What are your favorite cookbooks?
Our cookbook passions are molded by several factors:
- Eric and I both really love cooking. We also both love baking, although he does most of the bread and I do nearly all of the sweets.
- We have a vegetarian household.
- We are not particularly rule-oriented. With the exception of baking (and even then to some extent), we regard recipes as ideas and suggestions rather than as, say, recipes. People follow recipes. We more regard them with interest. I virtually never measure ingredients, though Eric often does, Mr. Compliant.
So here are the three cookbooks we consult or flip through most often:
- Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian (This one has largely displaced our old favorite, Deborah Madison’s also-excellent Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I had to look up that title because I call it Vegetarian Cooking for Everybunny.)
- Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness, Indian Home Cooking (This one is not vegetarian, but nearly all the meat dishes involve sauces we just use with seitan or chickpeas instead. We’re also liking the threateningly-large but inspiring How to Cook Indian [Sanjeev Kapoor], which we have out from our library at the moment.)
- Jack Bishop, The Complete Italian Vegetarian
For sweets, I love:
- The Moosewood Collective, Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts
- Alice Medrich, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies
Beloved cookbooks we just don’t use as often as those include:
- Chat Mingkwan, Buddha’s Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style
- Madhur Jaffrey, World Vegetarian
- Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, Veganomicon
- Peter Reinhart, American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza