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Ruhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto Hardcover – September 14, 2011
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"A naturally curious and intelligent cook, Michael has amassed a vast amount of culinary knowledge through his many years being around and writing about food. In his newest book Ruhlman's Twenty he has distilled everything down to the most essential 20 techniques that will help build solid skills and a positive outlook in the kitchen. It is a great resource."
-Thomas Keller, chef/owner of The French Laundry
James Beard Foundation 2012 Book Awards winner, General Cooking category
International Association of Culinary Professionals' 2012 Cookbook Awards winner, Food and Beverage Reference/Technical category
"There is something smart, useful and important to learn from each remarkable chapter of Ruhlman's Twenty. Whether you've cooked all your life or you've just come into the kitchen, you're bound to be changed by this book."
-Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
"I'm not sure if Michael Ruhlman is a great writer who cooks or a great cook who writes, but either way he always manages to make my favorite thing: good sense. With Ruhlman's Twenty he makes sense of just about anything and everything that can happen in a kitchen by boiling it all down to twenty elemental concepts, stunningly presented in concise and useful clarity."
-Alton Brown, host of Good Eats and author of I'm Just Here for the Food
About the Author
Michael Ruhlman is the author of Ratio, The Soul of a Chef, The Making of a Chef, Charcuterie, and, with, Thomas Keller, The French Laundry Cookbook. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Photographer Donna Turner Ruhlman lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
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It really has changed our lives, including both how we eat and how we survive as parents of young children. Sometimes we feed the kids early, then put them to bed so we can have a glass of wine, cook together, and catch up with each other. Ruhlman described near the Bacon Arugula Salad recipe how cooking together strengthens relationships, and I have to agree. I love the nights we stay in and try a new recipe or revisit a favorite one.
There are still some recipes that we haven't tried in the book, but others we use weekly or seasonally. Some of them are a little more involved (fried chicken and pan fried pork chops which both require brining), while other things we've picked up from that book are so simple yet so profound. Like how to scramble eggs. It's just a small change or two, but the result is astounding. Roast chicken. Who knew it could be so easy to cook a chicken and then come up with a delicious pan sauce for that chicken? We make it weekly. The coq au vin is "my" recipe that I like making, and while it feels fancy, it's actually quite simple and doesn't create a ton of dishes for me to clean up after. That is a WIN in my book.
The ONLY thing I haven't been extremely impressed with are some of the baking recipes. Cakes, cookies, etc. I've only tried a few of the recipes, and while they aren't bad, I prefer to find those types of recipes elsewhere.
The recipe for preserved/confit lemons is straightforward and very effective.
The recipe for "The Perfect Meatloaf" is overly fussy and lacking my opinion from a technique perspective. The use of the milk and bread to make a panade was top notch advice, but the bain marie was unnecessary. Ruhlman states it produces a "moist" meatloaf, and it does, but I prefer a SLAB of meatloaf for both an entree and/or sandwiches.
The breakdown of the sections is very easy to follow and this is an enjoyable cookbook, both from a pictorial point of view and from a technical advice point of view.
Philosophy is very useful. Would like more photos of finished product, especially plated.....plating is an art and there is just not enough advise out there about how each chef likes to see it done.
Techniques for things such as properly seasoning a cast iron pan are significantly absent, and for a book like this would have been appreciated.
Mr. Ruhlman did not want to get into a whole bevvy of kitchen gadgets but one thing I have seen in most professional kitchens missing from discussion in the book is at least one good pair of 10-12 inch stainless steel tweezers. I can't cook shrimp or other similar small items like sauteed chicken medallions without them anymore.
I have over 30 years of cooking experience, and 6 years of combined experience working in professional/commercial food preparation.
We have always loved cooking meals together, but the addition of this book to our existing repository of knowledge has kicked the culinary bar up about 5 notches for us. If you consider yourself a home chef, this book would not be amiss in your collection of mainstays.