I don’t normally do these top five lists. It’s something I do when I’m writing for money so the charm kind of wears off when it applies to me. However, I think I am ready to share with you my favourite recipe books. For a foodie (and blogger) I’m not a big recipe book collector or reader. These days I’ll search the internet for recipes. But when I come across something brilliant, and more than one brilliant recipe, then I will usually go and get the book.
Kylie Kwong’s – Simple Chinese Chinese Cooking
Consistently fresh, flavoursome and yet light recipes. It’s exactly the kind of Chinese cooking you want to make at home – not too difficult or intensely flavoured, just simple ingredients and techniques. I particularly love her chicken recipes, the hoi sin pork and her incredible noodle recipes. But the super-duper highlight is the ginger dumpling dipping sauce – which I have featured on this blog before.
Charmaine Soloman’s – Thai Cookbook
I have made so many amazing meals with this book. It tastes like real Thai, not a watered down version. It has authentic techniques and flavours and plenty of fire and piquancy, but also lots of creamy, peanut sauces and a fantastic sate marinade recipe and matching peanut sauce to serve with and a pretty special Thai Beef Salad recipe.
Edmonds Cookery Book
My mother give me this book. She is a Kiwi and it is a Kiwi brand of baking powder, but also contains many of the recipes she made when I was growing up. Sentimental of course, but a great go-to for anything from sponges to scones to Afghan biscuits. I use this scone recipe when I make scones – and it works out perfectly every time.
Yotam Ottolenghi – Plenty
If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’ve recently tried to include more vegetables in my meals, lentils and eggplant in particular. Mum introduced me to this guy and I have not turned back since. He is a master of the lentil and has a deep understanding for the potential of the eggplant. I have posted the shakshuka from here, as well as the creamy lentils and spinach. This is a fantastic vegetarian cook book, for those looking for something a bit different but not at all challenging to make or eat. There are recipes in here that will become part of your repertoire for years to come. (ps: I love you Yotam.)
The Australian Women’s Weekly – Old-Fashioned Favourites.
Any Aussie lady will have at least one WW in their arsenal. The recipes can be counted on for excellent results every time. I have posted many recipes from this book, including my delectable (or rather, their delectable) melting moments and the brownie. There are classics in here that one simply must have in their collection.
Hands down, these books are pulled out and used again and again. They have food all over the pages, some have stuck together, there are tears and a light dusting of flour on most of them – but these are the ones I use and love most. I don’t really need recipe books to make the meals my mum made or the Croatian-tinted recipes that have been passed on. I do need help with baking, middle eastern and Asian food and these books have done me well.