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Thread: Suggestions

  1. #1
    ViLco Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    SteveB wrote:

    > Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    > direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy?


    Try "braciole di maiale" and "patate fritte e fondo bruno", LOL
    Jokes apart, is there any italian cookbook written by an italian cook and
    translated in english? I see many books who get discussed here are italian
    only in the title, while theyr authors are from UK or USA and tend to
    anglicize / americanize recipes and ingredients.
    Try to find a cookbook by an italian author.
    --
    Vilco
    Mai guardare Trailer park Boys senza
    qualcosa da bere a portata di mano




  2. #2
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    ViLco <villiber@tin.****> wrote:

    >Jokes apart, is there any italian cookbook written by an italian cook and
    >translated in english? I see many books who get discussed here are italian
    >only in the title, while theyr authors are from UK or USA and tend to
    >anglicize / americanize recipes and ingredients.
    >Try to find a cookbook by an italian author.


    I would hazard a guess that some of the Slow Food people have issued
    such a cookbook. Their wine guides are translated into English.

    And then, there's always Babelfish for doing translation. The
    result is usually readable, although not particularly grammatical.

    Steve

  3. #3
    SteveB Guest

    Default Suggestions

    I have a friend in California who is a real chef. She's a dear, and a hard
    worker. They are retired now, and her kitchen is like on TV. Viking,
    Dacor, Wolf, you know. BUT THE WOMAN CAN COOK.

    Coming from a medical career, she also is very conscious of fats and
    cholesterol and everything else that tastes good, sometimes being annoying.
    We go visit them a couple of weeks a year, and it is like going to a resort.
    Playing golf, eating good on the hilltop patio, driving around in a Ferrari,
    Maserati, or Porsche.

    I come home and have this thing that I'm going to eat healthier, and learn
    to cook like her. Lots of her stuff is very simple, but tasty beyond
    description. Lots of it is Italian or European in nature, as they traveled
    there a lot.

    Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy? I do cook lots
    of more complicated stuff, but at times, I just have a mental block when
    thinking of what to prepare for dinner, and grab what's easy and I know.

    Maybe I'll ask for a particular cookbook this Christmas. Which one?

    Steve



  4. #4
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    "ViLco" ha scritto nel messaggio > SteveB wrote:
    >
    >> Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    >> direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy?

    >
    > Try "braciole di maiale" and "patate fritte e fondo bruno", LOL
    > Jokes apart, is there any italian cookbook written by an italian cook and
    > > translated in english? I see many books who get discussed here are

    > italian > only in the title, while theyr authors are from UK or USA and
    > tend to > anglicize / americanize recipes and ingredients.
    > Try to find a cookbook by an italian author.
    > --
    > Vilco


    It's very difficult to tell Italo-americans from Italians, because people
    with Italian roots call themselves Italian. The Silver Spoon was published
    in English last year. Not my style, but certainly Italian. Only Hazan was
    born in Italy that I know for sure, but unfortunately she did not cook until
    after she moved to the US. I have worked off a couple of her recipes, but
    they were never great as written. It sounds like Lidia Bastianich comes
    closest to cooking fairly close to the old country, but even she sometimes
    makes things heavier than they would be here. My kid likes her and tells
    all. People think Giada diLaurentis is Italian, but she is the Rachel Ray
    of pseudo-Italian home cooking.



  5. #5
    Boron Elgar Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    On Wed, 17 Dec 2008 09:16:50 -0800, "SteveB" <toquerville@zionvistas>
    wrote:

    >I have a friend in California who is a real chef. She's a dear, and a hard
    >worker. They are retired now, and her kitchen is like on TV. Viking,
    >Dacor, Wolf, you know. BUT THE WOMAN CAN COOK.
    >
    >Coming from a medical career, she also is very conscious of fats and
    >cholesterol and everything else that tastes good, sometimes being annoying.
    >We go visit them a couple of weeks a year, and it is like going to a resort.
    >Playing golf, eating good on the hilltop patio, driving around in a Ferrari,
    >Maserati, or Porsche.
    >
    >I come home and have this thing that I'm going to eat healthier, and learn
    >to cook like her. Lots of her stuff is very simple, but tasty beyond
    >description. Lots of it is Italian or European in nature, as they traveled
    >there a lot.
    >
    >Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    >direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy? I do cook lots
    >of more complicated stuff, but at times, I just have a mental block when
    >thinking of what to prepare for dinner, and grab what's easy and I know.
    >
    >Maybe I'll ask for a particular cookbook this Christmas. Which one?
    >
    >Steve
    >



    I have found "Williams-Sonoma: Essentials of Healthful Cooking" a
    delightful collection of recipes. It is also easy to find a used copy
    searching on half.com or Abe Books.

