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    I am a sucker for good books and there are lots of specific topic cookbooks out there. I have just received two terrific ones. Jennifer McLagan. Odd Bits & Bones. these are fantastic books for eating snout to squeal, Mouth to Moo, Baaah, to Butt. It is a wonderful reminder that there is more to chicken than breast (yeah, my Tovi doesn't feel well. Vet says feed her chicken. that became a convo about chicken. he was surprised when he realized we RARELY eat breast but always have feet in the house.)

    another good one I have is Sugar Rush by Johnny Iuzzini. Fantastic sweet recipes including the White Chocolate Panna Cotte. The next one I am after is Charcouterie, The art of sausage making. Looking forward to that!

    Meathead, your collections of recipes and techniques are SO authoritative, they really SHOULD be published. I would buy it (Especially if I could get a signed copy) and would send it to friends.

    So, I pose a question. what are your favorite cooking books? (not necessarily 'cookbooks' with lists of recipes, though they are fun) but the books that actually TEACH technique. this could be quite the resource.

    Include magazines. my favorite for general recipes is Fine cooking. a secondary is Cook's Illustrated. I like CI because it offers a lot of equipment reviews.

    Big Bob Gibsons BBQ Book by Chris

    Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by a couple smaht dudes

    My mom and dad gave us kids a cookbook with their favorite stuff to cook. Mom's has more sweet stuff and includes my grandmother's from scratch pancake recipe. It also has a 3 tier coconut cake.


      Williams-Sonoma have some great books. I am not a really great baker, but what I can make I make pretty well all thanks to their baking book here. They cover the tools, how to use them, crazy amounts of pictures so you can see exactly how everything should look at every step. My mom hates that I make better pies than her, she never even gets a good crust. I just follow the recipe in here and i'm good to go.


      • Karon Adams
        Karon Adams commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm going to take a look at that one. anything to improve the baking is handy!

        Flaky crust means everything cold & layered and at least two kinds of fats. however, the hot water pastry offers a really nice delicate crust, with the easiest technique. next time I do a pie, I think I am going to make both and then layer them together. that should be interesting.

      the family recipes are the best, aren't they? When I was a kidlet (way back when. seriously, we had no running water) my parents & grandfather would leave early to go cut & bail hay. My grandmother and I would head out to gather eggs (Chicken eggs for sale, Guinea eggs for us) then milk the cows. While she worked on dinner, she would set me down to churn butter. and we would talk. I can't remember what we talked about but I remember sitting in that kitchen, up & down & up & down.

      She showed how to churn. not too fast (so as not to lose and arm) fast enough to keep the milk agitated. 5 gallons of milk, typically. and while I churned, she cooked. I still remember the color of the sunlight.

      Anyway, when the butter was done, she showed me how to reach in, and keep my fingers just SO far apart and dip out the butter. she'd make sure the milk drained, then put it in stoneware crocks and into the fridge.

      then, she took the left over milk& whey, and make the most AMAZING candy. I was too young to remember how she made it, but I used to BEG her to let me have it sooner. she just laughed and told me I had to wait until it cooled or I'd be burned. buttermilk & sugar & walnuts. OH MY! and when the peaches were in season (they had peach trees) she would make Fried Pies. MAN!

      Anyway, I have been trying to recreate that recipe since I grew up and started cooking more than frozen pizza and canned chili! sadly, by the time I was old enough to ask for the recipe, she was far gone enough in dementia that she simply didn't remember it. that breaks my heart. I still try to work on it from time to time. one Day i'll get it. It'll be Opal Candy. and i'll make sure it is available to everyone in my family.

      Part of the reason for this trip down memory lane is to tell you one of the great ways to keep the recipes alive. I have been gathering as many of my family recipes as I could find. On www.AllRecipes.Com you can set up your own recipe box. this is where you can drop the ones you find on their site you like for future use but also, enter your own. recipe by recipe, you can choose to make them public (in which case, the website has to get around to testing it to make sure it is what you say) or keep it private. all of my family has the username and password to that site. which means they all have the family recipes that we all grew up loving. and, should the grands come along and I'm too far gone (some say I already am) those recipes will be there. the marvelous Secret Potato salad recipe that everyone we know raves over and which recipe we guard jealously!

      Love em.

      Sorry, went off on a trip down memory lane. I almost never ramble. sorry about that! ;-)> happy Wednesday. take the Ham out of the freezer! Easter is upon us!


        Francis Malmans Seven Fires and "Malman on Fire"
        Peace love and BBQ from Mike and Amy Mills
        Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of BBQ country by Lolis Eric Elie
        Charcuterie, the Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn
        All of Steven Raichlens Books
        Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslen (Cordon Bleu Textbook)
        Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen (Cordon Bleu Textbook)

        Many others, but these are my current favorites


        • Karon Adams
          Karon Adams commented
          Editing a comment
          I have a couple of the Cordon Bleu school books. the ones for basic techniques. LOTS of fun to work through. And Charcuterie is my next target. I assume it is a good choice since it made your recommendations list?

