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If you had a $200.00 gift card to spend on cookbooks, you would buy...

buttertart Apr 26, 2010 12:29 PM

I have a $200.00 B&N card left over from Christmas (have restrained myself until now because our housing situation was a bit up in the air - now we have a place with a lot more space than before so of course my first impulde is to fill it up with...cookbooks!). Planning to get the 2 big Gourmet books yellow and green, CI More Best Recipes, The America's Test Kitchen complete, Cook's Country Cookbook, Room for Dessert (Leibowitz) and the Darina Allen Forgotten Skills. This comes to $190.00 something. Going primarily for the "portmanteau" type as Jen Kalb would have it. Any new gems I should kick one of these out of bed in favor of? Was considering Wolfert's Clay Pot Cooking as well. There's a 15% off coupon code today so this might be the time to strike.

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  1. The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 12:49 PM

    Hmmm... you have Jean Anderson Cooks?

    I caught a glimpse of a massive book a friend of mine had and sort of coveted it:

    http://www.ciaprochef.com/fbi/books/P... It seemed very, very comprehensive. Something you'd only use as a reference, you'd never cook from it.

    But, if you're looking to stray from the portmanteau books (ha! I love that we've seized on that word) there a couple off this list of James Beard nominees http://jbfawards.com/documents/JBF_Aw... that intrigue me, sight unseen, such as

    Seven Fires, Grilling the Argentine Way

    Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for putting up small batches of seasonal food

    Or, if you have a lot of occasions to cook for yourself, Judith JOne's the Pleasures of Cooking for One.

    I suppose the completely revised and updated Larousse Gatronomique might fit your criterion.

    If you have a choice, get the version of the Yellow Gourmet Book that comes with the instructional DVD. No biggie--they demo 3-4 recipes. It's kind of a kick.


    1 Reply
    1. re: The Dairy Queen
      buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 26, 2010 01:04 PM

      Good suggestions all. I think I have everything Jean Anderson ever wrote!

    2. ladyberd RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 01:20 PM

      If you like GReek food, Vefa's Kitchen is amazing. It's packed with every greek recipe imaginable. I have many of the ones you list above and they are good choices indeed, but Vefa's Kitchen is one of my all-time favorites.


      1 Reply
      1. re: ladyberd
        buttertart RE: ladyberd Apr 26, 2010 01:45 PM

        Yes I know, I have it already! And love it. Thanks! ;-)

      2. bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 02:16 PM

        All excellent choices, and I'm afraid that if I recommend anything you will already have it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bushwickgirl
          buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Apr 26, 2010 02:32 PM

          You never know!

        2. souschef RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 02:26 PM

          "Foie Gras" by Michael Ginor.

          The first recipe is for "Cromesquis" - little cubes of hot liquid foie gras mixed with port and cream that pop deliciously in your mouth. Ambrosia!

          Lots of other nice-looking recipes there. Lots of pictures - I like food porn.

          8 Replies
          1. re: souschef
            buttertart RE: souschef Apr 26, 2010 02:34 PM

            Did you ever see the Bernard Loiseau "L'Envolée des Saveurs"? Knock your socks off photography. Too bad he's dead. (A French friend gave it to me when he was the hottest thing in gastronomy in France.)

            1. re: buttertart
              souschef RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 03:06 PM

              No, I did not. I hear he committed suicide when he heard he was losing one of his 3 stars.

              1. re: souschef
                buttertart RE: souschef Apr 27, 2010 07:45 AM

                Great book about that - The Perfectionist by Rudolf Chelminsky.

            2. re: souschef
              buttertart RE: souschef Apr 27, 2010 09:07 AM

              Say souschef, a question (OT sorry): did you ever make a Rigo Jansci? Have seen recipes for it for a million years and am contemplating making one this weekend.

              1. re: buttertart
                souschef RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 11:11 AM

                No, I have not made one. I just checked my recipe, and it is a LOT of work. I have to make a birthday cake this weekend, and you piqued my curiosity, but I'm not sure I will make it - my plans are to make a chocolate/fig/cognac/gianduja cake. Please let me know how your Rigo Jancsi turns out.

