it still is manageable.  There’s a great squash soup recipe with no cream but is luxurious, there’s a bunch of great salads and tarts, both savory and sweet, but it also has recipes like cast-iron cooked pork confit.

Posted: 11 March 2012 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m a big fan of the Cook’s Illustrated stuff.

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Posted: 11 March 2012 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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(Got a little busy, was planning to post several of these before sharing it with the Lounge.)

John Thorne’s “Simple Cooking”.  It’s an older book, originally released in 1987.  The format is an essay on a topic, followed by a recipe (or several versions of a recipe).  There’s a great mac and cheese recipe (evaporated milk in the sauce).  It’s a very New England kind of cookbook.

Posted: 11 March 2012 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock:  “The Gift of Southern Cooking”.  Edna Lewis was known as “The Grand Dame of Southern cooking”, and Peacock was her caretaker the last years of her life.  (Here’s a short documentary.)  The Frank Stitt is mostly refined cooking, this is much more home style cooking.  A simple recipe in it that I really like is for skillet asparagus (let butter foam, add trimmed asparagus, cover, cook for three minutes, turn and check.  Cook up to five minutes longer, or until crisp-tender.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.  There’s a great smoked pork stock that is used in cooking greens or beans.  There are lots of condiments and the like, including chow chow and pepper vinegar.

Posted: 11 March 2012 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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James Beard’s “American Cookery”.  900 pages of American food history.  There’s lots of very old recipes, and some ridiculous ones (canned tomato soup cake), but there’s lots of gold in here as well.  There’s not much missing.  There are several versions of chicken pie, multiple fried chicken versions, and tons of desserts.

Posted: 11 March 2012 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The 1975 edition of the Joy of Cooking is still my go-to when there is a standard dish that I have not made before. I won’t always use the recipe, but I will check ingredients and techniques of a recipe I do use against the JoC, to make sure I am comfortable.

Anything I don’t know how to do, the JoC has useful instructions and thoughts. I am almost positive that one could become a good plain home cook (though with a limited ethnic palate) simply by buying the JoC, reading it (i.e. reading all of it except the recipes) and making something from it three times a week.

I can’t vouch for the later versions. I have a copy of the ‘75 edition, as my mother did (she also had a 1962 version) - I bought it the week I left home in 1991 and have used it since. The covers (it’s the 2-volume paperback) are disgusting.

It is hard to really fail if you use it. I called my mother yesterday for her oatmeal cookie recipe that she made when I was a child. She hadn’t made them in almost 30 years; she wasn’t sure if it was one of hers, or the JoC. When she struck out in her recipe box, I went to the JoC and made their Quick Oatmeal Cookies recipe. Bang: personal madeleine. Crunchy and chewy and marvelous, just the taste I remembered.


My favorite book on technique and philosophy is Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here For The Food: Food + Heat = Cooking.

James Barber’s Cooking for Two still gives me plenty of ideas. His was my favorite cooking show of the 90s, unfussy and unpretentious and amusing. (Fave cooking show of the 80s: Wok with Yan)

I have an old paperback of The James Beard Cookbook from the 60s. I picked it up at a yard sale or a bookshop 25 cent box: the price is written in pencil inside the cover. I love it for stuff that older people like and haven’t had since so-and-so passed away.

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Brett Lawrie ‏ @blawrie13
Wow do it @2Morrow23 that was some sickkkk stuff tonight maaa dudeeee , great game all around by the boyssss , @jparencibia9 swing it budd!!

Posted: 11 March 2012 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Those oatmeal cookies are almost all gone, by the way. I will make a triple batch next weekend.

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Brett Lawrie ‏ @blawrie13
Wow do it @2Morrow23 that was some sickkkk stuff tonight maaa dudeeee , great game all around by the boyssss , @jparencibia9 swing it budd!!

