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The Most Useful Cookery Books Ever?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
In a survey to find the most useful cookery book of all time, a panel of leading chefs, restaurant owners and writers voted Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson the most indispensable title for the kitchen.

"She may be the nation's favourite cook, but according to WFI's panel of top food writers, restaurateurs, chefs, cooks and consumers, Delia has been pipped at the post in the league of most useful recipe writers. The title goes to a much less famous cook. Indeed, there are many surprises in our list of volumes that no kitchen should be without..."

Dishes of the day: the culinary top 10

1 Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham

2 Delia's Complete Cookery Course by Delia Smith

3 Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater

4 The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

5 A New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

6 Leith's Techniques Bible by Susan Spaull and Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne

7 Elizabeth David Classics by Elizabeth David

8 Rick Stein's Seafood School Cookbook by Rick Stein

9 Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook by Alice Waters

10 The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander

Full story:

Apparently Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson soared to the top of the bestseller list as a result, outselling Hairy Potter!

Rowling toppled from No 1 spot by a roast chicken: (great headline!) :)

Not familiar with all of them, but Roast a good little book and Nigel Slater is excellent for day to day eating. The River Cottage Meat Book and Rick Stein's book are both excellent too!

In his introduction to the more recently published Roast Chicken and Other Stories - Second Helpings, Hopkinson writes: "Something seems ever so slightly rotten in the state of the British kitchen just now. I sometimes feel that we have all but lost the grasp of how to cook nicely at all. We watch endless cookery programmes, but prefer, finally, to spend lots of money on supermarket ready-meals while idly turning the pages of (spotlessly clean) cookery books until the microwave pings."

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
best of everything; they just make the best
of everything that comes along their way."
-- Author Unknown --


  • JoBatch80JoBatch80 Forumite
    2.2K posts
    Sounds like a good book! I personally just type in what I want into a search engine, or look through the fine recipe's posted on here.....

    I have to admit that is one thing that annoys me - going into someones kitchen and seeing cookbooks that have never been used, and the owner cant even boil an egg... There is one cook book that I own and probably never use though - - simply because the recipe's take a million years to prepare and is difficult to get some of the ingredients.

    I will however have another browse through though, and see if there is anything I could make when I have guests. Oh - and If anyone wants any recipe's posting, then I shall do that to. Ill edit this tomorrow and add a list of recipe's in the book and then ill post the ones people want to see!

    Jo xx
    Once you've swam in the sea, a lake will no longer do.
  • nightsongnightsong Forumite
    517 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    From a money-saving OS point of view, I reckon Jocasta Innes' Paupers' Cookbook is hard to beat. I've just looked on Amazon, seemingly it's been updated. The recipes are generally easy to make and delicious, with good sections on menu-planning and on stretching expensive ingredients.
  • nearlyrichnearlyrich Forumite
    13.7K posts
    Hung up my suit! Mortgage-free Glee!
    Out of the list above I only have Delia's Complete, great for basic cooking times and methods I think. I keep it in a cupboard in the kitchen so I can check oven times etc. I have a shelf of cookery books in the bookcase, not in the kitchen, but they are mostly presents over the years and I do consult them from time to time. I haven't seen the Roast Chicken book, must have a look next time I get a chance.
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
  • mogginsmoggins Forumite
    5.2K posts
    I have the original Paupers Cookbook (2 copies) and the new updated one. To be honest I find the original fits in far better with Old Style as she has a whole chapter on Meal Planning.
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at £250
  • JoBatch80JoBatch80 Forumite
    2.2K posts
    A recipe list from the aforementioned recipe book - let me know if you want a full recipe! (some sound awful, others sound good!)

