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First Cook Book recommendation

Kvc06

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Hi all,

I will be moving out on my own in approximately a month, and amongst many other things I cannot wait to start cooking and trying out recipes. I was wondering if anyone have a good recommendation on a first cook book that is easy enough for a beginner but also has some interesting things to try out. I have almost literally no experience cooking.

Thanks!
 

foodguy

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both of those are very good recommendations. i bought my daughter "HTCE" when she went away to college, but "cooking" hadn't come out yet. partly it comes down to whether you want a good collection of reliable recipes or want to learn how to cook. Bittman is better at the former; peterson is better at the latter.
 

El Gordo

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If you don't know how to cook much at all, they might be a little challenging, but far and away the best cook books I've ever found are the Good Cook Techniques and Recipes series which were put out by Time-Life ages ago. They are great for teaching fundamental techniques (making roux and stock, cleaning meat, different kinds of dough, etc) that most other cookbooks tend to skim over or cheat on, and they have good photo diagrams. Recipe collections in them are really varied and will be much more interesting than the standards most beginner cookbooks will set you up with. They're pretty cheap used on amazon, and its definitely worth picking up at least the vegetable, pastry and common meat ones

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...es+and+recipes
 

foodguy

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people have largely forgotten about these books, but they are terrific (though maybe helpful for a more advanced cook). Richard Olney wrote and edited them.
 

holymadness

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iammatt recommended I get the James Peterson when I first started cooking. I was happy with its straightforward instructions, helpful photos, and wide range but it is a very simple primer. None of its recipes is particularly exciting, though it should give you a solid grounding in a lot of classic preparations and a good foundation for a 'serious' approach to cuisine.
 

tattersall

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Originally Posted by foodguy
people have largely forgotten about these books, but they are terrific (though maybe helpful for a more advanced cook). Richard Olney wrote and edited them.

I've got his Simple French Food on order after your suggestion.
 

itsstillmatt

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Originally Posted by holymadness
iammatt recommended I get the James Peterson when I first started cooking. I was happy with its straightforward instructions, helpful photos, and wide range but it is a very simple primer. None of its recipes is particularly exciting, though it should give you a solid grounding in a lot of classic preparations and a good foundation for a 'serious' approach to cuisine.
I agree with this, but I think that, as with all things, the basics are a good place to start. His food is tasty, even if not at all innovative. I've been to enough houses where I was served something out of a whipper when the person couldn't have boiled an egg.
 

Jokerman

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I'm curious as to why people still buy cookbooks when every recipe is on the internet? Seems like a poor investment to me.
 

mordecai

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Originally Posted by Jokerman
I'm curious as to why people still buy cookbooks when every recipe is on the internet? Seems like a poor investment to me.

Does it also confuse you that people still read newspapers when there are blogs?
 

foodguy

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actually, that's a question that the industry is grappling with. i guess the best explanation is that a good cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes from anonymous sources. which is not to say that all blogs are, but that's pretty much what you get from all aggregators.
 

Jokerman

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Don't get me wrong I have bought a cookbook or two but I have then regret it after finding out that I could have just found it on the internet without wasting $30 on the book. I am not one to normally vote for technology over the good old book but in this case I do. Just my opinion.
 

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