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Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America Hardcover – September 30, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This superbly organized, stripped-down offspring of the CIA's New Professional Chef has the no-nonsense tone that results when dozens of teachers collaborate on a serious project: "Keep the blades of your knives sharp and well honed"; "Don't be tempted to leave the fish in the marinade for longer than 30 minutes." It's a refreshing sobriety amid the current mania for anecdotes in the home-cooking market. Less French than most school-driven texts, the book emphasizes basic techniques, from saut‚ing and roasting to portioning a chicken and making pasta. The recipe selections were edited with an equally heavy but sure hand: Puree of Split Pea, Roast Chicken with Pan Gravy, Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms, Gnocchi with Herbs and Butter. Each has an unobtrusive sidebar pointing out the relevant techniques (seeding tomatoes, melting chocolate). Even less familiar or more complex recipes-Roast Goose with Apple-Prune Sauce, Mole Poblano de Pollo, Steamed Cod with Gingered Hoisin Sauce-rely on sure-fire methods. Since pasta is a mainstay of home cooking, the carbonara-primavera-puttanesca trinity puts in an obligatory appearance, along with various types of ravioli and lasagne. Desserts are mostly of the simple showstopper variety: Chocolate Mousse and several classic cooking-school souffles. Look elsewhere, however, for game, sweetbreads, bread and pastry. Copiously photographed and filled with impressive-looking tables and charts (including 10 pages of weight/volume equivalents and temperature charts), this makes an ideal book for committed starting cooks, as well as culinary overachievers who occasionally need reminding of the basics.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

With this revised edition of the Culinary Institute of America’s basic cookbook for the nonprofessional, the nation’s leading culinary academy reemphasizes and updates the principles of kitchen organization, which they teach in their classes and which they deem foundational for anyone who wants to cook well. Recipes may be as simple as creamed corn or as complex as a compound dish of squid, mussels, beans, spinach, and pancetta. Few ethnic cuisines are overlooked, and their most typical dishes get full attention. Even such specialized tastes as Tunisian harissa and Chinese ma po tofu are represented. Illustrations make plain such principles as the proper carving of a roast turkey and offer visual examples of ideal outcomes for many recipes. As cooks gain confidence, the book helps them adapt a recipe’s ingredients and create dozens of equally tasty variations to take optimum advantage of seasonal produce. --Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (September 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047145043X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471450436
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
`Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America' aims to arm the amateur cook with many of the tools of the professional and communicate the things which inspire a professional chef and set them apart from the amateur. The book comes to us with the authority of the foremost culinary school in the country and the aura of being a textbook with which it may seem to be sacrilege to take issue. This book does many very good things, but in popularizing it's subject, it does loose some depth and credibility.
The book does several very good things that almost entirely outweigh its few blemishes.
The first valuable lesson from this book is its characterization of the way students of professional cooking come to think about their vocation and its materials. In this way, the book can make you a more successful cook by adapting professional methods. The heart of the matter is to `learn to think critically about cooking' and `learn how to look at, touch, smell, and taste a dish to judge whether it is coming together'. A professional cook knows how to rescue a recipe when a step fails or an ingredient is unavailable. They know what Alton Brown calls the map of culinary facts and techniques, which surround recipes, and explains how they work. That is not to say that this book deals with culinary science a la Shirley Corriher. The terms `acid' and `gluten' don't even appear in the index.
The second valuable type of lesson in this book is the descriptions of general techniques and the explanations for how they work. An example is in the technique for preparing stocks where the book explains that flavors are extracted from vegetables within an hour after adding them to the simmering stock water.
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Format: Hardcover
Lavishly and instructively illustrated, this teaching book presents, in words and pictures, step-by-step instructions for everything from making spice sachets and pureeing soups to carving a roasted chicken and filleting a fish. It even shows various ways of cutting vegetables, preparing garlic, cleaning leeks and mushrooms.
A thorough primer, it starts with a discussion of tools, techniques and pantry ingredients, advocates an organized mindset, and proceeds in the same patient, simple manner through each course, discussing market choices and preparation, many illustrated. Easy-to-follow recipes build technique and repertoire, from Onion Soup Gratinee and Thai Hot and Sour Soup to Southern Fried Chicken, Roast Goose with Pan Gravy, Grilled Lamb with Mango Chutney and Beef Tenderloin with Mushrooms.
There are stir-fries, curries and classic continental and American dishes, all with painstaking directions. Side notes offer tips and direct the cook to basic cooking instructions elsewhere in the book. A masterful, handsome, endlessly useful and encouraging book for the beginner.
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Format: Hardcover
I love to cook. I was rummaging around in Borders one day and found this book in the discount section. Because it's from the CIA, I thought that it would likely be a great basics cookbook to add to my collection so I grabbed it and brought it home.

It is pretty basic, but I never use it. I am far more likely to pull down my copy of the Joy of Cooking or Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food. I think it's because some of the sections are really copy-heavy and the layout tends to be in more of a longer paragraph rather than bullets. I know that sound odd, but I don't like to feel like I'm reading a novel when I'm reading a cookbook - break it down for me. There are also very few quick, easy recipes in the book. I'm all for slaving over a dish for a few hours, but my favorite cookbooks have a balance between the quick and easy and the "I get a gold star for cooking this damn thing" recipes.

For the recipes that I have made (citrus roasted beets or the spinach and arugala salad), they have turned out well. But for me, the types of recipes and overall layout makes this book more likely to be out on my coffee table with a bit of dust on it, then laying open on my kitchen counter with oil or flour staining the pages.
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Format: Hardcover
I love the way this book has sections in the beginning of each chapter with such basics as boning a chicken or making rich pan gravy. I made the Beef Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms twice and all I can say is WOW!! My family loved it and the leftovers were gone in a day. My next venture is Cream of Broccoli Soup which sounds really yummy. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to make great meals without having to search all over for strange ingredients. Your grocery store should have anything you need.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Over the last number of years, the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, capitalizing on its name and reputation, has published over 50 cookbooks focused on different themes from PRESERVING, CHOCOLATES AND CONFECTIONS, BAKING AND PASTRY, MATH FOR THE PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN, CULINARY MATH, GARDE MANGER, HORS D-OEUVRES and FROZEN DESERTS. My favorite reference from CIA is my copy of THE PROFESSIONAL CHEF. What CIA authors historically have done best is explain techniques, use of equipment, ingredients and measure.

However by targeting so many different sub-segments and micro-segments they run the risk (as they have done here) of running thin and falling short on the mark. When you forget your purpose and audience, one leaves room for others to provide more useful and interesting compilation of recipes. Here, CIA has produced a reasonable but dry collection of recipes to use at home. Standbys for the novice, hurried cook but -- little inspiration and even fewer signature dishes and flavors for demanding families like mine. I am sympathetic to their financial pressures. They have one of the biggest libraries in the world of this kind. They give scholarships. They are important contributors.

If you are looking for home recipes that your family will ask you to cook again and again, you may be disappointed. Regrettably, this is more likely a cookbook that will remain dusty on my shelf.

Among my family's favorites, and I think more interesting books for the home novice to intermediate chef, are STAFF MEALS FROM CHANTERELLE, Arthur Schwartz's WHAT TO COOK and America's Test Kitchen SIMPLE WEEKNIGHT FAVORITES.

I like CIA. I hope the editorial and publishing staffs will take notice. For me, the revised edition of COOKING AT HOME WITH THE CULINARY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA is Disappointingly, not an Essential CIA book.
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