The wired kitchen

My kitchen, as some of you know, is filled with cookbooks – in fact, I can’t help but picture my overloaded shelves of cookbooks anytime someone seems skeptical about a vegetarian kitchen. Believe me, there’s plenty to do without meat!
Some of those cookbooks are indispensible – the Rose Elliot Complete Vegetarian, the Moosewood collection, and the The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, for instance, all of which are consulted almost weekly. Others are great to have on hand for “special” occasions, and others are, sadly, very rarely cracked open.
We’ve been experimenting with the Jamie Oliver, finding ways to un-meat his recipes, and with great success. The chicken tofu chow mein is great, and tonight we’re trying his British beef ground round and onion pie.
Despite the ridiculous number of cookbooks, or perhaps because of it, we’re also trying to go digital in the kitchen. We are wirelessly online, and thanks to the vast array of cooking sites, it’s pretty easy to crack open a laptop instead of a book. One of my favourite sites is Epicurious, which features recipes from a decade of Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines, and has a great search engine, as well as members’ recipe boxes, excellent commenters, and mouth-watering photos, not to mention wine pairings and elaborate – or not so – menus.
My most recent Epicurious experiment was Chilaquiles – the tomatillos required are a green version of the yellow ground tomatoes* that are readily available this time of year at our local market. The recipe instructions for this one are misleading, though, so if you make it, read through first. I suggest blanching the tomatillos and the sweet potatoes while frying the tortillas, for instance; the instructions make it sound like everything has to be done one step at a time, which would mean a much longer process.
*Another fantastic site is the Cook’s Thesaurus; thanks to CT, I knew what to get for ‘tomatillos’! Half my cookbooks are from the UK, and the terms are not always the same as we use in Canada or the States (courgettes/zucchini, for instance). I also love Indian recipes, and frequently find myself consulting CT for insight into the required ingredients. CT is also a wonderful resource in a bilingual city – it’s often very handy to know alternative names for products when the grocer’s first language is not English.
Any cookbooks and/or cooking web site you can’t live without?

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