Every kitchen conundrum is answered in this easy-to-use volume, from the acknowledged master of the science of cooking.
A requisite countertop companion for all home chefs, Keys to Good Cooking distils the modern scientific understanding of cooking and translates it into immediately useful information. The book provides simple statements of fact and advice, along with brief explanations that help cooks understand why, and apply that understanding to other situations. Not a cookbook, Keys to Good Cooking is, simply put, a book about how to cook well. A work of astounding scholarship and originality, this is a concise and authoritative guide designed to help home cooks navigate the ever-expanding universe of recipes and ingredients and appliances, and arrive at the promised land of a satisfying dish.
No matter how creative the chef, every great dish relies on proven science, and this compendium of well-researched data is a textbook for proper food preparation. Curious Cook columnist for the New York Times and author (On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen), McGee will banish any romantic notions about cooking with his fast-draw expertise. Keys is a companion guide designed to be used in conjunction with cookbooks. With chapters devoted to Kitchen Tools, Heat and Heating Appliances, and Cooking Methods, McGee's 101 approach takes nothing for granted, but will surprise readers with lesser known insights, such as that salted water reduces the loss of flavorful and nutritious substances during boiling and that foil should not be used to wrap acidic foods or nonaluminum metal pans. McGee breaks down methods with basic tips in pan-frying, for instance, warming meats to room temperature and drying food surfaces ahead are important factors for success that are often left out of recipes. Descriptions of foods from common fruits to cultured dairy products and seed legumes are detailed but not trivially so, with McGee summarizing the safe handling, purchase and storage, preparation, and basic characteristics. With an eminently pragmatic approach to cooking and a user-friendly pr cis of a lifetime's devotion to the kitchen, this is an invaluable addition to food literature.