Go Back   Freethought Forum > The Public Baths > Food & Drink

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-19-2004, 08:05 AM
RevDahlia's Avatar
RevDahlia RevDahlia is offline
butterface
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: CMXLVIII
Images: 11
Default Favorite cookbooks?

I very rarely cook from cookbooks, but I will happily read them from cover to cover and retrieve bits of information when fretting about what to make for dinner.

My criteria for a cookbook are as follows: recipes must not be fussy. They must never require me to stack food on top of other food for aesthetic effect. They must be engaging to read. They must be friendly -- I have never cozied up to Marcella Hazan, who everybody else loves, because she is mean. "If you attempt to produce this dish in your pathetic American home kitchen, with your pathetic American denatured ingredients, it will never in a bazillion years be as delicious as it is in Emilia-Romagna. But if you insist, here is the recipe." </marcella>

There are some cookbooks which fit the above, and my copies are besplattered and dogeared and read to death.

I have Laurie Colwin's books "Home Cooking" and "More Home Cooking" pretty much memorized. My copy of the former is held together with duct tape. Funny because her recipes aren't reliable, especially in the realm of cooking times, but she's just so enthusiastic and full of great anecdotes, and is such a good writer, that it's all worth it. Besides she introduced me to the concept of creamed spinach with jalapeno peppers, which I make on a weekly basis.

I am currently madly in love with Nigel Slater, who I think had a show on the Food Network. His book "Appetite" paid for itself in the first month I had it (and it was a damn expensive tome.) He doesn't use measurements unless absolutely necessary, and he's all about learning to trust yourself in the kitchen and not paying attention to big meanies like Marcella who try to tell you how things SHOULD be. He's also a really sexy, funny, sly writer (his paragraph about mangoes must be read to be believed.)

Last, another damn expensive tome with which I am infatuated is "The Gift of Southern Cooking" by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Miss Lewis is a national treasure who's been cranking out classic cookbooks since shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs, and Mr. Peacock plays the part of adoring acolyte. Southern food is so profoundly weird to me -- weirder than anything Asian -- and every recipe in this thing is both weird and fantastic. Also TERRIBLE for you, but once in a blue moon BLT salad is just the thing.

Your turn now.

[edited for repetition and nitpicky spelling error]
__________________
New food blog at http://eats_the_holla.livejournal.com

Last edited by RevDahlia; 07-19-2004 at 10:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-19-2004, 08:34 AM
viscousmemories's Avatar
viscousmemories viscousmemories is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMXCIII
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 9
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I've written so much in so many places about this place that I really don't want to do it all over again right now - mostly 'cause it's way past my bedtime. However here's the very simple and straightforward pitch:

Go here, read about the book if you must, then order it. Do it now.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-19-2004, 02:04 PM
Roland98's Avatar
Roland98 Roland98 is offline
dancing backward in high heels
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: where the green grass grows
Posts: MCXLVII
Images: 14
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Zingerman's has a cookbook?

Still haven't made it there. Yes, I'm naughty.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-19-2004, 05:44 PM
viscousmemories's Avatar
viscousmemories viscousmemories is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMXCIII
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 9
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland98
Zingerman's has a cookbook?

Still haven't made it there. Yes, I'm naughty.
O. M. G.

Go there, Roland. Do it now. Eat what I wish I could right now, which is pretty much anything they have, but preferably a potato knish. :)

Oh and go visit my family while you're at it. :P
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-19-2004, 07:47 PM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Thumbup Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I'm a cookbookaholic, I think: I cook from them, read them, buy them for friends, scour yard sales for old ones and God knows what all else.

Okay, if you don't mind, I'm just going to start listing. Warning: it'll take a while.

First and foremost, I must pay homage to the classic without which no post-collegiate housewarming party would be complete: The New Joy of Cooking, by the Rombauer dynasty. My mom gave me the original JoC when I graduated college and I used it religiously. Even though it was a bit heavy on the heavy 50s style American foods, as a resource for dewey-eyed cooks it was - and still is - invaluable.

The new edition has far more diverse (and healthy) recipes, plus, it's still the best source of definitions and basic how-to steps I've ever encountered. Need to make a basic guacamole? Joy's got it. Found a delicious looking recipe in Food & Wine but have no idea what deglazing is? Look it up in Joy.

