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Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook Hardcover – October 21, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 365 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
Imagine having Martha Stewart at your side in the kitchen, teaching you how to hold a chef’s knife, select the very best ingredients, truss a chicken, make a perfect pot roast, prepare every vegetable, bake a flawless pie crust, and much more.

In Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, you get just that: a culinary master class from Martha herself, with lessons for home cooks of all levels.

Never before has Martha written a book quite like this one. Arranged by cooking technique, it’s aimed at teaching you how to cook, not simply what to cook. Delve in and soon you’ll be roasting, broiling, braising, stewing, sautéing, steaming, and poaching with confidence and competence. In addition to the techniques, you’ll find more than 200 sumptuous, all-new recipes that put the lessons to work, along with invaluable step-by-step photographs to take the guesswork out of cooking. You’ll also gain valuable insight into equipment, ingredients, and every other aspect of the kitchen to round out your culinary education.

Featuring more than 500 gorgeous color photographs, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School is the new gold standard for everyone who truly wants to know his or her way around the kitchen.

Martha Stewart's Prime Rib Roast

Prime rib, or standing rib roast, has long been a mainstay at the holiday table (where it is often paired with Yorkshire pudding, a British specialty made from the pan juices and a simple batter of flour, eggs, and milk). As it is expensive, prime rib should be handled with extra care. It is imperative that you have an instant-read thermometer for determining the internal temperature; if allowed to cook too long, the meat will no longer be a rosy pink inside, the optimal color for any high-quality roast. Remove the roast when still rare, as it will continue to cook as it rests, rising as much as 10 degrees in 20 minutes.

Rubbing meat (as well as chicken and fish) with herbs, spices, and a bit of oil will add tremendous flavor. Here, the beef is coated with a mixture of bay leaves, sage, and orange zest, all familiar holiday flavors. Allowing the meat to "marinate" in the rub overnight deepens the flavor even more. A similar result is achieved by simply salting the meat a day or two before roasting, whereby the salt will have penetrated the meat much like a brining solution.

Larger roasts such as prime rib, crown roast, and a whole turkey are started at a high temperature (450-degrees F) to sear the meat, then the temperature is lowered after 30 minutes to prevent the outside from burning before the meat is cooked through. The exterior won't develop a crust right away, but the initial high heat gives the outside a head start so that it will be perfectly browned in the end. --Martha Stewart

Prime Rib Roast

For Rub

15 dried bay leaves, crumbled
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus several whole leaves for garnish
1/2 cup extra--virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup finely grated orange zest (from 2 to 3 oranges)

For Roast
1 three-rib prime rib of beef (about 7 pounds), trimmed and frenched

Prepare Meat

Stir together crumbled bay leaves, sage, the oil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and the orange zest in a small bowl. Season with pepper. Rub herb mixture all over the beef, coating evenly. Refrigerate overnight, covered. About 2 hours before you plan to cook the beef, remove it from the refrigerator. Place beef, fat side up, in a roasting pan and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450-degrees F.


Cook beef for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350-degrees F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat (away from bone) registers 115-degrees F to 120-degrees F (for rare), about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes longer. Let rest 20 minutes.

Carve and Serve

Slice meat away from ribs, cutting along the bones. Then, slice meat crosswise to desired thickness. Serve, garnished with whole sage leaves.

Martha Stewart is the author of dozens of bestselling books on cooking, entertaining, gardening, weddings, and decorating. She is the host of The Martha Stewart Show, the Emmy-winning, daily national syndicated program, and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which publishes several magazines, including Martha Stewart Living; and produces Martha Stewart Living Radio, channel 112 on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Stewart's trademark ability to simplify everything that seems complex or overwhelming in domestic life serves her well in this excellent foundation course in cooking techniques. Like Stewart herself, its pages exude authority along with accessibility, with numerous helpful checklists, charts and boxed tips artfully arranged throughout the numbered lessons that build from essentials such as roasting chicken perfectly or wilting leafy greens just so to more involved, less frequently used methods featured as extra credit, such as grinding and binding meat into paté or producing a peerless vegetable puree. Each technique is illustrated by numerous stylish yet instructive photos, and accompanied by a few carefully selected recipes and variations that successfully aim to familiarize cooks with a basic procedure without inundating them with the full range of possibilities right away. They will also appreciate Stewart's concise but enlightening introductions to each chapter and the lessons within, For new cooks looking to establish a core set of kitchen skills as well as for those just looking to brush up or to have a ready reference to cooking fundamentals, this impressive volume will be an ideal choice. Color photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; First Edition edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307396444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307396440
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.6 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Toni VINE VOICE on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This will be a wonderful book to add to your kitchen shelf of cookbooks, whether you own a couple or hundreds, because Martha, and Company, have put everything you need to keep yourself current and educated on kitchen abilities, into one great lavish book.

