In this first in a new series of books focusing on cooking methods, an award-winning cookbook author, food writer, and online culinary expert explores one of the most fundamental cooking techniques: roasting.
Humankind has been roasting for millennia. The term originally referred to cooking over an open fire, usually on some kind of spit, and has evolved to describe cooking of meat or vegetables or even fruit in an oven, a "dry heat" (and usually high-heat) method of making things irresistibly appetizing.
Michael Ruhlman has developed a reputation for providing lucid, no-nonsense cooking advice as sharp as a good chef's knife. "Of all our cooking terms," Ruhlman writes, "sautéed, grilled, poached, broiled -- I believe roasted is the most evocative adjective we can attach to our food, conjuring as it does ideas of deep rich flavors and delicious browning."
Ruhlman's How to Roast combines practical advice -- what tools you need, staple ingredients to have on hand, how to get the most out of your oven -- with 20 original and mouthwatering recipes, chosen to showcase a wide range of roasting methods and results, from "The Icon" (roast chicken), to Monkfish Roasted with Tomatoes and Basil, to Roasted Peaches with Mint Créme Fraiche. Dozens of color photographs offer step-by-step illustration as well as finished-dish showpieces.
The first in a series of technique-based books from the prolific Michael Ruhlman (The Soul of a Chef) focuses on one of the oldest cooking techniques known to mankind. Beginning at the most basic level know your oven Ruhlman quickly moves on to the 21 foundational recipes that enable readers to fully understand and appreciate the technique. Opening with the holy trinity of roast recipes (roast chicken, standing rib roast, and the Thanksgiving turkey), Ruhlman clearly and patiently explains each step in detail, accompanied by helpful photographs of key steps such as trussing and serving, before moving on to other impressive meat-based dishes such as leg of lamb, pan-roasted monkfish, and duck fat roasted potatoes with onion and rosemary. Readers may be disappointed with the slim number of recipes offered, but they'll leave with a greater understanding of the technique as well as its applicability to dishes other than the expected roast chicken. Ruhlman's enthusiasm for dishes like the simple spit-roasted leg of lamb is infectious and will likely inspire a trip to the market. A fine start to what promises to be a toothsome and highly informative series.