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1 Burnside Cooking and Food- Culinary Reference

How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science

by

How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"What sets this book most clearly apart from others of its kind is the quality of its recipes, which show Parsons's own taste for a very of-the-moment style of cooking, one emphasizing freshness and the strong flavors of Italian and Mexican food especially." Corby Kummer, The Atlantic (Click here to read the entire Atlantic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Why can you stick your hand into a 450-degree oven but not into 212-degree boiling water without burning it? Why does fish taste different from meat? Why do you cook pork differently from beef? Why should you always start cooking dried beans in cold water, not warm? Why should you never cook a Vidalia onion? What's the only kind of marinade that's really an effective tenderizer? Why is strawberry-rhubarb a good combination, scientifically speaking? And why don't potatoes fried in fresh oil ever brown completely, no matter how long they're cooked? "Cooking is full of questions that science can help you answer, questions that can make you a better cook," writes the award-winning Los Angeles Times food editor, Russ Parsons.

In this entertaining book packed with fascinating tidbits, Parsons explores the science behind such basic cooking methods as chopping, mixing, frying, roasting, boiling, and baking. You'll learn why soaking beans can't offset their gaseous effects, why green vegetables shouldn't be cooked under a lid for long, which fruits you can buy unripe and which you should buy fully ripened, which thickener to choose for your turkey gravy, which piecrust is foolproof for a beginner.

Along the way, Parsons slips in hundreds of cooking tips, provocative trivia, and touches of wit that make his scientific explanations go down smoothly. He also includes more than a hundred recipes that deliciously exemplify the principles he describes, from Tuscan Potato Chips and Crisp-Skinned Salmon on Creamy Leeks and Cabbage to Chocolate Pots de Creme and Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake.

Review:

"In this unique book, Los Angeles Times food editor Parsons combines complex science (rendered accessible to lay readers), workable cooking techniques, and excellent recipes....A truly valuable resource for the serious cook, with excellent recipes to boot, this deserves a wide audience, but its vague title may perplex potential readers." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Russ Parsons not only unravels some of the intrigue of the kitchen but, in entertainment fashion, shows us why this understanding matters. The great recipes are a bonus and make How to Read a French Fry invaluable." Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist and author of How to Cook Everything

Review:

"Mouthwatering recipes, fascinating information and charming commentary." Paula Wolfert, author of Mediterranean Grains and Greens

Review:

"Russ Parsons knows that the best cooking comes from a genuine understanding of basic techniques, and he illuminates them here with lively writing and smart recipes. This is an unlikely creation: a kitchen-science book that makes you hungry, and it's also a cookbook that teaches, from an authority on food and cooking." Thomas Keller, chef and owner of the French Laundry and author of The French Laundry Cookbook

Review:

"With passion and enthusiasm, Russ Parsons explains the science behind kitchen common sense, then illustrates it with recipes. His book makes me feel smarter and more in control. As if that's not enough, the recipes are some of the most appealing ever." Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Review:

"If you want to know why onions make you cry, are terrified by hollandaise or curious to find out why good cooks add old oil to new, this is the book for you. The recipes not only tell you the what, but also the why. I learned a lot." Ruth Reichl, editor and chief, Gourmet

Book News Annotation:

Parsons (the food editor of the Los Angeles Times) has written a book that explains in detail the science behind food and its cooking. We learn about such things as gluten, water, and cellulose, what they do and why, and how to make the essential elements work for us in the kitchen. Many recipes are included, which are undoubtedly tasty, though they refer to scientific details we've never bothered to wonder about.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

In a book widely hailed for its entertaining prose and provocative research, the award-winning Los Angeles Times food journalist Russ Parsons examines the science behind ordinary cooking processes. Along the way he dispenses hundreds of tips and the reasons behind them, from why you should always begin cooking beans in cold water, to why you should salt meat before sautéing it, to why it's a waste of time to cook a Vidalia onion. Filled with sharp-witted observations ("Frying has become synonymous with minimum-wage labor, yet hardly anyone will try it at home"), intriguing food trivia (fruit deprived of water just before harvest has superior flavor to fruit that is irrigated up to the last moment ), and recipes (from Oven-Steamed Salmon with Cucumber Salad to Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake), How to Read a French Fry contains all the ingredients you need to become a better cook.

