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Thread: Favorite Cookbooks?

  1. #31
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    I rarely use a recipe as printed in the books I have. One thing is that you never know what brand, style, or season the ingredients came from so the dish will never be the same as writen. Some books I have are nostalgic and some are pure function, Jacques Pepin's The Art Of Cooking, and a few where weak moments of hunger and something in the book bit me

    I tend to read the books like a novel and the recipes are the flavor of the story inside. I also got interested in some of Beards writings and I pick up the first printings if I come across them for a good price. Some books are style driven, Bacon cookbooks are never passed up, I scour them for interesting info

    Books I don't spend $$ on are the collections of recipes with not attachment to anything. I need some kind of connection to keep the book around. One book I have that is for all intent a recipe book, is about Japanese home cooking. I was getting a one on one tour of a japanese market from a lady I cooked for, she went through all the departments and got into how her family cooked in Japan. She flipped through the books I was considering and she mentioned that this one book was close to real home cooking. So I have this connection to that visit with her attached to the book. It also has the recipe in both Japanese and english

    I also fall victim to public oppinion, I'll hear something good about a book and I have to go find it and look it over. Lucky for me I don't always buy them but I get enough of them that I worry about threads like these ones However the lucky part is that most of the books talked about... I already have... Not sure if that helps me or not

  2. #32
    Hmm lets see - I hear America cooking, I still go to the JOC for some things, but my favorite is a Greek cookbook that was issued in 1971 I believe - great recipes and I practically lived in Greek Town (Detroit) in the 70's so it's like a taste of home.

  3. #33
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    mr drinky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainsausage View Post
    I buy books based on the amount of technique exhibited. Recipes are interesting, but I never use them.
    I am probably 50/50 on using recipes. Most times I adapt some portion of them based upon previous knowledge or looking up something on the internet. But other times, if it is a technique or dish that I have no experience with, I will stick 80-100% with the recipe just to try it out something new and learn a bit. After that, I will often adapt recipes for the second time around just to add my 'touch' to it. But there are many times I continue to follow the receipe exactlyn -- it all depends upon if it tastes good or not

    Just as an example: I often adapt a recipe from a magazine and almost always from the internet BUT if I try a new recipe from a Thomas Keller cookbook, I often follow it exactly. I figure Thomas Keller can teach me something (and almost all of his recipes do), but a magazine food editor/writer might not be able to pass on that same wisdom, so I am more likely to adapt things.

    k.
    "There's only one thing I hate more than lying…skim milk, which is water that's lying about being milk." -- Ron Swanson

  4. #34
    I think most people adapt, and you probably have to as your ingredients and equipment might differ. Anyway, a few times I've found I've learned to make a certain dish, perhaps just having had it in restaurants or wherever, or otherwise having adapted a recipe, and then I've gone and tried to make that dish following a recipe verbatim to see if it's better than my version or just generally to compare. That can be interesting too.

  5. #35
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    The French laundry is, IMO, one of the finest books on the overall philosophy of gastronomy in regards to technique. Both in regards to manipulating your product, as well as respecting its inherent values. I learned more from 'The Importance Of...' chapter breaks in that book, than a majority of other books combined. And they don't hide their recipes. What you see in the book is what you see on the table at the restaurant. Start to finish. Which is helpful to a pro, as well as a home cook, as these recipes and techniques are tried and true, they aren't dumbed down, to compensate for a possible disregard for putting in the work...

  6. #36
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    I got The French Laundry book while I was in culinary school and could not put it down. So much of what we did in class was expanded in the book. While I never had an interest in cooking at that level, nothing wrong with it just not my interest, the things I do want to acheave are still mirrored in the book.

    I have been dieing to get a copy of Ad-Hoc, Bouchon was close to my ideas but it was still a bit high in the presentation part for me. From what I read and heard about Ad-Hoc I'm thinking it's right close to my interests. Quality ingredients and techniques in a more Home Plate feel. I've flipped though a copy of the book but didn't have time to really dig into it It's on my top 5 list of MUCH HAVE books this year Ya I've been restricted to the number of books I'm allowed to buy "new" and used are on a less restrictive but still restricted aqusition issue... Something about spending $200 on cookbooks when Bourders was closing up shop

  7. #37
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainsausage View Post
    The French laundry is, IMO, one of the finest books on the overall philosophy of gastronomy in regards to technique. Both in regards to manipulating your product, as well as respecting its inherent values. I learned more from 'The Importance Of...' chapter breaks in that book, than a majority of other books combined. And they don't hide their recipes. What you see in the book is what you see on the table at the restaurant. Start to finish. Which is helpful to a pro, as well as a home cook, as these recipes and techniques are tried and true, they aren't dumbed down, to compensate for a possible disregard for putting in the work...
    I didn't know they used those recipies. I bought this one but was lost in a move back to Wyo.. I found that it helped me to take my cooking to the next lvl. and thinking. Many times I get weird looks when I make something that most people wouldn't think about. Then the look when they love it is just awesome. I have been wanting to check out his other 2 books.
    Chewie's the man.

  8. #38
    Gotta support my kitchen The French Laundry

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