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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

October 15, 2011 |  7:30 am


You're a total foodie, but find you're still afraid to actually get your feet wet in the kitchen? This week, Russ Parsons explores a couple great books for the aspiring cook:

Here's the deal: You know a lot about food. You've seen all the shows; you've read all the books. On Chowhound you're a god. You love Vinny and Jon and Lindy and Grundy, and you always — always — get your reservation at LudoBites. But when it comes to cooking, well, there's a little problem.

What you need is a book that will teach the basics and hopefully provide some pretty good food while you're learning. Fortunately, there are two really good books that aim to do just that. They're very different, intended for completely different audiences, but each accomplishes what it sets out to do — make you a better cook.

Whether you're just a beginning cook, or you've mastered the basics and want more challenges, Parsons has some great book ideas to check out. Recipes are included, including a Tuscan chicken stew, and mac and cheese with soubise.

This week's recipes include:

When you try one of this week's recipes, or any L.A. Times recipes, let us know! Upload a photo onto the "Our Recipes, Your Kitchen" gallery to share your take on the recipe and tell us about yourself. Your photo will be posted online and may be selected to run in print with our weekly section.


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Photo: Mac and cheese with soubise Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times