Unless you’ve been living under a cyber-rock, you already know that Google is the hottest way to find the most information about almost anything in the shortest time. I type in “food” and Google finds 121 million Web sites within .25 seconds. The word “recipes” renders 28 million choices in .26 seconds. Anything you might want to know about food is available: restaurants, recipes and sources for any herb, spice, fish, fowl, meat or produce. Here are a few culinary Web sites worth checking out.
Saveur magazine, one of the best food glossies, can be found online at saveur.com. In addition to articles of interest to any foodie, many of their recipes are archived.
For those who want to look like a chef, there’s chefrevival.com, a source for chef togs in colors and patterns to match any kitchen, as well as cooking tools, cutlery and sharpeners.
At chef2chef.net, you can sign up for newsletters with weekly themed recipes, browse links to food sites, read a Chef of the Month feature, and pose culinary questions in the Ask a Chef chat room.
Celebrity chef, television personality, restaurant owner and cookbook author Todd English can be found at toddenglish.com. Try some of his many recipes available at the site — his pizza dough is excellent.
For those searching for food off the beaten path, chowhound.com is dedicated to ferreting out the unique, unknown restaurants and recipes not often found in mainstream publications. If you’re willing to drive 40 miles to check out a pizza or some barbecue, this site is for you.
Speaking of barbecue, www.barbecuen.com offers recipes, equipment, books, links to other barbecue Web sites, smokers, fuels, flavored hardwoods and barbecue contests. Sign up for their monthly newsletter; it will likely motivate you to pursue barbecue year-round, even in the cold of winter. Also, check out barbecuebible.com, hosted by Steven Raichlen, the author of How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques and host of the television show Barbecue University.
Jessica’s Biscuit is a source of more than 9,000 cookbooks — new, old and rare — at ecookbooks.com. Most of the books are discounted, some up to 75 percent.
Another source for cookbooks is amazon.com, where books are often 40 percent off.
Hosted by Mary Ellen, formerly a professional chef, thatsmyhome.com is a collection of thousands of recipes, as well as a culinary dictionary and a recipe converter that will turn a recipe for four into a recipe for 44. There’s also a substitution list that offers alternative ingredients if a crucial element is missing. This, like all of the sites mentioned here, is free. It’s an invaluable source for any home cook.
If you long to duplicate the cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory or the French dressing from the Brown Derby, there’s a good chance you can find recipes for them at copykat.com. I can’t personally attest to the authenticity of these, but they sound worth a try.
Ethnic cooking sites abound on the Web. Lee Kum Kee is a producer of many Chinese sauces, which are used in a myriad of Asian recipes. They’re sold in most Asian markets, are high-quality, authentic and delicious. At lkk.com you can search more than 200 recipes by course, ingredient or by the Lee Kum Kee product. The site also has step-by-step videos for cooking Chinese cuisine.
One site for all things Spanish is latienda.com — special utensils, glazed clay pots and ingredients like Bomba and Calasparra rices, Spanish chorizo and other hard-to-find ingredients required to prepare the classic dishes of Spain. Many recipes are provided.
Or there’s mrbsbistro.com, the online home of Mr. B’s in New Orleans, one of my favorite spots. The site offers recipes for some of the bistro’s best dishes: barbecued shrimp, pasta jambalaya and the Gumbo Ya-Ya — allegedly created by Paul Prudhomme when he was the chef at Commander’s Palace, another legendary New Orleans restaurant. Also check out brennansneworleans.com, dickiebrennanssteakhouse.com, commanderspalace.com, and bacco.com for more Creole cooking.
There are thousands — make that millions — of other culinary sites to explore. The world is virtually at your fingertips. Experience the joy of discovery — and eat hearty, my friends.Jeff Broder is a chowhound for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org