The list below are books in my cooking and baking library. It’s an extensive resource which allows me to compare recipes and methods from some of the world’s most renowned chefs and culinary institutions.
What I have found interesting or concluded is that, once a few basics are learned, (making a roux, the basic processes of sautéing, broiling or roasting, etc.), the only value of a recipe is its flavor. Claims of “authenticity” are meaningless.
Whether a dish of “original” Bolognese sauce contains red or white wine, milk or cream, or a Hungarian Goulash is made with beef, pork or lamb, with or without tomatoes or potatoes, is irrelevant. The bottom line is all about flavor.
Recipes change through time and by region. For example, Wiener Schnitzel is commonly thought of as a German creation. Actually, it is an Austrian dish made with veal, but has its roots in Italy. Austrians will be the first to admit that Wiener Schnitzel doesn’t come from Vienna. Interestingly, Schnitzel (the technique of breading and frying thin cutlets of meat) appears to have originated and is attributed to the Romans around 1 BC.
This traditional German Schnitzel is prepared the same way as Austrian Schnitzel. The German Schnitzel is made with pork instead of veal and many recipe variations are offered. This is only one example of hundreds of primary dishes within countries and regions.
Learn some basic methods and procedures for meals you enjoy. Add or subtract ingredients which appeal to you. The only thing that counts is enjoying the flavors you concoct!
- 400 Soups by Anne Sheasby
- Appetizers, Fingerfood, Buffets & Parties—Hermes House
- Baking by Martha Day
- Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook
- Cheese Making — Ricki Carrol
- Coming Home to Sicily by Fabrizia Lanza
- Culinaria—Germany by Christine Metzger
- Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
- Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast — Ken Forkish
- French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
- Gourmet Burgers — Publications International, Ltd.
- Herbs for the Home by Jekka McVicar
- Hot Links and Country Flavors — Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly
- How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
- Italianissimo — McRae Books
- Main Courses-365 — Hermes House
- Mastering Fermentation — Mary Karlin
- Mastering Pasta: The Art & Practice of Handmade Pasta by Marc Vetri
- Meat & Poultry by Lucy Knox and Keith Richmond
- Pasta by Linda Fraser
- Soup by Debra Mayhew
- The All New Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker
- The Art of Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger
- The Best Ever 20 Minute Cookbook by Jenni Fleetwood
- The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
- The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto by F.W. Pearce & Danilo Zecchin
- The Complete Book of Sauces by Sallie Y. Williams
- The Culinary Institute of America
- The Elements of Pizza — Ken Forkish
- The Essential Pasta Cookbook — Bay Books
- The Fine Art of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli
- The New Grilling Book — Better Homes & Gardens
- The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
- The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- The Science of Good Cooking ― Cook's
- The Way to Cook by Julia Child
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