by Kate Heyhoe
I am a Pampered Chef Kitchen Consultant and I love my job. During my Kitchen Classes I would love to offer great cooking and kitchen tips. Can you recommend any books that contain such. Thanks in advance.
Food writers like myself swear by Sharon Tyler Herbst's books, The New Food Lover's Companion (Barron's) and The Food Lover's Tiptionary (Hearst). The first one has over 4000 definitions for food, wine and cooking, including handy tips for selecting produce, a measurement conversions chart and substitutions list. Her Tiptionary is also organized alphabetically, with over 4500 tips on topics starting with Abalone and ending with Zucchini.
Released in late 1997, Shirley Corriher's Cookwise (William Morrow) is already considered by many to be a classic. She explains the hows and why's of successful cooking, so you can learn the reasons why things work or don't work, such as why the bread didn't rise, how much starch to use in a gravy, how fruits ripen, etc. It includes 250 recipes, each with a "What This Recipe Shows" notation.
Below is a sample recipe from Cookwise.
makes 2 servings
When I can't grill, I prefer pan searing to broiling. You can get a hard, dark brown, sweet-flavored crust and a pink-red, juicy center. For those who cook with limited facilities, a good pan-seared steak is a godsend. You just need a burner and a heavy, unlined skillet such as cast-iron that can take high temperatures without warping or damaging. Serve with a baked potato with a little blue cheese, a good salad such as Mixed Greens with Walnuts and Crusty French Bread.
What This Recipe Shows
Having the surface of the pan very hot before adding the meat helps prevent sticking.
Salt draws the juice from the meat surface, adding proteins and sugars to the surface and reducing its moisture content for better browning
2 1-inch-thick rib eye, sirloin strip, or other steaks of your choice
Heat an empty, heavy unlined skillet almost smoking hot (see Note). Sprinkle the salt over the bottom to cover thinly. Drop the steaks into the hot pan. Sear over high 3 minutes, turn steaks over, and sear until you see beads of moisture (juices) coming through the steak crust (about 3 minutes). This time will give you a medium-rare steak. Serve immediately.
Note: Be sure to use an unlined skillet since the high heat will damage a lining. Fat and juices from the steaks really smoke when they hit the hot pan. Have a ventilator fan on or a window open, or you'll set off your smoke alarm. You could, of course, grill or broil your steaks.
by Shirley O. Corriher
William Morrow $28.50, hardback
Reprinted by permission.
This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.
Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified January 2007
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