Another great one in the how-to overview category is Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques. It's long, incredibly detailed and a real revelation to read.

Sorry, Rev, but I really love Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Then again, I may very well be more than reasonably picky when it comes to Italian cuisine, so her snobbery doesn't have an effect on me. :wink:

Another much-used favorite from my old stomping grounds is Mediterranean Light, by Martha Rose Shulman. It features tons of great, easy, healthy recipes from all over the Mediterranean. I've probably made every fish recipe in the book and they were all wonderful.

One of my most cherished yard sale finds is a 1968 Time-Life (yes, you read me right) book called The Cooking of Italy. I got my recipe for handmade pasta from there, and I swear it tastes just like the pasta Nonna Maria used to make me on her farm in Emilia Romagna. (Except nowhere near as perfect, cause she was a truly divine cook.)

Oy. I'm going to go ahead and wrap it up before I get anymore out of control. My last offering is an obscure little volume called Jack's Skillet. It's a compendium hilarious and brilliant articles written by Jack Butler, collected from his food column in an Arkansas daily. In the interests of full disclosure I should state that I know the author personally (and he's damn hot, too). If you've ever had a hankering for biscuits and tomato gravy, the finest Margaritas ever made by hand of man, and, above all, a chicken pot pie that is so undescribably fantastic it redefines the term, look no further. Jack can write, I tell ya, and he can really, really cook too.

Thank you, Rev, for this awesome thread. :yup:

P.S. - Shit. I can't resist just one more. Rev, if you haven't read The Elements of Taste yet, run, don't walk, and get it right now.

Last edited by livius drusus; 07-19-2004 at 08:25 PM. Reason: very embarassing spelling error
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-19-2004, 08:59 PM
Godot's Avatar
Godot Godot is offline
Petty Moralist Censor
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sol III
Posts: LXXXVII
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I agree with liv about The New Joy of Cooking. It's a great book and a tremendous resource. Another of my favorites is this tiny little book on curries that we picked up in the checkout line at the local for like $4.99. Best investment we've ever made.

Our most recent cookbook purchase was one on traditional French cooking called (not surprisingly) The French Kitchen. The author of this cookbook (Joanne Harris) is more famous for her novels than anything else. I'm sure you've all heard of (or seen or beter yet, read) Chocolat?

But our most prized cookbook is the one we've made. When we've found a recipe that we like, we transcribe it into a blank scrapbook set aside for that purpose. I have recipes for everything from Shrimp Courtbouillant to Homemade Pirohy. From Beef Wellington to Aunt Tilly's Chocolate Cake (which would be a puddin' for Brits out there). Alongside the recipes, we write comments about variations we like to sometimes play with, or to say what this meal goes good with. Of course, there are the ubiquitous stains and spills throughout the book as well.
__________________
Dig it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-19-2004, 09:14 PM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot
IBut our most prized cookbook is the one we've made. When we've found a recipe that we like, we transcribe it into a blank scrapbook set aside for that purpose.
Wow, Godot, that's a dream of mine. I have about 4 scrapbooks of recipes I've written down from, gotten from other people and clipped from food magazines, but they're so disorganized and incomplete I never get anything like full use out of them.

Have you ever considered making copies of yours for friends and family, or maybe even (and I dread to say it) typing it all up and printing it? I have an ongoing project of entering all my favorites into a database for easy reference, but by ongoing I unfortunately mean neverending. :sadnana:
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-19-2004, 09:56 PM
Godot's Avatar
Godot Godot is offline
Petty Moralist Censor
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sol III
Posts: LXXXVII
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Oh, we have scraps of recipes that we've culled from newpapers or magazines galore, some of which have been transcribed into The Book whilst others are nestled gently between the pages. We even have a small collection of recipes on the computer. That's mostly because we've been too lazy to get around to doing it though. I blame my atrocious script for why I don't do it; I'm not going to speculate on my partner's reasons. ;)

