I discovered the classic cookbook Joy of Cooking in 2014 as a late flowering in the kitchen. With its intuitive instructions and clear navigation, it soon became my GPS to tackle home cooking with ease. I had joined a long list of cooks, both beginner and advanced, who had relied on the previous eight editions of this culinary resource for everything from basic technique (“standing in front of the stove” was early instruction) to hosting a dinner. Joy was first self-published by Irma Rombauer, then a 53-year-old housewife and hostess, in 1931. (She was in dire need of income after her husband’s death.) That book, beloved for Irma’s encouraging tone and characteristic wit, became a foundational text with more than 20 million copies in print.
Rombauer’s clear, approachable and spirits that
anyone can cook has been captured in the updated 2019 version of Joy of Cooking, revamped by John Becker (Irma Rombauer’s great-grandson) and his wife Megan Scott. Like their readers, Becker and Scott are passionate home cooks, with no formal training. (In fact, Becker only searched the family book when she took the 1997 version with him to college.)
To address this 9th edition, the couple painstakingly reviewed the entire book, line by line (several times) to create a blueprint of what needed to be changed, added, or verified. Nearly five years later, they have completed the enormous challenge of revising, updating and adding 600 new recipes. Their goal was to deepen and improve what was already a comprehensive access ramp for home cooks at all levels.
Here’s everything you need to know about this new edition of Joy.
section of each chapter has been revamped, staying true to the spirit of the original, whether it’s tips in an introduction, recipe and ingredient additions, better cross-references, the inclusion of new techniques (such as sous vide) or new vegan and gluten-free baking options (such as vegan eggnog and gluten-free sandwich bread). You can dig deeper into what GM foods are and also find a section on being aware of the planet.
Becker notes that his grandmother, Marion Rombauer Becker, was already sounding the alarm about meat and sustainable food in the 1975 edition. For 2019, the authors suggest an intermediate flexitarian approach to meat, showing ways it can act more as a supportive ingredient (as in a ragout), as well as offering more vegan and plant-based options (from appetizers to desserts).
600 new recipes
To give you an idea, an expanded drinks section covers everything from cold beer to horchata and fruit bushes. New appetizers include Thai-style chicken wings, melted cheese and pickled shrimp. At Soups and Stocks you’ll find Pressure Cooker Stock, Kimchi Jigae (kimchi-tofu stew) and Megan’s Vegan Chili, while salads include a vegan “egg” salad, Larb (Thai chopped pork salad) and Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Spiced Yogurt. Also new are a revamped Muffuletta, Mission style burritos, Shakshouka, Chana Masala, Mushroom Bacon, Tofu Scramble, Pecan and Cheddar, “Sausage” Patties, Kimchi Mac, Ramen, Roasted Mushroom Lasagne and Tourtière. And for those with a sweet tooth, new recipes include streusel raspberry pies, apple dumplings, vegan chocolate cake, Nanaimo bars, peanut butter cups, and strawberry and rosé jam.
2019 design keeps an even more complete book without problems for use in the kitchen: it’s wider (so it’s squarer) and stays flat with ease (without holding down the pages with your elbows while your hands are covered in chicken fat). A font change also makes recipes much easier to read. It is immediately easier to use.
There’s also a new
[contextly_auto_sidebar] With the growing interest around fermentation, the couple wanted to lay the groundwork, believing the process to be a really interesting type of food preservation. “With fermentation you’re taking advantage of wild bacteria and yeast to do something for you, so the process isn’t always linear, it’s not like, Oh, put this in a pan and cook it for 20 minutes and you’re done,” Scott says. You also learn to pay attention, which he loves. Each fermented batch may smell a little different or take a few extra days to reach the acidity you like, and that kind of observation is a critical part of being a good cook. The section also covers food safety, tools, and troubleshooting along with kimchi, kombucha, and hot sauce recipes.
A new chapter of “Simplified Cooking” is packed with
time-saving tips and meal planning tips
This chapter covers strategies and habits to maximize cooking time, save money, and create less waste. The “Cook for a Day, Eat for a Week” section breaks down meal planning that creates multiple ways to use leftovers (a roast salmon dinner can be repurposed as salmon pies, salade niçoise or a delicious pasta dish). In “Waste Prevention,” you’ll learn how to use parm peels as flavor enhancers and pickle brine for marinades. The leftover wine, if it has any!, is reused in a slushie, for pan sauce or to add depth of flavor to the stew.
But don’t worry, no one is playing with the classics
“If we were trying to make room for new things, and there was a recipe I had doubts about, like maybe this was Irma’s favorite? I would talk to my father on the phone to make sure he wasn’t desecrating the family legacy,” Becker says.
Some recipes, like Irma’s chocolate chip cookies and brownies, are standards that people love and have stayed the way they are. But both are also offered with an update, a more fudgier version of the brownie and a thicker, chewier version of the cookie.
All pastry recipes now offer ingredients
If you’re preparing to make Joy’s new Gingerbread Cake (only the smell of the oven will activate the full hygge) you’ll notice that the recipe includes measurements in both traditional cups and teaspoons, as well as weight in grams. Being able to measure ingredients by weight, which is easier and more accurate than per cup, was something readers told the authors was really important.
“We also love grams, because it also creates fewer dishes, you can keep adding things to a bowl and weighing it, you don’t have to measure anything, you don’t have to dirty your spoons and cups,” Scott says.
is still your compass for cooking
Like Janet, The Good Place’s omniscient database, this new edition of Joy of Cooking has an updated and comprehensive index and newly added bibliography (want to know more about wild mushroom foraging? Joy will guide you in the right direction.) Not sure the difference between roasting, singing, and browning? See the techniques section. Joy is not just about following a favorite recipe, but also about developing confidence in your own knowledge.
The authors hope people will turn to the book when they have a question and explore both recipes and background information. For Becker, teaching is at Joy’s heart. “For us it would be the best situation, as teachers, if people could leave with awareness and skepticism to be able to know when a prescription is leading them astray. That’s the end game for me, personally.”
Joy eliminates fear
of entertainment Entertainment anxiety is taken head-on in the chapter “Entertainment and menus.” “The introduction is kind of a pep talk,” Becker says. Covering everything from cocktails to children’s birthdays, there’s also a handy pre-planned menu section. Search for anything from “Thanksgiving” to “Taco Night” or browse “Quick Recipes” (overnight oatmeal, basic vegetable stir-fry) and “Author’s Favorites” for vegetarian entrees or desserts. I discovered a delicious Guyanese pepper stew whose rich aroma filled my house with warmth and excited my guests. My nightly rotation now includes the incredibly easy and delicious miso-glazed eggplant.
Becker understands that living in a world awash in quality recipe sources, The Joy of Cooking’s function is no longer to be the “only” cookbook you need, “There are all these single-topic titles that have fantastic recipes, cultural backgrounds, and stories to tell, but don’t necessarily have the space to fill in the gaps. ” he says. With over 1,000 pages and nearly 90 years of experience, Joy has the ability to be a trusted touchstone, “We want to be a supplement as well as inspire people to cook. We spend a lot of time looking for recipes that we’re excited about and we want to share them, that’s our little mission.”