                1. re: souschef
                  buttertart RE: souschef Apr 27, 2010 11:20 AM

                  It's that,or your chocolate chestnut, or the ludlab chocolate cherry Hungarian one from the Coffee Mill that was posted here...husband's b-day 5/3, early celebration.

                2. re: buttertart
                  souschef RE: buttertart Apr 28, 2010 02:55 PM

                  Buttertart, have you seen a Rigo Jancsi recipe that uses a dark chocolate glaze? The recipe I have uses a milk chocolate glaze, and I don't like milk chocolate.

                  1. re: souschef
                    buttertart RE: souschef Apr 28, 2010 03:07 PM

                    I think so - I've been ogling these recipes for a loooong time. Will look.

              2. bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 05:48 PM

                Ok, I've always wanted this one:
                A Thousand Years Over A Hot Stove A History Of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, And Remembrances by Laura Schenone. Published in 2004, James Beard Award winner, in pb now. Ms. Schenone also wrote The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search For Food and Family.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bushwickgirl
                  buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Apr 27, 2010 05:58 AM

                  They both sound up my alley! Thanks.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                    bear RE: bushwickgirl Apr 27, 2010 07:09 AM

                    Loved the Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken.

                  2. spineguy RE: buttertart Apr 26, 2010 10:10 PM

                    Ad Hoc at Home. Big thumbs up for Thomas Keller's book.

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: spineguy
                      buttertart RE: spineguy Apr 27, 2010 05:57 AM

                      I have Bouchon and have only made one recipe from it - is Ad Hoc that much better?

                      1. re: buttertart
                        hankstramm RE: buttertart Apr 28, 2010 08:50 PM

                        Buttertart, I've cooked extensively from Bouchon--probably 20-30 different recipes. It's probably the best and most used cookbook I own. Just yesterday, I used the Mornay sauce from it and routinely make the chicken, choc and vanilla ice cream and the salmon with leeks. The beef burgundy is better than any I've tried and the pork roast also is amazing. There are sauces, techiniques etc.

                        Adhoc at Home is good, but nothing like Bouchon which is a culinary repertoire that could last you a lifetime of cooking. AdHoc has great comfort food for many occasions, and is worth buying.

                        1. re: hankstramm
                          buttertart RE: hankstramm Apr 29, 2010 06:19 AM

                          Good to know. I can kick one of the CI-related books out of bed for Ad Hoc.

                          1. re: buttertart
                            The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Apr 29, 2010 06:29 AM

                            A lot of people seem to compare Ad Hoc (which I own, but haven't cooked from yet) to Bouchon. Opinions seem very polarized: those who love Ad Hoc, don't seem as enchanted as Bouchon, and vice versa. A breakfast I had at Bouchon in Vegas was one of my all-time best meals. I wish I could decide whether I needed it.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 29, 2010 06:32 AM

                              I've had Bouchon for yonks and only really looked through it after we went to Per Se for my Cinderella birthday last year. There are a lot of very appealing recipes, but I've not broached any yet.

                              1. re: buttertart
                                The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Apr 29, 2010 06:37 AM

                                Maybe I'll wait for you to cook from it. :)


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 29, 2010 06:41 AM

                                  You may be waiting a rather long time!

                              2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                souschef RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 29, 2010 07:43 AM

                                I must say that I enjoy seeing the diversity of opinions.

                                1. re: souschef
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: souschef Apr 29, 2010 09:09 AM

                                  Really, that's the beauty of chowhound in general, but, with respect to these two books in particular! I will probably break down and buy Bouchon eventually, partly because of that gnocci recipe, but I'm in no hurry based on all of the books I do have that I haven't cooked from yet.