Posted: 11 March 2012 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Made my first dishes from the Frank Stitt book tonight-

Salmon with artichoke and charred onion relish
Salad with fresh peas herbs and sherry vinagrette

Really happy with both. The book looks like it has a lot of salads and side dishes, which’ll befun to play with. I look forward to making more from it.

I’ll post some of my favorite books tomorrow.

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I came here in peace, seeking gold and slaves.

Posted: 11 March 2012 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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BourbonSamurai is not Fausto Carmona - 11 March 2012 10:00 PM

Made my first dishes from the Frank Stitt book tonight-

Salmon with artichoke and charred onion relish
Salad with fresh peas herbs and sherry vinagrette

Really happy with both. The book looks like it has a lot of salads and side dishes, which’ll befun to play with. I look forward to making more from it.

I’ll post some of my favorite books tomorrow.

The onion relish and sherry vinaigrette are two other things I really like from that book.  So many things in that book work with a wide variety dishes.

Posted: 12 March 2012 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’ll type some more when I get home, but I really got into exploring recipes because of Ming Tsai’s East Meets West. I’d always found cookbooks to be very boring, mainly because the flavors that excited me were mostly Asian ones but every book I saw was either straight ahead joy of cooking stuff or chinese paint by numbers.

Ming Tsai’s setup teaches you a master sauce or flavoring, and then two or three dishes made using that as a base. Even if you cook all of them, you usually have some left over, and it got me really into creating my own ideas and experimenting. You learn some traditional Asian things, as well as some traditional french things, and some fusion. It’s a great book, and a really good one to learn from.

Plus, it led to me going to Blue Ginger when I visited Gloucester and having one of the best meals of my life.

I have his Simply Ming and Blue Ginger ones also, which are pretty great but have occasional egregious errors in the copy editing.

I’ll throw in some more when I get home and can look at them to get the titles right.

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I came here in peace, seeking gold and slaves.

Posted: 13 March 2012 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Other cookbooks that I love:

Tom Douglas’s Seattle Kitchen:

This book, which is American coastal cuisine mixed with Asian fusion, really thrilled me to find, since it follows the type of cuisine I make myself when left to my own devices. I was given the book by someone whose publishing company helped make it, never having heard of Douglas, and I am really thrilled with it. I really want to go to his place one day.

Thai Food, by David Thompson:

The great thing about this book is it absolutely does not compromise. The recipes are as they are and if you cannot find what is called for, too bad for you. Great insights into traditional Thai cooking.

Molto Italiano, Mario Batali:

This is such an easy go to, as almost everything here is simple, can probably be done with what you have on hand, and will be delicious.

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

I don’t bake a ton, but this book is a great basic primer and the few loaves I’ve made have turned out really nicely. When I have a larger kitchen I’m going to go back to doing it once in awhil.e

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I came here in peace, seeking gold and slaves.

Posted: 23 March 2012 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I picked up “bluestem” by Colby and Megan Garrelts from the library, and am highly enjoying reading it. To a degree, it is to the Midwest what the Frank Stitt book is to the South.  Have not had the chance to cook from it yet, though.

Posted: 23 March 2012 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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BourbonSamurai is not Fausto Carmona - 13 March 2012 10:32 PM

Other cookbooks that I love:

Tom Douglas’s Seattle Kitchen:

This book, which is American coastal cuisine mixed with Asian fusion, really thrilled me to find, since it follows the type of cuisine I make myself when left to my own devices. I was given the book by someone whose publishing company helped make it, never having heard of Douglas, and I am really thrilled with it. I really want to go to his place one day.


The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

I don’t bake a ton, but this book is a great basic primer and the few loaves I’ve made have turned out really nicely. When I have a larger kitchen I’m going to go back to doing it once in awhil.e

I watched Tom Douglas do a cooking demo, and he came across as very affable, but I have never bought any of his cookbooks. 

I have the Bread Baker’s Apprentice as well, and on occasion make the Pain al Ancienne from it.  Makes a great pizza dough.