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Sep 4, 2012 05:13 PM

The Perfect Cookbook For Fall....

As I type I already suspect I'll regret posting this thread (or rather my already overcrowded bookshelves will!!) .

Today someone asked me for a recommendation for a gift. The birthday boy has asked for "The Perfect Cookbook for Fall" and the gift-buyer doesn't cook so she came to me for help.

I immediately blurted out "a braising book" and then said "or a soup/stew book" but no sooner had those words left my mouth then I started thinking about bistro food and curries. Then Sunday Suppers at Lucques came to mind and visions of other books danced through my head. As my colleague's eyes glazed over I finally asked if she could leave it with me for a few days. No problem she said as she undoubtedly regretted ever asking me in the first place.

So, as I mull this over, I thought I might as well toss this out to all of you as well.

If someone asked...what book would you recommend as "The Perfect Cookbook for Fall"?

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  1. Not trendy or recent but, when it gets cooler around here I bring out The Big Book of Casseroles:

    My former DH loved a lot of the dishes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

      Tracy thanks for the reminder about this book. I purchased it in the early spring and must pull it off the shelf and take a look. This is such a reasonably priced book as well,so it won't break the budget for gifting. Great suggestion, thank-you.

      Do you have any "must-try" recipes you'd recommend,from the book?

      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        The chicken cacciatore over polenta, chicken in tangy beer sauce, salmon and peas and there was a rice dish but I can't think of which one off the top of my head. Most everything I've tried has been good and it is easy to adjust to taste as well. The seafood lasagne calls to me though I don't always care for cheese and seafood, but it is tempting.

        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

          Thank-you so much Tracy. I'll make a private note of your recommendations in EBY. Funny you say that about the lasagna because I definitely prefer all my seafood pretty much "straight-up" just a little lemon juice and I'm happy. That said, I also love seafood lasagna. I first had it in Cape Cod and it was a beautiful summer evening. We were dining on a patio and every time I've had it since, I'm transported right back to that lovely night!!

    2. Diane Rossen Worthington's "The Taste of the Season: Inspired Recipes for Fall and Winter" (2004):

      1 Reply
      1. re: JP_nyc

        JP thanks for this suggestion. I wasn't familiar with this book but it looks great and the author is quite accomplished. Great reviews online too...thank-you.

      2. I received 'SOUP of the DAY, 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year' by Kate McMillan as a birthday gift from our eldest daughter on 02Sep12. Maybe there are a few recipes in there that people can try. The format is by calendar date within each month.

        It is difficult to think of Autumn culinary selections since it is still very hot here on the East Coast. My wife is in her glory with the hot weather. She has Mediterranean blood, I do not.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChiliDude

          Another great book ChiliDude. I bought this early this year on the recommendation of another hound and have many recipes tabbed. You're right, this would be a great choice. Thank-you! Let us know if you make something, it would be great to hear your recommendations.

        2. I think you need some more details from your friend about the recipient of the gift. Does he have the time for labor intensive recipes or is he looking for quick and delicious meals? Does he have access to unusual ingredients or does he live in an area that has mostly basics. Also, where does he live (east coast fall produce is different then west coast fall produce)? Is he a heavy meat eater or does he lean towards vegetables? Well, you get the idea.

          I love Sunday Suppers for Lucques and have made tons of recipes from it. But, it's a labor intensive cookbook that has many moving parts. The results are spectacular but so is the mess in the kitchen (Goins loves using multiple pans in a needless fashion). And, each recipe is designed to serve 6, although you can halve some of the recipes.

          All About Braising by Molly Stevens could be a good choice. I'm partial to stove/oven braising v. slow cooker. Mostly because if I have to brown something anyway, I may as well cook the stuff in the browning pan. The recipes all work and she's very precise in timing and instructions.

          Or, if he's one who is short on time, maybe one of those slow cooker cookbooks from that slow cooking thread.

          3 Replies
          1. re: beetlebug

            Thanks for the thoughtful post bb. You raise some great points. The recipient is this woman's younger brother. He's a food-lover who enjoys cooking. He's currently enrolled in a sommelier program but even as a student he seems to make time to cook. He should have good access to ingredients. I know my colleague and her sister paired up to buy him a good knife for Christmas last year and I get the sense he's pretty fearless in the kitchen.

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              Oooh. in that case, Lucques and or AAB would be perfect. AAB has both simple and complex recipes within (world's best cabbage v. stuffed cabbage rolls). But either would be a thoughtful gift. I would also throw out Zuni Cafe cookbook for consideration as well.

              You can probably see my thought process. I have a really hard time when people ask me, what's your favorite restaurant? It's then followed by 20 questions on my part to the questioner.

              1. re: beetlebug

                I totally understand beetlebug, that's how I ended up throwing the question out here many ideas, how to narrow the choices?

                I love your suggestions, any one of those books would be terrific. I'd like to do more cooking from any of them myself. I was also thinking that if I suggest a past COTM he'll have the opportunity to look here on CH to see all the great reviews and feedback.

          2. "Cold Weather Cooking" by Sarah Leah Chase, my absolute favorite. I think we may have been cooking twins separated at birth!

            2 Replies
            1. re: KSlink

              Another new-to-me book exciting! I see the author co-wrote The Silver Palate Good Times and the book reviews are great. Thank-you, this looks like another great choice.

              1. re: KSlink

                I love this book,too, KSlink, even though we have so little cold weather here. Two of my favorite recipes are the mustard creamed onions and the mustard glazed carrots, but there are a lot of winners in it. Chase's "Open House Cookbook" is one of my all-time favorites.