Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Silver Spoon Cookbook X2

The Silver Spoon Cookbook advertises itself as the “Bible of Authentic Italian Cooking.” While that’s a lofty goal, I don’t think anyone could complain with the outcome.

My husband gave me the English version as a gift a few years ago and I received the Italian version as a wedding present. I love having both copies depending on my mood, company and measurement tools.

The Italian one comes in a great orange plastic case. Both copies are heavy and carrying it around could be a substitute for going to the gym. They are worth it – for good cooking and keeping your Italian skills up to par.

You can browse some of the recipes online. I’ve enjoyed looking up an item – like pork chops – and discovering a new way to make them. From the cookbook, I made a perfect Pappa Al Pomodoro (Tuscan Bread Soup with Tomato) and a few calazoni with ricotta, mozzarella and ham.

Why have cookbooks if you can look things up online? As a writer, I love the feel of the paper. As a chef, I like sitting with a cup of coffee and browsing through the book for inspiration as I make my grocery list for the week.

I’ve mulled over the idea of slowly making everything in the cookbook like Julie did in Julie & Julia, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never be cooking “Pig’s Liver in a Net” or a few other “exotic” sounding dishes, so I think I’ll still to what interests me.

What’s your favorite cookbook?


Dan Richer said...

My favorite is Nonna Genia. It's the bible of the Langhe region of Piemonte. Check it out!

Chloe Yelena Miller said...

That sounds great, Dan!

Here are some recommendations from Facebook readers:

Anna Napp Eichorst: I love your post today. I personally am a fan of every single Ina Garten cookbook. It's Julia, but simplified and no recipe has cilantro (which both Ina and I hate). For baking, nothing beats The Art and Soul of Baking. Amazing.

Nancy Corbett: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Some of the most wonderful dishes and basic cooking advice I've ever seen. I can't get enough of this book. There's a recipe for cauliflower to die for. Also simple spaghetti sauces, vegetable stocks and lots and lots of great salads and dressings.

The Good Old Days Cookbook. This is an old one on my shelf. It's a cookbook you can sit down and read. It's full of stories about the origins of many American dishes, places where foods were served, what the fare was at still-standing restaurants or taverns a hundred years ago and what it cost, depression-era shortcuts that have become staples on our table. And the recipes are good, solid, old fashioned dishes, like chicken and dumplings and apple pie.

Hila Ratzabi: How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Celia Milton: I LOVE the Frog Commisary cookbook, and the new Alton Brown book...just fun stuff. Being a former caterer...well...too many to list, lol! But I do love my White Castle Cookbook!

Elaine Martin Petrowski: The Silver Palate Good Times and Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa- Parties. And of course, The Joy of Cooking, and a really old one called Soup, Beautiful Soup that I picked up at a garage sale 25 years ago.

Erin Gibes: My Fannie Farmer! I have to change most of the recipes now that I'm vegetarian, but my copy has all my mom's notes in it in pencil - I love it!!!

Rene Ohana: The Bread Bible by Rose someone or other. What can I say, I love my carbs :)

Thanks for reading and sharing! I can't wait to try these out.