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Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks: 5,000 Ingenious Kitchen Hints, Secrets, Shortcuts, and Solutions Paperback – July 7, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Organized alphabetically from "Acidity" to "Zucchini" this compendium of cooking techniques, ingredient facts and smart tips is comprehensive and prosaic. Each entry is broken down to its "Basics," with "Problem Solvers," "Time Savers," "Flavor Tips" and "Healthy Hints" that can be ignored or pressed into service as necessary. Joachim (Prevention's The Healthy Cook) includes over 1,000 full-blown recipes, mostly American standards like Pot Roast or Classic Macaroni and Cheese, though a few are more adventurous (Indian Ground Meat Kabobs made with lamb, Black Olive Tapenade). Most are quickly and easily executed, and difficult tasks like prepping artichokes are illustrated with simple drawings. Throughout the book, sidebars feature groups of related recipes such as Five Low-Fat Creamy Salad Dressings or Three Quick Dishes Using Frozen Broccoli (soup, pasta and stir-fry). A feature titled "Fascinating Facts" provides historical tidbits about food. (Peppercorns, for instance, "were once more valuable than gold.") Joachim also offers tips on setting up a kitchen, estimating food for a crowd and throwing a party. At the end of the book he includes charts listing measurement conversions, ingredient substitutes, pan sizes and, for cooks truly in crisis, phone numbers for "Holiday Hotlines" such as the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line. Gourmets will scoff at such low-brow touches (and at the general-audience prose), but kitchen novices will find the content usefully arrayed and presented. (July 11)Forecast: Rodale has staked out a middle ground between the IDS Dummies series and lush, upscale guides. Joachim, who makes frequent TV appearances, should bring some name recognition to this title, which, combined with the Rodale brand, will achieve solid sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Despite the title's hyperbole, Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks presents an encyclopedic range of simple and sound advice identifying and describing common ingredients and kitchen techniques. David Joachim offers the confused and questioning cook a helping hand with substitutions and shortcuts such as using pressure cooking to save time or browning meat in a broiler while browning vegetables in a pot before combining them in a braising pot. He also distinguishes bruschetta from crostini. Recipes illustrate specifically the use of some of Joachim's suggestions. Librarians will find this a helpful volume for answering telephone reference questions from panicky cooks. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Reprint edition (July 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579549837
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579549831
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you've gotten this far, you probably already know the premise of this book. Rather than arranging recipes and tips by course or type of food (as in most cooking books that are arranged in chapters on appetizers, breads, etc.), Joachim has given us an alphabetical listing of cooking terms and tips.
What makes it useful? It's definitely a valuable resource for new cooks. Personally, when I was starting out in my new kitchen, I hadn't the slightest clue what a reduction sauce was, and a friend sent me a recipe calling for one without explaining exactly how I was supposed to go about making it. I was saved by this book, which has a simple explanation of reduction sauces that was very easy to find. This book provides simple explanations of the cooking terms and techniques that a lot of recipe books (and friends) assume you already understand.
It's also handy when it comes to creating the last-minute menu. Murphy's Law states that you'll only have last-minute supper guests when your refrigerator is mostly empty. (Okay, so it doesn't exactly say that, but humor me.) But if I'm going to have last-minute guests and I find that I have plenty of pasta on hand, the pasta entry in this book can give me ideas on how to make a meal out of it. There is a chart listing the best types of sauces to use for each pasta shape, as well as recipes for artichoke pasta sauce, fettuccine alfredo, macaroni and beef, shell pasta with lentils, and so on and so on.
My misgiving about the book is that, as I've gotten better and better at cooking, I use it less and less often. If simple and quick homestyle cooking is your forte, you'll probably like the recipes, but they didn't work too well with my fancier tastes. All in all, I find myself picking up this book when I need to whip up something easy at the last minute, and I would highly recommend it if that's your goal. But if you're looking for something a little fancier, you're better off looking elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
An interesting concept is at the base of this book. It provides hundreds of recipes--as a part of what is described as 5,000 "ingenious kitchen hints, secrets, shortcuts, and solutions."

Coverage is from A to Z. Some examples of helpful hints. On page 3, substitutes for alcohol in recipes are noted. Instead of one tablespoon of sherry or Madeira, use one tablespoon of apple juice. Another item under A is the choice of the right apple for the right purpose. For example, Golden Delicious apples can be used for sauce, baking, salads, and eating; McIntosh apples are best for eating and sauce; and so on. And immediately after these hints, there is a nice recipe for spicy applesauce (using McIntosh apples). On page 75, for those readers addicted to Buffalo Chicken Wings, there is a recipe for Buffalo Hot Sauce. While I would prefer old-fashioned Tabasco Sauce, the recipe calls for somewhat milder hot pepper sauces, for palates that aren't as willing to burn. In addition, there are a couple recipes for using the sauce other than on chicken wings. What about making Mango Salsa? Page 268 features a simple, easy to make recipe. Polenta? Pages 377-378 provide a veritable "how to do it" mini-manual, including what to do if you err in making it (such as burning the bottom of the polenta). On Page 531, you can read how to prepare vegetables for grilling. For asparagus, snap off the tough ends and use direct heat to grill the vegetable. And so on and so on. A to Z? What about getting the zest from oranges to use in recipes? Here is one of the few places that I have run across this "how you do it" tidbit.

All in all, a very nice and useful volume.
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Format: Hardcover
If I am about to cook something that I am not completely sure about, I will spend a few seconds looking it up in this book first. My cooking has improved dramatically since I have been using this and Bittman's wonderful "How to Cook Everything," which I find to be more exhaustive than this terse treasure. Brilliant is a joy to leaf through, a reliable reference, and a wonderfully instructive kitchen guide. My dining guests are envious of the skills I have gained from this book and I am constantly tempted to try new dishes and old ones prepared in novel ways. I recommend this as the most rewarding cooking reference to reach for first.
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Format: Paperback
my girlfriend had this book on her bookshelf, new, untouched. if it had a wrapper, it would have still had it. I started to browse it while I waited to go out for dinner and I found several recipes that called my attention and were well explained. the author uses simple measurements like 1/2 cup of this or 1 cup of that, not like others that say everything in grams or used seasonings impossible to find. I also noticed the recipes looked doable for a guy like me that loves to eat well but hadn't had much practice preparing the meals. Anyway, I decided to try a few things at a time and the results were good and got better as I familiarized myself with the process. in just a few months, of mostly a weekend day, I've prepared some delicious stuff that I love to eat but thought it would be impossible for me to make it. Ah, I also like the tips, tricks and stories shared. the overnight cheesecake came out great, the double crusted apple pie... oh my mouth waters just thinking about it and relatively simple to make. I've prepared several soups including the tomato cream, the butter squash, yes,the butter squash cream, delicious! ah, my personal favorite, the french onion soup. With a little effort and wine to go with it, you'll be cooking in no time. I've already bought a new book for my college bound daughter. Von apetite. Luis
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