You are absolutely right ks. I am a trained chef and never use recipes because I have a good foundation in basic cooking. However, in my experience lots and lots of people need things spelled out for them. This is why delias how to cook series was one of the best selling cook books of all time.
i had 6 years of cooking lessons in school and learned all the basics. nowadays i find experimental cooking very enjoyable. occasionally i do need a recipe though for 'tricky' things like cakes, which i never remember the measurements of.
I've never really felt that. I must follow recipes and don't have the confidence to make up my own - I suspect that the result would be bland and samey in my case. Some people seem to have culinary flair though.
I use Ainsley Harriott and Nigel Kennedy 'quick' recipes
quite right ks
I use them as inspiration and refernece, like quantities for choux pastry. I binned loads of my Sainsbury magazinnes when I moved, wish I hadn't. I thought they were very well thought out and put together and used to get lots of ingredient based inspiration from those.
Nigel Kennedy has branched out in to cookery has he?
alright cheeky wong, I think hmc must surely have meant Mr Slater!
We use recipes for uncharted territory such as precision cooking to impress and the rest of the time rely on what vintage She magazines used to call "bung cuisine". I really love Nigel for this - he reminds you so well what works together and what doesn't.
99% of meals at Marina Towers are collations - several of them nicked off Waitrose cards, ks.
Hope you are feeling less frazzled ks.
I like books with recipes from different countries - I really like the MORO cookbook, for example, which contains a lot of new ideas for cooking fish.
also, far eastern and indian curry cookbooks I would tend to use...
and I dip into nigella's how to eat sometimes for basic info re. cakes etc
I hardly ever use recipes to the letter. In fact I don't really know why I buy recipe books! I will usually think - I want to cook such and such (eg for example I recently wanted to do falafels) and so I look through all my recipe books and read all the falafel recipes, get a feel for what the key elements are and make up my own modification.
USually if anything in a recipe book looks complicated or faffy, or has something in it I don't like, I just change it.
I'm not a very good cook though and usually do very simple things.
I love recepie books but I do see them mainly as inspiration. Only really follow recepies to the letter for baking or where gelatine is involved. Also for alcohol based sorbets or icecreams.
Otherwise I just chuck a bit of this and that together and hope for the best!
I have to say though that recepie books are where I discovered what flavours work together, and new combinations are being discovered by me all the time! I recently discovered the prefect match of pomegranite and lamb from one of Nigellas cook book. I would also never have believed a citrus tart could taste as lemony as the River Cafe cook book one does without seeing it in print!
yes i agree - i can cook and make up recipes-if i have something out i can uusually come home and make a pretty good copy but i love my shelf books( nigella jamie delia !) too for new things and inspiration when im bored
I found a book in my local library about 4 years ago which I had out for over a year. Later I wanted to buy it and all I could remember was that it was a Penguin: librarian not impressed. But this thread has inspired me to read all 400 entries for Penguin cookery books on Amazon (never thought there'd be such interest in cooking Penguins - a bit fishy if you ask me ) to find - ta da !!!!!!!!!!!! - The Modern Cook's Handbook: All You Need to Know About Cooking with Over 200 Recipes by Lynda Brown - and I've snapped up one of only 2 copies on there.
It's a really useful clever book that teaches you how to invent your own recipes based on showing you a staple type recipe (e.g. couscous) - and then showing you how to a million things to make it different. Need never buy another one (not that that will stop me).
more or less agree ks. except for baking .couldn't do a cake without exact measurments.
however rely greatly on one tattered bought in oxfam 20 years ago Elisabeth david book. Everything i have got since is full of plagerised versions of things in this book.