                                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  hankstramm RE: The Dairy Queen May 5, 2010 08:48 PM

                                  Adhoc is great for the novice that isn't afraid to go to extra lengths to make a superb meal. Like I mentioned, I have Bouchon and it's one of my favorites (I personally own over 100 of some of the highest regarded cookbooks of all types of cooking). I took AdHoc out of the SF public library. I like it, it's has very good tips, techniques and recipes. Still, for my French biased cooking style, I don't think it has half of what Bouchon does. Then again, I don't need someone to explain in 3 page how to make great fried chicken. I will use his recipe, but I still don't need that much.

                                  AdHoc is for "non-foodies" at least in the sense, "non-foodies" with experience cooking . I'd buy the book if you're small SF apartment isn't totally packed with cookbooks already. If it is so packed, you probably don't need it.

                                  1. re: hankstramm
                                    The Dairy Queen RE: hankstramm May 6, 2010 03:53 AM

                                    Thanks hankstramm. It sounds like I should definitely get Bouchon. (I already own Ad Hoc--just haven't had a chance to cook from it yet.)

                                    Buttertart, what did you end up doing?


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen May 6, 2010 06:07 AM

                                      Still dithering ...missed the 15% off opportunity I think, waiting for another one. Am leery of Ad Hoc because of my prejudice against chef's books (at the risk of lifetime exile from this board, I don't even really like Zuni, and I LOVE the restaurant) so am going to give it a lookover in the store before I include it.

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart May 6, 2010 08:41 AM

                                        I think it's smart to have a look at the book before you buy it. :)


                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen May 6, 2010 08:44 AM

                                          And how many books have I bought without? Don't ask. I was reading through Bouchon and didn't get all the way through so am a little leery of another TK.

                                        2. re: buttertart
                                          greedygirl RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 01:45 PM

                                          *whispers* I wasn't a fan of Zuni either and chose not to buy the cheap copy I found in the Strand Bookstore in NYC.

                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      Westminstress RE: The Dairy Queen May 6, 2010 08:06 AM

                                      I have Bouchon and have made two things from it (that I can recall). I have aspirations to make more. A lot of recipes are very appealing, but I haven't had the time! I've made the roasted chicken (the more complicated recipe with the wet brine) and the lemon tart. Both were excellent. Overall, though, I prefer the Zuni dry-brine method for chicken (or Hazan, which doesn't require advance planning). The lemon tart was very good, and I liked the pine nut crust very much. But I also like the lemon tart from Bistro Cooking, and that one comes together quick as a breeze. So I don't feel too inclined to repeat on either of those recipes. On the other hand, there's a lot of other recipes in the book I'd like to try (the gnocchi and many of the salads and fish dishes look very good, not to mention the cauliflower gratin. And one day I will tackle the beef bourguignon). I haven't felt too compelled to get Ad Hoc at Home, though, because I've barely delved into Bouchon, and I don't think I need two Thomas Keller books filled with uncompromising recipes for simple favorites. Or at least I don't need the second until I can make some headway into the first!

                                      Hmmmm ... all of which makes me think that a combined Bouchon and Ad Hoc at Home would make a great COTM.

                                      1. re: Westminstress
                                        The Dairy Queen RE: Westminstress May 6, 2010 08:40 AM

                                        I would, of course, love to do a Bouchon and Ad Hoc COTM. First of all, it would give me an excuse to buy Bouchon. But, also, it would be nice to have virtual company as I worked my way through the recipes.


                              3. re: spineguy
                                souschef RE: spineguy Apr 27, 2010 05:59 AM

                                I have The French Laundry cookbook but have not made anything from it yet. How does it compare?

                                1. re: souschef
                                  AndrewK512 RE: souschef Apr 27, 2010 07:36 AM

                                  Out of French Laundry, Bouchon and Ad Hoc, I'd say Ad Hoc is my favourite. Tons of astounding recipes with easy to find ingredients. In fact, I've had the book since it came out and it wasn't until yesterday that I made something from it I wasn't completely happy with. The fried chicken recipe and the chicken soup with dumplings are just mindblowing.

