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How to Repair Food Paperback – May 1, 1998
"Ingredienti" by Marcella Hazan and Victor Hazan
From Artichokes to Zucchini, Anchovies to Ziti, Ingredienti offers succinct and compelling advice on how to select the best ingredients. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
You won't use it very often, but when you NEED it ... when your guests are waiting, and something dreadful has happened to your masterpiece, you'll be glad this slim volume is at hand. It is packed with truly helpful, and sometimes ingenious, suggestions on how to fix just about any possible kitchen problem. Don't have enough broccoli? "Cover it up with hollandaise sauce. Everyone knows hollandaise sauce is terribly rich, so they'll eat less."
As you can see, the advice is not served plain. The authors obviously decided to have fun while writing, and the result is often startlingly funny. I read this book from cover to cover, laughing often, and learning plenty in the process. Bland mushrooms? Add marjoram. Overdone steak? "Continue cooking it until it is completely charred and use it to scratch pictures on the walls of your cave." Ketchup won't pour? Now, now, I can't be giving away ALL the authors' secrets ...
This book is really about crunch-time creativity (especially when the crunchy stuff is stuff that shouldn't be crunching). The sense of humor in the book is a bit dotty and (Julia) Childish, but it really goes out of its way to portray cooking disasters as something not to cry over, and even tells the rather sad story of the chef François Vatel and his suicide over a misunderstood fish order to make its point. It's not a book for culinary purists -- creative uses abound of convenience foods that most wannabe master chefs wouldn't normally touch -- but keep in mind the best section of your average church/school/community cookbook is probably the section on hints, tips, and substitutions, and remember that this is a whole book of that kind of thing. It's the culinary equivalent of a hospital crash cart.
Someone else said that this is something you will need mainly in emergencies. Well, that's pretty much true, but it's still a good book to pull off the shelf and just read, both for the information and the jokes. It also has the bonus of including a complete (rather sophisticated) meal made entirely with "spare parts" ingredients and instructions on dealing with balky equipment. Good stuff, and should be on every cook's bookshelf, not just the ones who need it most.
I do wish that this book were larger; I’m sure there’s so much more that could be covered. However, despite its small size (134 pages, roughly 5×8.5″), this book manages to cover a great deal of ground. The recipes are all quick & easy little things that you can throw together in no time flat. Many of them are ways to fix broken recipes – for example, the “timbale d’asperges” recipe is one of their suggestions for how to handle overcooked asparagus.
The “Eggs, Boiled” entry starts with “cracked before cooking.” Believe it or not, you can wrap the egg in foil and twist the ends to keep it shut, then boil as normal and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. The entry goes on to address “cracked during cooking,” “crumbly, difficult to slice,” “difficult to peel,” “discoloring” (both prevention and cure!), “off-center yolks” (prevention only), “too many” and “undercooked.” Many entries even have suggestions for when you discover you don’t have enough of something, and the bacon entry tells you what to do if it catches on fire!
The authors always do their best, where possible, to address both prevention methods and curatives. That way you can fix the mess you already have on your hands, and then avoid it the next time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who doesn't need this book????? We have all done it. We have all made culinary mistakes - some minor and some that became legendary. This book saves the day.Published 24 months ago by Robert Winter
Was disappointed in first book because did not tell any thing to do with to salty meat loaf and blan green beans. Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by epagames
We give this book at bridal showers all the time -- and everyone at the shower always wants to take a look --
it's such a fun book AND genuinely helpful with problems most of... Read more
Very neat book-- it is like an encyclopedia for messing up food!!! It has a ton of good info in there, and you can actually read it just for fun, theres some funny stuff in there.Published on February 21, 2006 by Billy D
I thought this book was filled with witty and creative ideas for repairing food. I also learned a few new "tricks".
Every house should have one.