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Dec 23, 2008 04:32 PM


Which cookbooks are you giving to family and friends this season? On my list are Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita, Baked, and Malgieri's Modern Baker. Any other new tried and fab?

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  1. Last year my husband gave me a copy of ExtraVeganZa and I gave copies to my sister and sister-in-law (I was pretty sure he was getting it for me since we had looked at it together.

    1. I am giving Desserts by the Yard and Cooking suvide (sp?)

      15 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        I gave my sister - don't think she's reading along - a note book full of favorite recipes that I've typed up and simplified for her, many from COTMs. Haven't given any other books, but asked for the Zuni book and the Platter of Figs book.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Wow, that is SUCH a thoughtful gift. Your sister is very lucky.

          I asked for More Roast Chicken. The only cookbook I'm giving is Flexitarian to a vegetarian friend who has just gotten back into cooking after a few years.

          1. re: LulusMom

            Thanks - I'm open to other suggestions of recipes - I only did about 25 recipes, but want to keep adding to it for her. She's getting better at cooking, but doesn't have lots of time to dedicate to it, doesn't eat fish, and the only cooked vegetables she'll eat are potatoes, corn and green beans. Her husband is a reed and will eat most things. She likes to make casseroles on the weekends for the week, so if any one has any favorites, I'd sure be interested in seeing them, as that's not something I make. I did things like roast chicken, various pasta sauces, some salads, a pork loin roast, some of ChrisVR's "dirty dessert" recipes, Marcella's chickpea/tomato/rosemary soup, several roast potato and mashed potato recipes, a couple of corn salad/relishes, some other relishes, Pimiento cheese, those Batali mozzarella sandwiches, and the Flexitarian sundried tomato one. I tried to simplify the recipes, indicate where she could omit certain expensive ingredients (like saffron from the Well's prune/pear compote), etc.

            You have to make the duck soup from the More Roast Chicken book.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Something that comes immediately to mind (given what she likes to eat) is the Molto Italiano recipe for pasta with potatoes, green beans and pesto (I myself cheated and used store bought pesto so you can tell her to do same - it worked just fine). We liked it very much.

              I'm *really* going to have to find a duck source ...

              1. re: LulusMom

                Thanks - I'll paraphrase and send that one along! And try it myself!

          2. re: MMRuth

            I'm having a lot of fun assembling recipes as gifts with Tastebook right now--it's not as personal as what you're doing, but it is a pretty slick tool and you can add in photos, which is fun...

            To answer the OP, "Italian Pie" and "All About Braising". If I thought Santa would hear my plea for more cookbooks, I'd ask for Platter of Figs, Weight Watchers New Cookbook (yep, honestly), Peterson's (or is it Patterson's?) "Fish and Shellfish, " "All About Braising", Cradle of Flavor, and anything by "Alford and Duguid"...


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I've found that Santa hears my plea when I put together an Amazon wish list. I didn't realize that people were using it, but when I got a couple of obscure books last year for Christmas, I was like, "Oh, my god! How did you know I wanted this book!!!!" The I felt like an idiot when I realized that they had just searched Amazon!

                1. re: roxlet

                  Oh, I found out about the Ottolenghi cookbook, available at Amazon UK, sent Santa (DH) a request, it arrived in less than a week. Showed it to a co-worker and she had to have it too. Measurements are metric but so what. 2 yrs. ago in London I had to walk past their Kensington take out shop at least twice day. Gorgeous book and gorgeous food. Now that the L is not so dear I am getting ready to plan a new trip, in the meantime I can cook their food.

                  1. re: Candy

                    I picked this one up on the recommendation of fellow chowhound greedygirl, and am really excited about cooking from it. Let us know if you find particular favorites.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      The Red Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios is killer!

                    2. re: Candy

                      I LOVE that book and have made a few things from it. The chicken with sumac is delicious and simple to make, as is the radish and broad bean salad. I've also made the killer pistachio and rosewater meringues.

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    The Nov 24 New Yorker - their annual Food Issue - has an interesting profile of Alford and Duguid. Also long pieces on innovations in knife design, localvore cuisine in China, and searching for the perfect brodetto.

                  3. re: MMRuth

                    Last year I gave my sister Bittman's How to Cook Everything in an effor to minimize those desperate phone calls at dinner time asking: how do I cook . . . .
                    Now she still calls, and I tell her: it's in your cookbook. But I often tell her anyway. I just try not to grind my teeth as she tells me every single night she's steaming asparagus. Egads, miss the fall greens -- kale, bok choi, cabbage! Pains me.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      And I'm very happy to have received the Zuni book - have been browsing through it today. Merry Christmas to all.

                  4. We received "Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating" by Bruce Brennan and James Ehrlich, "Rawthentic Recipes": James Schafter Family Recipes, and "Pure and Simple" by Tami A. Benton

                    1. Oh, Santa came in with an unexpected bonus. Nigel Slater's "Eating for England". Not a cookbook but a bunch of food related essays. My day off tomorrow will be preoccupied with it.

                      1. My husband gave me a copy of the Alinea cookbook. I may never forgive him.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: jlafler

                          Hey, I got that Alinea book too! Not sure what to make of it yet - I know nothing about it or the restaurant but I guess that's about to change. Also got Zuni, which I love. Also Jamie Oliver in Italy and Gordon Ramsey Quick Cooking (or something like that), I don't love the ego stuff, but there's a few good looking things in the Oliver one. I don't see the point of Ramsey.

                          Anyway, that's a lot of cookbooks even by my standards, so I guess Beyond the Great Wall will have to wait - I'm running out of space.

                          1. re: waver

                            If you enjoyed chemistry lab, you'll probably love it. The discussion of equipment needed to do the recipes is a hoot.

                            I love the Zuni cookbook, though I've only made a few things out of it. The roast chicken is canonical.

                            1. re: waver

                              I've made quite a few Ramsay recipes and they always come out well, so don't dismiss him out of hand as he's a very talented chef. The lobster spaghetti out of that quick cooking book you mention (which I think must be Gordon Ramsay Easy) is very good, and the scrambled eggs method has changed my life!

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                Are you familiar with his "Kitchen Heaven" book? I gather these are the recipes he developed for restaurants that were featured in the British version of "Kitchen Nightmares." A friend brought it from London for me and I've never cooked from it, only partially because of the metric measurements. If his recipes are good, though, I'll deal with the metric.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  I don't have that one, but have several others and like them. I made his honey roast ham on Boxing Day and it was fabulous. It surprises me that so many people on Chowhound are dismissive of Ramsay - probably because the American version of Kitchen Nightmares is so dire.

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    I don't hate him or discount his talent, I just think he's a rather overexposed and I am also disgusted in the shenanigans in his personal life, which shouldn't matter to his cooking except his books are such glossy glorifications of him that it's hard to set that aside. Having said that, if there's a great recipe in there I'll certainly give it a go, so thanks for the tips.

                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                      The American version is pretty darned bad, and he seems like a totally different person from the man on the British version (as in on your version he seems like he actually wants to help people and here it just seems like he's in it for the freakshow). Also, on the show Hell's Kitchen, he seems to distain any sort of spiciness, which is a bit of a turn off for me. That said, I'd love to eat in one of his restaurants.