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What to Cook & How to Cook It Hardcover – October 20, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. UK food writer Hornby's voluminous compendium of culinary classics deserves to make the short list for novice cooks interested in learning how to make the basics from scratch. Over the course of the book's 400-plus pages, Hornby guides readers through everyday favorites like Huevos Rancheros, Lasagna, Paella, chicken wings and blue cheese dip, and apple pie. Though there are the occasional minor variations on classic recipes (a bay leaf is added to milk simmering for mac and cheese), Hornby's by-the-book approach to everyday eating is a terrific resource for those with a taste for tradition. Each dish is accompanied by step-by-step photos, ensuring those cooking along with the author will be able to pull off Cinnamon Rolls, a Chocolate Truffle Cake, or Shrimp Pad Thai with confidence. While thoughtful, this approach can veer into the extreme (assembling an antipasti plate or making a BLT?), but it's a vital component of creating more complicated fare like Eggs Benedict or Roast Beef & Yorkshire Puddings (she is British, after all). More experienced cooks are likely to find the dishes rather elementary, but those curious about how to prepare a Margherita pizza or beef stew will find this a terrific guide.

Review

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"A Gen Y Nigella Lawson" – Glamour

"UK food writer Hornby’s voluminous compendium of culinary classics deserves to make the short list for novice cooks interested in learning how to make the basics from scratch. Over the course of the book’s 400‐plus pages, Hornby guides readers through everyday favorites like Huevos Rancheros, Lasagna, Paella, chicken wings and blue cheese dip, and apple pie. Though there are the occasional minor variations on classic recipes (a bay leaf is added to milk simmering for mac and cheese), Hornby’s by‐the‐book approach to everyday eating is a terrific resource for those with a taste for tradition. . . a terrific guide." – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"One of the most heavily illustrated cookbooks of all time – Nothing’s left to chance and everything is beautifully explained – It could just be the best book for novice cooks ever." – Westside

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (October 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714859583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714859583
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is great for anyone learning how to cook or even people who have been cooking for a while. Its very neat and the pictures are great. All the recipes include pictures from the start of the meal to the end. Ms. Hornby also took the time to show all the ingredients and what it would look like for the homecook. Most of the ingredients can be found in the supermarket or farmer's market. The recipes are economical and thats great in a cookbook. Here is a list of how the book is set up

Introduction:
Tips on how to make recipes work for you. Basic kitchen equipment like knives, roasting pan and food processor. Next is ingredients, shopping tips and basic pantry.

Breakfast & Brunch:
Smoothies, cinnamon rolls, eggs( eggs benedict and scrambled eggs), muffins, french toast, huevos rancheros, pancakes and corncakes.

Light Lunches:
Ham Cheese Sandwich, warm goat cheese salad, spicy vegetable soup, couscous& harissa salad, warm goat cheese& beet salad, chicken caesar salad, chicken &corn quesadilias, BLT sandwich and shrimp & mushroom laksa.

Simple Suppers:
Chicken stir-fry, mushroom risotto, thai curry with beef, lamb chops and mint salad, cheeseburgers, breaded fish and tartar sauce, macaroni& cheese, sausage and mashed potatoes with onion gravy, stuffed chicken with tomatoes and arugula, shrimp pad thai, cajun chicken and pineapple salsa and penne with tomato/olive sauce.

Food for sharing:
Sticky BBQ ribs, stuffed potato skins, chicken wings and blue cheese dip, antipasti with tapenade and tomato bruschetta, cheese nachos and guacamole, hummus with marinated olives and pitas, chicken tikka and raita lettuce cups, pizza margherita and chicken satay.
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Format: Hardcover
I saw this book, in, of all places, URBAN OUTFITTERS.

This is a new, delightfully laid-out and easily understandable cookbook which proceeds on the assumption that everyone is new to cooking.
I have not seen a book like this one, where each step of a recipe is photographed. For example, with Coq au Vin, there are photos showing the vegetables, then the slicing, then the chicken, when to put the wine in, etc.

The calm and articulate prose that accompanies the recipes is noteworthy for its gentle but authoritative ability to reassure the cook.

It's true that the internet has made recipe finding easy. But a book like "What to Cook and How to Cook It" is something one will have for years, and is as essential to a kitchen as salt, knives, butter and water.
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Format: Hardcover
I cannot recommend this book enough. I love cooking but I have a hard time following many recipies in other cook books and from websites. The reason is that I am quite a visual person. I need to see what the dish should look like when you are finished. This book does that but it also takes it a number of steps further.

Every recipe is laid out from start to finish with a picture for each step. Even the ingredients are shown in their measurments to make it easier for you to see where to begin. The book also has a picture of the dish at critical points in the preparation so you can see how it should look.

The recipes are easy to follow and are not overly complicated. The recipes are also all based around food that everyone loves. Things like Chicken Pot Pie, Coc au Vin, chicken wings, BBQ ribs.

This book is great for anyone who is new to cooking and even intermediate cooks who like that visual style cookbook.
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Format: Hardcover
Many cookbooks say that they're written for people without much experience, yet they focus too much on the recipe itself and don't realize that trouble areas for beginners are in the preparation of the ingredients. Beginners often don't know if they've chopped it up right, if they've let rise long enough, how it should look, etc. Seeing beautifully photographed steps takes out the intimidation of otherwise complicated sounding recipes.

It also lets you visualize what you need to do, instead of having to repeatedly check back with the instructions, which can be tedious.

The dishes themselves aren't anything groundbreaking, or necessarily gourmet, but that's a good thing. These are practical, delicious staples that you've always wanted to make, in a cookbook that beginners will actually use.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great for beginning cooks as well as the accomplished home cook. Hornby's book is great for many reasons. To begin with; all of these Phaidon publications are stunningly beautiful books which are very well laid out and contain very vivid photographs. There is a very thorough introduction with helpful and useful information. The recipes are divided into appropriate sections which include:

Breakfast and Brunch
Light Lunches
Simple Suppers
Food for Sharing
Weekend Cooking
Side Dishes
Desserts & Baking

She also includes tips for panning a menu, a glossary and a short section which reviews basic food prep. Another really cool thing abut the actual layout is that there are a couple of ribbons attached to the spine which you can use as bookmarks for easy access to the meal you're working on, or to keep your favorite dish easily at hand.

Each and every recipe contains a short description as well and a list of ingredients. Along with the list of ingredients, there is a high quality image of the ingredients laid out beautifully. Following this introductory page, there are step by step instructions which also include what the food should look like at each stage of the preparation. How many times have you been following a recipe and come across a set of instructions which is totally vague, you're not really quite sure what to do? You think, "Is this really what it's supposed to look like?" Well, this book shows you exactly what it should look like at each stage. In addition to clear written instructions, you get a very high quality image to help along the way.

The recipes contained in Hornby's book are ones for real people. There's nothing pretentious about any of the dishes.
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