    Boron



  6. #6
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    "SteveB" <toquerville@zionvistas>

    > Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a
    > new direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy?
    > I do cook lots of more complicated stuff, but at times, I just
    > have a mental block when thinking of what to prepare for dinner,
    > and grab what's easy and I know.


    For many people (and for me in the past) the biggest barrier
    to get past is perhaps the idea that you need to select a
    meat or fish main course to base your meal around.

    Once you ditch that constraint, a lot more possibilities open up.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    SteveB said...

    > Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    > direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy?
    >
    > Steve



    Start visiting the online web recipe sites.

    Here's one for starters...

    http://www.thegutsygourmet.net/index.html

    Andy

  8. #8
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    Giusi said...

    > It sounds like Lidia Bastianich comes
    > closest to cooking fairly close to the old country, but even she sometimes
    > makes things heavier than they would be here. My kid likes her and tells
    > all. People think Giada diLaurentis is Italian, but she is the Rachel Ray
    > of pseudo-Italian home cooking.



    Except, Lidia eats, whereas Giada and Rachael appear to eat amphetamines.

    Andy
    Also likes Lidia



  9. #9
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    Steve Pope" ha scritto nel messaggio
    > "SteveB" >
    >> Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a>> new
    >> direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy?

    > For many people (and for me in the past) the biggest barrier
    > to get past is perhaps the idea that you need to select a
    > meat or fish main course to base your meal around.
    >
    > Once you ditch that constraint, a lot more possibilities open up.
    >
    > Steve


    You're right. When I eat out I very often don't order what one thinks of as
    a main dish, liking instead to have several appetisers or appetisers and a
    vegetable, but when I invite people I have a hard time doing that. I just
    don't. If we ate just what we need we'd all be much juicier.



  10. #10
    Chemiker Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    :
    I asked the same question some years ago, and was told
    by a food professional to think Tuscan, for starters. Their
    emphasis on simplicity and freshness provides great
    lessons on what really counts in cookery. I went with
    Marcella Hazan, a food editor, definitely Italian, but
    living in the US. Unlike Jeff Smith (remember him?),
    who with his friend Craig Americanized recipes of not
    only Italy, but probably half the world, Marcella's
    are more legacy-type. Also consider Bugialli.

    You have to ask yourself *which* Italian cooking
    you want to learn:

    1. Trusted legacy originals (some of which, like minestrone)
    defy being nailed down with exactitude.

    2. Grandma's recipes being made with "evoluaionary"
    changes by her descendents, and which the dear old
    woman would no longer recognize. True of old recipes
    that call for ingredients not readily available in your
    area.

    3. Modern Italian recipes as they are really cooked by
    women who work outside the home, and are pressed
    for time. Nowadays you can expect more use of frozen,
    canned and otherwise semi-prepared ingredients that
    our Grand-mere's never had.

    When I was in the czech republic, slovakia, austria and
    hungary in October, I noticed that what Americans
    consider *real* ethnic food is increasingly hard to find.

    Veal cutlets have become chicken-fried steak. Roasted
    potatoes come out of a freezer bag and are baked in
    convection ovens or (yuk!) deep-fried in almost-fresh
    oil. Many breads, muffins, etc now call for "instantized"
    flour. Roux is bought in jars rather than being made
    fresh. Veggie stock and court-bouillion are made with
    Vegeta and water in a microwave. Viennese veal
    cutlets (Be'csi szeletek) are breaded in Panko, for Gawd's
    sake! The list is endless.

    You can see this by comparing Hungarian cookery
    as per Elek Magyar compared to that of Gundel,
    Geo. Lang or Ilona Horvath.

    Hell-fire, rant mode off....

    I use I Talismano, Hazan's three books and Bugialli
    for reference, then tweak to get the right and bright
    flavors. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

    HTH

    Alex

    BTW: Hazan hated the Olive Garden dishes... claimed
    they were nowhere near accurate, though OG claims to
    have their test kitchens and cooking school in Italy.


  11. #11
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    "Chemiker" ha scritto nel messaggio > :
    > BTW: Hazan hated the Olive Garden dishes... claimed
    > they were nowhere near accurate, though OG claims to
    > have their test kitchens and cooking school in Italy.


    We have McDonald's here, too. Doesn't make them Italian.