                                  French Laundry would come in second just because some of the ingredients are rather expensive or hard to find. However, there are many many great recipes (especially the lobster pancakes with carrot ginger emulsion!! my favourite)as well as some really useful techniques (herb oils, cooking lobster, forming agnolotti).

                                  I'm not a big fan of Bouchon, except for the gnocchi recipe and the roasted chicken, everything else just isn't really my style.

                              4. buttertart RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 06:02 AM

                                Thinking of swapping out one for the new Grace Young book I saw mentioned in Saveur today...

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: buttertart
                                  bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 11:05 AM

                                  Which Grace Young is that? Title, please.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                                    buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Apr 27, 2010 11:09 AM

                                    "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories", out early May.

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 11:18 AM

                                      Sounds up my alley. Thanks!

                                      I just bought Ratio btw, do you have that?

                                2. operagirl RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 09:27 AM

                                  There's a new revised edition of Bittman's "How To Cook Everything" -- it might not be interesting/focused enough for your requirements, but I've read some very positive reviews!

                                  1. l
                                    Leper RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 07:09 PM

                                    Paul Prudomme's "Louisiana Kitchen" is still in print and a wonderful journey into cajon/creole. (Just make sure you have plenty of butter on hand.)

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Leper
                                      buttertart RE: Leper Apr 28, 2010 06:03 AM

                                      Have had that since it came out (just made the Poorman's Jambalaya from it on Saturday, by the way - even better with some extra sausage fried up separately and stirred in). I have a serious cookbook habit of about 40 years' standing...

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        hankstramm RE: buttertart Apr 28, 2010 08:52 PM

                                        Just ate some gumbo from PP's LK. Another of my favorites...

                                      2. re: Leper
                                        just_M RE: Leper Jun 5, 2010 08:30 PM

                                        Just picked this up at the hospice sale for $2. What recipes would you recommend I try first?

                                        1. re: just_M
                                          JoanN RE: just_M Jul 6, 2010 08:25 AM

                                          The Seafood Gumbo with Andouille and the Cajun Meatload are two recipes to start with. Both justifiably famous since the book was first published.

                                          1. re: JoanN
                                            just_M RE: JoanN Jul 6, 2010 11:20 AM

                                            Thank you JoanN, love the opportunity to start with a success.

                                      3. waver RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2010 09:02 PM

                                        I thought this looked fun in the bookstore today, from the Silver Spoon (not Palate) folks, "Recipes from an Italian Summer."

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: waver
                                          buttertart RE: waver Apr 28, 2010 06:04 AM

                                          That does look nice.

                                        2. m
                                          mcuneo RE: buttertart Apr 29, 2010 10:30 AM

                                          It might be too late, but if you still have time to add another to your list, check out the New Portguese Table by David Leite. (http://leitesculinaria.com/the-new-po...) I'd definately use a portion of the gift certificate if that appeals to you.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mcuneo
                                            buttertart RE: mcuneo Apr 29, 2010 10:53 AM

                                            That is a good suggestion - I had it out of the library and it was really excellent. See: (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6550...)

                                          2. buttertart RE: buttertart Jun 5, 2010 03:02 PM

                                            i missed the 15% off window, but am glad I resisted given the New York Times Book Review "Summer Reading" section on cookbooks (and the one on travel for that matter) - there are some new doozies listed. Cookbookaholics should look it up on the NYT website!

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Jun 5, 2010 03:33 PM

                                              Oh sheesh. Get me in deeper than I already am with cookbooks! http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/boo...

                                              And don't forget the "online-only" extra 20 books: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/boo...


                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 5, 2010 03:43 PM

                                                Yes, which includes the happy news that a 50th anniversary edition of Peg Bracken's I Hate to Cook Book is coming out! I love her. Her other mid-sixties books are a hoot too, the I Hate to Housekeep and the one on travel in particular. I read and reread them as a kid - a window onto grownupness. Her mental health oatmeal cookies can't be beat.

                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Jun 5, 2010 03:53 PM

                                                  I've never heard of that one, but it sounds fun! Lots of retro stuff.

