Bonjour, mes amis! A few weeks ago, I asked you to name your recent favorite cookbooks. I was excited to hear your suggestions, and I’m even more thrilled to share them. Here’s what you’re cooking from these days:
Rhino75: Am currently working my way through Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious, Dan Lepard’s baking bible, Short and Sweet, and Glynn Christian’s How to Cook Without Recipes – which has some interesting stuff on flavour trails, etc.
Me: I love hearing from Brits, because their cookbook suggestions are so fresh and different! These three books are a perfect example. I’m fascinated by Scandilicious, which is written by a young Norwegian cook and has exotic (to me) recipes like Bergen fish chowder, or cardamom cake. I’m always drooling over Rhino75’s tweets about the soda bread or farmhouse loaf he’s whipped up from Dan Lepard. And as I become more experienced in the kitchen, I’m also becoming braver. Glynn Christian’s book sounds like an excellent way to hone my improvisational skills. PS. Check out Rhino75’s new baking blog, Bear with a Wooden Spoon, with gorgeous photos of his latest creations!
Brassfrog: I can’t live without 660 Curries: The gateway To Indian Cooking by Raghavan Iyer. This is a veritable encyclopedia of spices, methods and recipes. Want cabbage and peas? There are three different recipes. The same with cauliflower. Lots of tips, hints and tricks. Spice blends and spice suppliers.
Me: I’ve been an Indian cooking addict ever since I discovered Miss Masala by Mallika Basu (she also has a terrific blog). I can’t wait to experiment more, especially with 660 Curries, which I recently bought for my dad based on Brassfrog’s suggestion. Thanks!
Sherry: In my dreams, I’m working my way through the Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy, which was a wedding gift, and makes me hungry whenever I see it on my shelf.
Me: I just discovered that The Essential Cuisines of Mexico is a compilation of three Diana Kennedy books: The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional Cooking. With over 300 recipes, it sounds like the volume for Mexican cuisine. I would love to cook from this book! I am curious, however, if the ingredients are too specialized and/or hard to find?
Jeanne: On my to buy list is Plenty by Ottolenghi as Camille mentioned. I saw it last weekend in Anthropologie and it is beautifully illustrated.
Terry: My most recent discovery is Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book. It is a reference book really, but with great recipes too.
Me: I love vegetarian cooking, especially for weeknights. Super Natural Every Day sounds like it has great, new ideas for using whole grains and different vegetables (I would love to try her chanterelle tacos). I have to confess that I’m not a fan of Plenty. It’s beautiful, but I found the recipes inaccessible and fussy. I’d love to hear your experiences with it. I love the idea of Jane Grigson’s book, which offers romantic vegetable lore and recipes. Sounds right up my alley!
Katia: My absolute favourite cookbook is The Cook’s Companion by the quintessentially Australian chef Stephanie Alexander – it starts with a wonderful section with the basics (like pizza dough and stock), then is broken down into sections by main ingredient and by alphabetical order – starting with “abalone”, “apples” and “artichokes and cardoons” to “yabbies and marron”, “yoghurt” and “zucchini and squash”. There are recipes for everything from classics (like lemon tart or chicken noodle soup or fig and rum chocolate truffles) to modern Australian recipes (tajine with quince, or pasta with wild fennel and sardines).
Me: I love hearing about your tried-and-true cookbooks, the ones you know will never let you down. I can’t wait to explore your favorites, especially Everyday Italian, which I know my husband will appreciate as an Italian food fan(atic). I’ve been looking for a companion to Lydia’s Italian American Kitchen (another great book).
Ann in SF: I have a book titled The New Joys of Jell-O, copyright 1973. A classic with chapter titles like Centerpiece Desserts, Salads That Help Make the Meat, and Things You Never Thought Of. I guess it’s just another form of aspic, Lots of groovy pictures too.
Me: I love your more unusual suggestions, too! What holiday is complete without a jello salad mold? Homemade Nutella from Pâtes à Tartiner sounds divine, especially since the bottled variety is full of evil palm oil. And, as a prodigious recipe collector, I’m checking out Tastebook tout de suite.
Thank you for sharing your favorite cookbooks, mes amis! I had so much fun discovering them.