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The Kitchen Detective: A Culinary Sleuth Solves Common Cooking Mysteries with 150 Foolproof Recipes. Hardcover – August 15, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You have probably run into Christopher Kimball before, as founder/publisher/editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine, or host of public television's America's Test Kitchen, or maybe as author of The Dessert Bible, The Cook's Bible, or The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook. Kimball probably grew up spending all of Christmas morning taking apart his presents to see how they worked. And he's never stopped.

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

Kimball, founder and editor of Cook's Illustrated Magazine, supplies his usual informative and detailed findings to help home cooks solve cooking dilemmas associated with many popular dishes. Following the style used by the Cook's Illustrated team, and defining what he considers the necessary essence of the finished dish, he takes readers on a journey of discovery through the methods, variations and experiments to the resulting finished recipe. While such detailed accounts may not be for everyone, they provide an interesting insight to the whys of the finished dish. Along the way Kimball covers the techniques needed to cook well, from searing, as with Quick and Easy Steak au Poivre, to high-roasting, which is used to great effect in the Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinegar, to measuring flour for baking. Interspersed are panels of fascinating hints, forthright opinions and tidbits culled from his extensive knowledge on, for example, the equivalents of salt or the use of just a sprig of thyme, whereby he likens employing one sprig to "adding a can of coke to a swimming pool." Running the gamut from starters to dessert, the selection of recipes chosen reflects Kimball's eclectic tastes to provide a very personal collection that will appeal to those who like to know the why as well as the what.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen (August 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936184701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936184708
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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on March 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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on March 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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on June 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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