From Publishers Weekly
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 précis of a lifetime's devotion to the kitchen, this is an invaluable addition to food literature. (Nov.)
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“Mr. McGee might have called this encyclopedic work "The Kitchen Home Companion," since it offers indispensable
information on how to make the most of any recipe—a user's manual that enables home cooks to achieve maximum results… the enjoyment it affords will be found on the table.” — Wall Street Journal"If you want to know virtually anything about the "why" of cooking, read Harold McGee. Along the way, he'll teach you the "how."
— ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
“McGee’s writing is broad, yet detailed at the same time, scientific, but comprehensible.”
— CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR“A great addition to any cookbook library.
It picks up where many cookbooks leave off. The "How's" and "Why's" of a dish's success - or failure - are often a mystery, but McGee sheds light on many of those mysteries to make us more informed in the kitchen and ultimately, better cooks.” — SEATTLE WEEKLY
“McGee will banish any romantic notions about cooking with his fast-draw expertise… With an eminently pragmatic approach to cooking and a user-friendly précis of a lifetime’s devotion to the kitchen, this is an invaluable addition to food literature.”
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY