Piss me right off, when I bother following a recipe and then it fails. But sometimes cookbook authors know just the right way. The problem is choosing a cookbook you can trust. I’ve been cooking from these two recently, and they haven’t let me down.
The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen
by Peter Berley
This guy used to run the kitchen at Angelica Kitchen, the macro-vegan restaurant in New York. He uses a little butter here and there, but pretty much all of the recipes can easily be made vegan. The desserts are spectacular–I have been making the chocolate cake and the lemon rice pudding at a vegetarian restaurant I work in, and selling them out like crazy. The vegetable recipes are simple, but just a little better than what you might throw together without a recipe; they have that one extra ingredient that makes the dish memorable. And almost above all, included in this book is a recipe for BBQ tempeh, aka, vegan pork ribs.
from the America’s Test Kitchen editors of Cooks Illustrated magazine
This is a big-ass book of recipes that almost all contain eggs, butter, and/or milk. BUT, the authors and test kitchen bakers tell you why they used what, so if you do need to make substitutions you will have some idea what might work. My friend and I once stayed up all night baking Christmas cookies in Queens, with this book as our guide. The ginger-snap style turned out especially nice with our vegan substitutions, and you can read about my experiments with the Baking Illustrated soda bread, vegan-style.
Have any trustworthy cookbook suggestions of your own?