Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joe Cooks Up Some Tasty Recommendations

My favorite cookbook of all time? The Cook & The Gardener by Amanda Hesser (NYT Food Editor). Ms Hesser spent a year of her life with a French gardener and his wife. This is not merely a cookbook, but a chronicle of her life that year, of the rhythms and histories of the french garden, kitchen and countryside. It is a book written with love and every recipe in it is fantastic, fresh and easy to make. It's a cookbook I use frequently, and just as frequently, sit down and read.

Pig: King of the Southern Table
This recently-published cookbook is all about pork. Every recipe I have made from this cookbook has been absolutely delicious. I have made the bourbon-marianted pork tenderloin twice and just writing about it makes me crave it.

Vefa's Kitchen
From the folks who brought us Silver Spoon and I Know How To Cook, comes this amazing, this beautiful, this authentic cookbook from Greece. These are the recipes I recall from my year in Greece.

Putting Food By
This is the fifth edition of the classic go-to book for all your canning, preserving, freezing needs. If you own this book, you never have to say no at the farmer's market!

How to Cook Everything
I was a Joy of Cooking groupie. I thought it was the perfect go-to book in the kitchen (how long do I boil an egg for hardboiled eggs?) but slowly and confidently, Mark Bittman has won his way into my heart and a
permanent place on my kitchen counter. This book is what I grab now when I need a quick basic course on something. And the brilliance of this book? After nearly every recipe come a myriad of variations on it... indispensable!

How to Drink
This has been my favorite cookbook purchase of the year so far (I have a small problem with buying cookbooks....) Victoria Moore decided that there were a ton of books on how to cook with the freshest ingredients, but the what to drink with the meal was left to haphazard chance. No longer. This book addresses beverages of every stripe: from tea to coffee to wine to booze. Since reading it, I've realized that there was a way to perfect the gin and tonic (and I've been such a happy boy since!) and that I was brewing the coffee in my french press all wrong (every day has started off right!). This book is informative, fun, opinionated, and has great little drawings in it. Again, it's useful information that is fun to read!

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