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The Kitchen Detective: A Culinary Sleuth Solves Common Cooking Mysteries with 150 Foolproof Recipes. Hardcover – August 15, 2003
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Now he does it with food, sometimes with a big support staff and test kitchens, and sometimes at home. The Kitchen Detective is Kimball's home version of taking standard recipes apart and putting them back together again, often over and over and over again, until he gets to where he wants to be, or gets to what he wants to eat. In 125 recipes and 290 or so well-illustrated pages you will learn why all salt is not the same; why that $80 cake pan isn't any better than its $4 cousin; why various ways of measuring flour can yield results that differ by as much as 25%. Kimball's the guy in the back of the class asking the cooking teacher why she's adding cream of tartar to egg whites, and making her a little nuts because, truth be told, she doesn't know. The man takes no prisoners.
This book is about getting good, familiar food on the table fast for a family. There are chapters on "Soups and Stews"; "Vegetable and Salads"; "Pasta and Grains"; "Chicken"; "Meat and Fish"; "Eggs and Morning Baking"; and "Desserts". How about Minestrone with Flavor, or Really Good Blue Cheese Dressing, or Faster, Easier Fried Chicken, or Pork Chili for Sissies, or The Best Bran Muffin? Kimball touches all the bases and hits all the high notes with The Kitchen Detective. You'll not only achieve the results you are looking for, you'll know why. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
If I'm going to spend time, money, and care on everyday recipes, rather than ambitious gambles, I want to know that the results will be worth it. I've never had a dud from a Cook's recipe unless it was clearly my fault (I didn't hear the timer, someone in the house started screaming and bleeding, etc.).
This volume is more idiosyncratic than the magazine, as maestro Christopher Kimball gives full voice like a hunting hound to his personal prejudices ("Poaching perfectly ripe fruit is insane"). He explains exactly how to make a gloriously moist, evenly roasted chicken, a batch of bran muffins worth eating, or from-the-cupboard main dishes that are ready in a flash or two, yet still memorable. If his bow-tied certitude starts getting you down, pour a glass of wine and skip to the recipes.
The gold standard for kitchen "whys" remains, in my house, Shirley Corriher's "Cookwise." I wouldn't be without it. But for day-to-day usage, "The Kitchen Detective" is guaranteed to make a cook take a different five o'clock look at the unpromising contents of one's pantry: Canned tuna as a pasta-sauce base? Gosh, it's good!
The book is divided into sections - soups, meats, dessert, and includes many helpful sidebars with interesting information about such things as the rise of Kraft Mac & Cheese or his most-used kitchen tools. Overall, this book is more than just recipes, though the recipes are all really great. The author goes through the trial and error process for you, reports on his results, and analyzes why some recipes failed and others succeeded, and gives you the knowledge you'll need to know what makes some recipes work and others turn out badly.
My only complaint about this book is Kimball's overuse of the phrase 'marriage' when referring to the combination of two ingredients, tastes, textures, etc. Someone get this man a list of synonyms.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
sound recipes to your repertoire.