Cookbooks I’m Liking

The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson. Many interesting and unique recipes. Fergus is known for his use of products that many of us wouldn’t consider eating … innards, marrow, etc. I’ve tried a couple of the recipes, including marrow bones. One thing that has sort of thrown me, though, is his recipe for brine, which is a simple one, made of 1 part superfine sugar to 1¼ parts sea salt, plus herbs and spices like juniper berries, bay leaves and peppercorns. The thing is, he suggests keeping the brine, and using it over and over… “a nurtured friend, whose character should improve with time and should give delicious results.” (I started a conversation about this over on Serious Eats. Just about everyone there said they thought that brine was too cheap to keep and considering the fears of bacterial growth, Fergus is nuts to keep it.) All that aside, this is a great cookbook for reading about recipes you probably won’t find in many other recent cookbooks. Offal cookery is a dying art.

The Kitchen Diaries: A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater by (obv.) Nigel Slater. Sort of a Luddite food blog. Nigel kept a diary of all the things he made in a year, and along the way, you really get to know him, and the way he leads his life, in rural/suburban England. Though Nigel does give recipes in his book, he doesn’t seem to be a cook that consults them, cooking in a more intuitive way. He also focuses on cooking seasonally, and so it’s an interesting read in that regard.

These and more cookbooks I use and recommend …