Synopses & Reviews
When it comes to food, Linda Carucci is at the top of her class. As a cooking instructor with more than 20 years of food industry experience, no one is more qualified than Linda to reveal the indispensable everyday secrets and shortcuts that professional chefs use constantly in their cooking. Each of the more than 100 sensational recipessoups and salads, pasta and risotto, main courses and side dishes, plus indulgent dessertsoffers truly useful guidelines and tips. What is a chinois and why will this make homemade chicken stock better? Why are Turkish bay leaves preferable to the California variety? What cut of meat will ensure the most flavorful pork chop? Why is a marinade essential when grilling a flank steak? Why should granita be frozen in a square, rather than round, pan? The recipes go from down-home good and simple-to-prepare favorites (Tomato Cheddar Soup, Spaghetti and Meatballs) to guest-worthy, look-what-I-can-do feasts (Double-Crusted Timpano, Rack of Lamb). Clear illustrations show techniques such as how to cut the skin from a salmon fillet and slice basil into a chiffonade (and what is a chiffonade anyway?). Add to that a myriad of user-friendly charts (recommended temperatures for meat doneness; typical cuts of poultry, meat, and pork), menus, and resources, and any new cookas well as the not-so-new oneswill quickly find that going back to school is way more fun (and delicious) than they ever remembered.
"Carucci has no TV program or series of books to her name. She is, foremost, a teacher who has worked her way through the ranks of culinary America for 20 years. Trained at the California Culinary Academy, she went on to become one of the IACP's Cooking Teachers of the Year. If this first cookbook is any indication, that was a well-deserved honor. There's much to learn here, and Carucci presents the information clearly without dumbing it down, whether she's addressing the crucial roles of salt and butter or the fact that an enzyme in some people's saliva makes cilantro taste, to them, like soap. The first 50 pages cover cooking basics and dig into topics like understanding the palate and using knives. Drawings throughout illustrate such feats as slitting squid and butterflying boneless chicken breasts. Of the 100 recipes offered, the best combine Carucci's formal training with her Italian ancestry. There are cinematic mega-dishes like Double-Crusted Timpano with Fusilli, Ricotta, and Tender Little Meatballs; staples like Chicken Cacciatore, and Braised Calamari in Red Sauce; and four different risottos. Adventuresome dishes include Vietnamese-Style Honey-Glazed Pork Skewers, and Turkey Mole, with over two dozen ingredients. Chocolate appears not only in that mole but also in a handful of rich desserts like Devil's Food Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache. However, the greatest pleasures are the scores of tips and secrets alluded to in the title. 'Beware of scallops that look pure white.' 'Potatoes cook evenly if you start with cold water.' Who knew? (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Packed with more than 100 recipes, dozens of technique illustrations and a myriad of charts, menus, and cooking tips, this volume teaches the reader to cook, recipe by recipe. The author, dean of the California Culinary Academy, has been awarded Cooking Teacher of the Year by the IACP.
About the Author
Linda Carucci is an award- winning cooking teacher, chef, and culinary consultant. She was presented with the Cooking Teacher of the Year Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In addition to teaching classes in the San Francisco Bay Area, Linda is the Julia Child Curator of Food Arts for Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California.