My favorite cookbook, James Beard's American Cookery, has been reissued in hardcover. There's virtually nothing in the book that Beard doesn't cover, and he does it with a descriptive and appetite-inducing prose.
American Cookery goes beyond merely recipes: if that's what you're looking for, stick to Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking. Instead, Beard manages to tell great stories of food origins, family suppers, historic places important to cookery, and his own love of food. Remarkably he'll even tell you in a recipe's preamble that he might not particularly care for that dish, but he nonetheless offers the best recipe for it he knows.
It is the cookbook I almost always go to first to read up on a particular ingredient or food prep method.
My favorite Beard shorthand recipe is for white, or béchamel, sauce: 3-3-1, 2-2-1, 1-1-1 -- the ratios of butter-flour-milk needed to make one cup of a thick, medium, or thin white sauce, respectively. What could be easier?
Saturday, February 5, 2011
My favorite cookbook
Dave loves to eat, and cook, and feed his family and friends. Thankfully Dave's family and friends like to eat what he cooks. Dave has achieved the Great American Dream -- suburban banality. He cooks from his modestly appointed kitchen in the leafy suburbs of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a stone's throw from Philadelphia. Stop by for dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast.