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Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealedby Shirley O. Corriher
Part scientist, part cook, and all storyteller, Shirley Corriher gives you the tools you need to 'fiddle' with a recipe. She gives cause and effect of ingredients, techniques, and methods for your culinary science experiments. Whether your dish succeeds or fails, you'll know why.
Truly for the foodie, this book is a wonderful find. Shirley Corriher deconstructs in an easy-to-understand manner the science behind our daily cooking endeavors. Ever wish your pie crust was just a bit flakier, or your roast more tender? Corriher explains how our food cooks or doesn't and what you can do to achieve the exact final product you desire. I read this book in bed at night from cover to cover (well not all in one night!) definitely my idea of a real page-turner!
Synopses & Reviews
Can you tell whether a recipe will work before you cook it? You can if you really know what's cooking.
In the long-awaited CookWise, food sleuth Shirley Corriher tells you how and why things happen in cooking. When you know how to estimate the right amount of baking powder, you can tell by looking at the recipe that the cake is overleavened and may fall. When you know that too little liquid for the amount of chocolate in a recipe can cause the chocolate to seize and become a solid grainy mass, you can spot chocolate truffle recipes that will be a disaster. And, in both cases, you know exactly how to "fix" the recipe. Knowing how ingredients work, individually and in combination, will not only make you more aware of the cooking process, but transform you into a confident and exceptional cook — a cook who is in control.
CookWise is a different kind of cookbook. There are over 230 outstanding recipes — from Snapper Fingers with Smoked Pepper Tartar Sauce to Chocolate Stonehenge Slabs with Cappuccino Mousse — but here each recipe serves not only to please the palate but to demonstrate the roles of ingredients and techniques. A What This Recipe Shows section summarizes the special cooking points being demonstrated in each recipe. This little bit of science in everyday language indicates which steps or ingredients are vital and cannot be omitted without consequences.
Among the recipes you'll also find some surprises. Don't be afraid of a vinaigrette prepared without vinegar or a high-egg-white, crisp pâte â choux. Many of the concepts used here are Shirley's own. Try her method of sprinkling croissant or puff pastry dough with ice water before folding to keep it soft and easy to roll.
CookWise covers everything from the rise and fall of cakes, through unscrambling the powers of eggs and why red cabbage turns blue during cooking but red peppers don't, to the essential role of crystals in making fudge. Want to learn about what makes a crust flaky? Try the Big-Chunk Fresh Apple Pie in Flaky cheese Crust. Discover for yourself what brining does to poultry in Juicy Roast Chicken.
No matter what your cooking level, you'll find CookWise a revelation. Different people will use CookWise in different ways:
CookWise is not only informative, it's engrossing, and many sections react like a mystery story. The knowledge you gain from its pages will transform you, too, into a food sleuth, an informed and assured cook who can track down why sauces curdle or why the muffins were dry — a cook who will never prepare a failed recipe again!
Offering “the hows and whys of successful cooking,” Cookwise, by well-known food writer and culinary sleuth Shirley O. Corriher, tells you how and why things happen in the course of food preparation. The more than 230 outstanding recipes featured not only please the palate, but demonstrate the various roles of ingredients and techniques—making Cookwise an invaluable reference for anyone who has ever wanted to improve on a recipe, make a cake moister, or a roast chicken juicier.
In "CookWise", Shirley Corriher, the "Sherlock Holmes of cooking", reveals the astonishing drama set in motion every time a potato hits hot fat to become a French fry or the oven's heat bakes the outside of a chicken into a caramel crust. "Corriher is a true original--an experienced cook and teacher who also happens to be a trained chemist and a great storyteller".--Harold McGee. 235 recipes. Illustrations. of color photos.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 480-491) and index.
About the Author
Shirley O. Corriher, national and international speaker, food writer, and culinary food sleuth, solves problems for everyone from large corporations, food editors, and test-kitchen chefs to home cooks. For ten years, Shirley was a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and Tribune Media Services. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Arch.
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