Ruhlman’s Twenty: The Ideas and Techniques that Will Make You a Better Cook

Michael Ruhlman. Chronicle, $40 (368p) ISBN 978-0-811-87643-8
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Noted food writer Ruhlman showcases his vast culinary knowledge for both novices and experienced cooks in this in-depth look at the fundamentals of cooking. He explores the most basic of basics that serve as the foundation for all other techniques from using salt, onions, and eggs to sautéing, roasting, and braising. He devotes a chapter to 20 fundamentals and includes recipes and gorgeous full-color photographs that illustrate the technique being utilized. While these techniques may seem obvious, such as the chapter on water, Ruhlman convincingly shows that there’s more involved than simply throwing it in a pan and explains the nuances of direct and indirect cooking, cooling and freezing, and extracting flavor. The dishes he includes are absolutely scrumptious from weekday coq au vin, butter-poached shrimp with grits, and sausage and escarole soup. Additional topics covered include using acid, butter, batter, sugar, and sauce as well as vinaigrettes, soups, and dough. While Ruhlman does explain a bit of the science involved in these techniques, he is far from dry; instead, his writing is engaging and relaxed, and he achieves the perfect balance of science and art. Thorough, clearly explained, and stunningly beautiful, this collection will appeal to cooks of all levels and will find its way to nightstands as well as kitchen shelves. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/19/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4521-1045-5
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