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Your favorite cookbook...

  • c

In the same vein as "What New Cookbook Do You Want For Holidays?" ... What is your favorite cookbook? Why? What are some of the best recipes in it?

I am pulling together a wishlist for the Holidays and I would love to benefit from your experience.

Link: http://www.carriespritzer.com

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  1. That's such a hard question. But here goes:
    For general reference: The Best Recipe (Cooks Ill.) and Fannie Farmer
    For salads: Lettuce in Your Kitchen (Schlesinger)
    For jams, preserves, pickles and so forth: Helen Witty's Fancy Pantry and Christine Ferber's Mes Confitures
    For Italian: The Splendid Table
    For French: Mastering the Art of French Cooking, of course
    Favorite single cuisine cookbook overall: Please to the Table (Russian)
    For vegetarian and also quick lunches and so on: Quick Vegetarian Pleasures
    For baking: Nick Malgieri's big book, can't remember the name
    For knock-em dead desserts: Marcel DeSaulniers' Desserts to Die For and Death by Chocolate
    For pies: Little Pie Company of the Big Apple Pies and Other Dessert Favorites
    For "old-fashioned" recipes: The Wooden Spoon Dessert Cookbook
    For food essays with recipes worth making: Anything by John Thorne
    For meaty pleasures: Chris Schlesinger's Big Flavors of the Hot Sun
    For Cajun/Creole: Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen

    The most stained and used of these are probably Prudhomme, Fancy Pantry, the Best Recipe, Please to the Table, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Lettuce in Your Kitchen. I also very much like the information in James Peterson's books, though I rarely use his recipes. For ideas about presentation, Martha can't be beat, though I don't use her recipes much either. And there are a few books I cherish for one or two recipes: Maury Rubin's tart shell recipe from his book on tarts (also visually fantastic), for example, or the Silver Palate's peach cobbler. I cook more than I bake, but I'm more dependent on baking books, because complete improv is more difficult with cakes and such.

    1. I love Lidia's Italian American Kitchen by Lidia Bastianich. The best recipes I've tried from it are the Chicken Scarpariello, the Chicken Valdostana, and the manicotti.

      1. Hi there, the link below is one old post that I have found most valuable when I want to look for a cookbook. Essentially the poster summarized all the cookbook discussions and came up with the summary list of the discussion threads.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. I love New Basics because number one, it has everything in it, and number two, it's (mostly) all good. Plus it's such a catch-all great reference for instructions,preparation, charts of pairings, etc. Love it. Their carrot cake is especially perfect.

          1. Gosh I have about 400 cookbooks which is my favorite? I guess it would depend on for what? If I had to get rid of most of them I would have a hard time deciding which are absolutely essential to keep but off the top of my head I can say I would never be without a copy od Marion Brown's Southern Cookbook, NY Times Heritage Cookbook, James Beards American Cookery, Corinne Trang's Essentials of Asian Cookery, Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking. Dianne Rossen Worthington's California Cook, Waldy Malouf's Hudson River Cook Book, my books by Madhur Jaffery and I would have a hard time parting with my Saveur cookbooks and all of my Gourmet Annual cookbooks. Gosh, then there are the Bayless books and Diana Kennedy's I guess they are all pretty much favorites. I did do a purge a year or so ago and donated a bunch to our local Red Cross Book Fair and some to a thrift shop so I guess all of the others are keepers for now.

            1. f
              fitzhammer2000

              One of my favorite cookbooks is COLD WEATHER COOKING by Sarah Lee Chase. It's a wonderful resource for the holidays, but I use it year round. The author used to run a catering company in Nantucket and also was involved with the Butterball Turkey Hotline and collaberated on the Silver Palate Cookbooks. I highly recommend it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: fitzhammer2000

                I second this cookbook. I am also a big fan of her Open-House cookbook as well.

              2. a
                Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                One of my favorite cookbooks is THE SAVANNAH COOK BOOK by Harriet Ross Colquitt that was published in 1933. A fellow Chowhounder, Ruth Arcone, gave it to me as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and I love it. She found it in a second-hand book store near Union Square, I think. Coming from Savannah, it has all the recipes that Miss Ernestine and Miss Patsy, my parents cooks used to make. Yes, I grew up in a pre-Civil War Plantation and had a life Scarlet O'Hara would have envied. But I'd rather be poor in NYC than rich in Savannah. And I am. Poor money-wise, but rich in food choices. NYC has everything. But you knew that, right?

                1. a
                  Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                  One of my favorite cookbooks is THE SAVANNAH COOK BOOK by Harriet Ross Colquitt that was published in 1933. A fellow Chowhounder, Ruth Arcone, gave it to me as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and I love it. She found it in a second-hand book store near Union Square, I think. Coming from Savannah, it has all the recipes that Miss Ernestine and Miss Patsy, my parents cooks used to make. Yes, I grew up in a pre-Civil War Plantation and had a life Scarlet O'Hara would have envied. But I'd rather be poor in NYC than rich in Savannah. And I am. Poor money-wise, but rich in food choices. NYC has everything. But you knew that, right?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                    I'd rather be back in Savannah!

                    1. re: Candy
                      a
                      Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                      Are you also from Savannah? Savannah is the best city in the world to be from and grow up in (in the 40s, 50s) but if all of your family and relatives are gone, it's very lonely living there by yourself. In NYC you are never alone. That's why I don't live there now. However, should I ever win the NY Lotto or Mega Millions jackpot, I will buy a home on Tybee Island and spend Summers there. I'm sure with a few million bucks in the bank I won't have trouble making new friends.

