I'd like to know what some of your favorite low-profile cookbooks are. The more obscure the better. Not Julia Child, not Cook's Illustrated, not the Joy of Cooking. I'm looking for diamonds in the rough here. Neglected but worthy cookbooks, old or new. Thanks!
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Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours by Kim Boyce
Sephardic Cooking by Gilda Angel, whom I have the pleasure to know as a neighbor, science teacher and grandparent at our school, and wife of the esteemed Rabbi Emeritus at the "Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue" the first congregation in New York (and one of the oldest in the Americas)--wonderful, interesting recipes, no attitude
Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food (divided into Ashkenazic and Sephardic sections and with a fascinating history of many ancient communities)
Anna del Conte's Italian Kitchen, I Dolci, a tiny charming volume of Italian cakes and desserts, esp. for the cornmeal-almond cake, "La Torta Sbrisolana" ("crumble cake")
Edda Servi Machlin, The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews-wonderful vegetables (the artichokes!) and meats and memories of her childhood in Pitigliano, a tiny Italian village, prior to WWII). I love the story of how the village's central Passover bakery was unlocked once a year so families could come in to make their own soft lacey matzohs (I sampled the same or similar matzohs at a restaurant here; they make them all year round, rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh garlic-heavenly and addictive)
Claudia Roden's book is great if, as I am, you are really interested in food history.
McMahon's recipes are Cal-Mex in the best sense--authentic, olive-oil based (from home-grown olives!), wild, home-grown or local ingreds, recipes brought by ship from Spain or South America or else borrowed from neighbors from a different background.
TRATTORIA, by Patricia Wells - the simplicity and flavor of her recipes
FOOD OF THE AMERICAS - NATIVE RECIPES AND TRADITIONS by Fernando and Merlene Divina and the Smithsonian On the cover Deborah Madison wrote "This very important book will open the reader's mind to the culinary wisdom and ingenuity of the Native peoples of the Americas. Then it will open athe reader's mouth to an enticing world of new flavors, which are in fact ancient and indigenous:
RAW by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein - The food amazing and the photos incredible! Who knew raw food could be so elegant?
Thank you so much, petitbleu, for asking this question.
The West Coast Cookbook by Helen Brown (I was able to find a first on this one, but Random House also did a really smart reprint about 20 years ago. Both are out of print).
The Dictionary of Italian Cuisine by Maureen Fant and Howard Isaacs has been invaluable to me (disclaimer Howard is a friend of mine).
A really good source for out of print books is www.cookbookjj.com located in Pasadena, CA. And of course Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC.
In addition to produce type vegetables, he has beans and grains -- and it's omnivorous. There are history and cultural notes which make interesting reading.
But it's mostly a quick primary on things like Dehydrating, building dehydrators, brick ovens, keeping bees, goats, chickens, storing root vegies, even some aquaculture. It has a few recipes and lots of catalog type reviews of appliances. It's dated (early 80's), but most of the appliance suggestions still hold true. Above all it's a fascinating read that you can get lost in for hours.
It's from Rodale Press.
"Honey you want to convert an above ground pool to raise trout?"