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The Essential,Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century Hardcover – Illustrated, October 25, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A truly incredible collection…every [recipe] I tried was better than the last." -- Caroline Russock ― Serious Eats
"A deep dive in American cooking over the last century…a fantastic resource." -- Cambria Bold ― Kitchn.com
"This cookbook is superb…Dare we even say it may just be the best cookbook (meaning the most useful for a home cook) that we've seen cross our desk in years?" -- Jenn Garbee ― LA Weekly
"Wonderfully diverse…there is not another cookbook like it. It is a fitting addition to any collection." -- Kate Thornberry ― Austin Chronicle
"The book lives up to its name. Everything is here―from straight-up meatballs and soups and roasts to obscurities like a rum omelet and the amazing Teddie's Apple Cake." ― Esquire
"Hesser, whose witty bent permeates every page, does a more than admirable job with this stellar collection of more than 1,400 recipes, the results of which should grace the shelves of every food-lover." ― Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- Item Weight : 4.59 pounds
- Hardcover : 960 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393061031
- ISBN-10 : 0393061035
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 2.3 x 10.3 inches
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; First edition (October 25, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While most of the recipes are from relatively recently, it is great fun to take a look at those from long ago (e.g., Tomato Soup from 1877; Lobster Bisque from 1881; Watercress Salad from 1882; Welsh Rarebit from 1875; Omelet with Asparagus, 1879). Hesser and staff actually cooked up these (and many other) recipes to determine which were worthy of inclusion in this book. I find examination of the older recipes really interesting. I have read other recipes from long ago (such as Jefferson's and Washington's recipes in the Old Tavern Cookbook), and some are so general, without specific elements, that my eyes glaze over! Here, Hesser and her team take those recipes, experiment, and give the reader the information needed to actually create them. Her cooking axioms appear on pages xxiii-xxiv.
The book considers standard types of cooking--drinks, hors d'oeuvres, soups, salads, vegetables, potatoes etc., pasta (rice and so on), sandwiches and pizza, fish and shellfish, poultry and game, meats, and so on. Recipe after recipe, from now to over a century ago.
Although I was quite intrigues by the older recipes, newer strands of cuisine are represented here, such as the work of Alice Walters or Craig Claiborne. For instance, I enjoy Coquilles St.-Jacques a great deal. The recipe here is different than my standard approach and represents to me a nice way of reconceiving this dish. I recently tried my first Osso Buco; the recipe here, again, has a different take on this dish, and the comparison of the two is very interesting to me.
In short, loads of fun!!
In addition to the recipes, it contains a great introduction, interesting comments throughout, suggested accompanying dishes, extensive menus, etc. This is the best $22 you'll ever spend!
UPDATE - I've now made over 80 of the recipes from this book and only 2 have been so-so and all the rest delectable and ones I plan on making multiple times (or have already such as teddie's apple cake, the chocolate dump-it cake and david eyre's pancake). The lasagne was the best ever as was the beef bourgignon 1.
Most of the dishes are quick to prepare and so can be used for every-day cooking, but are by no means ho-hum. I'm shocked by any of the negative reviews, as I'm an experienced home cook who has really enjoyed reading and cooking from this book. If anything, my esteem for this cookbook has continued to increase since I purchased it. I've never used any cookbook as regularly and with as much pleasure.
Top reviews from other countries
a comprehensive catalogue of recipes, from simple to complex.