                      1. re: Candy
                        a
                        Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                        Are you also from Savannah? Savannah is the best city in the world to be from and grow up in (in the 40s, 50s) but if all of your family and relatives are gone, it's very lonely living there by yourself. In NYC you are never alone. That's why I don't live there now. However, should I ever win the NY Lotto or Mega Millions jackpot, I will buy a home on Tybee Island and spend Summers there. I'm sure with a few million bucks in the bank I won't have trouble making new friends.

                        1. re: Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                          I lived there in the mid-50's went to Charles Ellis elementary when we lived on Bull St. then when my parents built a house in Windsor Forest I went to White Bluffs. My mom taught at 38th St. My dad was an Air Force Pilot. I've been back a number of times and it is an area my husband and i are condsidering for retirement. Remember when Hilton Head was uninhabited and you could have a whole stretch of beach to yourself and Tybee was so honky tonk?

                          1. re: Candy

                            I have family there, too, and spent many summers at my aunt's beach house on Tybee. Did you know the Karp's from e.63rd st, or the Harris's on 54th, I think? I used to love the chocolate babka from Gottlieb's bakery, they lived across the street from my aunt- Johnny Harris in its heyday was a cool place--and when my mother was alive, she used to send me Johnny Harris sauce all the time, with some boiled peanuts as a special treat! It's been awhile since I last visited, but last time I was at Pirates House, it was vile. Used to like the fried shrimp at the seafood place that's been there forever on the road to Tybee--that place is like a time warp.....the name has escaped me at the moment...

                            1. re: Janie
                              a
                              Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                              Please forgive then rude delay. I know the well-to-do Karps who had a nice clothing store. Those Karps? I saw Johnny Harris Barbecue sauce at the new Williams-Sonoma in the beautiful new Time-Warner Building this weekend. I buy it from Zabar's but long for those special times when daddy took us to Harris' for dinner. Remember the buttered toast they served with the chicken? As I say all the time, if I ever win the lottery I am going back to Savannah and buy a place at Tybee and find a nice large apartment in The Historic District. I want to be six feet tall but that ain't gonna happen either. Happy Thanksgiving. Boo Carroll

                              1. re: Janie
                                a
                                Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                                Please forgive then rude delay. I know the well-to-do Karps who had a nice clothing store. Those Karps? I saw Johnny Harris Barbecue sauce at the new Williams-Sonoma in the beautiful new Time-Warner Building this weekend. I buy it from Zabar's but long for those special times when daddy took us to Harris' for dinner. Remember the buttered toast they served with the chicken? As I say all the time, if I ever win the lottery I am going back to Savannah and buy a place at Tybee and find a nice large apartment in The Historic District. I want to be six feet tall but that ain't gonna happen either. Happy Thanksgiving. Boo Carroll

                            2. re: Anna 'Boo' Carroll

                              I love that book, having a hard time finding it. You are so lucky.

                        2. When I started getting into cooking, I bought a used Joy of Cooking and found that I didn't like the layout of the recipes. It is great however for the loads of info on ingredients. I ended up with what some call the new Joy- Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. I love it. I open it up several times a week to figure out what to make for dinner. Everything I've tried so far (from Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic to osso buco) has been great and very simple. The Best Recipe is also great- their crumb coffee cake is amazing.

                          A couple other faves: Mama Leah's Jewish Cookbook- when I was converting, I decided to learn how to cook some classic Jewish dishes for my soon to be husband. The chicken soup and pot roast recipes are wonderful. Finally, a cookbook called Second Helpings, put out by the Jewish Women International of Canada Mt. Sinai Chapter is one that was passed down from my mil to her daughter and then from her daughter to me. It has all the traditional stuff, menus for the Jewish holidays, and then some old fashioned recipes (aspics, etc.) that are fun to look at.

                          1. Susan Loomis wrote a dandy about Italian Country Cooking.

                            Paul Bertolli, Cooking by Hand.

                            Joy of Cooking(not new edition)

                            Peter Reinhardt, The Baker's Apprentice

                            Nancy Silverton, Breads of the La Brea (also Pastries...)

                            Mastering the Art of French Cooking

                            Jacques Pepin, any including Jacques and Julia

                            Bayliss and Kennedy on Mexican Cooking

                            Chez Panisse books

                            David Lebovitz, Room for Dessert

                            The Cake Bible

                            and so many more

                            1. g
                              garlic breath

                              Essentials of Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan because she's sassy and authoritative;
                              The Best Recipe, by Cooks Illustrated/Chris Kimball because they've put in the work;
                              Classic New England Cooking, by Jasper White, because
                              he captures the traditional flavors of my home region;
                              Think Like a Chef, by Tom Coliccio, because it combines conceptualization with technique and recipes.

                              1. this won't help you at all carrie as I just noticed this thread is [gulp ahem] 8 years old

                                I'm just trying to blend in to a thread that's already started if this needs to go elsewhere, MODS please move it. page 6-17 is completely devoted only to starter recipes, I think I'm in heaven. today I planned on getting rid of a large stack of cookbooks that I've not even looked at in 20 or more years. well sure as shootin the 27 I pulled, not one is going anywhere. the one I'm holding right now is: Rita Davenport's Sourdough Cookery the cost of it was $4.09 at Gemco a hundred years ago. the recipe that is catching my eye right now is : and ingredients include: "Sourdough Orange Pancakes" page 99 copyright 1977 2 cups sourdough starter 3 Tb melted butter 2 eggs 1 1/2 Tb oj concentrate 2 Tb sugar 1 ts slat 1 tsp baking powder then she tells how to make orange syrup My husband adores orange anything, this'll be a winner. gotta get to the starter first though and I think it may just work

                                1. Paris Boulangerie Patisserie by Linda Dannenberg

                                   
                                  1. While I cannot say it is my single favorite, a friend gave me a copy of Richard Olney's "Simple French Food". I have not only read through it cover to cover but have also made many of the recipes. It definitely is one of my favorite cookbooks.