  12. #12
    Dimitri Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions


    "SteveB" <toquerville@zionvistas> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    >I have a friend in California who is a real chef. She's a dear, and a hard
    >worker. They are retired now, and her kitchen is like on TV. Viking,
    >Dacor, Wolf, you know. BUT THE WOMAN CAN COOK.
    >
    > Coming from a medical career, she also is very conscious of fats and
    > cholesterol and everything else that tastes good, sometimes being
    > annoying. We go visit them a couple of weeks a year, and it is like going
    > to a resort. Playing golf, eating good on the hilltop patio, driving
    > around in a Ferrari, Maserati, or Porsche.
    >
    > I come home and have this thing that I'm going to eat healthier, and learn
    > to cook like her. Lots of her stuff is very simple, but tasty beyond
    > description. Lots of it is Italian or European in nature, as they
    > traveled there a lot.
    >
    > Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    > direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy? I do cook
    > lots of more complicated stuff, but at times, I just have a mental block
    > when thinking of what to prepare for dinner, and grab what's easy and I
    > know.
    >
    > Maybe I'll ask for a particular cookbook this Christmas. Which one?
    >
    > Steve


    IMHO

    The problem you are looking at is quite common, the problem is the eating
    habits in Italy or any other country other than the US is followed daily not
    just for a meal or 2. The French eat great amounts of animal & other fats
    followed by red wine. The Italians eat small amounts of animal fats and
    large amounts of carbs with a lot of wine.

    Since you are probably going to be eating American style ( a wide variety of
    ethnic cuisines) I would suggest you look at any of the AHA *(American Heart
    Association) cookbooks and start there. The other option if to go the
    opposite way entirely and start on a LOW Carb regime in which case South
    Beach or Atkins will do nicely.

    Dimitri


  13. #13
    Steve Pope Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    Giusi <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I eat out I very often don't order what one thinks of as
    >a main dish, liking instead to have several appetisers or appetisers and a
    >vegetable, but when I invite people I have a hard time doing that. I just
    >don't. If we ate just what we need we'd all be much juicier.


    I like to not over-order when I eat out, but sometimes I feel
    pressured to do so.

    My dining partner and I were discussing (but never acutally did)
    dinner at a well-thought-of Italian restaurant in London, the
    River Cafe. It is a fairly expensive place. I was offering the
    opinion that it'd be okay to order an appetizer and pasta each,
    along with wine and sharing a dessert -- no secondi. Is that
    inappropriate under-ordering? I'm really not sure what the
    thinking is on that.

    Steve

  14. #14
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    "Steve Pope" > ha scritto nel messaggio >
    Giusi wrote:
    >
    >>I eat out I very often don't order what one thinks of as
    >>a main dish, liking instead to have several appetisers


    > My dining partner and I were discussing (but never acutally did)
    > dinner at a well-thought-of Italian restaurant in London, the
    > River Cafe. It is a fairly expensive place. I was offering the
    > opinion that it'd be okay to order an appetizer and pasta each,
    > along with wine and sharing a dessert -- no secondi. Is that
    > inappropriate under-ordering? I'm really not sure what the
    > thinking is on that.
    >
    > Steve


    I order what I want, but honestly haven't tried that at famous restaurants
    which are hard to reserve, like River Cafe.



  15. #15
    Michael Kuettner Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions


    "Chemiker" schrieb :
    <snip>
    > When I was in the czech republic, slovakia, austria and
    > hungary in October, I noticed that what Americans
    > consider *real* ethnic food is increasingly hard to find.
    >

    Hmm, not in Austria.

    > Veal cutlets have become chicken-fried steak. Roasted
    > potatoes come out of a freezer bag and are baked in
    > convection ovens or (yuk!) deep-fried in almost-fresh
    > oil. Many breads, muffins, etc now call for "instantized"
    > flour. Roux is bought in jars rather than being made
    > fresh. Veggie stock and court-bouillion are made with
    > Vegeta and water in a microwave. Viennese veal
    > cutlets (Be'csi szeletek) are breaded in Panko, for Gawd's
    > sake! The list is endless.
    >

    I take it that the above examples are from Hungary ?
    <snip>

    Greetings from Salzburg,

    Michael Kuettner




  16. #16
    Dave Smith Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    Dimitri wrote:

    > The problem you are looking at is quite common, the problem is the
    > eating habits in Italy or any other country other than the US is
    > followed daily not just for a meal or 2. The French eat great amounts
    > of animal & other fats followed by red wine. The Italians eat small
    > amounts of animal fats and large amounts of carbs with a lot of wine.
    >
    > Since you are probably going to be eating American style ( a wide
    > variety of ethnic cuisines) I would suggest you look at any of the AHA
    > *(American Heart Association) cookbooks and start there. The other
    > option if to go the opposite way entirely and start on a LOW Carb regime
    > in which case South Beach or Atkins will do nicely.


    And then there are the Dutch, who eat lots of meat and fat and cheese
    and drink beer. My Dutch father in law lived on a diet that would make a
    cardiologist squirm, and he was very healthy and active right up until
    his death just a few weeks short of 95.

