The New Joy of Cooking by Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer, Ethan Becker
For the inaugural book recommendation in KitchenSavvy, how can I choose anything other than the foundational "All New All Purpose" Joy of Cooking.
Originally self-published in 1931 as The Joy of Cooking: A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat by Irma Rombauer, updated first by her daughter Marion Rombauer Becker, and now by her grandson, Cordon Bleu-trained Ethan Becker, this dynasty publication covers the basics for the home cook. While it may not, by itself, make you a gourmet chef, it is chocked full of the reference information and methods that have been the launch pad for many aspiring cooks.
If you are just starting a cookbook library, this is THE BOOK to get.
If you have an earlier edition, it may be time to upgrade. The new Joy of Cooking has new chapters on grains, beans, and pasta that reflect changing culinary tastes and lifestyles. The new "Rules" sections included in many chapters give essential cooking and ingredient basics.
More international recipes have been added, too.
The downside? If you rely on your old copy of the Joy of Cooking as much as I did mine, you probably have it marked up with margin notes, comments, recipe variations and notes on who likes what. The first thing you will want to do is go through them side-by-side and copy over what you want to keep handy. You may also notice that a few of your old favorite recipes are missing in the updated version.