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Help Me Choose Beginner Books and/or DVD

post #1 of 3
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I am really a beginner, I have made some Italian dishes that came out fine (I think) but I am am wondering what books and or DVD's I should get to give me an all around beginner level start on proper cooking methodology. Such as what types of pans should be used for various cooking projects, what types I should buy as my stuff is all very old and low quality. I can't afford to go to a school, but I would like to get as close as I can. I'm not looking for recipe books, the wife and my mother have tons, I am strictly looking to get a core beginner level education. Also grilling ribs and steaks have been a disaster for me, never come out the way I hoped, I need to learn more about charcoal types, placement, what equipment to use etc. Thank you. 

post #2 of 3

Again, I'll recommend James Petersons Essentials of Cooking.




He's written what appears to be an expansion but I've not read it. His work is generally top notch though.




DVD, you should look to Jacques Pepin. His Complete Techniques and Fast Food My Way and More Fast Food My Way.  DVDs for these will be harder to find. While the books are  good, there's a lot of good content in the DVDs.  The sidebar on the left has his DVDs for order http://www.kqed.org/food/jacquespepin/


Steve Raichlen has written many good books on grilling and barbeque. How to Grill is a mastework for learning to grill. http://www.amazon.com/How-Grill-Complete-Illustrated-Techniques/dp/0761120149/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328723552&sr=8-1


There was a PBS series that included lots of material from this book as well, BBQ University. Also a website with most of the material available.  www.bbqu.net

post #3 of 3

I thought I would add another book, but more of something to look at after you get more comfortable with yours skills.


Ratio by Michael Ruhlman



Once you learn to see certain dishes as a ratio, you can learn to scale them up to meet your needs, read related recipes and have a good grasp of whether that recipe will work correctly and also to have a freer reign in your own cooking.


This is not a beginner book but something you'll grasp with more experience.

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