We don't mind sharing any of the recipes with an appreciative audience in the least, but there's no way in hell that it'll be copied in full for anyone else. The whole point of The Book is to create an heirloom for our children and grandchildren. We want to leave open pages in the book for them to place their favorite recipes alongside ours. It's a perpetual work in progress that will only be complete when the last page is full and I don't expect that day to come for many, many years. I don't even have an index of recipes in the book (merely a demarcation point for meals and desserts) since I feel that journeying through the book, looking for the desired recipe is as much a chance to reminisce as it is to cook the perfect dish.
__________________
Dig it.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-20-2004, 08:11 PM
pescifish's Avatar
pescifish pescifish is offline
go fish
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: a rural part of Los Angeles, CA
Posts: VCCII
Images: 78
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Here's another vote for Joy of Cooking and all its updates. It's the cookbook I use to find out the whats and wherefors of cooking, making it possible to go ahead without a recipe.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-20-2004, 08:21 PM
RevDahlia's Avatar
RevDahlia RevDahlia is offline
butterface
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: CMXLVIII
Images: 11
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
P.S. - Shit. I can't resist just one more. Rev, if you haven't read The Elements of Taste yet, run, don't walk, and get it right now.
That's a big can-do, chief. Thank Jeebus for my discount at B&N.
__________________
New food blog at http://eats_the_holla.livejournal.com
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-21-2004, 03:41 AM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevDahlia
That's a big can-do, chief. Thank Jeebus for my discount at B&N.
Outstanding. Let me know when you've read it. I've been wanting to start a thread about it for ages; I'd love to talk about it with you.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-21-2004, 07:20 AM
Albion's Avatar
Albion Albion is offline
Expat Brit
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XXIV
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

My favourite all-purpose cookbook is La Varenne Pratique by Anne Willan. It doesn't just have recipes, it has information about ingredients and about choosing and storing them, a short section about equipment, instructions for basic preparation of fruits and vegetables, pictures of both US and French cuts of meat (useful for those of us who spend time in the US and Europe), and sections about herbs, spices, fats, and oils as well as about regular ingredients, and it's illustrated with good colour photos and drawings all the way through.

The only disadvantages are the price ($60) and the weight, which makes it a (literal) pain to carry around, especially in one hand while trying to do culinary stuff with the other.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-21-2004, 10:11 PM
perragrande's Avatar
perragrande perragrande is offline
Peregrinating Imagination
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Concrete Sprawl, TX
Posts: II
Comedy Re: Favorite cookbooks?

You guys are way ahead of me.

I prefer simple idiot proof recipes. There are also a lot of things that I am allergic to or just cannot eat (Spicy stuff) so I am limited in what I can cook for myself. I have used Joy of Cooking before. The irritating thing about Joy of Cooking is that you think a recipe is simple, until you look at the first line and it says "First, make the recipe for Sauteed Wonkpiffles on page 387" and then you do more stuff to it. Seems like some of the recipes are just an infinite regression to other recipes which means MORE WORK.

I once received a James Beard cookbook as a gift. I made a casserole with one of the recipes, and when I got through, I felt like I had done way too much work. I put it back on the shelf and have not cracked it since, for that reason. It was really labor intensive, even though I am a big fan of Cuisinarts. They are especially good for making bread.

I like "The I Never Cooked Before Cookbook" by Jo Coudert, which is in paperback and explains everything step by step. I like it because it shows you how to make Beef Stroganoff using a can of Franco American Beef Gravy.

I also like The Settlement Cook Book.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Histrionica (12-12-2007)
  #14  
Old 07-21-2004, 10:14 PM
viscousmemories's Avatar
viscousmemories viscousmemories is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMXCIII
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 9
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I'm with ya on the work thing, perragrande, but in my recent (and admittedly very limited experience) even the complicated recipes becomes relatively simple once you've done them enough times that you don't really have to think about it. :)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-22-2004, 06:32 AM
Goliath's Avatar
Goliath Goliath is offline
select custom_user_title from user_info where username='Goliath';
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Kansas City, MO
Gender: Male
Posts: MMDCCVII
Images: 1
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Okay, I went shopping and picked up Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating, and The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking by Rombauer, et al. I wanted to pick up more (especially some cookbooks for Indian food), but money is a bit tight, so those two will have to do for now.

Sadly, I saw books like "A Man, a Can, and a Plan"....sheesh, most of the crap in there was stuff that I can do now...maybe I'm not that bad a cook after all? Or maybe not...
__________________
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Godliness is next to impossible.
Therefore, cleanliness is next to impossible.

Last edited by Goliath; 07-22-2004 at 07:22 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-22-2004, 07:05 AM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMDLI
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I don't really have many cookbooks. If I'm looking for something, I like to find as many recipes for it as I can, then sort of meld those into either what sounds good, or what I already have the crap for. So I use the internet a lot.

