Jun 20, 2013

Cookbook Heaven

Filed under: Expressions,randomness,Home — Kay @ 10:57 am

Let’s talk cookbooks! Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.. a few of them. I’ll start.

Here are four of my favourites, in no particular order:

Cook Books

Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey is probably one of the best books ever written. Not just in my humble opinion! I’m not that familiar with Indian cuisine and figured I’d be better off getting my inspiration from a pro, rather than trying to teach myself the fine art of Indian cooking. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Flipping through the pages, I wanted to cook every single dish in the book after I first bought it. That’s rare. These recipes are easy, fresh and light. They also don’t require hours of preparation and are so darn tasty. If you want your friends and family to think you’re a curry genius, you need not look further; here’s your go-to book.


Cook Books

Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ has globally been getting rave reviews. Rightfully so, it’s a wonderful book. One of his equally stellar books is this book: Jerusalem, a book he co-authored with Sami Tamimi and which is more like a melting pot of cultures, stories and recipes. Not only do you end up with a fair share of wonderful Middle Eastern recipes that are to die for, but the photography is amazing as well. Highly inspirational book.


Cook Books

Even though I don’t do sweet stuff, I do bake bread and pizza and that’s where ‘The Italian Baker‘ by Carol Field comes into play. The only downside to this book is that there are not nearly enough photos to my liking, but that’s because I’m a very visual person. However, the tons of techniques and scrumptious fool-proof recipes you’ll find in this extensive Italian baking book really make up for the lack of photography. It makes you want to start kneading dough straight away, and that’s what any good cook book should do.


Cook Books

I asked Jayden to pick a book for the kids and he choose ‘Crêpes‘ by Martha Holmberg. He loves anything pancake and I saw an opportunity to have lots of fun in the kitchen with my son. Best gift I can give him is to make sure he knows how to cook, right? For a 7-year-old Dutch boy, he’s a surprisingly good English reader, so we decided to declare one day a week crêpes day and we cook a recipe from the book together. It’s fun.

We highly recommend the hummus, roasted red pepper and feta crêpes!


Your turn now!


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    1. 1

      this post came just at the right time. I was looking at purchasing myself the “curry easy” book. I have paged through it soooo many times – but now im sold. im an ex-south african so curry comes easy to me but since you recommend, im all in :-)
      my fav cookbooks are without a doubt the tessa kiros “falling cloudberries” & her newest “limoncello & linen water”. cant.get.enough! 

      ange on Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:01 pm Reply
      1. Had to google her, but just the names ‘Falling Cloudberries’ and ‘Limoncello and linen water’ are brilliant enough to make me want to buy both of them!

        Kay on Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:07 pm Reply
    2. 2

      I recently bought Plenty by Ottolenghi, Artisan Breads everyday by Peter Reihart and Baking, from my home to yours by Dorrie Greenspan.

      Ashima Taneja on Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:19 pm Reply
      1. I have Plenty and ArtisanBreads, but the other one is new to me. Gonna google it.

        Kay on Jun 20, 2013 @ 12:23 pm Reply
      2. Dorrie Greenspan’s Around My French Table is really good as well!

        Lisa * on Jun 20, 2013 @ 1:21 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Just a few of my favorites:
      The Homesick Texan–Lisa Fain, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook–Jaden Hair, Creme de Colorado Cookbook.  I love cookbooks and read them like they are novels.  Many more that I thoroughly enjoy :)

      Lisa * on Jun 20, 2013 @ 1:19 pm Reply
      1. I even read cookbooks in bed these days! :)

        Good idea, I still have to buy Jaden’s book! I also have the homesick texan book and am gonna google the other one!

        Kay on Jun 20, 2013 @ 1:20 pm Reply
        1. I know! Reading cookbooks is so relaxing :)

          Miss M on Jun 22, 2013 @ 3:59 pm Reply
    4. 4

      All of Marcella Hazan’s books, Padma Lakshmi’s Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet (AMAZING fried chicken recipe!), Bee Yinn Low’s Easy Chinese, Cooking at the Kasbah by Kitty Morse…I could go on and on!

