So I'm interested, for learning, to know what cookbooks you use. I'm going to list my five and stay away, from the usual, Joy of Cooking, Julia Child, etc... Basically I'm taking books off of my cookbook shelf in the kitchen (don't you have one?) and picking the ones that have the most food stains on them.
#1 is Darina Allen, Forgotten Skills of Cooking
. (ISBN 97819068062). One of the reasons behind this thread is that outRIAAge, had never come across this cookbook. 700 recipes, mostly focused on, well, forgotten skills. THE go to book for cooking game of any kind, but plenty of advice for the casual grocery cook too. The chapter on bread is worth the price of the book alone. If you like Allen, you can then branch out to her Irish Traditional Cooking
. One of my life ambitions is to attend her Ballymoe cooking school. to wit: Darina Allen's Ballymaloe Cookery School | The only cookery school located on it's own 100 acre organic farm
#2 is Seven Centuries of English Cooking
, by the lovely named Maxime de la Falaise. (ISBN 9780802132963) We can describe this cookbook as 'the one my wife hates' as it involves a lot of old ingredients and techniques that she, sometimes correctly, maintains have no place in the modern kitchen. While I hate his policies, and despise him as a person, if you vote for Donald Trump, my wife and I have a bet, if he wins she has to eat an eel pie. Now where would I go for an eel pie recipe? Oh yeah, here.
#3 Yotam Ottolenghi, Jerusalem
. (ISBN 9781607743941). This is a really sophisticated cookbook, by a very admirable chef. It is also the one on my list here that might send you on an expedition to get the ingredients. Mostly I am about 'things I can find in the supermarket' level. It, though, has a bit of narrative about it that the writer in me loves. It is, on the whole, a loving tribute to the people and the city of Jerusalem, and all the cultures that inhabit, clash, and just live there. It is a piece of heartfelt poetry. I've never been to the city, but this book makes me feel like I've been there. It makes me feel like I *should* be there. And the fish recipes are amazing, the thing I love about them is they are heavily spiced so you can use inferior cheap fish and get a great result.
#4 Creative International Cookbook,
Edited by Charloette Turgeon (ISBN 9780517349212) "The Creative International Cookbook provides a way to experience other countries without leaving your own kitchen" from the intro, serious. This was a yard sale find, and a previous chef had marked several recipes. It has 1,500 recipes and well, you can pick them by country. (how it is organized) the recipes aren't always the best, but there are so MANY of them, you can pick a page and get an idea at least.
#5 A guy's Guide to Great Eating
, Don Mauer (ISBN 978039591563) A cookbook aimed at men, and men who don't like to cook. I like to pretend I am a sophisticated cook, but I am, in truth, just a guy that cooks, this one has as many oops stains as the others, so I have to include it. It really excels at having simple, ingredient friendly recipes and explains them well. As a home cook I (delude myself that I have) grown beyond it, but it has an honored place on the shelf. I give this book to college graduates, male and female.
So, what are yours?