cover image Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better

Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better

Sara Moulton. Oxmoor House, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8487-4441-0

Moulton, a longtime cooking instructor and host of PBS’s Sara’s Weeknight Meals, offers a playbook for overcoming the deepest culinary ruts. She goes back to the basics of good home cooking, empowering novices to learn by doing with recipes designed to sharpen skills. Tips and tricks are peppered throughout the pages—how to slice onions (root to stem); how to poach the perfect egg (let the watery white fall through a fine mesh strainer)—with additional advice on how to organize a pantry, use proper tools, and waste as little food as possible. Recipes from the “Quick and Quicker Entrees” chapter lie at the heart of the book and will appeal to readers of many different skill levels. An approachable pasta dish—fusilli with Italian sausage, peas, and creamy tomato sauce—is followed by salmon baked in a bag (the classic French technique of cooking en papillote) with citrus, olives, and chiles. For cuisines outside of Moulton’s area of expertise, guest chefs offer their sage advice (Rick Bayless on tacos and Grace Young on stir fry, among others). For Moulton, “Cooking and dining together with your loved ones is the recipe for a good life.” Busy home cooks will find much to savor in this approachable, elegant collection of recipes. (Mar.)