I do use my Joy of Cooking as a reference for a lot of things, like substitutions and really basic recipes, and I read James Beards' American Cookery all the time. I love that man. I sort of use his brownies recipe, although I even alter that. Yes, I am big enough of an asshole to not even do what James Beard says.

I also have the American version of Culinaria, which is fucking HUGE with big pretty pictures of food, arranged by region. I don't think I've actually used a recipe from it, but it's pretty, and it has little writeups on regional variations, which I like. The best part is, it was really expensive when I got mine, but I've seen it and other Culinarias at Costco for maybe $20 or something.

I have The New Basics and another one by the same authors, too. I like their pureed vegetable soups, and some of the writeups are good, but I'm not in love or anything. They're sort of in that 'meh' area between a basic book like Joy of Cooking and a specialty book.

Other than that, I've got a few odds and ends that I don't even look at much. Some really weird one that must be British or Canadian or something, because it's mostly globby type Anglo food, with a few Indian recipes thrown in. A vegetarian cookbook for hippies, full of recipes for nut loaves and stuff.

I also have a really ugly giant orange cookbook with a picture of Kitty Carlisle having a cocktail party in it. I think Moss Hart is there, too, and he died in 1961 (I just looked it up), so it must have been from the 50s. It also has a section on what to pack in your kids' lunchboxes that's rife with liverwurst, sardines, and other likely sources of ostracism. And really dumb line drawings.

I need more James Beard, and I need some Julia Child. I also need that Elements of Taste, but liv didn't tell me to get it, so I don't know if I'm allowed.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-22-2004, 07:18 AM
RevDahlia's Avatar
RevDahlia RevDahlia is offline
butterface
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: CMXLVIII
Images: 11
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Lisarea, sounds like you also need some MFK Fisher. "The Art of Eating" is the volume to get. Her recipes are archaic, but oh man, what a pleasure to read her. I'd say she's one of the best American writers ever.

(I mention her to you because it seems like you share my cookbook approach.)
__________________
New food blog at http://eats_the_holla.livejournal.com
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-22-2004, 04:45 PM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
I also need that Elements of Taste, but liv didn't tell me to get it, so I don't know if I'm allowed.
Well young lady, you best get your tush to the bookstore again today and pick up a copy. If you can stand to tear yourself away from the arcade, that is.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-22-2004, 05:01 PM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMDLI
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by livius drusus
Well young lady, you best get your tush to the bookstore again today and pick up a copy. If you can stand to tear yourself away from the arcade, that is.
Fine. I'll do that, right after I finish suing this one guy for identity theft and impugning* my character and shit.

* This is how to tell it's really me: I spelled 'impugning' correctly. Har har!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-22-2004, 05:08 PM
viscousmemories's Avatar
viscousmemories viscousmemories is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMXCIII
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 9
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goliath
Okay, I went shopping and picked up Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating...
Cool! I know you won't be disappointed. Zingerman's is a one-of-a-kind deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I could never afford to eat there until I got the free lunch that came with working there. :) The guys that run the place are really amazing. Ari, the author of the book you just bought, spends most of the year travelling the world to find the most obscure, amazing foods and then arranges to have them flown in to Zings.

For example, he once went on a trip to Scotland and found a little salmon fishery that only served their local town, and convinced them to start shipping salmon to Zingerman's. But we got a lot of stuff locally, too. When people asked about our goat cheese, we could tell them the names of the goats! That kind of thing. That was all 10 years ago, though. Now they make their own cheese!

Okay I'll stop now before I get tagged as a slobbering Zingerman's sycophant.

The book is good reading, though, I promise. :)
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-22-2004, 05:23 PM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea
Fine. I'll do that, right after I finish suing this one guy for identity theft and impugning* my character and shit.
Well at least you have in house counsel. Oh, woops. Scratch that.

Quote:
* This is how to tell it's really me: I spelled 'impugning' correctly. Har har!
It's not going to work if you spell out the secret password, ya know. He may be an arcade-addled nincompoop, but he can still copy and paste.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-22-2004, 06:06 PM
Dlanod's Avatar
Dlanod Dlanod is offline
Rodent of Unusual Size
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: XXXVII
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

The Book of Latin American Cooking by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz is a wonderful collection of recipes sampling the cuisines of South America. When I was first looking for a cookbook with Brazilian recipes 25 years ago I stumbled upon this one. It remains the one I return to again and again.

