What Recipes Should I Digitalize?
November 27, 2010 5:52 AM   Subscribe

I'm culling the (cookbook) herd from a certain era (mainly 70s-mid-90s). What are your favorite recipes from my canon of James Beard, Marcella Hazen, Silver Palate, et al that I should digitalize?

Here's my downsizing list:

James Beard Cookbook
James Beard Menus for Entertaining
Joy of Cooking
Classic Italian Cooking (Marcella Hazen)
More Classic Italian Cooking (Marcella Hazen)
The New York Times 60-Minute Gourmet (Pierre Franey)
Microwave Gourmet (Barbara Kafka)
Any of Patricia Wells's Bistro/French cookbooks circa 1970s-1990s--I have three of them.
posted by Elsie to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
From the Marcella Hazan books, definitely take her recipe for a basic tomato basil pasta sauce, as well as her recipe for roasted chicken with lemon. (It's GLORIOUS.)
posted by ocherdraco at 6:14 AM on November 27, 2010

If the banana bread recipe is in one of the James Beard books, it's a definite keeper.
posted by Houstonian at 6:24 AM on November 27, 2010

Marcella Hazan's basic Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter. Drooling right now.
posted by bcwinters at 6:46 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

the carrot cake recipe from the Silver Palate.
posted by gt2 at 7:45 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Marcella's instructions for making pasta. The ossobuco recipe. The only right way for making Bolognese sauce. Spaghettini with tomato+anchovy sauce. The basic fennel salad without vinegar. Her Killer Lasagna. And everything else. (And I Am Quoting From Memory, haven't got her books here. They are falling to pieces, those books, btw.).
posted by Namlit at 8:20 AM on November 27, 2010

silver palate's corn bread-sausage stuffing with apples. beard's amazingly foolproof recipe for hollandaise sauce
posted by ansate at 8:24 AM on November 27, 2010

I did the same thing a while back, but kept the Beard and Hazan books; I've used Marcella's book so often that it's hard to pick out the few keepers, but the sauce bcwinters mentioned is one of my favorites.

The only Silver Palate recipe I've ever wanted to make twice is the carrot cake, so that got copied into my kitchen commonplace book. The SP books, for me, are like a wormhole straight back to 1985.
posted by catlet at 9:26 AM on November 27, 2010

James Beard has a recipe for Bread & Pudding taken from the Coach House in that is the superlative example of this particular dessert. Also seconding the recipe for hollandaise sauce. These foods may currently be dinosaurs (hollandaise is fat from the thighs of cherubs, and bread pudding is basically white bread, butter and oh god so many egg yolks) but this style of eating comes in and out of fashion, and will return again.

Also, I don't know what edition of Joy you have, but the latest edition (2006) reportedly has 35 recipes in the back called "Joy Classics" - some of which have been rotated out of intermediate editions - and you want those. Or at least, I do...
posted by DarlingBri at 9:35 AM on November 27, 2010

Honestly, what I'd do is digitize the whole book(s). You can get a reasonably good scanner that you can feed pages into for probably $50 or less. You'll have to destroy the book - use a razor and a straight edge to cut out the pages, feed them into the scanner and you'll have the whole thing. I haven't done this with cookbooks, but I have with old woodworking books, etc, where I had too many linear shelf-feet of books but wanted to keep bits and pieces from them. I made PDFs of individual articles and stuff, for a cookbook I'm not sure how I'd organize it. But anyway, I'd have whole books in one place, and then single pages of stuff that I used a lot. In fact I might print and bind the stuff I really liked into one super-cookbook or binder or something (although I have no problem cooking from a recipe on the computer screen)
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:01 AM on November 27, 2010

Silver Palate's chocolate soufflé (page 244 ish as I recall) is epic.
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 1:21 PM on November 27, 2010

I would check to see if any of them are available in ebook format.
posted by rhizome at 3:12 PM on November 27, 2010

ocherdraco beat me to it, Hazen's roasted chicken with lemon is so simple and yet it's the most foolproof recipe that I've found to guarantee a moist and tasty chicken.

I don't do a lot of cooking and especially not complicated recipes from cookbooks cooking, but when I need something for a pot luck or holiday, I find that I turn to the Silver Palate more often then any of my other cookbooks (granted I have a rather small number). I have both the Good Times and the New Basics. Favorite recipes that I've made multiple times below are all from Good Times ( I can't locate The New Basics):

Ricotta Pepper Bread: Tastiest and moistest home-baked bread ever; also makes great rolls. I can't count the number of times that I've made this. (p. 233).

Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers: Another crowd pleaser; I had friend ask me to make it as she'd remembered how much she enjoyed it when I'd made it for her 4 years prior. (p. 166)

Bobbie's Chicken: yes Hazen's roasted chicken with lemon is good, but this recipe is pretty tasty as well. (p. 51)

Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Olives: Another great chicken recipe, this one for summer. (p. 187)

Swordfish Marinated with Lime and Coriander: another great one for the grill (p. 192).

Scallops with Vodka and Creme Fraiche: elegant and yet incredibly easy for when you don't have a lot of time (p. 257).

Coq au Vin: Classic and always good. It takes a bit of prep work, but as most of it is done the day before, it's great for a dinner party, since you only need to pop it in the oven. Another recipe that I've made several times. Not sure how it compares to other French bistro recipes, but this one has never let me down. (p. 267-8).

Thanksgiving Potatoes: The yummiest (and probably the most unhealthy) mashed potatoes that you'll ever have. They include butter, sour cream and cream cheese - need I say more? (p. 287).

Old Fashioned Apple Pie: I'm sure that there are other apple pie recipes out there, but I've always used this one and it's pretty great. (p. 290).

And finally just in time if you celebrate Christmas:

Viennese Christmas Trees: Beautiful and delicious. (p. 319-320)

Egg Nog French Toast: A practical and tasty solution for what to do with the left over egg nog (335-336).
posted by kaybdc at 3:26 PM on November 27, 2010

Thirding the Hazan chicken recipe. I almost never roast a chicken any other way. Her Bolognese sauce is sublime, also.

I still use my Franey book fairly often, for the protein recipes (which really can be easily made in an hour if your knife skills are decent): if I could only save two recipes it would be Côtes d'Agneau Grillés with the parsley-vinegar sauce, and Macqueraux Portuguaise.
posted by Tholian at 4:49 PM on November 27, 2010

Favorites from The James Beard Cookbook include his Beef Stroganoff (we add 1/2 pound sliced sauteed mushrooms to sauce at the end and serve over egg noodles), and the Veal Parmigiana recipe (though we usually substitute boneless chicken breasts for the veal).
posted by gudrun at 5:16 PM on November 27, 2010

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