  17. #17
    Dave Smith Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    SteveB wrote:
    > I have a friend in California who is a real chef. She's a dear, and a hard
    > worker. They are retired now, and her kitchen is like on TV. Viking,
    > Dacor, Wolf, you know. BUT THE WOMAN CAN COOK.
    >
    > Coming from a medical career, she also is very conscious of fats and
    > cholesterol and everything else that tastes good, sometimes being annoying.
    > We go visit them a couple of weeks a year, and it is like going to a resort.
    > Playing golf, eating good on the hilltop patio, driving around in a Ferrari,
    > Maserati, or Porsche.
    >
    > I come home and have this thing that I'm going to eat healthier, and learn
    > to cook like her. Lots of her stuff is very simple, but tasty beyond
    > description. Lots of it is Italian or European in nature, as they traveled
    > there a lot.
    >
    > Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    > direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy? I do cook lots
    > of more complicated stuff, but at times, I just have a mental block when
    > thinking of what to prepare for dinner, and grab what's easy and I know.
    >
    > Maybe I'll ask for a particular cookbook this Christmas. Which one?



    Check out Graham Kerr's cooking show and cook books. He used to drink a
    lot and eat all sorts of good food, but somewhere along the line he
    sobered up and started eating healthier foods. His show is nowhere near
    as entertaining as it used to be but he passes on a lot of good
    information about healthy eating.

  18. #18
    Dave Smith Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    Andy wrote:
    > Giusi said...
    >
    >> It sounds like Lidia Bastianich comes
    >> closest to cooking fairly close to the old country, but even she sometimes
    >> makes things heavier than they would be here. My kid likes her and tells
    >> all. People think Giada diLaurentis is Italian, but she is the Rachel Ray
    >> of pseudo-Italian home cooking.

    >
    >
    > Except, Lidia eats, whereas Giada and Rachael appear to eat amphetamines.


    Personally, I think Giada looks pretty good and Rachel Ray is a little
    stocky. It's hard to tell from TV. The camera does add pounds. I always
    used to think that Anna Olsen (on Food Network Canada) looked a little
    on the meaty side, not fat, but a few extra pounds. I have seen her in
    person several times and she looks darned near perfect in real life.


  19. #19
    Damsel in dis Dress Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    On Wed, 17 Dec 2008 16:27:20 -0500, Dave Smith
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >And then there are the Dutch, who eat lots of meat and fat and cheese
    >and drink beer. My Dutch father in law lived on a diet that would make a
    >cardiologist squirm, and he was very healthy and active right up until
    >his death just a few weeks short of 95.


    I'm sorry for your loss. Your poor wife is having a particularly bad
    year, isn't she?

    Carol

    --
    Change JamesBond to his agent number to reply.

  20. #20
    Mark A.Meggs Guest

    Default Re: Suggestions

    On Wed, 17 Dec 2008 09:16:50 -0800, "SteveB" <toquerville@zionvistas>
    wrote:

    >I have a friend in California who is a real chef. She's a dear, and a hard
    >worker. They are retired now, and her kitchen is like on TV. Viking,
    >Dacor, Wolf, you know. BUT THE WOMAN CAN COOK.
    >
    >Coming from a medical career, she also is very conscious of fats and
    >cholesterol and everything else that tastes good, sometimes being annoying.
    >We go visit them a couple of weeks a year, and it is like going to a resort.
    >Playing golf, eating good on the hilltop patio, driving around in a Ferrari,
    >Maserati, or Porsche.
    >
    >I come home and have this thing that I'm going to eat healthier, and learn
    >to cook like her. Lots of her stuff is very simple, but tasty beyond
    >description. Lots of it is Italian or European in nature, as they traveled
    >there a lot.
    >
    >Are there some starter cookbooks and ways I can get headed in a new
    >direction away from pork chops and fried potatoes and gravy? I do cook lots
    >of more complicated stuff, but at times, I just have a mental block when
    >thinking of what to prepare for dinner, and grab what's easy and I know.
    >
    >Maybe I'll ask for a particular cookbook this Christmas. Which one?
    >
    >Steve
    >


    For French, you could always go back to Julia's Mastering the Art of
    French Cooking (or Escoffier - A Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery).
    Or, maybe Madeleine Kamman's The New Making of a Cook: The Art,
    Techniques, ans Science of Good Cooking.

    Patricia Wells - an American, but located in the south of France for
    years - did At Home in Provence, Simply, French (with Joel Robuchon),
    and Trattoria.

    The Tuscan Year: Life and Food in an Italian Valley by Elizabeth Romer
    isn't, strictly speaking, a cookbook. But much of the life of this
    Tuscan farm family revolves around the kitchen. There are
    descriptions of how to make dishes (more than I had remembered now
    that I'm flipping through it), but they're narative descriptions - not
    what you'd normally think of with recipes.

    As someone else mentioned, abebooks.com is a good source for out of
    print books, but you have to careful if you're a book lover.

    - Mark

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