Synopses & Reviews
What happens if you . . .
. . . pair prosciutto with roasted pears?
. . . shave Parmesan on French fries?
. . . add pepper to a chocolate cake?
. . . pan-fry macaroni and cheese?
In The Improvisational Cook, Sally Schneider helps home cooks declare their independence from recipes and set lists of ingredients by offering a fun, more spontaneous way to cook. The secret lies in understanding the internal "logic" of a recipe and its creative possibilities.
Start with an essential dish, such as Caramelized Onions. Following Schneider's clear advice, it can become a savory onion jam; a real onion dip; a quick bruschetta topping with anchovies and olives; or a rustic onion soup with dried porcini mushrooms—all in just a step or two.
The possibilities are endless. Prepare a savory lemon jam to go with lamb or veal chops, or turn it into a cake filling. Roast a whole lobster instead of a fish in a salt crust. Add minced rosemary or Earl Grey tea to butter cookie dough. Turn a brownie batter into an elegant, pepper-scented chocolate cake.
Schneider gives cooks the know-how to embellish, adapt, change, alter, modify, and experiment in their cooking with plenty of encouragement and helpful information. Here are the tools and insights everyone needs to find his or her own voice in the kitchen—from where to get inspiration, to learning "what goes with what," to pantry staples that make improvising easy.
“...teaching the reader to think like a chef.” O Magazine
“Schneider weans home cooks off their training wheels and provides a springboard from which they can leap out of the box, craft their own distinctive dishes, and let their new instinctive and creative juices flow.”
Everyday meat loaf, roast chicken, and cornbread become inspired new dishes in the hands of The Improvisational Cook. Sally Schneider, bestselling author of A New Way to Cook, encourages home chefs to be creative and daring, to “cook out of the box,” in order to create their own culinary magic. Encouraging freedom from strict recipes and set lists of ingredients, The Improvisational Cook is the ideal cookbook for anyone who has ever considered pairing prosciutto with roasted peaches or putting parmesan on french fries.
About the Author
Sally Schneider is the author of A New Way to Cook, recently named one of "the Best Food Books of the Decade" by the Guardian, and founding editor of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle Web site. A former chef, Schneider is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table. She has written for numerous publications, including Food & Wine, Saveur, Real Simple, Metropolitan Home, and Self. Schneider has won four James Beard awards and two IACP awards for her books and magazine writing.