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What are your favorite recipes from The Joy of Cooking cookbook?

Just wondering what recipes you guys like from the book.

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  1. References are from 2006 edition and do not begin to represent how helpful the book has been as a basic guide to techinique. They are my personal, can't-be-beat faves:

    Country Captain Chicken-p. 434
    US Senate Bean Soup-p. 132
    Banana Bread Cockaigne-p. 628
    Pomegranate Molasses-p.236
    Flourless Chocolate Decadence-p. 729
    Caesar Salad-p.159

    When my husband and I served overseas in Italy, we were limited as to how much we could bring with us from Canada. I took one cook book as I was determined to learn 'autentica' Apullian and Abruzzese recipes while we were there (and I did, as learning to cook from Italian books is a great language starter). I brought "Joy" and this recipe for Caesar Salad which is so NOT Italian, was the delight of all the homesick teens that we taught. I think my husband made it 30 times while we lived in Italy and it never failed to bring a smile to the hungry-for-home US and Canadians diners.

    1. Sauerbraten -- the best I've ever eaten, including many in Germany.

      1. Cream scones. The best and easiest I have ever made. They freeze well too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hecetamom

          I agree with you here. People adore them

        2. Love the pancake recipe. As well the recipe for cloverleaf rolls

          1. I second the pancakes (I do the buttermilk). I also really love the cream cheese frosting. Super simple and amazing.

            1. The Made-in-Advance Cheese Souffle recipe (p. 204, trade paperback, First Printing, November, 1973) makes the best cheese souffle I've ever eaten. (FWIW, I've never actually made it in advance.)

              1 Reply
              1. I have the 97 edition -- and I must have favorites, because the binding has broken, there are dogeared, stained pages falling out...I've loved it hard! (and am now juggling the decision -- do I buy a new one, or cut all the pages out and put them into page protectors...)

                I've made dozens and dozens of recipes from this one, but buttermilk pancakes as above, Boeuf Bourgignonne, Coq au Vin, Cassoulet, and Ratatouille are probably the most marked-up pages.

                1. Excellent suggestions everyone - thank you!

                  1. Pumpkin Bread. I've tried many different recipes and this one is hands-down my favorite.

                    1. Awesome thread. I haven't found a single bad recipe in JOC, ever. Even if I'm not using a recipe from it, it's always my first stop to at least see what there is to know. I have the 1997 hardcover edition, but one of these days I'm going to get a 1974, too. The sauerbraten tops my list of mentions that I haven't made but will asap.

                      My favorites are mostly basics, but still, they're so much better than other recipes I've tried for the same thing.

                      Croissants de Boulanger- Using Plugra butter, this has never, ever failed me or failed to impress. Likewise the almond paste for filling them. My one tweak is to toast the almonds first.

                      Pastry cream. It's got the perfect amount of fat and the perfect level of sweetness. In a fruit tart using the Pate Sucre crust, absolutely stellar.
                      Banana cream pie using the above.
                      Brioche, filled with the above.
                      Belgian waffles. Or default special waffle recipe. Better than any other yeast recipe we've tried.

                      Flaky Pastry Dough--I do the 1/2 butter, 1/2 lard or shortening version.

                      Until I switched to the Chez Pim Pad Thai "recipe" the Shrimp Pad Thai was my go-to.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: splatgirl

                        Shrimp Pad Thai, for realz? I'm checking that one out for sure.

                        1. re: ButterYum

                          if you have access to it, use tamarind instead of lemon juice and Thai Basil instead of regular ( but IM white girl O, basil has no business in Pad Thai so I always left it out.)

                      2. Ginger penny cookies and barbeque sauce

                        1. I tend to go to JoC (1960 something edition, stained and in multiple pieces) mainly for baking - basic pancake and muffin recipes, coffee cake with streusel, pie crust and fillings, etc.

                          For other recipes, I'll pull it out when I think "Hmmm, I want to make X. What's in that again?" but won't necessarily follow the instructions exactly.

                          And I'd love the 1960s edition if only for the squirrel skinning diagram in the Game section.

                          1. Different versions of this classic cookbook are wildly different. One of the older editions has a Roman Apple Cake that I must have made at least 300 times since 1956---it's not in the newer books. I hold on to my older Joys for their treasure of now-gone recipes. In case you don't have it, here's the recipe: ROMAN APPLE CAKE: Put in a bowl 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup cold butter cut into bits, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp salt. Use hands to crumble this. Take out half and set it aside. Beat 1 egg, 1/2 cup sour milk (or use sweet milk and 1 tsp vinegar) and 1 tsp soda and add to the crumbs. Put this in a buttered pie pan or 8- or 9-inch square cake pan. Cover it with sliced apples. Put the reserved crumbs on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bits of butter. Bake at 325* for an hour. (BUT: I increase the cinnamon. The amount of apples you use will make the cake either more cakey or more puddingy. I like MacIntoshes for their flavor although they do tend to lose their shape. This cake is a total Article of Faith.)

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: Querencia

                                The different editions of JOC are vastly different. Once I am unfortunate to inherit my mom's I'll have four extremely different books (from four generations). The nut crunch candy from the early 70's is fantastic and doesn't appear in other editions.

                              2. I really must add this tribute to Irma Rombauer, who wrote the original versions of JOY. In the 1940's I was an American teeanger living in a South American country where my Dad was working. I longed for American cakes, which then were not available where we were. My mother's interest in domesticity was uneven and the maids didn't have a clue so the summer I was 15 I retreated with JOY to the kitchen during the siesta hour. The first thing I ever baked in my life was a Streusel-topped Yeast Coffee Cake and when it came out just fine, I was hooked for life on baking. I remember that some recipe in the book had Mrs Rombauer's personal inspiration "Let's make something good out of this", a line I have often thought of when tackling an unpleasant task. I recall that when she died, an obituary said of her "She leaves two children and generations of cooks".

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Querencia

                                  "My mother's interest in domesticity was uneven"

                                  love this.

                                  I remember the obit as well. RIP Irma.

                                2. Vichysoisse!

                                  My first and still favorite recipe for this.

                                  1. My 1964 copy still has the original red ribbon page saver at German Meatballs. Cake cockaigne with fruit was another winner.

                                    1. I've used the JOC roast turkey method for years and always get the best turkey. It's a never-fail. I also love their celery seed dressing. Good on fruit or lettuce salads.

                                      1. Mine is an oldie -- got as a gift in late '60s or early '70's -- it's got the best recipe for Split Pea Soup among other things...