South American cooking is often overlooked, usually being lumped in with generic Americanized Mexican cooking. This book does a great job of showing the wide range of influences (Spanish, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, African, Incan, Mayan Aztec) that make up the culinary traditions of South America. It is not illustrated, but once you try some of the recipes you will come back for more.

She also wrote a fantastic book called The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings. This is a must-have reference book with gorgeous color photographs. It covers herbs, spices, edible flowers and leaves, essences, vinegars, oils, teas and coffee. It is truly comprehensive giving origins, uses, best practices and recipes for over 200 ingredients. It is a fascinating read all by itself. If you like cooking you need this book.

I too am a cookbookaholic and have dozens of them. My partner doesn't let me go to the cookbook section of a bookstore unescorted anymore. I still manage to sneak a few more on the shelves every now and then.

- Donald
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-22-2004, 06:15 PM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Thumbup Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I have the Encyclopedia and it is truly outstanding. My dad (who is an excellent cook and also has an extensive vegetable/herb garden; oh, and he cans things and makes preserves and whatnot. The New England yankee is strong with that one.) spent 3 hours straight going through it, riveted to every page.

Your description of The Book of Latin American Cooking appeals to me enormously. It is very much a lacuna of my culinary education, mainly because as you say, I've subsumed all of Latin America under Mexico. I should know better, and now I'm going to buy Ortiz's book so I actually will know better.

Thank you for the excellent tip, Donald.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-24-2004, 11:29 PM
Dlanod's Avatar
Dlanod Dlanod is offline
Rodent of Unusual Size
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: XXXVII
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

I can't forget to mention my most often referenced cookbook: From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking With Farm-Fresh Produce which comes from the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Coalition.

Shortly after becoming involved in a CSA farm we were confronted with vegetables in our weekly boxes that we didn't have a clue how to cook. This cookbook/reference was our salvation. It covers 46 different vegetables and provides many wonderful recipes for each. Even better is the fact that the oddball vegetables have more recipes than the more comon varieties.

It was always a challenge to figure out what to do with bok choy, brussels sprouts, burdock root, celeriac, chard, fennel, kohlrabi, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas and sunchokes. Most you can just boil and add butter, but we are always looking for new methods of preparing them. This book provided cooking and storage tips and delicious recipes for all of them. My partner may still have a problem with rutabagas, but for me there is nothing that goes to waste in our weekly box anymore.

There is a third edition coming out in September 2004 which covers 50 vegetables (hopefully adding ramps and pea vine) and has over 300 recipes. We will certainly be replacing our copy.

If you are part of a CSA and/or enjoy some of the non-standard or old-world "poor folk" vegetables this book is an important resource. It is published by Jones Books and the ISBN is 0-9721217-8-1.

- Donald
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-03-2004, 03:13 AM
RevDahlia's Avatar
RevDahlia RevDahlia is offline
butterface
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: CMXLVIII
Images: 11
Default Re: Favorite cookbooks?

Waking this one up to tell you guys about this really cool book my mommy sent me. It is How to Read a French Fry, and it is by Russ Parsons.

I think this is just about the perfect thing for skeptic/freethinker/foodie types. About half the book is taken up with in-depth, but never dry, scientific explanations for exactly why food behaves the way it does. Did you know that the reason why emulsion sauces (like hollandaise and mayonnaise) hold together is that the lecithin molecule (found in egg yolk) has one end that has an affinity for water and one end that likes oil? I didn't, but now I do, and I quickly surmised that egg yolk lends little flavor to mayonnaise and synthetic lecithin will do the job just as well. This led me to seek out a delicious and calorically reasonable vegan mayonnaise, which is actually really tasty.

In addition to amusing factoids, Mr. Parsons' book also contains many terrific recipes including one for meatloaf that's the best I've seen. (He does, unfortunately, advocate using dried morels in meatloaf. After I finished laughing hysterically I substituted porcini and all was well.)
__________________
New food blog at http://eats_the_holla.livejournal.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

  Freethought Forum > The Public Baths > Food & Drink


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Page generated in 1.16459 seconds with 13 queries