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Apr 7, 2010 01:19 PM

Cookbook recommendations

I'm seeking great cookbook recommendations for my husband's birthday gift. He is especially fond of mediterranean cuisine (italian, spanish), also loves classic american and german. a good barbecue book might be nice as well.
The books should have fantastic pictures with recipes that are easy to follow, but really absolutely delicious.
Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance!

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  1. The book is called Barbeque Secrets. It is hands down my favourite cookbook. Everything I have made has been outstanding. It also has a lot of information in between the chapters like how to cook and steak best and why and why he adds cold water to his hamburgers. Also some funny stories. It's actually a good read!

    2 Replies
    1. re: julesincoq

      Two bbq books: Serious Barbecue, by Adam Perry Lang.

      Smoke and Spice by the Jamisons.

      Smoke and Spice is a classic. Serious Barbecue is too new to be a classic - but it will be. Both awesome resources that I use frequently.

    2. How about the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook? Beautiful pictures, it's "American cuisine" and every recipe is a winner:

      P.S. That potato salad on the cover is the best potato salad I've ever had in my life!

      Tell your hubby happy birthday!

      3 Replies
      1. re: momskitchen

        HELP!! I tried to order this book but there are like 10 of them!! Back to Basics, Everyday recipes, Entertaining,Family Style, French.....Which one should I get?? Any?

        1. re: julesincoq

          The original one I linked to is the one I recommend...

          The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten.

          1. re: momskitchen

            thaks I found it. I was looking on (Canadian one) and couldn't find the exact same one so I thought it might just have a different photo in Canada but I did find it. She has so many. Thanks for the suggestions I think it's time to update my collection of books! This will be fun!

      2. I just got (from the library) Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller. I'm going to order 1 for me, 1 for a gift, from Amazon for $31.50 instead of $50 list price. I want to make the fresh pineapple upside down cake (I'm sure it's almost as good with canned pineapple, if necessary.) Also, might tackle the fried chicken (I've had it twice at his restaurant in Yountville, CA (N. Cal wine country.) There's a Pave potato dish, like better than scalloped. He made it on Martha Stewart's show.

        I think it's very approachable for a home cook, nice photos. Be sure to use Diamond Brand kosher salt when he specifies kosher salt.

        1. I like Nightly Specials by Michael Lomonaco. He gave me a copy and while I'm normally skeptical of cookbooks in general, I find myself recommending it often. The recipes are original, thoughtful and easy to prepare, and the photos are great.

          1. Hi, recommend these two.

            - Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond

            - Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon

            9 Replies
            1. re: hobbybaker

              The Ottolenghi Cookbook by Yatam Ottolenghi. It's Mediterranean with a Middle Eastern twist and everything I've cooked has been completely delicious. It was a big hit with the hounds when we did it as Cookbook of the Month. You'll probably have to order it from the UK, though, but it's heavily discounted on Amazon.


                1. re: roxlet

                  Ditto that ditto.
                  The cookbook was a COTM in August 2009, Here's a link to the main topic thread with links to the chapter reports. This COTM was very well received and had many participants.

                  Here's the Jessica's Biscuit (on-line bookstore) link:

                  1. re: Gio

                    You guys make me consider to buy it, too :) Does it have many farbulous photoes? Sounds a great book!

                    1. re: hobbybaker

                      Yep, great photos. A very nice looking book. You will have to get to grips with metric though.

                      1. re: greedygirl

                        Thanks. my wish list on Amazon has just grown:)

                  2. re: roxlet

                    tritto that (Ottolenghi)! I'd also ditto Arabesque by Claudia Rodan. It was Cookbook of the Month a while back and you can check out the comments.

                    I'd also suggest Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni if you can find it. It's an amazing book with chapters on all the different regions of Italy. Many wonderful recipes.

                    I also like Mario Batali's Molto Italiano.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      Glad to hear you cite the Ada Boni book. It was the first cookbook that I bought for myself, and I cooked from it extensively. I still consult it when I am looking for something specifically regional

                      1. re: oakjoan

                        Second Mario Batali's Molto Italiano - the pictures are good, technique is simple, and the recipes are great