So after my success with corned beef, soda bread and bread pudding last night, I finally decided I had to blog about my new favorite cookbook, The New Best Recipe. Written by the people from Cook's Illustrated magazine, it's got something like 1,000 recipes for basically everything - but what makes it so great is their methods. They take on a recipe for something, like roast chicken for instance, and they try every recipe and permutation they can think of and then come up with what they think is the best, based on taste and ease of preparation. And they explain their methods before each recipe. It's really great, not just for a handy general purpose cook book, but by explaining why the recipe is the way it is, it encourages you to think about what you're doing and hopefully become a better cook.
The magazine is great too. It's essentially the same thing (recipes and methods), with additional magazine stuff like reader questions, tips, and equipment information. Think of a Consumer Reports for cooking and you've pretty much got it. Both are recommended.
The New Best Recipe. $22.05 at Amazon.com