    First Course - Hors d'oeuvre:

    Oeufs de Caille en aspic et caviar (Quails Eggs in Aspic with Caviar)

    Second Course - Potage:

    Potage Saint-Germain (Spring Pea Soup)

    Third Course - Poisson:

    Homard Thermidor (Lobster Thermidor with Duchess Potatoes)

    Fourth Course - Entree:

    Tournedos aux morilles (Tournedos with Morels on a bed of Braised Cabbage)

    Fifth Course:

    Punch Rose (Rose Water and Mint Sorbet)

    Sixth Course - Roti:

    Cailles aux cerises (Quails With Cherries)

    Seventh Course - Legume:

    Asperges printanieres, sauce hollandaise (Spring Asparagus Hollandaise)

    Eight Course - Entrements:

    Macedoine de Fruits (Fresh Fruit Salad)

    Oranges en Suprise

    (christ knows how they ate all of that!)


    First Course - Hors d'Oeuvre:

    Canapes a' l'Amiral (buttered shrimp)

    Oysters a' la Russe (Oysters and Vodka)

    Second Course:

    Consomme Olga (russian beef soup)

    Cream of Barley Soup

    Third Course:

    Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce

    Fourth Course - Entrees:

    Chicken Lyonnaise (Chicken and Lyon Sauce)

    Filets Mignons Lili

    Vegetable Marrow Farci

    Fifth Course:

    Lamb with Mint Sauce

    Calvados-glazed Roast Duckling with Applesauce

    Roast Sirloint of Beef Forestiere

    Chateaux Potatoes

    Minted Green Pea Timbales

    Creamed Carrots

    Sixth Course - Sorbet:

    Punch Romaine (Alcohol Sorbet)

    Seventh Course - Roast:

    Roasted Squab on Wilted Cress

    Eighth Course - Salad:

    Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette

    (Ninth course consisted of cold meats and foie gras with celery)

    Tenth Course - Sweets:

    Waldorf Pudding

    Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly

    Chocolate Painted Eclairs with French Vanilla Cream

    French Vanilla Ice Cream



    First Course - Soup:

    Consomme with Tapioca

    Second Course - Main Dishes:

    Baked Haddock with Sharp Sauce

    Curried Chicken and Rice

    Roast Turkey with Savory Cranberry Sauce

    Turnip Puree

    Third Course - Desserts:

    Plum Pudding with Sweet Sauce

    Wine Jelly

    Coconut Sandwich

    'American' Ice Cream




    Vegetable Soup

    Roasted Pork with Sage and Pearl Onions

    Cabin Biscuits (crackers)


    Ragout of Beef with Potatoes and Pickles

    Currant Buns

    (Apricots were the dessert!)

    If anyone wants any/part of the recipe's I shall post and then also add them to recipe index thread.

    Jo xx
    Once you've swam in the sea, a lake will no longer do.
  • nic82nic82 Forumite
    420 posts
    I know there are loads and loads of recipes on here (which I'm still working my way through, copying all the ones that I want to try), but I really want to buy a recipe book too.

    Which is the one cookery book that you wouldn't do without? I'd like one that covers all the basics, uses ingredients that you can get hold of easily, and that preferably has recipes that are quick and easy to do when you get in at 6pm from work.

    So, what would your choice be? Delia? Nigel? or someone completely different?

    Looking forward to hearing everyone's views!
  • JazzycatJazzycat Forumite
    459 posts
    this is my favorite book by far - over 1000 pages.

    Superb in all areas, covers the lot - uses seasons very well, none of this baby corn from Thainland and fine beans from Kenya rubbish

    use the link above and it actually lets you view some of the book and whole index
  • mogginsmoggins Forumite
    5.2K posts
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at £250
  • squeakysqueaky Forumite
    14.1K posts
    I'm a Volunteer Board Guide
    Hiya, :)

    I've just added your post onto one of our many cookery book threads and have listed some others below. Everybody has their own favourites so i think you're going to be left with quite a choice :)

    Good luck :)

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    Hi, I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style and the Consumer Rights boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to [email protected]. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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  • bektoriabektoria Forumite
    120 posts

    My kitchen shelf is groaning with all the cook books on it !! We have Jamie, Nigella, Delia, River Cottage etc however the one we use most frequent is The Dinner Lady by Jeanette Orrey. This book is fantastic as it contains great recipes that the whole family enjoys such as Chicken Nuggets, Sausage Casserole. I like is because she uses cupboard ingredients to make the casseroles etc which saves me a fortune from buying packet mixes !

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