Author Topic: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
Terminius_Est 
Title: Moon River
Posts: 40,732
Registered: Feb 27, '02
Extended Info (if available)
Real Post Cnt: 40,160
User ID: 651,096
Subject: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204575039311414125360.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

(link may require a subscription to WSJ)

By ALTON BROWN
1. The Joy of Cooking

By Irma S. Rombauer
Bobbs-Merrill, 1936

Maybe it's because I inherited "The Joy of Cooking" from my paternal grandmother, a true witch of the baking world, or because her edition, the sixth, was published in 1962, the year I was born. Or maybe it's because even this 1960s "Joy" was still packed with old-fashioned tips like the carefully laid out instructions for skinning a squirrel. As the diagrams show, the skinning process is easy once you get the tail under your foot. Whatever the reason for my attachment to the particular volume on my shelf, I'm also a "Joy" fan no matter the edition: Every recipe is written in the book's unmistakable style, with ingredients and amounts seamlessly integrated into the instructions. For me this is still the quintessential American cookbook. Try the baked herring and potatoes or sourdough rye. Or perhaps the roast squirrel with walnut ketchup.
2. The Frugal Gourmet

By Jeff Smith
Morrow, 1984

Jeff Smith was the Julia Child of my generation. When his television show, "The Frugal Gourmet," made its debut on PBS in the 1980s, it conveyed such genuine enthusiasm for cooking that I was moved for the first time to slap down cold cash for a collection of recipes. Since it was my only cookbook at the time—I had yet to inherit "The Joy of Cooking" mentioned above—I made every recipe in it, several times. All these years later I still cook the chicken piccata, the pea salad with bacon, and the lamb with beans, not making a single substitution. Unfortunately Smith became embroiled in a sex-abuse scandal in the mid-1990s involving young men who had worked for him. Not only did his career screech to a halt, but his earlier work was also tainted in the process. And that's a real shame, because were it not for Smith, I know of at least one would-be cook who'd still be on the sofa ordering takeout.
3. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

By Marcella Hazan
Knopf, 1992

I spent a college semester in a small town in Italy—and that is where I truly tasted food for the first time. Upon returning to the States, I tried to hunt down recipes for the dishes I had come to love, but the few that I found produced results that fell far short of the meals I remembered. Then a friend gave my wife and me Marcella Hazan's "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" as a wedding present. I decided to try out one of the risottos, a recipe calling for porcinis, no less. It was a success: At last I had found a way to recapture the flavors of Italy that I had known. But I had also found an appealing cooking companion. Hazan's tone and manner put her right there with me in the kitchen. She didn't beat me to death with hard-to-find ingredients, she wasn't snobby or fussy—she was just a nice Italian mama showing me the ropes. (Even the desserts are terrific; check out the stunningly simple and delicious chilled black grape pudding.) In the years that followed, I read and cooked my way through probably a hundred Italian cookbooks, but in the end I always came back to this one.
4. Outlaw Cook

By John Thorne
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992

During the 1990s the writer and poet Jim Harrison had a food column in Esquire called "The Raw and the Cooked." I followed the column closely, so when Harrison waxed rhapsodic about a new cookbook by a guy I had never heard of, I hunted up a copy. "Outlaw Cook" was a revelation. Folks like Jeff Smith and Marcella Hazan got me interested in cooking, but John Thorne pushed me into the path that I follow to this day. This is the only cookbook I've ever read that understands how men really eat: over the sink, in the dark, greasy to the elbows. It has chapters on "Meatball Metaphysics" and "Perfect Pecan Pie" and delectable recipes for black beans, cold noodles, lamb and garlic, and dozens of other dishes. Sign me up.
5. Ratio

By Michael Ruhlman
Scribner, 2009

"Proportions form the backbone of the craft of cooking," Michael Ruhlman says. "When you know a culinary ratio, it's not like knowing a single recipe, it's instantly knowing a thousand. Here is the ratio for bread: 5 parts flour : 3 parts water." In "Ratio," Ruhlman emphasizes "the simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking," bringing a simple clarity to making everything from sausage to vinaigrette. Forget about teaspoons, ounces, cups and (shudder) fractions; it's all about the "parts." This is a refreshing, illuminating and perhaps even revolutionary look at the relations that make food work.

 

-----signature-----
There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the FORCE.
Sci/Fi Bookshelf http://tinyurl.com/2z8u9h
Link to this post
shaggynuts24 
Posts: 16,788
Registered: May 30, '06
Extended Info (if available)
Real Post Cnt: 16,773
User ID: 1,143,256
Subject: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
i am a huge fan of the good housekeeping cookbook

viva la sticky-buns

 

-----signature-----
fat girls + skinny ankles = faulty construction -- Halloweve
The next burglar in my house will get an Awesome Auger to the face!!! -- CulenTrey
Being the coolest kid on the Asylum is like being the smartest kid with down syndrome. - DanBoone
Link to this post
-Foxy- 
Title: Moderator
Über Brat

Posts: 110,094
Registered: May 29, '02
Extended Info (if available)
Real Post Cnt: 107,357
User ID: 683,944
Subject: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
i have the joy of cooking and the frugal gourmet

 

-----signature-----
Long suffering vassal to Xarkath, U.P. - Forever and ever
Link to this post
Terminius_Est 
Title: Moon River
Posts: 40,732
Registered: Feb 27, '02
Extended Info (if available)
Real Post Cnt: 40,160
User ID: 651,096
Subject: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
-Foxy- posted:
i have the joy of cooking and the frugal gourmet




I don't have the joy of cooking but I must have four or five books from the Frug.

 

-----signature-----
There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the FORCE.
Sci/Fi Bookshelf http://tinyurl.com/2z8u9h
Link to this post
GriffinShadowfeather 
Title:
Posts: 0
Registered: ????
Extended Info (if available)
Real Post Cnt: 0
User ID: 664,522
Subject: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
-Foxy- posted:
i have the joy of cooking and the frugal gourmet




I have both of these... my Joy of cooking cookbook is so worn from use but I love it.

 

-----signature-----
Link to this post
Anotherstormslayer 
Title: Viking Lord
Posts: 38,853
Registered: Feb 16, '02
Extended Info (if available)
Real Post Cnt: 37,802
User ID: 646,317
Subject: ALTON BROWN's five favorite cook books.
GriffinShadowfeather posted:
-Foxy- posted:
i have the joy of cooking and the frugal gourmet




I have both of these... my Joy of cooking cookbook is so worn from use but I love it.

I only have the joy of cooking and my first copy a paperback wore out years ago so I replaced it with a hard cover with stitched binding and a pair of silk book marks. I might have the Italian cooking one also I have over 30 cook books half a dozen or more are on Italian cooking. I'll have to pick up smiths books his show were very informative and to the point too bad he effed it all up.

 

-----signature-----
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well,
on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away
and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to b
Link to this post

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Powered by PHP