The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Essential Recipe Collection for Today's Home Cook Hardcover – Oct 21 2008
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I have always admired Chuck for his relentless drive to find the perfect piece of equipment and his commitment to the art of the kitchen. From teaching classes at his store on Rodeo Drive to buying equipment at his flagship San Francisco store in the late 1970s, I have always considered Chuck Williams and his company an integral part of my culinary journey. The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, extensive, thorough, and lavishly illustrated, reflects that search for quality that is the trademark of its founder. -- Jacques PÉpin, PBS-TV cooking series host, cookbook author, and teacher
Chuck Williams is an American icon for a reason. He truly understands the relationship between simplicity and style. For decades, his store, Williams-Sonoma, culled through hundreds of coffee makers and roasting pans to offer the only one that you really need to own. It was always simple, beautiful, and of the best quality. Chuck's cookbooks do the same thing. His recipes are exactly what you want to eat, use simple ingredients, and they're delicious. This is a wonderful book! -- Ina Garten, author, Barefoot Contessa cookbooks
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This book has brought that back to me. The recipes are smart, simple and absolutely delicious. It is not often that you can open a cookbook and find that almost every single recipe is now on your priority list to try, this book has that. The photos are beautiful and the recipes made for everyday cook, the entertainer or the weekend baker.
This book is a must for your library and when you have it, you'll notice that this is the book that will come to mind first over all the others.
Every recipe is photographed for those people who tend to gravitate to books with pictures. There are recipe classics, fusion dishes and food from around the globe. The back of the book has a glossary with food descriptions if you don't know what and item is and helpful cooking charts. If you don't own one of their cook books yet I highly recommend you start here.
So far having come through winter we've eaten Italian. I have made The Gnocchi with Pesto... my husband still talks about it and the Gnocchi with Quattro Formaggi a family favourite since my son is partial to anything with cheese and cream. We regularly make the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Butter and Sage and the Osso Buco with Saffron Risotto. (Though these selections are all Italian... there are far more dishes that are not!) We've enjoyed the Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Blueberry Pancakes, French toast and The Eggs Benedict as well.
In the near future I plan on trying the Sichuan-style Braised Eggplant (I need a few more ingredients from an asian market),Ratatouille, and the Grilled Fish Tacos.
I would say my problem is not do I enjoy this book... it's more what do I choose to cook from it!
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The recipes in this book, on the other hand, are far simpler, yet they turn out just as well as the longer recipes. There is great variety of recipes in the book (breakfast through dinner and desert; indian through american and japanese). I've made about half of the dishes in the book and they've all worked out for me and I'm no professional chef by any stretch. I find that these recipes are a notch above other cookbooks in terms of the quality of food (most of it could be on a menu at a higher end restaurant) so it is great to be able to eat well at home.
I rarely write cookbook reviews, but I thought I owed it to this cookbook for making my meals much more exciting!
There are tips scattered throughout the cookbook. Such ideas as to ripen an avocado is to place it in a paperbag with a banana. The ethylene gases emitted by the banana will speed the ripening process of the avocado. Every page has some sort of tidbit or tip included.
These recipes are advertised for the home cook. So to me that means food you would serve on a daily basis. That wouldn't include a lot of these recipes. The one for deviled eggs was to make the filling using capers, champagne vinegar, parsley, and anchovies. I did like the tip about after boiling the eggs to crack them and leave soak in the water for an hour before peeling. I'll have to try that next time. But to serve these deviled eggs at the next family reunion? I don't think so.
Another recipe was Tuna Tartare on Ruffles Potato Chips. Is this sushi on potato chips? No kidding it was sushi grade tuna mixed with a raw egg served on Ruffles potato chips. This is for the home cook?
Another recipe was Steak Tartare on Baguette Croutes. This time you used raw filet mignon with capers. There are lots of caper recipes just to warn you. So as not to be outdone with the raw fish, there's Ceviche. I've never and will never serve my children raw fish and eggs for dinner. That is not essential home cooking.
If you're describing a cookbook that is "essential home cooking" then you're referring to Betty Crocker Big Red CookbookBetty Crocker's Cookbook (5-Ring Binder) or even The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook: America's Bestselling Step-by-Step Cookbook, with More Than 1,400 Recipes. This falls into the same category as the new Martha Stewart Cooking School Cook book. It's too high end for the everyday dinner.
I made the corn bread with dried blueberries. It was not very good. The corn bread was dry and not very tasty. I also made the chocolate chip cookies and they were dry as well. I'll just go back to the Tollhouse recipe on the bag.
If you like the Martha Stewart Cooking School cookbook then this is just for you. If you want a cookbook that is truly essential home recipes then go for the Betty Crocker Cookbook (you know, the big red one) or Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook or even Cook's Illustrated The New Best Recipe book. This one is a coffee table book at best.