I have a confession. Despite my utmost effort to simplify and reduce stuff in my life, I cannot help myself from buying books. This year Big Bad Wolf book sale, I have scoured the Cookery Section and brought home stacks of cookbooks (including a book called the Power of Less by the blogger behind Zen Habits. Oh, the irony!).
But in my defence, these are really good books. Aspiring to live a good quality life, I also only allow myself to read good quality books. I choose books written by experts, have high reviews on Amazon, or believe would greatly help me in what I want to learn. I chose cook books which are thoroughly researched and have information that help improve our cooking. Here are my picks:
1. What To Cook And How To Cook It by Jane Hornby (RM 70)
This book contains very easy recipes that you won’t mind making at home. For example, their full English breakfast set is made in the oven (except the eggs). There are also step-by-step photos, which makes good visual reference of new cooks.
2. The Family Meal by Ferran Adria (RM 70)
Written by Ferran Adrian, one of the best chef in the world who once head the elBulli, one of the best restaurant in the world. This book teaches you how to cook better meals for your family. Need I say more?
3. Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredients by Michael Ruhlman (RM 35)
A fan of eggs. Want to know how to make the perfect poached and scrambled eggs? This is the book for you. There are more than 100 recipes to inspire you to cook a good egg dish at home.
4. Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan (RM 35)
When I last check, this book receive 124 reviews on Amazon. I can understand why. It consist of many recipes are do-able and accompanied by beautiful photos.
5. The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum (RM 40)
This book has 234 reviews on Amazon! A comprehensive book on baking with a lot or recipes and good tips. The author is so meticulous she recommends weighing eggs so that the baked goods will turn out perfect. If you don’ know why egg white won’t whip or what to do when you run out of cake flour, this book has the answer.
6. Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett (RM 25)
It contains 200 over recipes of all kinds of cookies. I bought hoping it’s the only (western-style) cookie cookbook I need.
7. HOG: Proper Pork Recipes From The Snout to The Squeak by Richard H. Turner (RM 40)
A comprehensive book on pigs. It tells you what to cook with prime cuts, not-so-prime cuts and other parts of a pig. It has heaps of recipes which is not western-centric. I was sold when I found recipes of Chinese roast pork and Sweet & Sour Pork. It’s beautifully photographed too.
8. World Cheese Book by Juliet Harbutt (RM 40)
Perhaps this may not interest everyone. But if you are a fan of cheese like I am, this is a must-buy. There are photos of hundreds of types of cheeses from everywhere in the world.
9. The Vegetarian Flavour Bible by Karen Page (RM 30)
This is a reference book which list all the vegetables you can name and their flavour profile. There are tips for making vegetarian versions of standard dishes too.
10. Keys To Good Cooking by Harold McGee (RM 15)
This is not a cookbook per se. It’s a book with plenty of good tips on being a better cook. Some useful tips including serving strong-flavoured seafood with acidic lemon wedges to balance the flavour and cooking meat in large pieces and on the bone to retain most moisture and flavour.
The Big Bad Wolf sale, which runs from 9 – 19 December at the Malaysia International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC) at the Mines, has something for everyone in the family, including popular genres such as children’s books, cooking, architecture, fiction, anime, self-help, biographies, gardening to automobiles and much more. This year, even Chinese books are included.