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Apr 21, 2013 07:23 PM

The cookbook you use most?

For the past 5 years or so I've turned to secrets of Armenian lebanese and persian cuisine by Linda C. Absolutely fantastic all of the time. Tonight we had a lamb stew with greens and black eyed good

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  1. Being one who is pretty good at reverse engineering dishes I've had (particularly international ones), I don't rely on cookbooks a whole lot, but I do have a few favorites. Other than my father's meticulously kept notebook of family Eastern European gems, the go-to books that spring to mind fastest are: the big yellow "Encyclopedia Of Chinese Cooking" , The Joy Of Cooking (one of the early/mid 1970s editions) and the Betty Crocker International Cook Book (most all of the books that have appeared under the 'Betty Crocker' banner are excellent...well researched and for the most part not dumbed down).
    I have other specialized books in the library to which I refer occasionally, but the ones named are favorite general purpose ones.
    Although Dad's notebook probably beats them all. :-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Professor

      We don't get to travel as much as I would like so instead of reverse engineering the recipe I use the recipes as a way to experience other cultures.

    2. It's hard to tell! I have about.....450.....and I always have a stack from the library!!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: sandylc

        Here, here Sandy! I love having all my cookbooks just as an at-home browsing library. And yes, a few public library cookbooks tend to find their way home too!

        1. re: sandylc

          Do you have a favorite out of those 450?

        2. Local Flavors by Deborah Madison and Bittman's How to Cook Everything. I use the former to inspire me during summer months when I'm deluged by CSA veggies. I use the latter for basics - pizza dough, pancake batter, etc.

          But mostly I use recipes from here, elsewhere online, or just made up on the fly.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tcamp

            I have tried to like HTCE, but nothing I have made from it has turned out particularly well. I mean, I have cooked a zillion recipes in my day, and his just don't work for me. I am intrigued when I see that people have success with that book.

            1. re: gridder

              I use it like many people seem to use Joy of Cooking - a basic reference guide for making "staples." I like his variations - for instance proportions for making salad dressing then a list of ingredients you could possibly add for variety; herbs, anchovies, etc.

          2. The Encyclopedia of Sauces for Your Pasta by Charles Bellissino

            Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking by Raghavan Iyer

            1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore

            These three get used to the point of abuse.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              Do you have a favorite sauce in the Bellisino book, PK?

              1. re: Jay F

                Good Lord, there are so many great ones! There is one that he calls a "Venetian tomato sauce" that I've always really loved, though. You have to reduce it quite a bit, which is somewhat unusual for pasta sauces, and the result is a particularly intense sauce.

                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  You got me. I just ordered a copy. Thanks.

                  1. re: Jay F

                    Great. Hope you like it. Just one thing--don't make his Quattro Formaggi sauce. It contains a misprint that calls for waaaaay too much cheese. Made the stuff, and it came out like taffy. In fact, I used the leftovers to caulk my bathroom tiles, and it's still holding up great after 11 years.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      Hey, PK - I got the book. It's wonderful. I've never seen so many pasta sauce recipes in one place before.

                      Thanks so much.

              2. re: Perilagu Khan

                i have to recommend the Marge Poore 1,000 mexican recipes book. NEVER let me down

              3. Blush

                1000 Recipe Chinese Cookbook by Gloria Bey Miller

                Mid 70's Joy of Cooking

                I had over 30 cookbooks at hand over the counter in my kitchen, and used them all consistently, but these two would be my sources for inspiration in the middle of the week without a trip to market.

                1 Reply
                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                  That was a GREAT book. I made the duck out of it to impress my Chinese pals in college.