Over the years I have been building quite the Amazon wishlist of cookbooks I have wanted to try (anyone with me on this?) So when it came time to share some ideas with family for Christmas gifts I just sent the link over, little did I know that Santa would be so generous! The first one I admittedly got for myself while teaching a cooking class at Sur La Table. It was Cooking For Jeffrey by Ina Garten, who I LOVE (who doesn't?!) Everyone always asks me every other year when I buy her latest book "is it good?" and always respond " they are all amazing" and they always are. Some highlights from this one: chipotle mashed potatoes and a white bean soup that is so simple but delicious.
My husband Matt is part Egyptian and my brother in law Chris is part Iranian so I have been lucky to try several family dishes over the years. I wanted to check out this book to see more variations and processes. It is a big book but has some fantastic ideas particularly for the vegetarians at our table.
I can't wait to write the "Cooking for Matt" book but until that happens I will be curling up with this beauty. The other 1/2 of Matt is rooted in North Carolina and he loves southern food (so do I!) What I am loving about this book are the stories of the past and how certain dishes originated. It is absolutely fascinating, did you know that pimento cheese was called the "pate' of the south" ? (I did not) but thanks to The Southerners Cookbook from the editors of Garden & Gun I will be able to share that little bit of knowledge at my next party (pimento cheese pate' anyone?)
All it took was one piece of toast after standing in the epic line at Sqirl LA to make me a fan. I had actually completely forgotten about eating there until I returned and remembered the toast I had for brunch one day with a friend (amaze). I realized they had done a cookbook while reading Love and Lemons blog and bought it immediately (now I need to buy the Love and Lemons book!). This one is not for the faint of heart, lots of fermenting and fancy work but totally worth it. Sorrel Pesto is in my spring future here at the cottage just you wait.
When I was in culinary school "product Identification" aka learning about vegetables was basically one crammed day. I was lucky enough to go and work on the farm at Blue Hill at Stone Barnes for a week but there is no end to what you can learn about vegetables. What I am liking about this book is the straightforward approach to the information you want. How to cut, cook, store specific vegetables. For example I learned about beets "bleeding" if you cut the stems too short and how to peel them when they are warm to make life easier. If you need some quick vegetable advise pick this one up for your culinary library (or small bookshelf)
When we were living in NY and Matt was traveling I would hop on my citibike and head over to Momofuku. I could get in much faster as a single person to indulge in one of their steaming bowls of ramen. I got this book specifically to hone in on the stock recipes and if you ave ever tasted it you will know why. I haven't even opened it yet but when I do I hope to expand my culinary borders and try some fun new things.
What are your favorite cookbooks??