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The New Basics Cookbook

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  8,344 ratings  ·  80 reviews
It's the 1.8-million-copy bestselling cookbook that's become a modern-day classic. Beginning cooks will learn how to boil an egg. Experienced cooks will discover new ingredients and inspired approaches to familiar ones. Encyclopedic in scope, rich with recipes and techniques, and just plain fascinating to read, The New Basics Cookbook is the indispensable kitchen reference ...more
Paperback, 864 pages
Published January 10th 1989 by Workman Publishing Company (first published January 10th 1988)
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 ·  8,344 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, food, u-s-a
This is more of an encyclopedia/ reference book than a cookbook. It's over 800 pages, to begin with. In addition to the recipes, there are countless sidebars and panels with valuable information - quotations, anecdotes, techniques, lists of fruit and vegetable varieties, wine selections, etc.

There is also a wealth of information on how to set up your kitchen - what tools to purchase, what ingredients to stock up on. And you'll learn the basics of several ethnic cuisines - Moroccan, French, Ital
lindsey dee
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
while i love cook books and cooking magazines, i typically don't read a cook book cover to cover. however, i'm in the delayed process of moving and had already packed all my books except 1 which i just finished. luckily "the new basics" was left out because i recently used it.
what i love most about this book is not the recipes themselves but that the authors explain the ingredients used and show you many ways to use them. i've never read "the joy of cooking," but i use this book in a similar wa
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cooking
Meh...okay, but not great. There are better cookbooks out there. I bought this one years ago and have made a few recipes from it, but not a ton. I heard so much about the The Silver Palate Cookbook, I decided to buy this one instead. I now own both, and I would say that The Silver Palate Cookbook is better.

Also, I've experienced the same issue as other reviewers. The book binding is coming undone in places. Since, it's not a cookbook I reach for too often, it's not a showstopper. However, given
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Novice cooks.
Shelves: food-food-food
This is a good book for novice cooks. The recipes vary in difficulty and are easy to understand. The authors give concise explanations of cooking terms and methods, and various foods. I know a later book by Rosso (I think it was "Great Good Food") got a drubbing from the critics when it was revealed she didn't actually test all the recipes in a test kitchen. But this isn't THAT book. This does have basics like "how to cook a turkey", with some nice simple vegetable sides. ...more
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cook-books
If you are just starting out and have a desire to cook great food then this is the book for you. It breaks cooking down and simplifies everything. I have made many of these dishes and my family now considers them ours. I love the fajita recipe and the "guacomole is hot" and the "Black Bean Salsa". These recipes are loaded with flavor and I go to them again and again. I have given this book many times for wedding showers. ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my 'dirtiest' cookbooks. This means that it has been used, used, used! I have so many 'go-to' recipes which came from this book and they fill such a wide range. Strawberry shortcake, cilantro and black bean pestos (make them both so that you use the entire bunch of cilantro!), grilled butterflied lamb, fajitas, I can go on and on and on.... ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks, reference
Purchased this book become the Silver Palate Cookbook the our guidebook for special / holiday meals and was hoping New Basics would be as useful to our day to day meals but this wasn't too be. It's a fine cookbook, but there are numerous other cookbooks which provide recipes which were quicker, tasty, with more complete nutritional information. ...more
Anne Wingate
Not Quite Basic

There are some basic recipes and even a few whole sections of basic information and recipes.
But in general, and especially in the first section, what is presented is anything but basic.
The authors seem to assume that we all have unlimited budgets and can easily buy scads of such things as saffron and imported ingredients of all kinds.
They assume that we all have unlimited time and can spend hours or in some cases days on one meal or even one recipe.
They assume that none of us have
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another of my three 'fat' cookbooks. I have two other Silver Palate books--the recipes are great.

This book is beautifully designed, and perhaps because the authors are caterers, it has some unusual sections. There is section at the front called 'Amusements' that contains really interesting recipes for finger food. Another section is called Microwave Miracles, although the authors also have some reservations about microwave ovens. As you would expect for a book on basics, there is a page or two o
Ashlyn H
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best cookbook, especially for the inexperienced cook who wants to go beyond the basics and know the why. Very empowering! I received as a wedding gift 39 years ago and I regularly give as a wedding gift now. Line sketches add to the fun. The descriptions and how-to aren't quite prose, but enjoyable and full of insight. Only down side is that the binding didn't last very long! I had to have it spiral bound, and chose to do that into 2 sections. ...more
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely the best cookbook on my shelves. For years.
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I’ve had this book for years, and always go back to it for great basic ideas. I have several of Julie and Sheila’s cookbooks and they never disappoint.
Lori Pulichino
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a basic go to in my family for any recipe at any time. Great suggestions for menus, easy to follow, and a broad swath of recipes. A must get for a person who loves to cook.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first cooking bible.
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbook
Chicken fajitas--I've been making these for decades. Great for parties.

We tried a soup--the summer squash and potato. It was nutritious, but a little bland.
Aug 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
my dear friend Rosary gave me this -- my first cookbook -- and I managed to lose it during some blasted move or other! i'll have to pick up the revised edition that just came out (hopefully with full-color and copious photos?). some of these recipes are superb.

