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Which recipe book could you not live without?

(153 Posts)
TheWorstWitch Sat 07-Nov-09 10:58:59

And why?
Looking for christmas present inspiration.
TIA smile

TheArmadillo Sat 07-Nov-09 11:01:26

MAdhur Jafferey's ultimate curry bible.

Cos other stuff I can make up if necessary - her's has the stuff I have difficulty doing off the top of my head.

Plus it has some of my favourite recipes in, and I can never quite remember them without it.

Also my Mary Berry complete cookbook, but only for the cake/baking recipes.

christiana Sat 07-Nov-09 11:06:26

Message withdrawn

Bucharest Sat 07-Nov-09 11:12:06

It pains me to say it, but if I'm thinking something like "how do I make a cake/pastry/pancake mix" etc then it's Delia's (old) cookery course..the one where she's got a red jumper on.

If I'm after inspiration, Nigella or Jamie.

JulesJules Sat 07-Nov-09 11:19:23

Nigella's How To Eat.

It is full of essential stuff and it is a wonderful read as well.

For something a bit less 'essential' with a big wow factor, any one of the Tessa Kiros books. (eg Apples for Jam or Falling Cloudberries) Gorgeous.

Astrophe Sat 07-Nov-09 11:19:47

This is wonderful. Each chapter is an ingredient (aubergine, apple, anchovies, bananas,bok choi, get the idea), and has a section on how to choose, store etc, as well as basic cooking methods (eg, how to poach, steam, pin bone fish, how to select fresh fish etc etc). Following that is a selection of recipes using that ingredient, as well as useful lists of what other flavours/ingredients it goes with.

It is pricey (and australian, so some very slight differences in terminology etc) but for someone who loves to cook or is keen to learn how to cook, rather than just recipes, its just brilliant.

moaningminniewhingesagain Sat 07-Nov-09 11:20:05

Same as bucharest, when I make things I really should be able to do without a recipe but can't, like ahem, a sponge cake, yorkshire pudding, crumbleblush I look to Delia.

Savory stuff I make up as I go along but baking needs a recipe.

The River cottage family cookbook is good too. Well the choc chip cookies are nice anyway!

Pendulum Sat 07-Nov-09 11:20:21

Nigel Slater, Appetite. Not just the recipes in the book but endless twists on them, plus lots of extra "what goes well with...." information. My top favourite for everyday suppers.

Nigell's Domsetic Goddess makes a beautiful present I think, lovely photography and fab recipes.

Doodleydoo Sat 07-Nov-09 11:20:59

Prue Leiths cookery bible, very useful for all the basics and more! Otherwise a fun one is the Hummingbird Cookery book for yummy cakes and biccies!

Hassled Sat 07-Nov-09 11:22:17

The Delia Smith Complete Cookery Course. It taught me how to cook - never patronising in tone and the recipies always work.

teamcullen Sat 07-Nov-09 11:32:09

We grew up with Mrs Beeton,s. I think my mum still has it.

No nonsence cooking at its best.

It also had a section telling you how to unblock drains, fix leaky pipes, add sockets, probably even fit a gas fire shock
Which my mum did all of above shock shock

muggglewump Sat 07-Nov-09 11:32:33

I love my Delia book too.

For everyday, easy, inexpensive family recipes I love Jamie's Ministry of Food. I have tons of recipe books and apart from Delia, that's the only one that I've worked my way through, cooking most dishes. They work too and are delicious.

Blackduck Sat 07-Nov-09 12:07:20

Sarah Raven's The Garden Cook Book. Covers veg in detail - how to cook etc...loads of very good recipes. A godsend when it comes to the veg box!!

smugmumofboys Sat 07-Nov-09 12:16:56

Nigella Feast - lots of great recipes. The Christmas chapter is really good, her flourless Easter chocolate cake is to die for.

I find her recipes less fussy than some and I like her writing style.

Also Mary Berry's Simple Cakes is a winner.

thaliablogs Sat 07-Nov-09 12:20:00

I'll second Astrophe's vote for Stephanie Alexander. I bought it on a recommendation after DH had banned any new cookery books, but now he refers to it as much as I do and recommends it to friends. Otherwise Nigella's How to Eat or Feast and Nigel Slater's Real Food and Kitchen Diaries are our staples.

dawntigga Sat 07-Nov-09 12:23:05

One? One? You want me to choose just one???

Oh, ok.

Delia's frugal food - love love love it.


MrsSchadenfreude Sat 07-Nov-09 12:24:53

Oh that's a difficult one - I have over 200 cookery books! Madhur Jaffrey's curry bible is great, but so are Anjum Anand's books. I use all of my Nigella books regularly, also one called the USA cookbook, and another American one called the Silver Palate Cook Book. Also like Mary Berry for cakes, Clarissa Dickson Wright's book on comfort food, and Nigel Slater. Nope, can't decide.

Is this appropriate here, as it's a cooking thread?


MrsSchadenfreude Sat 07-Nov-09 12:25:27

They look like tits!

TwentiethCenturyHeffa Sat 07-Nov-09 12:30:42

My favourite is Don't Sweat the Aubergine by Nicholas Clee. It has loads of basic recipes and some fantastic tips. I love reading it as well. A lot of the stuff would be fairly obvious to keen cooks, but I always find some little tip that I didn't know about.

I love Nigella and Nigel Slater as well, but often more for inspiration or specific recipes.

theminniebauble Sat 07-Nov-09 12:34:57

Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries is a great, non-fussy, everyday sort of book that inspires you to do stuff with things that are cheap and in season. It also has some good staples like christmas cake where you don't have to soak the fruit. Even my dad is a convert- prior to buying him this, he wouldn't dream of looking at cook book that was printed after about 1960!

I would echo Nigella's Feast. Beautifully written, most of it not too fiddly and helped to make me into a confident cook in terms of building menus. Looks nice too- not too many pictures of her simpering into her cleavage with a glass of wine.

MarkStretch Sat 07-Nov-09 12:49:24

I love Tana Ramsay's Family Kitchen. It is the best for feeding the family. Everything I have cooked out of it has been fabulous and the recipes are easy to follow. I have lent it to a few friends who also now love it.

She also includes party food and cakes for DC's parties and home made playdough.

I heart her.

serenity Sat 07-Nov-09 12:53:41

Dairy Book of Home Cookery Learnt to cook using the version my Mum got as a wedding present. It's just practical, not fashionable, not faddy.

walkthedinosaur Sat 07-Nov-09 12:54:29

I love Nigella's Feast, everything I've tried from that has been gorgeous and it's really easy to read. What I like best about it, is she comes across as really normal.

hellsbelles Sat 07-Nov-09 13:01:37

I'm a cookbook junkie and have practically every one ever published! Best for gifts I would imagine are any of the Nigella ones - they look lovely and have great recipes.

If it is for someone with a young family I would highly recommend 'fay's family food'. Sounds gimmicky (it's by the actress Fay Ripley) but I absolutely love it. Every recipe I have tried so far is delicious and the DC's love the food as well (the idea is cooking food for the whole family including babies to share)

muggglewump Sat 07-Nov-09 13:15:24

I have Feast, but rarely use it as Nigella annoys me so much!

The food is lovely, what I've tried I've loved but I can't get her annoying voice, and manner out of my head when I read it.

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