                                                  A COOK'S JOURNEY TO JAPAN sounds interesting. I've also had my eye on FORGOTTEN SKILLS OF COOKING. Funny that Ottolenghi made the list rather Plenty.


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 6, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                    I suppose because it must be being issued here, finally - I first read of it in a Christmas roundup (NYT) at least 2 years ago it seems to me.

                                                  2. re: buttertart
                                                    The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Jun 5, 2010 04:12 PM

                                                    Wow! It's amazing how many of the travel books are actually about food, "food-oirs" she calls them. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/boo...


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Jun 6, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                      Yes, I love travel books and those foodoirs looked pertty darn interesting (esp the Japan one).

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        clamscasino RE: buttertart Jun 6, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                        And check out the gardening books too. I put The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell and The Seasons on Henry's Farm by Terra Brockman on my "to read" list.

                                                        1. re: clamscasino
                                                          roxlet RE: clamscasino Jun 6, 2010 09:13 AM

                                                          The guys who wrote the Bucolic Plague have a great website too called Beekman 1802.

                                                          1. re: clamscasino
                                                            buttertart RE: clamscasino Jun 6, 2010 04:14 PM

                                                            Thanks for the tip - haven't read the whole Book Review yet, and haven't realy concentrated on the gardening books previously.

                                                2. b
                                                  Beckyleach RE: buttertart Jun 5, 2010 09:52 PM

                                                  Watch out. I bought Paula's new book on Clay Pot Cooking on sale at Amazon...but it ended up costing me several hundred dollars!!!

                                                  Why? Well, if you give a mouse a cookie, he's gonna need a glass of milk. And if you buy this book, you're going to discover just HOW empty your pantry is of exotic spices and doo dads (sumac, aleppo pepper, a strange Indian berry, orange blossom water, etc..) despite being the Queen of Penzeys.

                                                  Then, you're going to need to drive all the way to Omaha, to the Whole Foods, to find decent lamb (actually, ANY lamb; none ever sold in my part of the Sticks) where you end up being so enraptured, your bill at check-out comes to $197. THEN you drive all over the city looking for the aforementioned spices....and end up at Sur La Table to buy a tagine ($25) and a heat diffuser for said tagine ($25)....and then you find a Middle Eastern grocery store and, seduced, rack up another $75 in expenses.

                                                  You get home with your loot and cast a critical eye on your cookware and realize you really, really need some more pots, so late at night--while hubby snores peacefully unaware--you surf to TerraAllegra and buy a couple of pieces of ("slightly imperfect") Piral from Italy, and--BANG!--there goes another $85 bucks!

                                                  The next day, still surfin' the intertubes, you wander over to Coyote Clay--mentioned by Paula in the book as one of her favorite sources--and--gosh darn it!--fall victim to the irrepressible urge to buy a hand-thrown clay pot bread cooker. Might as well toss in a mug for Hubby, whose birthday is fast approaching. There goes ANOTHER $75.

                                                  So far, I've cooked ONE THING out of this hopelessly intoxicating cookbook--it was delicious--and that meal cost my (still largely unsuspecting; I do all the book keeping ;-) husband a total of almost $500.

                                                  Did I say it *was* delicious?

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Beckyleach
                                                    bushwickgirl RE: Beckyleach Jun 5, 2010 11:41 PM

                                                    Great post; what you describe I call the hook, line and sinker syndrome. But even though you're being hooked, it's still so much fun.

                                                    Enjoy the book!

                                                    Oh, btw, thanks for the Clay Coyote link; I'm hooked.

                                                    1. re: Beckyleach
                                                      buttertart RE: Beckyleach Jun 6, 2010 06:15 AM

                                                      Clay pot bread cooker??? I'm in! (Fun post, been there, done that department, although you really threw yourself into it! Good going.)

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        Beckyleach RE: buttertart Jun 6, 2010 09:53 AM

                                                        LOL. Only here would I receive kudos for such insanity. I love this place!

                                                        1. re: Beckyleach
                                                          buttertart RE: Beckyleach Jun 6, 2010 04:22 PM

                                                          Me too!

