cover image Complete Guide to Food and Cooking

Complete Guide to Food and Cooking

. Better Homes and Gardens Books, $29.95 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-696-01911-1

Reference cookbooks targeting the novice cook seemed all the rage one or two years ago, with the appearance of texts by such important culinary teachers as Julia Child and Anne Willan. Although their books remain thorough information sources, some readers found them expensive and a little intimidating. Now an affordable, friendly reference work from Better Homes and Gardens combines the basics of culinary techniques with up-to-date data on nutrition and food safety, all presented in a highly readable style. Organized as a dictionary, the guide presents more than 1000 alphabetical entries that define indigenous and imported ingredients, specify cooking methods and document proper food selection, storage and handling. The book also features almost 200 succinct recipes for dishes linked to key ingredients. Esoteric ingredients are included along with culinary classics (with only a few conspicuous omissions). Guide compensates for minor flaws with culinary goodwill: cozy asides will make a newcomer to cooking feel confident behind the counter. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)