Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cook's Bible, an aptly named kitchen aid

Welcome back everyone! Today we're going to highlight a very useful book we found last weekend 'Cook's Bible: The Definitive Cook's Guide'. We discovered this book at our local discount book store, and after a few minutes perusing its pages, we knew we had to pick it up.

The Book: 'Cook's Bible: The Definitive Cook's Guide'


'Cook's Bible' Is broken down into two parts (Introduction & Main Commodities and Recipes) and nine chapters (Eggs & Dairy, Fish & Shellfish, Meat, Poultry & Game, Vegetables & Salads, Herbs & Spices, Rice, Pasta, Beans & Grains, Fruit, Baking).

Part one (Introduction) highlights the many tools that are necessary in the kitchen. What's makes this part even better is the book goes beyond just listing the tools needed - it also includes pictures of almost all of the items it describes, as well as brief descriptions of each item and its intended use. Do you know you need a zester - but couldn't tell one apart from a cheese grater? There's a handy picture showing you what to look for. Or, maybe you know what a Ramekin is...but don't have any idea what you would use it for. There's a description to help you there as well (Small, round dishes for making individual souffles - that also double up nicely as serving dishes for butter, olives and nuts - in case you WERE wondering what a ramekin was).
One of the many, detailed 'kitchen essentials' pages

Another nice addition to part one is the list of cooking terms. Is the recipe telling you to emulsify your fluids and you have absolutely no idea what they are trying to say? 'Cook's Bible' has you covered (Emulsify: adding one liquid to another in a slow, gradual stream while stirring or blending rapidly. This is how mayonnaise is made by adding oil in a slow stream to a beaten egg mixture while whisking or blending vigorously). There is also a section detailing spices and nuts, including what to look for and what to pair them with. All in all, this section is a very useful tool whether you're just starting to equip your dream kitchen or need to figure out what exactly this recipe is telling you to do.

Below are some pictures of the introduction pages:

Part two of 'Cook's Bible' is where the book really begins to shine. In each chapter the full range of products in that category are identified, illustrated and given a brief description. For example, the fish & shellfish chapter highlights every common fish you can dream of - including a brief description of the fish, what foods that fish would pair well with, how to pick out a good cut of said fish, and finally how to store and cook that fish. If all of that wasn't enough, 'Cook's Bible' also has recipes! Not only will it tell you everything you need to know about breading (Introduction: Pantry essentials),broiling (Introduction: Cooking methods), picking a good cut of trout (Chapter 2: Fish & Shellfish) but it will tell you how to bread and broil your trout fillet (Chapter 2: Broiled Trout Fillets). Each recipe is highlighted with detailed descriptions from beginning to end, estimated time to prepare, time to cook, number of people served - along with large, full page pictures giving you a fantastic idea of what you're trying to achieve. There are not just a few recipes in this book either - there are over 100. From everything from homemade Crepes, Almond Biscotti, Tropical Fruit Deserts, Pea & Mint Soup to Peking Duck and Beef Bounguignon.

The recipes are detailed and accompanied by large colorful pictures

In short, 'Cook's Bible' is very aptly named. It is the definitive guide to everything you ever wanted to know about cooking. It would be worth the $20 suggested price (we found it for $10) alone with just the definitions, pictures, tips and cook times - but it is also a solid collection of diversified recipes. Sadly, the book is out of major print - meaning you can't just grab it off of Amazon. However, a cook browse of your local bookstore's cooking section may yield positive results. In the end, we highly recommend 'Cook's Bible'. 5 out of 5.

That's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed our quick book review. Even more importantly, we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend! We're taking Memorial Day off as well - so the schedule next week will be as follows: Tuesday - Grocery day, Wednesday - Tyler cooks, Thursday - Maggie Cooks, Friday - Tyler Cooks. Until Tuesday...


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