                                                      2. re: Beckyleach
                                                        lulou23 RE: Beckyleach Aug 8, 2010 07:14 PM

                                                        Wow, good to know I am not the only one who will make a special trip to purchase "supplies" (rare ingredient, special vessels to cook in entire appliances) needed for one recipe.

                                                      3. roxlet RE: buttertart Jun 6, 2010 12:55 AM

                                                        From the looks of that on-line only list from the NY Times, it looks like Ottolenghi is finally being published in the US by Ebury press...

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                          buttertart RE: roxlet Jun 6, 2010 06:16 AM

                                                          Yes it does. A couple of years after it was planned to I believe.

                                                        2. buttertart RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2010 08:13 AM

                                                          Ok, I finally did it because B&N had a 20% off 1 book offer over the weekend (which of course became a 30% off offer this morning). I got:
                                                          Gourmet Cookbook (the yellow one, since I've already read the green one and will no doubt get it anyway)
                                                          Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz (I have his Sweet Life in Paris and love it, figured this was a good sampling of the other books)
                                                          More Best Recipes from CI (hope the sablé recipe M likes is in it, don't know what I did with that magazine...)
                                                          Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen (have wanted this since I saw it in London in January, interesting it was published so quickly here - M on the subject: "Lot of Irish people in the States" - he oughta know, Mister 50% German and 100% Irish)
                                                          Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge by Grace Young ( a good new Asian book is always welcome chez nous)
                                                          Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless (I have all his books and I have a little "thing" for him - Topolobampo is one of my favorite restaurants in the world)
                                                          Ginger and Ganesh by Nani Power (read about it in the NYT Summer Reading issue, Travel Books, sounded very interesting, she arranged for cooking lessons by Indian women in their homes - with ramifications apparently)
                                                          And The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (historical novel set in Japan, sounds wonderful - exquisite description of eating a persimmon included in this week's NYT Book Review review of it by Dave Eggers btw - and a girl's gotta get her head out of the cookbooks once in a while).
                                                          All this for USD 204.20.
                                                          Looking forward to reading and posting on my haul!!!

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                            The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2010 08:55 AM

                                                            What a fun mix of books. I'm very curious to hear about the Darina Allen book after you've had a chance to play around with it.


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                              buttertart RE: The Dairy Queen Jul 6, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                              Me too (the Allen). I decided against a whole slew of encyclopedic books, figured that would be a bit dull really.

                                                            2. re: buttertart
                                                              buttertart RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 07:49 AM

                                                              It's been a busier summer than I hoped and haven't gotten into these books as much as I was expecting to yet. Am reading Ganesh and Ginger and must say that unless you are fond of New Agey airyfairy notions of Indian religion and culture, poor syntax, odd word choices and stretched metaphors (eyes like starfish, anyone? ever see a starfish?), badly edited recipes (paneer left out of the first recipe in the book, for a paneer curry), and bodice-ripping descriptions of an illconsidered affair, this is not the book for you. I had hoped for something more grounded. This ain't it.

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 09:10 AM

                                                                Mm, funny, should have been "arms like starfish". Thanks for the heads up; won't be buying that one. None of that airyfairy stuff for me.

                                                                I'm actually going backwards in time this summer, purchasing books I've always wanted or once had, 70's, 80's and 90's models. Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge is on my recently published list and I may get to it in 6 months or so.

                                                                1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                  buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Aug 3, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                                  What old books, dearie? We bonded over Ronald Johnson, didn't we?

                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                    bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 11:37 AM

                                                                    Yes, we did bond over Ronald. I can't wait for apple season and his raw apple cake.

                                                                    I got Irene Kuo for .49 from ebay, The Fine Art of Baking, P. Asquith's Fruit Tarts, Verdura, Harold McGee replacement copy, A Baker's Tour, Open House Cookbook (a sentimental mistake to replace), who knows what else, oh, two Bill Neal books. I just can't stop; you know what I mean.

