What cookbooks do you consider "essential"... i.e. cannot live without? Personally, my current favorite is the Gourmet cookbook which i just bought... and now i want more! any reccomendations?! Thanks!
I haven't really had any of my cookbooks long enough to *really* consider them essential, but the one I would really, really miss (in fact, I'm missing it right now since I loned it out) is Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. And although it's not really a cookbook, I could not do without the Food Lover's Companion- sort of a food and cooking dictionary and a great resource.
For absolutely different reasons, the Betty Crocker cookbook (I have a cheap, dogeared paperback and anything by the Frugal Gourmet. He has fallen out of favor but he has a lot of good, serviceable recipes similar to the tastes I grew up with.
1) The Joy of Cooking
2) How to Cook Everything
3) Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
4) Mastering the Art of French Cooking
The Joy of Cooking BUT it must be the 1970s version -- not the hideous so-called "revised" one.
Fish & Shellfish, by James Peterson
Sauces, by James Peterson
Essentials of Cooking, by James Peterson
The Splendid Table, by Lynne R. Kasper
Couscous & Other Good Food From Morocco, by Paula Wolfert
A Book Of Middle Eastern Food, by Claudia Roden
Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone, by Deborah Madison
Bistro Cooking, by Patricia Wells
Curried Favors, by Maya Kaimal MacMillan
The Barefoot Contessa and The Barefoot Contessa Parties, by Ina Garten
From Julia Child's Kitchen, by Julia Child
Le Cordon Bleu At Home
The Last Course, by Claudia Fleming
How To Cook A Pig, by Betty Talmadge (well, maybe not essential, but I love it)
Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. Superb recipes that consistently turn out better than I expect them to.
The only books I consider "essential" in my collection are:
Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia Child)
The Way to Cook (Julia Child)
Jaques Pepin Complete Techniques
Le Repertoir de la Cuisine
I have many other books I love and from which I gather many ideas, but those are my essential books.
I'm sensing a theme here!
The two books I could not live without, and which I would (and have) travelled with anywhere I might be cooking, are:
Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
A close third and fourth place go to:
Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything
Rosemary Barron's Flavors of Greece