OF NOTE: sheila lukins's eggplant/chevre/bechamel lasagna bomb CHANGED my freaking LIFE. it's amazing. it takes, like, several brief lifetimes to compile, but when made as written, it will not only convince you that eggplant is not gross (
Dixie Diamond
I love that this offers basic information on common ingredients, buying advice, and suggests seasonings to complement many of the foods.

However, I absolutely hate the layout. The text is tiny and crowded in to make room for oversized titles and goofy 1980's-style border designs, which are distracting and make it feel more disorganized than it probably is. A plain layout like those used in older cookbooks would have been much better, especially since there are no photographs to accommodate.

I don
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Kip is now a friend, so I'm going to start reviewing cookbooks -- Yay!

This is one of my favorite go-to cookbooks. When my friends were getting married in the late 90s, this is the cookbook I gave them as shower presents. Some of the recipes are dated and a little high in fat, but the techniques presented are timeless. A lot of my "standard" recipes come from this book. My pizza crust, pizza sauce, garlic vinagrette, cheesecake are all from this book. This is a collection I go to when I need idea
Jul 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
For a number of years, this was my go-to reference cookbook -- when I needed to know what to do with a celery root, when I was looking for a recipe for coq au vin. At the time, its new wave takes on classic dishes seemed refreshing. Now these twists feel a little dated to me, but it's still full of sound and useful advice on food preparation and entertaining, and it's well organized, so I'll often start there, even if I don't always end up there. ...more
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: megan
Shelves: cookbooks
Crammed with breads, salads, vegetable, grains, desserts, savories, seafood and soup. Simple and easy. Also has simple charts about the different kinds of grains, fish, greens, nuts, pastas, etc. their qualities and how to cook or use them. Good diagrams: like how to properly cut and shell a lobster and how to carve poultry, and cut meat. The tarragon chicken salad and carrot-dill soup are favorites.
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I love this book, it,s one of my favourites, I,ve got many!!! I found it in a bookstore when on a trip to Canada many years ago. Being English the style of cooking and recipes were a revelation to me, such fresh tasty food, all carefully explained . This was back in the day before I found amazon and suchlike, so I have always treasured it. I now have several by the same author and her partner in crime, Sheila Lukins, love them both .x
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
This was a staple in my house when I was growing up, and I have my mother's copy with food stains and hand-written notes throughout. There are many recipes in here that I love to make as they are comforting familiar treats from my childhood, and many others that I've discovered as an adult. This is always a source of inspiration for parties or breaking out of a cooking rut, and I recommend it highly! ...more
May 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
All recipes I have had/made from this cookbook have been GREAT! Unfortunately, for me anyway, it is not really an 'everyday' type of cookbook- there are a lot of ingredients in most recipes, they are not 'quick' and definitely not particularly healthy. It is sort of a special occasion/things to take to a party or dinner kind of cookbook for me. ...more
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cooks
I know it's a little silly to review cookbooks here, but this is a really great one. It's reasonably priced and makes a nice gift. There are no shortcuts, yet the recipes are not needlesly complicated. One of the authors owns a B and B in Saugatuck, Michigan, and Chris and I went there for our first anniversary. Guess whose idea that was? ...more
Jul 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, food, recipes
In many ways this was the cookbook that taught me how to cook. I cut my teeth on their lasagna and Moroccan chicken. However the book hasn't aged well. I rarely turn to it these days, and when I do I leave a little disappointed. Its not a bad book and it can still help you learn the basics however the recipes are very 1980s - a little too much for my tastes these days. ...more
Lady Jane
Jan 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Provides, for its time, strikingly different interpretations of tried and true favorites. Recipes align with my own preference for strong flavors--many of them showstopping, "wow" recipes. I've been relying on The New Basics for almost 20 years and it still is the first cookbook I reach for. ...more
Larry Edwards
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
This is one of those books which makes a perfect gift for someone who is getting into cooking. The included recipes are very basic and written in such a way that anyone can follow them. If you're a versed home cook, you may find the contents pretty tedious. It does live up to its title, in that it covers the basics of cooking (albeit most of which is not too "new" any longer). ...more
Mar 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is how I learned to cook. I read it through, chapter by chapter. Some of the recipes are very dated, but the techniques are classic and the prose about ingredients and how to treat them is inspiring and timeless.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys cooking
Recommended to Jen by: my husband!
This is the cookbook I use more than any other! It has not only regular recipes, but also interesting ones that don't require wacky ingredients!
My all-time favorites are the Pesto-Walnut Risotto, Chicken Curry with Asian Pears, and the Macaroni and Cheese. Yum!
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I cannot remember the name at the moment, but there is a wonderful meatloaf recipe in this book. And this is not "just" meatloaf, this is a cooking event and a total party for the palate. ...more
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Julee Rosso is an American cook and food writer. In 1977 she and Sheila Lukins opened and ran a gourmet food shop in New York City called The Silver Palate. In the 1980s they wrote, with Michael McLaughlin, The Silver Palate Cookbook, The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, and others. A 25th Anniversary update of the Silver Palate Cookbook is forthcoming.

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