Synopsis:

In this witty book, "Los Angeles Times" food editor Russ Parsons explores the science behind basic cooking methods--mixing, frying, roasting, boiling, and baking. Along the way, he slips in little-known facts and useful cooking tips. Parsons also includes more than 100 recipes that deliciously exemplify the principles he explains.

About the Author

RUSS PARSONS is the food and wine columnist of the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of the best-selling How to Read a French Fry, a winner of multiple James Beard Awards for his journalism, and the recipient of the IACP/Bert Greene Award for distinguished writing. He lives in California, which produces more than half of the fruits and vegetables grown in this country. He has been writing about food and agriculture for more than twenty years.

Table of Contents

Contents

Recipes x Introduction 1 One How to Read a French Fry 9 Two The Second Life of Plants 47 Three Miracle in a Shell 123 Four From a Pebble to a Pillow 149 Five Meat and Heat 217 Six Fat, Flour and Fear 285 Index 313

Product Details

ISBN:
9780395967836
Subtitle:
and Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science
Author:
Parsons, Russ
Publisher:
Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Location:
Boston
Subject:
General
Subject:
Cookery
Subject:
Culinary Arts & Techniques
Subject:
Food Science
Subject:
Methods - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
no. PR03
Publication Date:
May 2001
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » General

How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780395967836 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "What sets this book most clearly apart from others of its kind is the quality of its recipes, which show Parsons's own taste for a very of-the-moment style of cooking, one emphasizing freshness and the strong flavors of Italian and Mexican food especially." (Click here to read the entire Atlantic review)
"Review" by , "In this unique book, Los Angeles Times food editor Parsons combines complex science (rendered accessible to lay readers), workable cooking techniques, and excellent recipes....A truly valuable resource for the serious cook, with excellent recipes to boot, this deserves a wide audience, but its vague title may perplex potential readers."
"Review" by , "Russ Parsons not only unravels some of the intrigue of the kitchen but, in entertainment fashion, shows us why this understanding matters. The great recipes are a bonus and make How to Read a French Fry invaluable."
"Review" by , "Mouthwatering recipes, fascinating information and charming commentary."
"Review" by , "Russ Parsons knows that the best cooking comes from a genuine understanding of basic techniques, and he illuminates them here with lively writing and smart recipes. This is an unlikely creation: a kitchen-science book that makes you hungry, and it's also a cookbook that teaches, from an authority on food and cooking."
"Review" by , "With passion and enthusiasm, Russ Parsons explains the science behind kitchen common sense, then illustrates it with recipes. His book makes me feel smarter and more in control. As if that's not enough, the recipes are some of the most appealing ever."
"Review" by , "If you want to know why onions make you cry, are terrified by hollandaise or curious to find out why good cooks add old oil to new, this is the book for you. The recipes not only tell you the what, but also the why. I learned a lot."
"Synopsis" by ,
In a book widely hailed for its entertaining prose and provocative research, the award-winning Los Angeles Times food journalist Russ Parsons examines the science behind ordinary cooking processes. Along the way he dispenses hundreds of tips and the reasons behind them, from why you should always begin cooking beans in cold water, to why you should salt meat before sautéing it, to why it's a waste of time to cook a Vidalia onion. Filled with sharp-witted observations ("Frying has become synonymous with minimum-wage labor, yet hardly anyone will try it at home"), intriguing food trivia (fruit deprived of water just before harvest has superior flavor to fruit that is irrigated up to the last moment ), and recipes (from Oven-Steamed Salmon with Cucumber Salad to Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake), How to Read a French Fry contains all the ingredients you need to become a better cook.
"Synopsis" by , In this witty book, "Los Angeles Times" food editor Russ Parsons explores the science behind basic cooking methods--mixing, frying, roasting, boiling, and baking. Along the way, he slips in little-known facts and useful cooking tips. Parsons also includes more than 100 recipes that deliciously exemplify the principles he explains.
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