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Sheila Lukins and must have cookbooks


I am saddened by the news of the passing of Sheila Lukins on Sunday, August 30, 2009. The last time I saw Shelia was when she came to teach at Les Gourmettes Cooking School and promote her newest cookbook, Ten, in December 2008.  She was a dynamo and she will be sadly missed.  Shelia’s most famous cookbook and still one of the best cookbooks 25 years later is The Silver Palate Cookbook she co-wrote with Julee Rosso.  It came out in 1979, the same year I graduated from high school, and it was one of the first cookbooks I owned.  A couple of my favorite recipes from it were, and still, are, Strawberry Chocolate Tart and Tarragon Chicken Salad (recipe below).  I love that book to this day and it reminds me that I wanted to put up my list of cookbooks you should own… please post comments about cookbooks that are on your “must-have” list!

the basic kitchen: must-have cookbooks

Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol 1 & 2 – Child/Beck

Joy of Cooking – Bombauer

The Silver Palate Cookbook & Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook – Rosso & Lukins


From the Earth To the Table – Ash

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone – Madison

Chopstix – Carpenter

Special Occasions – Hadamuscin

Cooking for a Crowd – Wyler

Easy Entertaining – Sorosky

American Cookery – Beard

Beard on Bread – Beard

Jacques Pepin’s Table – Pepin

The Cake Bible – Levy Beranbaum

China Moon Cookbook – Tropp

James McNair’s Favorites – McNair

Entertaining – Stewart

Any of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks – Garten

The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook – Waters

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen – Wolfert

Homemade in a Hurry – Schloss


Food Lover’s Companion – Herbst

The Food Lover’s Tiptionary – Herbst

Cookwise – Corriher

On Food and Cooking – McGee

Tarragon Chicken Salad

The Silver Palate Cookbook

About 3 pounds boneless, skinless whole chicken breasts
1 cup Crème Fraîche or heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-long pencil strips
1/2 cup shelled walnuts
1 tablespoon crumbled dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large jelly-roll pan. Spread evenly with the crème fraîche and bake until cooked through 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Shred the meat into bite-size pieces and transfer to a bowl. Whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise together in a small bowl and pour over the chicken mixture. Add the celery, walnuts, tarragon, salt and pepper, and toss well. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours. Taste and correct the seasoning before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Note: Use the accumulated juices from the jelly-roll pan to enrich soups or sauces.

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[…] by Andrew Schloss. In fact it is on my list of “must have cookbooks” which you can view HERE. Marissa adapted the recipe a bit to match her taste and it was delicious! Thank you sweetheart, not […]

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