                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                      buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Aug 3, 2010 11:51 AM

                                                                      How fun, let me know what you think of the Baker's Tour. The Kuo for 0.49, wow, you're smokin'!

                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 11:56 AM

                                                                        I know. Some great choices in there!


                                                            3. souschef RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 09:27 AM

                                                              One I bought a while ago is "Casseroles" by Sonia Stevenson. I bought it primarily because of the cioppino recipe, which I made, and like, despite the fact that it seems very unusual to use red wine. She does specifically say that there are several versions of cioppino but they all agree on one point - the use of red wine. I do plan to make more stuff from the book when it gets cooler.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                buttertart RE: souschef Aug 3, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                That does look interesting and is way under the radar here because British.

                                                              2. souschef RE: buttertart Aug 3, 2010 05:31 PM

                                                                Does anyone buy coffee table cookbooks? I have two:

                                                                "Entertaining in the French Style" by Roger Vergé, and

                                                                "Provence the Beautiful Cookbook".

                                                                I have made stuff from both, and It has been good. Buttertart will be interested in a Vergé marrons glacés story: marrons, dark chocolate and Cognac all chewed together.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                  buttertart RE: souschef Aug 4, 2010 05:42 AM

                                                                  Oh, yeah!

                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                    bushwickgirl RE: souschef Aug 4, 2010 06:30 AM

                                                                    I have this big beautiful book and have no coffee table for it <sigh>. I've never cooked from it, however, but do enjoy the photos.

                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                      roxlet RE: souschef Aug 4, 2010 06:37 AM

                                                                      We used to have all the Beautiful cookbooks (my husband knew the publisher who sent them to us), but since we never used them, we got rid of them in a book purge about 6 years ago before we had 4 of the additional bookcases we now have. When I recently said that I was sorry we had gotten rid of them, my husband said that he didn't agree. He still doesn't think they were worth the space. I guess they are awfully large..

                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                        souschef RE: roxlet Aug 4, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                                        Yes, they are rather large. I have all of my cookbooks in one tall bookcase, and I do not allow the storage space to grow. From time to time I purge books I have not looked at in years. Before I moved a couple of years ago I got rid of tons of copies of Bon Apetit. I regret getting rid of just one issue - it had an amazing recipe fo veal stuffed with hazelnuts and prosciutto, with a veal demi-glace sauce. I did not think about it at the time, unfortunately.

                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                          buttertart RE: souschef Aug 4, 2010 07:08 AM

                                                                          Recipe for veal not on Epicurious, huh? Maybe email the editorial staff? Gourmet used to send out recipes on request way back when anyway.
                                                                          Other big boy cookbooks that are fun: The Culinaria series from Koenemann. Have the French, Hungarian, and the Greek volumes. Also the Southeast Asia one, which in my edition features a photo of a market in which one banner advertises dog jerky...next time they should hire a Chinese person to look at the foreign language signage!

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            souschef RE: buttertart Aug 4, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                                            No, it's not on epicurious. I think I can wing it on the veal, but not on the sauce, I think I will try emailing them as you suggested; it was a very old issue, though.

                                                                            BTW how are you enjoying French Cookery School. In another thread (on France) I found out that the cooking school is no more. Anne WIllan sold the chateau and moved to California as her husband is not well.

                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                              buttertart RE: souschef Aug 4, 2010 02:39 PM

                                                                              They might be pleased to know someone cared enough to ask for it...
                                                                              Yes I am enjoying it, I'm toting it back and forth on the commuter train with me. That's too bad about Anne Willan and her hubby.

                                                                    2. souschef RE: buttertart Aug 5, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                      One book I just thought about that I have had for ages is "Master Class: Lessons With The World's Greatest Chefs" by Diane Holuigue. Available from Amazon for $10.

                                                                      The author spends time with a lot of top chefs and comes up with some interesting cooking classes. I have made a few things from the book, such as Osso Bucco with a vegetable sauce (Guiliano Bugiali), salmon en papillote (Gérard Boyer), etc. There are some interesting sausage recipes I would like to try, as well as a chocolate mousse-like cake from La Tour D'Argent; it supposedly is more difficult to make than it sounds.