      Tammi on Jun 20, 2013 @ 2:21 pm Reply
      1. So glad I posted this, because I love learning about new cook books and authors. 

        Please go on, don’t stop now :)

        Kay on Jun 20, 2013 @ 2:23 pm Reply
    5. 5

      These all look so interesting! I’d especially like to read the Jerusalem cookbook and the Curry cookbook. I love cookbooks and have about 300 in my collection, but don’t have these. Some of my personal favorites are Craig Claiborne’s Southern Cooking, the Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook (all vegetarian…go figure), Quail Country (a junior league cookbook from Albany, Georgia), and both of Laura Calder’s French cookbooks.

      Lana @ Never Enough Thyme on Jun 20, 2013 @ 2:41 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Ok Kay, here’s a few more! Kitchen “staple” books – Joy of Cooking, Mark Bittman’s Best Recipes in the World and Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. These are the ones I hit first when I’m having a specific craving. Cookbooks and mysteries always seem be showing up on my door from Amazon….just got a new Persian cookbook for Mothers Day!

      Tammi on Jun 20, 2013 @ 4:35 pm Reply
    7. 7

      There are myriads of very interesting books on the subject, but I will just try to refer to you those I find the most interesting or indispensable ones in my shelves.

      McGee, Harold “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen”  The book from Mr McGee is an essential, for professional and non professional cooks.
      Ortega, Simone and Inés Ortega , ¨1080 Recipes¨  One of the best recipe Spanish books I have, the recipes are accurate and very clearly explained, even for people with little knowledge, the definitive book on traditional and authentic Spanish home cooking.

      Revel, Jean-François ¨Culture and Cuisine: a journey through the history of food¨An excellent essay full of wit and wisdom by the philosopher, writer, journalist Revel.

      Könemann´s Culinaria series are among the most beautiful gastronomic books +info ( http://culinariaeugenius.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/culinaria-cookbooks/ )

      Bourdain, Anthony ¨Kitchen confidential: adventures in the culinary underbelly¨  Bourdain is a bit of a hooligan in my opinion, he likes to brag a bit and exaggerate, but this little book is funny to read, it offers too an insight into the work of restaurant professionals, gives you advices as to what to avoid when eating out… although is not a cooking book eh? 

      Barnes, Julian ¨The Pedant in the Kitchen¨  You can read online the often hilarating articles that Mr Barnes wrote in The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/series/thepedantinthekitchen

      Grigson, Jane, ¨The Vegetable Book¨. Great writer too and very useful recipes (and not just vegetarian ones).

      Larousse Gastronomique (there are editions in French, English, Spanish, etc) it is an encyclopedia of gastronomie. To see more about it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larousse_Gastronomique)
      “The world´s best street food” by lonely planet is a little book but very interesting with lots of recipes and comments about different and famous street dishes of the world.
      Yotam Ottolenghi “Plenty” is one of my favourites too and the Culinary Institute of America has some very interesting books like “The professional Chef”

      Mª del Mar on Jun 21, 2013 @ 5:35 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Ah, and “the book of Jewish food” by Claudia Roden, oh gosh! there are so many…

      Mª del Mar on Jun 21, 2013 @ 5:42 pm Reply
    9. 9

      My favorite and most used cookbook is our family cookbook, In Honor of Donner.  It took two years of collecting and promises not to reveal secret gossip to the other sister, but at long last, the masterpiece and family collection of recipes, beloved stories, photos, and a few, hmmmmm, embellished truths.  Now our newest family members can get a glimpse of their heritage.

      Cindy on Jun 23, 2013 @ 2:04 am Reply
    10. 10

      I would say the entire Culinaria series, great inspiration and cultural and culinary background to several cuisines.
      Beginning of the year I received the “Silver Spoon”.. have tried some dishes from that and everything just tastes great! Even the lentil dish I made last Tuesday which was super easy, super tasty! (even though it did not look that great..)
      Obviously lots of other great books, but these do stand out on my bookshelves.

      Coen on Jun 27, 2013 @ 12:04 pm Reply

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