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agp
02-24-2014, 02:32 PM
When spring is right around the corner, I always want to learn to make new dishes. You might ask - what's wrong with recipes posted on the internet? Well, there's just something about having a book that really sets it apart from reading from some anonymous person's recipe. With that said, here are the books I have/have read and how I felt about them...

Morimoto (Japanese): my first cookbook, loved it. I have made about half of the dishes on the book, and a few I still frequently make, although with lots of tweaks.
Zakarianís Town & Country (American/French): my second cookbook. I made about half of the dishes on this book as well, but I did not enjoy a lot of it. Maybe because I donít find butter/cream+salt appealing. I need more flavors.
Symonís Live To Cook (American): I liked this one a lot. Soulful food with bold flavors. Not afraid to use bacon.
Childís Mastering the Art of French Cooking (French): more of a leisure read for theory and ideas. I did not make anything in this book. I think the flavors here, good they may be, are too basic for me.
Loís Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking (Southern Chinese): being a northerner (northern China, that is), I was not a fan of this book.
Changís Momofuku (Asian): loved the beginning of this book Ė pork belly, buns, ramen, different sauces/dressing, but then it gets too eccentric.
Vongerichtenís Simple to Spectacular (French): did not like this at all.
Samuelssonís The Soul of a New Cuisine (African) Ė not a fan.
Hummís Eleven Madison Park (American): loved the concepts, but a bit too complicated. However, I do take a lot of their crumble, puree, and pickle recipes.
Hummís I Love New York (American): this may be simpler than 11Madison, it just did not seem appealing.
Gutenbrunnerís Neue Cuisine (Austrian): tried only a few recipes Ė they were okay.
The Just Bento Cookbook (Japanese): I found this useless.
Giadaís books (Italian): leisure reading/last minute dinner ideas.
Bobby Flayís books: leisure reading/last minute dinner ideas.

A little on my cooking style:
Mainly Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai). Soulful and bold proteins, light and delicate salads/soup. A little bit of American and French is thrown in here and there. I fall back on Italian and American when I have little time to think of something new to make. But if Iím going to make something new, it will probably be Asian of some sort. Also, I do not like sweets.

Please also keep in mind that given where I live (Michigan), fresh seafood is hard to come by.

Recommendations are much appreciated! Cheers!

agp
02-24-2014, 04:34 PM
Oh and for those who are avid Top Chef fans - I love Sheldon Simeon's food.

Mucho Bocho
02-24-2014, 04:37 PM
AGP, I just picked up Pok Pok and since your into South East Asian cooking this should be right up your alley. Its a very informative book on Thai cooking. definately an advanced users guide. If you've got a decent Asian market to find ingredients like: lemon grass, fish sauce, cilantro roots, palm sugar, dried Puya chilies, tamrind pulp, dried shrimp, green papaya, and lots of bottled sauces. You'll love the book. I can't put it down. made the fish balls last night. winner. Going to make a green Papaya salad tonight

jamaster14
02-24-2014, 05:11 PM
When spring is right around the corner, I always want to learn to make new dishes. You might ask - what's wrong with recipes posted on the internet? Well, there's just something about having a book that really sets it apart from reading from some anonymous person's recipe. With that said, here are the books I have/have read and how I felt about them...

Morimoto (Japanese): my first cookbook, loved it. I have made about half of the dishes on the book, and a few I still frequently make, although with lots of tweaks.
Zakarianís Town & Country (American/French): my second cookbook. I made about half of the dishes on this book as well, but I did not enjoy a lot of it. Maybe because I donít find butter/cream+salt appealing. I need more flavors.
Symonís Live To Cook (American): I liked this one a lot. Soulful food with bold flavors. Not afraid to use bacon.
Childís Mastering the Art of French Cooking (French): more of a leisure read for theory and ideas. I did not make anything in this book. I think the flavors here, good they may be, are too basic for me.
Loís Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking (Southern Chinese): being a northerner (northern China, that is), I was not a fan of this book.
Changís Momofuku (Asian): loved the beginning of this book Ė pork belly, buns, ramen, different sauces/dressing, but then it gets too eccentric.
Vongerichtenís Simple to Spectacular (French): did not like this at all.
Samuelssonís The Soul of a New Cuisine (African) Ė not a fan.
Hummís Eleven Madison Park (American): loved the concepts, but a bit too complicated. However, I do take a lot of their crumble, puree, and pickle recipes.
Hummís I Love New York (American): this may be simpler than 11Madison, it just did not seem appealing.
Gutenbrunnerís Neue Cuisine (Austrian): tried only a few recipes Ė they were okay.
The Just Bento Cookbook (Japanese): I found this useless.
Giadaís books (Italian): leisure reading/last minute dinner ideas.
Bobby Flayís books: leisure reading/last minute dinner ideas.

A little on my cooking style:
Mainly Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai). Soulful and bold proteins, light and delicate salads/soup. A little bit of American and French is thrown in here and there. I fall back on Italian and American when I have little time to think of something new to make. But if Iím going to make something new, it will probably be Asian of some sort. Also, I do not like sweets.

Please also keep in mind that given where I live (Michigan), fresh seafood is hard to come by.

Recommendations are much appreciated! Cheers!


im a huge michael symon fan and have all his books... if you like his food i'd recommend the Grammercy Tavern cookbook. its well written, great recipes, good techiques, and step by step down to the plating:

http://www.amazon.com/Gramercy-Tavern-Cookbook-Michael-Anthony/dp/0307888339

ecchef
02-24-2014, 08:34 PM
Last time I ate at Grammercy Tavern everything was WAYYYY over salted, even the friggin dessert.

Even though it's a little dated, I still like Tetsuya.

