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    The Most Useful Cookery Books Ever?
    • #1
    • 6th Aug 05, 2:08 AM
    The Most Useful Cookery Books Ever? 6th Aug 05 at 2:08 AM
    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 --
Page 1
    • JoBatch80
    • By JoBatch80 6th Aug 05, 3:41 AM
    • 2,136 Posts
    • 2,546 Thanks
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 05, 3:41 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 05, 3:41 AM
    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.
    • nightsong
    • By nightsong 6th Aug 05, 4:13 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 1,148 Thanks
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 05, 4:13 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 05, 4:13 AM
    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.
    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 6th Aug 05, 8:42 AM
    • 13,335 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 05, 8:42 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 05, 8:42 AM
    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]
    • moggins
    • By moggins 6th Aug 05, 9:13 AM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 10,159 Thanks
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 05, 9:13 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 05, 9:13 AM
    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
    • JoBatch80
    • By JoBatch80 7th Aug 05, 10:42 PM
    • 2,136 Posts
    • 2,546 Thanks
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 05, 10:42 PM
    Last Dinner on the Titanic - Recipe List
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 05, 10:42 PM
    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
    Last edited by JoBatch80; 07-08-2005 at 10:53 PM.
    Once you've swam in the sea, a lake will no longer do.
  • nic82
    • #7
    • 3rd Mar 06, 10:24 AM
    Only One Cookery Book....
    • #7
    • 3rd Mar 06, 10:24 AM
    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!
  • Jazzycat
    • #8
    • 3rd Mar 06, 10:29 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Mar 06, 10:29 AM
    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
    • moggins
    • By moggins 3rd Mar 06, 10:30 AM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 10,159 Thanks
    • #9
    • 3rd Mar 06, 10:30 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Mar 06, 10:30 AM
    This one, I've only just got it from the Book people but I was amazed at how comprehensive it was ctId=15044&langId=100&categoryId=10025&parent_cate gory_rn=10024&fromPage=category&top_category=
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at 250
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 3rd Mar 06, 10:31 AM
    • 13,808 Posts
    • 15,843 Thanks

    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

    - Be-ro - the book and the website
    - Cookbook needed - heart disease AND diabetes
    - Favourite cook books
    - Presents from the kitchen
    - Recipe book for proper curries?
    - Recipe (simple) book recommendations please
    - Slow Cooker Recipe Book
    - The Victory Cookbook by Marguerite Patten
    - What's the best cookery book you have?
    - World War Rationing ?
    - Worth its weight in gold
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    • bektoria
    • By bektoria 3rd Mar 06, 10:33 AM
    • 116 Posts
    • 94 Thanks

    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 !

    • Curry Queen
    • By Curry Queen 3rd Mar 06, 10:35 AM
    • 5,482 Posts
    • 3,081 Thanks
    Curry Queen
    Ok, I'll try again as my last reply disappeared into the ether when I hit an "invalid thread" message!

    I'd say one of Hugh F-W's books would be my top pick - The Meat Book or Family Cookbook - for good simple home cooking. His books are far more than just a collection of recipes too and he's a pleasure to read.
    "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
    It is that what you do, good or bad,
    will come back to you three times as strong!

  • heroicnich
    My vote would be for 'How to Cook' by Nigella. I find the writing style inspirational - there's a mixture of ideals and reality, a focus on getting fewer things but better quality, and lots of great recipes! I'm into my baking too, so I'd also take 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' to a desert island... but if you're feeling disenchanted with cooking, How to Cook brings ideas and inspiration (even if it is for spaghetti with garlic infused olive oil and chilis!).
    • serena
    • By serena 3rd Mar 06, 11:22 AM
    • 2,382 Posts
    • 41,209 Thanks
    My best cookery book is an exercise book which cost 35p (years ago) in which I have over the years written in all the recipes that I use, starting with my mum' pastry/crumble/shepherd's pie etc. I have added the odd recipe from papers or magazines, and whenever I have eaten something really good, I have asked for the recipe (from friends, never asked in a restaurant!), including the flapjack recipe from a school I taught at, which was such huge quantities I had to divide it by 20 to use it

    When my sister moved into her first flat I started one for her, and I noticed a couple of weeks ago that she still uses it!

    I shall have to start one for DS1.

    If it is a published book, then my choice would be The Good Housekeeping Cook Book.
    It is never too late to become what you were always intended to be
    • Downsizing _for_sanity
    • By Downsizing _for_sanity 3rd Mar 06, 11:32 AM
    • 386 Posts
    • 1,434 Thanks
    Downsizing _for_sanity
    I have to say that a "survey of restaurant owners, chefs and writers" isn't exactly the "focus group" I would consult if I wanted an all-purpose cookbook.

    When we bought our first home two years ago, my mother bought me Delia's Complete Cookery Course and I have to say that it's the best, all round REFERENCE cookery book I've used. I really enjoy cooking and am no novice, and althoughI have lots of other ones that I love (currently working through Jamie's Italy), Delia's Complete is the only one that I know will always give me things like roasting times & temps for meats and how to time a Christmas dinner to perfection.

    It's the one that my friends borrow most often from me, and people then seem to end up buying it themselves! Food fashions come and go, and Delia's Complete can sometimes seem a little outdated, but on balance it's the best long-term, health and wealth-conscious, all-rounder. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is moving out of home for the first time, or to parents whose children are going away to college/university.

    • HopeElizzy
    • By HopeElizzy 3rd Mar 06, 12:29 PM
    • 603 Posts
    • 2,238 Thanks

    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 !

    by bektoria
    This has been our family favourite for the last year. I've 2 little ones (3.5yo & 1.5yo) and they'll eat anything cooked from the recipes in Jeanette's book. She's the person that inspired jamie Oliver's school dinners campaign but I find her book alot easier to use than Jamies Dinners.
    "all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time..."
  • Lyndsay_21
    i have the janet orrey(sp) one and it is fab it has pretty much 'normal' ingrediants that most people would have in their cupboards plus i've just bought one by tamasin day-lewis called tamasins kitchen bible which is really good has a mix of everyday food and posh food as well as traditional cakes and how to prepeare for xmas....
    • moggins
    • By moggins 4th Mar 06, 11:07 AM
    • 5,177 Posts
    • 10,159 Thanks
    I did have the Dinner Lady sat on my shelf but got put off reading it because of the all stuff at the front. however I read it in bed last night and was quite impressed, DD is an incredibly fussy eater but I think there are a few things in there she might try.
    Organised people are just too lazy to look for things

    F U Fund currently at 250
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 4th Mar 06, 2:17 PM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    There's a new book out by Jeanette Orrey,called Second Helpings.My copy is on its way from Amazon (I've got a bad Amazon habit )
  • Jay-Jay
    The book that turned me from being unable to boil an egg to being able to confidently cook practically anything is 'Cooking Techniques' by Norma Macmillan.

    This is so much more than a recipe book. It's a guide book on how to prepare individual ingredients and how to use them. Say, for instance, you bought a cabbage but didn't know what to do with it..... in this book there is a description of different types of cabbage, notes and pictures on how to prepare it, how to cook it and serving ideas.

    There's also really clear, easy instructions on basics like white sauce, omelettes, crumbles, cakes, pies...... along with fresh pasta, casseroles, proper gravy....all simple to do but proper, tasty food with having to faff around with all the exotic ingredients contained in most modern cookery books.

    If anyone has a son or daughter who is setting up home for the first time then this book is great. It's still the book that I reach for first when I'm unsure about something really basic.
    Just run, run and keep on running!

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