My favorite type of food to cook is...?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Food Dude's Big 5

This week's Big 5 is another great one (they're all pretty great though aren't they?). Have you got a book shelf full of cook books you never open? Or are you a blank slate and have not yet been given or bought any cookbooks that you are destined to look through once and then leave to gather dust? Chances are those two categories encompass most of you. Well I am here to save you all! Be amazed by...

The Big 5 Cookbooks You Should Own!

#1---How To Grill by Steven Raichlen

An amazing book on how to get the most out of your BBQ. Including the basics on tools, techniques and easy tips to make your grill work its magic this book has full color, step by step photo instructions that guide you the whole way. If you are like me and need things very well spelled out for you this book is for you. I am currently on my 2nd copy as I wore out my first and I have also given this book several times as a gift. I have probably cooked half of the recipes in this book and I can tell you (as can the people I have cooked for) that this book is the real deal. Pair this one with....

#2--Sauces, Rubs and Marinades by Steven Raichlen

Yeah I know...cheesy to use the same author twice but I am telling you that this book is a must have even if you don't buy the one listed above. 200 recipes of sauces, marinades, flavored butters, bastes and glazes from all over the world to use either with your grilled foods or with anything else. No matter what you are having for supper tonight this book will have something great to slather it in! I probably dig this book out of the cupboard twice a week just for inspiration on what to cook next. Steven Raichlen should be dipped in bronze and hailed as a BBQ deity.

#3--Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

Those who have been paying attention know of my sweet spot for this former white house employee and her amazing comfort food recipes. While none of the recipes in this book are complicated they will amaze you with their big bright flavors and rich layers of goodness. Make sure you try the Garlic and Herb Tomatoes and the Maple Baked Beans!

#4--Cook with Jaimie by Jaimie Oliver

This thick tome is almost as fun to read as it is to cook with. The light hearted Oliver seems to be with you in the kitchen teaching you how to enjoy your cooking efforts while not getting too serious about the whole affair. A great color photo for each recipe will inspire you to try some of the seemingly stranger recipes in here (try the roasted pork belly with braised fennel!). Also sales of these books go towards Jaimie's Fifteen Foundation where he takes hard done by kids and teaches them to cook and work all over the world.

#5--Betty Crocker's Big Red Cookbook

Currently in its 10th printing the Big Red Book has been helping out kitchens for close to 60 years. While it may not be fancy and full of jaw dropping photos this book is one that you simply cannot do without. It is my go to book for all the things I should remember and yet cannot seem to keep in my head. What temperature to start a roast beef at? What internal temp does the chicken have to get to? How do I carve this ham? All those questions have their answers in there and they are easy to find too. Along with helpful hints like substitutions and an array of conversion tables I will always have a copy of this cookbook in my kitchen.

That's a good base for any cooking library! Tell me what you think and what your favorite recipe book is!



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