        • scorched_porch
          scorched_porch commented
          Editing a comment
          The Ruhlman and Polcyn book is about the best.
          Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats in San Francisco also has 2 books I like - "The Meat Book" on whole animal butchering and "Sausage Making". And a very nice guy to boot.

        Aaron Franklin BBQ book will be available April 7 on Amazon


          20 by ruhlman. also ratio is fun. like meathead he stresses proper technique but says your taste buds are yours to tickle. I usually skip allrecipes because many recipes seem to be ingredients to stir together rather than tame into delicious dishes. food does not have to be that hard all the time but most people here take half a day to eat some pork so dialing in proper technique is imperative.


          • Karon Adams
            Karon Adams commented
            Editing a comment
            LOVE 20! that is a FANTASTIC learn these to cook well! and, what there to five recipes for each technique, each of which teaches another aspect of the techniques. I like all recipes for basic recipes and, sometimes offering things I have never tried. The best thing about their site, though, is the ability to catalog your favorites and family recipes so they aren't lost. they are not my first resource for new cooking techniques. You are right they are usually measure, dump, stir, bake.

            Seems every time a holiday comes around, someone on facebook posts the "Dump It' cake recipe. which is, literally, dumping. a cake mix, a few cans of fruit and others stuff in the pantry, and throw it in the oven. Every time I see it, I think, "Why bother" then I remind myself, other people have jobs and still have kidlets and just need something they can put together quickly. not my place to judge. but, I could not bring myself to do it unless I was too sick to stand up and jonesing for a cake.

            hey, I cook for fun. some people cook convenience & dump its because they don't have the time for anything else. and I have been there, too. but, that is part of why I love sharing what I cook with my neighbors. most are both working, some with little kidlets, like my next door neighbors. He's a Sherrif, she's an insurance professional with 6&3 yearl old kidlets. so, they get a share. especially when I make things that must be made in large batches or it won't come out right. like caramel corn and bread.

            Come to find out, he LOVES the bread. when they have my bread in the house, he won't touch store bought. makes me feel good and I'm glad he likes it. Of course, the kidlets love the sweets. I'm making Easter baskets for the kidlets, starting with Sweetened, chocolat chip Brioche for nests.

          The Cooks Illustrated/Cooks Country team is my go to resource for most cooking questions. I have several of their books and subscribe to the website.

          Also, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee is a great resource for food science information even though it doesn't have any recipes.


            I am also a fan of food history, so I have enjoyed "Great Cooks and Their Recipes From Taillevent to Escoffier" by Anne Willan.
            Last edited by scorched_porch; April 2, 2015, 10:38 AM.


              Believe it or not, the Martha Stewart Cooking School book is great for basic techniques and reference. For straight recipes, I like the CI first two cookbooks: The New Best Recipes and More Best Recipes. Everything after that seems like they are just recycling recipes.


                Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
                Big Bob Gibsons BBQ ...

                Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages by a couple smaht dudes...

                Got this one thanks to you. Its one heavy duty book.


                  I'm so enjoying Aaron Franklin's book right now!


                    The best gift my son ever gave me was the set of books by Nathan Myhrvold called Modernist Cuisine. Sometimes I just sit for hours and study his brilliant facts and information. It is a fabulous work of art done by a billionaire. He composed this great set of books for fun and his passion for the culinary arts. I doubt he even intended to make a profit on this project.


                    • IrondeQuer
                      IrondeQuer commented
                      Editing a comment
                      At $500+ for the set, maybe he did.

                    • Breadhead
                      Breadhead commented
                      Editing a comment
                      IrondeQuer... If you read about the size of his research facility, the professional staff of Chef's he hired, the equipment he bought and the detailed research he and his staff did to put this all together you would be amazed. Then there is the photography...Oh my! Then each volume is a coffee table size and quality book. Plus... It is as much a history book of the culinary arts as it is a teaching manual. Then there is the recipes... Mmmm. Then there is the printing cost. The cost of sales.

                      I've thought about this many times... How is he ever going to show a profit? He might eventually but only a frivolous Billionaire could pull this work of art off. He and his staff worked on this book for years before he ever saw the first $ of revenue.

                      If you read his history... While he was the CFO of Mircosoft he travelled the world and he always took the time to dine in extraordinary restaurants and... Chat with the Chefs and owners. My assumption is that he researched this project for 20 years before he even started it.

                      I feel blessed to have a copy of it. I had to learn the baker's percentage system to be able to really understand it. That necessity was also a blessing. Understanding that system is a game changer in your pursuit of understanding cooking and recipes.

                    • scorched_porch
                      scorched_porch commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I have it as well. I am continually marveling at the attention to detail, beautiful photographs and downright good ideas that can be adapted to BBQ. My current favorite is using Sodium Citrate to make a cheese sauce for Mac 'n Cheese. I chop jalapenos and add those to it for a spicy cheese sauce for dogs and burgers.

                    My favorite book is Fire and Smoke: A Pitmaster's Secrets by Chris Lilly. But I have Aaron Franklins new book on order! And I'm really looking forward to that one.


                      Aaron Franklin's book is fabulous. Just went through it.



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