Erilyn75
02-25-2014, 12:53 AM
I'm glad you asked this agp, I'm interested as well. I've got a couple on your list and I'll add one, The Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen. I love her down to earth, simple but comforting approach to food.

My husband loves Asian cuisine as well. I think I'm going to look for Morimotos book ;)

mr drinky
02-25-2014, 01:06 AM
I personally like Thomas Keller books because they are so instructive. I also love Molly Stevens' books on braising and roasting.

k.

Anton
02-25-2014, 02:04 AM
I'm currently enjoying Franny's. Every dish I've made thus far has been exemplary

pleue
02-25-2014, 02:53 AM
currently into plenty, tartine (no.3 is newest but all are great) and the le pigeon cookbook

pleue
02-25-2014, 02:55 AM
Oh and the art of fermentation.

agp
02-25-2014, 09:20 AM
AGP, I just picked up Pok Pok and since your into South East Asian cooking this should be right up your alley. Its a very informative book on Thai cooking. definately an advanced users guide. If you've got a decent Asian market to find ingredients like: lemon grass, fish sauce, cilantro roots, palm sugar, dried Puya chilies, tamrind pulp, dried shrimp, green papaya, and lots of bottled sauces. You'll love the book. I can't put it down. made the fish balls last night. winner. Going to make a green Papaya salad tonight

Looks very interesting, I just ordered mine on Amazon. I have access to most of those ingredients from a local Asian supermarket. I also have a ridiculous amount of all spice, nutmeg, thyme, coriander seed, and cardamom from when I was making things from Marcus Samuelsson's book.


im a huge michael symon fan and have all his books... if you like his food i'd recommend the Grammercy Tavern cookbook. its well written, great recipes, good techiques, and step by step down to the plating:

http://www.amazon.com/Gramercy-Tavern-Cookbook-Michael-Anthony/dp/0307888339

Have you read Eleven Madison Park? Is Gramercy Tavern just like 11Madison but without the fancy pictures?

jamaster14
02-25-2014, 05:17 PM
Looks very interesting, I just ordered mine on Amazon. I have access to most of those ingredients from a local Asian supermarket. I also have a ridiculous amount of all spice, nutmeg, thyme, coriander seed, and cardamom from when I was making things from Marcus Samuelsson's book.



Have you read Eleven Madison Park? Is Gramercy Tavern just like 11Madison but without the fancy pictures?

i've not read eleven madison park.

agp
03-05-2014, 09:14 AM
Okay so I got the Pok Pok book and tried a few recipes. Admitted, I did have to purchase a few ingredients for my already-well-stocked pantry. One thing I note is that I do not understand the appeal of fish sauce, and fish sauce seems to be a stable ingredient in almost all the dishes in the book.

What do you guys think of it? I'm of Chinese descent and I have had my fair share of smelly food (fermented duck eggs and stinky tofu, anyone?) but fish sauce is just too pungent for me.

Namaxy
03-05-2014, 09:52 AM
Eleven Madison is a visual feast, but not practical to cook from. Not as bad as Alinea, but everything is a foam, gel, powder etc.

Keller's are always good, though can be a little preachy. It's About Time by Schlow is good, as are the books by Tramanto, especially Tru and Fantastico. Boulud braise book is great, as is Daniel. High End but not nearly as esoteric as Eleven Madison of Fat Duck. For Asian, I second Tetsuya. I also like Wakiya, and for something different, Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. More of a travelogue with recipes, but still good. Good luck!

Mucho Bocho
03-05-2014, 12:02 PM
AGP, LOL, did you make the special shrimp paste yet? Mortar and pestle fermented dried shrimp mixed with fermented shrimp paste. Blind folded you would swear it was Tetramin fish food. When I started pounding I had to open a window and my girlfriend left the house. Tastes great in the soup though. I couldn't get myself to use fermented and pickled fish filet yet. We all have our limitations LOL

Fish Sauce (Three Crabs or Squiido brands) are very versitile. A dash in salad dressing really cranks up the umami. You're right, it is a backbone ingredient.

Sambal
03-05-2014, 07:56 PM
Fish Sauce (Three Crabs or Squiido brands) are very versitile. A dash in salad dressing really cranks up the umami. You're right, it is a backbone ingredient.


Yes strong stuff, and the key is, as you said, "a dash" or two.

ChefCosta
03-05-2014, 11:38 PM
Firstly, great to hear people mention Tetsuya. That book has been out of print for a long time but is definitely worth seeking out. Secondly, "Maximum Flavor" by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander is a new book that is valuable as much for the point of view it espouses as it is for the particular recipes. For more Chinese Specific, I think that Susur Lee's book is excellent, as is "The Breath of a Wok". Thirdly, Fish Sauce varies considerably in quality, aroma, etc. I really like Red Boat. Don't bail on Fish Sauce until you've tried it.

agp
03-06-2014, 08:45 AM
AGP, LOL, did you make the special shrimp paste yet? Mortar and pestle fermented dried shrimp mixed with fermented shrimp paste. Blind folded you would swear it was Tetramin fish food. When I started pounding I had to open a window and my girlfriend left the house. Tastes great in the soup though. I couldn't get myself to use fermented and pickled fish filet yet. We all have our limitations LOL

Fish Sauce (Three Crabs or Squiido brands) are very versitile. A dash in salad dressing really cranks up the umami. You're right, it is a backbone ingredient.

I haven't made fermented shrimp paste, but I did buy pre-made ones from a Chinese store. That was delicious. Not stinky at all.

I bought the Squido brand fish sauce... I will attend to put a "dash" of it in some food I don't mind throwing away this weekend to see how it ends up.