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Cooking School Secrets For Real-World Cooks Paperback – Bargain Price, May 19, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Two major attractions, for me, are the recipes - more than 100 exciting and interesting dishes, from soup to sweets. Since the author is of Italian ancestry, the emphasis here is on Italian food - but not every recipe - there's a wide variety. Many of these I don't have in my own extensive collection. And, the most unique aspect of the cookbook, and second major attraction, is the information included under tips, shortcuts and gourmet cooking secrets. I consider myself a good cook and have been creative in the kitchen for many years now, yet many of these tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, are new to me. In fact, for cookbook lovers, much of "Cooking School Secrets For Real-World Cooks" reads almost like a novel. You have to love cookbooks to understand what I mean!!
The book is divided into three major sections. The first is Cooking Basics, and while I am familiar with much of the information, I found the sections on Creative Cooking, How Cooking Changes The Texture And Flavor of Foods,. Cooking With The Seasons, and Understanding Your Palate to be of particular interest. The page layout is attractive and well organized, and there are helpful illustrations throughout.Read more ›
After an intro on the basics, from mise-en-place to plate presentation, the book is organized by course. Each chapter begins with a chart of recipes showing which are quick, make-ahead, and/or vegetarian, a "Secrets of Success" feature which offers guidelines for shopping, storing, and cooking, and a few frequently asked questions.
In addition each recipe includes more "secrets." French Onion Soup, for instance, advises a Dutch oven and European-style unsalted butter for the slow onion caramelization, a food processor for the vast quantity of onions, several methods for keeping oniony tears to a minimum, advice on cutting the bread, and the tip that onions and potatoes stored together cause each other to rot.
The amount of information is vast, but the book is so well organized it never seems overwhelming. A cooking class between covers, it includes all the basics, from stock to risotto, from brining meats to sweating vegetables, from planning a menu to picking the perfect melon. Carucci hits on safety issues in storing, cooking and cooling foods and tells which dozen fruits and vegetables should be purchased organic in order to avoid 90 percent of ingested pesticides. She doesn't shy away from recommending brands either, be it coconut oil or cookware.
Recipes like Braised Short Ribs, Poached Salmon with Shortcut Hollandaise, Turkey Mole, Wild Rice Pilaf, Polenta, Roasted Root Vegetables and Devils Food Cake lend themselves to advice that can be used in numerous other contexts. Invaluable for the beginner, this opinionated, lively book contains useful tips and ideas for cooks at any level of skill.
- Portsmouth Herald
The entire timpano dish was prepared with our guests. The receipt was easy to follow and the "professional tips" assisted us in preparing a dish that was as beautiful as it was DELICIOUS! What a great way to spending an evening . . . good company, good food and good wine.
We have tried several recepies from the book and have had excellent results each time.
Any course of education and training from a particular institution will have its prejudices, limitations, and standards. Other, competing training schools (and schools of thought) may well differ from the curriculum taught here and may well criticize and castigate these shortcomings. The important thing, you need to understand the rules and conventions of a craft or an art before you can successfully experiment with them or break them for effect (something that people like Alton Brown, Mark Bittman, and Mario Batali do all the time). And Carucci's book does an amazingly thorough and accessible job setting forth those conventions, heuristics and "secrets" in one place, in an easily absorbed format. And she offers them AS conventions and secrets, which implies that other, alternate techniques may well exists. (I didn't even know that the ratios of the ingredients in "mire poix" were an issue, for instance). So to me, this book really is a cooking school between two covers, with all the advantages and limitations that would imply.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent reference book, "for the novice or advanced cook" as stated - and you cannot beat the price (used copy, barely noticeable).Published 14 months ago by Kathy Green
I bought this book to give to my 20 something son but ended up keeping it because I liked it so much! Read morePublished 15 months ago by sharon amatetti
This book is very informative and has met all my expectations. Delivery was prompt with no problems.Published 15 months ago by Beverley Erwin
Got it for my wife. Her main complaint was the lack of imagery to accompany the tips and recipes.Published 17 months ago by J. King
the book was in pristine condition even though it was listed as used. Very happy with it!Published 17 months ago by Janet L. White
Very good book for beginners. Getting an autographed copy makes it more special!Published 17 months ago by frederick foti
This book has some great information. I liked it so much, I bought my daughters and sister a copy.Published 17 months ago by lvdesertrose