Best cookbook of 2011
  • Andrew's review of the best cookbooks of 2011 inspired me to think about the books I bought/received throughout the last year and what I thought of them. I've decided to nominate my personal best cookbook of the year and tag it 'best cookbook'. My winner for 2011 is the relatively little known title 'Flavour First' by British chef John Burton Race. What would be you best cookbook of 2011?
  • That is a good, but very tough question. I do not know when I have accumulated so many cookbooks in one year, or used and enjoyed them so much. I can only tell you that today, my favorite is Bert Greene's The Grains Cookbook. It did not come out in 2011, it was published in 1988, but I found it in my library's used bookstore and fell for it immediately as I wanted to be cooking more grains and vegetables for my family. Tonight I am cooking one of the recipes for the second time. He really explains the history and how best to buy, cook and store each type of grain. Most of them sound so appetizing, and you don't feel guilty cooking them. The recipes really surprise me as does how much meat is in many of the recipes. I also love the stories. I have filled the book with multicolored post-its, each color represents a different grain. Why do you like Flavour First so much?
  • Although it would never win any awards nor was it published in 2011, my pick would have to be the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I tried 13 recipes from this book last year. A few of them were successful enough that they have become family favorites that we use over and over again.

    I'm cooking for three hungry athletic boys and a husband. I love this cookbook because it provides me with recipes for good family fare that makes everyone happy.
  • Sorry for not having explained that better - I actually meant cookbooks I bought or received during the last year even if they may have been published decades ago. In fact, I pick up most books at the second hand shop or on sale. Also, if you prefer you could just choose the book you liked most during that year - 'cookbook of the year' is such a vague concept that I feel you can give it any definition you want to.

    Flavour First was first published in 2008. The reason I enjoyed it so much was because I had the idea that the recipes are fairly fail-safe (if you follow them properly), and most of them are special in the sense of originality, yet using very normal, not too expensive ingredients.
  • This is a good question. It caused me to review the year's cookbooker reviews (yikes, looks like I did a lot of eating) and the year's cookbook acquisitions (yikes again!).
    My favorite is Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Every Day. This was published in 1994, and I picked it up (used) for 50 cents at a library sale. I have prepared 15 recipes from it, some very memorable. There are great suggestions for quesadillas that combine unusual flavors, and have been prepared more than once (unusual in my household). Soups, salad, pasta - none of the recipes has been complicated, required special ingredients, or not worked.

    I almost nominated our recent challenge cookbook - the pie and pastry bible. I love it because it taught me so much, but it hasn't had the impact on my family as the other book.

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