Looking back at when Martha began her career in domestic-keeping instructions and education, she wanted quality in photography and instructions. Though some of the recipes back in those early days may have been a bit weak, as time has given way to insight of what her followers want, as well as now having greater access to resources, assistance, and proofing, to those who enjoy domestic skills, as many of her fans certainly do, she has come full circle, and become appreciatively demanding in clarity and instruction. This is has never been more obvious than in this latest tome.

This heavy book of 502 pages makes a excellent source of hints, tips, and instruction in the kitchen. She, and her talented staff, have brought forth one of the more definitive tomes that will be within easy reach and understanding.

As in most cookbooks and instruction manuals, you need clear photography to help bring the point across and to help you understand what is meant by a cut or slice or turn. Sharp, close photos are ladened throughout the book whether showing you veggies or herbs, meat cuts or souffles.

In addition to the "Basics" section, there are 7 complete areas of instruction, with each subsection having a few recipes in which to practice. While this book gives full education in kitchen skills, it should not be known for having all kinds of recipes; there are definitely recipes appropriate to the instruction given, but they are basics.
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Format: Hardcover
Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook is an indispensable cooking guide for beginners through mid-level cooks. By mid-level, I am referring to anyone who cooks but is not adept at the various cooking techniques or one with a firm understanding of how and what tools to use in the kitchen.

As a former caterer and chef, I see that many people lack basic cooking skills. This book does a fantastic job of teaching the skill--Stewart provides clear instructions and the accompanying photographs makes the job of learning how to cook seem simple. (And cooking is fairly simple...you just need to practice--and get good guidance!)

The book is stunning in its layout and with impeccable photography throughout. The photographs alone would entice even the most reluctant beginner to jump in and learn to cook!

Cooking School begins with the basics--what cooking supplies to stock in your kitchen. Stewart believes in keeping things simple and she lists the basic equipment to do the job. Also included are knife sharpening tips and much more. Here again, the photos assist in the show and tell method of this book.

The remainder of the book is divided as follows:

* Stocks and dips
* Eggs
* Meat, fish and poultry
* Vegetables
* Pasta
* Dried beans and grains
* Desserts

Each section provides cooking techniques and recipes, many of which are classics.

This is a wonderful book to buy yourself or anyone who wants to learn to cook--or to cook better. I bought a copy for my niece as a housewarming present!

11 Comments 225 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
My thoughts are if you're a beginning cook then this is too high end a book for you. I'm not saying that to be mean but I'm saying it because a beginner would be too intimidated by Martha Stewart's style. A beginner needs "How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart" by Pam Anderson, or even better, "Betty Crocker Basics: How to Cook and Entertain with Confidence (Betty Crocker Books)". Another great one but it has no photos is "Saving Dinner Basics: How to Cook Even If You Don't Know How" by Leanne Ely. All of which are books that teach beginners how to begin cooking. These books tell you how to make, cut, chop, dice and then actually give you the recipe so you can do all that step-by-step while preparing a complete meal. Which is what we need for everyday to bring families back to the dinner table.

I have all 4 cookbooks and by far would turn to the "Betty Crocker Basics" over and over. This Martha Stewart book (while I am a Martha fan) gives you instructions for making your own lemon curd, Cassoulet, Pate a Choux, court bouillon, etc. I just don't see a beginning cook tackling these dishes.

This book is for making scrambled eggs with caviar in eggshell cups which is on page 87. And for steaming eggs inside artichokes and making homemade Hollandaise Sauce which is on page 83. And making Fish Fumet from scratch, page 55. And Duck Confit, page 232. The list goes on and on.
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