My Cookbook Collection

April 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

While we are on the subject of cookbooks, I wanted to highlight a few interesting books in my personal collection. Personally, I find cookbook reviews really helpful when I bump into them, so I hope you don’t mind this too much either.

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I am thrilled about the two newest additions. I am a huge, huge fan of Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman, and I am very excited to have her book added to my collection. The book is filled with wonderful pictures and various vignettes about Ree’s life on the ranch.

And here’s the thing about her – all of her recipes turn out, calling for only minor modifications, if any. In fact a lot of what I cook came from her site.

In case you are not that well familiar with Ree, consider trying the following Rich Food Blog-tested recipes:

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce

Delicious Baked Fudge (it’s delicious, really!) – I make it with dulce de leche for added decadence.

Wings

Yogurt Cream and Berries

Next, there’s the Home Cheesemaking by Ricki Caroll, the founder of the New England Cheesmaking Supply Company. I could not begin to tell you how seriously I am planning on using this book. After attending the amazing Drifltess Folk School Cheesemaking class taught by Linda Conroy (see my descriptions of the class here), and becoming fully hooked on making at least some of my own butter and cheese, I knew this book was a must-have. Right now I am making neuchatel cheese, for instance, with the starter that came from her company and the recipe that came from her book.

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Charcuterie is a fabulous resource if you are into curing some of your own meat, which is especially useful if you hunt or raise your own beef or pork. This book gave me the recipes for pastrami (adapted for venison by my mother-in-law), and home-cured corned beef.

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The Barefoot Contessa in Paris by Ina Garten is among the books I use the most. In some ways, this book is a modern shortcut version to Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My favorite recipes include chocolate mousse, cauliflower gratin, and blender Holandaise that I love to serve with my asparagus.

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Jacob gave me this timeless classic for Christmas this year. I regularly make Julia’s creme caramel and chocolate buttercream. This book also provides detailed information about different foods and how they behave, much like the Joy. I love this book, and I love Julia Child’s tongue-in-cheek, non-apologetic attitude.

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Speaking of which, Julia Child’s editor, Judith Jones, co-authored this excellent wild game cookbook.

I regularly use it to make pan-fried trout.

When it comes to Russian cookbooks, I prefer the ones that use American temperatures and measurements, and this book does. I really love it, and everything I made from here turned out well, including kotleti, mushrooms in sour cream, and many other recipes.

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And I love the crazy, pseudo-Chagall cover art. And the not-quite-English title.

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This is another one of those, and I regularly use it to make bitki in sour cream among other things.

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This is a natural foods classic, which will tell you exactly how and why all this butter and bacon is good for you. Sally Fallon, who visited Viroqua a year or two ago, heads the Weston A. Price Foundation – a lobbying group that promotes animal fats and raw foods and is described as “fiercely anti-vegetarian.” It is no surprise that the book is filled with all kinds of eloquent propaganda. My kind of propaganda.

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Although I am as far from a vegetarian as can be, I like this book because it offers many different uses for vegetables (we eat vegetables too, you know), and plus the recipes in this book make generous use of eggs, butter, and other dairy. I also find them simple, clear, and they always turn out well. I especially loved the mushroom quiche (and the accompanying all-butter pie crust recipe) and the broccoli cream soup.

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This is another one of those. It is especially useful if you belong to a CSA and trying to figure out what the heck to do with all those vegetables. Which pretty much describes my life in the summertime.

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This is a canning and freezing equivalent of the Joy of Cooking. It’s my go-to for all of my canning and freezing needs.

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This came from Azerbaijan.

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I think the English in this book is hilarious. Isn’t it hilarious?

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This here is a collection of recipes by Tom Hudgens, who, in Jacob’s time, was (I believe) a cook at the Deep Springs College which both Jacob and his younger brother Silas attended. Like David Lebovitz, Tom once worked at Chez Panisse in Berkley. Incidentally, Tom recently turned it into a proper cookbook under the title The Commonsense Kitchen: 500 Recipes Plus Lessons for a Hand-Crafted Life which is to be released on July 14th of this year. What I love best about this is Tom’s unabashed love of animal fats.

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My mother-in-law gave me this for Christmas after I first got into bread baking six years ago. I regularly use it to make banana bread, and I also tried several kinds of egg breads, including challah and brioche, with great results.

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Finally, I’ve recently re-organized my recipe folder, whose numbers have exploded after I began following Ree Drummond’s aforementioned site. I pretty much had to do this after it became impossible to find anything.

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Now I can find everything.

I hope that was useful. Especially all the not-in-print books.

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