Lessons in Cooking Part 4: Cookbooks
FC Foodie names some of her favorite cookbooks
I am going to be very honest here…I am not that person who buys tons and tons of cookbooks. Often times I find that a handful of recipes in each book are worth trying while I had to pay for the whole book. Too expensive, I say! Besides, with internet being such a comprehensive resources for anything and everything, I find it super easy to find whatever I need over there. It is so easy to bookmark a favorite recipe in my browser or to pull it up on my iPad while cooking in the kitchen!
Having said that, there are a few books that I happened to come across and they have been my long time go-to’s. They are as follows:
The Silver Palate Cookbook. Many of you may not even know of its existence. I came across this book about 20 some years ago (first printed in 1982). It was the first cookbook I ever bought. It has some delicious and classic recipes that I find to be a great reference point of an era-past.
I love any cookbooks by Barefoot Contessa aka. Ina Garten. I love watching her show for her simple and elegant recipes and her books delivers the same.
Sustainably Delicious by our very own chef Michel Nischan is a wonderful book. His phenomenal respect for nature’s bounty is evident in his recipes. I have attended a cooking class with him at Clarke Kitchens and love following those same recipes in his book.
The Barcelona Cookbook is one of my favorites. Who doesn’t love Barcelona restaurants? I have attended many cooking classes with their chefs. It is wonderfully fun to recreate some of those great flavors right in my own kitchen.
Perhaps the most exciting book I have ever come across was one I discovered recently. The Family Meal — Home Cooking with Ferran Adria. Ferran Adria is considered the best chef in the world and his restaurant, El Bulli (now closed), a legend. This book is a collection of everyday meals that the El Bulli staff used to eat together before evening service. It is such a methodical, meticulous resource of simple and delicious recipes. It explores all the basics one must have in a pantry. With an illustration for each step in a recipe. The book even goes into the details and instructions for time management when putting together a meal. Totally idiot-proof!
I am currently working my way through In the Kitchen with Alain Passard — a fascinating book that uses comic-book like illustrations to show a glimpse into the mind and world of this intense and innovative chef. His reverence for each ingredient, no matter how big or small, is mesmerizing and inspiring. For one thing, I am amazed at how many ingredients can be consumed raw — if shaved super thin. Never thought about it until this book came along.