                                                                      One VERY interesting project in the book is where Jane Grigson (a British food writer) takes a whole duck and transforms it into confit, breast ham, and duck neck sausage. Sound interesting buttertart ? ;)

                                                                      Also included are chefs such as the Roux brothers, Bocuse, Hazan, Kamman, and others.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                        buttertart RE: souschef Aug 5, 2010 08:56 PM

                                                                        Me want. Me get. I worship Jane Grigson (bet you know that, doncha)? Totally '80s names in it it seems. Ah the good old days...

                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                          souschef RE: buttertart Aug 5, 2010 09:08 PM

                                                                          Yup, I know she is your goddess.

                                                                          That book was published in 1988.

                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                            buttertart RE: souschef Aug 5, 2010 09:13 PM

                                                                            Nailed it! Was thinking late 80s.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                              souschef RE: buttertart Aug 5, 2010 09:27 PM

                                                                              The days before the advent of the superstar chefs who spend more time on TV than in the kitchen.

                                                                          2. re: buttertart
                                                                            souschef RE: buttertart Aug 6, 2010 06:08 AM

                                                                            Hey buttertart, that St. Honoré challenge worked out great, so I think it's time for another, this time something neither of us has made before. So once you get that book take a look at the chocolate cake from La Tour D'Argent. We can then come up with an appropriate date.

                                                                            Have you ever made sausages ? There is an interesting seafood recipe in the book. I am considering getting a sausage attachment for my Kitchen Aid.

                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                              buttertart RE: souschef Aug 6, 2010 12:17 PM

                                                                              Okeydoke, you're on.
                                                                              Have made sausade meat but never gone through the casings etc rigamarole.
                                                                              Just scored the cookie and the master chefs on ABEbooks for $9.05 total and the Baggett choc book for $4.05 on Amazon.

                                                                        2. souschef RE: buttertart Aug 8, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                                          Any Elaine González fans here? Her book "The Art of Chocolate" is one of the better ones I have seen for technique on working with chocolate. It does have a lot of recipes for truffles and stuff, but is heavy on technique. There is stuff there I would like to make (chocolate flowers, etc), but know I would screw it up royally.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                            buttertart RE: souschef Aug 8, 2010 04:31 PM

                                                                            I'd love to learn how to do the fouffy chocolate things but have limited patience. One thing I did see recently was in Bon Appétit - melt chocolate, spread it thinly on 1 pc of waxed paper, cover with another, roll up and chill - when you unroll it you have a bunch of nice chocolate shards to decorate with.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: buttertart Aug 8, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                              That's a cool idea that I'll have to try to remember. I also have limited patience, but of course want things to look nifty.

                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                souschef RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 8, 2010 05:31 PM

                                                                                Even better, you could always make chocolate leaves. Just as easy.

                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: souschef Aug 8, 2010 07:07 PM

                                                                                  I actually think chocolate shards look pretty cool, so I'm happy to know an easy way to get that look. Chocolate leaves when going for a different feel.

                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                    buttertart RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 9, 2010 02:32 PM

                                                                                    Check BA for details, amount, etc - this month's I think.

                                                                            2. re: souschef
                                                                              karykat RE: souschef Aug 9, 2010 06:54 PM

                                                                              I have the book. I love the pictures and the technique descriptions.

                                                                              She came here for a class one time and I spent a day there making things from the book which was very much fun. And almost all easier than I would have thought.

                                                                              1. re: karykat
                                                                                souschef RE: karykat Aug 9, 2010 07:18 PM

                                                                                Sounds like a great class; I should do that sometime. There is a Cordon Bleu school here in Ottawa, but I have never taken courses there; well, I have never ever taken any cooking or baking classes.

                                                                            3. bayoucook RE: buttertart Aug 9, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                              How wonderful! I knew reading this and taking notes would cost me. Oh well, here I go to amazon.com !! thanks y'all

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