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Discussion Starter #1
I would greatly appreciate if someone recommended a good book on cooking for a total novice.

Im not looking for a collection of recipes, rather some sort of formal introduction in general with some science thrown in. And it should be interesting of course :)

Thanks :bow:
 

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Start with this;
Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques
Search Amazon, about $40.00.
800 some pages...
 

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I have atkins stuff if you want (I think I still do), plus lots of bulking, cutting recipes.
 

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I might have to get that Alton Brown book after reading the description. I can't really make very much and would like to learn how to cook a little (or a lot) better. Understanding the fundamentals would be more important to me than recipes.
 

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"Simple Cooking" by John Thorne...the best food writer. That guy loves food.
His site is:
www.outlawcook.com

An excellent magazine is "Cook's Illustrated," the publication of the "America's Test Kitchen" TV show. The articles explain all the steps they took tweaking the recipe, so you learn the things that do and don't work.
www.cooksillustrated.com
 

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I didn't realize he had a book out, I'll have to get it!
He's got a couple. The most recent one is on baking, but I don't have it. I like his books (and his show, too) because now that I understand the technical and practical reasons behind the why of things, I can actually put together how to do things, even if I am not using a recipe.

He's also big time into motorcycling. Gotta give him points for that, even if his bike is a BMW.

I also really like Charcuterie, but Michael Ruhlman. I got that for Christmas and I have been smoking and curing meats like a madman ever since. I'm taking part of my upcoming unemployment to make a humidity and temperature controlled curing chamber out in the garage. My wife rolled her eyes when I built a PID controller for my smoker; this will really put her over the edge.
 

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For more selective tastes:

http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/HowTo:Cook_A_Human

If you ever get tired of eating a traditional turkey dinner during Thanksgiving or boring old ham during Easter, maybe you should consider the other other white meat. It has been a long-standing tradition throughout the centuries to chow down on the slow simmered remains of our fallen enemies, but this culinary art form received little recognition in western culture.
Not to be confused with John Swift's classic book "A Modest Proposal*" which was totally misleading. :mad:



*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal
 

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If you like the scientific approach to cooking, skip the books and catch the tv show "Good Eats" (http://www.altonbrown.com/). He does a great job of explaining the science and theory behind the recipes.
Does it count that my recommendation is the Alton Brown book?
:up: You guys are right on. I've learned more about the art and science of cooking from Alton Brown than I have from anyone.
 

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Ya can't lose with the Joy of Cooking.
+1 It's like a road map to good food, written by a St. Louis mother and daughter who explain everything. Follow it and you're guaranteed edible results, which is important for a first cookbook. It can be a little Germanic and heavy (so were the authors rotfl) but you name the cooking term...they explain it.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow there is a lot of interest in cooking on here :coolnana: thanks a lot guys :wave:
 

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I've got about a dozen cookbooks on the science of cooking, including a couple of Alton Brown's. My favorites are those by Cook's, who also publishes a magazine. Not only do they explain the "why's", they run experiments and share the results of the experiments. I find that approach really helps me to understand better and improves my experiments.
 

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As recommended above, it's hard to beat Jacque Pepin's book, for the techniques of classical "brigade-style" cookery. Once you know the proper way to make a brown stock, you're halfway there.

But for more everyday cooking, I love and highly recommend any and all of John Thorne's books (Outlaw Cook, Simple Cooking etc). His writing is really excellent and his recipes are truly well-researched, simple and delicious.

And of course there's Julia Child's masterwork: http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Art-French-Cooking-Fortieth/dp/0375413405/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205943396&sr=1-1

For a very thorough (almost exhaustive in fact) rundown on just about everything involved with cooking, Madelaine Kamman's The New Making of a Cook, is really a great reference
http://www.amazon.com/New-Making-Cook-Techniques-Science/dp/0688152546

Harold McGee is da man, when it comes to great explanations of the science of cooking:
http://www.amazon.com/Food-Cooking-Science-Lore-Kitchen/dp/0684800012/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205943651&sr=1-1

And finally, for just really good, reliable recipes, I've long depended on this book:
http://www.amazon.com/New-Basics-Cookbook-Julee-Rosso/dp/0894803417/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205943720&sr=1-2

If I had to rely on just one cookbook (out of the many many that I own and have used), it would be The New Basics.

Okay, just one more recommendation, for dessert:

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Star-Desserts-Emily-Luchetti/dp/0060173157/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205943807&sr=1-1

It appears that it's no longer in print (which is a shame), but probably because Emily Luchetti now has an updated version - but anything by her is going to be excellent, you should seek out at least one of her books.
 

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There's a Food Network book called "How to Boil Water" that's really good.
 
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