Cookbook Spotlight

Unlike most of the cookbooks I’ve featured here, this week’s cookbook is easily accessible at your local bookstore or library.  It’s the original New York Times Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne!  I found a first edition (1961) at a local thrift-store a while back and I have to say that I’ve been incredibly impressed by the breadth and quality of its recipes.  This cookbook also does vintage cookbooks everywhere a public service: it’s not filled to the brim with recipes for Jello salad and other stereotypical retro recipes.  Instead, the New York Times Cookbook has a wide-variety of international recipes as well as more standard fare.  In short, it’s a must-have for your cookbook shelf!

One note about this cookbook: it was revised in 1990 and 40% of the original recipes were changed, so I’m not sure if the recipe I’m making this week is in the updated edition or not.


  1. Reply
    Susan @ The Spice Garden March 22, 2010

    Alison! What a fun post… the first cookbook I bought when I got out of college (way back when) was this book… I just pulled it from my shelf and it, too, has the 1961 copyright date… but, alas is not a first edition… probably a good thing since mine is careworn and stained. I got mine through The Book of the Month Club… as an aside. Mine opens naturally to White Clam Sauce (p.343) … a fave here in New England and a cheap meal with pasta. That was important when I was a new graduate. What about your copy?

    • Reply
      alison March 22, 2010

      Hi Susan —

      Mine hasn’t started to fall open to any pages yet, although it does look like someone set it a little too close to their burner! I’ll be posting a recipe from the book later this week, so stay tuned!

  2. Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen March 23, 2010

    What a wonderful surprise to click on your site and see this fabulous old friend – The New York Times Cookbook. This was one of my first cookbooks, along with Julia Child’s Art of French Cooking. I learned to cook with both. And you’re right, you won’t find any Jello or cream of x soup recipes. My original book is falling apart, but I’ve bought replacements through the years. I have a copy in both of our houses.

    Craig Claiborne had fabulous taste and through the years had many more cookbooks, including some with Pierre Franey. Keep your eyes out for any of Pierre’s 60-Minute Gourmet series. They are both winners too and full of easy, classic dishes that never go out of style.

    I can’t wait to see what dishes you choose to cook out of this book.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my kitchen and leaving a comment. It’s very nice to meet you.

    • Reply
      alison March 23, 2010

      @Sam: I’m glad to know so many people still find this cookbook a classic! I’ve been having so much fun paging through the timeless recipes I’ll be posting a recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter Sauce (from the cook book) later this week, so check back! 🙂

  3. Reply
    kate March 23, 2010

    I totally enjoyed this post….I got my first cookbook from my mom for Christmas my senior year of high school, Betty Crocker, of course!

    It was in college that I started building my cookbook library!

    Good work, Audi.

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