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100 techniques : master a lifetime of cooking skills, from basic to bucket list
Syndetics Unbound
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Publishers Weekly Review
The America's Test Kitchen cooks bring their collective knowledge to bear on this diverse collection of tips and illustrate their points with more than 200 recipes. The first and lengthiest chapter, "Essentials Every Home Cook Should Know" includes helpful tips: flavorings should be applied when and where they are most effective (salt chicken breasts under the skin before baking and sprinkle the salt from a height of 12 inches to achieve even distribution); attention should be paid to textures (lumpy batter, for example, results in fluffier pancakes and muffins). The "Techniques You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" chapter is full of ways to simplify kitchen chores: using a blender is the key to foolproof hollandaise and béarnaise sauces; freezing live lobster before putting them in the pot is the best form of sedation, and an instant-read thermometer provides a no-fail way of knowing when items are done cooking. The bucket list chapter includes fun projects, such as concocting homemade cocktail bitters and smoking ribs indoors in an oven preheated to 500 degrees before lowering to 250 after 30 minutes (and using tea leaves instead of wood chips for the smoke). Time-tested wisdom proves to be the most important ingredient in this eclectic and engaging tome. (Apr.)
Booklist Review
Cooking-instruction powerhouse America's Test Kitchen (ATK) brings us the second installment of their ATK 100 series with this book focused on technique. Its recipes are organized by cooking techniques that fall into two groups: "Essentials Every Home Cook Should Know" and "Techniques You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without." As if they're sitting in on a culinary class, readers are taught the basics, science, and step-by-step process behind a variety of kitchen challenges, from pickling to making no-knead bread. Techniques are presented with full-color photo spreads that further demonstrate steps, and followed by a handful of recipes that utilize what readers were just taught. Both cooks starting out on their food journey and experienced chefs looking for new challenges will find this collection helpful. Fans of ATK will recognize the majority of the recipes from other collections but the uniqueness of this book's presentation makes it a worthwhile addition to your collection.
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