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Apr 7, 2001 04:21 PM

favorite cookbooks

  • r

I've been on a bender lately, buying at least 10 new cookbooks in the last 3 months. Thomas Keller, James Peterson, Alfred Portale, Daniel Boulud, Paul Prudhomme,Vongerichten and Bittman, you get the picture.

I'm just wondering what other people have found interesting, useful, not worth the money lately, as well as old favorites.



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  1. c
    Caitlin Wheeler

    One of my favorite cookbooks is The Pauper's Cookbook, by Jocasta Innes which I picked up in a used bookstore in a English country village for 50p. It's full of great recipes for simple classics, like French onion soup, Chocolate mousse, and Yorkshire pudding. Has anyone else run across her cookbooks?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin Wheeler

      i really love donna hay's series: the new cook, new food fast, entertaining, and i think the new one is called flavors or something. the recipes are really simple and the books are great just to look at: they're glossy and very stylish and it's a good place to get ideas and inspiration on ingredients and presentation.

      1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
        yvonne johnson

        innes's pauper's cookbook. yellow, well used...and still used. yes, i agree some really good recipes. here are some of the ones we've marked very good: pommes anna, chili con carne (very simple, and chunks of meat rather than mince), chicken liver pilaff, kedgeree,and onion and bacon hotpot. The last is my better half's favorite. this book has a sentimental place on our bookshelves: my then-to- be husband was cooking from it at university when we were dating. food is a way to a woman's heart.

      2. Patricia Wells' Bistro Cookbook.


        1 Reply
        1. b
          Brandon Nelson

          I love anything that I have found by Lorenza De Medici. The photos are great, the recipes gorgeous, and the history is wonderful. I own "The Renaissance of Italian Cooking". It's a gem.

          I like the Jeff Smith's "Frugal Gourmet series too. They aren't much to look at, but they are well researched, and include some light bits of history as well. My favorite is " The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American". It has sections for regional fare (New England, Soul, Cajun, Pennsylvania Dutch) as well as sections for uniquely Amercan ingredients, like sweet potatoes and turkey.

          My greatest treause is a two volume set called "Culinaria". There are detailed sections on National specialties of Europe. If I could have only one cookbook this would give "Joy of Cooking" a run for the prize.


          1. Two very favorite cookbooks that I reach for time and again are Ronald Johnson's "Simple Fare" and the wonderful Edna Lewis's "In Pursuit of Flavor." They are both older books, but each is a classic.

            1. I will probably get killed for this but an old Betty Crocker cookbook from the fifties. French Cooking by Julia Childs, an old NY Times cookbook, regional books like Taste of Oregon and some of my favorites are the ones written up by people in a town to raise money for a charity or project.