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Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook Hardcover – October 21, 2008
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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 StewartPrime Rib Roast
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)
1 three-rib prime rib of beef (about 7 pounds), trimmed and frenched
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.Roast
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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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. Many of Martha's other books would be well-suited to give you a greater range of recipes in which to try your newfound or sharpened abilities.
Whether you are just starting in your kitchen skills or whether you are seasoned and want to get better, this is an excellent reference material. For those who are very advanced, you might find this repetitive, and something in the line of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" could be your next line of challenge. Martha has said that she became who she was by going through Julia's books back in her very early days.
A Cook's Golden Rules, equipment, knives, herbs, seasonings, onions, citrus. (I think that just about every kitchen tool, pot, pan, and device has been photographed as well as knife sharpening skills and veggie cuts. Herbs and seasonings of all kinds have also been neatly laid out and labeled).
STOCKS and SOUPS (how to make)
White stocks, chicken soup, brown stock, fish fumet (stock), veggie stock, dashi (Japanese stock), cream soups, pureed soups, consumme (French Onion Soup and Minestrone are group favorites and are given a pedestal to show off).
Boiling, poaching, frying, scrambling,omelet, coddling, baking, frittata (poached eggs in a artichoke cup, Huevos Rancheros are 2 offered dishes).
MEAT, FISH, & POULTRY
Roasting, grilling, braising and stews, steaming, poaching, simmering, saute and fry (diagrams of beef cuts, prime rib, cleaning shellfish, gravies, leg of lamb, setting up your grill, steamed fish en papillote are a few of the fabulous presentations in this section).
Steaming, wilting, blanching, simmer, boil, poach, roast, bake saute, fry, stir-fry, braise and stew, grill, green salads (what to look for in fresh veggies. confits, veggie tian, braised spring veggies, plus vinaigrettes and dressings to enjoy those healthy salads)
Making fresh pasta, making filled pasta shapes, gnocchi, tomato sauce, ragu, baked pasta dishes (making fresh pasta has no equal to the store-bought varieties; it's fun and a great family/friend project especially in the winter months. Tortellini, stuffed ravioli with butternut squash along with the thick and hearty sauces shown you make a perfect meal anytime!).
DRIED BEANS & GRAINS
Cooking dried beans, grains (every bean you can think of with spicy to mild flavors make for a warming bowl of comfort soups or casseroles, and rice types and their cooking times help prepare the way for pilafs and risotto's. Polenta makes its debut at the end of the chapter to be an excellent accompanyment to a meat dish).
Creaming butter, cutting butter into flour, meringues, souffles, genoise, custards making Pate a Choux, sorbets and granitas (perfecting cookies, cakes, biscuits, and pies is always the grand finale of any meal and you are given a fruit galette, a tart, some pies, a few cakes, souffles, sorbets, and puddings).
This would be a great idea for a wedding shower, first apartment celebration, a birthday gift for a cooking/baking guru, or anyone who just enjoys reading all things "kitchen". Well done, Martha, as well as your wonderful staff of Sarah, Marcus, and Ditte!
Having videos in a cooking book is a "good thing" (as Martha says) however, the videos do not play (not a "good thing").
I checked various Amazon reviews on the separate Lessons sold, and others also comment on the videos not playing. This book description lists Kindle apps and devices that will play the videos, and I've tested two with no video playing.
I also see the Cooking School book is priced the same whether it has the videos or not. I suspect they know the video function does not play in the Enhanced Edition. Maybe one day they will play, but for right now you will only see a large blank area below where it says, "How to cut up a chicken (3:21)" with no video playing.
This could be an issue with Amazon rather than Martha's team, but nothing is said in the book description about this issue.