Sunday, October 11, 2009

Favorite Cookbooks: The New Basics Cookbook

I have been given several cookbooks by famous chefs, but they tend to sit, rather dustily, on the shelf. There are cookbooks that I like to read, and then there are cookbooks that I actually cook from, and restaurant wizardry rarely falls into either category. The New Basics Cookbook, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, falls into both. My copy has food or wine splatters on many of the pages – always a sign of a well-used cookbook. It is one of my indispensable cookbooks – definitely on my “desert island” short-list -- and it so reliable that I will happily choose untried recipes for important occasions, without suffering from the slightest nervy qualm.

As the title states, you can find basics here: not only classic recipes, but also really thorough information on preparation. And, it is comprehensive in the same way that a Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens cookbook would be – except the recipes are going to be homey and stylish. Although it was first published in 1989, I don’t think the food has dated at all.

I got this cookbook for an engagement present, and its recipes – for classics like carrot cake, beef bourguignon, osso buco and oatmeal cookies – are an integral part of my family’s eating history. Last weekend, when I wanted a good bruschetta recipe, I reached for this cookbook; it never ever lets me down. I like to give this book as a present to English friends; I don’t bother with American friends, though, because they tend to already have it.


Elizabeth said...

I'm hungry for everything!
Just this minute I'm boiling beans for baked beans. I may end up wishing for B&M........
Can you imagine, we do not have a single cookbook in the house.
I am weird.
I maybe ought to buy some.

rxBambi said...

Ok, this is what I need. Seriously. No one ever told me before. WTH? Betty Crocker has been my lifeblood and now you tell me about this?

Where were you then??

christina said...

i don't have this cookbook! oh this is going on my wish list!
thank you, thank you.

Bee said...

Elizabeth - I really cannot imagine not having any cookbooks! I need them for so many reasons -- especially for inspiration. Otherwise, cooking gets so dull. I guess that you are the ideal person for this series of cookbook favorites. Ju and I have hundreds of cooksbooks . . . so we've already done the legwork (eyework?) for you.

rxBambi - Put it on your Xmas list. Ideal.

Christina - It is a fab cookbook. SO WORTH the money.

jane said...

i also received this book as a wedding present and still use it almost 20 years later. she like an old friend! besos!

Bee said...

Jane - I'm so glad that you know what I mean. Don't you think other people should know our friend, too?


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