Novice Cook Needs Help

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Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Dan Smothergill » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:23 pm

I'll be pressed into service as cook in about a month while the resident 3 star chef is out of commission for a while. My knowledge is akin to a baseball player at the lowest of the minor league levels, what used to called class D. Robin suggested that I get hold of Pierre Franey's old "60 Minute Gourmet" book and I've ordered it. He also suggested that I ask for suggestions here. Would appreciate any you might have.
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby John Treder » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:21 pm

Franey's book is very good - I use it all the time. You'd probably also find a basic cookbook such as "Joy of Cooking" useful. I actually use my late mother's 1946 edition of "The Woman's Home Companion Cookbook" quite a lot.
Other than that, the KISS principle is your friend. 8)
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:25 pm

If you like Italian food, I'd recommend any of Biba Caggiano's cookbooks. Most of the recipes are pretty straightforward and they usually work really well.

I'd particularly recommend "Trattoria Cooking" and "Italy al Dente".

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:26 pm

Dan, I know that Robin shares our following of the recipes by Craig Claiborne, and his New York Times International Cook Book is excellent and easy to use. If you need advice on something specific you'd like to try just send me or one of the others a private message. I know that many here would love to help you out. Hope the 3 star chef gets back soon.
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:15 pm

Loves me the first "Silver Palate" cookbook.

Also, make fish and seafood a regular part of the menu. They cook quickly, adapt well to various seasoning and preps, and, in the end, if your fish store is good then you'll be happy.
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Robin Garr » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:38 pm

Dan, in addition to all the above, feel free to make this forum a regular stop when you check in at WLDG. You'll find it a very friendly place where, if you run into a cooking problem or just have a question, you can usually get practical help fast!

We all hope your resident chef comes back off the disabled roster real soon, but even when she does, think how nice it will be if you can offer to give her a break and take a turn in the kitchen. With just a little practice, you'll probably start looking forward to that. :)
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Dan Smothergill » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:26 am

A good thought Robin, one that will help her to look ahead as she recovers.
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Fred Sipe » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:36 am

And Google is your friend.
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:26 am

Fred Sipe wrote:And Google is your friend.

Google is an amazing resource, but I would submit that it works best if you go up to the altar with a little knowledge in your basket, to help separate the seeds and stems from the good leafy stuff. ;)
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby Christina Georgina » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Myadvice would be to KIS..keep it simple. Start with following a good recipe but don't be overly ambitious. Most novices have problem with timing multi course meals. There is nothing wrong with a main dish and a salad if tasty and well prepared. If YOU have fun then you will want to be more ambitious as you gain confidence
Mamma Mia !
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Re: Novice Cook Needs Help

Postby David Creighton » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:59 pm

really like franey but the original james beard is also great.
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