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Oct 15, 2010 07:59 AM

Cooking from the Time-Life "Foods of the World" series of books, anybody?

These books opened my eyes to the world of food outside my little corner of it (then, southwestern Ontario) and made me what I am today. Have had them since I was a teenager. I bet many of you have them as well? Well worth looking into if not.
There has been discussion of them off and on on "Food Media and News" and on cookbook threads here, most recently
I've dipped into them from time to time for various dishes and information, and everything I've made from them has been great - and easier to make now than they were in the pre-food processor days.
Favorites include: the chicken breasts with gjetost cheese from the Scandinavian volume, the Geschnetzeltes and the endives stuffed with chicken in Mornay sauce wrapped in ham and gratinéed (to die for) from the Quintet of Cuisines one, the boiled beef from the Austro-Hungarian empire one, and a whole slew more.
How about you?

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  1. Same here! Circassian chicken from the Turkish book, potato raita from India, countless go-to recipes for France, the two versions of Coulibiac from Russia...would darn near save them first in a fire!

    1. My parents got the whole set in the early 70's and I have used recipes from the various issues. My favorites were pork loin stuffed with prunes and apples and hasselbackpotatis which I have made many times and my kids still ask for it (they're in their forties now). This is out of the Scandinavian issue. My wife still makes an adaptation of the kulebiaka from the Russian issue. I have read and enjoyed all of the issues, including the regional American ones. When i see them on our bookshelves, they bring back many happy memories!

      1. I worked at the Faculty-Alumni Center at UConn as a line cook in the late 70's. Every Wednesday we had "International Night," sounds sorta hokey now, but it was a big deal then in our little corner of CT. The chef had the book series, which I coveted, and used them for menu and recipe suggestions. I don't remember everything we did specifically, but the Circassian Chicken and the Salmon Coulibiac were definitely on the menu, as were Russian, French, Asian, Scandinavian and Italian dishes, and probably more. I know we did a Creole night which was a big hit. It was fun for the kitchen staff, an eye opener, culinarily speaking, and a bit of a challenge as well.

        I left for culinary school and returned to the Club after I graduated, to become chef and carry on the International Night tradition for a few more years. I used Craig Claiborne's The New York Times International Cookbook for my inspiration, as the chef took his Time-Life Series with him. At that point the big thrill was Korean night, and we made kim chi in house for that affair.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Claiborne's "NYT International Coobook was one of my favorites for a long time. What I remember about using that book is that no matter what recipe I followed, it turned out delicious. That book still holds a prominent place on my bookshelf.

          1. re: CindyJ

            Truly true, and I also produced many, many of his recipes, in quantity, with no duds!

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              OK, I had to buy it. This is getting bad! Thank goodness for amazon/

        2. I've got 20+ volumes of FOW, and happily, I also have a soft-covered index to the entire series that came along with one of the mailed volumes. The one recipe that comes to mind is Bananas Flambe (Bananas Foster) from the Creole-Acadian volume. That was my go-to dessert for many, many years of New Year's Eve entertaining. I don't use these books very often; maybe this thread will prompt me to go back and explore them.

          1. Cooking Of China. Time to dig it out again!